Photo: Terraces, Yuanyang.

China forum

Chengdu or X'ian

Posted by Timetotravel12 on 30/3/2014 at 17:12

My husband and I are visiting China in June and will be visiting Chengdu for two nights then with a two night trip to Mt Emieshan. When we return from here we were going to spend another two nights in chengdu.... Is that too much time? We will then spend three nights in Xian. We can't decide if we should add the extra time to xian rather than stay at chengdu the extra two nights? Any tips?

#1 Timetotravel12 has been a member since 29/7/2012. Posts: 19

Posted by caseyprich on 31/3/2014 at 09:09

I haven't been to Xi'an since 2006, but it is a rather dusty city that doesn't hold nearly the charm of Chengdu. From Chengdu you could also day-trip to Leshan to see the giant Buddha there if it interests you - on the way back from Emieshan you might even overnight in that city as it is on route between the two. Mind you, I don't say Xi'an is not worth a visit - it has a lot of history, and the Muslim quarter is a great place to spend an afternoon, the Great Mosque a bastion of tranquility. With a long day trip (very early start) from Xi'an you could also visit the striking Huashan, take the cable car up and see some amazing sites atop the mountain (not for those with a fear of heights or narrow staircases with sheer cliffs).

#2 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by chinarocks on 31/3/2014 at 10:39

I would have to respectfully disagree with casey's view of X'ian. I think it is a great city, well deserving of five days/nights (including a day trip to the Terracotta Warriors). It is very big and full of history, its city walls are well worth a walk or cycle. Street food is great there too and very cheap.

Chengdu is also nice, but I think X'ian is nicer. Chengdu is more of a generic big city whereas X'ian has a bit more charm IMO.

If you could do 3 nights Chengdu and 4 nights X'ian, that might work well. Overnight train is about 16 hours if memory serves me correctly.

PS - we stayed in the Han Tang Inn Youth Hostel in X'ian for about $4 a night (dorm room) and it was one of the best hostels I have ever stayed in.

#3 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738

Posted by Timetotravel12 on 31/3/2014 at 17:15

Thanks for your replies. It does seem to be a difficult decision although it's only and extra day and I'm sure either city will not disappoint! We are thinking Chengdu for the Sichuan culture and food. However, the city is huge and that's why I'm drawn to Xi'an (although that's another big city) for its history. Here is our itinerary, any tips and suggestions (hotels, sites or meals) would be appreciated.

1 Shanghai
2 Shanghai The Bund
3 Shanghai Visit Suzhou
4 Shanghai
5 Shanghai to Yangshou (fly to Guilin)
6 Yangshou
7 Yangshou
8 Yangshou
9 Yangshou to Chengdu (fly)
10 Chengdu - explore town and Panda reserve
11 Chengdu to Leshan and Mt Emeishan (bus)
12 Mt Emeishan hike and staying at monastery
13 Mt Emeishan to Chengdu (bus)
14 Chengdu **spare day** TBC
15 Chengdu to Xi'an (fly)
16 Xi'an
17 Xi'an - various sites and terracota warrior's
18 Xi'an to Beijing
19 Beijing
20 Beijing - various sites and great wall
21 Beijing
22 Beijing

We will be in China in June and hope to catch a bit of the Dragon Boat Festival too..

#4 Timetotravel12 has been a member since 29/7/2012. Posts: 19

Posted by chinarocks on 1/4/2014 at 03:32

Looks okay, 5/6 locations in 22 days is reasonable although don't add any more. You also have a decent mix of urban and rural. Perhaps you could take a day off Shanghai, nice cosmopolitan city but 4-5 days is plenty. Add this day on to Beijing, which has more to see and do.

#5 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738

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