Now that Kyle and I have finally made it back to Vancouver, we are gearing up for taking off again: this is our China travel itinerary. On September 23, 2013, we hop on a plane to China where we start the first leg of our six month trip through Southeast Asia. Right now the plan includes China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, but we are trying to keep the plan as flexible as possible. One of the main highlights about traveling is the people you meet, so if someone suggests a great island to hang out for a weekend, we don’t want anything holding us back. That being said, in order to receive our Chinese visas we needed to book most accommodation ahead of time, so the first month of travel is quite structured.
1. September 23: Vancouver –> Beijing, China
Distance: 8,536 km
Time: 12 hour flight
We will be spending three days in Beijing, walking around the city and of course seeing The Great Wall. Other pit stops include Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City. This is also where our adventures begin in the joys of street food: as budget travelers, we will be attempting to save money by consuming noodles from vendors. Apparently this is almost safer than eating in restaurants since you can actually see how the food is cooked.
2. September 27-28: Beijing, China –> Shanghai, China
Distance: 1,239 km
Time: 15 hours
To save money on accommodation and give us more time for sightseeing, we are taking an overnight bus from Beijing to Shanghai. Total time is 15 hours, which should give us plenty of time to sleep, although the comfort of this method of transportation is yet to be determined. We will be in Shanghai for three days.
3. October 1: Shanghai, China –> Hangzhou, China
Time: 2 hours
Distance: 179 km
It’s incredible to hear about these “smaller” cities in China, which are still populated by millions of people. Hangzhou is one of those smaller places just outside of Shanghai. The main attraction to see here is the West Lake, and after the hustle and bustle of Shanghai and Beijing, I’m sure we will enjoy a bit of a nature walk.
4. October 2: Hangzhou, China –> Tunxi, China
Time: 3 hours
Distance: 212 km
We will be staying in the town of Tunxi, but doing a few day trips to local villages in the surrounding areas and climbing Mount Huangshan. This is one of the areas where James Cameron found inspiration for the movie Avatar.
5. October 5: Tunxi, China –> Wuhan, China
Time: 7 hours
Distance: 521 km
This is more of a resting spot before our next destination. Wuhan is another massive city in China, and we are only here for an afternoon.
6. October 6/7: Wuhan, China –> Longsheng, China
Time: 13 hours
Distance: 910 km
After taking another overnight bus from Wuhan, we will finally arrive in Longsheng, China. This is a spot Kyle is looking forward to the most, and judging from the photos I’m right there with him. Our hostel is also on a hill, which looks down over this breathtaking scenery.
7. October 9: Longsheng, China –> Yangshuo, China
Time: 3 hours
Distance: 157 km
Yangshuo is another spot that’s on the top of my list for must-see places in China. It’s a more rural town right on the Yangtze River, and judging by the photos, rafting down the water is extremely common. We are spending the most amount of time here, and are planning on relaxing, biking, and making the most of this nature-infused town.
8. October 13: Yangshuo, China –> Hong Kong
Time: 7 1/2 hours
Distance: 542 km
After spending some time in more rural China, we are heading to one of the most bustling cities in China (well, technically Hong Kong is its own separate entity with its own currency). We are here for a few days before leaving China to Vietnam on the October 17, 2013.
There you have it! Our China itinerary. Unfortunately we’ve heard from other travel bloggers that social media sites are quite restricted while traveling in the country, so I can’t guarantee how much blogging will be done while there. More updates to come upon arrival in Vietnam!