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Your Advice - Shanghai, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Zhongdian, HK

Your Advice - Shanghai, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Zhongdian, HK

Aug 9th, 2004, 06:13 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 24
Your Advice - Shanghai, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Zhongdian, HK

HI all,

I finally decided on the places we want to hit on our trip to China and want to get your advice whether it would be easy to get from place to place and which order of places to go. We want to hit Shanghai, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Zhongdian, and HK - not necessarily in this order. We have relatives in HK - so we need to spend a few days either at the end or start of the trip.

So, my specific questions are:

1. Which is the less expensive option: flying into Hong Kong (from NY) and then fly from HK to Shanghai OR flying into Shanghai and then eventually end up in HK? Please consider whether we can get to Kunming from HK directly.

2. How easy will it be to get to Kunming, Dali, Lijian, and Zhongdian? I know that they are not the usual big cities. So, I'm concerned about transportation from one city to the next. Maybe there's a service available we can hire to transport us?

3. Will it be easy to hire a guide or a car (we're a group of 5) to take us to Stone Forest in Kunming, cruise on Erhai Lake, Dayan Town in Lijiang, and the Garden Songzanglin Monastery in Zhongdian?

4. Will it be easy to get flights to Kunming from Shanghai or HK and return? Or maybe I should book this before we get to China/HK.

I'm really excited to finally have decided on the places we want to visit, but the headache of how to do this is settling in. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Casey0274 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Kunming is a major city, with many flights a day from/to Shanghai and Hong Kong. Dali and Lijang are pretty popular tourist location, so you should have no problem getting there by land from Kunming. From what I understand, Zhongdian is pretty remote, another 200km from Lijang. So, you may have to do some more research about how to get there.

If you can get a open-jaw ticket without too much extra cost, then fly into Shanghai and out of Hong Kong. Or vice versa. The internal Chinese flight between Shanghai and Kunming should be pretty cheap. Kunming-Hong Kong is a little more expensive - my wild guess will be about US$150 one-way. [Or you can fly cheaper to/from Shenzhen, and cross the border to Hong Kong by land.]

If you must fly in and out of the same city from N. America, then it doesn't matter if it's Hong Kong or Shanghai. You still need to make a circular trip. HKG-Shanghai has extremely frequent flights, and no need to buy in advance. About $150-180 one-way.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,843
There are daily nonstop flights from Kunming to either Shanghai and Hong Kong so I don't think it matters which order you visit (Shanghai first or HK first) - I would go with whichever option is least expensive for your international ticket. You'll need the same domestic segments either way. From Kunming there are also daily flights to Dali, Lijiang, and Zhongdian (Diqing airport) but no flights between Dali/Lijiang/Zhongdian. You'll probably want to travel by road one direction and perhaps fly back to Kunming. There shouldn't be any problems hiring a car/driver to transport you along this route as it's a popular tourist route. Lijiang to Zhongdian is about 5-6 hours by road. I don't know how long it takes by road between Kunming-Dali-Lijiang. It should be easy to get flights to Kunming from HK or Shanghai once you get there.
Patty is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 10:56 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 6
I'm also considering a trip next year that includes most of the cities Casey0274 listed. My questions are:

1. What's the cheapest way to book accomodations - online? travel agents in China? walk-up?

2. How easy is it to book flights? Ex. Can you book today for a flight tomorrow?

Any advice is appreciated!
ro638 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 280
I did these places independently 2 years ago. I'll post as much as I can tonight when I get home...find my notes. (but its easy) How much time do you have?
Cosmo is offline  

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