Ken and Perola Noble
UK & South Africa
- Reviewed on December 31, 2019
We are now back in South Africa after one of our very best holidays,ever so again very many thanks for making it so.
Listed below are responses to your appraisal--
1)Wonder was incredibly quick at answering our e-mails and super efficient when dealing with any queries I had both before and after the tour.Nothing was ever too much for him.
2)Tour arrangements were fantastic! Drivers were always available to meet us at train stations or airports to take us to our hotels. Also guides often arrived earlier than planned in the morning for our daily tours. Guides also very helpful and informative. (Minor point but Guilin Hotel was a bit out of town and did not offer facilities of the others—Chengdu hotel was magnificent)
3)I certainly am very willing to speak to anyone who is interested in travelling with you in the future
And recommending your company.
4)General opinion—10 out of 10—it couldn’t be better
5)I think overall the tour was very well organised-maybe the guides could promote evening events more in the different cities.I did attend a Sichuan opera eve.in Chengdu which was good.
6)Have lots of photos which I can send—let me know-panda cubs attached
Please use any of my comments on your web site
7)Certainly –future/potential customers can contact me for advice
OVERALL A SUPERB HOLIDAY—MANY,MANY THANKS
Very best wishes
Ken and Perola Noble
- Reviewed on September 24, 2019
Below is a copy of a review I have submitted to Trip Advisor - my wife and I had a fantastic time in China and your company delivered everything promised at a great price, and the guides were fantastic.
I'm a meticulous vacation planner and while the pre-planned packages available from various tour companies were good, none specifically met what my wife and wanted to do on vacation. I did some research on where to go and what to see and we originally were going to do 12-13 days to include some trips into the rural areas to see some scenery, etc. We ended up limiting the trip to the three big cities and received bids from multiple tour companies based in China. China Discovery stood out in the quality and completeness of their responses and had the most competitive pricing. The reviews on Trip Advisor were also very positive and helpful.
We ended up booking 8 days in China with visits to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. We had a list of everything we wanted to see and China Discovery made it happen -- an advantage of booking a private tour is that you can go and see what you alone want to do. (We booked our own air travel to and from China using miles earned on an airline)
In Hong Kong I was not able to find a private guide -- they are all group tours. The buses are designed for around 30 people and we had 10 in our group one day on a Lantau Island tour (fantastic) and just the two of us the next day (Victoria's Peak, Aberdeen Fishing Village/Stanley Market -- avoid it, just find a way to go to Victoria's Peak).
In mainland China private tours are the only way to go. Why? You are only as fast as the slowest people in your group. And when it was just the three of us (us plus guide/driver) we were much more nimble at getting through crowds and we were in a car or minivan, not a bus, for driving around. The tour company gets the tickets for everywhere you are going so you don't have to wait in line. And we were able to customize portions -- like no Shanghai Museum, but add Tongli water town and a night cruise in Shanghai. Add high-speed train instead of plane between Shanghai and Beijing ... with first class tickets.
I read reviews of the hotels they had chosen to put us up at and all got good to great reviews -- and they lived up to expectations. Note: you can ask for different hotels if you want higher quality or different location -- a China four-star is Western three-star, etc. The Regal Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong was 2 1/2-3 star compared to the other two hotels. Food was average -- I had to teach the cook how to do Over Easy Eggs. The Yangtze Boutique Shanghai was fantastic -- huge room and great service -- 4-4.5 stars! Beijing hotel was the Ramada Park Plaza Wangfujing that was also great ... 4 stars. Food was great at both Shanghai and Beijing hotels. Breakfast at the hotels was included every day and lunch on most days which was in local Chinese restaurants. Extra expenses were tips for our guides and drivers, dinner, snacks, souvenirs, taxis -- we ended up spending much less than anticipated in this regard.
We had different guides each day in Hong Kong because they were group tours, then a guide + driver for the Shanghai area and guide + driver for the Beijing area. All of them spoke English well and were able to answer questions that we had. They were all very knowledgable about the subjects of each tour and even got into nitty gritty details. We were VERY impressed. At meals we would talk about all sorts of things -- especially about how we all lived and family, things like that. The guides had no problem taking photos of us with our phones and never hurried us along if we wanted to take additional photos or video.
We happened to encounter an annual holiday when we were in Shanghai -- with millions of people pouring into the city to celebrate -- and then rehearsals for a 70th anniversary of the PRC parade and celebration in Beijing shut some roads and attractions. Both could have really thrown a monkey wrench into our plans, but the guides were adept at rearranging the schedule to our advantage to avoid crowds and juggle going to sights that were open.
What did we see? Each line is what we did in a day
Hong Kong -- Lantau Island tour (4 sights to see) .... rating A
Hong Kong -- HK Island tour ... rating C (avoid as Aberdeen Fishing Village doesn't exist, Stanley Market is OK if you want to shop for clothes, artwork and souvenirs, and you are forced to do a Jewelry Factory Tour that is really a way to try and get you to buy some jewelry, only Victoria's Peak was good on that tour)
Shanghai -- Yu Garden, the Bund, Nanjing Road (shopping), World Financial Center (100th floor observatory), nighttime cruise ... rating A
Shanghai -- Tongli Water Town (has canals like Venice) ... rating B (very touristy, but still interesting)
Beijing -- The Mutianyu Great Wall, the Ming Tombs ... rating A
Beijing -- Hutong Tour/Rickshaw Ride, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven ... rating A
Beijing -- Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City ... rating A (the Square is kind of meh, but the Forbidden City more than made up for it)
One piece of advice save the Forbidden City for last ... it is so impressive it may make other sights seem much less interesting.
Everything China Discovery promised, they delivered at a reasonable price.
Jim and Robyn Nuttall
- Reviewed on May 20, 2019
I am writing to sincerely thank you for organising such a wonderful trip to China for my wife, Robyn, and I.
We returned from our trip a couple of weeks ago and we both have wonderful memories of your beautiful country and we feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to see the wide and diverse aspects of China from the towering cities, the scenic rivers to the small villages and farms. We were so impressed at the friendliness of people and their willingness to help us even though we couldn’t speak any Chinese.
The tour was comprehensive and it included all the key sights that were on our “to do” list and we thank you for collating such a wonderful tour. We found all the arrangements from hotels, planes, sights and bullet trains to be organised so well that it was a seamless operation and we had no problems at all.
All the Hotels in which we stayed were excellent and more than met our expectations. The locations of the Hotels were very good and quite central to main roads and sights; they all were very comfortable and the breakfasts provided were, once again, very good.
The lunches provided as part of the tour were also very good and we always had plenty to eat and the service in these restaurants was excellent.
The transport – planes and bullet trains – were very comfortable and easy to navigate especially with the assistance of our Guides. We were thankful that we upgraded to First Class on the bullet trains as our luggage was no longer a problem. The vehicle transport in each city was excellent. The vehicles were generally quite new, roomy, very clean and comfortable. All the Drivers were excellent and very skilled in driving and they often assisted my wife in getting in and out of the vehicle and with our luggage and this was greatly appreciated. We also appreciated the access to bottled water which was always available.
We would like to make a special mention and thank you to all of our Guides. We remember each and everyone of them – Mary and Becky in Hong Kong; Summer in Guilin and Yangshuo; Tina and Melody in Shanghai; Nancy in Yichang; David in Chongqing; Vivian in X’ian and lastly Lindsay in Beijing. To each and every one of them we wish to say ‘thank you’ for making our trip to China so wonderful. Without our Guides we would not have had all the information and history about the cities and the sights – they all have a comprehensive knowledge of their area and they were able to present this to us. Their command of English was excellent and they were always ready to answer the many questions we had. We are also very grateful for their attentiveness to my wife’s special needs and we know that without their help my wife would not have been able to enjoy the sights and the trip. Each Guide we had would go out of their way to ensure that our holiday was special and one we would remember.
And lastly, many thanks to you, Johnson, for the excellent service you provided in organising our tour of China. From our very first contact with you by email, we found that you were very responsive to all our queries and issues. There was never any delays in responding to our emails and your answers were always comprehensive and covered all the issues. Your organisation of the tour was excellent and we felt very confident in dealing with you via the emails. You and your company provided an excellent service in arranging our visit to China and we would not hesitate to recommend the China Discovery Tour Company to our family and friends when they are planning their China trip. We would also be happy if you wish to share this email with your future customers or on your website.
Once again, many thanks for all of your hard work in ensuring that our trip to China was wonderful and it will be remembered for many years.
Amazing Travel Stories from Our Customers
Our dear customers have shared many travel stories, feelings and stunning pictures after finishing their trips with us. They are glad to share everything with you and you are warmly welcomed to read their photo stories. Or, you can click 2012-2020 Customer Travel Stories" for more stuning stories. Get inspired now!
No Family, No Travels
Travelling with 2 girls under 12 years old required some thinking and extra consideration, but Jack Li at China Discovery did an excellent job of supporting the itinerary plans and patiently working through our changes. We will definitely be going again, loved it!
- Mr.Knight (New Zealand)
- (15 Days) 2017.10.09~2017.10.23
- Beijing - Xian - Chengdu - Guilin - Hong Kong
Plants-Enthusiastic Couple Indulged in Beauty of Yunnan
Elizabeth and her husband are gardening hobbyists. After a trip to China 2 years ago, this year they contacted us for a trip to appreciate the scenery in Yunnan. They were very happy to see the natural gardens on this beautiful land.
- Elizabeth (UK)
- (13 Days) 2019.05.05~2019.05.17
- Hong Kong - Kunming - Yuanyang - Jianshui - Dali - Lijiang - Shangri-La - Kunming - Hong Kong
Hello, Poetic and Picturesque China
There were six of us travelling together. We used China Discovery to help us plan and visit Guilin, Yangshuo, Xian, Chengdu, Chongqing, Yangtze River Cruise and Shanghai. They arranged all our flights and train travel starting in Hong Kong and ending in Shanghai.
- Mr.Doug (Canada)
- (13 Days)2017.04.09 ~ 2017.04.21
- Hong Kong - Guilin - Xian - Chengdu - Yangtze - Shanghai
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