Adrian S

Adrian S

Australia

Reviewed on November 20, 2023

We took a 20 day Chinese Silk Road trip starting in Luoyang and ending in Kashgar - the western most city in China close to the border with Kyrgyzstan. There were 8 of us in a small privately organised tour which Leo Li managed for us from China Discovery Chengdu.

I have been to China for work and twice before for holidays - this is definitely the best trip hands down. The itinerary was excellent and tailored to our needs. The hotels were fantastic (maybe except for one which was borderline) - all Chinese owned and operated hotels (there was only 1 international branded hotel in the entire 20 days). They were clean, spacious and very obliging to our needs.

The food organised by Leo was excellent on all days.

We requested English speaking guides and had 6 in all at various stages of our trip. They were all excellent, very knowledgeable about the history and significance of the locations in relation to the Silk Road and great company and humour too.

The guides went out of their way to ensure we were comfortable - even to the extent of organising special meals when a few of us got sick and another left his bag in the mountains!

The trip included historic cities beginning with Luoyang, Lanzhou, Xian, Xining, Qinghai Lake, Chaka Lake, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumuqi and Kashgar. The trip utilised a combination of China's excellent bullet trains, private bus and flights (between Urumuqi and Kashgar and Kashgar to Shanghai)

Leo seemed to work all hours! Thank you Leo and your team for making our trip so memorable!

I highly recommend China Discovery Tours and will definitely without hesitation use them again.

Some tips for travelling in China:

1. Bring Cash! - WeChat Pay (linked to your credit card) works, but not all the time. Our personal success rate was about 40%. Even in the big cities like Shanghai. So definitely bring cash. PS - you will need internet connection to pay by WeChat - see internet connection below.

2. Watch for "Spit Bombs" (the Hark...Phui!) - its getting better especially after the pandemic. But in the smaller tier 2 and 3 cities definitely watch for it. Now you know why Chinese people take off their shoes when entering homes! :)

3. Chinese hotels are very warm and the aircon doesn't work in winter. Switching the aircon to cool will STILL give you heat!! So be prepared. However, despite this, as mentioned, our Chinese branded hotels were excellent.

4. Everything in China is huge! Except for the toilet rolls in the hotels! Don't ask me why. So if you need to have a big one, make sure you have sufficient toilet paper! Don't be afraid to ask, they are generous when you ask. (The 4-5 star hotels in the main cities are OK though)

5. Speaking of loos, we tried to make sure we only do No 1s in the public loos. Most of the tourist locations are OK but they are of the squatting kind... Of course the ladies have a tougher time than us guys. So before you embark on your daily tours - as much as possible make sure your system is all clear!

6. Internet connection seems to work fine (yes even Google, Messenger, YouTube etc)...BUT, BUT I think it is because I am on data roaming. Another member of the group had the same experience - No need for VPNs. But have a VPN loaded on your phone anyway as a backup. (We were on Australian Mobile network - Vodafone and Optus). Not sure how long this is going to last. Others not on data roaming had massive issues with the Great Firewall. Of course forget about the hotel wifi, the firewall is strongest there! Also 4G works better than 5G. So setting your phone to only 4G might make your internet connection more stable and reliable.

7. Enjoy the people - they are very friendly and patient (especially with our payment issues with WeChat). Trying to speak mandarin goes a long way!

8. Enjoy the food - it is generally safe but of course be sensible. We stuck to the main markets, hot cooked food and except for a short unexplained stint, we were good.

Above all - enjoy the experience!

Destination(s): Shanghai, Luoyang, Henan, Xian, Shaanxi, Xining, Qinghai, Lanzhou, Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Gansu, Turpan, Urumqi, Kashgar, Xinjiang, Silk Road
Date of Experience: October 19, 2023
Trip Type: Traveled as Friends
Tour Customized by: Leo
Victoria

Victoria

South Africa

Reviewed on October 21, 2023

Rita Jiang was our travel consultant from China Discovery who worked with me to plan our 30 days in China. She helped with a suggested itinerary and when I added or removed destinations, she swiftly and efficiently adjusted it with clever additions I had not researched. I tried 2 other large Chinese travel agencies with my proposed itinerary before settling with China Discovery. China Discovery was not the cheapest, but they were certainly the most efficient in response time and also, most importantly, they created an excellent itinerary with clever routes and efficient transportation options between destinations. When you are travelling for this length of time as a family, efficient travel time is very important. The guides which met us in each location were well spoken and highly knowledgable. The drivers were excellent too. We covered Shanghai, Zhangzhou, Zhangjiajie, Fenghuang, Guilin, Kunming, Dongchuan Red Lands, Lijiang, Chengdu, Juizhaigou and Huanglong Valley, Xian, Luoyang, Zhangye, Dunhuang, Datong and Beijing with our two children aged 9 and 10.

There is no other way to travel efficiently through China and get to understand the culture and history without the help of a local travel agent. I highly recommend China discovery to help you plan your next trip!

Destination(s): Beijing, Shanghai, Zhangzhou, Fujian, Zhangjiajie, Hunan, Guilin, Guangxi, Kunming, Lijiang, Yunnan, Chengdu, Juizhaigou, Sichuan, Xian, Shaanxi, Luoyang, Henan, Zhangye, Dunhuang, Gansu, Silk Road, Datong, Shanxi
Date of Experience: September 17, 2023
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Rita
LohWaiYee

LohWaiYee

Singapore

Reviewed on October 19, 2023

Our guide picked us up from Luoyang Longmen train station . We went to Longmen Grottos and Shaolin Temple via private car. Our guide Kelly was very polite , knowledgable and could answer our questions . Car and driver was clean and professional . Kelly helped us to changed our high speed rail train timing to a better time. She really took care of us. The day activities were just perfect for my aunt and I . This was the most impressionable experience of my time in Xian due to the sites visited. I would recommend this to my family and friends.

Destination(s): Zhengzhou, Luoyang, Henan, Xian, Shaanxi
Date of Experience: October 19, 2023
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Jack
Gaby P

Gaby P

Indonesia

Reviewed on July 10, 2023

I did a tour for Yangtze river cruise, Zhangjiajie, Xian and Luo Yang via China Discovery.

Rita our travel consultant was very helpful in organising a suitable itinerary tailored to our needs. She was very quick to respond and organised everything well.

Lily our tour guide in ZJJ was super helpful and friendly, especially given that one of us got sick during the trip. She was also very flexible in sorting that out and ensured that those who were not feeling well was taken cared of, whilst also making sure that the rest of the group could still enjoy their tour. Would totally recommend her to anyone who is considering going to Hunan province.

ZJJ is also a must visit with stunning and gorgeous views.

The cruise was also decently good, although the boat was getting a little outdated and could do with renovation (Yangtze Gold 8).

When we went to Xian it was heavily raining and during the school holidays so it was really hard to see the terracotta warriors properly, but it was a decent trip. Our tour guide introduced us to some good local food so that was great.

For Luo Yang I really enjoyed seeing the museum that Joe, our tour guide, took us too. He was very very knowledgeable and could inform us of Chinese history. From the Long men grottoes to the museum to the Shaolin temple and White horse temple, our group was all enriched in knowledge. Definitely recommend visiting Luo Yang, especially the museum. I typically do not enjoy museums as much but Joe made it super fun.

Destination(s): Yangtze River, Zhangjiajie, Hunnan, Chengdu, Sichuan, Xian, Shaanxi, Luoyang, Henan
Date of Experience: June 23, 2023
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Rita
Joy H

Joy H

USA

Reviewed on July 6, 2023

Our family booked a two day private tour for Luoyang, Rita made the entire experience very smooth and hassle free. This is the highlight of our entire two week trip back in China since Covid. The hotel is very comfortable, and the tour guides are very knowledgeable and attentive, not only did we get to visit some major attractions, we also met some local martial art school students and talked to them at a personal level. It is a very valuable experience for me and my kids. We plan to visit other cities in China in the near future, and definitely will book tours with this company again.

I have some experience booking hotels and purchasing park tickets in China, knowing the Chinese language, I still have to deal with wechat app, wechat payment, and lack of online information. I have spent hours online booking attractions. In comparison, this company provides a very smooth travel experience, everything is taken care of, it is definitely worth looking into if you are thinking of traveling in China.

Destination(s): Beijing, Luoyang, Henan
Date of Experience: June 28, 2023
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Rita
Rob M

Rob M

USA

Reviewed on May 23, 2023

Luoyang and Zhengzhou tour. 4 days. Everything was great. Guide "Joe" was a wealth of information. Driver and Guide were very accomodating. Both hotels were excellent including b-fasts. Coffee is always hit and miss in China. Even the weather was good. Longman grottoes is a must see. So much history in this part of China. The trip was very well organized and executed, that means that instead of worrying about logistics, we were free to enjoy the experience. Henan museum is underated. See it if you can. It's one of the best in China.

Destination(s): Henan, Luoyang, Zhengzhou, Dengfeng
Date of Experience: May 18, 2023
Trip Type: Traveled as
Tour Customized by: Rita
Tamer G

Tamer G

Turkey

Reviewed on July 27, 2021

We had 8 days trip of Beijin-Luoyang-Xian with China Discovery arranged by Wonder in Jul'21.

Along with great content of trip, very qualified local guides and hotel selections, we had great service and flexibility to adjust our program due to many uncontrollable incidents through weather conditions.

Client oriented mindset and agility to finding alternatives options of Wonder has let smoothly finish our trip with maximum satisfaction. Strongly suggest China Discovery and Wonder as agent for your programs.

Destination(s): Beijing, Luoyang, Xian
Date of Experience: July 16, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as
Tour Customized by: Wonder
Cheryl Paul

Cheryl Paul

USA

Reviewed on June 20, 2021

On Dragon Boat Festival long weekend I booked a private tour to Luoyang to see the Longmen Grottoes, White Horse Temple and the Shaolin Temple. This was the most organized and most relaxing time ever. From the planning to the drop off at the train station, I felt cared for and comfortable. Shirley my tour guide was excellent and patient, as was Mr. Wang my driver. This is a great company with excellent staff and itineraries. I will definitely book with them again.

Destination(s): Luoyang
Date of Experience: June 12, 2021
Trip Type: Traveled as Solo
Tour Customized by: Jack
Per

Per

Sweden

Reviewed on October 9, 2020

If you want to have a custom-made guide tour in China.

I can really recommend Yangtze-River-Cruises.

I got help from one of their agents Tracy to custom-made my trip to Xian to see the terracotta warriors with Side trip to Luoyang Longmen Grottoes.

She solved and booked everything from pickup at the airport, hotel, guides, ticket for entrance and high speed train to Luoyang etc.

And the guides she hade booked was excellent, they had a great knowledge and was really good in English.

I will use Tracy at Yangtze-River-Cruises (China Discovery) for more trips in China.

A very satisfied customer/ Per

Destination(s): Xian,Luoyang
Date of Experience: September 26, 2020
Trip Type: Traveled as Families
Tour Customized by: Tracy

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Amazing Henan Travel Stories

Below is real Henan travel stories shared by China Discovery’s delighted clients who enjoyed trips in Shaolin Temple, Luoyang and other wonderful places of Henna. May the trip experience provide great travel ideas for your future Henan tour. And you can get more useful and interesting travel insight in our Customer Travel Stories (2012-2023) and customize an once-in-a-lifetime travel memory with us!

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