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Regarding your questions'
1) Since Dennis dealt with you and your agency directly and I did not, I really cannot respond to your question regarding speed of response. I do know that other than the problem of differing time zones, he was very pleased with his communication with you.
2) We were extremely pleased with both the guides and the drivers you provided. I especially enjoyed Shannon and Jeans. Shannon was the easiest to communicate with and gave us a wealth of information. Jeans was also so very caring and sensitive to my needs, and his guiding us to our seats on the train was a blessing. Echo also displayed a great deal of concern.
3) I would most highly recommend your company. You made our trip effortless and fulfilled our hopes for both an educational and cultural experience.
Thank you for your wonderful tour.
Pardon our delay in replying to your inquiry and in giving you a report. We were without email contact in China, as they do not let us use any gmail or Google accounts.
EVERYTHING you planned for us worked well. The taxi driver from Pudong took us to the Holiday Inn Express Zhabei quickly and inexpensively. The HIE was a very good hotel. The train tickets to Yichang were waiting for us there, and we got to the Century Legend cruise smoothly.
The cruise was good. We and others complained to the staff about the late-night announcements (one as late as 22:45) that were very loud in every room, but they subsequently stopped any announcements after 22:00. Also, the first night and next day the boat did not move but stayed docked near the 3 Gorges Dam; we found that day rather uninteresting and would much rather have had more time up in the minor Gorges area the next day (or the cruise shorter by one day). The small boat trip up the narrow channel to Shennv was terrifically beautiful. The provisions on the ship were good and the room excellent.
Our subsequent trip to Suzhou from Shanghai and then to Zhouzhuang went smoothly with the help of a friend in Suzhou, who arranged car for us to Zhouzhuang and the return the next day to Suzhou for a total round trip of only 500Y. Both cities were worth visiting. Our subsequent week at Fudan University allowed us good time to see many other areas of Shanghai, including several in the French Concession. The Jewish History Tour of the city we took one day was extremely interesting.
Thank you so much for all your assistance. You are a very good agent! We could not have done the Nov 4-12 part of the trip without your help.
Here are some photos, to supplement what we said in the email I just sent.
YES, you can share any of the photos with your clients. And we will indeed write a review of your service to us on TripAdvisor, though in our backlog of things to do upon our return, it may be a few days.
All the very best!
Shanghai B&P Riverfrt (Nov, 2018)
Tianzifang P&B Street Food (Nov,2018)
Shanghai Yuyuan Bazaar (Nov,2018)
China Yangtze River Cruise
China Yangtze River Cruise
Zhouzhuang Canal in Suzhou
Dear Ms Echo,
Firstly,we would like to say thank you so much for our tour and your work and quick respond. We are really appretiated. You was giving us prompt clear answers and was solving the problems
strait away. Great job!
Secondly, the tour all together was well organised and got to know many interesting knowleges about China. Especially our days and our guide Mark in Shanghai. Xian guide was also very good and helpful.
The river cruise went well, only our juniour suit was not what we were expecting at all+location was extremely noisy.Boarging was also very stressfull, you know it. Rest of cruise program and special service and food in our VIP restaurant were perfect! As excuse bonus from your company - ugraded train tickets to business class.
Despite the last negative comment,we like the trip and were enjoying it. We will highly recommend you and your company to our partners and friends.
Thanks for your patience waiting for my feedback.
In terms of guides that you arranged, I most enjoyed the company of Ge Sang in Tibet, possibly because we were with him the longest period and got to know each other a bit better. He was knowledgeable, spoke very good English, explained what we were doing and was flexible when Carey wasn’t feeling well enough to visit some sights. He also helped Carey find medicines. He shared some interesting information about how Tibetans live day-to-day which added to our experience. Similarly, but to a lesser extent, I enjoyed Jessie’s company in Kunming. Again we were together long enough to know a bit about each other. She was very capable, good English and knowledgeable. Unfortunately we only spent a few days with Kesang and Alice so it was a very professional interaction. They were competent with reasonable English.
In terms of the drivers, we really didn’t get to interact much with them. Only Ge Sang and Jessie bothered to introduce us to them. Their vehicles were generally safe and clean. Because I like to take lots of photos of what I see (to share with my family back home) I would have preferred a normal sedan so that I could open the windows as we travelled to take clear pictures. I didn’t want to stop the car each time I saw something interesting.
In terms of hotels, all were generally good but would have appreciated slightly better breakfasts. The range of food was reasonable but nothing in the trays was hot, leaving us to wonder if it was left over from yesterday. Hotels that cooked eggs while you wait were our favourites as we knew it was fresh. Also there was little fresh fruit available (which is understandable in Tibet). The hotel in Shigatse didn’t provide bottled water so luckily we had some in the car each day. The Rongbuk Guesthouse was far more comfortable than I expected.
In terms of sights, we probably saw too many monasteries in Tibet. I appreciate they were important to Tibetans but to me there was a fair bit of repetition. Unfortunately Namco Lake was not on the itinerary due to season. The drive to Everest and back from Lhasa was long but interesting (even better if I could have taken pictures as we travelled). But Everest was definitely worth it – the highlight of the tour. The sights in Tibet were generally less commercial than elsewhere in China, making them much more enjoyable.
The sights in Yunnan were generally good, especially Shudu Lake, Tiger Leaping, Yangtze First Bend, Black Dragon Pool and Stone Forest. These were natural attractions and no doubt they were genuine. To me, many of the other sights, like Shangri-La old town, Lijiang old town and Naxi villages, seemed fake. I know Chinese builders can do an excellent job in making something to look ancient. (We saw a lot of attractions during our Silk Road tour that definitely were fake and that made us a bit sceptical.) Also many attractions were overwhelming, clearly geared for huge crowds in the high season and offering a complete package of activities (camel rides, quad bike rides, helicopter rides, dress up in traditional clothes, etc). This reminded me of Disneyland, which is definitely not real.
The train journey from Xi’an to Lhasa was long (32hrs) but interesting scenery along the way (at least what I could see through the dirty windows). We had the cabin to ourselves most of the way but it was full overnight, despite there being empty cabins around us. Rachael (not Bruce) who met us at Xi’an got us onto the train without any fuss, which we appreciated.
While I am not particularly fastidious about toilets, I did appreciate there being lots of public toilets throughout China. However, most were very basic, devoid of toilet paper, hand wash and paper towel. This made me very cautious about my diet as I didn’t want to risk having diarrhoea in such toilets. This meant that I probably missed out on some interesting foods.
After being part of a 36-person tour on the Silk Road, I definitely appreciated having a private tour. We had flexibility to amend things a bit as we went, the days were not too long and we had some free time on the transfer days. Definitely worth the money!
No doubt you now think I am a fussy traveller. I have travelled extensively over the past decade and know what I like and generally what to expect. So please don't take any offence from my comments above.
I know I probably annoyed you with my many questions leading up to the tour and I really appreciated your patience and your timely responses. The itinerary you provided was clear and helpful. You delivered what you promised so I am happy to recommend your company to my family and friends.
Dear Wonderful Mr Wang
Just a note to thank you very much for all your help in arranging parts of my daughter trip to China with her family.
They had a great time. Incidentally they said that the guide in Chengdu (Pandas) was great.
Thank you again for arranging this experience! Everything worked out wonderfully :)
You were very responsive and flexible in making arrangements for the Bifengxia Panda Base tour. E-mail was very responsive overall and appreciated as I was in transit between countries while setting this tour up.
The Bifengxia Panda Base experience was a wonderful opportunity to volunteer, feed the pandas, and I learned a lot about them, the breeding and wild training programs as well as what it is like to be a panda keeper for the day. The base itself is situated in the mountains and a beautiful home for the pandas and community living there. This experience would not have been possible without arrangements made by Catherine and her team, having my guide Kevin there to help translate and keep the experience moving or for our driver who got us everywhere on time!
I would recommend this service to someone visiting China for multiple reasons. 1) If you are interested in learning more about the culture and having a more personalized local experience from a local guide 2) If you are travelling solo or even as a small group and 3) If you do not have a good grasp on Chinese language. I was originally attending a business conference in Shanghai, and I wanted to explore other areas of China for my first trip here. I landed on the Panda Base experience at Bifengxia. It was an exciting adventure!
Yes, you may use my comments in publicity and I have attached a few images from the Panda Base tour.
Thank you again and please pass my gratitude on to Kevin and our driver as well.
China Panda Tour in Bifengxia Panda Base, Sichuan
Feeding Giant Panda in Bifengxia Panda Base, Sichuan
Being a Giant Panda Volunteer in Bifengxia Panda Base, Sichuan
Thanks for your below e-mail (which my friend, Lisa Siu, forwarded to me).
I have been meaning to contact you since arriving home to Australia last weekend.
I wanted to thank you very much for arranging such an enjoyable tour for us. We both had a wonderful time in China and felt very enriched by our experiences on the tour.
To answer your below questions:
1. Is your travel consultant of our company fast enough to answer your E-mail and patient enough to answer your questions?
Yes, you (Wonder) provided us with very efficient and excellent service. Thank you for all your efforts in arranging such an amazing tour.
2. How’s the service of the tour guides during your whole tour?
The tour guides were all excellent - Laura, Timo and Kai. Laura was very happy and courteous and made us feel very welcome to her home city of Shanghai. Timo was extremely considerate, knowledgeable and kind. He anticipated all of our questions and always made us feel comfortable and safe on the tour in Xi'an. Kai was a walking text book on Chinese history and told us many interesting stories about ancient China and the many dynasties and emperors. He brought to life the places that we visited in Beijing. The drivers of all of our tour vans/cars were also excellent and always made us feel safe on the roads.
3. Would you like to recommend our company?
Yes, I would highly recommend our company to any tourists, especially first time visitors to China.
Thank you very much for all your help and assistance before and during our vacation. We enjoyed Shanghai and Beijing very much!
I just have a question for you. Is there a reason why in Tianjin we boarded the Bullet Train in the South Station, and not in Tanggu station that I believe was closer to the port? We enjoyed on the way back Tianjin, as there was no traffic and the driver and guide showed us some nice parts of Tianjin, so we did not mind, but were slightly worried about the distance and the time we had to be on the boat, as we did not know how the traffic was going to be. It took us 1.5 hours to the South Station and apparently Tanggu is closer.
I will certainly recommend you with my friends, and our next visit to China, I will most certainly contact you.
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