- Reviewed on April 11 2019
- Tour Customized by: Riley
We had a fantastic trip over Christmas and New Year. Our travel consultant was Lily Wu. I first contacted Lily about 11 months prior to our trip and she helped us greatly with planning our trip, through a few revisions on what we wanted to do within our price limit. good communication with Lily prior to our trip and also during our trip.
We first went to Beijing. Our guide Mark met us at the airport. Very friendly and knowledgable. We only had one planned trip with Mark in Beijing and that was to the Mutainyu part of the Great Wall of China. Highly recommend going here. We did this on Chistmas Day. Disappointed with the Ming Tombs, I had expected it to be more like the Ming Tombs in Nanjing. Also went to the Bird's Nest, and then to round the day off Peking Duck. Fantastic restaurant just round the corner from our hotel, and extremely popular with the locals, we had to wait about half an hour for a table, but it was well worth it!
Beijing is so easy to get round using the metro system, and having a hotel right in the centre of the city was great. We were even lucky to have clear blue skies throughout our stay in Beijing.
Next stop Chengdu, via bullet train. Met by our guide Nancy in Chengdu. She was wonderful throughout our stay in Sichuan Province. First day, just myself and my daughter going to Dujiangyan Panda Base, for my panda mad daughter's birthday. Fantastic day, cleaning out the pandas, feeding them. Nancy even made sure we were working with a keeper that is friendly with the volunteers.
Our travel agent Lily, also arranged for a birthday cake (which Nancy got) and birthday presents (all panda related) for my daughter when we got back to the hotel, and the hotel also gave her flowers and a present.
Then off to Leshan for 2 nights, again by train. Nancy and our driver met us the day after we arrived in Leshan, to take us to Jiayang Steam Train, that my son had researched and had wanted to go on for a long time. It was a fantastic day out, well worth going on. We only went one way as we missed the outward journey, so had to get a local driver to take us to the end of the train line, to get the train back. Nancy was initially nervous about doing this, but the scenary through the mountainside was spectacular and a differen perspective to what we saw on the train journey. The steam train ride was great. It is still a working line, so not set up at all like the heritage steam train lines in the UK. Still not a touristy attraction, but it has so much potential to be so.
We didn't see the Leshan Giant Buddha as it was having major repairs being done, but instead we went to the Thousand Buddha cliffs, which were spectacular, and we were very glad to go there and didn't think we missed out not seeing the Giant Buddha. After that it was off to Mount Emei. Went up the mountain on New Year's Day. Lots of snow on the mountain and very misty at the top, so it made it difficult to see the top of the Golden Buddha at the top of the mountain. Didn't see the mountain monkey's, they were hiding due to all the snow.
Bullet train to Xian for our final couple of days, with our guide Waldner. Xian was very smoggy, much more so from when my husband and I last visited there 20 years ago. The terracotta warriors were wonderful. The Wild Goose Pagoda we visited, but didn't go up due to the poor visability. Loves the Muslim Quater and the market. Final morning in Xian we went on the town walls and had 2 hours cycling on the walls, which we all really loved.
Stayed in great hotels. Our guides took us to wonderful restaurants, and we had some great recommendations for local restaurants in the evenings. The small local ones that had no English or picture menus were where we had the best food. We had no problems travelling round China. Highly recommend all the guides that we had, and found the locals helpful on the days that we didn't have guides, with the help of translation apps!
Would recommend using China Discovery and especially our travel agent Lily. We would use China Discovery again. This is the 5th time my husband and I have been to China, and the 3rd time with our children. We have used different travel agents every time, and China Discovery has been the best one that we have used.
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