Guangzhou to Xi'an


Guangzhou to Xi'an : 2400 km...
For several reasons, we had initially decided to drive through China without spending much time visiting. Three weeks would have to be sufficient to drive from Hong Kong to the eastern border with Kazakhstan, or approximately 6000 km. Due to our delayed departure, we have had to skip most of Central Asia. We were hoping to enter Kyrghyzstan for a week but this now also looks compromised. Never mind. We have decided to delay our crossing of the Khunjerab Pass (China-Pakistan) by a week and spend more time in China, especially Xinjang Province in Western China ! 


Guangdong Province (Capital Guangzhou, Pop. 70 million, area 186,000 sq km)

The price of diesel in China (RMB 2.60 / US$ 0.33 / BEF 13) is about half of what it is in Hong Kong. Petrol is only slightly more expensive at 2.70. Trucks and busses run on diesel, cars run on petrol. We refueled our two 90 l. tanks and did not have to stop for fuel for the next 1350 km. 


Hunan Province (Capital Changsha, Pop. 64 million, area 210,000 sq km)
On the road through Hunan. Hunan's major export is Chairman Mao, born in Shaoshang ! In Hunan, we visited the Changsha Provincial museum that houses the remains of a 2000 year old Han Dynasty mummified concubine. 

Street life in Yueyang, Hunan Province.


Hubei Province (Capital Wuhan, Pop. 58 million, area 187,000 sq km)
The mighty Yangtze river flows through the capital of Hubei Province, Wuhan, where we were kindly welcomed at the Riverside Holiday Inn. The 50 year old bridge below is one of the few bridges in China that is constantly guarded by the PLA People's Liberation Army.

Stunning glycine trees and green countryside in Hubei Province


Henan Province (Capital Zhengzhou, Pop. 91 million, area 167,000 sq km)
In Zhengzhou, we stopped heading North towards Beijing. Henan is know for its coal industry but we only saw fields of apple trees ! Below, the Song Yang Academy that houses a 4500 year old cypress tree.

A very excited crowd of school children, near the Guanxing Tai Observatory, reputedly the world's oldest (13th century) where the solar calendar was measured. In Hubei Province, we also visited the Longmen Buddhist caves 


Guanxing Tai Observatory building


Shaanxi Province (Capital Xi'an, Pop. 35 million, area 205,000 sq km)
Shaanxi Province is home to Xi'an, that once vied with Rome and Constantinople for the title of greatest city in the world. Xi'an is home to the Army of Terracotta Warriors, has great food and an interesting mix of Chinese and Islamic cultures.



Driving & camping
We have not yet been able to camp in the wild. Our national guide Mike tells us it is safer in the city than in the countryside so we have been camping in our car next to hotels in town. On a few occasions, they have accepted to put us up for the night : Holiday Inn Riverside in Wuhan (if you want the visit the Three Gorges Dam project) and the Hyatt Regency hotel in Xi'an for 3 nights (if you wish to visit the fabulous site of the Terracotta Warriors).


We thought our rooftop tent was dirty arriving in Guangzhou (left). This is how it looks now (right). 


A couple of extra pages
Xi'an Hotel Xi'an Driving in China ! Longmen caves

We are doing well !

Hong Kong - Guangzhou Back to Trip page Xi'an - Xiahe