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Advice on China travel?

  • Mattvs

    Joined Travelfish
    20th October, 2011
    Posts: 1

    Travelfish was a godsend when my wife and I were traveling through Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia in 2009. Now we're exploring a 2.5 to 3.5 week trip to China this spring. Ack! Where's the Travelfish for that part of the world?

    We'd love help with either of the following questions:

    1) Do you have recommendations for the best itineraries for that amount of time?
    2) Can you point us toward the best forums for travelers exploring China?

    A bit more about our travel tastes:
    We don't need more than a few days in the mega-cities. Good food is paramount. We love experiencing new cultures in beautiful places and aren't seeking extended amounts of "Nature Without People" time. Oh, and neither of us speak Mandarin.

    Thanks!

    Matt

    #1 Posted: 20/10/2011 - 12:29

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  • goonistik

    Joined Travelfish
    7th January, 2010
    Location Philippines
    Posts: 545
    Places visited:
    At least 9

    Matt

    Try looking up some things at CNN Go. I was watching the TV show when the featured this bike tour.

    http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/eat/gallery-yangshuos-edible-landscapes-557959?page=0,2

    I am trying to remember the famous places that are mentioned in Chinese classical literature. I do know that the karst hills in guilin are one.

    Huangshan in Anhui is another.

    #2 Posted: 20/10/2011 - 13:50

  • phishsticks

    Joined Travelfish
    10th October, 2011
    Posts: 32

    Wikitravel is a great place to start. As for itineraries; don't miss Yunnan Province!!! It is culturally one of the richest places in china and is incredibly scenic. I would recommend doing the stretch from Kuning-> Dali -> lijiang-> Shangra-la where side trips to tiger leaping gorge and others a plenty. Chengdu has an awesome Panda sanctuary. Then in Guangxi Province Guilin and Yangshuo are really scenic quant (maybe over touristed) towns and a side trip to the dragons back bone rice terraces. I love beijing but its far north.


    Hong Kong/ Macau (2/3 days) . Choose between Yunnan or Guangxi Province (1 week - 2 weeks). Choose between Chengdu (2/3) and Xian (1/2) [terracotta warriors]. Beijing 3/4 days.

    Dont miss the back country thats where china really shines. Just type in these cities and provinces and read about them on wikitravel it will definatly help you out. But it does suck there is no one stop shop for info on china. Get your google on!

    Cheers

    #3 Posted: 20/10/2011 - 20:56

  • phishsticks

    Joined Travelfish
    10th October, 2011
    Posts: 32

    Oh I forgot, check out http://www.travellerspoint.com/guide/China/ you have to sign up for their guide books but its free and very useful.

    #4 Posted: 20/10/2011 - 21:09

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    1: Get a Mandarin phrasebook and, despite what anyone tells you, this will suffice no matter how far off the beaten track you go. People overstate the extent a lack of Mandarin means, it's better to have it but it's well doable without.

    2. Great food, and presumably local: Sichuan and Chongqing. Hotpots, spicy meats on a skewer, fresh dumplings and noodles, all made from local recipes. To die for.

    3. Beautiful places: Everywhere in China is beautiful!! Somewhere a little off the beaten track that is very nice are the little villages around Wuyan town (which itself is a 7 hour bus journey south of Shanghai). You can hike between villages and stay in local homestays for $5 a night. Yangshou is also beautiful if a little more visited.

    Since I don't know where you are flying into and out of it is hard to be too precise with an itinerary.

    Something like this could work:

    Beijing: 5 days;
    X'ian: 3 days (also a big city but worth seeing I think);
    Chengdu and Chongqing: 5 days (food, food, food, the panda sanctuary in Chengdu and some time in the Sichuan teahouses)
    Yangshuo and surrounds: 5 days
    You could then connect to a lot of big cities from Guilin, which is an hour from Yangshuo, for your flight home.

    If you have flights booked already or if there is anything else in particular that you like/dont like then let us know and we can refine suggestions.

    #5 Posted: 26/1/2012 - 04:04

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