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July/August Weather, Crowds, Destinations

Beijing, China
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July/August Weather, Crowds, Destinations

I am thinking going to Yunnan for 9 days, July 28 - Aug 6. I will be flying in and out of Kunming.

I am still researching locations to visit, but would probably be interested in Dali, Lijiang, hiking TLG, Shangrila area, etc.

My Questions:

Is this a good time weather and crowds wise? I would want to spend most of my time outside, and don't want to run into peak crowds.

I am traveling solo and would plan to use trains and buses. Is it necessary to book ahead?

Is it easy to find hotels/guesthouses without booking ahead?

Are there any other destinations I should consider, given that I have 9 days?

Thanks for you help

Kunming
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1. Re: July/August Weather, Crowds, Destinations

Yes.July28-Aug 6 will be a nice weather for travelling.The temperature will be 15-30℃ and July-Aug usually will be peak season of Yunnan as to recently the sunmer vacation coming.this year Shanghai Expo is so popular so you may will feel so crowd this time.

but I suggest you book the train and buses tickets first as to lots of travel agency booked in advance.and guest houses you better book on line first.

and recently the road to Shangri-la is repairing so you may need to wait more one hour to Shangri-La and this is the best time to visit Shangri-La numberous wild flowers blossom you will love it.enjoy your journey.and take a coat with you as to in Shangri-la will be a little cold.http://www.springyunnan.com

Beijing, China
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2. Re: July/August Weather, Crowds, Destinations

Thanks for the info.

Are train and bus tickets bookable online? How far in advance do I need to book them?

Any suggested itinerary for 9 days, arriving and departing Kunming? I am traveling alone and would prefer to travel by train for longer trips. Buses are ok for 3 - 4 hours.

Beijing, China
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3. Re: July/August Weather, Crowds, Destinations

Hi there,

Here is the itinerary WildChina suggests.

Day 1: Arrive in Dali, explore Dali Old Town.

Day 2: take cable car up Cangshan Mountain; boat ride on Erhai Lake to local ethnic Bai villages.overnight in Dali.

Day 3:Drive to Lijiang; stop in Shaxi, an ancient trading post, en route; arrive in Lijiang; overnight in Lijiang.

Day 4: Visit Lijiang Old Town and local trade market; hike near Jade Dragon Snow Mountain; Visit Naxi ethnic minority village.

Day 5: Shangri-La:

Drive to Shangri-La; en route, visit First Bend of the Yangtze River; Hike in Tiger Leaping Gorge

Day 6: Tiger Leaping Gorge

Continue exploring Tiger Leaping Gorge and visit White Water Terrace.

Day 7 – Shangri-La:

Visit Songzanlin Monastery and Shangri-la Old Town;overnight in Shangri-La.

Day 8- Shangri-La:

Continue exploring Shangri-La.

Day 9- Depart Shangri-la

Transfer to the airport; journey ends.

Have a great tour!

WildChina

Edited: 09 July 2010, 19:55
Kunming
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4. Re: July/August Weather, Crowds, Destinations

sorry they can't book online.you can buy the train and bus tickets 2 days in advance will be helpful.

traveling alone choose train is a good choice

day 1 you arrive in Kunming ,first go to train station buy train tickets(round trips tickets)you can visit Stone forest and bamboo temple today. at 9:30pm take a train to dali(todays meal you can taste wild mashroom ,steam pot chicken very delicious)

day2 you arrive in Dali,visiting dali old town.erhai lake and three pagoda temple.(taste Dali hot pot fish good choice)

day3 visiting xizhou for tie-dyeing and some ethnic village in dali

day4 heading to Lijiang visiting lijiang ancient town.(4hours drive)and heading to lijiang lashihai lake there have horse riding and take a boat to see beautiful lake view.

day 5 visiting jade snow mountain and black pearl park the best place to see snow mountain

day6 go to tiger leaping gorge do the hiking things take care of there.

day 7 go to shangri-la,see the Yila grassland this is the best time to visit wild flowers and see yak running in the grassland incredible view

day8 visiting Songzanlin Monastery and pudacuo national forest park will make your journey perfect

day 9 I suggest you take a flight from shangri-la to Kunming will be the perfect ending of this tour.

http://www.springyunnan.com

Beijing, China
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5. Re: July/August Weather, Crowds, Destinations

Thanks for the great suggestions.

I will be arriving in the afternoon of July 28th. Should there be any problem getting a soft sleeper train ticket for the 29th, if I go to purchase it on the 28th?

Are there any places in town other than the train station to buy train tickets? I don't mind paying a small booking fee, but don't want to pay too much extra to avoid having to go to the station.

Alternatively, is there a foreigner ticket buying window at the train station?

How about hotels in Kunming? What is the best area to stay in for seeing the sights in 1 day? Are there any Home Inns, Jinjiang Inns, or Motel168s? Any suggested hotels? Would prefer to spend around 200 Yuan or so per night.

Beijing, China
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6. Re: July/August Weather, Crowds, Destinations

Now is the raining season in Yunnan,i will arrive kunming tomorrow and buy the train tickets to lijiang for tomorrow night,hopefully i can get tickets,no company can help me to purchase train tickets,only can gambling this time.Soft sleeper usually more expesive,usually not lots of people purchase except tourists..

Bring umberallas and raincoat!

Kunming
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7. Re: July/August Weather, Crowds, Destinations

Sorry there no so many soft sleeper tickets you can buy hard sleeper and bought one day in advance.nowadays whole China areas are very hot but Yunnan is very cooling and two days latter there have more than two heavy rain.so I suggest you need pay attention there will have thousands of tourists come to Yunnan.Yunnan is the best summer resort now,

There have no tickets window for foreigners so you need try your best to express yourself.In other city you can hardly buy the tickets .so maybe you can depend on your own.

Hotels in Kunming I suggest you can choose Home inns.the location you can choose Qiannian road as to that place is close to Yuantong temple.Green lake park and shopping malls.you will like it! :)

Melbourne, Australia
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for Beijing, Lijiang
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8. Re: July/August Weather, Crowds, Destinations

9 days is about right for the places you want to see.

The only train I can see of being any use to you is the Lijiang to Kunming train. These tickets come on sale 5 days before & you are best to get one as soon as you arrive in Lijiang. The easiest way to get tickets is to ask your guesthouse to buy them for you ( they will only charge a small commission).

From Kunming to Dali, rather than the train the fastest & easiest way to get to Dali is to go by express bus ( quicker than the train). The express buses take 5 hours and leave hourly between 9am & 3.30 pm. Cost is Y80. The buses arrive into Dali new town (Xiguan) as does the train & most other buses.

From Xiguan you need to catch the local Bus no 4 to Dali Old town. Takes 30 minutes & cost is Y2.

From Dali to Lijiang by bus takes 3 hours. Or the new schedule is out for the train which now takes just under 2 hours. Keep in mind if you take the train to Lijiang you then have to go back to the station at Xiguan and the train gets in at Lijiang East station so from there you need to get to the old Lijiang town. When you take that into account it is quicker to take the bus.

As someone else mentioned it is well worth stopping in the little town of Shaxi. If you want to stay overnight there are English speaking guest houses.

3 full days is good for Lijiang as there are lots of day trips to do & it is very pretty. The main part of the old town is crowded during the day but once you get a few streets away from that area is is very peaceful & quiet.

You will need an overnight stay at Tiger Leaping Gorge. And a one nights stay at Zhongdian ( ShangriLa). You can do Zhongdian as a day trip but to do that you are best to hire a car & driver for the day. For me the best part of Zhongdian was the scenery on the way. Make sure you stop at the Ganden Sumtselong Gompa ( Songzanlin monastery).

From Zhongdian you can either get a flight back to Kunming or return to Lijiang. From Lijiang get the train I mentioned above or fly back to Kunming.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Beijing, Lijiang
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9. Re: July/August Weather, Crowds, Destinations

Qing can you please let us know how fast the train is between Kunming and Lijiang. I believe it has recently speeded up to just under 9 hours and is a lot more comfortable than the old sleeper bus :-)

Melbourne
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10. Re: July/August Weather, Crowds, Destinations

annie, the bus from lijiang to dali then kunming was not necessarily a sleeper bus. the hrs given above are correct. so that means the bus is quicker than the train, given you say the train is 9 hrs,

as you know plane is 45 mins. from kunming to lijiang so the train and bus have got the big A in my travels. they are a waste of time - unless you',ve got months or no money,