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Pandas & Yangtze Cruise

SG04: 16 Days Small Group Tour of Beijing - Xi'an - Guilin - Chengdu - Chongqing - Yangtze River Cruise - Yichang - Shanghai
Tour Type: Small Group of 2-18 travelers, guaranteed departures
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide, experienced driver with an air-conditioned coach
Accommodation: 12 nights at nice 5-star & 4-star hotels, 3 nights on Yangtze River cruise
Meals: 15 western buffet breakfasts, 8 lunches with some being a la carte style, 3 dinners
Tour Highlights:
  • Must-see sights - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army, Giant Pandas
  • Fantastic cruise tour on the Li River from Guilin to rural Yangshuo
  • Have a once in a life chance to get close to the incredibly cute treasure -Pandas
  • Take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai as you walk along the Bund
From $2639 per person Free Inquiry
From US$2639 per person
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Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
Arrive at any time, Airport pick-up & airport-hotel transfer.
Upon arrival at Beijing Airport, please clear yourself through customs. Our English-speaking guide will meet you at the arrival hall, after which we will drive you to the hotel. Have a good rest to restore yourself for the following 16 days China tour. Or, you can take a short walk around on your own. 
 
Accommodation: The Great Wall Hotel Beijing - the former Sheraton
Day 2 Beijing
A tour briefing, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, A la carte welcome lunch with Peking Duck, Temple of Heaven, Chinese Kung Fu Show. (B+L)
After breakfast, your guide will host a group meeting at the hotel lobby, which will not take you much time, about 30 minutes, but is important for a group travel. Some travel guidelines and tips will be shared so that everyone in the group can make good preparations for the trip.

Then, start your morning excursions to the famous Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. As an imperial palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Forbidden City has a mysterious aura. An a la carte welcome lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) at a nicely decorated and noted local restaurant will follow allowing you to taste diversified Chinese food and Peking Roast Duck.

In the afternoon we will visit the Temple of Heaven, a delicate ancient architectural complex where emperors once offered sacrifices to the God of Heaven. Later, we'll lighten up the evening with an exciting Chinese Kung Fu Show at the Red Theatre.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte welcome lunch
Our group visiting the Forbidden City
Our group visiting the Forbidden City
Observe local people's life at the Temple of Heaven
Observe local people's life at the Temple of Heaven
Day 3 Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall with a round-trip cable car, A toast with red wine on the wall. (B)
No Beijing tour is complete without visiting the Great Wall. This morning, we will set off to the suburban Mutianyu Great Wall. The cable car will take you up and down since it is an energy-consuming climb. The most important thing for you is to enjoy walking on the wall and appreciate the amazing wonder.

The restaurants nearby offer poor meals that do not meet our service standard. We therefore suggest you have a sufficient breakfast at the hotel and have some fast food for lunch by yourself.

Get back to Beijing in the afternoon. The remaining time of the day will be arranged for you to explore a traditional local market. After that we will drive you back to the hotel.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast
Marvel at the grandeur of the Great Wall
Marvel at the grandeur of the Great Wall
Day 4 Beijing - Xi'an
Summer Palace, Olympic Bird's Nest, A la carte lunch, Hutong Rickshaw Tour, Experience Chinese Paper Cutting, Fly to Xi'an, Airport-hotel transfer. (B+L)
For first-time visitors, the Summer Palace, a former imperial summer resort, is one venue you should not miss. It is the largest and best-preserved imperial garden as well as a world-famous tourist resort. Then have a photo stop in the Olympic sports venue, the National Stadium (also the Bird's Nest).

A la carte lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) will be scheduled at an elegant local restaurant.

Explore Hutongs in the afternoon. It is fantastic to experience the area by rickshaw and get an insight into the old Beijing culture. You will also have a chance to try your hand at Chinese Paper Cutting. After that, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Xi'an. Our professional guide will meet you outside the baggage claim area of the airport and transfer you to the hotel.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Accommodation: Sheraton Hotel
Experience a rickshaw tour through Hutongs
Experience a rickshaw tour through Hutongs
Day 5 Xi'an
Terracotta Army, A local family visit and an authentic home-cooked lunch, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Tang Dynasty Show with dumpling dinner. (B+L+D)
We will visit the amazing Terracotta Army this morning to appreciate the undeniable excellent ancient craft works of the Qin dynasty. The site mostly has cheap tourist restaurants nearby, so we would like to drive you back to the city center to have a real home-cooked a la carte lunch (valued at CNY120.00 per person and included in our price) at a local family home. 

After lunch, a visit to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda & Xi'an Museum is scheduled. Also a delicious dumpling dinner will be served tonight along with the Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast, Home-cooked a la carte lunch, Dumpling dinner
 Friendly Tips

Clients visiting in Jan, Feb, Mar and Dec need to arrange the dinner and evening activity on their own for this day, since the theater is usually not open at that time.
The marvelous Terracotta Warriors
The marvelous Terracotta Warriors
Learn to cook Chinese food
Learn to cook Chinese food
Day 6 Xi'an
Observe local life in the park, Tai Chi practice, Xi'an City Wall, A la carte lunch, Provincial History Museum, Great Mosque, Muslim Quarter. (B+L)
The City Wall Park is a good place to experience more of the local Xi'an lives, so today your first stop will be spending some leisure time in the park. We also have a special arrangement for you here. That is learning to practice Tai Chi with a master. Then ascend the ancient City Wall and have a panoramic view of the city while strolling on it. The brick road on top of the wall is broad and you can rent and ride bicycles for fun if you like.

Around noon, enjoy an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY120.00 per person and included in our price) at a famous local restaurant.

In the afternoon, we continue to visit Shaanxi History Museum and the Great Mosque. On the Muslim Street where the mosque is located you will also find delicious Muslim food and interesting souvenirs.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Cycling on the ancient City Wall
Cycling on the ancient City Wall
Seek for the local snacks at Muslim Bazaar
Seek for the local snacks at Muslim Bazaar
Day 7 Xi'an - Guilin
Fly to Guilin, Airport-hotel transfer, Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill. (B)
Catch a morning flight to Guilin. Upon your arrival, our guide will meet you outside the baggage claim area. Your Guilin sightseeing starts with the famous Reed Flute Cave, which is a 240 meter karst cave that has various shapes of stalactites and stalagmites. Then we head to the Elephant Trunk Hill. The shape of the hill is just like a giant elephant boozing water from the river with its long trunk, hence got the name. After that, we will transfer you to the hotel.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Sheraton Hotel
Day 8 Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin
Li River cruise to Yangshuo, West Street, Countryside tour, Drive back to Guilin. (B+L)
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to the pier to appreciate the picturesque scenery of Li River by cruising down from Guilin to Yangshuo. As the lunch on the ship is the basic Chinese box lunch, it cannot be up to your taste, we suggest you have a big breakfast at the hotel this morning. 

Disembark at Yangshuo in about 4 hours, you will take a stroll on the famous West Street. Then we transfer you to enjoy the countryside scenes of rural Yangshuo. On the way, you also have a chance to visit a local peasant home and get a close touch with the country life. Finally, we drive you back to Guilin. 

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Li River cruise
Li River cruise
Yangshuo rural scenery
Yangshuo rural scenery
Day 9 Guilin - Chengdu
Fly to Chengdu, Airport-hotel transfer, Relax during the rest of the day. (B)
After breakfast, catch a morning flight to Chengdu. Upon your arrival, our guide will be waiting for you outside the baggage claim area and transfer you to the hotel. We will leave you free time for lunch and rest for the remaining time of the day, and our guide is glad to offer advices of nice restaurants.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Holiday Inn Chengdu Oriental Plaza
Holiday Inn Chengdu Oriental Plaza
Holiday Inn Chengdu Oriental Plaza
Hotel swimming pool
Hotel swimming pool
Day 10 Chengdu
Giant Panda Base, Broad and Narrow Alleys, Jinsha Site Museum, Leisure time at Renmin Park. (B)
Today we will have a pleasant date with China's national treasure giant pandas at the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. The pandas are very active in the morning. You will sure be entertained when you see the cute and chubby panda bears eating bamboo shoots or playing with each other. Then, continue to the Broad and Narrow Alleys where old houses and alleys of the Qing Dynasty have been turned to tea houses, restaurants, shops and bars. Lunch is arranged on your own. You might try some local snacks in the alley or choose a courtyard restaurant to enjoy your lunch.

In the afternoon, visit Jinsha Site Museum, a significant relic of the ancient Shu civilization discovered in 2001. The Gold Sun God Bird unearthed from the site has been selected as the logo of China Cultural Heritages. After the museum, you will come to the most popular Renmin Park. Have a pot of tea there and live like a local.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast
Have a close contact with the cute pandas
Have a close contact with the cute pandas
Day 11 Chengdu - Chongqing
A 2-hour bullet train to Chongqing, Jiefangbei CBD, Ci Qi Kou Ancient Village, Board a Yangtze River cruise ship for a 3-night stay. (B)
We remain the whole morning free for you. You can take time to explore this pleasant city further and have lunch by yourself. 

In the afternoon, our guide will drop you off at the railway station and help you board a bullet train to Chongqing. It is a two hours trip. Upon your arrival, our guide in Chongqing will meet you at the station. Explore Jiefangbei CBD and Ci Qi Kou Ancient Village, where you may have dinner by yourself. Tonight, you will board a 5-star Yangtze cruise ship, which sets sail at 21:30.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast
Cruises: Century Diamond with balcony
The New Century Cruises
The New Century Cruises
Day 12 Yangtze River Cruise
Yangtze Cruise orientation, An onshore excursion to Shibaozhai, Captain's Welcome Party. (B+L+D)
The ship arrives at Zhongxian at about 14:00. We will disembark and visit the Shibaozhai. The onshore visit will enable you to witness the majestic and delicate wooden tower along with the giant rock. The unique tower, first built in Wanli reign of Ming Dynasty, is regarded as a fairy land in Yangtze River. Re-embark and continue the cruise. This evening, you will be invited to join in the Captain's Welcome Party. Have fun!

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13 Yangtze River Cruise
Yangtze Three Gorges, An exciting excursion to Shennv Stream. (B+L+D)
In the morning, the ship will reach Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge. The cruise guide on-board is expected to make a formal presentation. Get your camera ready! After lunch, we will disembark to experience an interesting excursion to the Shennv Stream by boat which will add much joy to the marvelous day. It lasts 3 to 4 hours. Back to the ship and cruise down the western section of Xiling Gorge

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Yangtze River cruise
Yangtze River cruise
Shennv Stream excursion
Shennv Stream excursion
Day 14 Yichang - Shanghai
Disembark the cruise ship, Three Gorges Dam, A 7.5-hour bullet train to Shanghai, Train station to hotel transfer. (B)
The Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydro-electric project is your last excursion stop on Yangtze. Pack your belongings for disembarking before the visit. Afterwards, the cruise ship company will drive you to the Three Gorges Tourist Center and our local guide will meet you there. Then you will be taking a bullet train to your last scheduled destination, Shanghai. It is a 7.5 hours trip. On arriving at Shanghai railway station, you will be met by the guide and transferred to the hotel.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Sheraton Shanghai Hongkou Hotel
Day 15 Shanghai
Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden and its traditional bazaar, A la carte farewell lunch, Former French Concession, the Bund and Huangpu River cruise. (B+L)
After breakfast, you will start your trip from Shanghai Museum, one of the top four museums in China. Then head to the ancient Yu Garden, where you can see traditional Chinese architecture, beautiful artificial hills and ponds. We will leave you some free time there to explore the surrounding Yu Bazaar. 

Around noon, you will enjoy an a la carte farewell lunch (valued at CNY120.00 per person and included in our price) at a popular local restaurant. 

Your afternoon trip will begin with a walk in the Former French Concession. Afterwards, you will be transferred to the city's landmark site, the Bund, and take a one-hour cruise tour along the Huangpu River - the mother river of Shanghai. As the symbol and a microcosm of the city, the river has witnessed the glory, humiliation, despair and prosperity of Shanghai. After the whole day of sightseeing, our guide will transfer you back to the hotel and bid farewell to you.

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte farewell lunch
Enjoy a relaxing cruise tour on the Huangpu River
Enjoy a relaxing cruise tour on the Huangpu River
Day 16 Departure from Shanghai
Please check out before 12:00. We recommend the most efficient and money-saving way - taking a taxi by yourself from hotel to the airport, A pleasant trip home! (B)
Today you will check out of your hotel after breakfast, and find your own way to the airport according to your flight schedule. We will be of your assistance at any time you need. Wish you a nice journey home!

Meals included: Western buffet breakfast
B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner
Prices are per person in US Dollars; departures are guaranteed even with two persons!
Earlier Booking, Bigger Savings
12% off - book by Dec 31, 2019, 10% off - book by Jan 31, 2020
Arrival DateDeparture DateDouble OccupancySingle Room Supplement 
Apr 02(Thu) Apr 17(Fri) $2789 $2454$929
Apr 09(Thu) Apr 24(Fri) $2789 $2454$929
Apr 16(Thu) May 01(Fri) $2789 $2454$929
Apr 23(Thu) May 08(Fri) $2809 $2471$949
May 07(Thu) May 22(Fri) $2809 $2471$949
May 14(Thu) May 29(Fri) $2809 $2471$949
May 21(Thu) Jun 05(Fri) $2809 $2471$949
May 28(Thu) Jun 12(Fri) $2769 $2436$949
Jun 04(Thu) Jun 19(Fri) $2759 $2427$899
Jun 11(Thu) Jun 26(Fri) $2759 $2427$899
Jun 18(Thu) Jul 03(Fri) $2759 $2427$899
Jun 25(Thu) Jul 10(Fri) $2759 $2427$899
Jul 02(Thu) Jul 17(Fri) $2799 $2463$899
Jul 09(Thu) Jul 24(Fri) $2799 $2463$899
Jul 16(Thu) Jul 31(Fri) $2799 $2463$899
Jul 23(Thu) Aug 07(Fri) $2799 $2463$899
Jul 30(Thu) Aug 14(Fri) $2799 $2463$899
Aug 06(Thu) Aug 21(Fri) $2799 $2463$899
Aug 13(Thu) Aug 28(Fri) $2799 $2463$899
Aug 20(Thu) Sep 04(Fri) $2799 $2463$899
Aug 27(Thu) Sep 11(Fri) $2839 $2498$939
Sep 03(Thu) Sep 18(Fri) $2839 $2498$969
Sep 10(Thu) Sep 25(Fri) $2839 $2498$969
Sep 17(Thu) Oct 02(Fri) $2839 $2498$969
Sep 24(Thu) Oct 09(Fri) $2839 $2498$969
Oct 08(Thu) Oct 23(Fri) $2839 $2498$969
Oct 15(Thu) Oct 30(Fri) $2839 $2498$969
Oct 22(Thu) Nov 06(Fri) $2799 $2463$969
Oct 29(Thu) Nov 13(Fri) $2659 $2339$939
Nov 05(Thu) Nov 20(Fri) $2659 $2339$939
Nov 12(Thu) Nov 27(Fri) $2639 $2322$909

Remark: The prices in red reflect the current discount.

Price Includes
  • Domestic airfares & train fares
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfasts
  • A la carte lunches as itinerary specifies
  • Professional English-speaking guides
  • Drivers & air-conditioned vehicles
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites
  • Yangtze River cruise with full board
  • Tips or gratuities for hotel porters
Price Excludes
  • International airfares
  • Entry Visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
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  • Customer Reviews
  • Questions & Answers
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    4.854 Reviews
    Deb P
    USA
    Posted on December 10, 2019
    Tour Guide were wonderful. Food was good. Very happy with everything.
    Jane & Frank Ball
    United Kingdom
    Posted on November 30, 2019
    We would like to compliment you on the complete service that TravelChinaGuide offers, as it is reliable and pick ups at various destinations are always efficient. We would certainly recommend this to friends as it enables you to enjoy China without any worries. All China hotels were good, especially the one in Beijing. All meals were good as well as the service. The Sezchuan meal in Beijing was very enjoyable. All guides were very well spoken with good pronunciation. All guides showed good knowledge of the places we visited with so much interesting information it would be nice at times to have it written down so you remeber the stories when you get back home. John in Beijing spoke very good English and certainly knew about the places we visited. We felt we were never rushed around and longer in each place would have been better- particularly the Summer palace. All cars were clean and tidy, especially the car in Xian. All drivers very courteous and competent. With reference to the Yangtze cruise - we upgraded to a suite as we felt the standard cabin was small especially after sumptuos rooms in the hotels. Anyway, we did enjoy the cruise. ... More
    The Jaconi and Kennedy Family
    Posted on November 21, 2019
    Thank you for your very informational tour. We loved looking at the city from your eyes. Your up-heat personality and your informative lectures made our visit very enjoyable.
    Judy Robinson
    USA
    Posted on November 18, 2019
    We would like to thank this online agency for the assistance in us having a fabulous and memorable China trip! The Yangtze River Cruise was truly amazing!! - the unforgettable scenery, really interesting day trips - the River tour guide "Natalie" - her narration and answering of questions as we went through the Three Gorges was very interesting and informative. She also took the time to explain many things about the changing life in China. We strongly recommend this company and have already to our family and friends and would without hesitation book with TravelChina again. ... More
    Leonard Bambridge
    Australia
    Posted on November 15, 2019
    When we walked out of the airport and saw our guide waiting that minor concern was put to rest and from there on the tour organisation was excellent.
    We considered the meals provided were exceptional. With the hotel breakfasts and the lunches we found a small snack in the evenings was sufficient for our needs.
    The hotels were first class, all had coffee and tea making facilities, TV with a few English channels, and excellent facilities.
    Our guides were all great, knowledgeable, friendly and inclusive of all group members.
    The tours were well organised and generally the time allocated to each location was adequate. Our tour included three separate museums and all had similar displays, so, in my opinion this could be reduced. In my opinion the museum in Shanghai was the pick of the ones we visited.
    Our drivers were generally very good, however the bus drivers should wait for everyone to be seated before starting to move. On more than one occasion passengers were thrown off balance. The traffic being so different to our usual experience was a little concerning at times. All vehicles, including busses were clean and comfortable.
    Our tour included a three night two day Yangtze River Cruise which we enjoyed, however the not-included tours were both in the morning and by the time the included tour were started it was late afternoon. We were fortunate to be in one of the first groups to start these tours so we started in daylight but finished in the dark while the later groups actually started in the dark and I heard some complaints about this. Not good.

    Thank you Travelchinaguide for a well organised and enjoyable trip.
    ... More
    Melinda
    USA
    Posted on November 12, 2019
    We're sending this brief note to commend all the guides/drivers during our 16 days trip. Especially Ms. Fang Yan ("Sunny") in Chengdu was an excellent host and did a great job. Our drivers were also very skilled. All were very nice individuals and we enjoyed sharing time with them. Thank you for arranging this special tour!
    Sharon E
    Australia
    Posted on November 08, 2019
    TCG not only offers an excellent service during the preparation of a trip, but also ensures that the daily supervision is of equally high standard. The excursions with the local guides are informative and well planned and their care of daily needs is comprehensive.
    All of the guides were excellent at their job and we appreciated each for this and their personal qualities. Candy gave us a perfect start in Beijing, informing us of Chinese culture that would remain helpful throughout and Ian delivered us promptly to the airport. We were grateful to David for delivering us to the boat and he was informative in the short length of time that we were with him. Judy really used her initiative and sorted out both the best way for us to see Chongquing in the few hours, and how to cope with a change of schedule. Linda was outstanding (Chengdu). Not only did she manage the itinerary adjustments but went out of her way to fulfill our requests, showing us many aspects of Chengdu and the recognition of my birthday with a cake must be one of the most memorable highlights of the trip. Her enthusiasm and that of the driver too, greeting us on our return at the airport and in the surprise with the cake was typical of her delightful manner which made her engaging company. Michael was a perfect host and we enjoyed every moment of being with him and the choices of his meals. Helen was efficient and informative but ensured that we saw the best and used the timings well. Micheal completed our trip with finesse and ensured that it was brilliant right to the end. His dedication in waiting with us until the computer left at the hotel reached us safely at the airport was greatly appreciated.
    Overall we wish to thank you for a wonderful trip, an excellent selection of places to visit and the opportunity to see so many traditional shows around China. We appreciate the superb service that the company has given us.
    ... More
    Jane and Steve Owen
    UK
    Posted on November 06, 2019
    The guides were all excellent but I would be missing an opportunity if I did not single out Candy in Beijing and Roger in Xian who were both exceptional and a credit to your organisation, making our China trip a memorable experience with their knowledge, good humour and attention to detail.
    The meals were all of a very high standard and if anything the quantity was too much, having had a good breakfast at each of the hotels in the morning a snack would have been quite sufficient at lunch time.
    The drivers were all superb and the vehicles were always clean and well presented. Again I would single out Mr Feng in Beijing who's cheerfulness and driving ability were exemplary.
    The hotels we stayed in were all of a very high standard and the location could not have been better.
    The cruise on the Yangtze was only marred by the porters who carried our luggage to the boat and who demanded a payment of CNY200 before they would let us have our bags. We were informed by other passengers later that they had been warned about this and told not to pay as the tour company had already made payment. Too late in our case! The cruise itself was excellent and the staff on board were all superb making the trip extremely memorable. Overall an excellent China trip well organised (apart from the hotel rooms and porters) and I would recommend TGC to our friends and colleagues.
    ... More
    Carol Lute
    USA
    Posted on November 03, 2019
    We loved our tour and your company is wonderful. After the tour, we realized how much we got for our money. Tour price was so reasonable and affordable. Not sure how you made much money off of us.
    Your office staff, especially Wendy who helped us plan our trip from the beginning, were outstanding. Every email was answered quickly and thoroughly. The greatest asset of your tour company are the people and personal service. We just picked your tour from the Internet and could not have found a better tour company if we had investigated each one. How fortunate for us that we picked you.
    The guides were so knowledgeable and well educated on everything in their country, cities and tour sights. I do not think there was one question that they could not answer. Their English was great and very easy to understand. They were so concerned that we were happy with everything. They helped us with many things such as getting cash and other personal concerns that were not really required of them. They each became good friends, especially Jason, J.J. and Lily. We got their email addresses and hope to keep in touch with them, although I am sure ever tour wants to email them. You could not hire any better guides.
    Every restaurant was great and each better than the other. The lunch restaurant in Shanghai that we first went to did not look too good but fortunately they could not take us and we went to a great one.
    We were a little disappointed in the river boat itself. I had taken a Yangtse River tour before with Victoria cruises and the boat was much nicer, more elegant and had balconies which I thoroughly enjoyed. However, I paid a lot more for that cruise. The people on the cruise were so nice and had such wonderful spa massage services, we had a great time. The tours from the boat were super.
    The performances you scheduled were great and we had front seats at each one. I could not pick a favorite. Each was special in its own way.
    The vans and drivers were also first class. Driving in China requires a great skill and these drivers were professional. The vans were so clean and spacious. We never had to wait for the driver nor walk anywhere to get to the van. I was impressed with the quality.
    The only regret that we had on the tour was that we were not able to go to the panda house. However, you did your best to give us a superb experience.
    ... More
    Thomas Jenkins & Nicolette Hugill
    UK
    Posted on November 02, 2019
    Thank you for our tour. We thought it was very well organised, that you chose your hotels very well and that, overall, it represented good value for money. The guides, without exception, spoke excellent English and had a wealth of historical and geographical knowledge at their disposal. The choice of destinations for excursions gave us many of the grand sights of China and a sense of the history and achievements of the region. There were times, particularly in museums and the forbidden city, that I would have preferred the option to explore myself at leisure and rejoin the group a little later, though some guides accommodated this request, not all did. The Great Wall was stunning, though I would very much have liked to visit one of the original sections, either in addition to, or instead of, Mutianyu. We were fortunate to have some time in Beijing on our own before joining the tour, and I'm very glad we did. It was a great shame that the others on the tour did not get experience the city centre, with it's cosmopolitan High Street, fascinating night market and the lively, and fun, Silk Market. We also enjoyed the Lama Temple and the Confucius temple, which provided a welcome contrast to the other hectic tourist areas! We also felt that, in cities, we spent a lot of time on a bus travelling a very short distance, sometimes taking an hour to do what you could walk in 15 minutes. Other than the architecture and history, we thought the Three Gorges were fantastic and especially the drag boat ride in the minor Gorges. Water was always available to us and the choice of restaurants was good, especially for the Duck meal. I think it would have been good if we could have ordered some of our own food as, often, a number of the group did not enjoy the more 'adventurous' dishes, meaning the favourites were very thinly spread. As mentioned, the choice of accommodation was excellent. The problem was that when on the cruise, our excursion tour groups were much larger, though this to some extent was true in the first instance, with a group of 13, when we had expected 11. This detracted from some venues as it was hard to hear the guide or made the trip fragmented as the group moved at different speeds. Overall though, we had a very positive experience and have recommended your company to our friends, and are already considering our next trip! ... More
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