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Through a direct personal approach, we design every tour with you in mind. Not just for any traveler, we cater specifically to people who value what we do:
- Offering flexibility when designing their tour
- Delivering an authentic experience of China
- Providing a balance of structured sightseeing and free time for exploring and adventure
- Offering a diverse choice of tour options that can be tailored to individual preferences regardless of how unusual
- Delivering the highest standard of professionalism, service and care
Our mission is simple:
Help the world uncover and experience real China.
William was our guide in Beijing, and our tour comprised 5 people including us. All the guides were very good, but William takes the star prize. He was interesting and informative, but also a laugh. The usual sights in Beijing were awesome and splendid, but the highlight was the Great Wall, as we expected. When we saw the Temple of Heaven, there is an area where people – or their mothers – have their CVs to find a marriage partner. One of the mothers took a shine to one of our party on behalf of her daughter, and when she discovered he was a lawyer, became very interested. The rest of us found this more amusing than he did!
The bullet train was a nice relaxing journey to Xi'an. Our party of 5 split on the second day as we went to different locations next, but we all saw the Terracotta Army, which is another “must see”. The wall at Xi'an is big enough and was getting decorated for the coming spring festival (year of the Rat), but after the Great Wall, was less impressive. We all enjoyed the market and had a lunch in the Muslim area which was great fun, followed by a ridiculously cheap group hotpot that evening involving much use of online translation on our phones!
The next day, Sally took over from Helen, and despite spending only part of a day with her, she was great. Having only two of us going around the Shaanxi museum, she was able to help us with anything we found interesting, going at our pace. We left on another bullet train to Chengdu.
The journey was shorter than before, and we met David, our guide. The next day was an early start to go to the Panda Base. What an amazing day! It was fabulous feeding pandas by hand and cleaning out their enclosures. The park has been designed brilliantly, so we also wandered to see other pandas (including cute red pandas). We were struck how lovely it was to be in a less built up space after our largely city based tours before. David had been to the Panda Base before, so knew what to do, and was a fantastic guide there.
Beijing had had clear blue skies and not at all polluted, contrary to what we had expected, but Xi'an and Chengdu were more polluted. This was the trade off going in winter, although this also meant that the tourist attractions were far less busy.
The next morning in Chengdu David took us to the Pavilion Park, where we sat drinking tea (green obviously) and learning Mahjong. We also managed to have our ears massaged and shoes cleaned, although the locals were most interested in our newly taught Mahjong prowess. It was a lovely way to while away a couple of hours and contributed to our stay in Chengdu being fondly very remembered. We went to the airport to fly to Shanghai.
Shanghai was about as different as anything could be to Xi'an, and even much of Beijing. It is as blingy and modern as Xi'an reflects the ancient part of the country. Our guide Hugo showed us parts of the different concessions in the city as well as the museum, but the Yuyuan Garden was lovely. Later we met up with two of our original tour group for cocktails at the rooftop bar of the Hyatt on the Bund, seeing the spectacular lights. We managed a return trip on the Maglev train which was a marvellous way to bring our China tour to an end.
In summary, the organisation was fantastic. Everything went as planned, and the guides were all very helpful and easy to talk to. The hotels were fine throughout, although in our case, we found the Chengdu hotel – which was the swankiest we stayed in – was less well placed to explore too much for places to eat, particularly as we arrived later in the day and had a long day at the Panda Base. Transportation was fine throughout, too. Bus, car, train and plane were all good.
We originally considered a private tour but went for a small group one at a lower price. This is well worth it in winter, as the group is unlikely to be even close to the 12 maximum. The mix of locations and sights was perfect for us. Prices of meals were similar or lower than we expected, so we spent less than we took with us.
There were so many highlights, so it is difficult to choose which pictures to show, but the attached is a very small sample from what was a truly wonderful holiday.
To avoid the misunderstanding, that could be interpreted as a deception, in the itinerary of the tour, the program details must be utterly succinct and concise, i.e. Day 1: Receive the tour guests from Airport and deliver guests to the prebooked hotel. Tour guide will briefly explain the tour to the guests. This is the first day of arrival, the tour manager would like to leave the guest a resting time for recovering after a long flight.
While Beijing and Xi'an stops were very well organized and rich history, the Gullin - Yangshuo and Shanghai stops were shallow. In Gullin - Yangshuo stop, if the tour guide were not as good and friendly, this stage would be very boring. We were very lucky to have Sue as a tour guide, she was so excellent in her English and her deep knowledge of China that shined the tour stop in a very different direction.
In Shanghai stop, I would expect the tour guide would lead us to the Shanghai historical museum where we would learn the bitter lessons of the 1930 - 1945 chaotic period in Chinese history, we were taking to the Parks which we could find them ourselves. Shanghai has so many historical monuments to attract international traveling guests, not the riverside where it showed the newly built highrise skyscrapers, we have seen them enough in New York, Singapore, or even in KL. We would like to know the history of Shanghai club, the details of the day when the Japanese planes dropped bombs over the city's residential areas, etc.
It would be very useful to prepare a china-tour booklet in advance, such that the details of the 2020 tours include detailed programs of the year i.e. how many stops of the tour, cities, historical locations, etc.
* Beijing (Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Place, Mutianyu Great Wall, Hutong Tour, Temple of Heaven)
* Datong (Yungang Grottoes, Shanhua Monastery)
* Pingyao (Hanging Temple of Mount Hengshan, Wooden Pagoda in Ying County, Pingyao Ancient City Wall, Rishengchang Draft Bank, Qiao Family Compound, Shuanglin Monastery)
* Xi'an (Terra-Cotta Warriors, Museum, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, City Wall, Great Mosque)
* Dunhuang (Echoing-Sand Dunes, Crescent Lake, Magao Grottoes)
* Jiayuguan (City Gate, Overhanging Great Wall, Museum (Beginning of the Silk Road))
* Zhangye (Giant Buddha Temple, Danxia Landform (Rainbow Mountains))
* Wuwei (Leitai Tomb of Han Dynasty)
* Lanzhou (Binglingsi Grottoes)
* Chengdu (Wenshu Monastery, Giant Pandas, Wangjang Pavillion Park, Jinli Street)
* Leshan (Giant Buddha)
* Emei Mountain (Wannian Monastery, Baoguo Temple)
* Dazu (Rock Carvings)
* Yangtze River Cruise (Shibaozhai, Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, Shennong Stream, Three Gorges Dam)
* Zhangjiajie (Tianmen Mountain, Grand Canyon, Glass Bridge, Hallelujah Mountains (Avatar), Tianzi Mountain, Ten-mile Natural Gallery, Golden Whip Stream)
* Fenghuang (Stilt Houses on Tuojiang River)
* Hangzhou (Feilai Park, West Lake, Tea Plantation)
* Wuzhen Water Town
* Shanghai (Tongli Water Town, Master of the Nests Garden) I highly recommend China Tours. I'm now very excited to go back to China and finish the rest of my planned trip in 2020! Thanks again for an outstanding tour!
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