China is full of incredible mountain landscapes, from some of the highest mountains of the word to the Dragon Ball style mountains in Yangshuo, from the cold mountains of the north to the tropical hills of the south. Close to Guilin, where the cruises depart towards the impossible landscapes of the karst mountains in Yangshuo, there is also one of those dreamed landscapes for any traveler that wants to visit Asia. Bali? Sri Lanka? Thailand? No, China!
We’re back after a brief period “off”. We’ve been very busy planning our wedding and our next big adventure, our honeymoon, which, by the way, will take place in the same continent as this post 🙂 I really miss travelling far away like we did last summer. These last months of relative “quietness” have been useful to put in order our lifes but we are anxious for our honeymoon to begin!
After having written about our amazing experiences in Datong and Pingyao, we want to share with you a bit of the charming city of Xi’an. Xi’an is a must-see in any first trip to China. Located in the surroundings of Xi’an, the Terracotta Army is, together with the Great Wall of China, one of the highlights of this country. But the Terracotta Army is not the subject of this post. Of course we will give you some tips to visit it in a future post, but our aim now is to prove that Xi’an has much more to see and do.
When we first thought about visiting China last summer we started gathering information about what to see and do in the two weeks of holidays that we had. We first focused on the Beijing area and found out that in the south, in the way to Xi’an, we could visit one of the most impressive medieval towns in China.
Pingyao is located in the Shanxi region and is a very popular destination among tourists. It is easy to reach Pingyao by train either from Beijing or from Datong. During our trip we met other travellers that were following the same itinerary than us: taking a train from Beijing to Datong and then another one from Datong to Pingyao. We have already written about the amazing experience that we had in Datong where we visited its hanging temple and the Yungang Grottoes.
South of Guilin, in China, you can find the biggest karst formation of the world. The erosion has created unique mountians that are cut by different rivers: Li River, the biggest, is the main way to reach Yangshuo by a cruise boat. Yangshuo is a touristic capital in the middle of the karst formation. Although many tourists pay for an hotel in the town, we decided to stay in a small hotel in the countryside, close to Yangshuo but far enough to have a quiet and pleasant stay. The Moondance Hotel was next to Yulong river, the most beautiful river we have ever seen.
It was our fist day in Beijing. We landed at the city at around 4 a.m. without having slept much during the flight. We took the train and later the underground to our hotel, completed the check-in and bought some breakfast at a FamiliyMart. Our bodies needed coffee and something sweet to deal with jet lag in our first day in China. We had a plan for it but trips are not always as we expect them to be, so we had to improvise a little bit.
As we already explained in this post, after crossing the security check that is required to enter the Tiananmen Square, we arrived at the sale office to purchase the tickets to the Forbidden City. However, we were told that all tickets for that day were sold out. We were tired and a bit disappointed: our trip to China had not started well. It was a very hot day but anyway we decided to anticipate our visit to the Summer Palace and now we can say that it really exceded our expectations.