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[Travel Guide] Itinerary 19 days in China, from Beijing to Hanoi in Independent (Bus, Train, Plane) – from China to Vietnam

Even if we were not interested in China during our 1st World Tour (in favor of the Philippines), we decided to go there anyway during our 2nd World Tour. Here is the 19 days itinerary that I recommend for China. The idea is to cross China from Beijing to Vietnam.

  • Beijing (3 days)
  • Datong (2 days)
  • Xian (2 days)
  • Zhangjiajie (4 days)
  • Phoenix City (4 days)
  • Yangshuo (2 days)
  • Ghangzhou (1.5 days)
  • Hanoi or Hong Kong & Macau, your choice

Comments on the itinerary

  • Everything can be done by train or bus, but I put a few trips by plane (if your finances allow) because I consider this particular train trip too long and the schedules inconvenient
  • Train tickets can be purchased at the earliest 2 months in advance only, we always recommend the category“couchettes(Soft Sleeper) even for day trips. For small trains, choose compartments with max. 4 beds.
  • For this, we recommend
    • the site, a Singaporean site, for the most popular plane and train trips: https: // tickets are bought and confirmed later on the site. Then, you have to exchange your voucher for real tickets by going to a hotel or an agency (indicated on the site)
    • at, tickets are purchased and confirmed later on the site. Then, you have to exchange your voucher for real tickets at the ticket office at the Chinese train station.
    • both sites take a commission on the real value of the ticket, but it is impossible to buy these tickets on the official Chinese train site – unless you are fluent in Chinese
  • So plan well in advance, between the exchange of the ticket and the baggage scan (as at the airport).
  • I purposely zapped Pingyao between Beijing and Datong because this city has become very “fake”, there is only one old-style street, it takes too much effort to go there while other more beautiful cities exist elsewhere
  • I granted 3 days to Fenghuang, it is perhaps too much for some (1,5 days are enough for the travellers in a hurry), but it will allow to recover from many treks of the days before, and especially it is a unique city in the world, with an incredible gastronomy, the tourists in a hurry don’t stay there the night, you will have the whole city for you. It would be a pity to stay for a short time
  • Bing Maps works perfectly well in China, but for other Google services, Facebook… you need to use a VPN
  • So, we recommend you to use a mail type (owned by Microsoft) to make your reservations, in case your VPN doesn’t work and you don’t have access to your (owned by Google) anymore

Practical advice

Day 1

Arrival in Beijing. Take a shuttle bus to the city center (n°10 to Wangfujing) . Then take the subway or a cab to the hotel. We recommend Beijing Prime Hotel Wangfujing in the center of Beijing, 5 star hotel which has a very good tour desk. If motivated: visit the Hutongs. Overnight in Beijing.

see our travel diary in Beijing here

  • Airport Shuttle => Wangfujing district : n°10, 25yuan/person
  • Cab from downtown to the hotel: 50yuan after negotiation
  • Beijing Prime Hotel Wangfujing: 70€/night/double room, no breakfast link Booking here

Day 2

Visit the Chinese wall (Mutianyu, the quietest part), on excursion or by shuttleBack
: visit Tiananmen Square (by subway) – take your passport for the controls. Dinner: Peking duck at Qanjude Roast Duck
next door. Overnight in Beijing.

see our travel diary in Beijing here

  • Chinese wall
    • or with the hotel agency: One day tour: Great Wall of China (up to Mutianyu): 298yuan/person – purchased at the hotel reception. Included: van + entrance fee. Not included: Cable car outbound, slide back (120yuan/person), lunch (approx. 60yuan)
    • or with a 60 yuan shuttle the round trip. Departure at 8:30 am from Dongzhimen Wai Bus Station ( 东直门外公交车站 ), return at 4 pm. Not included : the cable, the return slide (120yuan/person), lunch (about 60yuan)
    • or with a shuttle for tourists with pick-up and drop off at your hotel for 18€ here (link Viator)
  • Beijing Prime Hotel Wangfujing: 70€/night/double room, no breakfast link Booking here
  • Quanjude Duck Roast: 238yuan for a huge lacquered duck (enough for 3 people)
  • Subway tickets: 3yuan/route

Day 3

Visit the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace, on excursion or by public transport, or by VTC (the Didi app is the equivalent of Uber in China). Night in Beijing.

see our travel diary in Beijing here

  • City Tour: 375yuan/person, purchased at the hotel reception. Visit the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace, two shopping stops. Includes: entrance fees, lunch, transportation. Not included: water (between 3 and 5yuan/bottle), the boat (120yuan/person).
  • Beijing Prime Hotel Wangfujing: 70€/night/double room, without breakfast link Booking here
  • Subway tickets: 3yuan/route

Day 4

Train to Datong (duration 6:30 am Departure at 09:25 am from Beijing. Arrival at 15:55 in Datong. If you are motivated: Visit the 9 Dragon Wall and a Tea Room in Datong. Overnight in Datong

  • Subway tickets: 3yuan/route
  • Train Beijing – Datong: about 22$. Departure at 09:25. Arrival at 15:55
  • Otherwise, by plane: Beijing – Datong would cost you 99€, departure at 7am, arrival at 8am.
  • Bus No.1, No.2, No. 4, No. 8, or No. 32 serves the city center from the train station
  • For the wall of the 9 dragons : You can take the bus line 4 from Datong train station and get off at the wall. Access: 10yuan/person

Day 5

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « Xuankong S »

Visit Xuankong Si Monastery and Yungang Caves. Overnight in Datong. Attention departure very early in the morning because the two sites are opposite each other.

  • Xuankong Si Monastery: access 125yuan/p. From Dantong Bus Station (Datong Coach Station, on Yantong Road), take a bus to Hunguan county 30yuan/person. Then take a cab to the site (5 minutes, 10yuan) or bus No. 8 (10yuan) to the monastery. Here is the name to show to cabs: 悬空寺 xuánkong sì)
  • Yungang Caves: access 125yuan/p (16,80 €). Take bus No. 603 from the train station – 3yuan
  • Alternatively, you can opt for a private tour with pick up at your hotel in Datong from 91€/person (link Viator)

Day 6

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « xian »

Transportation by plane to Xi’an.
Or sleeper train: departure at 4:40 pm, arrival at 8:51 am for $55 (not recommended)
Quick tour of the old town: Bell & Drum Towers

  • Plane : Datong – Xi’an : 88$ (schedules & rates on Skycanner)
  • To go to Bell Tower : here are the buses you can take : 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 15, 16, 26, 29, 32, 35, 36, 37, 43, 45, 46, 118, 201, 203, 205, 206, 208, 214, 215, 218, 221, 222, 229, 235, 251, 252, 300, 302, 502, 600, K600, 603, 604, K605, 606, 608, 609, 611, 612, K618, K630, 706, Tourist Bus Line 7, Tourist Bus Line 8 (610)

Day 7

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « xian »

Visit of the Terracotta Army

If motivated: Visit the Great Mosque, the Stele Forest and the City Wall

  • The army of terracotta soldiers: access 150yuan/p (20€). Take Bus N° 306, 914 or 915 from the station – 8yuan/person
  • Or: Metro line 2 to Beidajie, then line 1 to Fangzhicheng. Then Tourist Bus line 5 (No. 306) to the museum (5yuan/person)
  • Or else : Bus 307 from Tangchengqiang Jiuqu Bus Hub to the museum (1h30, 8yuan/person)

Day 8

Transport to Zhangjiajie

Day 9, 10 & 11

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « Zhangjiajie »

Visit Zhangjiajie National Park. Outstanding scenery, well-preserved nature: so vast that the validity period of the tickets is particularly long: four consecutive days. There are shuttles that transport visitors from one area to another. To be visited:

  1. Yuanjiajie Scenic Area
  2. Bailong Elevator
  3. The Golden Whip Creek Trail
  4. Huangshizhai Panoramic Platform (go by cable car, walk down)
  5. Tianzi Mountain (cable car)
  6. The ten-mile gallery
  • Bus between Zhangjiajie city and the two park gates: Forest Park Gate and Wulingyuan Gate), 12yuan/p
  • If you choose to take a cab: count about 100yuan

Days 12, 13, 14

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « fenghuang »

Bus to Phoenix City (departure at 9am, arrival at 12:30pm, 80yen). Visit of this magnificent city frozen in time. Fenghuang, also known as the city of the phoenix, is a well-preserved old town located about 230 km southwest of Zhangjiajie, you will feel like you are in a movie set so beautiful and well preserved.

  • Bus: departure at 9am, arrival at 12:30pm, 80yen

Days 15 & 16

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « yangshuo chine »

Bus to Yangshuo and Visit of Yangshuo. It is known for its spectacular karst peaks and outdoor recreation. The city is located in the middle of peaks such as Bilian Feng (“Green Lotus Peak”), the summit of which is accessible via a hiking trail. It is possible to take boat trips on the Li River from the town of Guilin northward to enjoy the picturesque countryside.

  • Bus: Fenghuang bus station 11am to Guilin (arrival at 5pm, 160yuan/p). Bus from Guilin to Yangshuo (last departure at 9pm)

Day 17

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « guangzhou »

Train to Ghangzhou (2H30). Visit of Ghangzhou, discovery of its gastronomy & shopping

  • Fast train (between 2h and 2h30) between Yangshuo and Ghangzhou for 20$, regular departures

Day 19

Plane to Hanoi, Vietnam

Note: if you wish to travel from China to Vietnam by train, you can do so from Nanning. So on the 17th day, instead of going to Ghangzhou, go to Nanning. Then, take a train to Hanoi. Plus d’infos, horaires & tarifs ici Be careful, this border post does not give 15 days exemption and does not accept e-visa, so come with a valid Vietnamese visa. The site proposes an option which takes care of the Vietnamese visa for you moyennant d’une commission

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