Avoid Lijiang between Oct 1 to 7 at all cost!!

A client asked WildChina to help book the Lijiang Banyan Tree hotel in Lijiang, arriving on Oct 1, and departing on Oct. 5th.  I wanted to scream –“NO, NO, NO! You don’t want to do that.”  Hence, want as many to know this as possible, pls. pass it onto anyone who’s planning to go to China. 

Here’s my advice:

If you have any flexibility on timing or location choice, I would highly recommend you NOT to go to Lijiang at this time. October 1st is the busiest day of the whole year. That is Chinese National Day, that’s the day when Chinese travel most. Lijiang is on top of the list as popular destination.  In fact, this Chinese National Day Holiday is state-sanctioned, from Oct 1 to Oct 7 every year. So star from Sep. 30, it’s already crazy there.

That means:
A. The crowd in Lijiang is probably equivalent to black Friday at the mall after Thanks-Giving.
B. No hotel or flight discounts.
C. Inconsistent services due to the volume. 

In fact, you also want to avoid Lijiang at the following time too
Chinese New Year: Feb. 13-19, 2010
Tomb Sweeping Festival: April 3-5, 2010
Dragon Boat Festival: Around June 16, 2010 exact dates to be determined
Moon Festival: Around Sep 22, 2010 exact dates to be determined
Chinese Labor Day: May 1st to 3rd, 2008
(Note all except Chinese Labor Day and Chinese National day are based on Lunar calendar, so the dates changes every year. )

This warning probably applies to all travel in China. I would not recommend anyone to travel in China during those dates.

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Don’t travel to China during Oct. 1 to 7th

Saw this email exchange between a client and my colleague, thought it’s really useful for anyone planning a trip to China in the fall.

Clients email: My husband and I are planning a trip to Asia in late September and are very interested in visiting Tibet and Lijiang.  We will arrive September 26th to Shanghai and will depart October 11th so we will have 14 days for touring.  We are very active and are open to cultural trekking, biking, etc.

My colleague’s answer covered a series of recommended activities and sites, but this is the most important message: Late September to early October is one of the best time to visit China as the weather then is mostly pleasant. However, during the week-long National Holiday ( Oct 1st – 8th ) or few days before/after, all places in China will see a lot of domestic tourists.  If your schedule is flexible, we would like to suggest we make the tour plan after Oct 15th , when the weather is cooler and you will be able to enjoy the local culture as well as the beautiful scenery.

Avoid China during Chinese New Year and Oct 1-7th golden week at all costs. Too many domestic travelers.

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