By Sara, About.com Guide
“I am lucky enough to be the guest every now and then of a tour operator who would like me to review their services. This year, China Discovery, headquartered in Chengdu, hosted me there and gave me an excellent three-day tour of the area. They are a good little operation with a lot of highly experienced travel professionals working under the guidance of someone who has been in the business for years. They offer much tailored services and specialize in Sichuan and Tibet - two places that should be on everyone's China itinerary.”
Sara Naumann, the China Travel Guide of About.com’s China Travel channel, has been to Chengdu with her friend Denis and talked with China Discovery tour operators in October 21, 2011. She has written couple reviews on About.com about our services and tours, she reviewed China Discovery are the Best China Tour Operator.
China Discovery specializes in tours around Sichuan Province. They also have offices in Chongqing for arranging Yangtze River Cruise and Lhasa for Tibet travel . The founder of China Discovery is dedicated to opening up this beautiful region to foreign travelers. Chinese domestic tourists have been coming to Sichuan for years but the area is relatively unknown compared with other parts of China.
Sichuan is well-known in China not only for its popular cuisine, but also for its stunning natural beauty and its proximity to Tibet. It has ancient ties to the Horse and Tea Road and is the birthplace of Taoism.
China Discovery is a good option if you want to go on an organized tour but you want to have a lot of say in what you see, how you see it and how much time you spend in each location. While they do arrange group travel, China Discovery is all about creating an itinerary that is tailored to your individual needs and making sure you're taken care of every step along the way.
They have a large dedicated staff to ensure what they're offering is legitimate and they take often make inspection tours to the tour locations to make sure they can communicate effectively to you about your bookings. They know that you don't want any unexpected (and unwanted) surprises on your trip to China so they really work hard to make sure nothing untoward happens along the way.
All that said, they offer tailored trips off the beaten path so while they may highlight a place like remote Kanding as a fantastic spot for a photography tour, they're not going to lie about the bumpy road and the hours it will take to get there.
Take a look at China Discovery's web site to get some ideas, but you've probably got some ideas of your own. You can peruse their themed tours - they've got everything from photography tours - I was shown amazing photos of a trip they organized for a few American photographers over 17 days in Sichuan - to Kung Fu Panda tours - that's a trip to see the pandas in Chengdu and then on to Shaolin Temple for your kung fu fix).
After you've had a look, contact China Discovery directly and an agent will be in touch with you right away to help you start creating your itinerary. There is - and should be - a lot of back and forth. You should tell them exactly what you want, what your hotel budget is, what kind of restaurants you'd like to try, etc. to help them plan the trip accordingly.
Visit China Discovery's website for payment info. They can take credit cards through Pay pal but there are a number of payment options.The cost of your trip is going to depend a lot on what you're planning to do, how long you're staying and what type of hotels you'll be staying in. Overall, China Discovery falls in the mid-range. It is not a low-end budget agency but it is not a luxury operator either.
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