Our China Itinarary!

We researched hundreds of blogs, websites, travel books, and conducted extensive interviews in the process of developing our China itinerary (granted, Julia did a majority of the work while Scott was off playing in Kenya). Finally, after garnering some ideas from the "The David Way" on the Avia Travel website, we developed the following six week long itinerary! Because this trip was our honeymoon and the obvious language barriers, we decided to forgo our customary travel approach. Normally we'd arrange everything ourselves or get hotels on the fly. However, this trip is our honeymoon, we prearranged most of our hotels, trains, and inter-country planes through Avia Travel to minimize stress. However, we still expect to experience plenty of travelers anxiety with the language difference, intercity travel, and our hiking adventurers.

Sep 17 - Arrival Shanghai
We are arriving in Shanghai in the morning after 19 hours and 10 minutes in the air and transfers. Shanghai is the largest city in China, with over 20 million people in the metropolitan area. It is located on China’s central coast on the Yangtze River. It was originally a fishing and textiles town, but it has grown to become a finance and business epicenter. We are being picked up by a guide arranged by Avia Travel and headed to Zhao An Hotel. We've heard really great things about this city and are excited to kick off our China trip with Shanghai.

Accommodation: Zhao An Hotel.

Sep 18 - Shanghai
We are going to take a half day tour to the Jade Buddha Temple, Yu Gardens, and the Bund.

Accommodation: Zhao An Hotel.

Sep 19 & 20 - Shanghai
We are going to explore this exciting city.
Accommodation: Zhao An Hotel.

Sep 21 - Shanghai to Huangshan
We are traveling by train from Shanghai to Huangshan and sleeping aboard one of the soft sleepers! Huangshan, which in English means Yellow Mountain, is known for its scenery, sunsets, peculiarly-shaped granite peaks, Huangshan Pine trees, and views of the clouds from the top. The mountain is a frequent subject of traditional Chinese paintings and literature, as well as modern photography.
Accommodation: On board train (soft sleeper)

Sep 22 - Arrive Huangshan
Our train will arrive in Huangshan in the morning, allowing us to head to Huangshan to start our climb up the mountain. In shape travelers can expect to climb the mountain in 3 or 4 hours… we are allotting 10… we are going to stay at a hotel on the summit.

Accommodation : Paiyun Lou Hotel on summit

Sep 23 - Huangshan
Our first chance to see the cloud sea during sunrise. Then we’re going to spend the day exploring the beautiful Huangshan summit.
Accommodation : Paiyun Lou Hotel on summit

Sep 24 - Huangshan to Hongcun
Second chance to see the sunrise effect. We’re going to proceed to Hongcun, where parts of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was filmed.
Accommodation: Hongcun Hotel

Sep 25 - Hongcun- Suzhou
We’re going to tour Hongcun and then head to the Huangshan Railway Station for our overnight train to Suzhou.
Accommodation: Overnight train

Sep 26 - Arrive Suzhou
We’ll arrive in Suzhou, where we’ll explore this city renowned for its beautiful stone bridges, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens. Suzhou was an important center for China's silk industry and continues to hold that prominent position today.
Accommodation: Lidu Hotel

Sep 27 - Suzhou to ZhouZhuang to Shanghai to Guilin
We’re going to head to ZhouZhuang, China’s Venice, on the way to the Shanghai Railway station for an overnight train to Guilin.
Accommodation: Overnight train

Sep 28 – Arrive in Guilin
For Guilin we arranged our own hotel instead of using the hotel that Avia Travel suggested… hopefully it turns out well. Guilin and the surrounding region is known for the Lijiang River (or Li River) and amazing rock formations.
Accommodation: Jing Guan Ming Lou Holiday Hotel

Sep 29 - Li River
We’ll get up early in the morning and catch a cruise down the Li River to Yangshuo. The town borders the Li River on one side and is located within a plain between karst peaks. The river and surrounding region is known for the plethora of outdoor activities.

Accommodation: Lijiang Hotel

Sep 30 & Oct 01, Oct 02, Oct 03 - Yangshuo
We’re going to spend several days here and play!

Accommodation: Lijiang Hotel (4 nights)

Oct 04 - Guilin to Kunming
We’re going to head to the Guilin train station where we are headed to Lijiang, with a transfer through Kunming.
Accommodation: Soft Sleeper Train

Oct 05 - Kunming –> Lijiang
In the afternoon we are headed via plane to Lijiang where we are staying in this amazing looking hotel, which we also arranged ourselves. The town is famous for its orderly system of waterways and bridges.

Accommodation: The Tea Boutique Hotel (Panorama View Deluxe Room in the Lion Hill Peak)

Oct 06, 07 - Lijiang

Accommodation: The Tea Boutique Hotel

Oct 08 – Wenhai Trek - Wenhai
We’re going to do a hiking trip through the mountains of Wenhai. The first day we will hike from Baisha village to Wenhai over the course of 4 hours. The hike will pass by mountain lakes with views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

Accommodation: Home Stay

Oct 09 – Wenhai Trek – Nanyaocun Naxi Home Stay in Lashai Area
We’ll hike from Wenhai to Nanyaocun Naxi where we’ll do another home stay.

Accommodation: Home Stay

October 10 – Wenhai Trek – Lashai to Lijiang
In the morning we’ll take a canoe trip with local fisherman and learn about the local peoples customs, experiences their daily lives, and visit a Tibetan Buddhist Temple. We might also do some biking!
Acommodation: The Tea Boutique Hotel ("Lashi Lagoon" Classic Naxi Suite)

October 11, 12, 13 – Tiger Leaping Gorge
Over the course of four days and three nights we are going to hike Tiger Leaping Gorge. The trail meanders over 22 km, up and down steep trails. We’ll be staying at hostels along the trail.
Accommodation: Hostels along trail

Oct 14 Lijiang to Chengdu

We’ll be catching an evening flight from Lijiang to Chengdu, where we’re going to climb another mountain and see pandas!
Accommodation: Buddha Zen Hotel in Chengdu

Oct 15 Chengdu
This day is devoted to Pandas!

Accommodation: Buddha Zen Hotel in Chengdu

Oct 16 Chengdu to Leshan – base of Emeishan
A guide and driver arranged by Avia Travel will pick us up from our hotel in Chengdu to visit the giant Buddha at Leshan and then to drop us off at a hotel at the base of Emeishan mountain.

Accommodation: Hongzhushang Hotel

Oct 17, Oct 18 – Emeishan Mountain Climbing

We’ll start our climb up the mount Emei, which is one of four sacred Buddhist Mountains within China.The area was the center of martial arts for China in the 16th and 17th centuries. We’ll conduct the hike over several days, staying at monasteries along the way and a hotel at the mountaintop. I hear that they can be quite cold…
Accommodation: Monasteries along route up mountain

Oct 19 - Emeishan - Hiking up Mountain
Our last day hiking up the mountain will be met with a nice relaxing stay at a three star hotel with heated showers and rooms!
Accommodation : Jinding Hotel Emeishan

Oct 20 - Emeishan base
We’ll either take the cable car down the mountain or hike, depending on how soar we are!
Accommodation: Hongzhushang Hotel

Oct 21 - Emeishan base to Beijing
After a nice sleep in a very nice hotel, we are going to take a flight from Chengdu to Beijing, our last stop in China.
Accommodation: Xuanwumen Hotel

Oct 22, Oct 23 - Beijing
Our first day we may use to relax and see a bit of the sights. Perhaps we’ll use the next day to visit the Ming Tombs and the Summer Palace.
Accommodation: Xuanwumen Hotel

Oct 24 - Beijing --> Camping on Great Wall
The plan is to do some hiking and camping on the great wall… but we haven’t arranged anything yet.

Oct 25, Oct 26, Oct 27 - Beijing
More time to explore this massive city
Accommodation: Xuanwumen Hotel

Oct 28 Beijing – Home

After six weeks in China, I think we’ll be exhausted, smelly, and ready to come home :)