A backpacker’s guide to China_ a one-month itinerary _ Travel _ The Guardian.pdf

Alternatively take an overnight train around 11 hours

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Alternatively, take an overnight train (around 11 hours) or fly (around 1½ hours). Enjoy Chengdu’s teahouse culture at one of the hundreds across the city – keep a lookout for locals nursing hot flasks of boiling water and playing mahjong. Pay the pandas a visit at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding – you can even sign up to be a keeper for a day (from £40pp). And be sure to spend a day visiting the Leshan Giant Buddha, the largest stone Buddha sculpture in the world. From Chengdu fly to Lijiang (around 1½ hours). After a couple of days in beautiful but crowded Lijiang (the Garden Inn hostel in the old town has dorm beds from about £5), head to Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the world, for hiking and spectacular scenery. Stay at Sean Spring Guesthouse (doubles from £8) right in the centre of the gorge. The Simatai section of the Great Wall of China. Photograph: Alamy Old tea house decorated with cultural revolution-era posters, Chengdu. Photograph: Alamy
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9/27/2018 A backpacker’s guide to China: a one-month itinerary | Travel | The Guardian 3/6 From Lijiang fly to pretty Guilin (around 1½ hours) to travel up the Li River to Yangshuo for picture-perfect karst mountain scenery. Yangshuo is one of Asia’s best destinations for rock climbing. Return to Guilin and fly (1½ hours) or take the train (9½ hours) to Xiamen for some time on one of the city’s public beaches before heading inland to stay at Nanjing Qingdelou Inn, an earthen roundhouse (twins from £21) where you can experience the traditional lifestyle and food of the Hakka ethnic minority people. From Xiamen, take the train to Shanghai (from £37, fastest train 5 hours). If time allows, stop off at the Wuyi mountain range to explore south-east China’s tea culture and hike through Unesco world heritage-listed scenery. End your trip in cosmopolitan Shanghai, wandering the back streets of the former French Concession area and marvelling at the views over the river from The Bund. Captain Hostel (dorm beds from £9) is popular for its rooftop views and around the corner from the glamorous Waldorf Astoria hotel – treat yourself to a cocktail in its historic Long Bar. Getting around China is massive and getting anywhere will probably take much longer than anticipated, and it gets more time-consuming the further west you go. The comfortable high-speed trains can be a fast way to cover distances ( see our guide to travelling by train in China), while the older long-distance sleeper trains make for an adventure. While quicker than trains, domestic flights can be expensive and plagued by delays. Coaches are a good option in places with no railway stations. In towns and cities, public transport is cheap, starting from around 10p for bus and metro journeys.
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  • Fall '17
  • Beijing, Traditional Chinese characters, Yunnan

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