The quality of the trips was generally good. The best experience was hiking on the Great Wall in Beijing. All guides were professional, service oriented and well trained. All guides had a fairly good command of English, some better, some less. The normal communication went well. We were very much pleased with Alex, our guide in Shanghai, who gave us very useful and to the point information. We very much appreciated his great sense of humor. All cars were clean and the drivers were always punctual and did their best to bring us safely to the visit sites. The whole trip was extremely well organized. Everything went smoothly without incidents and we are fully satisfied with the organization provided by CET. Best regards,
Date of experience: 04/09/2016-01/11/2016
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
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
Thank you for offer the 14 days China tour, it's amazing! everything is amazing! the hotels,the attractions, travel guides,drivers..... we will recommend you to all our friends. tks again.
Date of experience: 10/04/2018-23/04/2018
It seems a little difficult for me to figure out which is the best one in my tour because all are wonderful. I really like the Garden of the Master of Nets in Suzhou; it is a classical Chinese garden. For the shooting experience, the Great Wall made me impressed the most, it was just very amazing. Next morning, I enjoyed the beautiful sunrise at the top of the Xianggongshan Hill. Next, we had the cormorant fishing and took many photos with the white beard fisherman and his cormorants standing on his bamboo raft. It was very special that shooting on the Bund in Shanghai they organized. I had such a great shooting experience. This was a bucket list trip for me. Stepping foot on the Great Wall, seeing the Warriors, experiencing the few remaining cormorant fishermen, it was all breathtaking and deeply informative. Alex and Peter provided great insight on their country.
Date of experience: 01/09/2019-14/09/2019
My daughters and I went to Shanghai to attend an Expo,thus we had limited time for sightseeing. My daughters wanted to see the mountains of Huangshan (Yellow Mountains) and the ancient village of Hongcun. Our only available days were April 30 to May 2, which unfortunately is a long holiday in China thus a lot of Chinese were expected to visit these very popular tourist sites. China Expedition Tours rearranged our schedule to make sure that we will not be wasting our limited time on lining up. They also assigned to us an energetic and very knowledgeable tour guide who also spoke English very well. China Expedition Tours’ attention to details made sure that we were able to appreciate the culture and craftsmanship of the Chinese people (which dates back to centuries ago) and to enjoy the mystical Yellow Mountains.
Date of experience: 29/04/2018-01/05/2018
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