Visit Our China,  professional China travel agency and Online China tour operator. Contact Us | FAQ | About us | Feedback
Your Position: HomeChina ToursChina Photography Tours13 Days Pingyao International Photography Festival Tour
  • Forbidden City
  • Jinci Temple
  • The Bund
  • The Terracotta Army and Horses
  • Ancient City Wall of Pingyao
  • Bell Tower
  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Rishengchang Draft Bank
  • Summer Palace
  • Yuyuan Garden
  • Ancient City Wall
  • The Ming-Qing Street
  • The Temple of Heaven
  • Shaanxi Provincial Museum
  • Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium)
  • Jinshanling Great Wall
  • National Swimming Centre('The Water Cube') Beijing
  • Tiananmen Square

You can click to see the attractions included in this tour itinerary.

13 Days Pingyao International Photography Festival Tour

Tour Code: CPT04
Tour Duration: 13 Days
Destination: Beijing, Pingyao, Shanghai, Taiyuan, Xi'an
Tour overview: Pingyao, one of the ancient city that are well preserved, is known for its historical culture as well as Lijiang of Yunnan. In Pingyao you will be immerged in the old sights, e.g. Ancient City Wall, Rishengchang Draft Bank, Ming and Qing Street, etc. And the best amazing highlights in China, including Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, Great Wall, Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, Yuyuan Garden,the Bund… will be included within this tour for your remarkable photographing...

  • Tour Summary
  • Day by Day Itinerary
  • Reviews
13 Days Pingyao International Photography Festival Tour 13 Days Pingyao International Photography Festival Tour 13 Days Pingyao International Photography Festival Tour 13 Days Pingyao International Photography Festival Tour

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Tour Dates Destinations Services Provided Meals Included
Day 1 Beijing Arrive in Beijing, be met and transferred to your hotel. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Beijing Redwall Hotel
/
Day 2 Beijing Our morning photo-shoot will take place at The Temple of Heaven , Then move onto Tiananmen Square . The afternoon is devoted to photographing the Forbidden City . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Beijing Redwall Hotel
B,L
Day 3 Beijing In the morning we visit the Summer Palace , and then we will photograph the Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium) and the National Swimming Centre('The Water Cube') Beijing . Afternoon, we drive to Jinshanling Great Wall and shoot the sunset over the Great Wall. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Beijing Redwall Hotel
B,L
Day 4 Pingyao If weather permits, this morning we will get up early to photograph the sunrise over the magnificent Great Wall.
After photo shoot, we take a short hike along the Great Wall for some more photo opportunities. Late afternoon, drive back to Beijing and take overnight train to Pingyao in comfortable soft sleeper class. Details...
B,L
Day 5 Pingyao Early morning arrival in Pingyao, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After breakfast and freshen up you will have a half day orientation tour of this ancient walled city to familiarize yourself with the venues of the photography festival. Visit the Ancient City Wall of Pingyao , Rishengchang Draft Bank and The Ming-Qing Street . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Pingyao Yunjincheng Folk Hotel Hongshanyi Old Hotel, Pingyao Yu Feng Heng Hotel
B,L
Day 6 Pingyao A free day to explore the photography festival, visit workshops and galleries or take your own shots. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Pingyao Yunjincheng Folk Hotel Hongshanyi Old Hotel, Pingyao Yu Feng Heng Hotel
B
Day 7 Pingyao A free day to explore the photography festival, visit workshops and galleries or take your own shots. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Pingyao Yunjincheng Folk Hotel Hongshanyi Old Hotel, Pingyao Yu Feng Heng Hotel
B
Day 8 Pingyao/Taiyuan After breakfast, you will be transferred to Taiyuan, stopping off at Jinci Temple with time to view and photograph this fabulous old temple. Then continuing onto Taiyuan with free time until you catch the early evening overnight train to Xi’an in soft sleeper class. Details... B,L
Day 9 Xi'an Early morning arrival in Xi’an. Be met and transferred to your hotel for freshen up and then the tour to visit and photographing The Terracotta Army and Horses , the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Bell Tower . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Hotel Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square Mercure on Renmin Square Xian Ibis Xian
B,L
Day 10 Xi'an/Shanghai In the morning, visit the Ancient City Wall and Shaanxi Provincial Museum . In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the railway station for the overnight train to Shanghai in soft sleeper class. Details... B,L
Day 11 Shanghai Early morning arrival in Shanghai. Be met and transferred to your hotel to freshen up and then start the city tour to the Yuyuan Garden Old Shanghai, and strolling along The Bund . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai Jin jiang New Asia hotel Shanghai
B,L
Day 12 Shanghai Free time. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai Jin jiang New Asia hotel Shanghai
B
Day 13 Shanghai Free at leisure till be transferred to airport for your flight departure. Details... B
1. Normally hotels allow a maximum of 3 adults per room with an extra bed, at extra charge. Some hotels will allow three adults and a small child.
2. Tour price is indicative only, please enquire for a detailed quotation.
3. More people more discounts. Please enquire for more details.

Price Inclusions and Exclusions

Price Include

A. Entrance fees:To scenic spots as listed above in the itinerary.
B. Meals: All meals as specified in the itinerary.
C. Private Transfers: Among airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing in the above cities by the private air conditioned vehicle.
D. Guide and Driver: As outlined in the itinerary, a well selected English-speaking guide and driver will accompany you throughout the entire tour in that city. They do not fly with you from one city to another.
E. Hotels: Hotel Based on two persons sharing one room with twin beds. All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or Chinese breakfast. All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities unless specified.
F. Luggage Transfers: Between airports and hotels.
G. Service Charge & Government Taxes.
H. Travel insurance in mainland China during the above travel period.
I. Arrangements: The tour cost includes planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

Price Exclude

A. Entry or Exit China International Airfare or train tickets.
B. Visa Fees.
C. Excess Baggage Charges.
D. Personal Expenses: Expenses of a purely personal nature such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone call, optional activities, sightseeing or meals which are not included in the itinerary.
E. Meals: Any meals which are not specified with "B", "L" or "D".
F. Single Room Supplement.
G. Insurance coverage of personal loss, illness or damages incurred during your trip.
H. Gratuities, Tips to Guides and Drivers.

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Transfer via: International flight on your own arrangement

Upon your arrival you will be greeted by our local guide and then transferred to your hotel by a private air-conditioned car. For the rest of the day you will enjoy some leisure time.

Day 2 Beijing (B, L)

Beijing (B, L)

Sightseeing: Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City

Our morning photo-shoot will take place at the Temple of Heaven, which was completed in 1420, and expanded over the years by two Qing Dynasty Emperors. It was the place where the Emperor came every winter solstice to worship heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest. With the three blue-tiled cone-shaped roofs, a unique wooden and blue-tiled structure built without a nail, it has become a worldwide symbol of Beijing.

Then move onto Tiananmen Square, the symbolical heart of China and gathering place for the masses. It is the biggest public square in the world, which can hold one million people.

The afternoon is devoted to photographing the Forbidden City. Experience the ancient Emperor's daily life. For 5 centuries Chinese emperors carried out their administration here. With almost 10,000 rooms, it was the centre of the Ming and Qing dynasties, a massive complex of palaces, pavilions, courtyards and gardens where 24 emperors used to live. Forbidden City was the largest palace in the world, and in the past it was indeed a forbidden place for commoners. Your tour here will include private access to the Emperor's palace.

Day 3 Beijing (B, L)

Beijing (B, L)

Sightseeing: Summer Palace

In the morning we will visit the Summer Palace, Equally famous as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace is called "Yiheyuan" (Garden of Nurtured Harmony) in Chinese. Until nowadays, it is the best preserved and the largest imperial garden in China. You will regret it if you leave Beijing without having visited this grand imperial garden.

Then we will photograph the Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium) and the National Swimming Centre(The Water Cube).

Afternoon, we drive to Jinshanling and shoot the sunset over the Great Wall. Jinshanling Great Wall, located about eight kilometers (five miles) southeast of the Bakeshiying Township in Luanping County in Hebei Province, starts from the Wangjinglou Tower in the east and ends at Longyukou in the west; The 20-kilometer-long structure, although a bit smaller and narrower compared to Badaling Great Wall and Mutianyu Great Wall features complicated and well preserved fortifications systems and fantastic natural scenery.

Day 4 Beijing to Pingyao (B, L)

Beijing to Pingyao (B, L)

Transfer Via: Overnight train on our arrangement
Sightseeing: photo shoot Sunrise over the Great Wall, Hike along the Great Wall

If weather permits, this morning we will get up early to photograph the sunrise over the magnificent Great Wall.

After sunrise photo shoot, we take a short hike along the Great Wall for some more photo opportunities.

Late afternoon, we will drive back to Beijing railway station to take overnight train to Pingyao in comfortable soft sleeper class.

Day 5 Pingyao (B, L)

Pingyao (B, L)

Sightseeing: Ancient City Wall, Rishengchang Draft Bank, Ming-Qing Street

Upon early morning arrival in Pingyao, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

After breakfast and freshen up you will have a half day orientation tour of this ancient walled city to familiarize yourself with the venues of the photography festival. Visit to the Ancient City Wall in Pingyao Town located in the middle of Shanxi Province. First built about 2,700 years ago, it was expanded in the Ming and Qing Dynasty. It is the most well-preserved wall among the ancient historical and cultural cities in China, and also an early and largest city wall in Shanxi Province. The present city wall is mainly in the form and structure of Ming Dynasty, with a total length of 6.4 kilometers.

Rishengchang Draft Bank is a financial institute which appeared from Qing Dynasty, the earliest draft bank is Rishengchang Draft Bank, whose owner is the Li Family of Pingyao County of Shanxi Province. It was mainly devoted in handling remittance, money exchange, deposit, loan and other financial business. There were 35 branches in China's big and medium-sized cities. Its business covered Europe, America and Southeast Asia. And the Rishengchang Draft Bank had been the financial center of China for about 100 years.

The Ming-Qing Street is located in the South Street of the town. With a length of 440 meters, the street used to be the commercial center of Pingyao ancient city. The traditional and orderly-located shops of the Ming and Qing Dynasties are still well preserved. The cross-street Town House is the highest building of the city (18.5 meters high). On its top, you can take a whole view of the Ming–Qing Street. Walking along the street, tourists can get the first-hand experience of ancient China.

Day 6 Pingyao (B)

Pingyao (B)

A free day to explore the photography festival, visit workshops and galleries or take your own shots.

Day 7 Pingyao (B)

Pingyao (B)

A free day to explore the photography festival, visit workshops and galleries or take your own shots.

Day 8 Pingyao to Taiyuan to Xi'an (B, L)

Pingyao to Taiyuan to Xi'an (B, L)

Transfer via: Overnight train on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Jin Si

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Taiyuan, stopping off at Jinci Temple with time to view and photograph this fabulous old temple. Then continuing onto Taiyuan with free time until you catch the early evening overnight train to Xi'an in soft sleeper class.

Day 9 Xi'an (B, L)

Xi'an (B, L)

Sightseeing: Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Bell Tower

Arrive in Xi'an in the early morning. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After breakfast and fresh up, you will visit and photo-shoot the amazing 2000-year-old Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses. Regarded as the 8th Wonder of the World, the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Over 2,200 years ago, the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang in search of immortality, ordered the construction of a vast army of Terra-cotta warriors and buried with him to protect his empire after his early death.

Another highlight today is to photographing the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Situated at south of the Xi'an city, as one of the main constructions in the famous Buddhist temple - Da Ci En Temple, where Famous Buddhist Master Xuanzang (Monk Tripitaka) stored his well-preserved collection of classic Buddhist artifacts brought from India in Tang Dynasty. Now it is the Landmark of the Xi'an.

Then we go on to visit the Bell Tower, which is the most well-preserved and best-known one among many ancient cities of China. The Bell Tower was built in 1384. In early morning of ancient times it had the mission of ringing the bell and giving the correct time to the whole city, so it is called "The Bell Tower". With magnificent carved beams and painted rafters, this classical building is truly elegant.

Day 10 Xi'an to Shanghai (B, L)

Xi'an to Shanghai (B, L)

Transfer via: Overnight train on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Ancient City Wall, Shaanxi Provincial Museum

This morning, we will have photo-shots at Ancient City Wall. You will experience a half-hour's hike along the Ancient City Wall. It is the largest and best preserved present city wall in ancient China and is probably the best military battlement in the world. If you want to, you can rent a bicycle for a ride on top of the spectacular city wall. The wall was built in the Tang dynasty (618-907) and enlarged in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Then we will move on to visit the Shaanxi Provincial Museum. It is a magnificent architectural complex in the Tang Dynasty style. The Museum possesses a treasure of 113,000 historic and cultural artifacts unearthed in Shaanxi, and it covers an area of 1,100 square meters for exhibition.In the afternoon, you will be transferred to railway station to take overnight train to Shanghai in comfortable soft sleeper class.

Day 11 Shanghai (B, L)

Shanghai (B, L)

Sightseeing: Yuyuan Garden, Old Shanghai, the Bund

Early morning arrival in Shanghai. You will be met and transferred to your hotel to freshen up.

Then, we will take a relaxing walk to the lovely Yuyuan Garden, a beautiful garden in the south of the Yangtze River. Wandering through it, you will find pavilions, corridors, streams, courtyards as well as many other natural features.

Once entering Shanghai Old Street, you would feel returning to the bustling market of Shanghai 100 years ago when Shanghai was made the first open port. Here you can find the folk life style of old Shanghai, a miniature of old Shanghai Downtown Street. It is a characteristic street centered on tourism, shopping and culture-exhibition. Various old stores are gathered here: exchange shops, jewelry shops, taverns, tea houses, theatrical stages and business houses… Known as Fangband Road, it is always the "crowd corridor" with a total of 825 meters, being adjacent to the Yuyuan Garden Bazaar Area and runs in an east-west direction from Zhonghua Road to Henan Road South.

Afterwards, you will take a walk to the famous Nanjing Road and the Bund. They are among the most recognizable architectural symbols of Shanghai and therefore a must-see when visiting Shanghai

Day 12 Shanghai (B)

Shanghai (B)

Today is a free day for you to explore the metropolis by yourself. You can do some shopping as your like.

Day 13 Shanghai Departure (B)

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement

Your time is your own, until our guide escorts you to the airport for your flight to your next destination.

Comment on our service from Brandon Michael Driggs,USA

The tour was great. Both guide and driver are very friendly and helpful. For the meals on the trip, so much food and delicious dishes. We loved the trip. Thanks for all your help.

Hi Molly,

The tour was great. Both guide and driver are very friendly and helpful. For the meals on the trip, so much food and delicious dishes.

We loved the trip. Thanks for all your help.

Best wishes,

Brandon


Collapse
Comment on our service from Serene Zhou,Philippines

I must extend our thanks to you and the Tour Guide for this trip Peter. The trip was fun and informative.

Hi Stella,

I must extend our thanks to you and the Tour Guide for this trip Peter (Hope i didn't get his name wrong) .

The trip was fun and informative. Peter is extremely caring and helpful to all the guests who participated in this group trip to Mutianyu great wall & Ming Tombs tour. He made sure nobody was left out of left behind. He is very polite and attentive to our needs.

Peter also made sure we are safe, he was concerned about the distance if the guests could find their hotel or find their way back to their hotel. I must thank Peter for insisting to drop us near our hotel where we CAN see our hotel building at least.

I hope you can let Peter know that he's an awesome guide and the Americans and the rest of us had so much fun.

Best Regards,

Serene Zhou & Ernest


Collapse
Comment on our service from Qiao Wenshu, Australia

This is a tour agency in China that provides private English tours. If I needed another private tour, would I use them again? Definitely!! I would recommend them for the service too.



This is a tour agency in China that provides private English tours. I booked a 1 person private tour with these people for 4 days trip in Harbin for the Winter festival and I think it was really worth it.

I booked a 4 day tour in Harbin with them at the last minute and the person I contacted was Molly, who did all the arrangements for me. They pulled it off at the last minute, and around Chinese new year too! I contacted them just before Chinese New year and they responded really quick (yes, China time is 3 hours behind Sydney, so my responses came after 12pm local time each day). She even told me they will be on public holiday from Chinese New Year until Monday the 11th of Feb and then on Monday the 11th of Feb, I got a message from her back with a quote from the local partners first thing, so I was able to make other arrangements quickly, like getting my plane tickets, and visa.

Molly provided me with an itinerary and a quote and I was happy with it, costed $1560 AUD including single non-shared accommodation (I chose 3 star accommodation because I am not fussy about the hotel), breakfast, private transport, pick up and drop off from airport, driver, and an English speaking guide all for myself, so I had 2 people helping me out during my time there, plus entry tickets to all the attractions, for 4 days. I saw a local Australian tour company that had a 5 day Harbin group tour for $1525 AUD with a maximum of 12 people, but it’s really a 3 day tour because that tour lets people arrive in Beijing, then everyone catches the train overnight to Harbin, and days 2-4 are spent sightseeing before catching the train back to Beijing on the 5th day, plus there was another tour company that offered private tours that quoted over $2000 AUD for a similar itinerary, so I believe it was money well spent. My itinerary included the Ice and Snow world, Snow Sculptures and skiing.

Molly gave me the name and contact details of my guide (Allison) as soon as one was allocated to me, and I contacted her on Wechat (a Chinese messenger phone app). Allison is pleasant and speaks English well. The driver helped put my luggage in the car. Allison was knowledgeable and I was impressed that she was flexible and had the sense to check with the local contacts immediately upon picking me up from the airport and getting into the car, to see if the attractions I wanted to see were still open.

Allison took photos for me, and was pretty good at it, and told me lots of relevant history and behind the scenes stories, for example, how the ice blocks are harvested from the river with people standing on the frozen river, drilling holes along the perimeter of the block as deep as it is thick, and connecting them with a saw and lifting them out with a crane; how the Dao in Laodaowai refers to the railway the Russians built when they came to Harbin, and forced the locals out of the railway/developed area, hence the name Lao “Old” Dao “Railway” Wai “outside” refers to outside the railway area.

As a local, she also helped me haggle a better price for the candied fruit sticks (Bing Tang Hu Lu) and I learnt that the Modern (Ma Die Er) Ice cream block is so named because it used to be sold from the Modern Hotel/shop and they were never individually packaged, rather, sold in tubs, so technically it’s only authentic if you buy it from the Modern shop on Central Street. (There is a shop with an oval red neon sign with 1906 on it.), and the original flavours are Original and Coffee (maybe something else, I forgot), the fruit flavours are new, so I recommend the original one. I saw reviews saying it's not that good - last time I was there in the summer I had one and didn't think it lived up to it's reputation because I ate a different branded one, so go for the authentic one at ¥10 each for the original flavour. (same price as the shop in the domestic airport in Harbin). They come on a stick, I haven't see the scoop ones.

Allison also took great care of me as a friend, and helped me walk around on slippery snow/ice and gave me some bandaids and heat packs when I got some grazes from the snow shoe walking around, and warned me not to go onto the frozen lake.

The car I used was a private car, in China, cars are allowed on road according to the numbers on the license plate, to limit the maximum number of cars on the road each day. Thankfully my itinerary was relaxed so there was some space to move around to get everything done, while still being within the permitted days for the car (if it’s outside, you can still have the car on the roads I was told, but just further from the attraction than if it was on a permitted day, which means a little more walking. I got door to door service every day!). It was clean and comfortable inside. Larger groups get coaches.

If I needed another private tour, would I use them again? Definitely!! I would recommend them for the service too. The driver was very professional and like another reviewer said, did not talk all the time, and didn't ask random personal info like local taxi drivers might. Wasn't too much 'awkward silence' either cause I talked with the guide in the back seat.

I got dropped off at the airport and Allison took me directly to the check in counter and they knew exactly which counter and flight I was taking (gave them the info before arriving, was surprised they kept it) so the driver drove me right up to the correct entry. Best service!

Best wishes,

Qiao Wenshu  


Collapse
Comment on our service from Annette Esselborn, Germany

We had a wonderful day. The tour was well organized. We would also book it again with you. The tour guide was awesome! A big praise. She patiently answered all the questions, was funny, responded to the group. That was really great.

Hello Sandy,

 

Thank you for your request. We had a wonderful day, even though we experienced exactly the snow on the Chinese wall. The tour was well organized. We would also book it again with you.

 

The Ming Tombs were interesting, but of course the Great Wall of China was the highlight for us. And despite the snow, it was an experience. Somewhat hectic was the climb from lunch (by the way very, very delicious!) But I know that this was only due to the weather that day.

 

The tour guide was awesome! A big praise. She patiently answered all the questions, was funny, responded to the group. That was really great.

If I come back in 2 years with a group, we would like to book again the same tour (maybe without snow ....) with the same tour guide.

 

Our heartfelt thanks!

Viele Grüße

Collapse
Comment on our service from Nancy Tuksaudom,USA

Each and every city was thoroughly explored with the wonderful guides and drivers that you arranged for us.  We also enjoyed every hotel that you reserved for us. We especially enjoyed each guide, their knowledge, courtesy, and personality! We had a thoroughly wonderful time in China and thank you for all the work you did to plan it for us.  Should we ever visit China again, we will contact you to assist us!

 

Hi Sandie!

Thanks for your email! We are both doing fine and have happy memories of the time we spent touring China, thanks to you! 

We are home now (since early February) and planning our next trip in Mexico for April.

  

We totally enjoyed our time in China, despite the fact that it was cooler than we had planned for/expected. Each and every city was thoroughly explored with the wonderful guides and drivers that you arranged for us.  We also enjoyed every hotel that you reserved for us, as we did the flights, as well. The only semi-negative comment was that the Guilin hotel heat situation was sub-par. 

We especially enjoyed each guide, their knowledge, courtesy, and personality! They often showed us much more than we expected and worked very hard to make all connections efficiently, etc. 

  

I did complete feedback forms for each guide in each city. I hope that they forwarded them to you. They were likely to be more thorough than what I just wrote to you. 

The bottom line, though, was that we had a thoroughly wonderful time in China and thank you for all the work you did to plan it for us.  Should we ever visit China again, we will contact you to assist us! 

If you ever visit Seattle, Washington, please let me know and I/we will show you around our beautiful city and environs. 

Thanks again!  

Nancy and Pricha (Tuksaudom)

Collapse
Comment on our service from Gracie Chan, USA

We had a wonderful trip! You planned and coordinated everything really well. We especially appreciated all your help on the first day when we missed our train and got stranded in Beijing~THANK YOU! Everything went smoothly and our guides were most accommodating. Most of them were quite fluent and we don't have any problem understanding them. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and seek you out if I visit China the future.

 

Hello Sandy,

Hope you had a nice weekend. Thanks for being patient. Here's what we thought of the trip.

Overall, we had a wonderful trip! You planned and coordinated everything really well. We especially appreciated all your help on the first day when we missed our train and got stranded in Beijing~THANK YOU!

Everything went smoothly and our guides were most accommodating. Most of them were quite fluent and we don't have any problem understanding them. It was great to have their help dealing with hotel checking-ins and transportation details. It was very convenient and helpful. Having to move in and out of hotels daily and trying to catch all those train on time are very stressful ~ A big "Thanks" for all their help.  

I want you to know that we consider Jackie Zhang (our guide for Zhangye & Dunhuang) to be the BEST of all the guides we encountered on this trip. She is enthusiastic, meticulous and extremely knowledgeable. You can tell that she enjoys her job tremendously!

         

My observation ~ Most "Foreign Visitors" don't always have a base knowledge of the history of the places they are visiting. A SHORT & CONCISE explanation is better than a long and winding narrative. It should not be assumed that one formula works for everyone. Some visitors are more knowledgeable than others and vice versa.

We enjoyed all the sights we visited on this trip tremendously. That said, there are some room for improvements.

The one disappointment for me was the visit to Qinghai Lake. It was too commercialized. It would have been so much better if we were able to stop by the lake area BEFORE the visitor center where it was much more pristine and unspoiled. After all, we are there to take it the natural beauty of the area after all.

Our guide and driver was most accommodating when we asked them to stop by the side of the road in order for us to photograph herds of YAK and sheep. It was the highlight of the trip for me! I am sure other visitors will feel the same way.

My suggestion ~ Maybe some sort of arrangements can be made with local farmers that owned land along the Qinghai lake for a short stop over in your future tours? This way, your visitors can have wonderful opportunities to photograph and experience the scenery and lifestyle of the local people.

My observation ~ In Turpan, the Turpan Museum would have been a BETTER choice than the visit to the Karez well system (Kan'erjing Museum). There is really nothing much to see here.  

The International Grand Bazaar was also a bit of a disappointment, it was too touristy. I think we would find it much more interesting if we have the opportunity to visit a local street market instead.

We rode a donkey cart at the Flaming Mountains. It was great fun! I think this should be included in the future and its a great way to help the local make some extra money too. You agree?

Hotels ~ We still prefer staying at International Brand hotels. We really liked the Sofitel Hotels (in Xian & Xining) and the Sheraton in Urumqi.  

We find the service and breakfast food selection available at the local brand hotels are still somewhat lacking compared to the International Brand hotels.

Food ~ We had some amazing and some mediocre food on this trip. The quality of the meal is inconsistent. I guess it depended a lot on your local tour coordinators?    

I hope our observations and honest suggestions are helpful to you. Please do not consider this is as criticism of our trip but as suggestions for improvements. We had lots of fun and we hope you'll be able to attract more visitors to your tour. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and seek you out if I visit China the future.

I have attached the "corrected" photo and an extra one taken at the Flaming Mountains. You have our permission to include all three of the photos along with the following review to your website. I will write a review for TripAdvisor.com later.

Regards,

Gracie.


Collapse

Custom Tailoring: Design your own tour with our help to meet your unique interests. You don't have to compromise. Do exactly what you want to do! Let us assist you to tailor-make your own China experience.

Tell us what you need now!

Quick Questions

Our team is waiting for you questions. Please feel free to ask us any questions you might have about our China package tours, Chinese culture, or the sites available. We will gladly help you with any special needs you might have and all questions, like our trip designing is completely free of charge.

Name:      E-Mail:

How large is your group?      Your Travel date:

Enter your question:

Verify Code: Click to change the verification code.