Overland Kunming to Hong Kong

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Overland Kunming to Hong Kong

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This article is an itinerary.

Yunnan and Hong Kong are two of China's more popular tourist areas. This article discusses overland travel between them, passing through another famous area around Guilin.


South West China is, in some ways, the most exotic area of China, largely populated by various ethnic minorities with interesting handicrafts, languages, folk music and so on. It is also a poor area, relatively cheap to travel in overall.

Some areas have been or are being developed for tourism; there you can expect to find some modern amenities, Western food, English speakers, and (by Chinese standards) high prices. Once you get out of those areas, expect none of the above.


Get in

The two end points, Kunming and Hong Kong, both have good air links to various places. See their articles and Discount airlines in Asia for details. Both also have rail connections to the rest of China.


This article does not cover travelling around within Yunnan or near Hong Kong. See those articles and A week near Hong Kong for suggestions.

There are two main overland routes betwen Kunming and Guilin:

  • train into Guangxi, with sensational mountain scenery, either stopping at Nanning or going all the way to Guilin
  • train into Guizhou, visit China's biggest waterfall, to Guiyang and Kaili, then by bus through less travelled country to Gulin

From Guilin, continue to the tourist town Yangshuo, then:

Either way, you can reach Hong Kong.


Stay safe

These areas are generally quite poor and petty theft is common. Take precautions against pickpockets and watch for things like razor attacks on luggage during bus or train rides.

Armed robbery is rare, but has been reported. Victims are generally lone travellers, often female. Try to stay in a group, especially on treks through isolated areas.

Altitude sickness is a risk in some areas. especially if you go west of Kunming up toward the Himalayas.

Get out

You can fly from Kunming to many major Chinese cities and to some places in Southeast Asia. From Hong Kong, you can fly almost anywhere. See those articles for details.

Both cities are also well connected to the Chinese rail network. From Kunming, the possibilities are:

  • West to Dalian, a popular overnight tourist route.
  • North into Sichuan, heading for Chengdu.
  • Northeast into Guizhou, described in routes above. That train continues on into central China.
  • Southeast into Guangxi, described in routes above.
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