Hi Monica.The tour went very well and as I said to Helen.we can never prepare a tour in China so we will be looking to another 4 or 5 cities to do next time with you help. lease note that what I say below is not critical but for you to give some thought to.
Beijing:Guide Rock was good in so much as picking us up and listening to what we asked of him in information. He could have been more forward in pointing out things of interest without us having to ask as I think that is his job and he should be constantly pointing out things of interest for but he spent majority of time talking to the driver (about what we do not know as it was Chinese)
Xian:Grace was very good and we learnt so much. The hotel was the best I have
been in for a long time. My previous 2 visits the hotels were in the centre and only average.
Guilin:Lizzie kept us informed and entertained. I think the rice fields tour should be included in your tours as they really enjoyed it.The better rice field tour I have been on twice was unavailable due to road works.
Shanghai:Guilie was good but could do a little more talking about matters of interest.I think one water town visit is enough as the 2nd is virtually the same as the first.There must be other items of interest in such a large city.
Thanks again for your interest in our discussion and ging them an insight into China.Best wishes to Alex and the future for the company.
Date of experience: 19/05/2017-31/05/2017
Jenny and Bevan
We had an amazing trip, thank you so much for all your hard work in putting together our itinerary. All the guides were wonderful and their knowledge was incredible. They could not do enough for us and were always punctual, polite and fun.The hotels were very well chosen, great locations, rooms were beautiful and food was abundant.
We even had an upgrade on arrival in Bejing which was a lovely way to start our holiday. By the time Peter had finished with us in Bejing, I think I knew all there was to know about the Emperors and Dynasties. What would have helped would have been a “Time Line” brochure, so we could refer to which period was being talked about and where each Emperor fit in as there was so much to remember. Although we had a very full itinerary, I would have liked to see the Silk Road Markets in Bejing, I hear they are very interesting.The terracotta Soldiers in Xien were far more impressive than I had thought they would be. Grace was such a lovely Guide and obviously very proud of her job and what she has to show her guests.While we were in Guilin Amber suggested we take the chair lift to the top of a mountain and view Guilin from there. I am so glad we did, it was amazing.
Bevan came back down on the chairlift and I decided to take the louge with Amber, it was so much fun, even for someone my age (54).As we were a little early for the acrobatic show in Shanghai, Colin very kindly took us to a wonderful shopping precinct close by to the theatre, this was very much appreciated and I believe should be added to the itinerary. Colin also suggested we take the night cruise which we loved, Shangahi is so beautiful at night and what a great way to see it. The “Mag Lev” train to the airport was fantastic, my husband had always wanted to do this and was not disappointed, I think this should be offered as an extra when selling Shanghai.
All our drivers were fantastic. We felt safe at all times even though the traffic in China was very different to what we are used to. The only thing that would
have been nice was to return to a cool vehicle, although this was not always possible I am sure.
The only thing that I was sometimes disappointed with was the choice of lunch venues. We chose your company because it was for small groups or in our case, only two people, and in some places we were in large dining rooms with large groups of tourists. I am sure these places are chosen for their locations and the food which was served which was wonderful.
We had a most wonderful holiday and I will most certainly recommend China Expedition Tours to everyone. I do hope we can visit China again very soon.
Jenny and Bevan
Date of experience: 19/08/2017-03/09/2017
Dear Sue, Sorry that I didn't reply you immediately. Below is my evaluation of the tour. We were happy with the service of the tour guide, they varied in abilities, but they all tried very hard to please us. The best guide was Summer in Xi'an. She was very professional, her English was excellent and her knowledge of Xi'an and the archaeological details were impressive. We were also impressed with the guide in Beijing for his knowledge of history. Drivers in general were well educated persons with good knowledge of traffic and safe driving. Cars were clean and showed good mechanical conditions. The hotel of the three cities were all comfortable and humanized. In Beijing, the Pecking Duck left me great impression, and the Tian'anmen Square were so crowed. Many people of China came to visit this square. Xian was a ancient capital. The noodle there are delicious, and I still miss the food there. Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Garden, Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Shanghai Museum were worthy of going. The traffic of Shanghai was relatively better than that of Beijing, I considered. The laat stop to Guilin was also fantastic, and we plan to visit other cities of China in the future. This time, we had a very enjoyable experience with China Expedition Tours, my husband and I would definitely use CET again for our next trip in China. Sincerely, Paul &Kerry Williams
Date of experience: 25/08/2016-06/09/2016
I traveled to China for the first time this past January. The trip was well-planned and fun from start to finish. Not only did Alex Guan do a fantastic job working with our travel dates and funds to fit a lot into our itinerary, he's also a great individual to talk to and travel with. If I had any questions or concerns, I felt extremely comfortable bringing them to Alex. The same was true of the the guides he had for us in each city. They were all very knowledgable and informative. I definitely learned a lot from this trip with China Expedition Tours. However, I also feel like Alex provided us several opportunities (scheduled and unscheduled) to break the "tourist" barrier and experience the Chinese culture. One of my favorite parts of the trip was taking a bike ride in Yangshuo with our guide, David. He arranged for us to stop by a local woman's house. She gave us a tour and shared fresh fruit and peanuts with us from her garden. With China Expedition Tours, you're guaranteed an unforgettable and highly enjoyable trip! I will be contacting Alex Guan the next time I visit China!
Date of experience: 06/01/2017-21/01/2017
I just wanted to comment on what a wonderful experience my husband and I had in China. We truly miss the beauty that China has to offer. Not only that, my overall experience with CET was better than expected. What I truly miss about China is the person! I am Asian myself, and I enjoy people. Now that we are back at home, as we get up every morning. It’s sad to not see people outside like in China. Again I want to express my heartfelt appreciation on what a wonderful experience we had with you. you has truly made our Vacation a Vacation that my husband and I will remember and cherish a lifetime!
Date of experience: 15/08/2016-11/10/2016
Richard and Sylvia
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
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