Self-organize your vacations

Do it yourself

An all-inclusive holiday in Mallorca? Come on. Do you know how fun – and cheap! – it can be to organize your vacation by yourself? Regardless of whether it’s a standard tourist destination or someplace more remote, regardless of whether you’re staying in a hotel that everyone knows about or sleeping in a tent on a campsite – you can do it anywhere. You don’t have to be like a sheep waiting for the shepherd-guide to lead you… why not let your GPS guide you instead?

Thanks to the Internet, we can nowadays access and acquire any information we want. We can order a pizza, buy shoes, set up an account or hire a gardener – all without leaving our house. We can also plan our holiday better. There are plenty of websites where we can buy tickets for any mode of transport we want. There are literally thousands of possible accommodations, ranging from the most expensive hotels to free couch surfing options. We can find not only guidebooks of famous cities but also descriptions of journeys in less-popular or even obscure places. The world is your oyster – all you have to do is let loose your imagination and start browsing and the Internet will do the rest.

When looking for inspiration, travel blogs are priceless. There, we can obviously find many descriptions of journeys, trips and excursions, all embellished with photos – plus many practical tips and some timely advice. Blogs, fan pages and message boards also give you the possibility to share experiences, ask questions and interact with fellow travelers. Additionally, you can stumble upon plentiful links to other websites, which will provide you with even more information on your desired destinations.

So as you can see, we aren’t limited to accepting cliché trips or exorbitant offers. We can plan our trip alone, and by doing so we are most likely to experience something truly remarkable and magical. Isn’t that what we want?

www.triploca.com

Sample Itieneraries:

Indonesia Bali, Gili & Lombok Islands in three weeks.

a few words about Bali’s Tourist Attractions

For the inhabitants of the island, the dynamic development of tourism is, on one hand, a chance for a new, better life, but on the other hand, a nuisance and a factor that significantly changes the face of the island. Bali became one of the most popular destinations in the mid-1960’s, and its tourist attractions have been appreciated by swarms of tourists from all over the world. As a result, mass tourism began to take off on this unique island. With its growth, important developments occurred, which changed the nature of Bali and greatly influenced the lives of its inhabitants. The tourism industry means, on one hand, new jobs and the chance to raise more revenue, since tourists generate money. However, the more guests the island hosts, the more problems ordinary inhabitants of the island experience. Great views and excellent conditions for relaxation make the large part of the island occupied by hotels and luxury resorts. Unfortunately, ordinary inhabitants of the island have no profit from them, and the takeover of the land by investors is most strongly felt by local farmers. Nevertheless, those who are able to take advantage of the fascination with Bali’s art and culture will thrive. That’s why the island handicraft industry is booming, and the same goes for local artists. It is well-known that dance shows and stage performances are unique tourist attractions for those who have decided to spend their holidays in Bali.

First day of the trip

After arriving to Jakarta, we immediately fly to Bali, because Jakarta is too big to move around in. In our opinion it’s not particularly attractive for tourists compared to other Asian metropolitan cities.

We meet our guide – who will organize trips for the next 5 days – at the airport.

We head straight to our hotel where we spend the night.

Those who still have the energy can go for endless parties in Kuta – near the hotel.

Day 2

We get up early the next day for a tasty Asian breakfast and then we set out for the popular Jimbaran beach, changing our currency on the way there. We relax for a few hours splashing in the water or sunbathing while enjoying the weather. We eat lunch on the beach choosing seafood from one of the restaurants. Around 3 PM we travel 24 km (about 45 min) to ULUWATU temple.

ULUWATU Temple is famous for being a cliff temple. The temple is built at the end of the cliff about 80 meters above sea level and is inhabited by hundreds of aggressive monkeys. So watch your belongings, especially your glasses. Additionally, this area is where the KECAK FIRE DANCE performance takes place, on the open stage. You can enjoy it while relishing the sunset and the temple scenery in the background.

We stay in a hotel nearby which offers a great swimming pool in which you can spend the evening.

Day 3

Next day we mainly visit nearby beaches, like lovely Dreamland, Bingin and Balangan Beaches. You may consider visiting the culture park of Garuda Wisnu Kencana, where you can take a few attractive photos.

Late afternoon we head north – 45km or 90 min by car – to our next hotel (great exclusive stay for group of 6-7 people). If you wish you can go to Canngu beach or chill with drinks in the hotel’s swimming pool.

Day 4

We set off early morning to (link) TANNANH LOT where we drink luwak coffee and take nice pictures.
Then we head for Monkey Forest (be careful with belongings) visiting one temple with a park on the way.

After that we reach a hotel in Ubud, a very nice tourist city for the next 3 days.

We are pleased with our choice – UBUD.

All interesting places are close and many facilities including the swimming pool.

Here you can see The Kecak dance – a traditional dance performance of Bali – as well. The show starts every Wednesday and Saturday at 07.30 pm.

Day 5

As usual we start our journey early morning in order to reach Gitgit Waterfall – where we can go for an intensive swim in cold water bellow the waterfall. Be prepared for some hiking as well if you want to reach it.

The Next attraction on our way is Pura Ulun Danu Beratan Holy Temple. Indonesian people are very keen on going there, and it’s on the way, although it might not be for everybody’s taste.

After that we head for Jatiluwih rice fields which is certainly worth seeing and that wraps up the day.

Day 6

We spend the whole day shopping in MAS Ubud –a location famous for its wood carving and some paintings.

We also visit Luwak Coffee plantation for some nice leisure time. We spend the rest of the day chilling in the hotel. It’s time for a massage J.

The commonly-held perception of Bali as an island full of beaches and fashionable summer resorts can be a big mistake. Although mass tourism occupies a very important place, on this island there is no shortage of places of great importance for nature-loving tourists. Many parks and sanctuaries can become interesting destinations for at least a few trips. Where should I go? Here are some attractions that no nature lover could miss. Taman Burung Bali Bird Park is an ideal place for lovers of exotic birds. Here there are about 250 species, including a few rare ones, which are a special treat in Indonesia. For tourists-ornithologists Petulu could be an interesting destination, due to its large flocks of white egrets. Another distinctive place worth visiting is the zoo, which is the pride of the Singapad village. It is the Bali Zoo Park – a place known for its impressive collection of animals, among which the lion is the most popular. Admirers of beautiful landscapes will be delighted to visit the lake Danau Batur. It is the largest lake in Bali, which originated in the volcano crater, and at the same time it’s one of the most important natural attractions that can be found while touring this island. Another curiosity can be found in Penatahan village. It’s a hot spring where the people of Bali erected a small temple. Another attraction that will satisfy both nature lovers and admirers of Balinese culture is Pura Goal Lawah, which is a bat cave and one of the most important attractions in the eastern part of Bali. This holy cave has become a place of refuge for thousands of bats, and their sight is breathtaking.

Day 7

We leave Bali Island. A shuttle bus takes us to a ferry and we depart from “Padang bai” Station to Gili Trawangan.

Boat departures from harbor start at 08.30am and the shuttle departures start around 07.00 am

http://www.lombok-network.com/ferry_tarrif.htm

In Gili Trawangan we relax for 3 days in a very nice *****hotel. It’s good place to unwind with some drinking and some partying. Even if you prefer peace and quiet it’s definitely worth visiting.

Day 10-18

We relocate by another ferry to Lombok Island, which we fall in love with instantly. It’s true that alcohol there is much more expensive and hard to purchase because of Muslim culture, but everything else on the island will compensate for that.

The hotel is splendid. The private beach is ideal for sunbathing and some snorkeling.

Hotel

It’s good to find a driver who will show you around the island. You definitely have to go for Rinjani Volcano Tour if the weather is conducive.

After – or in the middle of – your stay in Lombok you can visit another Gili Island (Gili AIR) for a few days.

There is a nice snorkeling area, especially if you take a tour with locals. There are other types of attractions as well, but if you only hope to spend some time in water by the beach you will be disappointed.

Day 19

When we finish our holiday we usually reach Jakarta Airport, from where we will depart. Before we leave, we can visit popular local attractions if time allows us. We use UBER for traversing the city. You must factor in potential obstacles such as big traffic jams and long distances. A place worth considering is Mini Indonesia Park.


Another sample itienerary

China – Visit Beijing and Xi’an

Beijing is a fabulous place, which can charm you with beautiful temples, a mysterious Forbidden City and a majestic Great Wall in the city’s vicinity – not to mention the delicious food!

What is a must-see during the trip?

One of the most precious treasures is The Forbidden City which will astound you with its sheer size, gates and palaces. There are countless monuments, landmarks and museums worth visiting.

Located nearby is another important symbolic place which is The Tiananmen Square. Formed during The Ming dynasty, it’s famous for modern political events such as the protest in 1989. It’s also the place of Chairman Mao Zedong’s Mausoleum.

Beijing is a City full of contrasts. You can encounter Oriental Temples and historical palaces next to modern architecture. There are plenty of delighting green areas in this hectic and densely-build City.

And don’t forget about walking along The Great Wall. This is arguably the most famous man-made structure in the World, so visiting it is obligatory.

Unfortunately Beijing is getting more expensive every year, so hurry up if you want to see it. What are other reasons you should go there?

Because of cuisine, tailoring and shopping.

Journey tips.

To get free Internet at the Beijing Int’l Airport, just go to a Tourist Information Center where you get a password for 5 hours access, which can be renewed 3 times for each user.

Due to traffic jams, it’s better to take the Airport Express Train from the airport to your hotel in the city center. The ride costs 25CNY. Trains run from about 6AM till 10:30PM

Hotel***** serves excellent breakfast and is well situated for sightseeing.

The commercial district is in the hotel’s vicinity. If pressed you can reach all important destinations by foot.

Day 1

The Forbidden City – you need to dedicate a minimum 4 hours for visiting it, but practically it will take you the whole day if you want to experience all of its nuances and subtleties. It makes sense to see Tiananmen Square on the same day.

Behind the exit Gate is the Jingshan Hill, with The Buddist Temple on its top. From there you can enjoy a panoramic view of the whole City, provided you have good weather conditions.

Day 2

The Great Wall of China in Mutianyu.

Buy some beverage before visiting!

The Trip will take the whole day – just getting there will take you about 2 hours.

Transport is well organized – buses depart frequently from a square near the city center.

Mutianyu is really scenic part of The Great Wall, and on top of that it’s not so crowded, so you should be able to take some great pictures.

The most congested part of The Great Wall is Badaling, where you might have to squeeze through, so it’s best to go a bit farther in order to peacefully stroll on The Wall for the same price. To reach the destination cheaply and comfortably you can’t be fooled into going on any organized trips or be tricked by some guys offering you a lift.

“Located in Huairou County about 45 miles from Beijing, Mutianyu Great Wall enjoys a long history and is part of the glorious culture of China. It connects Juyongguan Pass in the west and Gubeikou Great Wall in the east. The wall was first built during the Northern Qi Dynasty (550 – 557). During The Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), Tan Lun and Qi Jiguang, two famous patriotic generals, rebuilt it in order to strengthen its defensive potential, when they guarded the strategic pass. It served as the northern protective screen, guarding the capital and imperial mausoleums for generations.

This section of The Great Wall winds 1.4 miles through lofty mountains and high ridges, many sections of which are made of granite. The unique structure makes the wall almost indestructible. It measures 23 to 26 feet high and four to five yards wide. Both of the wall’s inner and outer sides have parapets to defend against enemies coming from the two sides. Some parapets have a saw- toothed shape instead of the regular rectangular form. Below the parapets there are square embrasures, the top of which are designed in an arc structure, different from the traditional round embrasures.

There are 22 watch towers distributed at close intervals along the wall. They are located not only in the main wall but also at the distinctive ‘branch cities’. Branch cities are built on the hill ridge against the inner or outer side of the wall. They measure from several yards to dozens of yards across. On the northwest, towering above 3,281-foot hills, lies a section of the wall called ‘Ox Horn Edge’. On the steep and lofty peaks, there are two walls named ‘Flying Eagle Flies Facing Upward’ and ‘Arrow Lock’. What is more rarely seen on the southeast side is a general gateway platform guarded by three watch towers together. In locations of strategic importance, batteries are set up to reinforce the defense capabilities. Mutianyu really deserves to be the archetype of the ten thousand li Great Wall.

Late Autumn Scenery on the wallBesides its strategically important location and compact layout, the Mutianyu Great Wall is also famous for the breath-takingly beautiful scenery. Woods cover over ninety-six percent of the total scenic area. The wall presents different aspects of beauty in the four seasons. Flowers bloom all over the mountains in spring. Grasses dress the hillside green in summer. Trees are laden with sweet fruits in autumn, and especially in October, leaves are turning red or yellow, touching the mountain tops with gold. In winter, the wall is covered by snow, making it seem more magnificent. The pine trees around the wall are well-known. There are more than 20 pines over 300 years old and about 200 pines over 100 year old. Besides, spring water at the foot of the wall tastes pure and fragrant, much appreciated by visitors.

What’s more, the national first-rate cable car is installed in this section. A sled named ‘Speed’ will give you an opportunity to experience thrills by taking you swoop down from the high mountains. China Stone City collects weird and beautiful stones, attracting more and more visitors to come and see.

A signature wall has been built to the west of No.14 watchtower. Another two will be set up near No. 5 and No. 10 watchtowers. Meanwhile, they consider putting up a large LED screen on top of the wall in the future, to attract people to leave their names there instead of on the Great Wall.

Opening Hours

March 16 to November 14: 07:00 – 18:00

November 15 to next March 15: 07:30 – 17:00

Admission FeeAdults: CNY45; Children: CNY25

Cable Car Fee (Optional)Adults: CNY80 for a single trip, CNY100 for a round trip; Children: CNY40 for a single trip and CNY50 for a round tripSlideway Fee (Optional)Adults: CNY80 for a single trip, CNY100 for a round trip (Cable car up, slideway down); Children: CNY60 for a round trip (Cable car up, slideway down)

Notice: Children below 3.9 feet (1.2m) can visit or take cable car/slideway for free while children between 3.9 feet (1.2m) to 4.9 feet (1.5m) enjoy children ticket price.Shuttle BusCNY 15 for a return ticket; CNY 10 for a single ticket. The shuttle bus takes visitors to the foot of the wall, which is 1.8 miles (3 kilometers) to the ticket office.

How to reach Mutianyu from Beijing?

STEP 1

Get to Dongzhimen Junction Station first. How to get to Dongzhimen: Take subway line 2, line 13 or Airport Express Train, or bus nos. 3, 106, 107, 123, 131, 132, 401, 404, 416, 418, 852, 866, 915, 915 (express), 918, 980, or 980 (express).

STEP 2

After getting to Dongzhimen, there are two choices, among which the bus 916快 (express) is the best.

A: Bus 916 (express) or 916 Here the fastest way is to take bus 916 (express) or 916, get off at the terminus Huairou Bus Station or Huairou North Street, and then hire a minivan to reach the Great Wall. 916 (express) takes 60 to 70 minutes and costs CNY 12 (CNY 6 if paid by Beijing Transportation Card), while the minivan ride takes about 20 minutes and costs CNY 40-50; one can also share the minivan with others to save money.

If you don’t want to take minivans, you do not need to reach the terminus of bus 916. Just get off at Huairou North Street, transfer to bus H23, H24, H35, or H36, and get off at Mutianyu Huandao. Walk forward for 3 minutes to find the ticket office.

B: Bus 867 Take bus 867 from Dongzhimen Wai (Dongzhimen Outer Station), get off at its terminus, the Hongluo Temple, and then hire a minivan. 867 takes about 2.5 hours and costs CNY 13 (CNY 6.5 if paid by Beijing Transportation Card), and the minivan takes 20 minutes and costs CNY 40-50.

♦ Note: Bus nos. 916 (express) and 867 depart from Dongzhimen Transport Hub in Dongzhimen Outer Street, which is about 10 minutes’ walk from Dongzhimen Subway Station (Exit B). No. 916 can be found at the bus stop close to Exit B of Dongzhimen Subway Station.

Transportation from Forbidden City:

a. From South Gate of Forbidden City (Meridian Gate): Take Subway Line 1 at Tiananmen Square East to Jianguomen Station, get off and change to Subway Line 2 to Dongzhimen, then take a bus following the ways mentioned above. Take Bus No. 5 at Xihuamen or Tiananmen Square East to Qianmen, change to Subway Line 2 to Dongzhimen to take bus 867 or 916.

b. From North Gate of Forbidden City (Gate of Divine Prowess): Take bus no. 101, 109, 609 or 619 from Forbidden City bus stop to Chaoyangmen inner, get off and then walk to Chaoyangmen subway station to take subway line 2 to Dongzhimen, then get there by bus 867 or 916.

Be very careful when visiting Mutianyu! (part 1)

When you are at the wall and experience the beauty and cable cars and slide(which is fantastic fun),the trip is defiantly worth going! But just so everyone is aware, we went today and were met with alot of scams and unlicensed drivers. At the bus station in dongzhimen,there are ladies sometimes in uniform telling you about some quicker bus, dont take it! Take the 916 only! Also we wanted to get off at a stop in hikaro where we could get a H23,H24.., but didnt go there like this website says and took us right to bus station where none of the “H” buses go, so we were stalked at the bus station by several men wanting to get us in thier cars and charge about 200yuan until we finally took an official cab which cost 50yuan, we met some other tourists which had the same trouble so shared a cab, on way back, their were zero official cabs, and information desk wouldnt help us find a bus stop.

“instead they called over a man who was illegially giving rides in his own car along with alot of other men doing the same and over charging, the people who worked at the information desk were in on the scam and were pushy telling us to go with the man, he wanted to charge 100yuan, i said having split 50yuan on way there and told him this,i would not pay that, he said because there were not as many people the price of cab goes up! I looked for support from the help desk and recieved none, feeling there was no way to get back, i haggled and got the price to 80 yuan, but had to keep telling the driver to take us to bus station for 916 bus only because he tried to change route and charge us over 300yuan wanting to take us back to beijing! I think they are doing construction where this website tells you to get off for the “H” buses so make sure you have something else arranged and dont expect any official cabs to be at the entrance, make arrangments to get back another way.”

“two of us travelled to Mutianyu independently with no real problems. I wrote the English and mandarin on a piece of paper for each place we needed to go: 916 express; Huairou; Mutianyu. The 916 busses came every few minutes, we got off at the terminus at Huairou, we looked for the H busses, but as said they seem to have been cancelled due to roadworks. We then got a minicab for CNY 50 (ignoring the drivers touting for business and searching for the H busses first may have helped get the price down). Arriving at mutianyu we got a ticket which covered the minibus to the chair lift, wall entry, the chair lift and the toboggan ride down. Returning to Beijing was even easier; as we were leaving a driver asked where we were going and hooked us up with another passenger also going to Huairou and we paid CNY 20 each to get there then got the 916 with no complications.”

Here is a travel plan to reach Great Wall

Firstly you need to head up to the bus station from Dongzimen (where there is also a metro Dongzimen Station). Next you have to get on bus 916 (10RMB/person) and go to the end – bus terminus.

After getting off we need to change the bus, but firstly you have to go back to nearest junction and turn right, where you should catch bus 936 on the nearest stop. Remember to catch the city bus (not the suburban bus which has the same number)!

That bus will take you straight to The Great Wall which is its final stop. Remember not to get off at the terminus because it is not the last stop. If you tell the cashier or driver that you want to reach Mutianyu he or she will certainly inform you correctly.

You might get swarmed by local sellers, so don’t turn back and just head to your destination. You can reach the top of the wall by cable car (recommended) or on foot. This part of The Great Wall is about 3 km long and that’s all what you need. When you reach the end of that segment you can admire amazing views including mountain peaks.

The last bus departs at 5:30 PM. The way back looks very similar except that you change to bus 916 heading to the Dongzimen Metro Station in Beijing. But before you get on bus 916 I strongly recommend eating a very tasty lunch in town.

DAY 3

The Summer Palace located on the outskirts of the City is one of the largest and most beautiful gardens in Beijing. Visiting it’s bridges, temples and pavilions will take you a few hours.

Day 4

Tiananmen Square, hutongs and Beihai Park close to Tiananmen

Visiting chairman Mao’s statue and Communist party edifices is always on tourists bucket lists. It’s worth to spend some time there admiring main buildings, the swarms of soldiers on guard and some Cops maintaining law and order. Next you can head for hutongs, which are old, narrow alleys surrounded by grey bungalows. Hutongs used to be residences of aristocrats, merchants, and common artisans; they are still inhabited. In many of them you can find restaurants and souvenir shops. It’s good to go there on foot since it’s close to the Tiananmen Square.

Our main goal for the day is to take the train to Xi’an. It departs around 21:38 and arrives in Xi’an at 06:15

DAY 5

Xi’an was the Capital of China during The Tang Dynasty, considered to be one of the most successful in Chinese history. Currently the city is famous for blending Chinese and Muslim culture. An evening walk along perfectly preserved fortifications will conclude an exiting day.

The trip to the site where Terracotta Army was discovered. It was one of the most significant archeological discoveries of the 20’th century. The Soldiers of the first Chinese Emperor – Shi Huanga – are standing sorted into infantry units, cladded in armor from the third Century. Every one of these soldiers has unique facial features. The army is perfectly preserved and counts thousands of soldiers.

In the afternoon we traverse Xi’an: its Muslim district, one of the most impressive sites in China with its opulent Grand Mosque, bazaars and sweeties to eat. We can also visit The Bell Tower. We spend the night in Xi’an.

We begin the day by leaving luggage at the station and by taking a direct bus to the site of The Terracotta Army.

You can go to the east square of Railway Station to take tourism bus no.5 (306) for reaching destination. The whole journey takes about one hour. The bus fare for tourism bus no. 5 (306) is CNY7 per person. Or one can take bus no.307 from the south gate of Tang Paradise. It costs CNY8 per person.

Tourist Line 5 (306): the East Square of Railway Station – the Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horse Passing by: Lintong Campus of Xian Polytechnic University—Lintong Campus of Xian University of Science and Technology—Nursing Home of Xinjiang Military Area—Nursing Home of Land Forces—tramway of the Lishan Mountain—Huaqing Hot Springs—the Lintong Museum—the Underground Palace of Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor—Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

Ticket Fare: CNY7 for the whole journey Operating Time: 07:00 ~19:00 with an interval of about 15 minutes at railway station; 08:10~19:00 at Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor Duration: about 40 minutes

Tips: 1. Besides a busy tour line, Tourist Line 5 is also frequently used by local citizens and the universities’ students daily. Therefore, you may found it is difficult to take the buses at the weekends. In order to release the pressure, visitors are suggested to take the suburban lines of No.914 and No.915 also at the East Square of Xian Railway Station.

2. During the national holiday and other holidays, more buses will be put into use. So, it is easier for visitors to take them with an interval of around 5 minutes. However, the ticket fare during these holidays may be increased by CNY1 to CNY2.

3. After arriving at the railway station, you may find that some people recommend their buses or ask whether you need a bus to the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horse. They are some private tour guides of good faith, but please don’t show any interest in them! You should keep away from them or say ‘No!’ loudly.

Visiting The Army of Terra Cotta Warriors is the main reason why you are in Xian. You may have already seen its pictures from Chinese travel books or travel websites. The original site was found by a local farmer while he was digging a well in 1974. Now it has turned into the most important attraction in Xian. It is located about 50km east of the Xian City. The museum includes Pit 1, Pit 2 and Pit 3, as well the exhibition hall of the chariots and horses. Pit 1 is the largest of the three. To get there you may take a public bus from Xian Train Station Bus Terminal, or take a taxi or rent a car from a local tour company. Admission Fee: RMB 90

Ticket Selling Hours: 08:30-17:30

How to get there:

Xian Railway Station Bus Terminal: Take tourism bus no.5, bus no.914, 915 ( about one hour ) (the East Square of Xian Railway Station)

Alternative way to reach the site.

bus 914 The east square of Xian Railway Station à Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Passing by: Sanfuwan Coach Station—north end of Kangfu Lu—Shili Pu—Lintong Campus of Xian Polytechnic University—Lintong Campus of Xian University of Science and Technology—Nursing Home of Xinjiang Military Area—Nursing Home of Land Forces—Huaqing Hot Spring—Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor Operating Time: 06:30~19:30 with an interval of 3 minutes Ticket Fare: CNY7 (with conductor)

After that we go back to the hotel and continue sightseeing in the city. For our first destination we choose the Drum Tower, where you can take some nice pictures of the cityscape. The admission ticket is about 35 CNY, but can buy a joint ticket with Bell Tower included, then you will pay 50CNY for both Towers. We can walk there as it is only 300 meters from one tower to the other. On the way there are interesting shopping areas to do some shopping, which I really recommend because of bargains and competitive prices.

The food street comes to an end near The Bell Tower. During the day it looks completely different than at night. We turn onto the first sight street and we encounter a bazaar with souvenirs, trifles and million other small things. By pure chance we end up in The Grand Mosque, which we also had planned to visit. Entrance fee is 35CNY. The Mosque, while not in perfect condition, is worth seeing.

While walking around we can buy some high quality and cheap tea, visit a local bookstore and at the end of the day we can buy a beer with chips of cucumber flavor.

Our next destination on the way to Beijing is Pingyao. This is the oldest preserved and inhabited village in China. It’s good to go there for only one day – start early in the morning and finish in the evening – because toilet conditions are not up to standard and accommodation there due to scarcity is quite expensive. It’s a lovely place, where you take a lot of pictures and you visit many monuments. At first the city looks sleepy but then it springs to life in the evening.

Day next

We come back by night train to Beijing. In Beijing the hotel service was friendly and helpful. We checked in immediately after arriving at around 6 AM. We had a full day for revisiting Beijing, but our main goal was to pick up clothes from the tailor. After lunch we went to the nearby Railway Museum.

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