I think so. We did Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Yangtze River Cruise (embarking in Chongqing & disembarking in Yichang, but not overnight in either), Shanghai & Hong Kong in 18 days. That was a bit rushed, but mainly as to the Shanghai & Hong Kong components, which we squeezed into 5 days. Especially if you don't plan to spend any time in Yichang, other than getting from the dock to airport, I think that is feasible.
Note that there are 2 flights a day from Yichang to Shanghai (at least on China Eastern) - one at about 7:15 am and one at 3:30. We had originally planned to stay overnight in Yichang, after departing the cruise, and then taking the 7:15 am out the next morning, because we thought there would not be time to get from the dock to the airport the same day that we disembarked. About 1 week before that flight, we were informed that the 7:15 am flight was cancelled and the airline automatically booked us onto the 3:30 pm flight on the day that we'd plan to leave at 7am -- i.e., more than 24 hours after we disembarked from the cruise. We made further inquiries with our travel agent, who confirmed that the ships typically arrive on time in Yichang, and that it was entirely feasible to get from the dock (with a noon disembarkation) in time for the 3:30 flight, so that is what we did. In fact, we arrived at the airport quite early.
Yes its very doable and you also have a few extra days.
Or add in Huangzhou ( easily reached by bullet train from Shanghai). Then fly from Huangzhou to Xi'an.
All the above are main tourist areas,
My pick would be add it to Chongqing. Not Chongqing City itself but the surrounding areas. Chongqing can be very hot in Summer but you are traveling the end of December. It will be colder than around Shanghai so it depends if you are okay with a bit of cold. The areas surrounding Chongqing that are outstanding & off the tourist radar.
Laitan, Wulong County ( Three Natural Bridges) Shuangjiang, Songji, Zhongshan. This whole are is fascinating with its villages & outstanding beauty.
Can it be done in 13 days? Sure.
Should it be done? No, not really. This is December. It is cold in China and I can see the 5C degree rains as you float down a vegetation-less Yangtze Valley. Sounds depressing to me, no matter how many distracting activities the "cruise ship" line creates to pass the time. (This is not a cruise ship, but a river boat.)
Just like you create a home design to fit the geographic site, you should create your vacation itinerary to suit the weather in China in December.
If you want to see the outdoors in splendor in December, then you can head to a cold but beautiful Jiuzhaigou National Park or a cool and charming northern Yunnan Province, including Lijiang. As a bonus, to see the former at that time of year, you usually must travel through Chengdu, the best place to see Giant Pandas in their natural setting.
Being from Malaysia, you are in for a very startling chilly vacation. I would skip the Yangtze boat unless you badly need a mindless R&R, and instead head to some scenic wonders which will keep you warm visually, if not in degrees Celsius. I just shake my head at the thought of a rainy, windy, cold boat trip for three very long days.Edited: 8:19 am, June 16, 2013
Could not agree more with SoBeSparky. Shanghai in summer...well, ok. 38C, high humidity but a/c everywhere. Winter in Shanghai: -3 to 10C, high humidity... cold and damp. Could not imagine a more worse time to visit Shanghai. Please note that Shanghai is South of the heating line (Yangtze river) and we have no central heating but all heating is done with a/c.
@#4 how many days do you have and what time of year?Edited: 12:52 am, June 18, 2013
We will be travelling with 2 young children (aged 2 and 5 years old) in mid December, is Lijiang a child-friendly places, not in terms of facility, but in terms of supply such as diapers and bottled drinking water.
What are the other nearby attractions that we can visit. Initially we were planning for Yangtze River Cruise, but I read that it will be boring to cruise in December. Is Lijiang a good substitute for Yangtze River Cruise? We have 3 days to spare.
Lijiang is developed enough that you can get all the supplies you need. It won't be too touristed in mid-December, similar to anywhere else in China. It is a much better choice than Yangtze. However, it is at elevation and will be chilly though probably not damp. The most important thing is to stay in lodging that has good heating. This may mean staying in the newer part of town and not in the old town area. And it makes little sense to travel all the way to Yunnan without seeing more of that very interesting province.
I suggest that you refocus this trip from your original idea, and assuming you cannot change entering/leaving through Shanghai, I would also get rid of Xi'an on this itinerary. I'd suggest Shanghai - Kunming - Dali - Lijiang - Chengdu - Shanghai which can be done in 13 days with flights on the SHA-KMG, LIJ-CTU, and CTU-SHA segments. Within Yunnan can be done overland by train or bus or private car. You'd probably have time while in the Shanghai region to see Suzhou or Hangzhou also. All of these places would have items of interest to children as well as adults, and weather shouldn't be too brutal though you still must have proper clothing and coats. With young children, I'd be hesitant to fly directly from lowlands into Lijiang since elevation is 2400 meters. Better to go in steps to acclimate.
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