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Xi'An sights were great. Seeing the Terracotta warriors was another big item from our bucket list. Just a note, guide was good but his or her attitude needs improvement!
Guilin / Yangshuo were very good as well even though we were unfortunate to have a rainy day during the river cruise. Guide Jennifer / Menjia was outstanding same as Ivory in Beijing. Jenifer is very knowledgeable and she went out of her way to meet our demands. Thank you.
Thanks for names and contacts for Kunming and Lijiang.
Sorry for such a late reply, but I did want to let you know that the trip went very well.
It was very interesting and all flowed pretty smoothly.
For me the highlights were the Great Wall, the Terracotta warriors, Lhasa, and Chengdu. All of which were so interesting, I think Susan has already mentioned we didn't enjoy Guilin and the cruise so much and perhaps a shorter time in that area may have been better.
I would particularly like to mention the guide in Chengdu, Eben and the guide in Lhasa, Jamien (not sure of spelling) who were both delightful and made our stays in those areas really good.
Hope these comments are helpful.
I really enjoyed the visit, both of the guides were great!
Thanks again for the help,
Dear Ms. Vivian Li,
Sorry for taking so long, but I'd be delighted to give you some feedback.
The tour was very well organized. The cabins were in good condition and quite spacy. Even if one didn't want to go out it gave a comfortable feeling. The room-service was excellent. Mind you, we didn't see much of the room-service but we felt their presenz. Always clean and fresh. We enjoyed the self-service buffett because it meant you only get what you really wanted and how much you wanted. The service in the restaurant was excellent. Quick and friendly. As we travelled as a mixed family (chin - engl) which weren't able to speak each others language, we appreciated the occassionally help (translating) of the servants in the restaurant on deck 6 (especially Daisy and Abby). The rest of the crew was also very helpful and friendly.
Do to the low water level, going from and on bord was a challenge (especially for any handicaped people). The lift was a great help for my wife, but - why does it have to end on deck 5 when the cabin was on deck 6 :-) For reasons unknown I took part on all excursions, which was very exhausting at times. 1000 steps or more up and down to the pagoda, temple and so - but it was worth every step. As I said, a very well organized and planned tour and excursions.
Even if the excursions were timed, one never had the feeling to be in a hurry. It seemed there was, even in a tight time shedule, always time to rest in between.
With other words, I would always recommend this particular river cruise.
For the photo's, well - I'll take the time and find you some. I'll send them on a seperate email.
The following picture was shared by Rolf.
God's Peak along Yangtze River
Scenery of Shennv Stream
Overlook View from Shibaozhai Pagoda
1. Answering questions and emails – yes our travel consultant – Jack Li was prompt in responding to our questions and requests while planning the trip to visit Guilin, Longsheng, Sanjiang and Yangshuo. He was also available on the phone when we needed to get to talk to him quickly and that was reassuring to know that there were no problems with the trip as planned.
2. Comments on the tour arrangements – Jack Li was responsive to our requests and interests, he was able to make adjustments to the itinerary and gave realistic price quotes for our consideration. Then he gave updates on the planned itinerary which made things clearer for us. Any changes needed was quickly made to accommodate our requests. He has done a very good job in planning out the itinerary – the tour covered quite long distances at times, especially to Longsheng and then to Sanjiang. But the trip was really special – a once in a life-time visit. The driver and guide also provided excellent services that made the journey interestingly worthwhile and comfortable.
3. Willingness to recommend your service to others who have an interest to visit China – Yes, absolutely! We have already recommended “China Discovery” to our friends who had expressed interest to visit China – and have recommended going on a private tour arrangement is the best!
4. General opinion on your company – Great job done by all concerned – information on our itinerary was shared by Jack Li to the local guide (Kennedy), who was excellent and did a wonderful job in taking great care of us throughout the 6 days. The driver was also most helpful and his even temperament and cheerful attitude each day started the day well. We couldn’t have wished for a better team! Thank you!
That’s all – and thank you for arranging such a memorable tour for us! We may contact you all again for any future trip to China. Yes, you ay use our comments of your service and any photos that we may provide.
From: Stephen and Yolanda Chong
Dear Wing Zeng
We are now back in Sweden after our trip to Tibet. We are very satisfied and the tour was wonderful. Thank you for all your help.
Thanks for the email and follow-up appreciate it. As requested, please see responses below:
Have posted a review on tripadvisor, under the name craydive, on the link you provided below. Thank you again for a wonderful holiday.
Here is what I posted:
I had been to China before and talking with my son, we decided to go to China together, including my son's partner. The previous company I toured with wasn't conducting tours for anyone over 30, so I went to the local travel agent and had quotes done for the airfares and tour. I had to sit down at the price quoted. I took to the internet to see what was available, and found China Discovery (based in Chengdu). I emailed for a quote on a tour and Rita came back very quickly with all the answers and the quote. I had to look twice as it was considerably cheaper than the local travel agency. Being a bit distrustful of the internet, I read through the reviews of China Discovery (based in Chengdu). I found a lot of glowing reports. Again, being a bit distrustful I emailed about 20 reviewers and asked some questions of their tour. About 7 of them replied, and I was getting a good feeling about China Discovery (based in Chengdu). I decided to go with them, and Rita continued on with us as our agent. Rita had to leave as she was having a baby, and Vivien was assigned to our tour. Vivien was wonderful, in that she picked up where Rita had got to, and then finalized our tour details. Payment was by bank transfer, and I will say, follow their instructions very carefully. I made a very small deposit to make sure the money was received by their finance department first before I transferred the full amount. The next thing was getting a visa for China, again Vivien forwarded me the right documents to apply at the Chinese Embassy in Australia. The photo requirements are different for passports but the Australian Post Office has all the details in their camera and so getting the Chinese photo requirements was a breeze. Just make sure you tell the APO that you want photos for a Chinese visa. The visa application was not hard, just read the form, put the letter in from China Discovery (based in Chengdu) and send in your passport. Between getting the visa and waiting to fly to China, I received a email from Vivien advising that the Peony Flower festival was on in Louyang when we were visiting, and would we like to go, at no extra cost, as it would fit into our timetable. It is small things like this that sets travel agents apart, and Vivien was on the ball with this one. China Discovery (based in Chengdu) have guides in the places you visit, so on arrival to Shanghai we were met by the guide and a driver called Geng. Only for our small group of three. We were taken to the hotel, and booked in, and then the itinerary was sorted with the guide. At the end of the time in Shanghai we were taken to the airport, waded through the large bustling crowd and checked in on our plane. Emily the guide was wonderful in this as it went smooth as silk. The same happened when we arrived in Xian, Louyang and Beijing. I found the guides very good and wanting to please the group. They were knowledgeable about their city, and the attractions we went to. On top of this I felt very safe in their hands. I won't go into the attractions as you can read about them on line. Suffice to say any deviations from the normal tourist run was easily accommodated by Vivien and China Discovery (based in Chengdu). An example was we couldn't go the the acrobat show in Shanghai as it was booked out, but after sms'ing Vivien, she arranged for the guide in Beijing to organise for our group to go to acrobat show in Beijing.
Some things that are useful to know are when booking into the hotels it is very common to ask for a deposit, to cover the minibar. The hotel will ask you for a credit card and reserve an amount on there, to be released when you leave. Unfortunately, this release takes a long time by the banks in Australia. So my work around was to give cash as a deposit, and collect the cash on check out. This worked well. I used Aussie dollars for the deposit, as the classy hotels we were booked into had no problems with foreign currency. Please note this is nothing to do with China Discovery (based in Chengdu), as they book the hotels like every one else does, but on your behalf. It is the individual hotel policies.
As an Aussie, tipping goes against the grain, but it is the way of the world. To solve this, I talked with our group and we all decided on what to tip as a group. This worked very well. There is a guide on the tipping in the documents you receive.
I also took a cheap travel phone with me, and our guide in Shanghai helped with a Chinese sim card. By doing this we always had contact the guide and driver. Vivien was very helpful and was regularly sms'ing and calling to make sure everything was going well.
Also note that Whatsapp and Microsoft Bing work well in China but Facebook and Google don't. Well mostly don't as the in one hotel we did get to use Facebook to call home.
To sum it up, we really enjoyed the whole tour, the guides, the drivers and most of all Vivien, who worked very hard to make our trip a success and enjoyable. As I said, I felt safe, and always had someone whom I could contact if I needed to sort details out. Would I use China Discovery (based in Chengdu) again, you bet, and I am already talking to my family for a return trip to China, and we will most definitely use China Discovery (based in Chengdu) again. They have good prices, great hotels, and a friendly attitude to you as a traveler.
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