Hi there, I know this website doesn't exclusively cover China, but I managed to purchase extremely cheap flights home from Bejing and am planning on giving myself a week to get from Hanoi to Bejing after a two month trip through South-East Asian, does anyone have any advice on the best way to do this? And also how expensive China is compared to the other South-East asian counties?
#1 fabba487 has been a member since 19/8/2011. Posts: 5
I would say the cheapest and most fun way to get to Beijing from Hanoi is by train. There is a train that goes direct from Hanoi to Beijing http://www.seat61.com/Vietnam.htm#Hanoi - Beijing by train, but i would not recommend it. Instead I would take the train to Nanning http://www.seat61.com/Vietnam.htm#Nanning-Hanoi by train. Then from Nanning head a little north to the towns of Guilin and Yangshuo (both are really beautiful backpacker friendly towns surrounded by mountains) I would do 2/3 days for each spot . (you can read about them on wiki travel or travellerspoint). Then continue to beijing. Leave 3/4 days for beijing and make sure you make it out to the great wall (jingshanling is the best section), with a possible day trip to Chengde if your into temples or tibet (they have replica potala palace).
China can be cheap, I averaged 8-15 $ per night for accommodation. train rides will be similarly priced to vietnam. And if you avoid over tourist priced restaurants you can eat a meal for between 2-5$ . Water is dirt cheap 15cents , Beer is really cheap my guesthouse in beijing sold beer for 60cents for a tall boy. (its crappy beer though). Enjoy your travels.
#2 phishsticks has been a member since 10/10/2011. Posts: 32
Guest houses in Beijing can be a bit depressing but they are cheap. have you looked into renting an apartment for a few days or weeks? it could work out at the same price as a guest house.
Food and transportation in Beijing is always pretty cheap though!
#3 johnbarrington has been a member since 19/10/2011. Posts: 22
I stayed at a wicked place called "sitting on the city walls" you find it on tripadvisor or hostel world, it was about $15 a night, they had free bikes, free comps with internet and eggs and toast for 2$ breakfast.Great atmosphere, chilled (not party) in a back alley hutong, theres a really nice owner who will help you out and hook you up with all the info and travel prep you need. a little more hype place also recommended is Beijing backpackers hostel. free breakfast, down a more busy bar filled hutong. Both are good and both will do great wall tours. But book the rooms ahead, backpackers was sold out 3 weeks before and city walls 1 or 2 weeks. Both are in the heart of the old city walking/biking or busing distance from forbiden city and other sites.
If your going in the winter, beijing can be cold. If it gets too cold get yourself a $5/10 winter jacket at silk street or pearl market, theyve got every kind of knock-off and souvenir you can think of. And bargaining with them is a blast (don't pay more than 10 -15% of the original price, they're sharks).
#4 phishsticks has been a member since 10/10/2011. Posts: 32
If you're coming from Ha Long bay and Northern Vietnam (Sapa, etc.) you may not find Guilin offers the rustic charm of the karst formations that you are looking for - or have just seen. Yanghsou is a great place to visit if you're in China, but is also heavily touristed. If you aren't overloaded on karst formations when leaving northern Vietnam I'd say you coul take a train to Guilin and then head right down to Yangshou for a couple nights - maybe come back to Guilin and spend a single night there. After that, You'd probably want to fly to Beijing as I know the train from Guilin to Shanghai takes roughly 21 hours, and the train to Beijing is going to take significantly longer than that - so to save time check out www.ctrip.com or www.elong.com for cheap flight tickets. Cost is much more expensive in the eastern cities, but you can honestly eat and drink with a budget of 100RMB a day - that's something like 15 USD (5 RMB per bottle of beer, a thing of noodles running between 8-12 RMB per meal).
Accomodation in Guilin/Yangshou I recommend the Backstreet Youth Hostel (at least from 2006). Beijing, there are some nice hostels in the hutongs around the Forbidden City - the Drum Tower district is also nice.
The train from Guilin to Beijing takes 22.5 hours you can search train timetable here
but caseyprich is right, it might be best to just skip the 22 hour ride and take a flight. Unless you want to stop at more places in china along the way.
#6 phishsticks has been a member since 10/10/2011. Posts: 32
Thanks guys really appreciate the info, flights seem like a good idea to save some time
#7 fabba487 has been a member since 19/8/2011. Posts: 5