Hey Gartt, as we now have a massive 48 days in china i thought maybe chengdu, lijang and obv Kunming on the way back sound quite good, apparently the Yahtzee cruise is a bit hit or miss so thought we'd skip that and just enjoy the tiger leaping gorge which looks as you mentioned absolutely amazing. We are gonna train from Beijing down to Shanghai to Xian then down to Chengdu, im guessing you missed Shanghai out totally.
Any little tips you would be kind enough to share, we got alot more time in china now so might be able to fit some more things in, or relax in a few nicer places for longer
Yea I missed out shanghai totally, it was in the itinerary at first but after a couple of weeks in the big cities like Beijing and Xi'an, i wanted something different and to be honest thats all Shanghai really is, a big city, a big western looking city at that. So I decided to go West to Chengdu after Xi'an instead of East to Shanghai.
- Yunnan, Yunnan, Yunnan! Spend as much time as you can in this area, its where I found my "real" China. Its just so different to the rest of the country.
- Hostels are your best friend in this country the staff there can sort out pretty much anything for you, its a godsend having them book your train/bus tickets to your next destination as it saves having to wait in the foreigner queue at the stations. A good hostel is a must, pretty much any YHAis recommended.
-Hostelworld is a godsend, just book your next place as you go, I booked literally the first week to settle in and then went wit the flow.
- Watch out for public holidays, the whole country shuts down and youll never get a train anywhere.
- Book trains early (try and get on a soft sleeper at least once, if your budget allows, theyre mint.)
- Dont bother with tours, theyre expensive and everything is doable under your own steam for much less
money. Just ask for the info at your Hostel.
- If you do the Li River cruise, if you can afford it (im not sure how much it costs) try and charter a small boat rather than the big chugging tour boats. Too many people on them and completely ruined the whole experience for me unfortunately.
- If you get a sleeper bus, check it has a toilet on it before chugging down two bottles of water at the start of the journey... trust me, its not a nice experience ;P
- Beware the spitting! I never got used it, its horrible, but socially acceptable there.
- Dont eat Chicken on a Bed of Chillis, Ive never cried before whilst eating food, but this dish damn near killed me
Thats enough I think, your making me reminise and its depressing!
pm me if you want any info bud.
*edit* Sorry about text wall