Travelling from Chengdu up to Lanzhou
Jul 15, 2014 15:17
guest39170 We are a family with 2 kids (10 and 12y) and we're planning a trip from Chengdu (arriving 2 aug) to Shanghai (departure 24 aug).
We want to stay (2 or 3 or 4 days) in Chengdu - and then we want to visit Songpan - Jiuzhaigou Valley (should we visit huanglong) - Zoige - Langmusi (no horseriding for us) - Xiahe (Labrang Monastery) - Bingling Si and then to Langzhou to Xian if this is easier.;
Is there a place we should skip and stay overnight somewhere else

Can someone give some advice about transportation? Which bus and what time. For the buses do we have to buy tickets in advance? If a private car or minivan is a better option please let us know.
Also info about hotels/guesthouses are welcome. DO we need to book in advance? We prefer not to book to much in avance so we can stay a day longer if the place pleases us.

How many days should we count for this roundtrip? If we should plan a day to plan a lazy with the kids what is the best place to do that.

From Langzhou we plan to take the nighttrain to Xian. Do we have to reserve the train in advance and how many days. Is one day enough?

The rest of the trip is not planned yet. Nanjing is an option with the Olympic Youth Games - and 4 or 5 days Shanghai.

So all suggestions between Xian and Nanjing/Shanghai are welcome - especially things to do with our kids.

Jul 15, 2014 22:00
GUEST9047 I think you may alter your itinerary a little bit. You may go to Jiuzhaigou first and then visit Songpan. From there you can visit Zoige, Langmusi, Labrang Monastery, Bingling Si, Lanzhou and Xian.

Chengdu – Jiuzhaigou
You can take long distance bus from Xinnanmen (New South Gate) Bus Station. It takes around 10 hours. The bus usually departs in the morning and arrives in late afternoon. So you need to stay there for a night and visit the valley next morning. I suggest you buy the ticket in advance, probably one day before you depart. You know, it’s summer vacation in August. Parents usually take their children to travel during this time.

Jiuzhaigou –Huanglong- Songpan
If you have time, I think you may visit Huanglong too. The bus from Jiuzhaigou to Huanglong depart at 06:30 and 07:00. So you need to stay in Jiuzhaigou for another night. Next morning, you can go from Jiuzhaigou to Huanglong by bus. You may ask the hotel owner to help you buy the ticket (Jiuzhaigou-Huanglong).

After you visit Huanglong, you can take return bus (Huanglong-Jiuzhaigou) and get off at Chuanzhusi. There you can carpool a van or taxi to reach Songpan. It costs a few bucks per person.

Songpan – Zoige – Langmusi
There are two buses from Songpan to Zoige. One departs at 10:00 in the morning and the other departs at 13:00. It takes around 3.5 hours and costs CNY 44. I am not sure if the schedule has been changed.

Someone says that there is a bus from Zoige to Langmusi that departs at 14:30. It costs around CNY22 and takes about 2.5 hours to reach Langmusi.

Langmusi – Xiahe – Binglingsi – Lanzhou
There is a bus that departs from Langmusi to Xiahe at 14:00. It takes about 4 hours and costs CNY 70. Labrang Monastery is not far from the bus station. You can walk about 15 minutes to find the monastery.

To visit Binglingsi, you should take bus from Xiahe to LInxia first. It departs every 30 minutes from 07:00 to 17:00. It takes around 2 hours and costs CNY 31. When you arrive in Linxia, you need to catch a bus or taxi to the Xiangyang wharf. It takes about 40 minutes. There you need to take boat for around 30 minutes to reach the Binglinsi.

There are regular buses from Xiahe to Lanzhou. It departs at 06:30, 07:30, 08:30, 14:30 and 14:50. It takes about 4 hours and costs CNY 76 per person.

Generally, you needn’t buy the bus tickets in advance because you are required to buy the ticket when you get on the bus. However, some owners of the guesthouses may help you book it in advance. Also you needn’t book the guesthouses in advance unless you have contact information.

However, I think you should buy the train ticket from Lanzhou to Xian in advance if you decide your departure date. You may reserve the ticket as early as you can if you want to take hard or soft sleepers. These tickets may run out one day before the train departs.

I think you should spend at least 10 days finishing your trip from Chengdu to Lanzhou.
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