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Please help to select places for our second visit to China

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Oct 5th, 2018, 08:13 PM
  #1
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Please help to select places for our second visit to China

I am looking for help to select places to visit for our second trip to China.



First time, we visited Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Xian, Gulin and Yangshuo



This time we will have 2 weeks, and I am thinking of two options.

One option is to spend full two weeks touring Yunnan province, where Yuanyang rice terraces are one of the major attractions for me.



Another option, is to start in Shanghai, visit Zhuujiajiao, and some if the water towns; then to Tunxi and visit Hongcun, Xidi, Shexian, and to see Huang Shan; then to Wuyuan visting villages; and then to Zhangjiajie and Fenghuang; I did not do any serious planning, so this is just a quick draft.

Our main objectives to see old interesting towns, pretty country side and villages, light to moderate hiking, photography. From our previous trip Yangshuo was our favorite.

Please share your thoughts.
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Oct 5th, 2018, 09:12 PM
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kja
 
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I haven't been to the places you are considering, so perhaps should not comment, but I can say that I truly enjoyed the places I visited in northern China outside of Beijing and Xi'an -- Tai Shan, Qufu, Luoyang, Pingyao, Taiyuan, Wutai Shan, Datong, and Chengde. Most aren't villages (though some are smaller cities), but then, my understanding is that villages are hard to come by in today's China.

If you haven't already seen it, you might find some helpful information in my old trip report -- just keep in mind as you read it that travel within China is easier now than it was even in 2010.
Thanks for helping make my trip to China amazing!
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Oct 6th, 2018, 07:46 AM
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I have been to these places (more than once).
Both places offer enough to keep you busy for 2 weeks. One of the differences between the two options is that in Yunnan, you'll see more of the ethnic minorities. Also, while there are tourists everywhere. you will have less crowds in Yunnan. Huangshan and Zhangjiajie are spectacular but there is always a ton of people there. Finally, check out the rain seasons for these places. In some parts of Yunnan, you can have mudslides. I was lucky when I visited Huangshan but a friend wasn't so lucky as the weather was bad and they could not see anything.
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Oct 6th, 2018, 07:54 AM
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Kja, thank you for sharing! China is amazing, and deserves many trips. I loved your trip report, and agree your trip sounds fantastic.

However, specifically for me, the places I listed offer more unique experiences. For this trip, I am pretty set on what I would like to see, but just do not know how to chose (want to see all
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Oct 6th, 2018, 08:03 AM
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CanadaChinaTraveller,

Thank you so much for your opinion!

At this moment, I am flexible on when to go. If I decide with Yunnan, we would probably go in April/May, as I was told everything is blossoming at that time.
If I decide to go with Option 2, perhaps we would go in Sept/Oct (outside on National Holiday week) as this seems like the least rain at that time.

Yes, I have a friend too, who was very unlucky with HuangShan, and not does not recommend going there.

I also have option number 3 (but seems too rushed) - go to Zhangjiajie and Fenghuang area first, and then to Kunming and rice terraces from there. However, does not leave much time to see anything else in Yunnan.

So hard to choose!
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Oct 8th, 2018, 06:24 AM
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For countryside, I would throw Yangshuo county into the ring here. Beautiful karst mountains and pretty lively towns in the evenings. I loved cycling around the countryside. Guilin, Yangshuo and Xingping are all really nice. Just an idea!
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Oct 8th, 2018, 09:25 PM
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Thanks Ryanhall! We have been to this area on our first trip to China. It is absolutely beautiful, and I would not mind to revisit if we had more time.
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Nov 1st, 2018, 03:53 PM
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Absolutely! Just returned from Yangshao and Guilin and though the weather wasn't ideal, the scenes and hotel were really fantastic. A real highlight, as was Suzhou.....
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Nov 6th, 2018, 10:21 AM
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Yunnan is a beautiful Province to visit. Clear blue skies, with beautiful farms and mountains, the foothills of the Himalayas.. Add the Minority People with their embroidered clothing, different styles of architecture, art and cooking and you will experience a different China. The Three Pagodas are a spectacular site.
Make sure you visit the Dali area. Our favorite place where we stayed was in the town of Xizhou at the Sky Valley Heritage Boutique Hotel. It is a restored landowner’s open courtyard home. They kept the traditional elements intact while creating up to minute rooms, flat screen TV, WiFi. The dining room featured the fresh local vegetables and other delicious dishes.
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Nov 6th, 2018, 10:26 AM
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Another totally different region to explore in China is the Silk Road in the far west, Dunhuang, sand dunes and the Mogo Caves, then farther west to Xingjiang Province, home of the Uighur people. Kashgar, Urumchi, Turpan. Fascinating as well as heart breaking when you see what the Chinese Govt is doing to these ethnically Turkic people who have lived there for ages.
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Nov 18th, 2018, 07:10 PM
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Thank you, Happy! I think we may need to postpone China trip for next year for now. Kids wanted to go to Bhutan, so decided on Bhutan trip for now. Bhutan will be in October, and is booked. Still thinking about perhaps China in April, but not sure ...

Yes, both routes you suggested are great - would like to visit both...
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