My China Trip Photos
Posted 14 August 2011 - 04:41 PM
Beijing, Xi'an, Luoyang, Zhengzhou, Anyang, Kaifeng, Nanjing and Hangzhou had to be on the itinerary, as historical imperial capitals. I threw in Suzhou as it was on the way, and as it was Wu king Helv's capital and renowned as a garden city. Then Shanghai, as it was an obligatory urban stop, plus Guilin and Yangshuo to wind down and enjoy some scenery and nature. That's 12 cities. And I had 19 days.
I had my eye on http://www.asiaconne...ackages/act.htm for a long time, but decided against for two reasons. One being that going with a group tour limits your freedom (fixed itinerary, less open time, less flexibility in terms of food and drink, limited number of attractions per day so as to not tire out the elderly and children). Another being that I had "specific" interests, and attractions selected on commercial tours, even historically-oriented ones, tend to be selected to appeal to the widest audience. Organizing an agency tour for just one person would, of course, be brutally expensive. So apart from one day I took a bus tour (for transportation's sake, as the tour was in Chinese), one day's car and driver rental (for Xi'an's outskirts), and one traditional garden tour (I don't know much about garden art traditions), I got around walking, cycling and using public intra- and inter-city transport options. Plus, traveling alone lets you go at your own pace - sometimes to stop and smell the peonies, sometimes to thunder along for kilometers like I often do.
I had to wing it with the little Mandarin I knew, which expanded greatly the more time I spent in the country, thanks to my phrasebook and sheer necessity (outside Shanghai and Guilin/Yangshuo, knowledge of English is ... limited). Preparation was accomplished using prior knowledge of site locations, wikitravel.com and Google Maps, although more than a couple of places were discovered after buying the city map on arrival, or checking out promotional posters at the stations. Getting a visa was quick and easy, and I traveled light with just a small backpack containing easy-drying, light summer clothes, and a couple of clothes for nights out. I had just two internal flights, from Beijing to Xi'an, and Shanghai to Guilin/Yangshuo (and these were the only cities in which I booked hotels in advance) - the rest of the trail was traversed by train and bus (train stations usually have a lot of come-as-you-are hotels and motels nearby).
China is not all that cheap, but it was pretty easy on the budget. I stayed in mostly 3-star hotels and the occasional 4-star, took public transport to attractions or walked/biked wherever possible, ate at homely restaurants and street cafeterias (more to experience authentic food than to save money, actually), and learned how to haggle. Taxis are also not so expensive in the smaller cities. And I came prepared to avoid scams, which can be terribly expensive if you don't see them coming.
I must say, at the end of it all, that I am rather proud of myself. I left China with very few regrets of places I wanted to visit but could not (mostly due to over-booking my itinerary in the first place).
And so, on to the pics:
And a few videos: http://sohandsouza.m...ina_2011_Videos
"We Vandals get blamed for stuff that was actually done by some errant Lombard or Visigoth"
"Nationalism is much about forgetting as it is about remembering"
China historical vacation 2011 photos and videos: http://www.chinahist...na-trip-photos/
Posted 30 August 2012 - 12:40 AM
wedding venue gold coast
Edited by jimmy, 01 September 2012 - 01:17 AM.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users