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We will do the review when the jetlag is over in 2 weeks.
The trip had some issues but none was your fault. Zhengzhou henan museum was mediocre, Shaolin temple was touristy, taishan was crowded.
But kaifun show was nicer than expected, so was pingyao and Qufu. All of our hotels were fantastic.
This trip was very historical. Only Chinese people can appreciate what happened 2000 years ago. For non-Chinese, pinyao would be the best place to visit.
We are waiting for the flight back and will connect with you later.
Of course! We had a WONDERFUL time! Our tour was great and we feel like we really got to see quite a bit in a short period.
I will send a few emails with photos - in case the file size is too large; please feel free to use them and I am happy to be a reference, if needed too.
I want to make special mention of our guide, Eric, in Beijing - he was fantastic ! Our driver also was great in Beijing - we never waited, he was always waiting for us and was a safe driver.
Our guide, Laura, in Shanghai was good but there seemed to be several instances of miscommunication between her and the driver. When we arrived via train we waited for an hour for them to connect and we had to walk through the parking garage to meet the driver. We had to wait several times to be picked up from locations, again, it appeared to be due to miscommunication rather than other problem - they did not appear to have a good understanding Luke Eric and Mr. Lin had in Beijing. Laura and the Shanghai driver we’re okay, I am just letting you know in case there is something that needs to be adjusted.
Our hotels were beautiful and we enjoyed a truly once in a lifetime trip - thank you for all your help and coordination.
We are about to leave China (we are at the airport departure lounge now) and I would like to tell you a great thank you for your so perfect organization of our trip. All went perfectly and we felt it was bespoke.
No doubt we will recommend your services to our friend and relatives.
A would like to give a special congratulation to one specific guide: Candy in Beijing was amazing. She delivered a service that was above expectation. The driver was excellent, professional and reliable.
We had no problem and were really satisfied.
Feedbacks as follows:
We found Stephanie Kuang to be an excellent travel consultant who provided us with timely and helpful information. She was very insightful to our needs and made recommendations that made our cruise travel and stay very worthwhile.
As a Canadian, we required a Chinese visa for the trip. The information required was quite vigorous,Stephanie was able to quickly provide the information to complete the visa process.
Stephanie is very knowledgeable of the shipboard processes and recommended guides that met us at the airport for embarkation/disembarkation that made it easy for us to board the ship at our convenience.
Her recommendation of the Park Plaza Beijing was a great choice for us and provided a great opportunity to see Beijing.
It was a great undertaking for us to tour the Yangtze River, Stephanie and your company made it easy and enjoyable.
Larry's Happy Journey in Yangtze River Cruise
1. Flights to Chongqing was on time, the tour guide picked us up and took us for embarkation
2. The Yangtze River Cruise was wonderful, the staffs in the cruise were very helpful, the attendants in the dining room remembered my issues with food allergies, every dining time (breakfast/lunch/dinner) they would either save me some food and/or show me dishes that I can avoid due to my onion and cinnamon allergies.We upgraded our cabin to the presidential cabin,my gift to my husband, whose health is failing and wanted him to be very comfortable.
3. the flight to yichang was on time, tour guide spotted us right away. Followed the itinerary as scheduled. She was very attentive to my food allergies and very informative
4. The last tour was the Sanyou cave. We opted not to see it, because we were very tired and exhausted, so opted for massage. She refunded us the cost of the cave tour (60 rmb pp). That was very nice of her.
5. Xian- tour guide was waiting for us in the airport. Went on the scheduled tour. I mentioned to her that we needed a wheelchair for my husband if we'll do a lot of walking. She secured it from the hotel. She pushed the wheelchair all the time. I wanted to relieve her but she insisted.
There was a slight issue on the hotel rooms. We had to change to non smoking room/floor. I have asthma, when I smelled the floor and room of smoke, I started coughing. I called the front desk to change our room in the morning, since my husband was already asleep. I wore my face masked all night.They did change our room the next day x2 as the first one (though they told me was a non smoking floor, soon as the elevator opened in 7th floor, I started coughing again, and a very strong fume of smoke was detected, so the bellboy was gracious enough to let us wait in the 7th floor ao he went to the front desk to change another floor/room. Finally, the 8th floor was a lot better. So when the guide showed up we were trying to change room and that delayed out start of the tour. I think this would have been avoided if the front desk asked us if we wanted the non smoking room on check in.
The massage was relaxing. It was a nice alternate to the cave tour. According to the guide, the tour ends up in a tunnel and see the wonderful mountains and river. I mentioned to her that we had enough mountains and rivers while we cruised. in the train station, we waited while she got our train tickets. Soon as she got them, she gave them to us. She told us to go the gate for boarding, (the gate # was in the ticket), then she left. We had to asked/showed our tickets to the train staffs to let us know was time is boarding, what floor we need to get the train etc,etc. Communication was a slightly an issue, but managed with gestures. The train staffs were very nice, we were in Q to get in the gate, when she came to us and told us to go ahead and enter the gate, we had to take the elevator to level 1 to take the train and told us to take #2 car. So we had time to load our luggage in the train. In the train, we tried to go to the dining car but they were closed and start again in 20 mins. Again, we had some communication issues, as the staff serving doesn't understand nor speak English. I was asking about the onion in the package to no understanding. Anyways, another person in the dining car came to rescue us and read us the ingredients. When we opened the pack, the individual seasoning were in separate envelops. That helped some, so I didn't add the package with onion/scallion. Overall experience was very good. I thought it was a nonstop bullet train but we stopped at least 6-7 times to drop off/pick up passengers. It was an adventure experience, since that was out first time to ride a bullet train.
Then came to train station in Beijing, we didn't know where to exit-north or south. we followed the crowd to the south terminal. Lots of folks offered to get a taxi but we told them we have someone meeting us and they were insistent. I think because we were tourist and they spot an easy target. We stopped and waited soon as we reached the south exit, they a guy comes and he says "wait", He left to get Richard, the guide, as he was also covering the north exit in case we went that way. So we walked out of the train station to the parking area, and that was a long walk, my husband was huffing and puffing. I wished he told us to wait outside the train station or a corner of the street while the driver fetched the van. Though my husband made it, I told Richard the my husband has lung and brain cancer and is unable to walk long distance as he get very short of breath. He helped us check in. I asked him if he can secure a wheelchair for all those walking tour the following days. Yes, he was able to secure a wheelchair for us from the hotel, just put deposit. He pushed the wheelchair. Yes, my husband made it to the great wall of China with difficulty. He walked the steps till we reached the big rock and up again to the see more of the wall.I thought he was going to pass out on me, but he tolerated all the activities that day.
I have a question: we paid for the gondola ride RT, I thought that was included in the package tour? Also, in the package, it didn't state that the gondola ride was not included and needs to be paid when we get there.I would appreciate an explanation.
Richard helped us a lot in checking in at the airport, and securing a wheelchair for my husband. That was a long walk. We are glad that the Air China staff provided it.
Richard had a good command of English, wonderful guide, very knowledgeable in Chinese history. We learned a lot from his information. The lunch with a family was a very good touch. We enjoyed that a lot, meeting the family and dining on the home cook food, so different from restaurants. The rickshaw ride around the Hutong village was fun too.
On day 7, I noticed now on the itinerary that there was an experience to the Tea Ceremony, We didn't experience that nor we went to one. Also, for lunch, he took us where the locals go so we experienced dining with the local people in that restaurant.
Over all, it was a very good experience for us, hotels were nice and accommodating and tour guides were very knowledgeable in history and seems to be passionate too about their country.
Thanks for setting up a wonderful tour. It was very memorable and one to cherish. My husband checked it off his bucket list!
Again, thank you.
We would like to thank you for your prompt response to the flight cancellation. Chasing last minute train & flights plus the lack of sleep
were offset by the fact that we had a good time on our Xiamen trip. The guides Tom (Xiamen) & John (Mt. Wuyi) were both very attentive
to details, knowledgeable about the history and culture of the area and people. Our drivers were also very good. The trip was very enjoyable
Thank you very much.
Can you tell me what month of the year is it best to do the silk road trip?
TQVM for gifts. Sophie had put a lot of effort to get those gifts which all of us had indicated to want to obtain during this trip. Very thoughtful of her. Besides, she is also one of the best China guides we have so far. She could switch from Mandarin to Cantonese and English to make sure we understand all the things she talked about.
An important request for future tours : Please provide the bigger 22-24 passenger mini coach if we have 8 or more pax.(The one that replaced the previous van on the last day to send us to the airport). The seats and furnishings are a higher luxury class. If not sure, please ask Sophie.Also to ensure it is fairly new.
As I had said before, the vehicle is like a tourist's home for 10 or more days.If we have to spend more to ensure comfort, we don't mind.The minivan you provided was okay for someone like me ( small size) but for some of our taller and bigger passengers, the legroom was too tight.
Anyway, we had a great time . Weather was fine and we managed to see all the flowers in bloom. Jinchuan was a let down as most of the pear trees on the hillslopes are now gone.Also I think the increase in houses in the valley and using the land for vegetable plots or other produce had resulted in smaller blooms and lesser quantity.
I am planning the biggie Silk route tour with perhaps 10 -12 pax. Not sure if can do this year, as our country is busy with national elections. Otherwise will be 2019.
Our day tour in Beijing was really good. Richard was a excellent tour guide and the driver was very reliable. We are very happy with that tour and thank you for organising it.
We’ve collected train tickets and received your message regarding other two guides. They will have their task cut out especially trying to fit in Richard’s shoes.
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