- Reviewed on August 15, 2018
Where to start, we had a fantastic trip, everything you put in place worked very well, thank you! Some specific comments:
Yangtze Cruise - we (two couples travelling largely independently) joined the cruise early evening Saturday, after an excellent meal at a local restaurant. Check in was very easy and the staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming. We went for the 2500 CNY per room upgrade to a suite, with a smaller more intimate restaurant and executive lounge access. We declined the drinks package, though for some that may be good value. The boat was very clean and comfortable, akin to a good 4/5 star hotel, plenty of space and great views of the stunning gorges. Our only gripe was food, after 10 days of superb food prior to joining the cruise we found the meals a bit bland - far from bad and we did eat but just not terribly enjoyable. The staff were universally superb, those with whom we had most contact were Allan, Jenny and Jessica - all 5-star with superb English.
Beijing Wall/Summer Palace - Candy called on the previous evening to ensure all was well, we were collected at 6:45am as agreed and made the Great Wall in good time. It’s quite a climb to get to the cable car, Candy could have improved the experience by considering the walking pace, one of the party was feeling a bit unwell after the brisk climb - taking a few minutes more would have been better. We booked to go up on cable car (chair lift not my favourite) and go down by toboggan, this gives a very good one-way walk along the wall, mostly downhill. The wall is incredible, Candy had to go back to base to fix an insurance issue, we would have preferred to get her commentary along the wall but it was still stunning. By the time we were leaving the wall the queues were huge, best advice is the go early!
We dropped in to the Summer Palace on the return drive to Beijing, it was lovely although after the wall all else feels a bit ordinary. I should mention the excellent car and driver, all in all a good trip.
Qian Warriors/City Wall/Muslim Street - Alison collected us at 8:30, as arranged and we drove for 90 minutes or so to the warrior site. What a remarkable and truly spectacular morning, it is vast and the work which has gone into excavation and restoration is hugely impressive. We were very well guided throughout and then enjoyed lunch at a nice hotel nearby. By the time we got back to Xian the rain was coming down hard, nevertheless we enjoyed seeing the city wall and Muslim St, I only wish we had been hungry there, the food looked superb. Excellent guide, and very good driver, on the negative side the car was quite old and a bit uncomfortable - not to the standard of others. Finally, we tipped the guide at the end at same level as day previous, we left her to decide on a split between guide/driver, that seemed to cause an issue.
Chengdu Pandas/Gardens/Park/Afternoon Tea - Gila collected us at 8:30, again very prompt and professional. The Panda base was excellent as was all other aspects, particularly the lunch at a local restaurant chosen by the guide. Gila was a real star, she worked incredibly hard to get us best views and shorted queues , also seemed prepared to go on as long as we wanted at all stops. The car and driver excellent too, all three tours were excellent but this one gets 6-stars.
Overall first class, any criticism above is minor and in no way diminished the experience.
A special mention for Lily at Yangtze River Cruise, from the first to last her service was impeccable. Always prompt and professional, I know China quite well, my initial approach was to fix the cruise but the three driven guided tours were really superb - have attentive professional support left us to enjoy the wonder of China!
Please feel able to use any or all of the above on your site.
With grateful thanks,
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