Our trip from Xi'an is meant to follow the classic route of China, Xi'an (Terracotta Army) > Chengdu (Panda's) > Kunming (Dwarf Village) > Guilin (Rice Terraces & Yangshuo) > Shenzhen (Exit China to Hong Kong). But as my previous post mentioned, we've been hitting snags with the travel on trains.
Since my post yesterday things are starting to take a predictable trend with all the trains we need to book from now until we leave China. It seems booking for tickets 14 days or less before your departure means tickets for sleepers are sold out on every train. I guess the tour groups are very popular these days and they block book carriages out which means very little left for anyone else.
We have already had to book a flight from Xi'an to Chengdu instead of a sleeper train. Then today found out that the train we wanted to get from Chengdu to Kunming on the 10th of August was sold out until the 12th, so we have had to extend our stay in Chengdu. After this, I thought it's worth looking at the rest of our travels as it seems things are booking up really fast now. Now the specific train we wanted to get on 15th of August from Kunming to Guilin is booked up, which means we're going to have to book the other train instead. But this also means a 22 hour train ride for the whole day rather than the original 15 hour overnight train. The last train journey we need to book after that is Guilin to Shenzhen but booking doesn't open for another day or so, I've already got a bookmark open for that journey!
Railing around China deserves a proper blog post / section, so once we are done with it all, we will have to write up something to help fellow travellers, as there is really nothing out there that is much help for travellers that is up-to-date nor useful.