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Lira from Berlin asked

first trip to China

I’m planning my first trip to China (22 days) and I’m freaking out with all the things I would like to see but won’t have time to. After some reserach I decided to focus on the south and this is what I came up with. Any thoughts or advise are helpful. I should mention that I will be travelling with my parents and although they are super open minded they are already in their 60s and need some rest in between. We will be travelling in June.

SHANGAI 2 nights
Flight to LIJIANG (stay 3 nights)
DALI (1 night)
KUNMING (1 night to catch the flight to Tongren / Fenghuang)
FENGHUANG (3 nights)
HUAIHUA (1 night to catch the early train to Guilin)
GUILIN (1 night)
YANGSHUO (2 or 3 nights)
Flight to HANGZHOU or Shanghai (to visit the water towns)

water towns (which ones are worth a visit?)

Shanghai (flight back home)

I would also like to visit one of the mountains (yellow mountains or Zhangjiajie) but I’m not sure we are able to fit that in. From what I read i tis necessary to have at least 3 days for it and all the connections take so long. Not sure either if the water towns are that interesting compared to other places I might be including on this itinerary.

Thanks for your ideas


4 Answers
answered by
Lily from Chengdu

From my personal opinion,old towns in China are more or less the same, you will visit Lijiang & Dali, plus Fenghuang, there are too many old towns in your trip.

Instead of Fenghuang & Huaihuawould you consider Chengdu?? Pandas, great food, Giant Buddha of Leshan, Taoist Mt Qingcheng, very zen.They are all world class sites.

One more thing,remember,do not come to China during public holiday,especially the coming golden week,from October 1st-7th,the crowds will ruin your trip.

In Yangshuo, you could extend your trip to the Longji Rice Terrace Scenic Spot (Northeast Gate), do some trekking.

Above are just  personal ideas according to my experience. Anything unclear, feel free to  email me via info "at"

Enjoy your first trip to my home country:)

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lijiang (city)
  2. Dali (city)
  3. Fenghuang (attraction)
  4. Fenghuang (attraction)
  5. Huaihua (city)
  6. Chengdu (city)
  7. Giant Buddha of Leshan (attraction)
  8. Mt Qingcheng (attraction)
  9. Yangshuo (city)
  10. Longji Rice Terrace Scenic Spot (Northeast Gate) (attraction)
answered by
Andy from China

If you parent already 60s , my advise not travel Huaihua and Fenghuang , but try Yangze Ri ver cruise take place,also Lijiang and Yangshuo 2 nights is enough ,about mountain Huangshan is more convenient, also old hui village around Huangshan(yellow mt)is nice, Hangzhou 1 night is enough and day time around the lake and tea house, su Zhoushan is famous for garden,silk and canal, water town you can choice Wuzhen ( more commercial and nice hotel) or Tongli ( original and quiet), more advice and detail you can email our or visit . hope service and help you.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Huaihua (city)
  2. Fenghuang (attraction)
  3. Lijiang (city)
  4. Yangshuo (city)
  5. Huangshan (attraction)
  6. Hangzhou (city)
  7. Zhoushan (city)
answered by
J. E. from Cambodia

Two days is enough in Shanghai. As for water towns, I would recommend Zhouzhuangzhen (more developed/commercialized) or WuZhen(sleeply/authentic). Hangzhou is much better than Suzhou - you should skip Suzhou since you have limited time.

I have been to Lijiang and Yangshuo - both excellent stops. Some friends who went to Dali thought that it was quite similar to Lijiang, for only one night I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Shanghai (city)
  2. Zhouzhuangzhen (attraction)
  3. WuZhen (city)
  4. Hangzhou (city)
  5. Lijiang (city)
  6. Yangshuo (city)
answered first by
Marc from East Grand Forks, Mn

I haven't been in SW China since 2002, but there was an amazing hike through Tiger Leaping Gorge near what used to be called Qiaotou which was about a two hour bus ride from Lijiang. Your schedule looks pretty tight but it was a good hike if you are into that sort of thing. I have heard that the government has "improved" the lower road for easier tourist access, but the best way to go is the upper road. You can spend a night at the Halfway House or Shan's. It's a vigorous climb in some parts, but well worth it. 

Comments (1)

thank you for the suggestion. Might be complicated to go hiking with my parents but I'll consider it :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tiger Leaping Gorge (attraction)
  2. Lijiang (city)
comments (1)

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