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Your Position: HomeChina ToursChina World Heritage Tours16 Days China Southern Folk Residences & Wuyishan Explore Tour
  • Earth Buildings of Yongding/Fujian Tulou
  • Li River
  • Lingering Garden (Garden to linger in)
  • Mount Wuyi
  • Ruins of St. Paul
  • Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
  • The Bund
  • Victoria Peak
  • West Street
  • Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family
  • Elephant Trunk Hill
  • Gulangyu (Isle of Blown Waves)
  • Historic Center of Macao
  • Oriental Pearl TV Tower
  • Repulse Bay
  • Aberdeen
  • Humble Administrator's Garden
  • Reed Flute Cave
  • South Putuo Temple
  • Temple of Six Banyan Trees
  • Yuyuan Garden
  • The Moon Hill
  • Fubo (wave-subduing) Hill
  • Nanjing Road
  • Big Banyan
  • Kaiping  Watchtowers
  • Lion Grove
  • Shanghai Museum
  • The Garden of Master-of-the-Net

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

16 Days China Southern Folk Residences & Wuyishan Explore Tour

Tour Code: CWHT06
Tour Duration: 16 Days
Destination: Guangzhou, Guilin, Hong Kong, Macao, Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuyishan, Xiamen, Yangshuo
Tour overview: Chinese Ethnic Minority architecture and culture is truly unique and this tour focuses on them, as well as areas famous for their natural beauty, and some of the best sites China has to offer. A large number of the sites on this China tour are listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. You will see the blockhouses in Kaiping, the Hakka Tulou buildings, and so much more. See how some of China’s Ethnic Minority Groups have lived for centuries and how their architecture has been a big part in the forming of their cultures and traditions.

  • Tour Summary
  • Day by Day Itinerary
  • Reviews
16 Days China Southern Folk Residences & Wuyishan Explore Tour 16 Days China Southern Folk Residences & Wuyishan Explore Tour 16 Days China Southern Folk Residences & Wuyishan Explore Tour 16 Days China Southern Folk Residences & Wuyishan Explore Tour

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Tour Dates Destinations Services Provided Meals Included
Day 1 Hong Kong Arrive at HongKong, you will be met and transferred to your hotel, free at the rest of the day. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Harbour Grand Hong Kong Metropark Hotel Causeway Bay HK YWCA The Garden View
Day 2 Hong Kong Half day tour to Victoria Peak Aberdeen Repulse Bay Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong Metropark Hotel Causeway Bay HK YWCA The Garden View
B
Day 3 Hong Kong/Macao/Hong Kong One day Macau tour for Ruins of St. Paul Historic Center of Macao Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Harbour Grand Hong Kong Metropark Hotel Causeway Bay HK YWCA The Garden View
B, L
Day 4 Hong Kong/Guangzhou After breakfast, you will be transferred to railway station to take train to Guangzhou. Arrive at Guangzhou, be met and transferred to your hotel. Visit to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family Temple of Six Banyan Trees Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Dong Fang Hotel Landmark International Hotel Science City Lido Hotel
B, L
Day 5 Guangzhou This morning you will be met and drive to Kaiping. You will visit the famous Kaiping Watchtowers .You will also visit the Li Garden, In the afternoon, visit the Chikan ancient town and then drive back to Guangzhou. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Dong Fang Hotel Landmark International Hotel Science City Lido Hotel
B, L
Day 6 Guangzhou/Guilin Take morning flight to Guilin. Arrive in Guilin, be met and city tour to visit Elephant Trunk Hill Reed Flute Cave Fubo (wave-subduing) Hill Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Sheraton Guilin Hotel Guilin Bravo Hotel GuiLin Eva Inn Hotel
B, L
Day 7 Guilin/Yangshuo ull day tour to take the Li River and West Street Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Guilin Yangshuo Green Lotus Hotel New Century Hotel Aiyuan Hotel
B, L
Day 8 Yangshuo/Guilin/Xiamen Yangshuo biking to The Moon Hill Big Banyan . Take afternoon flight to Xiamen. Arrive at Xiamen, be met & transferred to your hotel. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Mandarin Hotel, Xiamen Xiamen Huaqiao Hotel New Foresty Hotel, Xiamen
B, L
Day 9 Xiamen Early depart in the morning from Xiamen. Be transferred to Nanjing and visit Earth Buildings of Yongding/Fujian Tulou . Back to Xiamen late in the afternoon. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Mandarin Hotel, Xiamen Xiamen Huaqiao Hotel New Foresty Hotel, Xiamen
B, L
Day 10 Xiamen/Wuyishan Full day private tour to visit the Gulangyu (Isle of Blown Waves) , watch Sunlight Rock,then view ShuZhuang Garden, Piano Museum, South Putuo Temple . In the evening, you will be transferred to airport and take flight to Wuyishan. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Yeohwa Resort, Wuyi Mountain Wuyi Villa, Wuyishan Century Land Hotel, Wuyishan
B, L
Day 11 Wuyishan Full day private tours in the beautiful Mount Wuyi . Heavenly Tour Peak, Cloudy Nest and Special tea canyon, Fairy bath pool; Then take a traditional bamboo raft for sightseeing on the wonderful Nine Twist Stream, Take a look at WuYi Palace, the Ancient Song Street and the Spring Garden. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Yeohwa Resort, Wuyi Mountain Wuyi Villa, Wuyishan Century Land Hotel, Wuyishan
B, L
Day 12 Wuyishan/Shanghai Have a tour in The Roaring Tiger Rock and The biggest a Ray of sky in the world, Wind Tunnel and Immortal building. Then Visiting the Ancient YongLe Temple and Happy Buddha, Big Red Robe Tea Canyon, Nine Dragon Nest, and Water Curtain Cave, enjoy and tasting WuYi Rock tea and tea ceremony. Be transferred to the airport for flight to Shanghai. Arrive in Shanghai, be met and transferred to your hotel. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai Jin jiang New Asia hotel Shanghai
B, L
Day 13 Shanghai Full day visit Yuyuan Garden Shanghai Museum Oriental Pearl TV Tower The Bund Nanjing Road Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai Jin jiang New Asia hotel Shanghai
B, L
Day 14 Shanghai/Suzhou Take morning train to Suzhou. Arrive in Suzhou, be met and visit Lingering Garden (Garden to linger in) The Garden of Master-of-the-Net Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Shangri-La Hotel Suzhou Bamboo Grove Hotel Traveler-Inn Gusu Hotel Suzhou
B, L
Day 15 Suzhou/Shanghai Visit Humble Administrator's Garden Lion Grove , then be transferred back to Shanghai by car. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai Jin jiang New Asia hotel Shanghai
B, L
Day 16 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 Hong Kong Arrival

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement

After your Arrival in Hong Kong, you will be met by your local guide who will then transfer you to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the time to explore Hong Kong on your own.

Day 2 Hong Kong (B)

Hong Kong (B)

Sightseeing: Victoria Peak, Aberdeen, Repulse Bay

Today we will start to explore Victoria Peak first. The Peak is Hong Kong’s number one tourist destination. It features the city's oldest mode transport, the 112-year old Peak Tram and Hong Kong's most unusual building and icon, The Peak Tower where you will find shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.

Then you will visit lovely Repulse Bay: Primarily an exclusive residential area, Repulse Bay has a relaxed, resort-like atmosphere. You will find statues of Kwun Yum and Tin Hau, both protectors of fishermen.

The tour will continue with a visit to Aberdeen fishing village where you will enjoy a Sampan Ride on the harbor to get a close-up look at this unusual way of life.

For the rest of the day you will have leisure time to explore Hong Kong on your own.

Day 3 Hong Kong to Macau to Hong Kong (B, L)

Hong Kong to Macau to Hong Kong (B, L)

Transfer via: Ferry on our arrangement
sightseeing: Na Tcha Temple, Old City Walls, Mount Fortress, Ruis of St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church.

World Heritages Sites included Today:
Historic Center of Macao

After breakfast, you will be picked up from hotel, transfer to Macau Ferry Terminal for departure to Macau.

Upon arrival, sightseeing tour begins with certain World Heritages including Na Tcha Temple, Section of the Old City Walls, Mount Fortress and the landmark of Macau - Ruins of St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church.  This Roman Catholic Church was built in 1602 and burned by fire in 1835. Miraculously, fine art of carvings and statues can be seen on the surviving facade.

Take Ferry back to HongKong in the afternoon.

Day 4 HongKong to Guangzhou (B, L)

HongKong to Guangzhou (B, L)

Transfer via: Train on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family, Temple of Six Banyan Trees

After breakfast, you will be transferred to railway station to take train to Guangzhou. Upon your arrival, you will be met by your local guide. Then you will start your sightseeing tour by visiting Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. It is a magnificent building in the shape of octagon and an important place for large scale meeting and performance. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall was built in order to commemorate the contributions of Sun Zhongshan, the great predecessor of Chinese revolution for democracy. It is a memorial construction donated by the people in Guangzhou and the overseas Chinese and is listed as one of the first class cultural relics in Guangdong Province.

Afterwards you will visit the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family which is also called Chen Clan Academy. It is a place both for offering up sacrifices to ancestors and for study. Now the Chen Clan Ancestral Temple in Guangzhou City, the Ancestors' Temple in Foshan City, the former Residence of Sun Yat-sen in Zhongshan City and the Opium War Memorial Hall in Dongguan City are regarded as the four major cultural tourist sites in Guangdong Province.

Then you will head to the Temple of Six Banyan Trees. It has a long history in Guangzhou and is an ancient monastery famous at home and abroad. There are majestic towers, dense trees, plenty of antiques and valuable heritage from those famous people in the history. It is one of the four Buddhism temple complexes in Guangzhou is an important unit for the preservation of antiques.

Day 5 Guangzhou (B, L)

Guangzhou  (B, L)

Sightseeing: Kaiping Diaolou, Li Garden, Chikan ancient town

World Heritages Sites included Today:
Kaiping Watchtowers/Kaiping Diaolou and Villages

This morning you will be met and drive to Kaiping. You will visit the famous Kaiping Diaolou in Zili Village, the world's architecture heritage, the beautiful skyline of Kaiping is composed of many stand-alone diaolou in versatile styles and different heights. Kaiping blockhouses are a peculiar type of residential building in Kaiping region, Guangdong Province with combination of Chinese and western styles. They were built by returned overseas Chinese through blending western architectural type with traditional Chinese style. Kaiping City was frequently plagued by flood and poor public security in the past. For this reason, large quantities of local dwellers left their hometown for America and Canada to make a living since the late Qing Dynasty. The city is hereby widely known as "the Hometown of Overseas Chinese". There still exist over 1833 blockhouses (mainly of clay, blue brick and reinforced concrete type) in Chikan, Tangkou and other towns.

You will also visit the Li Garden, a wealthy family residential house at the early beginning of last century.

In the afternoon, visit the Chikan ancient town. Chikan is ancient town established during the Qing Dynasty under the governance of Emperor Shunzhi . with 350 years of history chikan evolved from a country market place into the business competition between the Guan and situ families . Memorial family libraries were built by each family and both libraries became landmarks of chikan.

After the tours, you will be driven back to Guangzhou.

Day 6 Guangzhou to Guilin (B, L)

Guangzhou to Guilin (B, L)

Transfer via: Flight on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave, Fubo(wave-subduing) Hill

Take morning flight to Guilin. Arrive in Guilin, be met have the city tour with the visit to Reed Flute Cave, which is a vast and very impressive cave system, and one of the most important sights of Guilin. Known as "the Palace of Natural Arts", you can see beautiful stalactites & stalagmites and learn how they are formed.

Then you will head to Elephant Trunk Hill. Located at the conjunction of the Li River & the Peach Blossom River, the whole hill looks very much like a giant elephant with a long trunk drinking out of the river; it is the symbol of Guilin city.

We’ll continue to visit Fubo Hill. You will see lots of rock stone carvings & Buddha statues from since Tang Dynasty. If you climb to the summit, you will have a wonderful bird's-eye view of Guilin city.

Day 7 Guilin to Yangshuo (B, L)

Guilin to Yangshuo (B, L)

Sightseeing: Li River, West Street

Guilin is famous for its picturesque scenery, and the best way to see it is from the deck of Li River Cruise ships. In the morning you will depart from your hotel and be transferred to the Zhujiang Pier (about 1 hour drive) for a 4.5 hours wonderful cruise. You will enjoy the unique mountains, peaceful green fields, farms and villages with water buffalos, cows wondering around on both sides of the river bank.

In the afternoon you will disembark at the old town Yangshuo. Having a history of more than 1,400 years, West Street is the oldest street in Yangshuo. You can enjoy to explore the old town’s lovely attractions.

Day 8 Yangshuo to Guilin to Xiamen (B, L)

Transfer via: Flight on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Moon Mountain, Big Banyan Tree

This morning, your guide will help you hire bicycle and accompany you biking to Moon Mountain and Big Banyan Tree. Moon Mountain is located on the opposite bank to the Big Banyan Tree, 8.5 kilometers south of Yangshuo. It got the name due to the fact that, when looked at from different locations, it resembles the moon in different stages. The mountain also has another beautiful name- Immortal Mountain. Yangshuo Big Banyan Tree is located 7 kilometers away from the center of Yangshuo, and the old tree is 17 meters high and covers an area of over 1000 square meters. It is said that the banyan was planted in the Jin Dynasty, and has a history of over 1,300 years. Its age and towering beauty make this tree a must- see attraction in Yangshuo.

After biking, you will be transferred to Guilin airport and take afternoon flight to Xiamen. Arrive at Xiamen, be met & transferred to your hotel.

Day 9 Xiamen to Yongding to Xiamen (B, L)

Xiamen to Yongding to 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 Hakkasresidential 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 10 Xiamen to Wuyishan (B, L)

Xiamen to Wuyishan (B, L)

Transfer via: Flight on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Gulang Island

Full day private tour to visit the Gulang Island, with laudatory title of "Island of the piano or maritime garden" watch Sunlight Rock(Cable fee should be paid by tourists),then view ShuZhuang Garden, Piano Museum, the south Putuotemple, South Putuo Temple is situated at the foot of Wulao Peak and lies on the southern end of Xiamen.  The temple was first built more than a thousand years ago during the Tang Dynasty and is famous throughout Fujian as a sacred place for Buddhism.  It is called South Putuo for its conformity to Guanyin (Goddess of Mercy) and Bodhisattva (Buddhist seeker of enlightenment) as well as its Bodhimandala (a place where a Bodhisattva has achieved "Buddha hood")

In the evening, you will be transferred to airport and take flight to Wuyishan. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 11 Wuyishan (B, L)

Wuyishan (B, L)

Sightseeing: Wuyi Mountai

World Heritages Sites included Today:
Wuyi Mountain

Full day private tours in the beautiful WuYi Mountain: Heavenly Tour Peak, Cloudy Nest and Special tea canyon, Fairy bath pool; Then take a traditional bamboo raft for sightseeing on the wonderful Nine Twist Stream, Take a look at WuYi Palace, the Ancient Song Street and the Spring Garden.

Mt. Wuyi Holiday Area neighbors Mt. Wuyi Scenic Spot so is convenient for tourists living in the holiday resort to visit this beautiful mountain. The holiday area is about 8 kilometers (about 5 miles) from Wuyi Shan Airport and 9 kilometers (about 5.6 miles) from Wuyi Shan Railway Station and 11 kilometers (about 6.8 miles) to Wuyi Shan downtown area.

Day 12 Wuyishan to Shanghai (B, L)

Transfer via: Flight on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Wuyi Mountain

Still a full day tour on Wuyi Mountain. Have a good tour in the famous eight beautiful scene of The Roaring Tiger Rock and The biggest a Ray of sky in the world, Wind Tunnel and Immortal building. Then Visiting the Ancient YongLe Temple and Happy Buddha, Big Red Robe Tea Canyon, Nine Dragon Nest, and Water Curtain Cave, enjoy and tasting WuYi Rock tea and tea ceremony.

Be transferred to the airport for flight to Shanghai. Arrive in Shanghai, be met and transferred to your hotel. 

Day 13 Shanghai (B, L)

Shanghai (B, L)

Sightseeing: Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Museum, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, The Bund, Nanjing Road,

In the morning 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 visit 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.

After lunch, we will visit the 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.

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 14 Shanghai to Suzhou (B, L)

Shanghai to Suzhou (B, L)

Transfer via: Flight on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Lingering Garden, Garden of Master-of-the-nets

World Heritages Sites included Today:
Suzhou Classical Gardens

After breakfast, you will be transferred to railway station to take morning train to Suzhou. Upon your arrival you will be met by your local guide. Then you 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 you will see Garden of the Master of the Nets, which is truly a masterpiece. The effective use of space is the most impressive thing about this garden. Rock arrangements and beautiful fish pools balance each other as do the house and garden sections. Take some time to walk around and let your sense calm down.

Day 15 Suzhou to Shanghai (B, L)

Transfer via: Private vehicle arranged by us
Sightseeing: Humble Administrator’s Garden, Lion Grove

In the morning you will head to Humble Administrator's Garden, the largest classical garden in Suzhou and one of the four most famous ones in China. Originally built in 1513 AD, the garden consists of three parts with different types buildings around streams and ponds.

Afterwards we will drive to Lion Grove, one of the four noted gardens in Suzhou. It was first built in 1342 in the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368).This small garden is truly exquisite in design, the rocking imaginative. Entering the garden the tourist will find stones in various interesting shapes. Look at them closely, they are lions: lying, sitting, slinking along, standing on hind legs, embracing a ball made of strips of silk. Some are linked with each other and others are not. Those who are not familiar with these caves may easily lose their way running into dead ends or walking in circles within the maze.

Later that day you will be transferred back to Shanghai by car.

Day 16 Shanghai 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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