It was only the first week of December, 2014, when I encountered a Cebu Pacific fare promo. Quickly, I checked my calendar and asked permission from my husband if I can book a flight to Beijing. We also invited two of our friends who immediately said ‘yes’ – our church mate and third wheel travel buddy Dalvin, and my music teacher, mentor, and also a third wheel travel buddy, George. Four is a good number when travelling DIY, so when we invited other friends, we had to reiterate that they need to form a group of four. As cruel as it may sound, we also discouraged “oldies” from joining us, because DIY tours that I organize are usually gruelling.
We set our travel dates to April 7 to 20 of 2015. Including the evening flight to Beijing and the Midnight flight back to Manila, our entire trip was 14 days in total. In this blog series, I hope I can write everything that has happened to us – partly to share with friends and family as to what happened, and another, to remember the awesome experience we had.
This schedule I posted is what actually happened to our trip, slightly different from our original plans. Again, I do believe in OC planning, but I also believe in spur-of-the-moment changes and adjustments.
Tiring? Yes! We had two major hikes (Days 3 and 11), visited 9 Unesco Heritage Sites, stayed at six different hotels (imagine the packing and unpacking), slept in three overnight train rides (1130pm to 6am usually), and walked approximately 300 kilometers in 75 hours (conservative estimate) in two weeks!
Our average total cost for two weeks was around $1500 per person – that’s including round trip plane fare, five train rides visiting five cities, entrance fees to various sites, five days with hired driver, as well as food, transportation and lodging for twelve days. I think it will be a few years before we can travel like this again.
In my next few blogs, I would be recording each of the different places that we went to.
Day 1: Arrival
Day 2: Beijing Part 1
Days 3 and 4: Datong
Day 5: Animals in Pingyao
Day 6: Stil in Pingyao
Day 8: Xian: A Textured City
Days 9 and 10: Luoyang Lamentations
Day 11: Our Great Wall Adventure
Days 12 to 13: The New, The Old, and Something In Between