Aron

Aron

Reviewed on March 24, 2020

Hi Dear Vivien

Thank you very much for the important information. Fortunately we the group are all well

Israel is a small country and we hope to succeed. 

At this stage Corona is present. We admire the Chinas success

Best wishes

Aron

Date of Experience: August,12, 2019
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Vivien
Irene

Irene

Malaysia

Reviewed on December 17, 2019

Hi Leo,

Sorry for late reply. We really enjoyed this 8 Days Silk Road trip for our company trip holiday.

We'll like to thank the Lanzhou tour guide Miss Dong Dong who waited for us at the airport late at night as well as received us at train station from Xining on our last day at Lanzhou. She was kind enough to inform us about places to get good food!

Travelling from Lanzhou to Zhangye, Jiayuguan and Dunhuang, we had Mr Gary guiding us and I must say that I enjoyed all his narratives about the places we were to visit. He was very helpful when we lost a camera and went all out to retrieve it for us. He even helped to repair a jacket for us. Well done!!

We enjoyed our visit to Qinghai lake very much, especially when our guide stopped at an adjoining frozen lake for us to play and take pictures. That was a bonus!

Overall, this trip was great although a bit tiring and cold!! We really like having the places to ourselves. 

The food was sometimes too spicy though.

Thanks China Discovery & Mr Leo Li for your help.

Best Regards

Irene Goo

Date of Experience: November,13, 2019
Trip Type: Traveled as Couples
Tour Customized by: Leo
Vasant and Mangala Betkerur

Vasant and Mangala Betkerur

USA

Reviewed on November 8, 2019

Hello Leo,

Thanks for your email. Yes I am back to USA after a long trip to China. I have now fully recovered.

Our trip to China is one of the memorable trips we have taken. Thanks to you and China Discovery, we enjoyed our tour without a glitch. It was very well organised and executed.

Our flights and trains were all on time and very comfortable. The vehicle, tour guides and the drivers were very respectful and flexible to accommodate all our needs. We were impressed by all the tourist sites, especially the grottoes and other sites in the silk route. All the sites are well maintained and the facilities were  excellent. We saw several cultural shows and they were all very enjoyable. We have no hesitation in recommending your services and China Discovery travel agency to all our friends and relatives.

Good luck and thank you,

Best regards,

Date of Experience: November,24, 2019
Trip Type: Traveled as Couples
Tour Customized by: Leo
June Wong

June Wong

Hong Kong, China

Reviewed on October 6, 2019

Hi Wonder

Firstly I wish to thank you for a most wonderful holiday last week in China that you so professionally and efficiently organised for me.  Despite a couple of small hiccups, I found your arrangements for everything very professional and I am also most grateful for your accommodation of several last minute changes and tailoring to my itinerary. 

I have recommended you and China Discovery to others, and have also written up a positive review in TripAdvisor. 

I would be interested in exploring the Silk Road tour, especially the 10-day classic tour.  When I checked on the website below for a preliminary quotation, it did not give it to me.  Wonder, you know I would like to explore the most comfortable, 5-star tailored tour.  Would you be able to facilitate an introduction to an experienced agent that covers the Silk Road who might be able to help me please?

Again, very well done and I appreciate your great help. 

Regards

Date of Experience: September,30, 2019
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Wonder
John

John

USA

Reviewed on August 11, 2019

Hi Leo,

Here is my review. I will likely post it on TripAdvisor to help other tourists out so they know what to expect. Let me know if you would like anything edited (such as the Wire Transfer vs PayPal part) if you find it harmful for your business. My intent is to describe my experience to other Western travellers that may have similar fears about booking a trip like this.

Thanks for all you did. The trip was both flawless and amazing.

I took a 2 week personalized vacation with Chendu Bamboo tours through China. I wanted to put some thoughts down to the TripAdvisor community as I had a lot of reservations going into it, and I hope my review will help clarify some of the items that I was uncertain of.

First, while I researching, I determined that I wanted to do a custom tour as none of the packages that I saw had everything I wanted. The towns I chose were Beijing, Xian, Dunhuang, Chengdu, Guilin and Shanghai. I submitted inquiries to multiple companies and ChinaDiscovery came back to me promptly with a very comprehensive tour that was detailed and in line with my expectations. The scary part of communicating my requirements was that it had to be done mostly through email, although the company was also quick to Skype call me to handle some of my more advanced questions.

If you decide to book a tour like this (and you are firmly in the middle class) this is and expensive endeavor. For you to pull the trigger, you can expect 4 big expenditures. First, you will need to put 1/3 balance down on the trip to reserve the reservation. That 1/3 was placed through PayPay, and the Paypal account that I placed it to did not look anything like the business I was dealing with. It was scary sending the money to such a strange account, but in the end, the transaction was fine. One point of confusion...you may research and book through ChinaDiscovery, however the invoice then turned into (in my case) Chengdu Bamboo International Tours Co, Ltd. I don't fully understand the relationship, but it was legitimate, although a little confusing of why the website said one thing, but the actual contractor that was doing the work said another. Another scary thing came later when I was asked to pay the remaining 2/3 balance, I was requested to do so via wire transfer. Again, a scary endeavor which I felt I would have no protection if the company was not legitimate. So fearing loss of funds, I reached a win/win compromise to use the Paypal account again (with Visa) to submit the funds. Once I received confirmation, the company executed the hotel, train and plane tickets flawlessly, communicating the reservations about 1 week later.

In short, my fears were unfounded.

You will also have to handle 3 other expenses. First, and not surprising are your international plane tickets, which I handled shortly after the deposit. But the 3rd and 4th were not known. As a US citizen, I needed to get Visas for myself and the family. A Chinese Visa costs about $160 per person, and to get it, you must carefully submit a form to the Chinese consulate in a designated region of the country. Because I delayed doing this, I needed to do expedited service. And because the form is brutal and requires you to send your passports to the Chinese consulate, I enlisted a visa expert (CIBT.com) in order to get in processed. Long story short, about $1K later, I received the last of the passports back from the consulate with about 2 days to spare. 

The other warning, since all the trips have drivers and tour guides that take you around, you are advised (not mandated) to give them tips. Unfortunately, there are no guidelines given or direction of how much to give. I spent time researching on the internet what were fair tips for always outstanding service. Now, 1 week after the trip, I still have no idea if I tipped fairly, generously or cheaply. But, calculate 2 weeks and 2 persons a day, you can calculate that it will cost you hundreds of dollars or thousands of Yuan.

Last warning to give about going to China...you'll need cash. Only some (not most) banks and stores are hooked up to the Visa and Mastercard system. This means, (1) you may need to search for the right bank to get cash in China in order to withdraw funds and (2) the vendors that you'll see only will take your cash. This caused some stress the first couple of days as I had trouble finding a bank that worked.

Now...for the good stuff. Once prepping for all that, the trip that was designed by Chinadiscovery (or Chengdu Bamboo Tour Company) was pretty spectacular. The guides were beyond great, and did a truly amazing, amazing job of being everything you would want as a tour guide. Prompt, flexible, funny, sometimes motherly, sometimes brotherly, open, honest, kind, insightful, human, knowledgeable and ...simply great. Each one in each town was different...but each of them took such pride in their cities/country that you are given a great gift.

The hotels were as good as it gets as well. Breakfast was included in all hotels...some food good, and other food great. The hotels were within walking distance to all the good things. For Beijing, 15 min walk to the Forbidden City. Shanghai? 5 minute walk to the River and 20 minutes to The Bund. I could go on, but the accommodations were really good. Combine that with flawless execution of all travel arrangements, it made for a stress free trip. The lunches were all Chinese and again, and food ranged from good to great. They always gave our family of 3 too much food for one sitting, and I felt embarrassed about leaving so much food behind.

In Beijing, our guide took us through Tienanmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, The Great Wall, and Temple of Heaven (among other places). When she took us to the train station, she insisted in walking us down to our seat on the High Speed railway car. When I asked if that is the company policy, she said 'that MY policy' (to ensure her clients get to where they are going). Amazing. We reached Xian for a day and Zoe gave us great insights of the growing city, the crowds, and life in China. Then onto Dunjuang, where Lily and her driver rearranged the schedule to ensure that we saw all the Silk Road sites. The schedule changes included her and the driver starting at 6AM (after we were picked up at the airport 10PM the night before) in order to ensure we saw everything. Then in Chengdu, Cherry helped so patiently with my wife's shopping at the Panda sanctuary. And in Guilin, Kennedy was awesome describing the land and China's ethnic minority. The insight for the rice fields and rivers were wonderful. We ate probably the best Chinese food of the trip in the fresh country air. Then finally, to Shanghai, where Zack was truly a joy, and one of the friendliest and enjoyable people I have ever met in my life. The city of Shanghai was amazing, and my son enjoyed it tremendously.

Two things I would do over if I could. First, I would plan to take it in June, not late July. We had to compete with the rest of China, which has summer break at this time. As a result, the places were packed with China tourist going to the same sites, which made the crowds a bit much. Second, I would have also altered the trip to spend 1 less day in Guilin and 1 more day in Shanghai. Other than that, I would not have changed anything.

China Travel Photos

Our Customized China Trip

Date of Experience: July,16, 2019
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Leo
Jennifer

Jennifer

Australia

Reviewed on July 9, 2019

Dear Wonder

Please see my answers in bold below.

Regarding the use of the attached photos and my comments below on your website:

  1. Yes, you can use the attached photos on your website.
  2. Regarding use of my email evaluation, I only agree for use of my comments on your website if my identity is NOT disclosed.  It is okay if you use “(Jennifer, Australia)” but I do not agree to the use of my full name as I do not want my identity disclosed.  Can you please kindly confirm that my identity will NOT be disclosed.

I hope the above is acceptable.

Thank you again for arranging an enjoyable trip.  And it was good that you warned me about the lack of real non-smoking rooms in those areas so that I was prepared – while I was assured by the hotels that the rooms were non-smoking, there was usually a linger of smoke in the rooms from previous occupants!

Another useful tip for any travelers taking this trip is to warn them to be prepared for the range of squat toilets (some were very clean, some were not) and to remind people to take their own toilet paper and have water to wash their hands in case there is no water in the taps (we encountered this is some toilets).  But we were prepared, so not a problem for us!

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding my comments.

Kind regards

China Travel Photos

Jiayuguan Great Wall, Large Baby Sculpture, and Rainbow Mountains in Gansu

Date of Experience: July, 1, 2019
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Wonder
Mario Ruffoni

Mario Ruffoni

Switzerland

Reviewed on June 11, 2019

Dear Vivien Li,

I want to first of all thank you for having organized in a perfect way and according to our particular desires the Tour.

Helen was a perfect guide, very competent, kind and with excellent English. The driver is excellent and prudent. The selected restaurants of excellent quality, which made us very much appreciate Chinese cuisine. Also good choice of hotels.

The region from Dunhuang to the Rainbow Mountains was very interesting, the highlight of our trip. For our choice we have only few days: what more day would have been useful to see all the beautiful things that this region offers.

I am quite old (75 years) and I was already tired from the previous travel facts (Beijing, Datong, Pingyao, Xian and Longmen) and for this reason we decided not to go to the Mati temple (which would have taken some time in the car) , although as an architect I was very interested to Mati. Helen suggested we see some interesting things in Zhangye and for us was OK.

We had already been served by China Discovery two years ago: we were very happy on 2017, as we have been now. We also had a very good impression of this modern China, very well organized, clean and welcoming.

Thanks again for everything

Date of Experience: June, 2, 2019
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Vivien

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