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CHINA

EXPLORING SOUTH CHINA: A Travel Guide with Itinerary

December 13, 2019
south-central-china-travel-guide-itinerary

Before we begin with anything else, this travel guide will cover Guangzhou, Yangshuo, Zhangjiajie and Fenghuang. These are the destinations we recommend when travelling to South China since it includes the most photogenic and amazing natural landscapes, crazy beautiful ones that only China has. If you are a nature lover and a landscape photographer or just want to visit China, then I highly recommend reading ’til the end…

 

THE ROUTE:

south-central-china-travel-guide-itinerary

Tourist Spots we will cover are:

  • Canton Tower and Pearl River (Guangzhou)
  • Li River and Lao Tzai Hill (Yangshuo, Guilin)
  • Avatar mountains (Zhangjiajie, Hunan)
  • Fenghuang Ancient City (Fenghuang, Hunan)

A Brief Introduction

Southern China includes the provinces of  Guangdong, Henan, Hainan, Hubei, Hunan, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region as well as Hongkong and Macau.  To the west is Guangxi which is less developed with lots of minorities and to the north is Guilin, a rather famous destination for tourists, known for its magical landscapes and natural scenery. Hainan island meanwhile is known as a tropical destination whereas HongKong (see must visit spots here) speaks for itself as a rather bustling destination with magnificfent skylines, while Macau sets itself apart as the “Las Vegas of Asia”. Guangzhou is a port on the north of Hongkong that boasts of it’s architecture, and has been China’s busiest trading center for centuries. It’s one of China’s biggest cities and our starting point for this Travel Guide.


FACTS and PRE-TRIP PREPARATIONS:

Currency: Yuan

Language: Mandarin

Visa: Needed (2 Weeks Approval Time)

Payment : Cash, WeChat, AliPay

Socket :

Suggested Apps to Download:

  • Lots of VPN ( trust me)
  • Dear Translate/ Google Translate / U Dictionary
  • Didi ( Grab or Uber Version in China)
  • Google Maps / Baidu Maps

 

 


How to Get There

We flew from Clark to Guangzhou via Cebu Pacific Air and it took us less that three hours to get there. Cebu Pacific also offers flights to Guangzhou and Shenzen straight from Manila and if you are coming from the Philippines, then I suggest booking your flights here because of it’s low base fares and offers direct flights already. They also opened a direct flight from Clark just last year, so it’s become super convenient for you weary travellers.

If you are coming from elsewhere, It’s advised to jump off from either Guangzhou or Shenzen since from there, the first stop in the itinerary will be Guilin, and coming from these two points will be easier should you follow our itinerary.

Book Affordable Flights to Guangzhou or Shenzen HERE.

Baiyun International Airport


 Weather

Southern china has an almost tropical climate with hot summers whilst their spring is pleasant and dry and winter is mildly cold. Central China however, has almost continual rainfall while their summers can reach 29°C and winters that are really cold and can reach 0 to -4°C from December to February. Brrr….

Best months to Visit?

September- October is a great time. Also March to May are the best months to plan a trip here.

 


What to Do / Destination:

GUANGZHOU

south-central-china-travel-guide-itinerary

Visit the Canton Tower – no entrance fee

Enjoy the sunset at Li River – no entrance fee

Beijing Road Commercial Tower – shopping malls, try the local street food, hunt for souvenirs

Feast on Dimsum! – don’t miss out on authentic dimsum when in Guangzhou

YANGSHUO

south-central-china-travel-guide-itinerary

Hike up Lao Zhai Hill- around 1.5 hr hike, steep and narrow pathways with a rewarding view at the top (exercise caution when hiking as there are no hand rails and rocks are uneven)

Rafting or Cruising in Li River

Cormorant Fishing

Enjoy Xingping Town at Night

ZHANGJIAJIE

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Explore the Avatar Mountains-  Tianzi Mountain, Hallelujah Mountains, Bailong Elevator

Cruise in Baofeng Lake

Walk around Zhangjiajie

FENGHUANG

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Explore Houses on Stilts

Enjoy their nightlife

Shop their night market

 


Budget Guide

Accommodation: 178Y + 387Y (3 nights) + 130Y + 128Y = 823Y/2 persons = 450Y per person for 4 nights (rounded up from 411.5Y)

Transportation: 526 + 755 + 144 + 10 + 375 + 450 = 2,260/2 persons = 1,200Y per person for 8 days and 7 nights (rounded up from 1,130Y)

NOTE: There were days when we walked around more and days where we took taxis instead of riding the bus so adjust the budget to your preferred mode of transportation!

Food: Our AVG spending per meal was 50Y as there are a lot of budget-friendly options for you to choose from! 50 x 4 meals x 8 days = 1,600Y/2 persons = 800Y per person for 8 days

Entrance/Admission Fees: Our rounded up expenses for all the admission fees (plus tips here and there) only cost about 720Y. 720Y/2 persons = 360Y per person for 8 days

Note: The above guide was based off of our expenses during our stay. Some prices may have changed and/or no longer available. Always counter-check with other itineraries or budget guides for a more accurate estimate! You may adjust it depending on the way you would like your travel experience to go!

 


Sample Itinerary and Expenses

EXPENSES (in CNY) and computed for 2 people*

DAY 1   (TEAM NO SLEEP)

– GUANGZHOU – GUILIN, YANGSHUO

Flight to GUANGZHOU

11:35 PM TO  2:15 AM – FLIGHT TO GUANGZHOU

2:15 AM TO 3:30 AM – IMMIGRATION, GET BAGGAGE, SIM CARD 180Y   TAXI 86Y

8:00 AM TO 9:00 AM – WAKE UP, FIX AND BUY QUICK BREAKFAST AT A CONVENIENCE STORE/ CHEAP STREET FOOD  60 Y

9:00 AM TO 9:30 AM – HEAD TO GUANGZHOU SOUTH STATION 

9:30 AM TO 10:32 AM CHECK IN THE TRAIN TO YANGSHUO 

TICKETS CAN BE EITHER BOOK THROUGH KLOOK/OTHER WEBSITES – 268Y

10:32 AM TO 1:03 PM – QUICK LUNCH AND TRAVEL TO YANGSHUO 92Y

1:03 PM TO 2:30 PM – HEAD TO THE BUS STATION TO XINGPING TOWN 30Y

MOTOR RIDE FROM XINGPING TOWN TO HOSTEL 50Y

AND CHECK IN AT YANGSHUO HOTEL IN XINGPING  178Y

3:00 PM TO 6:30 PM EXPLORE THE OLD FISHING TOWN. FIND THE SCENIC SPOTS WITH THE CORMORANT FISHING AND ENJOY SUNSET

6:00 PM TO 6:30 PM – HEAD BACK TO THE TOWN

6:30 PM TO 8:30 PM – DINNER AND ROAM AROUND THE VILLAGE 78Y

9:00 PM – LIGHTS OUT

Day 1   Total Expenses =                                                                                                                                          1022Y

DAY 2

-YANGSHUO

8AM TO 10:30 AM- BREAKFAST AND GET READY FOR THE HIKE 44Y

11 AM TO 12:00 PM – PREPARE TO HIKE LAOTZAI HILL FOR SUNRISE

12:00 NN TO 1:30 PM  – HIKE THROUGH THE MOUNTAIN

1:30 PM TO 2:30 PM – PHOTO SESSION AT LAOTZAI HILL

2:30:00 AM TO 4:00 PM – HIKE DOWN AND HEAD STRAIGHT TO CORMORNT FISHING 300Y

4:30 AM TO 7:00 PM – EXPLORE MORE OF YANGSHUO – CORMORANT FISHING 

7:00 PM TO 9:00 PM – DINNER 84Y

Day 2 Total Expenses =                                                                                                                                          428Y

DAY 3

  YANGSHUO TO ZHANGJIJAE

7:00 AM TO 8:00 AM – WAKE UP, FIX AND CHECK OUT

8:00 AM TO 9:30 AM – BREAKFAST, AND BUS TO YANGSHUO

BREAKFAST: 36Y

BUS: 10Y

9:30 AM TO 10:00 AM – TAXI/BUS TO TRAIN STATION  30Y

10:05 TO 10:31 AM – WAIT FOR THE TRAIN TO GUILIN NORTH

TRAIN TO GUILIN NORTH  TRIP.COM/ KLOOK: 52Y

10:05 AM TO 10:31 AM – TRAIN TO GUILIN NORTH 

10:31 AM TO 11:36 AM – LUNCH, GET PHYSICAL TICKET AND WAIT FOR THE NEXT TRAIN TO CHANGSHA

68Y

TRAIN TO CHANGSHA SOUTH VIA TRIP/KLOOK ( 11:36 AM TO 2:56 PM SOFT SEAT ): 361Y

SNACKS/DINNER TO BRING FOR THE 4 HR JOURNEY: 29Y

11:36 AM TO 2:56 PM – TRAVEL TO CHANGSHA SOUTH

2:56 PM TO 3:30 PM – TRAVEL TO CHANGSHA STATION VIA METRO 

3:30 PM TO 5:00 PM EARLY DINNER 12Y

5:00 PM  TO  5:40 PM: GET PHYSICAL TICKET

TRAIN FROM CHANGSHA TO ZHANGJIAJIE – 6:38 PM TO 11:03 PM 174Y

11:03 PM TO 12:00 AM – TRAVEL TO  WULINGYUANTIU YOUTH HOSTEL 

TAXI: 60Y

12:00 AM TO 12:30 AM – CHECK IN AND FIX

HOTEL FOR 3 NIGHTS 387 Y

12:00 AM – LIGHTS OUT

Day 3 Total Expenses =                                                                                                                            1219Y

  DAY 4 

 ZHANGJIAJIE NATIONAL PARK (TIANZI MOUNTAIN)

5:45 AM TO 6:40 AM – QUICK FIX AND BRUNCH 68Y

6:40-7:00 AM – HEAD TO THE ENTRANCE OF THE NATIONAL PARK

7:00 – 8:00 AM ( DEPENDING ON THE LINE )- BUY THE TICKETS CABLE CAR TO TIANZI 144Y

PARK ADMISSION FEE W/ BUS (COVERS ALL THE SCENIC SPOTS AND BUS RIDES ) : 388Y

8:00 AM TO 6:00 PM –  EXPLORE THE NATIONAL PARK AND TAKE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS.

6:00 PM TO 8:00 PM – DINNER AND STROLL AROUND THE SURROUNDING AREA

DINNER: 60Y

8:00 PM TO 9:00 PM – PREPARE TO SLEEP

9:00 PM – LIGHTS OFF

Day 4 Total Expenses=                                                                                                                660Y

 DAY 5  

ZHANGJIAJIE NATIONAL PARK (BAILONG ELEVATOR AND HALLELUJAH MOUNTAIN)

6:00 AM TO 7:00 AM – FIX AND BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL 30Y

7:00 AM TO 8:00 AM –  HEAD TO BAILONG ELEVATOR 144Y

8:00 AM – 4:00 PM – BAILONG ELEVATOR AND HALLELUJAH MOUNTAIN

LUNCH 52Y

5:00 PM – HEAD BACK TO HOSTEL

5:00 PM TO 7:00 PM – WALK AROUND AND FIND A PLACE TO EAT DINNER 84Y

7:00 PM TO 7:20 PM – WALK BACK TO THE HOTEL

7:20 PM TO 9:00 PM FIX AND LIGHTS OUT

Day 5 Total Expenses =                                                                                                                310Y

DAY 6

ZHANGJIJAE – FENGHUANG

5:00 AM TO 6:00 AM – SHOWER, PACK UP AND CHECK OUT

6:00 AM TO 8:00 AM – WALK TO THE BUS STATION , BOOK BUS TICKETS TO FENGHUANG ANCIENT CITY AND EAT QUICK BREAKFAST 220Y

8:30 AM TO 1:00 PM – TRAVEL TO FENGHUANG ANCIENT CITY

1:00 PM TO 1:30 PM – LUNCH 120Y

1:30 PM TO 2:00 PM – TAXI TO HOTEL 10Y

FARE: 200 PHP/4 = 50 PHP EACH

2:00 PM TO 2:30 PM – CHECK IN AND LEAVE THINGS

HOTEL FOR 1 NIGHT W/ BFAST: 130Y w/ free Breakfast

2:30 PM TO 3:00 PM – HEAD TO THE ANCIENT TOWN

3:00 PM TO 6:00 PM – EXPLORE THE ANCIENT TOWN AND GET STUNNING PHOTOS

6:00 PM TO 7:00 PM – DINNER AT A LOCAL FOOD PLACE IN THE ANCIENT TOWN 108Y

7:00 PM TO 8:30 PM – STROLL AROUND THE TOWN AT NIGHT, GET SHOTS ETC

8:30 – 9:00 PM – HEAD BACK TO THE HOTEL ( WALKING DISTANCE )

9:00 PM TO 10:00 PM PREPARE TO SLEEP

10:00 PM – LIGHTS OUT

Day 6 Total Expenses =                                                                                                               588Y

  DAY 7

FENGHUANG -GUILIN

4:40 AM TO 5:10 AM – WAKE UP FOR SUNRISE MISSION

5:10 AM TO 5:30 AM – HEAD BACK TO FENGHUANG ANCIENT TOWN

5:30 AM – 8:00 AM – SUNRISE MISSION/ SHOOT

8:00 AM TO 8:40 AM – BREAKFAST AT HOTEL (FREE)

8:40 AM TO 9:00 AM – CHECK OUT

9:00 AM TO 9:25 AM – TAXI TO FENGHUANG GENERAL STATION 5Y

9:25 AM TO 10:00 AM – PURCHASE TICKET TO GUILIN (11:00 AM SCHED BUS DEPARTS EVERY HOUR )

320Y

11:00 AM TO 5:00 PM – TRAVEL TO GUILIN NORTH

5:00 PM TO 5:20 PM – FIND A TAXI TO GUILIN HOTEL 50Y

5:30 PM TO 6:00 PM – CHECK IN at HOSTEL 128Y

6:00 PM TO 8:00 PM – ROAM AROUND AND EAT DINNER

DINNER: 65Y

8:00 PM TO 9:30 PM – FIX AND REST

9:30 PM – LIGHTS OUT

Day 7 Total Expenses =                                                                                                                                              568Y

 DAY 8

GUILIN – GUANGZHOU 

5:30 AM TO 6:20 AM – FIX AND CHECK OUT

6:20 AM TO 6:30 AM – TAXI TO GUILIN NORTH STATION 22Y

6:30 AM TO 8:00 AM – BREAKFAST AT A NEARBY FOOD PLACE

BFAST: 20Y

7:35 AM TO 10:33 AM – WAIT FOR THE TRAIN TO GUANGZHOU

TRAIN TO GUANGZHOU VIA KLOOK: 394Y

7:35 AM TO 10:33 AM – TRAVEL TO GUANGZHOU

10:33 AM  TO 11:00 AM – LEAVE LUGGAGE AT THE STATION

FEE:60Y

LUNCH 80 Y

FOOD: 200 PHP

12:00 PM ONWARDS  – ROAM AROUND AND EXPLORE THE CITY OF GUANGZHOU FROM CANTON TOWER

METRO FARE: 16Y

7:00 PMTO 10:00 PM – DINNER AND STROLL AROUND THE CITY 82Y

11:30 PM 12:30 AM – HEAD TO THE AIRPORT

TRAIN TO AIRPORT 18Y

12:30 AM TO 3:00 AM – CHECK IN, SNACKS AND WAIT FOR THE FLIGHT

SNACKS: 30Y

3:10 AM TO 5:30 AM – FLIGHT BACK TO MANILA VIA CEBU PACIFIC

Day 8 Total Expenses =                                                                                                                                             722Y

TENTATIVE TOTAL : 23, 458 PHP

 

Total Expenses =                                                                                         5517Y / 39,998 PHP for two people

 

 

 


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

south-central-china-travel-guide-itinerary

DO YOU NEED A VISA? 

Yes. For me getting a visa to china was almost the same as getting one for Canada. It takes two weeks processing time and I had to provide my:

  • Bank statement
  • Bank Certificate
  • Income tax receipt
  • Business Permit,
  • and my old Passport.

*For students, you need to have your Certificate of Enrollment as well as your Bank Statement.

IS CHINA A SAFE PLACE TO TRAVEL TO?

I cannot speak for Beijing and Shanghai but Guilin, Guangzhou and Hunan was okay for me. I never experienced getting scammed. The local train and bus stations were efficient and easy to navigate and people were helpful. I’d say it’s as safe as travelling to Japan.

 

IS THERE A LANGUAGE BARRIER?

There definitely is which is why I recommend downloading apps like Pleco and Google Translate. It also helps a lot to learn basic Mandarin phrases so you don’t have to pull out your phone every time.

 


Overall, China was a magical experience! I already knew that the landscapes would be out of this world but seeing them firsthand stirred something in my soul. Budget-wise, I would say that it’s pretty worth it considering that we stayed there for over a week. Getting around was pretty convenient, too, because their public transportation was tourist-friendly and super modernized! And the best part? The FOOD was everything I dreamed it would be. I could literally have a full-course meal at a convenience store and I’d be happy!

So what are you waiting for? Book a direct flight with Cebu Pacific through here. Don’t forget to follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for updates on seat sales!

 

Travel with me on

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