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
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
We took the private Li River hiking tour from China Expedition Tours in October 2019. For us it was a very spontaneous decision. We contacted the company just 1 day before the trip but everything ended up being just perfect! They reacted quickly, everything was organized as promised incl. convenient payment method. So, in the morning our private English-speaking guide - Alex was expecting us at the lobby of our hotel. The driver was also waiting for us in the spacious and very clean car parked in front of the hotel.
The hiking itself was brilliant. Firstly, we visited the panoramic spots, where we really enjoyed the breathtaking views of Li River and mountains from above. Than the driver dropped us with Alex at one of the villages, where we started our journey along the river through ancient villages, local farms, wild nature and peacefulness. We went the paths you have absolutely no chance to find on your own as they were hidden in the woods and mountains. Alex was so helpful and informative! He showed us many interesting things (such as ancient paths, the cotton and mandarine fields, etc.) and explained a lot about local culture and way of life. He answered every single question we asked and was taking care of us on every stage of our journey. We made a stop for brunch and shared the food with each other on the peaceful riverbank. On late afternoon we arrived to designated place where the driver was already waiting for us to bring us back to our hotel. We asked Alex to give us advice, where to buy a tasteful tea from Guilin. He was glad to show us his favorite local tea store, where we could enjoy delicious teas and get the insights into tea culture of China.
Don't hesitate to book this hiking tour! it's worth every penny!!
We would like to thank China Expedition Tour and especially Alex from the bottom of our hearts for this unbelievable experience! We hope to be able to see him again in the future and take another tour with China Expedition Tour also in other cities of China.
Date of experience: 15/10/2019-15/10/2019
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
We had a wonderful trip down the LiRiver near Guilin with China Expeditions, and had a lot of fun at the rice terraces!
Date of experience: 13/04/2018-17/04/2018
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
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