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
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
Sorry for so long salience from my side. Had a lot of work plus business trips ….
Firstly I want to thank you for perfectly organizing things inside our trip in China. Everything was as agreed except one. If you ask my opinion regarding guides the weakest was in Lhasa and strongest were in Shangri-La and Beijing. If you need details – please ask.
In my opinion in all areas of life all people can improve. And there is no end to this process. That way I’m writing to you theses small remarks. But if I have to evaluate the services I have received from your company I can state 10 out of 10!
Once more than you for perfect services!
Date of experience: 21/05/2018-18/06/2018
My wife and I brought eight college students to China for two weeks in January. I was a little hesitant to use a Chinese tour company, but Alex Guan provided a better itinerary at a better price than anyone else. He also answered all email queries immediately. The tour went off without a hitch. Alex accompanied us to ensure everything went smoothly, and he had arranged excellent guides and drivers in every city (Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Yangshuo, Hangzhou, and Shanghai). The hotels exceeded our expectations, and the meals he had arranged were superb. On top of all that, Alex is a great guy who we all really enjoyed getting to know. I have no hesitation in whole-heartedly recommending China Expedition Tours and Alex Guan!
Date of experience: 05/01/2017-18/01/2017
This is our first China Trip. Our guides did a wonderful job. All drivers are very nice,we don't have to worry about the driving. The hotel in Xi'an is very beautiful. Thank you so much for this wonderful trip!
Date of experience: 21/06/2018-30/06/2018
My friend and I had a wonderful time trip in China. We were impressed with the quality of the hotels and food, and the knowledge of local tour guides.We learned so much about Chinese history and culture! Your guides were so patient and helpful in answering our questions and accommodating our special requests.
Our only suggestion would be to allow more free time in each of the cities like relaxing at a cafe to enjoy the atmosphere or strollin in the city street. On the other hand, there is so much to see, so we were glad that the itinerary was full.
We have already recommended your company to some of our friends. Your well-run service is worth of it.Thanks again for the wonderful experience.
Date of experience: 01/08/2012-11/08/2012
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