Tutty

Tutty

German

Reviewed on October 18, 2021

This feedback is for Vivien Li our travel agent at China Discovery has been long overdue. (Sorry for that Vivien). :

Vivien planned our first trip to the Silkroad in Summer 2021. Vivien has been a great support from the beginning to the end in organizing the whole trip and was always there to answer all my questions. Since we travelled with a small child she also put a lot of effort in our travel itineray and included the starting and end time for all our activities. This helped us a lot. It was the first time we had a guide with us and she found a great guide for us. We were really excited to start our Silkroad trip in August and it was a great trip. We enjoyed every minute. Unfortunately with few Covid cases coming up we had to return to Shanghai. During this time Vivien also was a big help in organizing a worryless trip back to Shanghai. With Vivien as our travel agent I know I have a reliable travel agent on my side I can fully trust.

I can fully recommend Vivien as your travel agent. Thanks a lot Vivien for your patience and your great service. Looking forward to our next trip to plan together.

Tutty and Family

Date of Experience: August 15, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as
Tour Customized by: Vivien
Norma

Norma

Spain

Reviewed on October 11, 2021

Dear Echo,

First of all we want to share with you that has been an amazing trip, one that we will not forget. We definitely loved it! Going into detail: :

• Guide: Gary was outstanding, he had a very positive attitude and he had never lost the smile although travelling with kids can be challenging. He was willing to help beyond his responsability, flexible when needed and passionate about his job. Simon, was a good guide and help us when asked for his support although it was a bit difficult to understand. The only thing that it could be improved was that when we went to Dunhuang for the private dinner in the desert, nobody spoke english there and Simon didn't come with us so it was a bit difficult in the beginning.

• Driver: He was good and drive very safely.

• Hotel: Generally speaking all the hotels were ok but the hotel in Dunhuang was not really what we understand as a 5 star hotel (breakfast was very chinese, no decent coffee, issue with the heating, no english,...). Hotel in Jiayuguan was very good although the rooms were a bit small. Hotel in Zhangye was very good, they had a lot of details (our family room was customize for kids, little presents every day in the room, dinner was very nice and they had the best coffee of the 3 hotels in the breakfast, they try to speak in english).

• Hotel: Generally speaking all the hotels were ok but the hotel in Dunhuang was not really what we understand as a 5 star hotel (breakfast was very chinese, no decent coffee, issue with the heating, no english,...). Hotel in Jiayuguan was very good although the rooms were a bit small. Hotel in Zhangye was very good, they had a lot of details (our family room was customize for kids, little presents every day in the room, dinner was very nice and they had the best coffee of the 3 hotels in the breakfast, they try to speak in english).

• Hotel: Generally speaking all the hotels were ok but the hotel in Dunhuang was not really what we understand as a 5 star hotel (breakfast was very chinese, no decent coffee, issue with the heating, no english,...). Hotel in Jiayuguan was very good although the rooms were a bit small. Hotel in Zhangye was very good, they had a lot of details (our family room was customize for kids, little presents every day in the room, dinner was very nice and they had the best coffee of the 3 hotels in the breakfast, they try to speak in english).

Cristina

Date of Experience: October 4, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as
Tour Customized by: Echo
Norma

Norma

German

Reviewed on October 11, 2021

Dear Vivien,

Please let me give you more detailed feedback on the Silk Road trip:

1) Driver in Xining was outstanding, very attentive and also supported for check-in etc. So definitely recommend for future. The driver for the second part was also very polite and a very calm driver.
2) Guides:
a. Shawo was very knowledgeable and could provide lots of information. Probably based on her professional background working in university.
b. Lisa was very passionate about her job and anyone who wants to know details about Chinese culture should go with her.
c. Andy was from my pov the least engaged guide. For logistics he organized everything well and no problems. For the cultural parts he could provide information, but I personally did not perceive him as too motivated or passionate about guiding. So for groups who just want the logistics done, he’s fine. He did share some personal insights on how Dunhuang changed from his childhood to now which was super interesting.
d. English level of all guides was soso.

3) The Badain desert was my personal highlight extremely impressive nature and really great Jeep drive through the desert! Our Jeep driver was the best, I would always recommend him again for further tours! Second highlight were the rainbow mountains both for sunset as well as sunrise in the morning. To make this happen, the Kaoshan tents are necessary as it is so close by walking distance.

4) The national geologic parks were also interesting ad the nature was different in different spots, a guide who has more geologic knowledge would have been desirable.

5) Mati Temple was way too crowded. Dunhuang desert was also very touristy and crowded, so not the scenery I would have wished for.

6) Hotels were very good standard, I was actually surprised of the level offered!!! In Jiayuguan a bit dirty, but overall good. I did not like the mongol yurt in the Badain desert though, if it is basic standard, I would have wished it to be less touristy, but it was yurts, yes, but all else was just mass tourism. Something I know now I just have to accept. I had hoped for a remote small local touch experience, which it definitely wasn’t. Also, there was a group partying with loud music and fireworks in the morning. So I would prefer a hotel (and I now learnt it even exists) in the desert as the local experience is not given anyways.

Norma

Date of Experience: October 1, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as
Tour Customized by: Vivien
Ruth

Ruth

Ireland

Reviewed on October 11, 2021

Hi Riley,

Thank you for planning our trip so well

I wanted to let you know that our first driver was really excellent. Because we didn’t have a guide, he took care of our check ins at the hotels and also purchased our entrance tickets. We all really appreciated his hard work and patience.

Thank you!

Ruth

Date of Experience: September 1, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Riley
Chad

Chad

USA

Reviewed on October 8, 2021

Hi Rita,

we leave from Dunhuang in a few hours. Trip has been nice so far. Not too crowded at the sites we visited, and weather has been nice each day until now. Very lucky for us.

Chad

Date of Experience: October 3, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as
Tour Customized by: Rita
Sina

Sina

Germany

Reviewed on October 5, 2021

Hi Tracy,

thanks a lot. We arrived safely in Beijing. Everything went good. Thanks for organizing the trip. It was great experience and we enjoyed it…. If in the future karakul lake and the other areas are opening please let us know… many greetings

Barbara

Date of Experience: September 28, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as
Tour Customized by: Tracy
Miko

Miko

Indonesia

Reviewed on October 2, 2021

Hi Tracy,

Anyway, i really like adam. He has a class. So maybe ask the wuhan guide to bring me to restaurant which has view of east lake or the best local specialty restaurant. Adam really did a great job here. He knew my taste very well.

Miko

Date of Experience: September 30, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as
Tour Customized by: Tracy
Bernard

Bernard

France

Reviewed on September 18, 2021

Hello Tracy,

Absolutely perfect, everything was very well organized, the visits interesting and well explained, the places magnificent in every way. And a great group atmosphere.

Bernard

Date of Experience: September 18, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as Solo
Tour Customized by: Tracy
Ljiljana

Ljiljana

German

Reviewed on August 1, 2021

Hi Vivien,

The trip is very good we like it very much.

Ljiljana

Date of Experience: July 23, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Vivien
Natalia

Natalia

Denmark

Reviewed on July 27, 2021

Hello Vivien,

All good. Thank you for organizing the trip. It was fantastic.

Natalia

Date of Experience: July 15, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Vivien
Thomas

Thomas

German

Reviewed on May 14, 2021

Hi Vivien,

Xi’an was very nice. But I think two days enough. Good weather.

Thank you, was very nice location, definitely worth visiting it.

Hi Vivien, and I skipped the boat tour and went on the mountain, very nice. I can recommend. Nearly no clouds.

Yes, as an option. You even don’t have to climb, the view from the top station is already perfect.Pictures are taken from there.

Hi Vivien, sorry for writing late. We came home yesterday late and did some washing and housework today. Thanks again for the very nice trip. We got lots of positive feedback from our friends and some are considering to visit Xinjiang as well. Thanks again and have a good night.

Thank you Vivien and I know you will look after our friends trips, that’s why I can recommend you without any doubts.

Thomas

Date of Experience: May 12, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as Couples
Tour Customized by: Vivien
ChewYian

ChewYian

Singapore

Reviewed on June 6, 2021

Overall the 敦煌,张掖,嘉峪关itinerary n hotels are good. Guide Gary is very professional and passionate about Chinese history (he was previously a middle school history teacher). 西宁 hotel & guide Daniel were good too. Suggestions (1) Chaka lake is very nice but due to flight timings we only spent 30 min at the lake itself. (2) I think if we were to recommend friends, we would ask them to cut the 阳关,玉门关,汉长城 and spend more time in Xining (there is a nice temple near train station) and Chaka lake. (3) You should strongly recommend that guests spend at least 2 hours at Chaka lake itself excluding the traveling (once you reach there, you need to take bus n train to reach the lake, that itself takes almost one hour including waiting for passengers one way). Thanks

Jack, you have been professional and always trying to find a “yes” for your customers. You responded positively to some negative feedback (from my friends) and offered good alternatives. I will certainly still recommend you to others.

Date of Experience: June 1, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as Friends
Tour Customized by: Jack
Daniela

Daniela

Italy

Reviewed on May 29, 2021

Hi Jack,

Here is our feedback.

1. Is your travel consultant of our company fast enough to answer your E-mail and patient enough to answer your questions?

From the very first e-mail exchange with the agency, our contact, Jack, has always been very professional and fast in providing all the information requested as well as his recommendations and advice.

2. How do you comment your tour arrangements?

The tour arrangements reflected what had been agreed and the tour ran smoothly. The guides and drivers were competent and flexible to accommodate our requirements.

3. Are you willing to recommend our service to your people who also have an interest to visit China?

We will recommend China Discovery to friends who will look for an agency to travel around China

4.  Your general opinion on us?

Dear Jack, you provided an excellent service. We really appreciated your kind gesture in providing the cake for celebrating Laura’s birthday. Thank you!

Date of Experience: May 21, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as Friends
Tour Customized by: Jack
Wendy

Wendy

USA

Reviewed on April 21, 2021

Vivien,

We have arrived in Sanya and are on the way to our resort.  Thank you for arranging the very helpful guide and driver this morning. They were professional and prompt.  

Do you have a feedback form that I should complete or would you like me to write something in my own words?

I must tell you, the cruise was amazing!  I have never felt so much like a queen as I did on the cruise.  The staff was unbelievable, the accommodations were excellent by my western-standards, and the activities were splendid! Nobody wanted to leave the cruise!!  

The two boys enjoyed the unlimited “mocktails” drink package and flying kites on the sundeck.  The two girls enjoyed the “mocktails” and the variety of relaxing spaces on the ship.  Sometimes they wanted to relax in the Executive Lounge, sometimes they wanted to do karaoke.  It was wonderful that the children had easy access to any place in board that they might have an interest.

As you know, we already recommended you to my friend Sylbeth. We will continue to recommend your services.  If we have time for one more vacation before leaving China, we will definitely arrange it through you.

Thank you,

Wendy

Date of Experience: April 6, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Vivien
Seamus

Seamus

Canada

Reviewed on May 6, 2021

Hi Lyn,

It was ok. Just on the train out. Wechat translate made things run a lot smoother.

Date of Experience: May 3, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as Solo
Tour Customized by: Lyn
Daniel

Daniel

USA

Reviewed on May 3, 2021

Hey Tracy,

Yes was fantastic.

Guides. Driver. Scenery. Food. All great. Impression is very positive. Gorgeous country though, wish we could hike

Date of Experience: April 27, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as Friends
Tour Customized by: Tracy
Gabriel

Gabriel

Mexico

Reviewed on March 26, 2021

Hi Leo, Everything fine and thanks for ask;

Everything was super and thanks.

Date of Experience: March 20, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as Couples
Tour Customized by: Leo
Josh

Josh

USA

Reviewed on January 4, 2021

Hi Echo,

We are now in Jiayuguan. Crescent lake was a fun idea! Thanks.

Date of Experience: December 18, 2020
Trip Type: Traveled as Solo
Tour Customized by: Echo
Florian

Florian

France

Reviewed on October 9, 2020

Hi Johnson,

Here are my answers.

1. Is your travel consultant of our company fast enough to answer your E-mail and patient enough to answer your questions?

Yes, very reactive and we were able to custom made our trip and even modify it during the trip due to some unexpected change in Fuyin.

2. How do you comment on your tour arrangements?

Since we work together on the route we can only say that it match our requirement and you help us to build the itinerary for a great photography tour.

3. Are you willing to recommend our service to your people who also have an interest to visit China?

Yes sure i will specially communication was good and have good follow up during the trip

4. Your general opinion on us?

Great driver and able to manage the complexity of Xinjiang county specially for foreigners and numerous checkpoints. Very good reactivity on last day and good suggestions on avoid additional unnecessary trouble due to covid situation even we are in China since february 2020

5. Do you have any suggestions on improving our services?

Since everything was clear and yes it's also a good chance to meet this driver i don't have suggestions. Probably some hotels have included breakfast.

6. Can we use your comments of our service, the photos or other images that you took on the tour for our websites, brochures, marketing and publicity? If yes, could you please send us some of your photos by E-mail?

You can pick up some of my photos but need to keep photos with trademarks.

www.floriandelalee.com

https://www.behance.net/Flowrian

7. We sometimes have requests from potential customers who would like to inquire from or our ex-customers. May they contact you for advices?

If you want another testimony on tripadvisor please send me the link but i don't want to be contact by customer. If i have people interested i will share your wechat contact.

Date of Experience: September 27, 2020
Trip Type: Traveled as Friends
Tour Customized by: Johnson
Maria

Maria

Mexico

Reviewed on August 26, 2020

Hi Wonder,

Thanks for everything! The tour was great! We really enjoyed it!

Date of Experience: August 22, 2020
Trip Type: Traveled as
Tour Customized by: Wonder
Borja

Borja

Spain

Reviewed on August 17, 2020

Dear Wendy, 

Here I send the answers for the services you have provided in the last 2 days. I also send some pictures that I agree on add to the webpage. I will make a contribution in TripAdvisor as soon as I can. 

1. Was your travel consultant of our company fast enough to answer your E-mail and patient enough to answer your questions?

Overall, I had an excellent services from my travel consultant and the company. I decided to travel on the last minute and they arranged everything really fast and efficiently in the way that my trip started without problem. Travel consultant was really fast and efficient on answering my questions and on tailoring the trip on a couple of changes I wanted to do in relation to the original trip plan offered. My travel consultant, Wendy, was also available to solve any of my questions regarding the special travel requirements needed due to Covid-19. Wendy was also took care of my needs along all the length of the trip.

2. How was your tour? Are you satisfied with the tour we arranged for you? 

I am very satisfied with the tour. I asked for some modifications in relation to the original trip which were fast and easily arranged. I didn’t feel pressured during all the trip, thing that I enormously value. I had my time to enjoy all of the places I visited. Both the driver and the tour guide were helpful and kind. I am specially satisfied with my guide, Cathy, who took really care on giving extend and understandable explanations, answering my questions (including those non-tour related: where to eat, what else to do, etc.) and taking care of my stay and well being in Dunhuang.

3. Do you have any suggestions on improving our services

I think that for people living in China, it would work a bit faster and smoothly if there is an earlier communication by Wechat. Emails are not as accesible platform as Wechat when living in China. 

Best regards, 

Borja

Date of Experience: August 15, 2020
Trip Type: Traveled as
Tour Customized by: Wendy
Mattice & Lien

Mattice & Lien

Belgium

Reviewed on August 13, 2020

Hello Tracy,

A-ma-zing everything perfectly organised and overwhelmed by the beauty of the grottoes and the knowledge of David. The Yardan Park was breath taking, so special. Even the 2 hour drive was amazing. The last hotel was very good. great mix between traditional, luxury and also accommodating to westerners.

Mattice & Lien

Date of Experience: August 3, 2020
Trip Type: Traveled as Couples
Tour Customized by: Tracy
Marlie

Marlie

Netherlands

Reviewed on August 12, 2020

Hello Echo,

We had a wonderful trip! We enjoyed it very much!

You did a fantastic job (again)!

Everything was very well organised and there were no problems at all.

We have only 1 comment: 

When we arrived at the camp site in the desert in Dunhuang, we found out that it had been possible to book a more private tent at a more quieter spot in the desert.

The karaoke, the bright lights and the generator were not exactly the desert experience we had hoped for.

So we would have liked it if we had been informed about the option of the 'private tent'.

Other than that all was perfect.

We will certainly recommend your agency to our friends and if we decide to do another trip in the future we will for sure use your services again.

Thank you!!!

Marlie

Date of Experience: July 31, 2020
Trip Type: Traveled as Couples
Tour Customized by: Echo
Gloria

Gloria

Reviewed on August 10, 2020

Hi Lyn:

We are enjoying this very much.

Yes everything has been very good! Thank you.

Date of Experience: August 7, 2020
Trip Type: Traveled as
Tour Customized by: Lyn
Bjoern Ehlbeck

Bjoern Ehlbeck

Germany

Reviewed on August 10, 2020

Hi Leo,

I’m back in Chengdu... the trip was a very nice experience! Yes, both of them. I liked Jacky more, she is more authentic... I understand she actually is from CITS, right?

Date of Experience: August 1, 2020
Trip Type: Traveled as Solo
Tour Customized by: Leo
Mario

Mario

Reviewed on March 28, 2020

Dear Vivien Li,

thanks for your email. I have a good memory of China which I think is one of the countries that I liked most today for the courtesy of its inhabitants and the tourist beauties, as well as being one of the most advanced in the world.

You have dealt with the coronavirus problem seriously and with determination and you can be an example for many other countries.

In Europe we are not as good as you but we hope that our politicians will learn from you.

I hope everything will pass and I will still have the opportunity to visit your beautiful country.

Mario

Date of Experience: May 28, 2019
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Vivien
Sandra

Sandra

Canada

Reviewed on January 30, 2020

Lily,

You were definitely correct in getting us to leave China right away. We did not want to leave as we were really enjoying the trip you had arranged for us.But it was correct to leave.

I am now trying to claim part of our flight back to Canada. To make this claim could you please send me:

1) A letter stating that our trip was terminated on January 25 when we were in Tiger Leaping Gorge and the reason why ( Because of coronavirus and the towns of Lijiang and Dali our next two stops were being closed and other parts of China were going to close soon). So we were advised to end trip, get back to Shanghai and leave China immediately.

2) Letter should include both my husband's and my full name

3) Letter should include our itinerary number

4) Needs to be on official paper

5) Include your name and contact information

If you could send this as soon as possible, it would be appreciated.

Again thanks for getting us out of China and also for arranging a great trip.

Date of Experience: January 17, 2020
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Lily
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

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
Boonshan Sangfai

Boonshan Sangfai

Geneva

Reviewed on May 5, 2015

Hi Ian,

We are back to Geneva! Please find below a short summary of our trip which you may feel free to edit or shorten it as you deem appropriate.

We have so many photos to share, though you may decide which one you would like to publish it.  I am going to forward those photos to you by different emails.   

Many thanks again.   Best regards.

“Quote Unstoppable WOWs for our Amazing China Discovery Tour!

As orchestrated by Ian Wei of Chengdu Bamboo International Travel, two of us were wandering from one natural wonders to endless wonder spots of China. We were wandering from the soft fertile earth of red land to multi-formed stone forest and strolling in the village of diverse ethnic minority of Yunnan. Our journey continued to nonstop amazing historical heritage and nature beauty in the land of world roof in Tibet.  Worldly cute panda and Giant Buddha as well as Luodai and Jinli ancient places plus shopping spots of Sichuan made our visit simply unforgettable. We were following the track of silk road and visit numerous wonder places in the Gobi desert of Gansu province, for example, climbing up sand dune mountain and circling the crescent lake of Dunhuang, walking inside mogao grottoes, Yardang geopark, western great wall, Jiayuguan fortress, reclining buddha of Zhangye.  Every view point in the area of rainbow mountains gave us no chance to brink our eyes and kept exclaiming Wows!  Lastly 4000 steps of stairs plus a double downs to tops ride of cable car to reach the peak station of Huashan in the outskirt of Xian was such a stunning and challenging trip.  

The above merely captures the essence of our 18-day (1-18 April 2015) trip organized by the impressive services of Chengdu Bamboo International Travel. Ian Wei is our host who stood ready to track/follow and response to our request throughout the tour. I have a full confidence and offer a big applause to the second to none service of this travel agent. Many thanks to Ian and his tour guides and superb drivers who made our trip every possible and so memorable.    

Cheers.  A couple, residents of Geneva, Switzerland ”

The following are some of the photos shared by Boonshan Sangfai

Yunnan Dongchuan Red Land

Lhasa Potala Palace

Glacier Tibet

Yardan Geopark

Date of Experience: January 1, 1970
Trip Type: Traveled as Friends
Tour Customized by:

See all reviews from our guests See all reviews on Tripadvisor



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 2012-2021 Customer Travel Stories" for more stuning stories. Get inspired now!

  • Returning Hometown to Regain Adopted Daughter's Confidence
    Returning Hometown to Regain Adopted Daughter's Confidence

    Lawson's Family had an amazing family China tour with their two adopted daughters from China and touchingly helped their adopted ethnic little girl regain confidence.

    • Lawson (UK)
    • (19 Days) 2018.10.17~2018.11.04
    • Shenzhen - Xiamen - Yongding - Guangzhou - Zhaoxing - Rongjiang - Congjiang - Yangshuo - Guilin - Chengdu - Hangzhou - Shanghai - Suzhou - Shanghai
  • 15 Days to Unveil the Mysterious Ancient Silk Road
    15 Days to Unveil the Mysterious Ancient Silk Road

    Traveling to the Silk Road is like a dream come true. Monica had an unforgettable time discovering 9 cities from the modern Shanghai all the way northwest to Urumqi in Xinjiang.

    • Monica (Spain)
    • (15 Days) 2019.5.09~2019.5.23
    • Shanghai - Xian - Pingyao - Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang - Turpan - Urumqi - Shanghai
  • 13 Days Silk Road Travel
    Continue Unfinished Silk Road Trip in China after 20 Years

    Mr. Marcin had a very long journey on China’s Silk Road, starting in Lanzhou Gansu Province and 3000 km later ending up at the edge of Taklamakan desert. He crossed endless deserts and rediscovered long forgotten cities. It was a remarkable journey.

    • Marcin (USA)
    • (13 Days) 2019.05.13~2019.05.25
    • Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang - Turpan - Urumqi - Khasgar