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Trav_Eller Sep 21st, 2011 05:27 PM

Itinerary Planning for a Month in China
My only visit to China so far is a brief stay in Hong Kong; I have always wanted to see more of the mainland.

I would appreciate comments and advice on this first rough draft itinerary, especially on localities to stay in each city and "must-sees" or "must-dos" for those cities.. I'll follow with a couple of specific questions on transportation.

From ; To ; Transport means ; Sleep
BNE ; SIN ; Air ; Singapore overnight
SIN ; PVG ; Air ; Shanghai 4 nights
Shanghai ; Hangzhou ; G Train ; Hangzhou 5 nights
Hangzhou ; Nanjing ; G Train ; Nanjing 5 nights
Nanjing ; Beijing ; G Train ; Beijing 7 nights
Beijing ; Xi'an ; Deluxe Sleeper ; Xi'an 3 nights
XIY ; KMG ; Air ; Kunming 6 nights
KMG ; SIN ; Air ; Singapore overnight
SIN ; BNE ; Air ; Home


Cheers, Alan

rkkwan Sep 21st, 2011 08:17 PM

You should totally rethink what you're trying to do and see. Makes no sense to stay at Hangzhou or Nanjing for 5 days each and Kunming 6. Hangzhou and Nanjing are 2-night places, and Kunming perhaps one - mainly as a transfer point for other sites in Yunnan Province.

With a one-month stay, you can cover a lot more places, with some more worthwhile ones. Dunhuang/silkroad, Lijiang/Shangri-La, Guilin, Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), Jiuzhaigou/Huanglong, Zhangjiajie, etc, just to name a few. But depends on your interest, of course.

rhkkmk Sep 21st, 2011 08:37 PM

we don't know all those airport initials

Trav_Eller Sep 21st, 2011 10:12 PM

Thanks for the advice so far. I will be shortening the time in some places and looking to add a couple more places en-route.

I will probably add Pingyao. Can anyone recommend scenic or interesting towns on stops on these lines please:

G trains Nanjing to Beijing (any with a G train stop)

Pingyao to Xian (possibly Houma, Wenxi, Yuncheng)

The airport acronyms are:

SIN = Singapore
BNE = Brisbane
PVG = Shanghai
KMG = Kunming

Cheers, Alan

rkkwan Sep 22nd, 2011 03:34 AM

Between Nanjing and Beijing, the main sites are in Shandong Province. Main sites include Qufu (Confucious Temple, etc) and the Taishan (the Eastern Scared Mountain). Both definitely well worth visiting.

Trav_Eller Sep 23rd, 2011 02:32 PM

Thanks for the comments.

I have modified the itinerary as a consequence of comments here and elsewhere. I will only book the flights in and out of China and hotels in the first section of Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Beiijng. From then on it will be unbooked; the towns indicated are a sequence based on rail timetables and local sights. Length of stay at each location would depend on how long it remains interesting. If we run out of time before we reach Kunming we will fly from that location to Kunming to meet the departure plane. Some towns, such as Hengyang, are included as rail junctions rather than for scenic or cultural reasons.

I will be carrying a netbook and hoping to use it to book hotels a day or two ahead. I would use the hotel staff to obtain local drivers for sight-seeing and to purchase rail tickets for the next journey.

Further comments would be appreciated.

BNE ; SIN ; Air ; Singapore overnight
SIN ; PVG ; Air ; Shanghai stay 2 nights
Shanghai - Hangzhou; G Train ; stay 2 nights
Hangzhou - Suzhou ; G Train ; stay 2 nights
Suzhou - Nanjing ; G Train ; Nanjing 1 night
Nanjing - Beijing ; G Train ; Beijing 5 nights
(Possible night in Qufu en-route)
Beijing - Xi'an; Deluxe Sleeper
Xian – Ankang; 5 hrs train 4916/4917
Ankang – Shiyan; 2 ½ hrs T126
Shiyan – Wuhan; 4 ½ hrs D train
Wuhan – Hengyang; 2 hrs G train
Hengyang - Guilin; 6 hrs T or K train
Guilin – Nanning; 6 hrs K train
Nanning – Kunming; 12 hrs K train or fly.
KMG ; SIN ; Air ; Singapore overnight
SIN ; BNE ; Air ; Home

Cheers, Alan, Australia

TravelJoyously Mar 15th, 2012 05:23 PM

Hi Alan,
I'm planning my first trip to China next September. I'm interested in hearing how your trip from Xi'an down to Guilin went.
Q. How was the trasportation?
Q. Do you have accomodations to recommend?
Q. What were your favorite locations, and what do you think I should not miss?

Trav_Eller Mar 18th, 2012 06:48 PM

@TravelJoyously, I can't answer yet because I haven't left home yet :)

We fly out from Oz on 28th April.

Cheers, Alan

JPDeM Mar 18th, 2012 09:13 PM

I had not seen this thread before.
I don't quite understand what is happening after Xi'An. Are you actually going to stay at these places before going to Guilin? You do not say where you will sleep and how long. Not much to see or do in most of these places except Yangshuo (close to Guilin).
Buy all your train tickets as soon as you arrive in China. They can be bought up to 12 days in advance (online) and 10 days in person.

Trav_Eller Mar 18th, 2012 11:57 PM

Things have moved on since I wrote that early itinerary. Here is the current one:


SYD-HKG, Air. Two nights in Hong Kong.
HKG-HGH, Air. Two nights in Hangzhou.
Hangzhou-Shanghai G train (to be booked). Three nights in Shanghai.

To be booked as we travel; subject to change:

Shanghai-Beijing G train. Five to seven nights in Beijing.
Beijing-Pingyao D train (Taiyuan) and K train to Pingyao. Three nights in Pingyao.
Pingyao-XiAn K train; possible overnight stops at one or two places en-route. Three or four nights in XiAn
Xian–Guilin Air; three or four nights in Guilin/Yangshuo


Guilin–Kuala Lumpur Air. Two nights in KL.
KUL-BNE Air, stay overnight Tweed heads, then bus home.

dgunbug Mar 19th, 2012 05:02 AM

Can't wait for your report upon your return!

thursdaysd Mar 19th, 2012 09:49 AM

Looks good. Also looking forward to the TR. Have fun!

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