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2006 Customer Reviews

  • Clients: Ms. Johanna Choy & Mr. Daniel Choy Boyar
  • Country: United States
  • Email:
Oct 31,2006
Dear Emma,

Please forgive me for sending you this note so late, but I want to tell you about our experience in China in August. Thank you for working so closing with me to plan our tour on the Silk Road. My son and I had a wonderful time in China. Everything you scheduled for us went well and I would like to share our experience with you.


Urumqi/Turpan Guide: "Richard"
Richard was very prompt in meeting us at the designated times at our hotel and very knowledgeable in the history and government of the places we visited and China as a whole. He had very good English, and was the best English-speaker of our three tour guides. Richard had a very good sense of humor and was easy to talk to. He gave us plenty of free time to do things on our own, which we liked and was very flexible with the day's touring schedule. He even gave us options at the beginning of each day for us to plan our own itinerary. The city of Urumqi was a great place for us to start our vacation because it bridged the western environment we came from with the developing regions of Xinjiang that we saw later in the trip. The Southern Pasture waterfall was a nice scenic location, but it was a long drive to see it. Heavenly Lake was beautiful, but perhaps we should have arrived earlier to avoid the throngs of domestic tourists who arrive in the late morning. Turpan was very hot, with temperatures reaching up to 48C. Some of the scenic attractions like the ancient cities and caves were difficult to appreciate because it was just too hot.


Kashgar Guide: Muhammad
Kashgar is by far our favorite city of our vacation. The friendly and approachable people, the Uyghur culture, and the hustle and bustle of everyday life in Kashgar is a fascinating eye-opener for any Westerner who has never been to Central Asia. Because it was so different from our home in New York City, we found every single aspect of life very interesting. Kashgar is a photographer's heaven for capturing images that are glimpses into the past. While the rest of the Western world is wired up and interconnected, Kashgar remains, for the most part, unchanged for centuries. Farmers may have mobile phones, but they still count the teeth of donkeys to check their age at the Sunday Market. Muhammad was a superior tour guide for Kashgar and is the perfect person for the job. He is young, energetic, knowledgeable, forthcoming, and honest. Without needing us to ask many questions, Muhammad often told us all he knew about where we were going, what we were seeing along the way, and other facts about Kashgar and Uyghur life that we did not know. Muhammad went out of his way to make sure we had a pleasant stay at the hotel. On the first night, our hotel room's lock did not work and he came to our room to help resolve the problem with the hotel staff even after 12am midnight. We did not ask him to come, but he did so on his own volition and we really appreciated it. I accidentally deleted my pictures in my digital camera from the Sunday Market, so on the way to and from Karakul Lake, Muhammad made a stop at a Monday Market in a village called Usp southwest of Kashgar so I can take some more pictures. This was another example of Muhammed going beyond what was required of him as our guide to accommodate us. Throughout the tour, Muhammad was very attentive to our needs and gave us the best opportunity to experience Kashgar.


Urumqi-Dunhuang Transit
The overnight train was a lot more comfortable than what we had expected. We had an entire berth (2 bunk beds) to ourselves and the beds themselves were very clean and comfortable. The train had a smooth ride and was fairly quiet for the overnight journey across the desert. Having traveled on many airplanes all across China, taking a train was a welcome change.


Dunhuang Guide: "Richard" Dunhuang was also a very hot and dry city, but we were still able to enjoy the sights. By far our favorite destination was the Echoing Sands Mountain and riding the camels up to watch the spectacular sunrise. The view was amazing and the experience of being we've only seen on photos and movies was worth getting up before dawn to see. The Magao Grottoes were breathtaking, as it was difficult to imagine how the Buddhas were built so large, so long ago.


Xian and Shanghai
We did not hire a tour guide for these two cities, but it was easy to get around with taxis. The hotels you booked for us were wonderful. We stayed in the Hyatt at Xian. Hyatt has the best food among all the hotels we had stayed in. They had a large food selection and were prepared well. Ramanda at Shanghai was in a very convenience location for shopping and sightseeing. Chinese language music CDs in Shanghai were very inexpensive and my son brought several.


We had such a good time in China and would like to return someday to visit other parts of your country. We will let our friends know about your services.

Johanna Choy
  • Clients: Ms. Bellosta Perrine and Mr. Rollin Christophe
  • Email:
Nov 6,2006
Good morning, Here are my answers to your questions. In a global way, we appreciate the meals. I would recommend the first restaurant we made on our arrival in Lhasa (sorry but I do not remember the name)... We could have been there for another meal... In an other type, we appreciate a lot the two restaurants we had near the Jokhang temple and that had some indian , Nepali and Tibetan dishes (lhasa kitchen and namaste). We really appreciated Tatsumo, she was always very dynamic ansd patient with us. I am happy she was our guide. I think Tatsumo spoke a good english and knew a lot of vocabulary... Some times pronunciation was not that great but we enjoyed trying to understand as a game with us. We leave in China so we have seen a lot worth. The driver was always very kind, smiling and clean (which is not always the case) the car was always cleaned every day. Nothing else to say. At the beginning I was a little bit afraid to pass through a website only to plan my trip in Tibet but I had had some great experiences with your compmay before on hotel-booking services (quick answers, great advice) so I chose them to organize this amazing trip. I do not regret it a second, it was really worth the money when afterwards you look at everything you have done in a week (plane, hotels, breakfast, lunch, dinners, visits, rides). Even if I am young and full of energy I would never be able to set a better or cheaper trip in Tibet by my-self, I realze it now. We had a very nice realtionship with the guide and the driver which makes the trip even more plesant... The program was very flexible according to our desires...If one day I have the opportunity to come back to Tibet I would certainly chose your company again! I wish you to do the same! Sincerely yours Perrine Bellosta
  • Clients: Ms. Melanie Tom Rufo
  • Country: United States
Aug 10,2006
Dear Maggie Ye and Sally Si,

Having lived and worked in China for two years, I knew what foods to expect at mealtime. I felt the meals were quite lavish, and food was always plentiful. I noticed that others preferred non-chinese food, after our second day on tour, but I enjoyed the meals throughout the tour.

I enjoyed trying each region's cuisine from the Beijing KaoYa in the pancake, to the dumpling dinner in Xian. Unfortunately, we didn't fire our tongues with Chongqing Hot Pot which I've heard is fantastic!

No, our tour guides were very helpful and knowledgeable about the history and current events of the places we visited. Our Beijing tour guide was conscientious about keeping us altogether. Our Xian tour guide was very informative about China's history.

More importantly, I enjoyed asking our guides how China's current economic growth has impacted their lives. Their candid responses were facinating and helped me understand the value of open communication and dialogue among people from different cultures. Thank you!

The drivers were excellent, and conscientious about cleanliness and safety. After leaving wallet and camera in the bus, the guide suggested I return to the bus to retrieve those valuable items. She phoned the driver from atop the Wall, while I ran down to get my things. The driver remotely opened the door, allowed me to get my bag, then closed the door behind me. I felt my belongings were safe in the bus, but I appreciate the effort the guide and driver went through to accomodate me.

In my own country, thieves can break into tour buses and take personal belongings.It's a poor example for other tourists wanting to come to Hawaii. I really appreciate the safer environment in China.

The travel china tour guides were personable, and funny. I particularly enjoyed tour guides who were relaxed and used humor to liven up the journey. For example, Max who took us to see the Three Gorges Dam Model Room, made jokes about his coffee name (Maxwell House).

I also enjoyed asking our guides about how the average Chinese benefited from economic growth evident in the larger cities we passed through. What changes had they seen in the past 20 years while growing up in Beijing or Xi'an. What do their parents think about China's rapid development growth, and change. For me, these conversations were far more interesting than emperors and dynasties.

Finally, I appreciated the lecture with professor (Dr. Yao) in Xian. Her lecture was informative and factual, and she did not try to paint a rosy picture of China's history. Her experiences in China and the US made her facinating to listen to and observe. I would have enjoyed spending more time with her, The lecture provided all of us with a better understanding of China's people, its history and values and hopes for the future.

Finally, thank you Maggie and Sally for answering my questions about the tour. Your e-mails were timely and personable. Also, thank you for meeting us personally with a t-shirt, and a hand-shake in Xian Hyatt Hotel. It was nice to meet the faces behind the name.

Warm wishes and Aloha- Melanie
  • Clients: Mr. John T Kearns & Ms. Jane G Kearns
  • Country: United States
  • Email:
Aug 23,2006
Dear Cynthia,

We were quite satisfied with our China tour from Travel China Guide. At the beginning of the tour in Chongqing, our guide, whose name we have forgotten, met us at the airport, and did a very nice job of showing us around to the Stillwell museum and the zoo. He even accommodated our request by taking us to the zoo on the monorail. Chongqing is an impressive city, and the pandas in the zoo are also wonderful..

The dinner in Chongqing at the Holiday Inn was spectacular. There was an amazing variety of really excellent dishes, beautifully presented. That banquet was a perfect way to begin our travels.

On our boat, the Princess Elaine, our accommodations were comfortable, and the staff worked hard to make our trip a success. Meals on the boat seemed carefully planned. We had many dishes to choose from, and all of them were appetizing and tasty. Each buffet was beautifully decorated by a wonderfully talented chef; a treat to see as well as to eat. We were delighted to have so much opportunity to perfect our skills at using chopsticks. We also liked the entertainment provided by the talented young people working on the boat. And we enjoyed the demonstrations and displays of arts and crafts.

The guide on the boat, Helen, who addressed the English-speaking passengers, does a really terrific job. She is knowledgeable about the sights to be seen from the boat, and about the history and customs of people living along the river. Helen is energetic, well organized, and extremely cheerful. She seems to enjoy her job, and she makes her audience enjoy their tour. Her contribution to everyone's enjoyment of the trip down the Yangtze is enormous.

The excursions to Fengdu and to take the pea pod boats on the Shennong Stream added a lot to our trip. Our guides for these trips were quite good, but the sights that we saw were so impressive that they overshadowed what the guides could tell us. We would have found it helpful to have one or two sheets explaining the temples and their significance before we got to Fengdu. The Taoist temple is especially complicated with its paintings, statues, and displays, and it would have been nice to have read in a little detail about what we were to see.

In Wuhan, we enjoyed our guide Steven (we think that was his name). He was cheerful and funny, and kept us entertained. We thought the Provincial museum, and the musical performance on the replicas of ancient instruments were quite wonderful. We also liked the bonsai garden, and very much appreciated Steven's help in getting us checked in at the airport. He went out of his way to be helpful.

We are quite willing to have you list our names and address on your website.

Jane and John Kearns
  • Clients: Mr. Jeffrey Charles Bellinger, Ms. Claudia Helen Bellinger, Mr. Patrick Charles Bellinger, Ms. Julia Claire Bellinger, Jack Carlton Bellinger & Geneviev Anne Bellinger
  • Country: United States
  • Email:
Sep 6,2006
Hello from the Bellinger's,

Below are some comments about our trip:

Our trip to China was only 3 days, so we decided to do most meals on our own. Christine took us to a wonderful restaurant with excellent food and service. We had been to China before with a guided adoption trip and this restaurant was the best we had ever experienced in China. The attached hotel looked beautiful too!

Christine possessed a perfect working attutide and very conscientious towards our family. She had excellent knowledge of all the places we visited. The driver did not speak English, but that was never a problem. Our guide told elegant, interesting stories that kept us all entertained.

The driver was excellent and patient. He waited for us several times while we took some time to shop or to find a bathroom for the kids. The van was clean, with beautiful dust free windows! (Everything was dusty in Beijing but not our van!) It was the perfect vehicle for our family.

Christine became like a sister to us in the few short days of our trip. She treated us like her family. We cried when she sent us off at the airport. China was our second stop in 2 week trip around the world and it was also our most favorite destination thanks to Christine. She has an excellent knowledge of everything that we saw. She kept us moving and even helped out with our kids. In one day we managed a Jade Factory tour, Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Lunch, Hutong tour and the Kung Fu show! A perfect pace for us! It is evident that Christine loves what she does! We highly recommend Christine and our driver to anyone visiting China, especially families with children.

Our hotel was superior! We rarely stay in a place so nice even here in the US. The restaurants were incredible! The staff bent over backwards to make sure our connecting rooms were perfect.

There was not one disappointing minute during our trip! Thank you for the most unforgetable memories of beautiful China!
  • Clients: Ms. Janice Edith Visinko & Mr. Marino Guiseppe Visinko
  • Country: Australia
  • Email:
Sep 8,2006
Hi Cynthia,

We are here pleased to give our comments on our recent China travel and try to answer all of the questions you required.

Overall we very much enjoyed the meals provided, the most enjoyed was the Dumpling Dinner on day 2, although the lunch at the Buddhist Temple was not to our western taste. We found the Dumpling Dinner not only delicious but our waitress explained the meal and pointed out the humorous shapes of the dumplings.

We had one guide, Helen. We were surprised to learn she was relatively new at her job because she was so knowledgeable about the history of her country and offered us valuable information in a timely, professional manner. Helen was very helpful in relation to my (Jan) slight disability and both her and the driver, Mr Chen, ensured our safety when getting in and out of the vehicle.

Helen's knowledge of the English language and pronunciation was easy for us to understand, and where there was slight difficulty Helen would repeat with patience so that we did understand.

Mr Chen is a very safe, patient and experienced driver. The traffic in Xian is more chaotic than we are used to, but we never felt unsafe in Mr Chen's hands. The car was clean at all times and there was more than sufficient cold bottled water provided.

The knowledge, patience, expertise of both Helen and Mr Chen was deeply appreciated. We had not traveled in China prior so we very much appreciated having their assistance which made the entire tour a most memorable experience. Having a feeling of complete safety, that we were getting expert information about the fantastic museums and other tour inclusions, and being informed of a great optional extra - the performance on Day 2 after the Dumpling Dinner is something worth recommending to others. We have two other things to recommend to other travelers: 1) get TravelChinaGuide to organize flights - we arranged our own only to discover our flights via Chongqing to Xian were not actual transfers which caused us confusion and time wasted, and 2) try to have a tour that is longer than three days to have some free time incorporated, but as we did not have the luxury of more time the three days was our choice this time. The hotel we stayed at is worth mentioning as it was very comfortable and clean, with lots of choices for breakfasts (and other meals). Please thank both Helen and Mr Chen for making this tour something we can keep in our hearts and minds forever. We have traveled extensively and have a lot to compare this tour with and TravelChinaGuide should be pleased to have both Helen and Mr Chen on board.
  • Clients: Dr. Nicoll and Michelle
  • Country: United States
  • Email:
Aug 29,2006
Dear Emma Lu and all,

I am sending you my impressions of your service. The time spent in Hong Kong was very nicely organized and Alex was a good professional Guide. I will Email you pictures from different places along the trip. The stop in Guangzhou and Chengdu was pleasant and the Guide in Guangzhou was very good.

At the arrival in Lhasa we met the Guide Mr. Penpa Tsring and the driver Mr. Zhang Peng. In Tsetang we visited the Samye Monastery and Yumbu Lakang which were very well selected. Lasha was a very nice place with Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple. The trip through out Tibet was very interesting and fascinating. Lake Namtso and the landscape of Grassland were beautiful. We were very disappointed we could not visit the Snake River. Shigase, Shegar, Dingri were a wonderful experience by meeting very nice friendly local people and viziting the old beautiful Monasteries in that area.

The trip to the Everest Camp Base and the visit of Rongbuk Monastery was one of the highlights of our trip. We were very pleased with the itinerary selected. We like to specially mention the Guide Mr. Penpa Tsring and the driver Mr. Zhang Peng for the following:

-The Guide Mr. Penpa Tsring for the help he provided us in a professional manner in guiding the trip, explaining, knowledge in history, geography, religion. His english language was very good.

-The Driver Mr. Zhang Peng for the help provided in transportation and accommodating our needs. They did a very good job for both of us. We strongly recommend them for future trips.

If possible send us their address so we can send them the pictures that we took together during the trip.

Our guide and driver transfer us in Zhangmu to the Guide in Nepal. The itinerary in Nepal was very well selected. In Katmandu the hotel was very good. The trip in the Country side to Temple Tiger and Pokhara were very interesting. We were very dissapointed because the 4 wheel drive Jeep ( we paid extra money for it) and it is a "must" for the type of bad roads they have, broke down. We had to wait in a dusty dangerous road in the middle of the heavy traffic for four hours until they sent another car to get back us to the hotel.

Over all this China trip was very nice and we want to thank you and all at Travel China Guide for all services provided. We will consider and recommend you for future trips.

Best wishes,

Dr. Nicoll and Michelle
  • Clients: Mr. John Edward Rode & Ms. Sharon Gail Rode
  • Country: United States
Aug 2,2006
Dear Della and Nancy,

We are emailing you to let you know how happy we were with your services. Everything was wonderful. As promised, our train tickets were delivered right on time to our hotel in Hangzhou. The train ride was very enjoyable and relaxing. It was a great way to see the countryside. When our train arrived at Yichang, we were met by one of your local guides who drove us to the cruise ship. On the way he gave us a brief history of Yichang, and then gave us a case of water for the cruise which was very much appreciated. The cruise was fantastic - the food, entertainment, side trips, scenery, accommodations, and helpful, friendly employees were excellent. Once the cruise ended, we were once again met by one of your guides - Cathy - and were given a fabulous tour of the sites of Chongqing, including a delicious meal at a beautiful restaurant. Cathy went out of her way to make sure we had a nice time in Chongqing.

I am sending you two pictures we took on our cruise - one of the Yangtze River and the other a picture of my son Matt and me with our waitress Vicki.

You were right - we did not need to worry. Everything was taken care of for us. Our cruise was one of our favorite parts of our 30-day trip in China. We would not hesitate to use your company again in the future. Thank you Della and Nancy.

Sincerely,

Sharon Rode
  • Clients: Mr. Charles Thomas Collenberger & Ms. Eva Margarete Collenberger
  • Country: United States
  • Email:
Dec 26,2006
Shengdan Kuaile! Xinnian Kuaile!

It's that time of the year again. Time to bring our family and friends up to date on our vacations. And how we have traveled!

After Dad had died, Eva expressed a wish to see China where we had lived. I checked on the internet for tours of China. Finally we found one that allowed us to add cities not on the normal itinerary. We added Qingdao where I had my eleventh birthday.

So, on to China we went. Beijing (the capital city), Xian (the city of the terra cotta warriors), Guilin (down the Li River), Shanghai, and Qingdao. Beijing is everything that is said about it. Preparing for the Olympics, there was new building and repainting going on everywhere. Xian is not to be missed. The Li River is the free mountains of Chinese art, not some myths painted by artists high on something. Shanghai is huge, not to be seen in two days, like we tried.

Qingdao is as I remembered it. Many beautiful houses and buildings. We found the house that we had lived in. The Grandson of the original owner was still living in an apartment in it. With the help of our tour guide and we had a long conversation. More at the end.

We have top of the line rooms everywhere and good food, sometimes too much of it.

Next I went to Illinois to straighten up my Grandfather's farm and to see a grand niece get married. Had a good time!

Then in the fall, we went to Germany for a month. We rented an apartment in Eva's hometown. We used this to as a base to travel around Germany and surrounding countries. I have still not processed all the pictures. It is a good thing I went to digital camera!

Now we are resting up and waiting for the next trip.

Our new Chinese friends the grandson and his wife, Li Chuangang and Sun Qing, want to visit us next March. Because they do not speak English, we have been busy learning Chinese. Two classes down already and maybe enough time for one more. My brain is getting too old.

The Chinese spelling above is Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. From us to all of you!!!

Charles and Eva
  • Clients: Ms. Ann Murdock, Ms. Marie Pavini and Mr. Richard L. Merrifield
  • Country: Gloucester, MA, US
Dec 25,2006
Michael, Marie looks forward to her trip and is very appreciative of the credit. My evaluation of the tour are as follows. The special offer of vegetarian meals were fantastic! Guides are all good, very knowledable and helpful. I appreciate having a Tibetan Guide in Tibet.The driver is Great. In Xi'an, our guide was especially helpful. Thank you, Ann
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