Dali - Lijiang - Shangri La



Reviewed on November 22, 2020

We spent 7 wonderful days in Yunnan, shortly after the golden week. We usually do not use travel agencies for trips in China. But due to a rather last minute opportunity to travel, we contacted the team from China Discovery in order to get it arranged and safe all the detailed planning and arrangement at our end. Zeva Du, one of their agents, contacted us immediately and customized the itinerary according to our input. Her service was excellent (fast/responsive, patient, diligent). The entire process from the first contact to final booking, payment and confirmation was very smooth and reliable. We booked the flights ourselves and left everything else to Zeva. Zeva dealt with several last minute changes in a perfect manner. Overall, we had a very good and hassle-free time in Yunnan. Since the important sites have been well described by others and this post is about „China Discovery“, I do not comment on the different activities and sites. Everything was well planned and worked out very well. The guides were flexible to respond to some additional requests from our side. The driver was kind and experienced. For pick-up and drop-off, we did not book the guide but only the driver. That worked out very well. Since we started our trip two days before the end of the golden week, we never had to deal with busy places or long waiting lines. The program usually concluded early enough to leave sufficient time to explore the cities on our own. We enjoyed some really nice moments when we mingled with locals and other tourists on our own (e.g. Lijiang and Shangri La by night, especially the nightly dance in the old town in SL). It would have been nice if the guides would have given some hints for such activities. Probably our fault. We did not ask since we usually explore China on our own. What would we change were we to do the trip again? Most probably I would book the trip w/o lunch included. It takes too much time. The first days, we did change lunch into dinner (very late lunch :-)). But we still didn’t feel comfortable having to be careful not to exceed the „unknown“ budget. We are simply not used to that but to order „whatever we want“. As such, we later simply left the lunch budget as tip and paid our meals ourselves.

Do you need a guide for this trip? Definitely not for the entire tour. Especially if you are used to travel China and can speak some basic Mandarin. The city parts you can do on your own. But for the hiking in unknown territory and visiting remote places, using a guide is advisable - for this tour. We learned a lot talking to the guides and saved a lot of time, too.

All in all, we are very satisfied with the organisation by Zeva and the service we received locally. For the ones that do not want to go thru the hassle of planning and organizing everything themselves, I can highly recommend China Discovery and Zeva in particular.

Date of Experience: October 8, 2020
Trip Type: Traveled as Couples
Tour Customized by: Zeva

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