3 Weeks Backpacking CHINA Itinerary and Budget
Updated: Oct 24, 2019
In June 2017 I spent 3 weeks backpacking around China with a friend. I researched, planned and booked the whole trip myself. Staying in hostels and catching public transport to stretch our budget further, the whole three weeks ended up costing less than $2,000.
Here's where we went and how we got around:
Stop1. Beijing (4 Nights)
We flew to Beijing from the Gold Coast on a cheap AirAsia flight for $343. We had 4 days in Beijing which was plenty of time to see the top sights:
The Great Wall - we booked a tour to the Mutianyu section of the great wall through our hostel for $57
The Forbidden Palace
The Temple of Heaven
The Summer Palace
The Silk Market
The Olympic Village
Accommodation: 365 Inn Beijing
I wrote a blog post detailing everything we did in Beijing! See:
The Forbidden Palace, Beijing
Great Wall of China, Beijing
Top tip! Bring a student ID to save up to 50% on attraction entrance fees!
Stop 2. Xi'an (3 Nights)
We left Beijing on a fast train to Xi'an which cost $111.52. From Xi'an, we visited the Terracotta Warriors and Huashan Mountain.
Accommodation: 7 Sages Youth Hostel
In Huashan, we conquered the 'most dangerous hike in the world'! See my blog post on the experience here:
Terracotta Warriors, Xi'an
Stop 3. Jiuzhaigou (4 Nights)
From Xi'an, we caught a flight ($126.90) to Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport and caught a shuttle to the small town of Jiuzhaigou. In Jiuzhaigou we spent 4 nights at a beautiful Tibetan homestay and visited Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong National Parks, did a Tibetan cooking class and went horse-riding in the mountains - Jiuzhaigou was definitely the highlight of the trip for me!
Accommodation: Zhuo Ma's Tibetan Homestay
Jiuzhaigou National Park
Huanglong National Park
Stop 4. Chengdu (2 Nights)
From Jiuzhaigou, we caught an 8-hour public bus from the local bus station to Chengdu (which was really cheap from what I remember). We had a short 2-night stay in Chengdu but felt it was enough time to see all the sights. We visited the Giant Panda Research Base and did a great walking food tour of the city.
Accommodation: Chengdu Mix Hostel
Giant Panda Research Base, Chengdu
Food Tour - Walking the streets of Chengdu
Stop 5. Guilin (5 Nights)
From Chengdu, we caught a 30-hour overnight train (which was 6 hours late) to Guilin for $115.34. We originally were only planning to stay in Guilin for one night but ended up spending 5 nights due to flooding that forced us to leave Yangshuo. You can read about that crazy experience here. We stayed at an awesome hostel which was great value for $8/night - it had super-fast internet, we had our own private room and served great food - which was an even greater bonus as we were pretty much stuck in the hostel for 5 nights! Unfortunately, due to the flooding situation, we didn't get to do any of the activities the area has to offer like hiking, bamboo rafting, rock climbing or visiting rice terraces. Yangshuo is usually a bustling area popular with backpackers and I would definitely include it in my itinerary if I were to visit China again!
Accommodation: Sky Palace Hostel Guilin
Altogether, the cost of food, accommodation, transport and spending money (and visa $109.50) for 3 weeks in China totalled $1919.15.