Knoxville Travel Blog

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I've been to China many times both leading tour groups and with friends, but this time I'll have three weeks to spend totally on my own.  It would be nice to have someone to travel with, but nobody I know has the time or the funds to go right now.  In a way that's nice because I can do exactly what I want, when I want!

Since I'm going at a very busy time of year and to very popular destinations, I'm using a trusted agent to book my flights and some of my hotels to eliminate many potential hassles.  I think they are giving me a better price than booking online, at least I hope so!  I'll be spending several days in Beijing at first to visit friends and revisit old haunts.  I worked in the Chinese capital for two years about a decade ago and it's changed to the point that I don't recognize many neighborhoods.  A little nostalgia coming up.

My first choice for a moderately priced hotel was already booked (Lu Song Yuan), so I'll be trying the Jade Youth Hostel, or Zhide Hotel.  It's in a hutong between Wangfujing and the Forbidden City, so the location is great and the description on the Web looks all right.  When I return to Beijing at the end of the trip I'll try again for the Lu Song Yuan, also in a hutong farther north in the Back Lakes area.

I also have a 3* hotel reserved for the first night in Lijiang and I will wander around the vicinity to find a less expensive place, of which I'm assured there are tons.  I've been to Lijiang before but was too rushed, so this will be a good opportunity to wander around, rent a bike, and go up to Tiger Leaping Gorge and Zhongdian (allegedly Shangri-La) for a couple of days too.

Then the plan is to fly to Guilin and end up south in Yangshuo, where I've also visited many times, but never with enough time to do all the extras in the environs.  I plan to spend part of my time here at the Longsheng rice terraces and minority villages.  Unfortunately, part of this time will be during China's "Golden Week," when most Chinese have the week off from Oct. 1-7 and many travel to places like Yangshuo!  The guesthouse I've chosen is already full for a couple of those days but I think I can find somewhere else to decamp to.

Finally, back to Beijing for another few days before I have to meet a tour group that I will lead for the next three weeks all around China and Hong Kong.

If anyone reading this has any suggestions, please let me know!

mmcinnis2 says:
Thanks for informing me of your blog. It is very interesting. What a fabulous trip! Maybe when I retire you can "show me around" China.
Posted on: Oct 04, 2006
Georgiana says:
Thanks for letting me know about this. It gave me pleasant thoughts of our trip in 2002.
Posted on: Sep 18, 2006
travelman727 says:
You know Hong Kong & Kowloon FAR better than I, but I will give you my list of five free or nearly free things to do and one expensive favorite:
1. Stroll Lucard & Harlech Roads on the Peak
2. Star Ferry
3. Outdoor Escalator (start at Central Market - have group meet at Starbuck's on Mid-level)
4. Temple Street Night Market
5. SUNDAY ONLY - Statue Square at lunch and observe the thousands of Philippino women and girls picnicing EVERYWHERE :)

If your group wants to splurge AND THE NIGHT IS CLEAR, take them to Cafe Deco for dinner on the Peak (see my travel review)
Posted on: Aug 16, 2006
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