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No Family, No Travels

-- 15 Days Trip to China - Family of 4 from New Zealand

We had a seemless trip organized by China Discovery, arriving in Beijing and travelling by high speed train or plane across China to Hong Kong. Travelling with 2 girls under 12 years old required some thinking and extra consideration, but Jack Li at China Discovery did an excellent job of supporting the itinerary plans and patiently working through our changes.

Few Things Made Big Difference

- Having 2 rooms instead of squeezing into 1, (most of the way it they were adjoining although this was not guaranteed until we arrived);

- Choosing to pay the extra for better class on the trains. With the kids we recognized that they would perhaps be wanting a bit of their own space and not be crowded, this was worth it for us;

- choosing a private tour so we could be flexible with the kids. This also meant that we had no enforced shopping, could change the plan if we needed to and get back to the hotel to rest if it had been a big day;

- guides knowing where all the "best" toilets are, it does become part of the daily conversation especially when you get a less than desirable one! Just have to be prepared to grin and bear it!

Things Made us Surprise

- much cleaner than we had expected, perhaps it was the time of year with the air, but the environment generally was extremely clean, with people dedicated to tidying up. We did get a tickily throat sensation in Beijing - presumably from pollution, so not good for people with lung/breathing issues;

- The kids didn't get hassled as much as we had expected by people. They did get asked occasionally for photos, but not to the point that it was a nuisance. However, we were pretty vigilant about where they were and didn't ever let them wander;

- Really easy to travel around when you have a guide and driver! Makes it an excellent experience - so money well spent;

- Keep an open mind about where you are, certainly likely to be very different from home, but just enjoy it regardless of whether you are out of your comfort zone and take it as an experience. Wherever you travel there will be things that aren't quite right but you'll be home soon enough, so it just take it as part of the adventure;

- China is really big, if it looks close on the map Google it to work out the distance and consider whether the travel is going to work for your family;

- Tour guides had excellent English! Also they all went the extra mile for us with things like extra blankets, things we wanted to buy, concerts, laundry etc.

- Accommodation was really good, we are used to basic family accommodation, so this was a great bit of luxury! If you are used to high end, then you may want to scale up, but it was absolutely more than we had expected.

- Tricky to find regular milk for your tea/coffee!

Our Itinerary

- Beijing: Science and Technology Museum, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Mutinyu Great Wall (less people but a fair bit of travel so have to consider the time in the car with kids - take devices/dvds for the long drives);

- Xian: Terracotta warriors, biking on the ancient city wall (excellent!), museums, muslium quarter, pagoda;

- Chengdu: Pandas, Opera show in the evening with kids painted faces! Went to Zigong Dinosaur museum, but its a really long way to go, I think next time we would probably check out the Beijing Natural history museum instead....

- Guilin: Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Hill walk, River Li cruise

- Yangshuo: markets, impressions concert (amazing), then we had a day doing stuff, tai chi in "peoples park", cooking class, calligraphy, This was really good to do with the kids, lots of fun doing stuff together;

- Longli Rice fields: it is a really long way to go so be aware of the drive, and a hill walk, however was worth it for us. Great to have contrast to the big cities and to see a much more simple life. Need to organize an overnight backpack, not your big luggage. Really super gorgeous area and lovely people;

- Hong Kong: transfer to here with our driver sorting us through immigration as well which was excellent and dropping us to our hotel in HK for a couple of days but ended our excellent China Discovery trip.

We will definitely be going again, loved it! However next time, think we would have a less ambitious travel itinerary and add on a few more days to have less in the days with the kids, and get a bit more time in the hotel pools for a play!

Jack

" Hi, I'm Jack, Mr. Knight's travel consultant. Are you interested in Mr. Knight's 15 Days Trip to China? Want to know his trip itinerary, accommodation, transportation or other arrangements? Feel free to contact me, and I will be glad to tell you more stunning stories about the places they visitied. Or, if you want to customize a tour on your own, I'm always ready to help at any time. Welcome to China to discover abundant & gorgeous natural views, explore profound and extensive culture & history, and enjoy special & diverse cuisine. "

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