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Your Position: HomeChina ToursFamily Tour9 Days Classical Gardens & Ancient Water Towns Tour
  • Dr.Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum
  • Lingering Garden (Garden to linger in)
  • The Bund
  • West Lake
  • Confucius Temple ( Fuzimiao )
  • Ling Yin Temple (Temple of Soul's Retreat)
  • Oriental Pearl TV Tower
  • Humble Administrator's Garden
  • Yuyuan Garden
  • Jade Buddha Temple
  • Six Harmonies Pagoda
  • Nanjing Road
  • Tiger Hill
  • Shanghai Museum

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

From $663 per person

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9 Days Classical Gardens & Ancient Water Towns Tour

Tour Code: CTT06
Tour Duration: 9 Days
Destination: Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, Suzhou
Tour overview: Suzhou is home to China’s traditional gardens. Each one is unique, and is an artistic representation of nature. They are beautiful and a new surprise waits around every corner. Suzhou is just one of the many destinations in this China train tour. On this tour you will visit ancient sites, modern cities, and West Lake, home to some of China’s most famous legends. This tour is a wonderful one, and one that is truly special.

  • Tour Summary
  • Day by Day Itinerary
  • Reviews
9 Days Classical Gardens & Ancient Water Towns Tour 9 Days Classical Gardens & Ancient Water Towns Tour 9 Days Classical Gardens & Ancient Water Towns Tour 9 Days Classical Gardens & Ancient Water Towns Tour

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Tour Dates Destinations Services Provided Meals Included
Day 1 Shanghai Arrive at Shanghai, our local guide will meet you at the airport then transferred to your hotel. Free at leisure in the evening. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai Jin jiang New Asia hotel Shanghai
/
Day 2 Shanghai Depart from your hotel to visit Nanjing Road The Bund ,Then visit the Yuyuan Garden Jade Buddha Temple ,After having lunch at a nice local restaurant, visit the Oriental Pearl TV Tower ,Free at leisure in the evening. 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/Suzhou In the morning, you will visit the Shanghai Museum .After this, be transferred to the railway station and take express train to Suzhou. Arrive in Suzhou, be transferred to a local restaurant to have lunch, then visit the Humble Administrator's Garden ,Then visit the Tiger Hill ,Free at the rest of the day. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Shangri-La Hotel Suzhou Bamboo Grove Hotel Traveler-Inn Gusu Hotel Suzhou
B,L
Day 4 Suzhou/Hangzhou Depart from your hotel in the morning to have a special Rickshaw Tour through the old part of Suzhou city, you will see the small Hutongs, the open markets and the local people's life. Finally visit the Lingering Garden (Garden to linger in) ,After lunch, be transferred to railway station and take train to Hangzhou.Arrive in Hangzhou, be met and transferred to the hotel, free at the rest of the day. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Hangzhou Grand Canal Ramada Plaza Riverside Hangzhou Enjoyor Hotel
B,L
Day 5 Hangzhou Depart from your hotel to have a boat cruise on the beautiful West Lake ,Then visit the Ling Yin Temple (Temple of Soul's Retreat) ,After having lunch at local restaurant, visit the Six Harmonies Pagoda ,Finally visit the Dragon Well Tea Plantation.Then be transferred back to your hotel. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Hotel Hangzhou Grand Canal Ramada Plaza Riverside Hangzhou Enjoyor Hotel
B,L
Day 6 Hangzhou/Nanjing Free at leisure until to be met and transferred to the railway station and take train to Nanjing. Lies on the south bank of the Yangtze River, Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, is one of the most delightful of Chinese cities. Known as the Capital City of Six or Ten Dynasties in China's history, it has a brilliant cultural heritage.
Arrive in Nanjing, be met and transferred to the hotel, free at the rest of the day.
Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Sheraton Nanjing Kingsley Hotel & Towers Parkview Dingshan Hotel Central Grand Hotel
B
Day 7 Nanjing Depart from your hotel to visit Dr.Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum ,Then visit the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge.After having lunch at local restaurant, visit the Nanjing City Wall and the Zhonghua City Gate. Finally visit the Confucius Temple ( Fuzimiao ) .Then be transferred back to your hotel. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Sheraton Nanjing Kingsley Hotel & Towers Parkview Dingshan Hotel Central Grand Hotel
B,L
Day 8 Nanjing/Shanghai Free at leisure until to be met and transferred to the railway station and take train back to Shanghai, arrive in Shanghai, be met and transferred to your hotel, free at the rest of the day. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai Jin jiang New Asia hotel Shanghai
B
Day 9 Shanghai Free at leisure until transferred to the airport for next city. Details... B
Season Tour Class Group Size Single Room
Supplement
1pax 2-5pax 6-9pax
Peak Season 3*(Tourist Class) $1369 $862 $663 $239
4*(Deluxe Class) $1657 $1006 $807 $383
5*(First Class) $2117 $1236 $1037 $613
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

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement

Upon your arrival in Shanghai, our local guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel. Then you will be free at leisure exploring the near streets, or relaxing to help you get over the jet lag.

Day 2 Shanghai (B, L)

Shanghai (B, L)

Sightseeing: The Bund, Yu Garden, Jade Buddha Temple, Oriental Pearl TV Tower

Let's start today's activities with a visit to the Bund to take a walk along the waterfront and experience the smells, sights and sounds of the old "Wall Street"" in Shanghai. Actually, some people say that the Bund is like "an exhibition of buildings". Finally we will walk along the famous pedestrian street-Nanjing Road, known as "China's No.1 Shopping Street".

Then we will take a stroll through the lovely Yuyuan Garden, one of the best Suzhou-style gardens in southern China, which has many scenic courtyards decorated with baroque rockery, pools and flora, all connected by corridors and passageways. Afterwards, you will get an insight into Shanghai's local life on the Yuyuan Market – taste a pot of tea, shop for unique souvenirs and get a feeling for Old Shanghai.

Follow us to the Jade Buddha Temple. It is famous for its two rare statues of Buddha carved out of a single piece of white jade. One is a 1,000kg, 1.9 meter-high figure carved from Burmese jade brought to China in 1882, and the other is a sleeping Buddha; The temple receives thousands of visitors and worshipers every day. If you're lucky, you can watch the monks serving a ceremony in a side room.

After lunch you will visit the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the highest TV Tower in Asia and the world's third highest, creating a picture of 'twin dragons playing with pearls'. Like the Statue of Liberty in New York, Sydney Opera House and Eiffel Tower in Paris it has become Shanghai's symbolic architecture. The evening will be free for your own activities.

Day 3 Shanghai to Suzhou (B, L)

Shanghai to Suzhou (B, L)

Transfer via: soft seat train arranged by us
Sightseeing: Shanghai Museum, Humble Administrator's Garden, Tiger Hill

In the morning we'll depart from your hotel and begin today's activities with a visit of the Shanghai Museum. As the biggest museum of ancient Chinese art in China, with a collection of over 120,000 pieces of Chinese art & cultural relics, Shanghai Museum is especially famous for its treasures of bronzes, ceramics, paintings and calligraphy, ancient Sculpture, ancient Jade, coins, Ming and Qing furniture and seals. Actually Shanghai Museum has eleven galleries and three special temporary exhibition halls.

Then you will be escorted to the railway station and take the express train to Suzhou. Suzhou is praised as the "Oriental Venice" and called 'paradise on earth' along with Hangzhou.

Upon your arrival in Suzhou, our guide will meet you and escort you to a local restaurant to have lunch. Then you will visit the 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.

Then we'll see the Tiger Hill (Huqiu). Tiger Hill is the most famous sight in Suzhou city, enjoying the reputation of "The first scenic spot in Wu area" due to its imposing beauty, including Leisure Spring, Testing Sword Rock, Third Spring, Broken-Pillar-Hall and Mountain Villa Wrapped in Emerald Green etc. With only 36 meters height and an area of 20 hectares, you might think it is an artificial hill, but its history can be traced back to 2500 years ago. The Tiger Hill Pagoda in the park is the landmark of Suzhou city.

Day 4 Suzhou to Hangzhou (B, L)

Suzhou to Hangzhou (B, L)

Transfer via: PM train (soft seat)-arranged by us     
Sightseeing: Rickshaw Tour, Lingering Garden, Silk Factory

Today we will start off with a special Rickshaw Tour. Being driven through the old streets and Hutongs of Suzhou, you will see local people's life.

The arrangement will be made to visit the No.1 Silk Factory in Suzhou, as this city is also famous for its silk production. In the factory you can see how silk is made from the silk worm to the final woven cloth.

Finally we visit the Lingering Garden, one of the four most famous gardens in China. The garden is celebrated for its artistic way of handling the spaces between various architectural forms and garden courts. With pavilions, terraces, grotesque rocks, clear streams and rare vegetations, the corridors are able to separate the garden into several courtyards with distinct styles. The scenery of gardens within a garden is really attractive and makes tourists linger in this renowned Jiangnan Garden.

After lunch, you will be transferred to the railway station and take the train to Hangzhou. An old Chinese saying goes, "There is heaven above, Suzhou and Hangzhou below." Centuries ago, Marco Polo called Hangzhou the most enchanting city in the world.

Upon your arrival in Hangzhou, our local guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel. For the rest of the day you can discover the city on your own.

Day 5 Hangzhou (B, L)

Hangzhou (B, L)

Sightseeing: West Lake, Lingyin Temple, Peak Flying from Afar, Pagoda of Six Harmonies, Dragon Well Tea Plantation

Today you will experience the 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.

Then we will visit Lingyin Temple (Soul's Retreat Temple) including the Peak Flying from Afar. Close to the West Lake, the main hall in Lingyin Temple is about 34 meters (111 feet) tall - incredibly high for a one-storey building. In the center of the hall there is a 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". After having lunch at local restaurant, we will drive to the Six Harmonies Pagoda, highly erected by the Qiantang River and in the south of the West Lake. It is a perfect symbol of brick-and-wood structure built in the ancient China and was built in 970 AD in the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127) to press down the evil of the river tidal bore in Qiantang River.

Dragon Well Tea is well known worldwide, so you will be guided to the Dragon Well Tea Plantation to discover the history of Chinese tea and the tea ceremony. The water of dragon well is sweet and good taste. The green tea here enjoys very high reputation since Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D) for its four special features: green color, fragrant aroma, sweet taste and smooth even appearance. Finally you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Day 6 Hangzhou to Nanjing (B)

Transfer via: soft seat train arranged by us

You can enjoy leisure time until our guide will transfer you to the railway station where you will take your train to Nanjing. Known as the Capital City of Ten Dynasties in China's history, Nanjing has many places of historic interests

After your arrival in Nanjing, you will be met and transferred to hotel by our local guide. For the rest of that day you can enjoy some leisure time.

Day 7 Nanjing (B, L)

Nanjing (B, L)

Sightseeing: Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, Yangtze River Bridge, Nanjing City Wall, Zhonghua City Gate, The Confucius Temple

Today we will start our tour by visiting Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum. Sun Yat-Sen, leader of the 1911 Revolution that toppled the Qing Dynasty and ushered in the first republic in China's history, died in 1925.The mausoleum offers beautiful scenery and architecture.

Then we will proceed to the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge. It was the first double deck and double track highway and railway bridge designed and constructed by Chinese people themselves. The upper highway bridge is 4589 meters long and the lower railway bridge is 6772 meters long. Each arch of the main bridge spans 160 meters.

After a Chinese lunch at a local restaurant, we will jaunt to Nanjing City Wall and the Zhonghua City Gate. It is the best preserved Chinese ancient castle, and the biggest and most splendid city gate of Nanjing. The gate was built from 1366 to 1386 and is made of huge bricks and special cement which is extraordinarily strong.

Afterwards our guide will accompany you to Confucius Temple. Consisting of 3 architectural complexes, Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao) was originally built in 1034. Enjoy yourself here, since the entire area around the temple consists of a series of tourist shops, snack bars, restaurants and entertainment arcades all being decorated in "Ming" and "Qing" style.

At the end of the day you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Day 8 Nanjing to Shanghai (B)

Nanjing to Shanghai (B)

Transfer via: soft seat train arranged by us

Enjoy some leisure time until you will be transferred to the railway station and take your train back to Shanghai. After your arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Then you will create the evening of the tour as you like.

Day 9 Shanghai Departure (B)

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement

You will have some more leisure time 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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