Southern China Exploration

ST04: 8 Days Guangzhou - Guilin - Shanghai
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Day 1 Lisbon - Guangzhou
From Lisbon Portugal to Guangzhou, there is no direct flight available. However, you can transit in Rome, London, Dubai and many other large cities. The following flight schedules are for your refrerence.

You can take Emirates Airlines EK192 14:15/00:50 (7h35m) to Dubai first, stop there for 3.5 hours, and then connect to EK362 04:25/16:10 (7h45m) arriving in Guangzhou. The flight journey is around 19 hours in total. To transit in London, you can take Portugalia Airlines TP1352 10:05/12:45 (2h40m) first, stop over for 3 hours and 40 minutes in London, and afterwards take China Southern Airlines CZ304 16:25/11:00 (11h35m) to arrive in Guangzhou, with a whole trip of around 18 hours. 

Prior to your arrival in Guangzhou, you should book a hotel. We would recommend the well-located JI Hotel Yuexiu Park Guangzhou, which can be easily accessed by subway line 2. From Baiyun International Airport, you may take subway line 3 from the Airport South Station to Jiahe Wanggang, and then transfer to line 2 to Yuexiu Park Station; use Exit A and walk 360 yards southwards to the hotel. After check-in, have lunch and take a rest in the hotel. Or, you may pay a visit to the adjoining Yuexiu Park, which houses the symbol of Guangzhou, the Five Rams Sculpture. 

Recommended Accommodation: JI Hotel Yuexiu Park Guangzhou
Day 2 Guangzhou
Today's self-guided itinerary covers Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family, and Shamian Island.

After buffet breakfast in the hotel, you may walk south along North Jiefang Road for 320 yards and turn east onto Yingyuan Road; head another 360 yards forward and you can find the north gate of Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, where the greatness of Sun Yat-sen as the founder of the modern China is engraved.

After one hour's stay, get out from the south gate, and then take a taxi to the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees at a cost of CNY10. Passing down from the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), the temple is clearly recognized by its flower-shaped pagoda. You will have a panorama view of the whole city on the top of the pagoda with a height of 187 feet (57 meters).

Afterwards, stroll 320 yards south along Liurong Road to Zhongshan 6th Road and head west to take bus 85, 107, or 250 to Chenjiaci. You will see the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family the moment you alight from the bus. Built in 1888 in the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911), the ancestral temple is a representative of Chinese classic architecture with delicate tile and wood carvings, as well as ingenious design.

Continue your independent tour by taking subway line 1 from Chen Clan Academy Station to Huangsha. Take Exit F and walk through the overpass to reach the Shamian Island. Exotic buildings in Baroque, Gothic and classic styles are the highlights of this cultural block. When the tour is over, take a taxi back to the hotel with a fare of CNY20.
Day 3 Guangzhou - Guilin
Traveling by train is a great experience of your China holiday tour, and TravelChinaGuide recommends you take a bullet train to Guilin for your further exploration. Check out of the hotel, you can take subway line 2 from Yuexiu Park Station to Guangzhou South Railway Station. Generally, you are expected to leave the hotel about two hours before the train's departure time.

There are around 30 bullet trains from Guangzhou South Railway Station to either Guilin West Railway Station or Guilin North Railway Station from 07:30 to 20:30. We recommend you choose one that arrives at Guilin North Railway Station, which has easier access to the downtown area. In busy season, the train tickets may be hard to come by. Booking tickets with TravelChinaGuide would be advisable.

You will never feel bored in the nearly three hours' train ride. The train will pass by rural croplands and terraced fields, as well as various natural landscapes from flat plains up to hilly terrains. You can enjoy yourself by viewing the picturesque scenery outside the window. Moreover, each carriage is equipped with TV sets playing movies and TV shows for passengers to kill time.

Upon arrival in Guilin, we advise you to check into the Hotel Universal Guilin near the city center. You may take bus no. 100 on the square in front of the railway station to Shizijie. Walk northwards and turn east at the first crossing; then, go for another 580 yards to the hotel. Or, you can take a taxi from the train station to the hotel with a fare of CNY25. Next day, you are going to take a Li River cruise to Yangshuo, so you are advised to book the cruise tickets and pick-up service through the hotel after check-in.

For the rest of the day, you can take a good rest in the hotel, or drop by the nearby Seven Stars Park to explore the splendid karst caves inside.

Recommended Accommodation: Hotel Universal Guilin
Day 4 Guilin - Yangshuo
Deposit your heavy luggage in the hotel and carry some light daily supplies and electronic gears for overnight stay in Yangshuo. Use the hotel's car rental service or hail a taxi to the Mopanshan Dock in less than one hour. The taxi fare is around CNY70. Most cruise boats depart from Guilin at around 09:00am to 10:00am, so make sure you not miss the boarding time. 

Drifting down the Li River, you can view joyful karst landscape of rolling hills and clear water along the way. At about 13:00, the ship will reach Yangshuo. Disembarking from the ship, you may walk through the West Street and keep heading westwards to the New Century Hotel near the Yangshuo Park. After check-in, walk back to West Street, where many restaurants, bars, teahouses and craft shops are clustered.

After refreshments, you can hire a bicycle to tour around the countryside and take in the local idyllic life. You may cycle southwards along Kangzhan Road to follow the Ten-Mile Gallery to the Moon Hill. It is a popular hiking route among backpacking travelers and the view along the way is really joyful.

Afterwards, ride back to the West Street and have a big meal in a decent restaurant there. Then, walk back to your hotel to get a sound sleep.

Recommended Accommodation: New Century Hotel
Day 5 Yangshuo - Guilin
Today, you are going to leave Yangshuo County and spend one day exploring attractions in downtown Guilin. After an early breakfast, check out of the hotel and take a battery car to Yangshuo North Bus Station for a direct bus back to Guilin. The bus ticket costs CNY25 and it takes around one hour on the way.

Upon arrival at the Guilin General Bus Station, you can take bus no. 3 across the road to Reed Flute Cave (Lu Di Yan) within one hour. In the cave, you will find yourself inside a colorful crystal palace decorated with bizarre limestone. Having feasted your eyes with enchanting scenes, take a taxi to reach the Elephant Trunk Hill at a cost of CNY25. Located at the intersection of Li River and Taohua River, the hill shapes like a giant elephant dipping water from the rivers, and there are many cliff inscriptions and Buddhist statues on the hill.

After touring the Elephant Trunk Hill, get out from the north gate and follow the river bank to the north. Along the way, you will view peaceful night scene of the Li River with gentle breeze brushing your hair. It should be a comfortable experience. When you reach the first fork, you will see your hotel on your left hand side.

Recommended Accommodation: Hotel Universal Guilin
Day 6 Guilin - Shanghai
You will take a flight to Shanghai today. It usually takes about 40 minutes to get to the airport at cost of CNY100.00 by taxi, so you'd better allow yourself ample time for the transfer, as well as airport check-in and security. Upon arrival in Shannghai, you can take a taxi to the hotel. There are two airports in Shanghai: Pudong International Airport (PVG) and Hongqiao Airport (SHA). For your reference, it takes about one and a half hours from Pudong airport to your hotel at a cost of about CNY200. If you land at Hongqiao airport, it may take around half an hour and cost no more than CNY100.

Recommended Accommodation: Golden River-view Hotel 
Day 7 Shanghai
We suggest you start your trip from Shanghai Museum. It is quite convenient to go there by subway or taxi. To take subway, you will walk to the Hanzhong Road Station and take subway Line 1 (Xinzhuang direction) for 2 stops to People's Square Station. After coming out from Exit 1, you may walk along the square for 430 meters, then turn back right and keep going for 270 meters to get to the destination. Alternatively, you can also take a taxi and the fare is about CNY20. Established in 1952, Shanghai Museum, a large museum of ancient Chinese art, is famous for its rich collections and excellent quality. Next, proceed to the Yu Garden by taxi (about CNY14). With a history of over 400 years, the Yu Garden was once a private garden during the Ming Dynasty, and now it is a renowned south classical garden. There are many restaurants with a variety of food choices around the site, and the Town God's Temple nearby is also an ideal place to sample the local flavor. After that, take subway Line 10 (New Jiangwan City direction) for one stop and get off at Nanjing East Road Station. You can stroll along Nanjing East Road to Nanjing Road, which is a shopping paradise gathering more than 600 stores. Then head to south for about 260 meters to get to the Bund area to appreciate the different styles of buildings along the banks. You may stay there till evening to enjoy the beautiful night scene of the city. Finally, you can take a taxi at a cost of around CNY25 to get back to your hotel. 
Day 8 Shanghai - Lisbon
Your independent China tour from Portugal ends today. Please check out from hotel before noon, take subway line 1 and then change to line 2 at People's Square Station to Pudong Airport. For flight back to Lisbon, you can take Swiss International Airlines LX189 09:30/15:50 to Zurich first, have a 3 hours & 20 minutes stopover, and then make a connection to the flight LX4582 19:10/20:55. Also, you may take Lufthansa flight LH733 23:40/05:20+1 to Frankfort and transit to the flight LH1166 09:15/11:15 after a 3 hours & 55 minutes stopover. For these two options, your air travel is 18.5 hours. If you prefer to make the transit in Paris, you can first take the Air France flight AF117 10:20/16:35 and then connect to the flight AF1124 20:50/22:20. In this case, the whole journey takes 19 hours. Hope the information is helpful to you. We wish you a nice journey home.
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