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First at all, thank you for the gifts that you sent to us. It was very nice of you and your company.
In the attachment you will find the evaluation form.
In general terms, we enjoyed the tour very much. It was definitely a memorable experience in all ways: the monuments, temples, landscape, people and cuisine, remarkably impressive.
Our guide, Jason, is a nice guy.
Compared to many other tour guides we've had, he could have been a little more attentive to some details and less on his cellphone. There's a learning curve for every profession and we are sure that he will gain more experience.
The downside of the tour is the duration of travelling hours from one spot to another, which were even more extended due to the large traffic volume and jam everywhere. Well, it's the price one has to pay in the modern China where everyone drives a car...
We’re doing great. We are in Tokyo now for few days. We had such an amazing fun time! We loved all the pandas. They were so cute and lots of personality. It was neat to feed them. Ryder loved the red panda & when the panda came in the window to see him. It was wonderful:) Nancy was great! Thank u for the gift. Such a sweet surprise :) appreciate all your organization!
No worries you were on train. We got it all figured out :)
We enjoyed the cruise very much.Your guides and drivers were very good. And we are very happy with their services.
We did receive the pants. Thank you for sending. We are still adjusting to the time change and recovering from the long trip home. As you might know, there were long delays, at the Beijing airport due to weather and not sure what else. Will send photos once I get a chance to go through them.
Thank you for all of your help with the planning of our trip.
We are now back in our normal daily routines. We loved the trip to China, and will send you a more detailed review within a couple of days.
Our pictures needs to be reviewed to find the best ones. I think we have a total of 1700, so we need to go through them and remove the ones that were taken by mistake showing our feet or similar.
Thank you for your and your guides support during our trip.
Greetings from sunny South Africa.
I do not have the words to express just how grateful I am to you for arranging such a wonderful tour. We loved China and would come back. Thank you for the wonderful gift that you sent us and to your tour guides and drivers they were wonderful.
We hope to be back soon.
Thanks once again
I am sorry I have been a little delayed in sending this feedback. It took us several days to get all the grass cut in the garden and to check that everything was still O.K. The plants in the greenhouse have grown a lot!
Anyway I will begin with the guides, who we thought were all very helpful and also interesting people to talk to. Their English was excellent and they provided exceptionally tasty lunches. Michael and I agreed that the food in Yunnan was much better than we had on the first trip. Some of it was a bit spicy, but I loved all the fresh fruit and variety of vegetables. Both drivers were good, but the one in Kunming was really impressive and very friendly as well.
Cherry was a lovely woman, whose company we really enjoyed. We had many conversations on all sorts of topics. She was very informative with a great sense of humour. She was very conscientious and we always had great confidence in her. Her English was clear and easy to understand. We came to think of her more as a very friendly and pleasant travelling companion rather than a guide. The day we shared on Jiaozi Mountain was very special and one I will never forget. I didn't get her email, but would very much like to write to her direct.
Frank's interest and enthusiasm for plants was obvious. He had even named his two daughters, Camelia and Azalea. Frank made great efforts to ensure we saw as many plants as possible on our walk on Cangshan Mountain. He was also able to provide a perspective on the Bai Community. Again he was friendly and interesting company.
Evan was a very kind and thoughtful man and we really appreciated the efforts he made on our behalf. He was informative but also concerned to focus on our interests. I liked Evan and had considerable respect for what he had achieved.
Tenzen was another interesting character and he also was concerned to try and ensure we saw the azaleas and rhododendrons that were in flower. The highlight of our day with him was definitely the walk around Shudu Lake. The Tibetan lunch was a novel experience and I actually liked the Yak butter tea.
The hotels were all of a very high standard in terms of facilities and décor.
The Mengjiang in Kunming had a lovely courtyard just outside our room which was a comfortable place to sit in the evening. Michael very much liked the breakfasts (pre-ordered from a picture menu) but I found them rather too much and would have preferred a more conventional buffet style. None of the staff spoke English and given the potential for confusion over breakfast this was an issue. I think their menus needed to contain information in English as to what the different options actually included.
The Oness Resort in Yuanyang was set in a pleasant garden with modern but tasteful décor. The breakfast was very good although Cherry did have to help us choose the evening meal as the menu was only in Chinese.
The Jianshui Hanlinyuan Hotel was set in the most beautiful gardens. The room was gorgeous and it was quite the most perfect hotel in terms of accommodation. I will send you photos of the gardens later. They were exquisite. Strangely the breakfast was rather limited and disappointing, but I was less bothered about that than Michael.
The Dali Yunxi Hotel was a much more modest establishment, but still very comfortable with all the facilities you needed. The roof-top terrace was just outside our room and was a restful place to retreat from all the bustle of Dali. The hotel was run by extremely friendly people who served the option of a Western style breakfast of muesli, fruit and yoghourt, a welcome treat as far as I was concerned.
The Jan Bo Xuan in Lijiang was probably our favourite place to stay. It did have a very tastefully furnished and comfortable room looking out on to a pretty courtyard garden. The staff could not have been more helpful and the breakfasts were tasty. The hotel itself was set in the old town of Lijiang which was incredibly picturesque. Lijiang reminded me very much of Suzhou.
The E-outfitting Hotel in Shangri-La was the strangest place we visited. The accommodation was of a high standard with attractive rooms and the bathroom was fine. The roof terrace was a lovely place to sit and enjoy the evening sun. However the organisation of the hotel was very peculiar. It is on three sites and they didn't know which building we were in when we arrived, and so we walked round the old streets for some minutes before they finally worked out where we were. We were then told breakfast would be on a different site but someone would show us in the morning, which they did. Breakfast itself was alright rather than good.
In terms of places visited. I will group them in terms of how much we liked them.
Jiaozi Mountain was my favourite place. It was exactly as I had hoped to see the flowers. I know they were rhododendrons and not azaleas but that did not matter. They are very similar and often get confused. I am still sorting the photos out from the day and a little disappointed that they do not do justice to the magical beauty of the place. I can't understand why the people from Kunming only visit it in the winter. Cherry was really surprised by how lovely it all was and said she would be recommending it to her tour company, as well as visiting it again herself with a friend in a few weeks. I think Westerners would love this place if it was promoted more.
The rice terraces in Yuanyang were Michael's favourite place. We both thought the day we spent walking with Cherry through the rice fields was delightful. Again I found it strange that the Chinese are more taken with the place in the winter, simply because of the reflections on the water. But I think the beauty of the place is in the abundant life and all the wonderful fresh green. We were less bothered about the sunset and sunrise, but just enjoyed being in such verdant countryside.
The next group of places are ones which we also really liked but didn't rank as favourites.
I have already said that walking around Cangshan Moutain with Frank, and Shudu Lake with Tenzen were memorable experiences. Michael is not very good with heights, but didn't mind the chair-lift to get us to the higher level of Cangshan, which then meant we could walk on the level. Again we were impressed with China's ability to process large numbers of people visiting rural beauty spots without spoiling the natural environment.
We were very pleased with the visit to Ziu Shan Park in Tonghai. Cherry said she had never been there before and the staff on the gate said they hadn't had Westerners before. Cherry was again surprised at how beautiful the place was and will be recommending it to her tour company. I do have some good photos which I will send you. The Temples are set in beautiful courtyard gardens, but it is all surrounded by wooded hillside so that it all feels very natural. Again I think more Western visitors could be encouraged to visit especially as it breaks the journey to the rice terraces.
The Joseph Rock Museum in Yuhu Village was a very evocative place. I loved looking up at Jade Dragon Mountain and longed to go up there, but realised that would have been difficult.
We also very much liked the Confucian Temple and the Zhu Family Garden, the temple was interesting as a contrast to the other religious temples we visited. We found Tuanshan Village fascinating and it was encouraging to see the old buildings being restored. The Botanical Gardens in Kunming and the first bend of the Yangtze provided wonderful sights. Lijiang was probably our favourite town with all its pretty rivers and streets with their profusion of flowers.
In the third group are the places that we were quite happy to visit, but didn't rate as highly as the others. Erhai Lake was beautiful but I could see Frank's point that it's real beauty was when you could see the mountains clearly behind the lake, which was more likely in winter. For us the mountains remained in a misty haze. The Three Pagodas were impressive, but it was a little like Black Dragon Pool, in that it seemed more like a rather busy, but still very nice park. The Songzalin Monastery certainly did give a very good insight into Buddhism in China, but our interest in religious practices is limited. The Dongba Cultural Museum was interesting, but what really caught our eye were the gorgeous orchids in one of the courtyards. I guess we are just really enthusiastic about plants. We didn't bother with the Ethnic Minorities Museum as it wasn't something that was a priority and we had already learned a lot about the minorities during our trip. It was preferable to have a more relaxed morning on our last day.
The disappointment for me was Tiger Leaping Gorge although Michael liked it more than me. There is so much construction going on in the whole area with the new road and rail link between Lijiang and Shangri La, not to mention all the new hotels going up, that it all feels like a large building site. Also Tenzen said that as they were putting a new elevator in to take people down to the gorge, it was not possible to walk very far along the gorge at the moment. It did feel like we walked a very long way down and then only a few metres along the gorge before walking all the way up again.
But apart from Tiger Leaping Gorge everything else was really amazing and we had a wonderful trip thanks to all your careful organisation. As before the connections and travel arrangements worked very efficiently. We only wish public transport in the UK worked as well.
It is going to take me a little while to sort out the photos. I only have a little camera and as I have said the quality of the photos is not as good as I'd hoped. We have some family visitors this week-end and so I don't expect to be able to do much work on the photos until next week, but will try and sort out the best ones for you. I assume you have plenty of pictures of the well known sights and it will be Xiu Shan Park and Jiaozi that you might be most interested in.
Thanks again Wonder for a memorable trip and as I said in my previous email I am very keen on the idea of helping to develop an interest here in the UK in Chinese garden tours.
We’re over our jetlag and doing well.
1. Was your travel consultant of our company fast enough to answer your E-mail and patient enough to answer your questions?
Wendy, our travel consultant was very prompt and patient in answering all our Concerns in a very timely manner. Wendy, relieved all our stress in planning a tour Through email something I’ve never done.
2. How was your tour? Are you satisfied with the tour we arranged for you?
The tour was wonderful and more than I than we expected. The hotels,restaurant and Tour guides far exceded our expectations. Linda and Rainbow our tour guides were Wonderful, patient and very knowledgeable.
3. Do you have any suggestions on improving our services?
There is nothing I can think of that would improve your services. We would not mind at all if your company used us if you needed any reference on your Services.
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