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Enshi Grand Canyon around Spring festival 2013

Hong Kong, China
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Enshi Grand Canyon around Spring festival 2013

I am hoping to visit Enshi GC but my trip coincides with Chinese New Year/Spring festival 2013. How would I travel there (I am planning to arrive by train into Enshi), will it be open and is there budget accomodation nearby?

Thanks!

5 replies to this topic
Sherbrooke, Canada
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1. Re: Enshi Grand Canyon around Spring festival 2013

Getting train tickets may be a challenge. What dates exactly and by train from where?

Beijing, China
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2. Re: Enshi Grand Canyon around Spring festival 2013

i was in Enshi this past year in March and there are essentially no tourists around even then, though some hotels should be open. Mostly it is a business destination but of course little business will be taking place during the Spring Festival. I stayed at a really nice new place that was RMB 220 a night but you should be able to find something OK for RMB 100. You really need to check and make sure the Grand Canyon (which is a couple of hours away) would be open, before you make firm plans. Next problem is getting there--there is normally bus service from Enshi to the nearby village to the GC entrance gate, but it may be curtailed during this period. Other option is getting a private car/driver out there, which also might be difficult especially if you don't have it set up in advance. There are a few local travel agents in Enshi who can set this up but it won't be budget. Lichuan is another nearby small city (by Tenglong Cave, very worth a visit) that is actually closer by road to the GC than Enshi. It's also on the relatively new Yichang-Chongqing line (currently standard service not HSR)..

This is a great area to visit and see some natural beauty and the Tujia people, but it's challenging if you don't speak any Mandarin. And better to visit April to October.

I traveled by overnight train from Shenzhen to Wuhan then morning flight to Enshi. At Spring Festival time, you may have to do flight all the way, I expect train tickets will be nearly impossible to get on this route since it's the Wuhan-Chengdu line. Maybe possible if you pick travel dates that are the actual date of the New Year (Feb 10) or within 3 days after. Less people traveling than before or after.

Hong Kong, China
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3. Re: Enshi Grand Canyon around Spring festival 2013

I will be in Beijing from 2nd - 7th Feb and am planning to go to Xian from there and stay until the 10th for Chinese New Year. I had hoped to pass by Enshi on my way South through China to eventually reach the border with Vietnam. However, judging by the difficulties I'm likely to face I think I'm going to have to skip Enshi and make my way as directly as possible from Xian through to Hanoi by train (which probably means returning to Beijing and taking the Beijing-Hanoi train, with any luck!)

Beijing, China
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4. Re: Enshi Grand Canyon around Spring festival 2013

Much as I love the Enshi/Lichuan area and the people, it's just not good timing due to the holiday and the weather. It's not the easiest place to get to and deal with once you're there, so I think you would be wise to skip it for now.

Uh, if you want to get from Xi'an to Hanoi, you definitely don't want to backtrack to Beijing just to take that international train. Seriously: Wise up, suck it up, and plan to overfly a whole bunch of China. It's not going to be any more expensive than a bunch of trains. Get a flight from Xi'an to Kunming or Xi'an to Nanning. Kunming will be cheaper and you might find some good early-bird fares right now. You absolutely don't want to have your plans potentially held hostage to sold out trains, day after day after day. At least from Kunming or Nanning, in real-time you could procure a bus ticket or series of bus tickets to get to Vietnam. Remember that it will be Tet holiday in Vietnam as well, so your troubles don't end at the border. But at least Tet doesn't last as long as Spring Festival.

I think you're going to have a lot of trouble getting by train from Beijing to Xi'an during the time frame you're talking about. Might consider flying that as well and booking now.

Beijing, China
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5. Re: Enshi Grand Canyon around Spring festival 2013

BTW, although off-topic, remember that you cannot get a Vietnamese visa at the border, and you'll have to allow advance time to get it before Embassies/Consulates have closed for the holidays.

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