Our itinerary, lodging info and detailed budget from our time traveling through China from 29 June to 29 July 2012.
The last post in a series of three ends on a high note, as we descend deep into Tiger Leaping Gorge and literally climb back out, dodging and clambering over fallen boulders on our way back to rainbows and civilization.
We head to Old Town Lijiang. Surrounded by lush green hills and sheer jade peaks, this incredibly enchanting and well preserved mountain town (and UNESCO world heritage site) is a must visit.
Despite Xi’an being a virtually unrecognizable shadow of its former glorious self, it is nonetheless a modern and very agreeable city, not to mention host to a very old and famous subterranean army.
Pingyao is a world in itself, frozen in time somewhere in the middle of the last two Dynasties. If we had to choose one place in China to spend almost a week of our trip, we certainly could have done a lot worse.
Most visitors to the Wall visit the Bādálǐng stretch near Beijing, but we opt to venture a bit further afield, visiting an all but deserted portion higher up in the mountains between Jīnshānlǐng and Sīmǎtái.
Beijing turned out to be a great place to lay low for a few days, and turns out our timing was perfect. 10 days after our departure the entire city was submerged by massive widespread flooding.
We knew two things about Taishan before our climb: The process of climbing the mountain involves ascending over 6,600 individual stair steps, and Taishan is very, very popular with Chinese.
Suzhou has long been known for its incredible gardens. This post covers three of the best: The huge Humble Administrator’s Garden, the old Master of the Nets garden, and the ancient Panmen complex.
Stepping out in the evening onto Pingjiang Road after an excruciatingly hot summer day is magical — the entire length of the ancient canal towpath comes alive with townspeople, tourists and merchants of all kinds.
We arrived in Suzhou hoping to beat the July heat, but to no avail. The good news is that Old Town Suzhou seems made for slow strolling with plenty of cool shops, tea houses and cafes when the heat becomes too much.
We flew into Shanghai from the U.S. and spent four nights in this strange and wonderful place. Shanghai, perhaps more than any other place in the country, epitomizes the mind-bogglingly rapid rise of modern China.
Both maddeningly beautiful, and apocalyptic and terrifying (how?), the Chinese landscape screams by our bullet train window at 150mph. After months of preparation, the big trip has finally begun. First stop, China!