Thursday, April 23, 2015

11 Days Guangzhou-Xi'an-Dunhuang

    Dunhuang 9/18°C sunrise 7.10am, sunset 8.15pm
    Xian 15/28 °C
    Guangzhou 23/27°C *might rain!
    China Visa Application, single entry @ RM85/person Address: Level 5 & 6, Hampshire Place Office, Jalan Mayang Sari, 50450 Kuala Lumpur,  Malaysia (Passport collection process to level 6) Telephone: 603 21760888 Working Hour: 09:00-15:00 Website:
    get connected

    • China Southern Airlines Tel: 03-87872858 operation dept 03-21639977 ticketing dept
    • +86 20 223 95539-2-2 (China Southern international flights)
    • +86 20 861 24008 (Guangzhou Airport)
    • +86 21 321 04669 Mainland China 400 619 9999 (Ctrip)

    flights Booking number: 1211450396 and 1211435194 *booked via ctrip with plenty of fight schedules to choose from!
    check in between 06:40-08:40 / meal served for flight more than 2 hrs /2 pcs luggage (23kg ea *weight combination not permitted)

    09.4.15 Taxi 07:00 MPV (by meter) around RM120 Mr. Sugu Maran 019 314 6485

    09.4.15 CZ366   KUL 09:40 - CAN 13:45 34-BC-HJK
    10.4.15 CZ3203 CAN 09:15 - XIY 11:50 47BC-HJK / CZ6896 XIY 13:25 - DNH 15:50 43HJ 44HJK

    17.4.15 CZ6895 DNH 10:10 - XIY 12:15 43HJ 44HJK
    18.4.15 CZ3204 XIY 11:30 changed to12:55 - CAN 13:55 changed to15:30 47BC-HJK
    19.4.15 CZ349  CAN 08:25 - KUL 12:25 34-BC-HJK
    Dunhuang 敦煌

    The Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel 敦煌山荘 中國甘肅省敦煌市敦月路(86 937) 888 2088 email:
    This magnificent hotel is clearly a winning choice with its unique architecture design and outstanding location against the backdrop of the Mingsha Sand Dune. Guests with an appetite for Chinese history will not be disappointed with the hotel's prominent framework that showcase the spirit of Tang Dynasty with large rooftops, ornate furniture, a garden courtyard, and long corridors. Boasting 271 tastefully appointed guestrooms, each unit is decorated simply and furnished with Chinese decor. Guests are minutes away from a myriad of sightseeing attractions such as the Mogao Grottoes, Crescent Moon Lake, Yumenguan and Yangguan Passes, and White Horse Pagoda. Head to Feng Yi Ting restaurant to sample an outstanding selection of Chinese and international cuisine. The rooftop snack bar is another great venue to unwind with a drink while enjoying the fantastic view of Gobi desert.

    Castle Suite - 2 en-suite rooms with a living hall. We felt warmth and so at home with the welcome cookies placed in the living hall, each room with 2 welcome handmade camels and welcome notes too. Daily room service came with 4 bottles of mineral water, nescafe and chinese tea sachets, also standard amenities including razors. Friendly staff, excellent service!
    • 14.63km 10-15 mins from airport  ¥40-60
    • free wifi *facebook and gmail are blocked in China
    • town 10 mins.  It is well connected to town by bus, every 15 mins @ ¥2, taxi outside (¥10 in day, ¥15 at night) and free shuttle bus (every one hour from 7pm to 10pm*for low season).
    • dance/show at 21:30 *available during peak season
    • sand dunes are not to be missed in the Starry Lounge, especially at dawn and dusk
    • walking distance of a new Buddhist monastery *雷音寺,免费的景点, 西天经书和众佛的所在地
    • complementary bicycle rentals  
    • buffet breakfast was good but not excellent
    • there is a new restaurant near to the front entrance. Would recommend the bread and lamb
    click here for more information on Dunhuang
    Mogao Caves (莫高窟)
    A UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with exquisite Buddhist art and manuscripts.
    • ¥30 yuan taxi ride from town to Digital Mall, ¥3 by bus
    • English tours at 9am and 1pm  
    • Adult @ ¥160  (¥60 2 movies + ¥80 Mogao Caves + ¥20 English guide) shuttle bus included (from Digital Mall to caves site) 
    • Child @ ¥30 2 movies, foc Mogao Caves and English guide
    • impressive movies not to be missed!
    • The movie -360 degrees, the background film, is in English and very cool, which takes about 15 minutes long. It gives some background to what you see with your own eyes. It is worth the 15 minutes. The film ticket is included in your entrance fee.
    Sand Dunes/Mingshashan—Yueyaquan National Park (沙丘)
    • ¥1 by bus or 15 mins walk or just grab a bicycle from hotel
    • ¥120 admission (child @ ¥60)
    • ¥100 per person for a 1.5 hour camel ride (top up ¥20 for a child sharing the same camel)
    • ¥15 for shoe covers (optional)
    • ¥15 board slide *slow and disappointing or ¥25 tube slide *apparently this is fast and smooth? (once you get to the top you may opt to slide down from the summit)
    Yumenguan (玉门关, (80 km west from Dunhuang). Ruins of the gate which used to mark the western most point in ancient China. One-day bus tours also covering remainings of the Great Wall from the Han dynasty and Yadan National Geological Park with impressive rock formations in the desert area.

    • Can be booked at Dunhuang Hotel(敦煌宾馆) around ¥400 (NOT to be mistaken with The Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel 敦煌山荘)or take a day tour to the park in a minivan @ ¥60, from town.
    • We took an offer by a taxi driver @ ¥320. Headed for the most delicious beef noodle soup at 12 noon, returned around 8pm.
    • Admission to Yumenguan and Great Wall @ ¥40 (child @ ¥20)
    • Admission to Yadan @ ¥50 (child @ ¥25) + ¥70/person for tour bus
    • wear proper shoes/sneakers, bring mask and lots of water

    Shazhou Night Market (downtown) (敦煌夜市)
    A must for foods and souvenirs!

    Good Foods of Dunhuang
    达记酱驴肉黄面馆 (地址:敦煌市,天润国际大酒店西侧(西域路中段)
    Daji donkey meat and yellow noodles (near to Tianrun International Hotel and across the street of Soluxe Shazhou Hotel). Thumbs up for the donkey meat. Do share the yellow noodles, the portion is big!

    靖远尕六美味羊羔肉 (地址:敦煌市沙洲乐园东门南侧) 电话:13893773331,13830716008
    Tried the lamb which came with a big bowl of complementary soup! So tender and unbelievably delicious! Excellent food and reasonably priced. The owner and staff were very friendly too. We enjoyed them all...except the bread...hehee

    阿二烤羊排 (地址:敦煌市阳关东路,沙州市场步行街)
    Ar Er roasted lamb chops at Shazhou Night Market offered hearty it dry or soupy., it was slurpy! hmmmm...satisfied and inexpensive!

    伊清斋 ( 地址:敦煌市清真寺南侧)
    Famous for its lamb, other dishes were not as great. A little pricey.

    顺达宾馆Shunda Hotel (Xianyang International Airport) very close to airport - 5 mins
    Booking number1261338374 pay at hotel ¥198 (tax inc) 2 twin rooms, booked via ctrip
    200m west of Xianyang International Airport Haihang Base (Xianyang Guoji Jichang Haihang Jidi)(咸阳国际机场海航基地向西200米(边方新村B3))
    Chiana: +86 Xian: 029 Tel:029-33123395 hp: +86 153 53139983  em:
    • ¥600 Hotel-Teracotta Warriors-Muslim Quarter/Drum Tower/Bell Tower/City Wall-Hotel
    • Headed to Teracotta Warriors around 1pm, returned to hotel at 11pm
    • Rooms were clean and without smoking odours
    • Free airport pick up/drop off
    Click here for more information on Xi’an
    Army of Terracotta Warriors and Horses (兵马俑) 
    displaying 2,000 life-like terracotta warriors (there are believed to be around 8,000 in total), 100 or so chariots, and 30,000 weapons.
    The Eighth Wonder of the World and a world cultural heritage site by UNESCO in 1987. 

    Admission @ ¥150 (child foc), shuttle bus @ ¥5/person

    A box of 15cm high Terracotta warriors @  ¥5-10 (if you're lucky) or ¥15-25 (more likely). We missed the chance of collecting a box of warriors from here, but managed to get them at Muslim Quarter at ¥15.

    Food and Souvenir Hunting at Muslim Quarter: Huimin Street (回民街; Huímínjiē).  Amazingly busy here! A must must visit!

    Specialties:  Bbq/Yang Rou Pao Mo 羊肉泡馍/Biang Biang Mian /Rou Jia Mo 肉夹馍 (beef burger).

    Night views of: drum tower 鼓楼 , bell tower 钟楼  and City Wall 西安城墙

    *Toilets of the attraction sites were surprisingly clean and well maintained! Good job China!

    Spare info for Xi'an
    Terminal 3: After leaving the baggage claim area,please proceed to Exit 314 and make your way to the Ground Transportation Center (GTC). Then cut across the hall and leave the building through Exits G08 or G09 to arrive at the taxi stands.
    Taxi Service Complaints: 029-33544000    15877483436     029-96716
    Xian city center and XIY is around CNY120 - 150 taxi in green.

    Xian Railway Station Terracotta Army Tourism Bus
    It is very easy to find the special Tourism Bus 5 (Bus no. 306) running from Xian Railway Station to Terracotta Army Museum. If you stand facing Xian Railway Station, The Bus 5(306) parks at the parking lot on your right or east side. You don’t have to buy the bus ticket in advance. Just jump on the bus and later a bus guide will come to you and collect the money – RMB 7 per person.

    Basic Information on the Bus
    Bus Line: Tourism Bus 5 (306)
    First Bus: 07:00; Last Bus 19:00
    Line Length: 42 Km Drive Time: 0ne Hour
    Bus Stops: Totally 12 stop on routeBus Stop No.01: Xian Railway Station
    Bus Stop No 08: Huanqing Hotspring Bus Stop No 12: Terracotta Army

    Be sure to get off at the last destination – Terracotta Army Museum since the Bus 5 (306) is scheduled to stop at several tourist attractions including Huaqing Hotspring, Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum. You don’t need to get off at these stops. The very last stop (the 12th stop ) of this bus is the Terracotta Warriors. Just stay on the bus until you get to the last stop. Remember where you get off the bus terminal.

    After finishing your visiting the museum, come to the same parking lot and take the exact bus No 5 (306) since there are some other “fake” bus 306 which eagerly push you to take their buses.

    Basic information about Terracotta Warriors and Soldiers Museum
    Located 30km east of Xian, the Army of Terra-Cotta Warriors are undoubtedly the greatest archaeological find of the 20th century. The museum is composed of three pits: Pit 1, Pit 2 and Pit3. Pit 1 is most impressive and the hightlight of the museum. Pits 2 and 3, though interesting, are not as impressive as the pit 1. If you don’t have sufficient time, PIT 2 and PIT 3 can be avoided.

    Terracotta Army, not Qin Shihuang Mausoleum
    If you take Bus 5(306) from Xian Railway Station to Terracotta Army Museum, don’t get off at Qin Shihuang’ Mausoleum. Qin Shihuang’s Mausolem is not much worth visiting since it is just a mound, not excavated yet.
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