After looking at trip advisor, we picked 3 China based travel agencies who we thought might be able to plan a tour of the area around Beijing. One agency suggested factory tours from the outset whilst another was fairly insistent that we travel overnight by train, but Monica proved to be thoughtful and flexible.
We have friends in Beijing and so started and ended our trip with them.
She suggested a day trip to the Great Wall from Beijing plus a tour of Pingyao, Xi'an and Luoyang with 3 bullet train journeys and one plane flight.
We decided not to go with a couple of her suggestions, but she was comfortable with that and re-jigged the trips to suit.
The actual guides provided are generally contractors who can work for several agencies depending on the work available. But the choice of which guides to employ still falls on the travel agency (and availability).
We were also very happy with our guides "Nelson" in Pingyao/Taiyuan, "Grace" in Xi'an and "Frank" in Luoyang as well as the drivers. They all turned up flawlessly on time for every appointment, helped us order lunch and always seemed happy.
There appear to be one or two 'scams' running with guides taking commission on purchases made. But having ordered an evening dance show + meal at our hotel "Grand New World" our guide in Xi'an certainly earned what ever commission she got by making sure that my meal contained no sugar or MSG/Soy Sauce.
Chinese drivers seem to learn to all drive at the Kamikaze school of motoring, but the drivers in Pingyao, Xi'an and Luoyang (Frank did his own driving) (also contracted but independently of the guides) did a good job of not frightening us too much.
Chinese cyclists and motor cyclists don't even follow the correct direction of flow and often drive on the wrong side of the road. Chinese drivers hoot constantly if they want to overtake and can't quite squeeze by!
Coffee in China generally doesn't seem very good (apart from at the large American chains).
The Tian yuan kui hostel in Pingyao is an interesting mixture of traditional and modern. The staff were extremely lovely and the food was tasty. The hundreds of recommendations on A3 sheets on the wall in English, French, Italian, Spanish and other languages were also testament to that.
The Grand New World hotel in Xi'an was a slice of America transported to China. Service was slightly variable. E.g. I had to go to 3 receptionists in order to find the one who was allowed to do checkouts. English from staff was variable though usually adequate.
The Peony Hotel in Luoyang was also like a slice of America. Our safe would not work as it had no batteries in it. We struggled with language problems for about half an hour to get 4 new batteries to fit into it and then to get the Chinese maintenance lady to fit them right way round.
The manager agreed a special picnic lunch for our train journey, but I ended up having to explain to francophone Chinese tour guide in French what we needed! But I guess episodes like this make a tour more interesting.
Many thanks to Monica for arranging this memorable holiday.
Date of experience: 01/09/2017-13/09/2017
We had a great trip (Xian, Guilin, Tibet, Yangtze River Cruise). What a memorable time for me and my two sons. We are in Beijing for the next 2 weeks with my wife and will be doing some site seeing around the city so I have many more photos to take.
Thank you so much for assitance with the planning of the trip. Everything went smoothly and we had a great time!
I recently just discovered the Trip Advisor App for my iPhone. It has been really useful so I will post something on the web site for China Expedition Tours.
Date of experience: 08/07/2017-24/07/2017
Dear , We happily got the flexible individual tour we wanted. The reason we paid extra money to tour as a small family was the expectation that each guide would to be able to be flexible to meet our individual needs and interests. We could not be happier with the delivery of CET and each of their city guides. They met and exceeded our standards consistently. We spent the most time with your guides. The visit to the wall including the bike ride was enjoyed by all. The Li river cruise is simply outstanding and memorable. The drive through the country side in open air bus was a hit. Thanks,
Date of experience: 11/09/2016-17/10/2016
Alex, Our tour was wonderful! I felt like we visited the top sights in China and we did it thoroughly. The hotels were beautiful and every meal offered a huge selection and exceptional service. I would gladly recommend China Expedition Tour to anyone wanting to visit China! From the very first question until the last day, the service was impeccable. Quick response and explanations of all inquiries. Excellent! Sincerely!
Date of experience: 20/08/2014-03/09/2014
Hello,Alex.Let me thank you for the wonderful experience you provided us during our ten days tour of Beijing , Xian, Guilin and Shanghai.
The guides(Lucy,Jerry,Monica and Angela) are so nice, they are really informative and patient with every questions.They have very good use of the English language.
The entire China Expedition Tours experience was really a great one and we would feel safe in recommending your company to anyone interested on visiting your fascinating country.Once again thank you so much for being there for us.
Happiest of the Holiday season to one and all.
Linda and Willima
Date of experience: 19/07/2014-29/07/2014
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
I cannot thank you enough for all of your coordination for our trip in Guilin. Mandy and I thoroughly enjoyed Alex Guan, tour guide, and Mr. Jong (the driver). Alex also has a good command of the English language and a good sense of humor. Alex was very attentive, punctual and could easily resolve whatever issue we brought up. I would highly recommend Alex for any tour. He wondered why he wasn’t our guide on Monday at the orphanage and I told him that for some reason a Linn from BLAS got involved for that arrangement and I thought she was with the government in order to get us into the orphanage. Alex told us to call him if there were any problems.
Date of experience: 25/06/2012-11/07/2012
Select your desired option below to share a direct link to this page
and get reply within 12 hours!
For the very best in China tours
Filter our seach options to find the best suited tour