8 Days Cheap Tour to China Most Popular Cities

Beijing, Xian, Shanghai

Traveler Reviews


Tour Code: TCT-Budget-01

Tour Type: Budget Tour

Tour Highlights:

The cheapest China triangle tour, covering Beijing, Xian and Shanghai

It suits for those tourists who has limited time, but also hopt to experience the long history and rich culture of China.

Be amazed by all the highlights and world wonders included in these 3 cities, like Great Wall, Forbidden City, Qin Terracotta Army, etc.

 

Best Travel Time: Suitable for the whole year, best from April to November.

Price from $ 755

Free Inquiry

Day 1Arrival Beijing
Private transfer service to hotel


Meals: No Meals
Recommended Hotel: Citadines Ritan Service Apartment ★★★★

Arrive in Beijing, the capital city of China, your local guide will be meet you at the airport and transfer to your hotel by private vehicle. Free at leisure for the rest of the day.

The Turret of Forbidden City
The Turret of Forbidden City

Day 2Beijing
One day group tour: Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Recommended Hotel: Citadines Ritan Service Apartment ★★★★
Note: Depart every day except Monday

Today, enjoy your full day Seat-in-Coach Tour (Bus Tour) that covers the most popular sites in Beijing city. The guide will pick you up from the hotel in the city center of Beijing, then start the tour by the 1st stop - the north part of Tian'anmen Square--- the biggest city center square in the world, where you can see the Tian'anmen Rostrum, the symbol of new China. Then we will walk forward to Forbidden City, which was the Imperial Palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing Dynasties and, it is one of the largest, and certainly the most completely restored, ancient architectural complex in the world.  On the way to Temple of Heaven, you will have a chance to visit the Chinese traditional medicine culture. And then visit the magnificent Temple of Heaven . A Chinese lunch is arranged at the local restaurant en route and  a short visit to a pearl free market not missed. Then move to the largest ancient preserved garden in China and a former summer retreat for Emperors--- Summer Palace. The visit takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Transferred back to your hotels.

Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven

Day 3Beijing
One day group tour: Ming Tombs (Dingling), Mutianyu Great Wall

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Recommended Hotel: Citadines Ritan Service Apartment ★★★★

You will take a Seat-in-Coach Tour (Bus Tour) to visit the must-see place in Beijing today. That is the Great Wall. The group tour guide will pick travelers from hotel to hotel between 07:00-08:00 each, then drive to the Great Wall. En route, the group will have a stop at Ming Tombs (Dingling). Dingling is the underground mausoleum of Emperor Wan Li. The Underground Palace Halls, a labyrinth palace building, were the first royal tomb excavated in accordance with plan in China. The visit at Ming Tombs finishes at about 11:00. Then we will drive to have a Chinese traditional lunch. We will have a stop (about 45 minutes) to have a shrot visit of Jade Carving Factory.
In the afternoon, we will start the visit at Mutianyu Great Wall , which has the largest construction scale and best quality among all sections of Great Wall. It is known for its beautiful surroundings--- dense woods and rich pastures changing colors with the seasons of a year. Cable car is available at Mutianyu Great Wall as an option (excluding from the price). After tour, we will return to the downtown of Beijing. Then you will have a chance to enjoy the Chinese traditional Tea Ceremony. The tour is finished at about 18:00 by a drop-off at your hotel.

Mutianyu Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall

Day 4Beijing - Xian
Take high speed train to Xian, Free at leisure

Meals: Breakfast
Recommended Hotel: New Century Hotel Xian ★★★★

You will have a leisure morning in the morning, then be transferred to the train station for your High-speed train to Xian, where our guide is waiting for you at the exit of North Train Station. The guide will transfer you to check in hotel. Free at leisure for the rest of the day.

Xian Muslim Street
Xian City View---Muslim Street

Day 5Xian
One day private tour: Terracotta Warriors, Xian City Wall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda Square, Tangbo Folk Art Museum

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Recommended Hotel: New Century Hotel Xian ★★★★

You will have a full day to take a private tour to visit the world wonder --- Terracotta Warriors of 6,000 terra-cotta soldiers standing in battle formation guard the tomb of the very first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. After that drive back to downtown, where you will have trip along Xi'an City Wall. You can choose to explore it on foot or by riding a bicycle(optional on your own expense). Then have a photo stop at Big Wild Goose Pagoda Square. You will also have a chance to visit Tangbo Folk Art Museum where tourist can learn Chinese caligraphy or painting.  You can also choose to enjoy Tang Dynasty Show with dinner as an optional activity to book with your local guide. Or you can also choose to explore the Muslim Quarter by yourself at night.

Terracotta Warriors
Terracotta Warriors

Day 6Xian - Shanghai
Take high speed train to Shanghai, Free at leisure

Meals: Breakfast
Recommended Hotel: SSAW Boutique Hotel Shanghai Bund ★★★★

Free at leisure before transfer to train station to take high speed train for Shanghai, which is the largest city and financial center of China. It is also the last stop of your China tour. Upon arriveing in Shanghai, you will be picked up b y our local tour guide and transferred to hotel for a rest.

Shanghai City View
Shanghai City View

Day 7Shanghai
One day group tour: Yu Garden,Confucius Temple, the Bund, Pearl Center, Xintiandi & Former French Concession, Jade Buddha Temple, Silk Museum, People’s Square, Shanghai Museum

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Recommended Hotel: SSAW Boutique Hotel Shanghai Bund ★★★★

Be picked up at the hotel lobby at about 08:00 in the morning(from centrally located hotels), then start the by visit drive to visit Yuyuan Garden to enjoy the beauty of a traditional Chinese classic garden first. Then then move to Confucius Temple.  The next stop is the Bund, one of the must-see spots in Shanghai,  from which you could see the Oriental Pearl TV Tower just on the opposite of Huangpu River.

A Chinese lunch is arranged at local restaurant. our group move to visit Jade Buddha Temple and Silk Museum. Before a trip to Shanghai People Square, we will have a short stop at a fresh pearl store (30 minutes). At the square, we will have a visit to Shanghai Museum (audio guide is available as an option on your own expense), a large museum of ancient Chinese art in Shanghai. After a leisure strolling at the Old French Concession, you will be dropped off at your hotel  about 17:30.

the Bund
the Bund

Day 8Departure Shanghai
Private transfer service to airport

Meals: Breakfast

Feel at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for flight to next destination.

Service Ends

Tour Price (US$ per person)

Hotel Class Group Size Dec. ~ Feb. Mar. ~ Nov.
Economy Hotel
★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $871 $920
6 ~ 9 pax $755 $804
Comfortable Hotel
★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $1079 $1100
6 ~ 9 pax $962 $984
Deluxe Hotel
★★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $1242 $1457
6 ~ 9 pax $1125 $1341
Price includes:
♦ Private airport(railway station)-hotel transfer
♦ Domestic airfare or train fare if the tour has
♦ Hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis
♦ Sharing transfer service during Sit-in-coach tours
♦ English-speaking guide service
♦ Entrance fee to attractions listed in the itinerary
♦ Meals as specified in the itinerary
Price excludes:

 * International airfare
 * Visa fee
 * Tips for guides, escort, drives, bellman, etc. 
 * Personal expenses
 * Optional tours, meals, activities and services


Remarks:

※   Prices are valid from Mar 1, 2021 to Feb 28,2022, except Chinese public holidays, local fairs or events.
※   TCT reserves the right to adjust the price caused by exchange rate
※   No guide on the flight and Yangtse Cruise
※   Recommended hotels are subject to change in actual booking
※   Special requirements should be advised to TCT in advance.
※   TCT reserves the right of final explanation for any change due to the reasons beyond our control

Traveler Reviews Feedbacks & Photos >>

5.0

oja1

5.0

Vicky Lu of TCT was great! She always replied to my emails quickly and fully answered all our questions, which we found really helpful and efficient. She took the time to understand what we liked and wanted to do, and our budget, and designed an amazing 2 week holiday with private tours of 3 fantastic places: Zhangjiajie (absolutely amazing!!!!), Guilin (beautiful and fun) and Xi'an (Terracotta Warriors are an absolute MUST, plus cycling on the Ancient Wall into the evening, and the thrill of Mt Huashan). It was all so easy, no fuss and no wasted time, with friendly English-speaking guides waiting for us on arrival and smoothing the way for hotel check-ins, getting tickets, and entries to the parks and attractions. It was all professional and just right, no rushing us on, no shopping/factory stops, no bus-loads of people to always be waiting on, etc... The TCT tour was professionally organised and was excellent. From chatting with other travellers at brekky and seeing the masses of local and overseas tourists at all the attractions, without our TCT guides we would have spent a HUGE amount of time getting there, getting tickets and lining up for everything, and spending crazy amounts of time communicating through phone translation apps (generally there are very few English speakers). We reckon that with our TCT guides we got AT LEAST twice as much time everywhere we wanted to be, with private drivers taking us straight from place to place with no waiting, the guides getting us in everywhere with minimal delays, and taking us straight to nice nearby restaurants for good lunches (included in the tour price), giving us maximum quality time enjoying ourselves in nice places. So we can totally recommend TCT and Vicky Lu.. great job, reliable, no hassles, and thanks very much for an exceptional China tour Vicky!!
Ricardotrip

5.0

We had a fantastic trip around China. TCT arranged every thing for us and every thing work out prefectly. The guides in Beijing, Datong, Xian, Guilin and Shanghai were all very friendly, helpfull and recieved us very well. Every one in the group were very pleased with the trip, they just loved the mixture of City, history, and country side. Next year we maybe would like to do a trip to Hunan, Yunnan or Chengdu. Thanks for every thing, and a special thanks for Janet.
markingq

5.0

We took a private tour to Zhangjiajie and Fenghuang with TCT and here's my rating: Tour Advisor Lily - Excellent Tour Guide Summer - Excellent Driver - Excellent Sights, Hotel and Restaurants - Excellent It's value for money. Great service. Lily, Summer and the Driver went out of their way to provide an EXCELLENT service. We just booked another tour with TCT...
Ruth Ann F

5.0

We traveled to China and southeast Asia for 33 days starting in Shanghai and ending in Kuala Lumpur. For the mainland China portion of our trip we spent 11 days with Top China Travel. It was a wonderful time and we were very happy we choose TCT. All of our guides were prompt, courteous and very knowledgable, especially William Zhang in Beijing and Snow Yu in Shanghai. Cherry Ma also did a fine job in Xi'an. We are very grateful that TCT changed our Yangtze River cruise ship from the Victoria Grace to the Century Sun 2 weeks before the start of our journey. We met a number of people on our Princess Cruise who were on the Victoria Grace and were very unhappy with their experience. Our cabin's on the Century Sun were mini suites and they were very nice. Also, the food and tours were excellent. So was the crew. We did find the boarding process to be a bit chaotic. We were not sure how our luggage was going to find it's way onto the right boat. Finally, we found a waiter from the Century Sun who assured us that our luggage would be put on board. It would have been less of a hassle had the TCT guide who met us at the Yichang airport taken us directly to the boat instead of us having to go on tour bus to the upstream part of the Yangtse due to the closure of the locks at the 3 Gorges Dam. However, it was only a minor inconveniance. We saw so much and had such great experiences. We would not hesitate to recommend TCT to any of our friends if their future travel plans included a trip to China.
dp0k0rny

5.0

We prepared for our stay in MAY 13 nights Tour in China. All local services have been arranged by TOP CHINA TRAVEL in direct cooperation with Janet Chan. We rcvd. all recommendations for program items and its arrangement, all needs were solved immediately, all replies also in the evening and very fast. Seen places: Peking, Xian, Guilin, Yangshuo, Huangshan and Shanghai. All services booked perfectly, local guides with great assistance and service. Janet checked out the situation with our group all the time during stay in China. Great work, thank you.
Marfutta

5.0

We took the private 21 day Panorama tour for two, and it was above an beyond any expectations. We've got absolutely impeccable service - the guides / drivers were never late, even for a second - they were expecting us at the airports, train stations, hotel lobbies, always ready to take care of us. All the hotels were great, with very ample buffet breakfast included. Cars were nice and comfortable, equipped with A/C, and bottled water was always there for us. Great itineraries too, with Tibet included - a lot of incredible sightseeing - never were disappointed. Couple tips: 1.Tibet was a bit tough due to high altitude - if we knew, we'd ask for the room with oxygen - they are about $40-50 more per night, but totally worth it. 2.There is optional ERA show in Shanghai, but if you want to see it, you need to book it at least 2 months in advance. We didn't know, so we had to miss it. 3.I'd recommend you take some toilet paper with you, when you head for excursions.
Gary U

5.0

Lily from Top China Travel and her staff provided us an amazing 15 day visit to China last month, which featured Guilin and Yangshuo besides other major China destinations. Our hotels, guides, drivers and itineraries all more than met our expectations. We had lots of opportunities to add to or modify our itineraries, which we did. Whatever any changes were made, our guides and drivers helped us with transport and purchasing of entries. The hotels were superb, as were the meals. I highly recommend using Top China Travel to anyone wishing an excellent visit to China.
yunhoh212

5.0

I traveled Zhangjiajie with my wife. After finding TCT, I customized my travel with TCT. Vicky in TCT offered me a right plan that I was looking for. Travel guide, Victor was sincerely guided us and responded to our on-site requests. I left my earrings in the hotel and contacted Victor for it. With his help, Hotel sent it to me with one-day shipping and I received it safely. This made my travel more enjoyable with one more great memory. Zhangjiajie is must see place. I still remember breath-taking view. With kind people, it is more shiny.
Allessandr0

5.0

I am a tour leader from Italy and this was my first cooperation with Janet and how lucky we met her!! We followed the trip with her to remote areas in China including some ethnic group area in Guizhou province and Sanjiang, Longsheng and Guilin, we enjoyed completely throughout the whole trip and some arrangement even out of our surprise, like we went to Janet’s home to learn how to pack Chinese Ravioli, she invited a Taichi teacher and we had a 1 hour Taichi class inside her home community. Everything was fine and our group members are all like her very much. We strongly recommend Janet Chan (janet@topchinatravel.com) as your China trip consultant! She is so considerate and carefully planned each detail of our trip. Guizhou is a very interesting and primitive place for visiting, you should include in your China trip as well! Thank you Janet! You are very professional!!
Jay_L_Carpenter

5.0

The experiences, fantastic, as well brilliant, and phenomenal, these words—amongst so many others—describe, in-part, the truly unique, and special journey that 'Top China Travel' ('TCT') affords those fortunate enough to partake within their crafted adventures. From the beginning, and throughout, the quality in terms of service, to the locations themselves, and the opportunities afforded/provided (in terms of versatility, and optional/additional further experiences made available) was exceptional, and I have Bonnie Luo to thank for this, who was the Top China Travel representative involved within orchestrating/organising this. I was able to thank her in person, and I'm so very appreciative of this also, as her dedication, professionalism, and interest was outstanding. She excelled in being able to turn wants, into reality, and a recommendation to her in particular, as well 'Top China Travel' as a company, comes highly.
valerithomas

5.0

We had so many marvelous experiences. The VIP hotel at the top of the Longhi Scenic Area was beyond anything I have seen before, and the 'ride' up to the top carried by 3 strong men in a 'rickshaw' defied description. At 84 I would not have reached the top without their help. The memories of this adventure will be with me always, and when the cold winter months arrive, I shall recall this pleasure all over again. Well done Janetl Well done TCT and well done China. Your beautiful country does you credit.
AgencyVanGogh

5.0

We have spent two days in Guilin and surroundings with a special interest group of geographers, visited the rice fields/terraces and local vilages, had a nice river cruise. The Tour Operator TCT organized several trips for us in the past all over China and all the service received from them were impeccable thanks to the meticulous work of Janet, our partner. A highly recommended and reliable partner in China for you!
Babu_of_Kili

5.0

I first visited China in 1975, the Canton Fair and have been a regular visitor since. In late 1976 partook in a 3 week Australia China Chamber Commerce of "approved" locations, one being that of Tianjin which was near epicenter Tangshan earthquake, staying in a Russian built colossal hotel, my how China has changed! On all previous trips I had business associates assist with my travel arrangements and this Guilin experience was the first I booked. Having never been to Guilin and always wanting to visit the karst formation mountains, I was surfing and an advertisement for TCT appeared to which I responded and immediately received a positive and informative reply from Lily. Informed her that I would be visiting a number of cities in China with my son on business and from our final city of Hangzhou I would like to visit Guilin and some attractions nearby. Lily immediately came up with a 5 day private tour proposal based on 3 star hotels and including private car transportation. The deal was so appealing I did not consider any alternatives. Arrangements were made solely by internet and whilst I was travelling. When I eventually nailed down the date I was to be in Hangzhou, Lily immediately booked a soft sleeper for the train to Guilin, some 18 hours and arranged for the ticket to be delivered to the Ramada in Hangzhou. In the course of the trip with my son in cities such as Taizhou, Handan, Chongqing, Tonglu and Hangzhou we mentioned my intended solo trip to Guilin and all were amazed that I, a Caucasian foreigner not able to speak Mandarin, would be capable of having a successful trip. Well at my hotel in Hangzhou there was the rail ticket as arranged, no problems to take the new Hangzhou subway to the East Hangzhou train station and on my way, sharing my soft sleeper with 3 Mandarin speaking fellow travelers The train arrived at Guilin station precisely on time, 12.18 and outside the terminal was met by my guide for the duration of my trip, the lovely and most capable 23 year old Yu Ming. She whisked me away to see the local sites of Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill, and Fubo Hill then to book into Universal Guilin Hotel 3*, top location. Yu Ming accompanied me to one of her favourite restaurants which offered live; snake,bamboo rats, various turtle and many fish. I settled on what is known as duck bill fish which is boneless but expensive, about RMBY220 per half kilo, other dishes as little as one tenth this cost. Following day joined hoards of other travelers on a flotilla of boats meandering some 83km downstream on Li Jiang (Jiang = River). The karst mountains are spectacular and the water clear and quite rapid, particularly in shallows. Considerable activity along the river conducted mainly from 12 pole bamboo rafts made of PVC pipe! Have a RMBY20 note with you and take a photograph of the scenery around Xing Ping which appears on the note. Met three fellow travellers,Guandong residents, who heard from Yu Ming we were to ride bicycles on arrival at Yangshuo and although none spoke any English they asked to accompany us when we ride hired bicycles to the Yulong River through the Yangshuo countryside. Off we set through relatively busy traffic but soon into serene countryside, easy riding. On reaching the Yulong we( Yu Ming and myself) hire a 10 bamboo pole raft (genuine bamboo), placed our bikes on the stern with poleman, sat in a pair of chairs and drifted down the Yulong (Dragon) River, going over weirs of more than 1 metre high, meandering through beautiful scenery and karst mountains to, too soon, to land at a banyan tree said to be 1,400 years old. Off loaded bikes and before setting on way to hotel, Ai Yuan 3*, bought from local vendor, a BBQ fish similar to a sardine, which you ate ,including backbone, from the skewer. Back on our bikes to have dinner at one of many local restaurants and then to the second performance for the night of Liu Sanjie, a love story familiar to all Chinese. A cast of over 700 from the Zhuang, Miao and yao minority in a setting of 1.4 hectares ( 3.5 acres) with karst mountains in background, backlit. Spectacular colours and lights, each performance holding 3000 spectators. To avoid queues for buses and taxis we rode a motorbike, 3 up, for total of RMBY10. During breakfast I could hear bursts of staccato which, was to see later, a funeral of a father. All mourners in white and the son and daughter of the deceased father were in long whites. The crackers were exploding and vast quantities of paper money floating everywhere to be quickly cleaned up by following street sweepers. Our driver, Qin caught up with us at 8 in the morning for an early start for the Longji rice terraces and the following day a visit to the Dong minority village, Yanzhai in the Sanjiang region (three rivers). More of that elsewhere My one regret, I did not have an additional day to enjoy the serenity of the Yulong River. I have had no further contact with tour organiser Lily, all is going like clockwork, Yu Ming not only a highly knowledgeable guide but is astutely aware of her charge's preferences, who is more than three times her age. I put this awareness down to the fact that Yu Ming is not only text book tourist taught by The Guilin University of Tourism, but she had recently spent some 8 months at the Epcot Centre in Florida.
Dr Hindie K

5.0

My husband and I and our friends--another couple that we have been traveling with for over 20 years--decided on China and Hong Kong for this year. After doing a significant amount of research, I contacted Top China Travel and spoke with Rebecca, who remained our trip advisor and who helped me design a highly customized trip. Rebecca was AMAZING!!! She is excellent to work with, very knowledgeable and highly professional. Over the course of our trip we visited 5 cities: Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Shanghai and Hong Kong. In each city, we were greeted by a guide at the airport and taken to our hotel by our private driver in very comfortable vans. The hotels were beautiful and the sites were all wonderful. All in all, we had a glorious time on this trip; expertly organized and very accommodating to our specific and personal needs. This is a great company and I recommend them most highly!!!! A word about our Guides: they were all EXCELLENT and truly made our trip more enjoyable. We received remarkable attention; our guides were always one step ahead in planning our itinerary in the most comfortable way. We learned a lot from all of them about the fascinating history of China and all the beautiful sites. And always with a smile!! I would like to make mention of one Guide who was EXTRAORDINARY!! HER NAME IS TING AND SHE WAS OUR GUIDE DURING OUR STAY IN SHANGHAI!! Ting was very personable, knowledgeable, forever cheerful, and used her expert knowledge of Shanghai to really give us an inside view of this glorious city!! I recommend her most highly!! In Beijing, our Guide was SISI (hope I am spelling the name properly!) She was also truly wonderful and gave us a great tour of the city!! Sisi really knows her history!! Similarly our guides in the other cities were excellent as well. Our drivers were all very good as well. All in all, this was a fabulous trip!! As highly seasoned travelers, we have developed discriminating tastes in travel. When we are ready to return to China to see more of this beautiful country, I will not hesitate: I will call Top China Travel immediately!!
William J

5.0

I’m going to begin by saying we highly recommend China Travel, specifically our tour director Janet Chan, for your travel arrangements in China. They offer value, quality, professionalism and even friendship. And if you run into trouble, they are there to help you out. Four of us experienced it all during our 21 day tour of the country. And after using a tour company for nearly month with seven amazing tour guides you really get to know their worth – this one went above and beyond. Now the details on why we loved this company. Our totally custom tour of China took in the breadth of Central China, from Shanghai, Guilin, Hangzhou and Beijing to Xian, Chongqing and Chengdu. Leon collaborated for several months before the trip with our group leader, Alan Holtzman, on the itinerary. Alan did a lot of research on where we would go and would submit his ideas by e-mail to Janet who would in turn make suggestions about alternatives if there was something we missed or warnings if one particular venue was too far or too physically demanding. After months of back and forth, they came up with an incredible itinerary that would include the major cities of China, well known destinations like the Forbidden City and the Great Wall in Beijing, the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian and a three day cruise down the Yangtze to the Three Gorges dam. Our tour also took us to some not so traveled paths to places like Leshan with its giant Buddha, and an incredible journey to Mount Emei and the Monastery of Ten Thousand Years. We saw old and new China in ways packaged tours could not approach. Each place was fascinating – some magical, like our short cruise down the Li River and other’s just fun like exploring the ancient river town of Wuzhen. The price for the entire tour, not including hotels and some meals, was surprisingly affordable – less per person than our 14-day cruise we took to get to Shanghai from Hong Kong. The fee included the Yangtze cruise, flights, train tickets, tours, guides and drivers, attraction fares and lunches. A word about lunches. Many of our friends who visited China via tour packages complained about the bland food served day after day. We had a totally different experience. Our lunches were wonderful. Each reflected the region or city we were in and included as many dishes as we wanted off extensive restaurant menus, plus tall beers on hot days. Our wonderful guides helped us out with the dishes knowing our tolerance for spicy heat and weird food. None of us had any health issues due to food or drink on the trip. We were provided with English speaking guides and experienced drivers for every destination. They were heart and soul of our experience – a joy to be around and learn from. I will go into detail about each tour in other TA reviews about specific destinations. But our guides became our friends in a very short time. Their English names were Dream, Melody, Tony, Kenneth, Jim, Li Li, and Helen. All made sure we were greeted at the airport or train station, checked into the hotel and got our plane or train when we departed. They were on-time, funny, entertaining, knowledgeable and above all, caring. If you needed anything, they would go out of their way to find it. They helped you bargain when shopping, select dishes from exotic menus and get you into the priority check-in lines at the train stations and airports. They even helped my wife find Western-style toilets – not an easy task. (The Chinese version was too hard on her knees.) Our drivers were very experienced driving in the chaos that reigns in Chinese roads… roads full of inexperienced drivers who do things that are jaw dropping and dangerous. Wear seat belts; you’ll feel a lot safer. The cars and vans provided were all in good order and mostly newer models. Before our tour we took a cruise from Hong Kong to Shanghai, so we had a lot of luggage. So much that Leon had to order a second car and driver just for our luggage after the tour began. AND HE DIDN’T CHARGE US ANYTHING MORE! I titled this review “our guardian angels.” When you travel as much as we do you know that there’s always the possibility of unexpected “adventures.” After our cruise down the Yangtze we stayed overnight in Yichang, and then were scheduled to fly back to Shanghai, where, a day later, we would catch our flight back to San Diego. We boarded the Yichang plane on arainy morning and waited on the tarmac for nearly an hour before the captain announced that the flight was weather-delayed. We deplaned, and waited in the terminal for the flight to be cleared. We called Leon to alert him to the delay, so he could contact our guide in Shangha about the change in plans. We waited in the airport for four hours before it was announced our flight was cancelled. The staff at the airline spoke little English and we worried it would be hard if not impossible to find another flight or alternative transportation, since the bad weather was affecting much of western China. But we had a friend in China. Janet had been keeping track of our flight and working on alternative arrangements. She booked us on a flight to Hangzhou where we would take a high-speed train to Shanghai. After another brief delay, our new flight took off for Hangzhou. When we landed there, our former tour-guide Tony and his driver met us and took us to the train station an hour away. He led us to the platform, handed us the tickets and made sure we got on the right train. An hour later, we were met in Shanghai by a new guide and driver who took us to our hotel. A three hour journey turned into a 1- hour odyssey, but thanks to Janet and her team we made it to Shanghai in time to enjoy a half-day there before catching our flight home. There we many things we loved about China, the history, art, culture and especially their people who were universally friendly and caring. There are also dark sides, like pollution, explosive growth that erases historic districts and information censorship (although the people were very savvy about current affairs and recent history). We agreed that many of those issues are being addressed by a more enlightened leadership. In the end, it was a magnificent adventure, made possible by China Travel’s Janet Chan and her talented team. We thank them and look forward to seeing our China friends again soon.
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