" LIFE is precious. Value it. "
Total Expenses Incurred in China (22 days) : Y3,308 + Rm776 = Rm2,420 (Euro$605)
- Air Asia promo ticket (booking date 17/10/2011): RM758 (incl airport tax, insurance, meals & luggage fee; KL>Guilin (06.25>10.25); Guilin>KL (11.10>15.20)
- Hostels (14 nights) : Y690 (dorms)
- Airport shuttle bus (Guilin) : Y40
- Trains: Y805
- Long distance bus: Y799
- Taxi / pubic bus: Y122
- Metro: Y24
- Food: Y684
- Sundries: Y144
Exchange Rate: Rm$1 = Y0.497; US$1=Rm3.05; Euro$1=Rm4.0
Due to the strict entry protocol, my attempts of visiting Tibet as a solo traveler had not been successful this time. So for this trip, I focused my visits exploring Qinghai (Xining, Golmud & Yushu) & south-west of Sichuan (Garze & Kangding) which have a strong Tibet culture. The Qinghai to Sichuan route is less traveled due to the treacherous mountain roads, deep valleys, vast grasslands, poor public amenities & infrastructure, high altitude ( 3,000-5,000m above sea level ), sub zero temperature at night even in Spring, basic accommodation etc. The scenery from Xining to Golmud is rather monotonous but from Xining to Yushu , Garze and Kangding, the scenery en route is magnificent.
Buying a hard or soft sleeper bed train ticket in China is a major challenge in most of the train stations as these tickets are easily sold out unless you book them 5-6 days in advance. So quite often, we end up taking a hard seat (or even a standing ticket) for an arduous 20 hr train journey !
My fellow Qigong mate from USJ, Mr Choy joined me for the first 10 days of the trip and both of us had a jolly good time visiting some selected places of interest around Guilin, Chengdu & Xian.
For this trip, I had the opportunity of visiting two grief-stricken towns which were devastated by major earthquakes in 2008 & 2010 ie Beichuan (Sichuan) and Yushu (Qinghai).
Before ending my visit, I had a relaxing 3 day rest in Fenghuang (Phoenix City) in the Hunan province.
I shall return to China in 2013 and focused on those UNESCO heritage sites that I have yet to visit and not to forget the last two Chinese provinces I yearn to see ie Hainan & Tibet.
2) Chengdu, Sichuan