Lijiang/Dali vs. Yangtze R. cruise

May 2nd, 2005, 05:03 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
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Lijiang/Dali vs. Yangtze R. cruise

We're planning a 15-day China trip (our first) for early Sept. and trying to pick our destinations. We're pretty set on Beijing (4 nights), Xian (1), Guilin (2), and Hong Kong (4). For the last 4 nights, we're trying to pick between visiting Lijiang and Dali vs. a Yangtze R. cruise.

We'd really appreciate your advice on this choice. Is the cruise already less interesting because of the flooding than it used to be? Any other thoughts on our allocation of days would be welcome.
randy52 is offline  
May 3rd, 2005, 08:16 AM
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Randy,I was on the Yangtze cruise 3 years ago and enjoyed it, although that was before the flooding. The downside of the cruise was how dirty the river was.

That said, I just returned from a trip that included Lijiang and Dali and I must say I would drop everything at the first chance I had to return to these 2 places. Lijiang is beautiful, scenic, moderate temperature, vibrant, wonderful food, friendly people, lots to do. I could go on forever. Like I said in my trip report, I am dreaming of Lijiang, and can't wait to return. I feel the same way about Dali to a lesser degree.
LynnieD is offline  
May 3rd, 2005, 08:17 AM
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I also meant to say that if you are going to Guilin with the purpose of taking the Li River cruise to Yangshou you really don't need to do the Yangtze also. Given a choice I would pick the Li River. Very scenic and not polluted.
LynnieD is offline  
May 22nd, 2005, 03:55 AM
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Hi Randy:
My husband and I are presently living in China teaching for a year. We have had the opportunity to do both the cruise on the Yangtze (last October) and Lijiang and Dali just two weeks ago. While the cruise on the Yangtze was very good and we enjoyed all aspects of it, I would take the trip to Lijiang and Dali if you had to choose between the two.
Like LynnieD has said if you are cruising the Li River that will give you a taste of river life in China.
The culture in the Lijiang and Dali area is so completely different from most other areas in China because of the prevalence of different ethnic minorities. The country as a whole has 56 of these ethnic groups and Yunnan province encompasses I believe they told us about 28 of them.
If I might suggest also ,if you have time to have at least an overnight in the Lugu Lake area which is about a 5 - 6 hour drive from Lijiang through incredible mountain scenery and ancient minority villages. The Mosuo people you will find at the end of your trip in Lugu Lake have an unrivalled matriarchal society pretty well intact. The drive is difficult in spots but so rewarding. The hotels are basic to say the least but if you are up for an adventure it's a great place. If you do decide to do this try to find a driver who knows the road well.

The different cultures in Yunnan are so interesting it's like seeing a different country outside of China. So if you want a more complete picture of the nation try this small part of Yunnan/Szechuan provinces. Then your trip will encompass not only Han Chinese life and history but also the remnants of a few of the other different ancient peoples who make up China.
If I can answer any specific questions just post them on this thread.
keldar is offline  
May 24th, 2005, 01:02 PM
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Thanks very much for your advice, which we're following: we'll go to Lijiang and Dali.
randy52 is offline  
May 29th, 2005, 05:23 PM
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We just returned from China which included Guilin and Li River trip. We took the Li River trip last Monday and it rained. I was so disappointed but still enjoyed the magnificence of the karst formations. We were just in awe of the beauty all over this area. Since it had rained so hard and was a difficult trip I decided to do it again. I had the luxury of 5 nights in Guilin for a relaxing time before leaving for Shanghai. We toured but of course it was a bit cloudy that day not like the beautiful sunny day the day before. It was still worth a second trip. If you go with a guided group beware the trip lasted about 3 hours then they asked us if we wanted to go to a extra side trip. Of course we did, but I was extremely disappointed in the Shangri La Village. It was all for tourists and I felt like I was on a river trip in Disneyland. If you get offered this trip, say NO!!! This little side trip was a waste. Nevertheless we did the Li River trip twice!
Wanda1 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2005, 01:15 PM
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Thanks for such helpful feedback, we have only 2 days to spend in this area this Nov and were were thinking to spend most of the time in and around Lijiang. We'll be flying from Shanghai and hope to fly direct to Hong Kong after. Which is better for flights Lijiang or Dali? Can you do both in 2 days? If you had to pick 1 what would it be? What about hotels? Any favorites? Any other hints? Thanks all!
iammurphy is offline  
Sep 28th, 2005, 03:56 PM
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Coming from Shanghai and going to HK, you'll need to route through Kunming either way to get to Dali or Lijiang. There are more frequent flights between Kunming and Lijiang so that may offer better connections.
Patty is offline  
Sep 29th, 2005, 09:01 AM
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OUt of curiosity- those of you that have gone/are going-

did you use a tour group (if so- which one) or did you organize this on your own?

Most tours I have found include Yangtze...but Lijang and Dali sound like it might be a better choice!

Audsquad is offline  
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