a VirtualTourist member
Arrive Late Mar 3
Mar 4-6 Shanghai (daytrip to Hangzhou or Suzhou or Tongli?)
6-9 Fly to stay with friends in Dalian (3hr drive to non-touristy great wall)
13-15 Overnight train to Xian
15-18 Meet friends in Guilin/Yangshuo
19-21 More time alone in Yangshuo, etc. (ideas?)
21 fly Guilin or Guangzhou (CAN) to Ho Chi Minh
(or cut from Shanghai early in trip and return to Shanghai to fly to HCM)
This looks doable to me. How you getting from Xian to Guilin/Yangshuo.... you have only 14th (post overnight train trip that you might not sleep very well on) and part (?) of 15 in Xian. On the basis that you will want to see terracotta warriors its not much time for everything else- if you can delay seeing friends in Guilin for even a day that would make big difference. CAl6060's recommendation is a good one but personally I wouldnt want to add anything to what youve got. As say its doable but very tight.
I can give you a little feedback on your potential day trips from Shanghai. We did a day trip to each of Suzhou and Hangzhou. Suzhou is much larger than it appears on the map, it took us quite a bit of time to go from place to place, even hiring a rickshaw to take us around. We especially liked the Humble Administrator's Garden there. We walked from the train station to there stopping for lunch along the way (very very inexpensive and delicious) and shopping along the pedestrian walk way. It was worth a day trip because we enjoyed the experience, but we weren't able to hit even a 1/4 of the tourist stops we had hoped to due to the size of the city. On our day trip to Hangzhou we took a local bus from the train station to the famous West Lake. It did not disappoint, very beautiful. Had lunch in that area and spend a solid hour waiting for a bus we could cram into to get back to the train station. The area is super congested. So it would be tough to decide on just one, but hope this helps.
Of the shanghai day trips I've just been to Suzhou and thoroughly ended it. Train acces is relatively easy.
In Yangshuo, rent a bicyle and do some riding through the surrounding countryside. The scenery is beautiful. You seem to be spending a lot of time in Guilin and Yangshuo, relative to the other places. I would shave a day from them and add it to your SHanghai stay, so you have more time for Shanghai as well as either Suzhou or Hangzhou.