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Your Position: HomeChina ToursChina Train Tours15 Days Best Selected Tour to Discover Eastern China
  • Earth Buildings of Yongding/Fujian Tulou
  • Forbidden City
  • Lingering Garden (Garden to linger in)
  • Mount Tai
  • Temple, Mansion and Cemetery of Confucius / San Kong
  • The Bund
  • West Lake
  • Badaling Great Wall
  • Dai Temple/Daimiao
  • Gulangyu (Isle of Blown Waves)
  • Ling Yin Temple (Temple of Soul's Retreat)
  • Oriental Pearl TV Tower
  • The Grand Canal
  • South Putuo Temple
  • Summer Palace
  • Yuyuan Garden
  • Jade Buddha Temple
  • Panmen Scenery Area
  • The Temple of Heaven
  • FeiLaiFeng (also named Ling JiuFeng)
  • Jimei
  • Nanjing Road
  • Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium)
  • Dragon Well Tea Plantation
  • Hutong Tours in Rickshaw
  • Ming Tombs
  • National Swimming Centre('The Water Cube') Beijing
  • Shanghai Museum
  • Shanghai Old Street
  • The No.1 Silk Factory
  • The Sacred Way
  • Tiananmen Square
  • Zhouzhuang in Jiangsu

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

From $1565 per person

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15 Days Best Selected Tour to Discover Eastern China

Tour Code: CTT26
Tour Duration: 15 Days
Destination: Beijing, Hangzhou, Qufu, Shanghai, Suzhou, Taian, Xiamen
Tour overview: Traveling through China by train is a special experience. You will see a side of China few visitors see, while flying overhead, plus train travel is far more economical. On this China train tour you will see some very special destinations. You will see traditional Chinese gardens, Confucius’ home and temple, the imperial majesty of Beijing, and see how Dragon Well Tea is produced in Hangzhou. This is a special tour and one you will want to share with your family.

  • Tour Summary
  • Day by Day Itinerary
  • Reviews
Gulangyu Zhouzhuang Water Town Mount Taishan Summer Palace

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Tour Dates Destinations Services Provided Meals Included
Day 1 Xiamen Arrive in Xiamen, be met and transferred to hotel. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Mandarin Hotel, Xiamen Xiamen Huaqiao Hotel New Foresty Hotel, Xiamen
/
Day 2 Xiamen Full day visit Gulangyu (Isle of Blown Waves) , South Putuo Temple and Jimei . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Mandarin Hotel, Xiamen Xiamen Huaqiao Hotel New Foresty Hotel, Xiamen
B, L
Day 3 Xiamen Full day visit Earth Buildings of Yongding/Fujian Tulou . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Mandarin Hotel, Xiamen Xiamen Huaqiao Hotel New Foresty Hotel, Xiamen
B, L
Day 4 Xiamen/Hangzhou Transferred to take bullet train to Hangzhou. Be met and transfered to the hotel. Enjoy some leisure time of the rest day. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Hangzhou Grand Canal Ramada Plaza Riverside Hangzhou Enjoyor Hotel
B
Day 5 Hangzhou Full day visit West Lake , Ling Yin Temple (Temple of Soul's Retreat) , FeiLaiFeng (also named Ling JiuFeng) , and Dragon Well Tea Plantation . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Hangzhou Grand Canal Ramada Plaza Riverside Hangzhou Enjoyor Hotel
B, L
Day 6 Hangzhou/Shanghai Transferred to take bullet train to Shanghai. Be met and check in hotel. Visit the Nanjing Road and 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 7 Shanghai Full day visit Oriental Pearl TV Tower , Yuyuan Garden , Jade Buddha Temple , Shanghai Old Street and Shanghai Museum . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai Jin jiang New Asia hotel Shanghai
B, L
Day 8 Shanghai/Suzhou Transferred to take bullet train to Suzhou. Be met and check in hotel. Then visit Lingering Garden (Garden to linger in) , Panmen Scenery Area , The Grand Canal and The No.1 Silk Factory . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Shangri-La Hotel Suzhou Bamboo Grove Hotel Traveler-Inn Gusu Hotel Suzhou
B, L
Day 9 Suzhou/Zhouzhuang/Qufu Visit Zhouzhuang in Jiangsu , and then transfer to Qufu by high speed train. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Que Li Hotel Qufu Que Li Hotel Qufu Qufu Guangda Longduo Hotel
B, L
Day 10 Qufu Full day visit Temple, Mansion and Cemetery of Confucius / San Kong . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Que Li Hotel Qufu Que Li Hotel Qufu Qufu Guangda Longduo Hotel
B, L
Day 11 Qufu/Taian Take private car to Taian, then visit the Mount Tai and Dai Temple/Daimiao . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Ramada Plaza Taian Reader Hotel - Taian
B, L
Day 12 Taian/Beijing Transferred to take high speed train to Beijing. Arrived and be met. Transfered to hotel. Visit Summer Palace and Hutong Tours in Rickshaw . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Beijing Redwall Hotel
B, L
Day 13 Beijing Full day visit Tiananmen Square , Forbidden City and The Temple of Heaven . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Beijing Redwall Hotel
B, L
Day 14 Beijing Full day visit Badaling Great Wall , Ming Tombs and The Sacred Way . On the way back to hotel, you will be driven to visit the main 2008 Beijing Olympic venues, take an exterior visit of both the Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium) and National Swimming Centre('The Water Cube') Beijing . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Beijing Redwall Hotel
B, L
Day 15 Beijing Free at leisure till be transferred to airport for your flight departure. Details... B
Season Tour Class Group Size Single Room
Supplement
1pax 2-5pax 6-9pax
Peak Season 3*(Tourist Class) $4066 $2376 $1565 $490
4*(Deluxe Class) $4457 $2573 $1753 $675
5*(First Class) $5638 $3167 $2332 $1226
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 Xiamen Arrival

Transport via: 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 Xiamen (B, L)

Xiamen (B, L)

Sightseeing: Gulangyu Island, South Putuo Temple, Jimei

After breakfast visit the Gulangyu Island, the South Putuo Temple, and Jimei. Gulangyu Islandwhich is located just southwest of Xiamen City. Visitors can reach it by steamship from Xiamen City in about 5 minutes. Gulangyu Island is renowned for its delicate natural beauty, its ancient relics, and its varied architecture. The island is on China's list of National Scenic Spots and also ranks at the top of the list of the ten most-scenic areas in Fujian Province.

Continue visit South Putuo Temple, situated at the foot of Wulao Peak on the southern end of Xiamen it was first built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Later rebuilt during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it is now an imposing multi-layered trapezoidal structure that overlooks the sea. The Shrine of Buddhist Scriptures houses a huge collection of Buddhist cultural relics, including a Burmese jade carving of the Buddha and many important Buddhist texts. The temple's Heavenly King Hall, the main prayer hall, the Hall of Great Compassion and the Shrine of Buddhist Scriptures are all graced with painted brackets and upturned eaves. Go shopping at Longtoulu shopping street in the afternoon.

JimeiLocated at the southeastern coast of Fujian Province, Jimei District is one of the six administrative districts of Xiamen City, the center of Golden Triangle of Fujian Province as well as home to more than sixty thousands oversea Chinese. It has an area of 275.79 square kilometers and is home to several rare national-level animals and plants such as Chinese white dolphins, amphioxi, limuluses and mangrove forest.

Day 3 Xiamen (B, L)

Transfer via: Private Vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Hakkas‘ residential building "Tulou"

W
orld Heritages Sites included Today: Earth Buildings of Yongding/Fujian Tulou

Early depart in the morning from Xiamen. Be transferred to Nanjing and visit Hakkas' residential building "Tulou". Yongding County is located in the southwest part of Fujian Province. The place is famous all around the world for its beautiful landscape, unique Hakka culture, and magnificent Tulou houses. In the 2200-odd-square-kilometer land of Yongding, there are more than twenty thousand Tulou houses distributed, among which, almost five thousand are large scale ones with more than three layers. These Tulou houses depend on natural village as units and integrate the blue sky, the vast ground and beautiful natural scenery into a whole. The whole sight of this is magnificent and breath-taking.

In the afternoon, you will be driven back to Xiamen.

Day 4 Xiamen/Hangzhou (B, L)

Transport Via: Bullet Train on our arrangement

After breakfast, be transferred to take the bullet train to Hangzhou. Arrive in Hangzhou. Be met and transfered to hotel. Enjoy some leisure time of the rest day.

Day 5 Hangzhou (B, L)

Hangzhou (B, L)

Sightseeing: West Lake, Lingyin Temple and Feilai Feng (also named Ling JiuFeng), Dragon Well Tea Plantation

Our local guide will meet you and escort you to beautiful West Lake. We will take a cruise boat across the lake to see the 3 pagodas in the lake. The West Lake is the most famous tourist spot of Hangzhou. Graceful mountains surround it on three sides. It has a charming scenery and many cultural relics and historic sites.

Today you will also visit Lingyin Temple including the Feilai Feng. The Feilai Feng is situated in the east of Ling Yin Temple. Isolated from others, its stone quality is totally different from that of surrounding mountain groups. It is 167 meters high, on the peak there are many grotesque stones in the shapes of charming dragon, prostrate tiger, walking elephant and scared ape. The main hall of Lingyin Temple is about 34 meters (111 feet) tall - incredibly high for a one-storey building. In the center of the hall you'll find the statue of Sakyamuni Buddha, which was carved from 24 pieces of camphor wood. The temple was named Lingyin Temple for its extremely beautiful environment which is serene and suitable for "Soul's Retreat".

We will go on visit the Dragon Well Tea PlantaionCovering an area of 132 acres, the Dragon Well Tea Plantation in Dragon Well Village of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, faces the West Lake to the west and Qiantang River to the south. Dragon Well Village is a picturesque wonderland surrounded by mountains with a large area of tea trees. The superior geographical conditions here make exceptional advantages for the growth of tea trees.

Day 6 Hangzhou/Shanghai (B, L)

Hangzhou/Shanghai (B, L)

Transport Via: Bullet Train on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Nanjing Road, The Bund

Transferred to take a bullet train to Shanghai in the morning. Arriving in Shanghai, you will be met and transferred to your hotel by our local guide. Together, 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 7 Shanghai (B, L)

Shanghai (B, L)

Sightseeing: Shanghai Museum, Oriental Pearl Tower, Yuyuan Garden

Today we will visit  Oriental Pearl Tower, the highest TV Tower in Asia, which creates a picture of 'twin dragons playing with pearls'. The entire scene is a photographic jewel that excites the imagination and attracts thousands of visitors all year-round. 

After lunch, 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.

Then we will head to the Jade Buddha Temple. The old-time and classical architectural style makes the temple unique and inimitable in this modern city. Both, the Sitting Buddha and the Recumbent Buddha are carved with whole white jade.  If you're lucky, you can watch the monks serving a ceremony in a side room.

We will go on visit Shanghai Old Street, which
 is in the Old City Area of Shanghai. It also called as "little eastern gate" as it is in the place of one of the old city gate. Thought the gate is no longer in existence, as a key trading site for small wares and foreign trade, the Old Street has witnessed the development of the city both in economy and society.

We will visit the Shanghai Museum which is the biggest museum of China. It incorporates a collection of over 120,000 pieces of Chinese art & cultural relics and is especially famous for its treasures of bronzes, ceramics, paintings and calligraphy.

Day 8 Shanghai/Suzhou (B, L)

Shanghai/Suzhou (B, L)

Transport Via: Bullet Train on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Panmen Scenery Area, Humble Administrators Garden, The Grand Canal, The No.1 Silk Factory.

Transferred to take bullet train to Suzhou in the morning. Be met and check in hotel. Then we will visit Lingering Garden. Occupying an area of 23,300 square meters (about 5.8 acres), the Lingering Garden is located outside Changmen Gate in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. Originally a classical private garden, it is one of the four most famous gardens in China, possessing typical Qing style, it is well-known for the exquisite beauty of its magnificent halls, and the various sizes, shapes, and colors of the buildings.

Then we will head to  Panmen Scenery Area, which was built on the base of some historic sites by using the architectural structure of classical gardens. It is famous for its numerous historic relics and abundant human landscapes and has been listed as the National AAAA Tourist Area. Now, Panmen Scenery Area has become a tourist resort showing the unique historic and cultural features of Suzhou. The scenery area which is centered on Panmen City Gate consists of many scenic spots. Amongst them, Ruiguang Pagoda, Panmen City Gate and Wumen Bridge are praised as 'three fine sceneries'.

Afterwards, we will visit the Grand Canal. As well as the Great Wall, it ranks as the country's greatest engineering achievement and it is the longest man-made waterway in world. Cruising on the Canal, you will see the local peoples’ life.

As Suzhou is also famous for its silk production we will spend some time in the No.1 Silk Factory to see how silk is processed from the silk worm to the final woven cloth.

Day 9 Suzhou/Zhouzhuang/Qufu

Suzhou/Zhouzhuang/Qufu

Transport Via: High Speed Train on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Zhouzhuang 
 
After breakfast, we will drive to  Zhouzhuang, and spend the day there. It is one of the most famous water townships in China. Situated in Kunshan City, which is only 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Suzhou, it is noted for its profound cultural background, the well preserved ancient residential houses, the elegant watery views and the strong local colored traditions and customs. Let us explore this town with a history of more than 2500 years and get to know about the architecture, lifestyle and inhabitants there.

Afterwards you will be transferred to Qufu by High Speed Train.

Day 10 Qufu

Qufu

Sightseeing: Confucian Temples, Confucius Mansion and Confucian Family Graveyard 
Cuisine Highlight: Qufu Family Banquet

Today we will learn the Confucian culture with the visit to Confucian TemplesConfucian Mansion and Confucian Family Graveyard. They are called Three Confucians, which are now one of the four extant great architectural complexes in China.

Among many preserved Confucian temples of different dynasties all over China, the Confucian Temple in Qufu is the largest and earliest one. It represents the culture and history of Confucianism. Confucian Mansion: It is also called Yanshenggong Mansion, a large house consisting of 463 halls, rooms, towers and houses, covering an area of 13.3 hectares-the largest landlord manor in China's history. The courtyard is divided into three family temples. The main building in the center was first used as a government office then changed to dwelling house later. Confucian family graveyard: It is the graveyard of the Confucian family and has a history of more than 2340 years. There are about ten thousand tombs inside the graveyard .Also many stone steles, lanes and pavilions can be found here.

Day 11 Qufu/Taian

Qufu/Taian

Transport Via: Private car on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Dai Temple. Mountain Tai

After breakfast, we will drive to Mount Tai Tourist Attraction. Take Car & Vehicle to the Top of the Mountain. Mountain Tai, Covering an area of 426 square kilometers with the highest peak 1,545 meters above sea level; the majestic Mt. Tai is one of the China's national parks and the first of the Five Sacred Mountain in China.

Have a visit to the Dai Temple. First built in Han Dynasty, it is the largest and most completed ancient building complex of Mount Tai. Emperors of the past dynasties held celebrations in the temple to worship heaven and earth, and sacrificed to the God of the mountain. Besides, it was also the first stop for the pilgrims on their way to the Tai Mountain.

Day 12 Taian/Beijing (B, L)

Taian/Beijing (B, L)

Transport Via: High Speed Train on our arrangement
Sightseeing : Summer Palace, Beijing Hutongs

Transferred to take the high speed train to Beijing. Be met with the local guide and check in hotel. Then we wil visit the famous Summer Palace and Beijing Hutongs.

We will experience a unique Hutong tour by taking a rickshaw this morning. Hutongs are a kind of ancient city alley or lane and are very typical for Beijing. Most of them can be found close to the Forbidden City, and many were built during the three dynasties of Yuan, Ming and Qing. Today, the Hutong is a living museum of Beijing history showing the traditional lifestyle of Beijing people.

We will continue by visiting 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.

Day 13 Beijing (B, L)

Beijing (B, L)

Sightseeing: Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City

This morning our tour will begin with a visit of 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.

After lunch, we will go on our city tour to visit 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.

From here we will walk across the Golden River Bridge to visit the Forbidden City and 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 14 Beijing (B, L)

Beijing (B, L)

Sightseeing: Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Sacred Way,  Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium) and the National Swimming Centre(The Water Cube)

After experiencing the royal lifestyle, today we will be transferred to the surrounding countryside of Beijing and visit the Badaling Great Wall, the pride of China and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Whereas Genghis Khan contemplated it as a military obstacle, Richard Nixon described it as one of humankind's greatest achievements. You will be able to climb and walk one of the best preserved sections of the 2,000 years old ancient wall, admiring the splendid mountain views. Bring a jacket and layer- although it is breezy, the climbing is tough. So be in a good shape!

In the afternoon we will visit the legendary Ming Tombs, which are situated at the foot of Heavenly Longevity Mountain, Changping, northwest of Beijing. Since there are 13 Ming emperors buried there, this place was called the 13 Ming Tombs. You will walk along the Sacred Way, a road guarded by stone statues on both sides, as the ancient emperors did to hold a memorial ceremony for their ancesters.

On the way back to the hotel, you will be driven to visit the main 2008 Beijing Olympic venues, take an exterior visit of both the Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium) and the National Swimming Centre(The Water Cube), feeling free to take some photos of the stadiums.

Day 15 Beijing Departure (B)

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement

Today will be free for your own purposes, until our guide will escort you to the airport for 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


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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


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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  


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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

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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)

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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.


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