Hong Kong to Lijiang flights and tour

Nov 13th, 2006, 01:21 PM
  #1  
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Hong Kong to Lijiang flights and tour

Planning to go to Hong Kong next Spring, and make a side trip from HK to Lijiang for 3-5 days.

Maybe Lijiang is still out of the ways. I checked into some airfare (Southern China, China Eastern); the return airfare alone is about US$600! (and I can fly to Shanghai for much less, I think).

I also checked into travel agencies like Wing On, Farrington etc.. Their 5-6 days tour to Kunming-Lijiang is still about $800-900, and the time is split between Kunming, Dali and Lijiang. I don't mind staying for a day in Kunmong, but my main interest is in Lijiang.

Does anyone know or heard of better (cheaper) prices for 3-4 day packages? Please let me know ab=nd I'll follow up on it.

Thanks!!
Johnmango is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 01:28 PM
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No need for a tour to Lijiang. I found it overrun with Chinese tour groups, but still a sprinkling of independent Western backpackers. Lots of hotels. Really a place where you can just wander round town. Kunming is a pleasant town, and a good base for a visit to the Stone Forest.
thursdaysd is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 02:05 PM
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My preference is booking my own flights and finding a hotel in old town (most tours make you stay outside the Old Town). But the airfare is just too expensive (as I said about $600US) - hence I'm looking at tours as well!
Johnmango is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 02:20 PM
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Have you loked at taking the train from Hong Kong to somewhere in mainland China and flying from there?
thursdaysd is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 03:27 PM
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Full fare Shenzhen - Lijiang roundtrip is 3,260 yuan. Usually you can get at least 30% off, often 50% or more. Try elong.net or ctrip.com.

At 50% off, a roundtrip will cost you just over $200.

Shenzhen-Lijing is non-stop, while flying from Hong Kong you'll need to connect in Kunming or Guangzhou.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 04:12 PM
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Thanks rkkwan!!!

Elong does have the discount you mentioned, and they issue e-tickets!

Just curious: I couldn't get the pricing from ctrip, because they require that I type in the "issue city". I tried using Hong Kong, Shenzhen (and Shen Zhen), HKG, SZX etc., and always got the error message "you have enteredcan invalid city name".

How would you put in the "issue city" and get your tickets??
Johnmango is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 07:50 PM
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Johnmango - I didn't use ctrip this time to find the fare, and I usually just use elong.net (before also some other Chinese-only sites). Can't remember what exactly to do on ctrip.com to get past that problem. But apparently, some people do able to use that site.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 08:41 PM
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Kunming is hugely popular in the spring, esp for the annual flower show, which may be why you are getting the high airfares if you are looking at flying into Kunming and not Lijiang. A lot of people then add on Lijiang after or before Kunming as well.

You can fly to Kunming from Macau (Iím like the spokesperson for them recently), which means you can combine a trip to Macau with a flight out or into the PRC. You donít need a visa for Macau and itís an easy trip, an hour by ferry. I am not a huge fan of all the construction going on there for the casinos, but the colonial bits are interesting. If you just want to go to Macau airport, you take the ferry from Hong Kong and then the airport bus or a taxi for about 20-30 minutes to the airport. Ferries runs pretty much constantly from early in the morning until late at night (got to get the gamblers to the tables....)

For info on flights into Macau, the Macau airport, transport by ferry to Hong Kong, look at
http://www.macau-airport.gov.mo/tran...on_local.phtml. If you are staying in a hotel on the Hong Kong Island Side, you want the Turbo Jet ferry, go to http://www.turbojet.com.hk/. If you are staying on the Kowloon side, you want the First Ferry, go to http://www.nwff.com.hk/. Otherwise, you have to schlep over bag and baggage over to the other side of the harbour. Not really problem, but could be an expensive cab ride as you probably donít want to take the MTR subway.

Cicerone is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 07:43 AM
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Thanks Cicerone. I never thought about using Macau!

Rkkwan listed 2 good websites: Elong and Ctrip. But Elong does not have Macau in the pick list, and I couldn't get past that "delivery city" in Ctrip. I also tried a few other websites like "Asia.com", but none recognize Macau as a city!! I looked up the airport code also and think that Macau's code is MFM.

The only website that will give me a flight cost is Kayak, for Macau Airways from Macau to Lijiang. But the price is still around $600!

What is a good airline booking site that recognizes Macau (MFM)?!
Johnmango is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 11:05 AM
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According to www.macau-airport.com, there are only two flights per week from Kunming to Macau. The flights are on Air Macau, so you might get info on their web site (en.airmacau.com.mo).
DonTopaz is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 01:24 PM
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I have flown Dragonair HK-Kunming non-stop several times. Only the chinese could possibly find the Stone forest interesting. The word 'ridiculous' is insufficient to describe it -BUT people who see 'Ooowee dog, no chicken, no it's a fish stupid' in every natural formation do find it compelling. I have been in many Chinese places where there were natural formations I wntd to knw more about and all they could say is "Elephant - can you see, NO It is Dragon, aah but there is duckkkkk." It gets a little old.
merckxxx is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 01:51 PM
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The Air Macau website is pretty horrible! first they do not display prices when I do a search. To display the price you have to pretend you are actually booking a flight. To book a flight, one has to first register (and I did). Then you fill-in your flight origin (Macau) and destination (Kunming), and there is no single trip: you have to "book" a return ticket. That means for the outgoing portion, origin is Macau, destination is Kunming. For the return portion, origin is Kunming, destination is Macau.

Then the return portion keeps on saying that they have no availability, and it finally dawns on me that: they can only accept on-line booking when the flight originates in Macau or Taipei (and one other place). So if I want to check the price of a return ticket Macau-Kunming, there is NO WAY I can do that because the return portion does not get displayed!!!

Talk about frustration! Just wonder which genius designed their website!

The idea of going to Macau for a day, then onto Kunming and then to Lijiang sounds interesting. But this is too aggrevating. I may just take a train to Shenzhen and hop onto a flight to Lijiang.
Johnmango is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 04:47 PM
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I didnít say it would be easy...have you tried e-mailing them, faxing them, calling them, or going through a travel agent? Also, can you wait until you get to Hong Kong and then either call locally or go through a travel agent in Hong Kong who might be able to get you a deal? Or check the South China Morning Post when you are here for special offers (or try their on-line edition at scmp.com.
Cicerone is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 05:51 PM
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Some regional Asian airlines haven't adopted e-commerce yet, as the best rates are still offered through travel agents only. Unless you're going during major holidays, you should just forget it for now and then get a travel agent in HK once you get there to find you the best way to Lijiang. You won't have problem getting flights.

I was in Kunming for half a day just over a week ago. I've been to the Stone Forest 20 years ago when it was great, but these days many visitors skip it altogether.

Instead, we visited Jiuxiang, also E. of Kunming, on the same main road to Stone Forest. It has a river gorge, and then the river flows through several massive limestone caverns. I've seen lots of caverns in the world, but there are two things that are unique there. One is a pretty large waterfall inside a cavern. Second is "scared fields". I don't know the technical term for it, but it's many many steps of cascading pools, look kind of like the terraced fields I saw so many in Yunnan. One can probably find similar, but smaller scale, stuff in Yellow Stone or Huanglong. But I've never seen such thing inside a cavern.

Since they're on the same route, either do both Jiuxiang and Stone Forrest, or just Jiuxiang. Don't just go to Stone Forrest.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 06:01 AM
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Yes - I will either call Air Macau or check with a travel agent. At least to get an approximate price so I can compare that with the Shenzhen - Lijiang route.

Thanks for all your advices. Lijiang is one place I really wanted to visit. Now I have to decide how long to stay, or whether there are enough things to do to fill up 4-5 days. We are fairly mobile and like sightseeing (Black Dragon Pool?), a bit of hiking up the mountain, see the first bend of the Yangtze River, strolling around Old Town, attend a Naxi "concert", some do-nothing time etc. etc.

Any advice on what to do would be much appreciated.
Johnmango is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 10:33 AM
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rkkwan: Thanks for the info, Jiuxiang sounds really interesting, DH and I love waterfalls and caves!
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