I'm planning to travel from Hanoi to Nanning onward to Bamei - Yuanyang in late March to early April to witness the Zhuang tribes Singing festival. when do you plan to travel?
Check out the train schedule at
M1 is an International Express Train leaves Hanoi to Naning onward to Beijing every Tuesday and Friday at 18h30 pm. arrive in Nanning at 8h50 am next day. www.vr.com.vn
If the train schedule does not fit yours, you can take a bus (several buses daily) to DongDang (about USD3; 3 hours) for onward travel to the Chinese border, or take DD1 train departs from Gia Lam station and arrives in Dong Dang on all other days of the week (about USD3; duration 5hours).
I planned to travel by bus as there are multiply buses leaving daily, it is faster and I get to see more of rural Vietnam and China enroute to Naning.
For "direct" connected Bus from Hanoi to Nanning, there is a bus leaving daily at KimLien Hotel, No. 7 Dao Duy Anh Street, Han Noi every morning SHARP at 08.00H and delivers you to the border where you walk through customs and then get on a nicer Chinese bus that takes you to NanNing's NANG FANG HOTEL or the NanNing LANG DONG BUS STATION. Duration 7 hours. Cost about USD20.
From there I planned to stay overnite and take a bus to Bamei - a 300 yrs old Zhuang tribe village which has recently came on to the travellers' map (about 5 years) which has no electricity, running water and no road access ( only via a river thru a cave entrance and limestone ravine. Interested? perhaps you can join me then you can proceed to Guilin thereafter. Or I may join you thereafter. I'm hoping to form a group of 4 - 6 to charter a minibus to speed up travelling time and build in flexibility in travelling itinerary.
So anyone out there interested in minortiy tribes, culture, and homestay with villagers your are welcome to join me. If you have other interesting places and things to do, I welcome your input as I'm always looking for "off-the-beaten-track" travel.
I very much enjoyed Yangshou (about 2 hours away from Guilin). We stayed in Guilin just because it was the city we flew into, but didn't spend much time in that city becuase it does take a while to get from one place to another. Options for getting from Guilin to Yangzhou:
1) Local bus - 2 hours and gives you the option to roam around, get a boat ride, rent a bike, etc. at your leisure in Yangshou.
2) Guided boat ride - I think this is an all day excursion including lunch. This option is more of a group activity, so just depends on your interest.
I recommend considering very carefully flight and train options as you look at your itinerary. China is a gigantic place and getting from one destination to the next, not matter which transport you use, may take surprisingly longer than you think. Enjoy!
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