It was our first time travelling with China Discovery, and we must say our tour of Hangzhou and Huangshan from 12-19 September 2017 was most enjoyable. For ease of discussion, we have divided our tour into three parts – Hangzhou 12-15, Huangshan 15-18, Hangzhou 18-19 – because the guides were different for each leg. To gauge our tour satisfaction, we asked ourselves two questions:
1. Would we travel with China Discovery again?
2. What factors contributed to our satisfaction?
Without a doubt, if we were to travel within China again, we would rate China Discovery very highly in our choice of tour operator.
Mr. Wonder Wang has been very approachable, giving suggestions while taking into consideration all our inputs and ideas, plus answering all our questions in a timely manner. It is no idle boast when they say they will answer every email within 24 hours. When we wanted a change of hotel for variety’s sake for our last night in Hangzhou, 18th, Wonder was amenable to our request. This last night in Hangzhou led us to explore a different side of West Lake, vastly changing our erstwhile bland impression of the famed tourist site.
May we suggest that you advise your clients to stay, when in Hangzhou, in Sofitel rather than in Dragon Hotel. The proximity of Sofitel to the far-more-vibrant bank of West Lake makes for amazing photo opportunities, colourful evening strolls and stops at interesting eateries. Of course, there could be a price differentiation between the two 5-star hotels, but location is worth paying for.
For the Huangshan segment of our tour, we cannot commend any more highly the impeccable services offered by our English-speaking guide, Mr. Jerry Xia. That he knew well the places of interest, had local knowledge, and historical insights were to be expected of any competent guide. However, he often went out of his way to ensure our comfort and security. He not only checked us into our hotels, but also secured rooms with a double bed, a view and away from noisy guests. He was the first guide in all our years of travel to lead us to our rooms (what happened to the bellboys?) and check that our rooms were satisfactory, before leaving. Since the evening meals were not included in the tour, he often gave us suggestions on what to eat. Thanks to him we can brag that we have tasted Hangzhou’s famed Stinky Fish!
When guiding us, he always had a plan, which he would introduce as his “suggestion”. (This was Jerry – helpful without being obtrusive and loud.) Without hesitation, we would agree, and never once did we regret doing so. In this manner, we saw Hongcun and Xidi in one afternoon, taking away with us many beautiful shots of the water towns that rightly deserve their Unesco status.
CS and SC from Singapore visited Hongcun, Tour customized by Wonder Wang
Mount Huang was equally stunning. After we had arrived in the afternoon, Jerry showed us the way to Purple Cloud Peak, prepping us for the 4.30am climb tomorrow morning to catch the sunrise. And in case we got thirsty, he had carried two bottles of water for us up the mountain. We promptly declined because we had brought some bottles with us too. When this argument proved useless with him, we pressed one bottle upon him. Again he politely declined, saying very diplomatically that he preferred the locals’ Longjin tea.
CS and SC from Singapore enjoyed the sunrise from Mount Huang, Tour customized by Wonder Wang
The next day’s trek down to Xihai Grand Canyon was spectacular. True, it was nature at its best; not to be outdone was China’s amazing engineering feat in sticking the spindly staircase to the mountainside. We also have many photos to help us recall the extraordinary views.
CS and SC from Singapore visited Xihai Grand-Canyon, Tour customized by Wonder Wang
Will we redo Huangshan? There is a good possibility and, taking Jerry’s advice, we might do it even in winter to see the Yellow Mountain in a totally different color. One point is non-negotiable -- Jerry must be the guide.
" Hi, I'm Wonder, CS and SC's travel consultant. Are you interested in their 8 Days Enjoyable Hangzhou Huangshan Tour? Want to know their 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. With my passion, knowledge and understanding of the essence of travel, I promise I will try my best to make the tour memorable and meaningful for you. "
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