Hi Tripadvisor regulars,
1st of all i would like to say thank you to all those people contributed to the China travel forum. I got heaps of info & advise from it. Most of my querries were answered by checking out all the topics posted . Thank you !
Has anyone been on this route lately? From Datong-Wutaishan-Taiyuan or Pingyao-Xian.
I need a more update info on cost, timetable for bus, train & private car please.
I have read so many travel forums, travel websites and i only need a bit more info to complete my 7 weeks trip in China. Please help !
There will be a party of 3 female travellers in total.
My plan is to catch an overnight train 2602/2603 , departing Beijin on 16th Sept 2012 at 2342hr, arriving at Datong Railway station on 17th Sept at 0603hr.
Does anyone know if this train schedule still correct for that date?
I understand one can only book train ticket about 11 days inadvance. How sure can i be of getting a ticket? what is the best assure way of getting a train ticket from Beijin to Datong via travel agent? or via hotel? or straight to the railway counter? I do speak a bit of Mandarin.
After check in at Garden Hotel in Datong .We would like to head straight to our sightseeings.
Day 1: 17th Sept: Visit the Yungang caves 1st, then the Yanmenguan Pass of the Great Wall after that come back to Datong. Visit Huayan & Shanhua Monasteries, the Nine-Dragon Screen. I know these 3 places are very close to each other. From the info i got all these places only open at 0900hr. Closes at 1630hr for the the Nine-Dragon Screen & 1700hr for both temples. I want an early start the next day, i don't want to wait till 0900hr for them to open. This way i also get more time in the Yungang caves and spend some time at the nearby villages of Yanmenguan Pass.
Is day 1 doable?
Day 2: 18th Sept: Early morning 0600hr leaving Datong 2 hrs drive to Wooden Temple (open 0700-1900hr). We should reach there by 0800hr, give me 1-2 hrs time spending here.
Then onto the Hanging Temple ( 2hrs drive + 2-3hrs looking around the HangingTemple ) and onto Wutaishan ( 2hrs drive from the Hanging Temple). I should reach Wutaishan by 1600hr or 1700hr. Not returning to Datong.
Am i too optimistic, praying for a smooth run? is this too pack for a day ? Is day 2 possible?
Do have any good recommendation for a hotel ( 18th Sept ) in Wutaishan. We want to catch the sunset & sunrise, apart from this we will visit some of the temples in TaiHuai town.
If i hired a car with driver, will the driver pick us up at Datong Raiway station & drop us at the hotel for check-in then continue on with our sightseeings?. Do i also need a tour guide or can do without? How/where can i find a reliable, reasonable price driver &/ or tourguide? How much normally one would pay for a tour guide per day?
how much will it cost me for the car per day? is the cost of the car already included the driver's fee? Would the price for the car include road tolls , petrol & parking fees? what type of vechicle normally? How safe is it?
Is both the driver/car/tourguide pay by day or per trip according to the hrs spent?
Is there much to see in Taiyuan or can i bypass it and go straight to Pingyao on a night train?
19th Sept :Train K603 departs from Wutaishan at 2328hr, arriving at Pingyao at 0555hr the next day 20th Sept.
Does anything open in this early hr of the morning in Pingyao? Do u have any good clean cheap accommodation u could recommend? 20th Sept: Only want to stay 1 night in Pingyao.
21st Sept: Depart Pingyao via train 2669 at 2138hr to Xian. Arrive at 0618hr on 22nd Sept.
After check-in at a hotel , i will have the whole day today for sightseeings but it will be Saturday.
Is it over crowded on weekends to sightseeing the popuplar sites i.e Terracotta Warriors & Xian surroundings? or should i visit Huashan this weekend since it is only 2hr drive then visit the Terracotta Warriors on a weekday? less crowded may be?
23rd Sept: Xian or Huashan
How many days does one need to spend in Xian to see most of the popular sites?
24th Sept: Train from Xian to Luoyang (4hr train ride)
25th Sept: Luoyang - Longmen caves
How many days does one need in Luoyang?
26th -27th Sept : Xian
Should i visited the Terracotta Museum onthese 2 weekdays?
I need to back track here as my flight leave from Xian on 28th Sept at 1200hr to Shanghai.
Do you have better plan/ideas for my trip? I don't like back tracking if i can avoid. Have i back track or have i going in all different directions? Please give me your porfessional advise. Much appreciated.
Nothing is set in concrete yet except my flight from Xian to Shanghai. I am open to all suggestions.
I'll be leaving my country in 5 days time, going to a remote mountain area for volunteer work, might not have internet access there. So quick reply would be really appreciated. Thank you !