After last summer unique and adventure travel to Namibia, sleeping in a camping tent on the roof of our car, cooking with a gas stove and driving long distances through gravel roads, we thought it would be a good idea to travel this year to somewhere closer, in Europe, and sleeping in hotels with breakfast included… but at the end our inside reality won. We are not tourists, we are travelers!
So we will go to China with the new direct flight from Barcelona to Beijing with Air China, we will spend 14 full days visiting the country, sleeping some nights in the train, having also a local flight, and visiting dozens of places, looking for unique and new experiences and searching for new ways of understanding life, food and culture.
Beijing (4 days)
We will arrive in Beijing very early: 4am! We are sure we will have a heavy jetlag, because at that time in Barcelona it will be just the evening. In our plan we have the first 4 days in the capital of China to discover the Forbidden City, Tiananment Square, the Temple of Heaven, Wangfujing Street, go to the top of some skyscrapers, visit modern buildings like Zaha Hadid ones, Great Wall of China, etc.
The fourth day we will take a train just before midnight with the aim of sleeping in the train while traveling to our next destination.
We will arrive in Datong main train station at 6am. At this point we will be very tired for sure, but there will be a long day in front of us. We are trying to book a private tour to the main two hotspots close to Datong:
- Xuankong Hanging Temple
- Yungang Caves
Just before midnight another night train towards Pingyao will await us. Yes, we are crazy!
Pingyao (1 day)
Considered the best preserved old ancient town in China, Pingyao is a must to feel the old essence of Asia. We will spend one full day and one night to get lost in its streets and walk through its walls.
Xi’an (2 days)
An early high speed train from Pingyao will take us to Xi’an.
The old capital of China with its Terracotta Warriors and its Muslim old quarter is a must in this travel. This is the city where the Silk Road starts. Imagine the history behind this city! We aim to discover as much as possible in less than 2 days.
Some of the monuments that have to be seen are:
- Bell Tower
- Drum Tower
- The Great Mosque
- Big Wild Goose Pagoda
The second day we will take an afternoon flight towards Guilin, in the south of Xina.
Guilin (1 day)
When we arrive in Guilin it will be to late to visit anything, so we will go directly to our hotel. The day after we have booked a tour to the Longji Rice Terraces. It is a full day tour where we will appreciate the chinese countryside, the incredible landscapes of the rice terraces in the top of the mountains and we will also meet the long hair women from the Yao Minority.
When we will be back to the hotel in the evening we will go to see:
- Night Market
- Sun Pagoda
- Moon Pagoda
Yangshuo (3 days)
The “Dragon Ball” landscapes of Yangshuo are worldwide famous. We will take a cruise in the morning from Guilin to Yangshuo through the Li River surrounded with karst formations that makes this area so beautiful at any time of the year.
After 4 hours we will be in Yangshuo where a taxi will pick us and drive towards our hotel outside of the town, next to the Yulong River. This zone is plenty of things to do:
- Cycle through buffalo trails among bamboo and rivers
- Bamboo rafting in Yulong or Li River
- Cormorant fishing at night
- Visting colourful underground lakes
- Climb towards the Moon Hill
- Visit old stone villages in the countryside
The last day we will go back to Guilin to take a 17 hours train to Shanghai!
Shanghai (2 days)
After 17h and one night in the train we will arrive in the morning to Shanghai. The least Chinese city of China will welcome us with colourful lights, hundreds of skyscrepers (the second tallest in the world among them), a mix of western and eastern cultures. There will be plenty of things to visit and do:
- The Bund
- Yu Garden
- The Jade Buddha Temple
- Longhua Temple and Pagoda
- The Oriental Pearl Tower
- Nanjing Road
And then, the last day, just after midnight, the new direct flight Shanghai-Barcelona will take us back home.
We’ll see how much we can do of what we have planned. Let’s see which unexpected adventures await us in China. As always, when we are back we won’t be the same.
Note: As we haven’t been in China yet, these photos are not ours. In the footer of every photo you have the link from where we have taken them. The featured image is taken from https://www.chinatravel.com/tours-to-guilin/.