I wanna share with you the best experience of my life with the hope to inspire women to travel solo!
How is it like to travel solo as a girl?
The main questions I’ve always been asked are:
Aren’t you afraid? Don’t you get bored?
This was my third and last solo trip cause then I met and started traveling with Matteo, but you don’t need the perfect partner to start exploring the world!
As long as you choose safe countries and destinations you always dreamed of, you can’t get bored and you’ll experience the most powerful feeling in the world!
Here is my itinerary to South China.
Day 1, 2 & 3 – Chengdu
Why did I choose to go to South China ? Chengdu is home to giant pandas and pandas have always been my favourite animals! I mean, who doesn’t love pandas, right?
Well, one day I came across a picture of somebody doing a Panda keeper volounteer program and I immediately started searching for info cause that would have been an absolute dream to me!
In order to become a panda keeper for a day, you have to fly and sleep in Chengdu.
I booked the program with MypandaTour via Viator and volunteered at Dujianyan Wolong Panda Base, the Chinese first research base for the rescue and disease control of Panda.
What does their program look like?
Believe me when I say you will never forget this day. I actually hope to come back one day and let Matteo experience this.
Where to sleep
I stayed in the awesome Chengdu Lazybones Lounge Hostel. This hostel is located in Chengdu’s city centre and offers numerous recreational activities such as Szechuan food cooking classes, dumpling party and Mahjong classes. I booked a private room.
What else can you do in Chengdu?
- Try Sichuan Cuisine and Chengdu Hot Pot
- Take a day trip to Leshan Giant Buddha (a must)
Day 4, 5 & 6 – Yangshuo
From Chengdu I took a direct flight to Guilin and then a pullman (1h and 30 mins) to get to one of the most amazing landscapes my eyes have ever seen!
Getting around: ride a bike!
What to do
- Hike to Moon Hill
- Visit Xingping Village
- Visit the Cuiping hill in Putao Town
- Li river Cruise
Where to sleep
The Apsara lodge is a charming hotel with direct view on the typical karst hills. They offer use of bicycles which is the best way to get around. They also cook really good food and have a swimming pool.
What should you eat?
Rice noodles for breakfast ahah
Also chicken soup, river fish and rice cooked in bamboo are traditional dishes.
Day 7 & 8 – Longsheng
To get here I took the express bus from Guilin to Longsheng County Town and then another bus from the town to the Longji terraces area. It takes about 3 hours.
There is some fabulous hiking to be done around the rice terraces that offer some of the most amazing scenaries in China or indeed the world.
The Longji Rice Terraces cover several village areas in Longsheng County. The most popular terraced field areas are around Ping’an (‘Peace’) village, where Zhuang minority people live, and the Jinkeng (‘Golden Hollow’) area, home to the Red Yao. Red Yao womens are known to have the longest hair in the world! (about 2 meters)
The best points to enjoy the scenary in Ping’an are:
- Seven Stars with the Moon which is comprised of seven small piles of rocks, left there when the area was developed, in the middle of a moon-like field. It is a perfect place for photography.
- Nine Dragons and Five Tigers, which refers to nine ridges, branching off from the main ridge, which look like nine dragons bending over to drink from the Jinsha River.
When is the best time to visit?
You can enjoy different sceneries in different months.
- From mid-April to mid-June the fields are well-watered and you can see water glittering in the sun in spring.
- From mid-June to mid-September it is the growing period for the rice. You will green rice plants filling the paddies.
- From late September to early October, the rice is ripe. You will see layers of golden yellow. Farmers can be seen harvesting the fields from around October 1st to 15th.
- From mid October to April you will see nothing more than the plain scenery of brown empty fields (and maybe snow).
Where to sleep
The accommodations are mainly around Ping’an, Dazhai, and Tiantou Villages. I stayed at Longji One Art Hotel in Ping’an Village and I would highly suggest you to go there.
Day 9 &10 – Chengdu
Come back to Chengdu before leaving! I’ve spent another night in Chengdu before leaving and I came back to Lazybones hostel
What else can you do?
- Visit Jinli ancient street and try some street food
I can’t even tell you how do I feel rewatching the pictures of this trip. My heart is melting right now.
Still have so much to see in China but the South will always have the most special place in my heart.
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