Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Itineraries: The Big Picture + November 2008 details

I had a request to post the itinerary from our recent trip.

First, the big picture. We wanted to take a 6-month trip to Asia that would take us to China, India, Myanmar (Burma), and Nepal. Our window of travel was from November 2008 to May 2009 which is usually the best time to travel in South Asia as it's the dry season.

The tricky part was planning a schedule that would visit interesting places while avoiding cold weather in China and Nepal, hoards of holiday tourists in India, and allow us to fly out of Myanmar without spending an arm and a leg. After much debate we end up with a tentative itinerary consisting of two long overland segments connected by a flight through Bangkok.

The first segment would start from Shanghai on China's eastern coast, head west through China's southern provinces, cross into Northeastern Myanmar (Burma) and end up in Yangon (Rangoon), provided we could obtain the necessary permits to enter Myanmar from China's Yunnan Province. And our goal was to arrive in Burma mid-December, stay for the full 30 days allowed by our visas, then fly to Mumbai, arriving in mid-January thus avoiding the end-of-the-year holidays. "Shanghai to Rangoon by Land" - sounds like an article from an old issue of National Geographic. This could be exciting!

The second leg would take us south from Mumbai along the western coast to Cape Comorin, the southern most point in India, then back north up the eastern coast to Kolkata (Calcutta) and up in to Nepal. Then from Kathmandu, we would fly back to China, tour for a few weeks, go back to Shanghai and fly back to Raleigh. This also sounds like a Nat Geo adventure. Woohoo!

So we bought 6-month round trip tickets from Raleigh to Shanghai leaving on Oct 31st and returning on April 30th, acquired our visas and hit the road.

Here's the itinerary for the first month, November 2008, which was spent traveling in China. The formatting sucks - sorry about that - which is a story for another day.

The left column has the date and a link to a blog entry if one exists for that day.

The right column has trips details such as transportation, day trips, and hotels. The links in this columns are mainly to photos.

And in addition there is the Google Map of our entire trip.

2008-10-31.......RDU to PVG on Delta Airlines (via Atlanta)
2008-11-01.......Arrive Shanghai + Taxi to MinHang District - Stay with Sun-Ling's parents
2008-11-03.......Shanghai - Visit Shanghai Art Museum
2008-11-05.......Shanghai - Watch US Elections coverage - Visit friends at Google - Track down some historic Art Deco buildings
2008-11-07.......Shanghai - Dentist
2008-11-12.......Bus to Ningbo via the new 37km long Hangzhou Bay Bridge - Orange Hotel
2008-11-13.......Ningbo - Day trip to Ayuwang Temple
2008-11-14.......Ningbo - Day trip to Baoguo Temple
2008-11-15.......Train to Jin Hua - Tour Architecture Park- Holiday Star Hotel
2008-11-16.......Jin Hua - Day trip to Zhuge Village
2008-11-17.......Train to Shangrao + Bus to Yanshan, Jiangxi - Yanshan Hotel
2008-11-18.......Yanshan - Visit Pontoon Bridge and Temples
2008-11-19.......Yanshan - Day trip to Shitang Town
2008-11-20.......Bus to Nanchang + Train to Changsha ,Hunan- Garden Inn
2008-11-21.......Changsha, Hunan - Tour Old Town
2008-11-22.......Changsha - Visit Kai Fu Temple and more Old Town
2008-11-23.......Train to Huaihua - Railway Hotel
2008-11-24.......Huaihua - Daytrip to Hong Jiang
2008-11-25.......Train to Anshun , Guizhou - Jun Gong Rui Qi Hotel
2008-11-26.......Bus to Puan - Pan Liang Hotel
2008-11-27.......Puan - Daytrip to Guanziyao and Baisha
2008-11-28.......Bus to Panxian - Lin Ye Hotel - Visit Temples
2008-11-29.......Panxian - Tour Old Town, City Wall, Tofu Maker
2008-11-30.......Bus to Kunming - Home Inn

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