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Your Position: HomeChina ToursClassic China Tours11 Days Classic Chinese Historic and Cultural Tour
  • Forbidden City
  • The Bund
  • The Longmen Grottoes
  • The Terracotta Army and Horses
  • Badaling Great Wall
  • Bell Tower
  • Oriental Pearl TV Tower
  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Summer Palace
  • Yuyuan Garden
  • Ancient City Wall
  • Jade Buddha Temple
  • The Temple of Heaven
  • Nanjing Road
  • Shaanxi Provincial Museum
  • Ming Tombs
  • Shanghai Museum
  • The Great Mosque
  • The Sacred Way
  • Tiananmen Square

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

11 Days Classic Chinese Historic and Cultural Tour

Tour Code: CCT19
Tour Duration: 11 Days
Destination: Beijing, Kaifeng, Luoyang, Shanghai, Xi'an
Tour overview: This Classic China tour will show you many of China’s imperial cities, and will allow you to witness some of its most beautiful and exciting cultural aspects. Beijing, the capital city of China is famous for its many Imperial sites. In Kaifeng, you will visit its world-class museum. In Luoyang, you will visit the Longmen Grottoes and Chariot and Horse Pits. In Xian, you will marvel at the Terracotta Warriors, and in Shanghai, you will experience China at its finest. This city’s culture and pulse is simply incredible.

  • Tour Summary
  • Day by Day Itinerary
  • Reviews
11 Days Classic Chinese Historic and Cultural Tour 11 Days Classic Chinese Historic and Cultural Tour 11 Days Classic Chinese Historic and Cultural Tour 11 Days Classic Chinese Historic and Cultural Tour

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Tour Dates Destinations Services Provided Meals Included
Day 1 Shanghai Arrive in Shanghai, be met and transferred to your hotel. Visit Nanjing Road , The Bund . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai Jin jiang New Asia hotel Shanghai
/
Day 2 Shanghai Today you will visit to Yuyuan Garden , Shanghai Museum , Oriental Pearl TV Tower ,Old Town. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai Jin jiang New Asia hotel Shanghai
B,L
Day 3 Shanghai Free at leisure this morning. Visit Jade Buddha Temple in the afternoon before being transferred to railway station for the overnight train to Kaifeng. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai Jin jiang New Asia hotel Shanghai
B,L
Day 4 Kaifeng/Luoyang Arrive in Kaifeng railway station, be met and then go to Kaifeng Museum, also visit Qingming Riverside Scene Park, Iron Pagoda. Then drive to Luoyang and be transferred to the hotel. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Hua Yang Plaza Hotel Jingan Penoy Plaza, Luoyang Luoyang Zhuogengyuan Hotel
B,L
Day 5 Luoyang Today's activities including the visit to Chariot and Horse Pits, White Horse Temple and Shaolin Temple. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Hua Yang Plaza Hotel Jingan Penoy Plaza, Luoyang Luoyang Zhuogengyuan Hotel
B,L
Day 6 Luoyang/Xi'an After breakfast, drive to The Longmen Grottoes .Then you will be transferred to railway station to take train to Xi'an. Arrive in Xi'an, be met and transferred to the hotel. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Hotel Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square Mercure on Renmin Square Xian Ibis Xian
B,L
Day 7 Xi'an Full day visit The Terracotta Army and Horses , Big Wild Goose Pagoda , 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 8 Xi'an/Beijing Visit Ancient City Wall , Shaanxi Provincial Museum , The Great Mosque .Then be transferred to airport to take the flight to Beijing. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Beijing Redwall Hotel
B,L
Day 9 Beijing Full day visit The Temple of Heaven , Tiananmen Square , Forbidden City . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Beijing Redwall Hotel
B,L
Day 10 Beijing Trip to Badaling Great Wall , Ming Tombs , The Sacred Way . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Wangfujing Sunworld Hotel Beijing Redwall Hotel
B,L
Day 11 Beijing Morning visit Summer Palace .Then you will be transferred to airport for your flight leave Beijing. 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 Shanghai Arrival

Shanghai Arrival

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement
Sightseeing: Nanjing Road, the Bund

Arriving in Shanghai, you will be met and transferred to your hotel by our local guide. 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 2 Shanghai (B, L)

Shanghai (B, L)

Sightseeing: Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Museum, Oriental Pearl Tower, Old Town

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.

You will also tour the Old Town with its winding alleyways, lined with shops, teahouses and restaurants.

Day 3 Shanghai / Kaifeng (B, L)

Shanghai / Kaifeng (B, L)

Transfer via: Overnight train (soft sleeper)-on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Jade Buddha Temple

After breakfast at the hotel, this morning is free to have the chance for shopping or to explore this booming city at your own pace.

You will visit the Jade Buddha Temple in the afternoon. 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.

Take an overnight soft sleeper train to Kaifeng.

Day 4 Kaifeng / Luoyang (B, L)

Kaifeng / Luoyang (B, L)

Transfer via: Private vehicle-on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Kaifeng Museum, Qingming Riverside Scene Park, Iron Pagoda

The train arrive in Kaifeng railway station in the morning, your tour guide will meet you at the station.

Your adventure begins at Kaifeng Museum to see its well-documented exhibit on Jewish history, the
Qingming Riverside Scene Park to see the Kaifeng Judaic Exhibition, a local Jewish family and the former Jewish quarter, the cemetery of Jin (Gilbert), another Jewish family, you will also tour Iron Pagoda.

After the tours, we will drive to Luoyang and transferred to the hotel.

Day 5 Luoyang (B, L)

Luoyang (B, L)

Sightseeing: Chariot and Horse Pits, White Horse Temple, Shaolin Temple,

Your adventure begins at the Chariot and Horse Pits, then you will move on to the White Horse Temple, which is one of, if not the, oldest Buddhist Temple in China. From the outside, the White Horse Temple looks as if it houses the common collection of ornaments, decorated with cartoon style colors and images that are so prevalent in many of China's cities. However, this is in fact one of the most impressive and truly holy temples in the entire province.

After lunch and short break, continue to visit the Shaolin Temple, Shaolin Temple, in the region of Song Mountain, Dengfeng City, is reputed to be 'the Number One Temple under Heaven'. The temple is the cradle of the Chinese Zen Buddhism and the Shaolin Martial Arts such as Shaolin Cudgel. One can see wild flowers and pines on the mountain. With birds singing and a brook spattering, a beautiful scene full of life and vitality is revealed to the visitors.

Day 6 Luoyang / Xi'an (B, L)

Luoyang / Xi'an (B, L)

Transfer via: Train (soft seat) – on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Longmen Caves

Today's adventure begins at Longmen Caves, located near Luoyang. They are a treasure house of ancient Buddhist cave art. The grottos were hewed and carved during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), when the rulers relocated their capital at Luoyang near the end of the 5th century. At that time Buddhism was spreading east into China and was venerated by the imperial court. The Buddhists adopted the practice of carving rock temples, dedicated to the Buddha.

Then you will be transferred to railway station to take train to Xi'an. Arrive in X'an, your local tour guide will greet you at railway station and then transfer you to the hotel.

Day 7 Xi'an (B, L)

Xi'an (B, L)

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

Today you will experience the highlights of Xi'an. After breakfast, you will depart you're your hotel. You will visit 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, ordered the construction of a vast army of Terra-cotta warriors in search of immortality. After his early death they were buried with him to protect his empire.

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

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

Day 8 Xi'an / Beijing (B, L)

Xi'an / Beijing (B, L)

Transfer via: Flignt –on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Ancient City Wall, Shaanxi History Museum, Great Mosque

This morning, you will visit the Ancient City Wall. You will experience a half-hour's hike along the 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 History 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.

We will visit Great Mosque. The Mosque is located at the Huajue Lane in the center of the city, is the largest and one of the most important Islamic mosques in China. It will be interesting to see symbols of Islamic belief in this ancient city.

Then your guide will transfer you to the airport and you will take the flight to Beijing. Upon your arrival, your guide will meet you and transfer you to the hotel.

Day 9 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 10 Beijing (B, L)

Beijing (B, L)

Sightseeing: Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Sacred Way

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 ancestors. In addition, you will encounter the marble tombs of the Ming Dynasty emperors.

Day 11 Beijing Departure (B)

Transfer via: flight on your own arrangement
Sightseeing: Summer Palace

Today 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 our guide will escort you to the airport for your flight leave Beijing.

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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