Saturday, September 29, 2012

China Trip Itinerary

Join me on my 18 day trip to China and read about my (mis)adventures along the way:

Oct 14 Fly Air Canada Ottawa-Vancouver, Vancouver to Hong Kong, arriving 6pm Oct 15.

Day 1 Hong Kong
Arrive at any time. As fellow group members will be arriving throughout the day there are no planned activities until the group
meeting at 1800hrs, followed by dinner.
Day 2 Hong Kong
Visit Stanley Market or Nathan Road for some shopping or catch the views of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak. Leave in the early
afternoon of day 2, catching the cross-border train to Shenzhen to board an overnight train bound for Guilin in Guangxi Province
(approximately 13 hours). Train is your main mode of transport in China and a great way to travel.
Day 3-6 Yangshuo
Arrive in Guilin in the early morning and transfer to a local public bus for the 1½ hour journey to the small country town of Yangshuo.
The Li River and the limestone karst mountains interspersed with picturesque riverside villages and markets make this area perhaps
the best known scenic attraction in China.
On day 6 we take an afternoon bus to Guilin train station for the overnight train to Chongqin. (12 hours).
Day 7-9 Three Gorges
On day 7 we drive to the Three Gorges. (approx 5 hours)
Both an inspiration to generations of painters and poets and a source of international controversy. The Three Gorges remains one of
the world’s natural scenic wonders while the massive Three Gorges Dam is an incredible feat of modern technology.
Spend two days travelling along the Yangtze by boat, through the Three Gorges, stopping at various sites en-route.
Depending on the season, water level and boat availability we may experience the 3 Gorges of the Yangzi river by overnight
accommodation on a boat or accommodation in the less visited town of Fengjie coupled riverside exploration and a day cruise.
When staying on a boat cabins are clean, twin share with private toilet and shower facilities, but not luxurious. There are basic
Chinese food available in the restaurant on board.
On Day 9, we will take an overnight train (approx. 12 hrs) to Xi'an.
Day 10-12 Xi'an
Xi'an was once one of China's imperial capital. Spend almost 3 full days exploring the active Muslim Quarter and its serene Great
Mosque as well as the exotic local street food stalls and the majestic Ming Dynasty City Wall.
A trip to the famous Terracotta Warriors is a highly recommended optional excursion Xi'an. These life-size, 2000-year-old statues
were formerly housed in underground vaults until discovered by a farmer in 1974.
In the early evening of Day 12 catch an overnight train to Shanghai (approximately 16 hours).
Day 12-14 Shanghai
Blending 21st century architecture with old-world character, Shanghai is the vibrant pulse of new China. Arrive at noon and take a
stroll along the Bund, with its spectacular array of art deco-style buildings or go across the river where you can take in the sights of
Pudong - a modern financial centre - with its amazing skyscrapers. Explore the busy Yuyuan Bazaar, the French Concession, or
shop 'til you drop in China's hippest stores! There is enough to see in the impressive Shanghai Museum to spend half, if not a whole,
day exploring. It houses one of the best collections of Chinese bronze and artwork. Try to catch a performance by the famous
Shanghai Acrobats one night.
On Day 14 take an overnight train to Beijing (approximately 12 hours)
Day 15-17 Beijing
Arrive early in the morning which allows for plenty of time to visit the numerous important sights in this giant city - Tiananmen
Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. The back-street hutongs, packed full of local shops and restaurants are a
world away from the imperial splendors, but also part of this energetic city. Use your free time to explore at your leisure before
heading off to the Great Wall on the morning of Day 17 (please note that the entrance ticket to the Wall is not included).
Day 18 Beijing
Depart anytime

Fly Air Canada Beijing-Vancouver, Vancouver to Ottawa, arriving 1am Nov 2.

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