6 Days Beijing-Xian Group Tour

Beijing, Xian

Traveler Reviews


Tour Code: TCT-China-Group-01

Tour Type: Join-in Group Tour

(Fixed departure China group tour from Beijing)

Tour Highlights:

  Well-designed small group tour
  Ideal experience for a short-time traveler
  Present the cultural relics in Beijing, the world wonders in Xian
  Suitable for who like to travel the mysterious oriental country with new friends
 

Price from $ 575

Check availability

Day 1Arrival Beijing
Transfer service to hotel

Meals: No Meals
Accommodation: Citadines Ritan Service Apartment ★★★★

Arrive in Beijing, the capital city of China, you will be greeted by our local guide at the airport with TCT signboard. Then our guide will transfer you to check in hotel. Free at leisure for the rest of the day for you to get over the jet lag.


Beijing City View

Day 2Beijing
Temple of Heaven, Hutong, Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City, Tea store

Meals: Hotel Breakfast, A la carte Chinese lunch
Accommodation: Citadines Ritan Service Apartment ★★★★

TCT local guide will meet you at your hotel lobby at the appointed time. It will be an exciting day as we will explore the world well-known wonders today. The 1st stop is Temple of Heaven, the existing largest structure for sacrifice to heaven and a place where the emperors prayed for a year of abundance. In the visit of Temple of Heaven, you will be astonished by the exquisite ancient Chinese architectures. Besides, you will see local seniors doing morning exercises in the square and full of vigor. You will have chance to watch Chinese Kongfu, Taichi, square dancing, playing cards, playing chess etc.

Then our group will move to a less commercial Hutong nearby. A short walking along the authentic Beijing Hutong will give you a deep impression of the local residents’ live. A la carte lunch is served at a local restaurant to have a taste of the authentic Chinese food at noon time and have a break at the restaurant.

Then continue this Beijing city treasure tour by a visit to Tian'anmen Square, the world's largest city center square, the locality of numerous major political and historical events. It is the witness of Chinese development. It is only a walking distance from Tian'anmen Square to Forbidden City, the world's existing largest and most complete ancient wooden structure buildings. You will explore the glorious palace halls and gardens for more than 2 hours in Forbidden City, learning the legendary story of the emperors and how the royal family lived there. You will be stunned by the numerous old art treasures exhibited in halls. Drive back to hotel, we will have a stop at tea store en route. Please feel free to consult with your local guide about the evening activities in Beijing, such as the night shows of Beijing.

Forbidden City
Forbidden City

Day 3Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall, Jade carving factory, the exterior of Bird Nest and Water Cube

Meals: Hotel Breakfast, A la Carte Lunch
Accommodation: Citadines Ritan Service Apartment ★★★★

It will be an exciting day today. In the early morning, guide will pick you up from your hotel lobby. Today we will visit the must-visit spot in Beijing--- Mutianyu Great Wall, one of the famous sections of China Great Wall. It takes about 2 hours driving from the downtown of Beijing to Mutianyu Great Wall. Mutianyu Great Wall was first built in the mid-6th century during the Northern Qi, making it older than the Badaling section. (***Cable car and slideway are available at Mutianyu Great Wall. It is optional and excluded from our price***)

A la carte lunch is arranged at a good restaurant at the foot of Mutianyu. Drive back to downtown of Beijing. We will have a stop at a jade carving factory en route. When we reach Beijing, we will have a photo stop outside the Bird Nest and Water Cube, which were the famous sites constructed for 2008 Beijing Olympic. The tour finishes by dropping off at your hotel. If you would like to try local specialty tonight, you could ask for some suggestion about Peking Roast Duck Restaurant.


Mutianyu Great Wall

Day 4Beijing - Xian
Summer Palace, High speed train to Xian

Meals: Hotel breakfast, A La Carte Lunch
Accommodation: Grand Noble Hotel ★★★★

In the morning, check out from hotel and start to visit the last spots in Beijing --- Summer Palace, the existing largest, best-preserved imperial garden in China. The Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake are regarded as the representative of Summer Palace. In the park, you could choose to take a boating trip on the lake, enjoying the beautiful royal garden view. Walk along the Long Corridor--- the longest corridor in the world, admiring the extremely rich and prestigious paintings on the beams of the corridor.

A la carte lunch will be arranged at a local restaurant on the way to Beijing West Railway Station to take high speed train (2nd class seat, duration: about 5-5.5 hours) from Beijing to Xi'an. TCT guide will wait at the exit of Xi'an train station with our signboard and transfer you to check in hotel. Free at leisure for the rest of the time.

Summer Palace
Beijing Hutong

Day 5Xian
Ancient City Wall, Tai Chi Chuan Course, Terracotta Warriors, Pottery workshop

Meals: Hotel breakfast, A La Carte Lunch
Accommodation: Grand Noble Hotel ★★★★

Today we will have a full day to explore this historical and cultural city in China. Pick up from hotel in the morning, and then have a visit to the landmark of Xi'an---Xian City Wall. You could choose to have a bicycle riding on the city wall (***Bicycle riding is optional and excluded from our price***). An impressive Tai Chi Chuan course is arranged at the City Wall for you. Originating from the roots of classical Chinese culture, Tai Chi Chuan absorbed a variety of sources including the Book of Changes, Taoism and Buddhism. With a professional Tai Chi Master's teaching, you will understand Chinese culture better.

After that, we will drive to the highlights in Xi’an ---the Terracotta Warriors. On the way to Terracotta Warriors, we will have a stop at a pottery workshop, where you will have chance to learn how to make a pottery figure.  A la carte lunch is arranged at a local restaurant nearby Terracotta Warriors. In the afternoon, we will have enough time to visit this world wonder --- Terracotta Warriors, one of the world’s most important archaeological finds, with troops, horses and carriages in battle formation.

The tour finishes by dropping-off at the hotel lobby. You could ask your local guide for some information about evening entertainment or night show, such as Tang Dynasty Show.


Terracotta Warriors

Day 6Departure Xian
Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Transfer service to airport

Meals: Hotel Breakfast, A La Carte Lunch

You will have a leisure morning for your to walk around. We will check out at noon time and drive to have lunch directly. In the afternoon, Visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda,  one of the most well-preserved Tang Dynasty buddha temples. It is  reputed as the Tang Dynasty elaborate and valuable Buddhist architectural heritage. While visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, you will have chance to watch the traditional shadow play, visit Jianfu Temple as well as Xi'an Museum.

Then transfer to airport to catch your flight to the next destination.

Xian City Wall View
Xian City Wall

Service Ends

Please note: We generally arrange the free hotel-airport transfer together according to all the travelers' departure flights. If your flight is postponed, you probably need to wait at the airport for a long time. If separate transfer is required, extra fee will be caused. Please check with us in advance. If independent travel to airport is preferred, you could also let us know in advance.

Tour Price (US$ per person)

Arrival DateDeparture DatePrice Based on Above Listed HotelsEnquire
Double OccupancySole Occupancy
2020-03-11 2020-03-16 $594$845Enquire
2020-03-18 2020-03-23 $594$845Enquire
2020-04-08 2020-04-13 $609$866Enquire
2020-04-15 2020-04-20 $609$866Enquire
2020-04-22 2020-04-27 $609$866Enquire
2020-05-06 2020-05-11 $609$866Enquire
2020-05-13 2020-05-18 $609$866Enquire
2020-05-20 2020-05-25 $609$866Enquire
2020-06-12 2020-06-17 $594$845Enquire
2020-06-17 2020-06-22 $594$845Enquire
2020-06-24 2020-06-29 $594$845Enquire
2020-07-08 2020-07-13 $594$845Enquire
2020-07-15 2020-07-20 $594$845Enquire
2020-07-22 2020-07-27 $594$845Enquire
2020-08-05 2020-08-10 $594$845Enquire
2020-08-12 2020-08-17 $594$845Enquire
2020-08-19 2020-08-24 $594$845Enquire
2020-09-02 2020-09-07 $609$866Enquire
2020-09-09 2020-09-14 $609$866Enquire
2020-09-16 2020-09-21 $609$866Enquire
2020-10-07 2020-10-12 $609$866Enquire
2020-10-14 2020-10-19 $609$866Enquire
2020-10-21 2020-10-26 $609$866Enquire
2020-11-11 2020-11-16 $594$845Enquire
2020-12-16 2020-12-21 $575$798Enquire
Arrival DateDeparture DatePrice Based on Above Listed HotelsEnquire
Double OccupancySole Occupancy
2021-03-10 2021-03-15 $594$845Enquire
2021-03-17 2021-03-22 $594$845Enquire
2021-04-07 2021-04-12 $609$866Enquire
2021-04-14 2021-04-19 $609$866Enquire
2021-04-21 2021-04-26 $609$866Enquire
2021-05-05 2021-05-10 $609$866Enquire
2021-05-12 2021-05-17 $609$866Enquire
2021-05-19 2021-05-24 $609$866Enquire
2021-06-09 2021-06-14 $594$845Enquire
2021-06-16 2021-06-21 $594$845Enquire
2021-06-23 2021-06-28 $594$845Enquire
2021-07-07 2021-07-12 $594$845Enquire
2021-07-14 2021-07-19 $594$845Enquire
2021-07-21 2021-07-26 $594$845Enquire
2021-08-04 2021-08-09 $594$845Enquire
2021-08-11 2021-08-16 $594$845Enquire
2021-08-18 2021-08-23 $594$845Enquire
2021-09-01 2021-09-06 $609$866Enquire
2021-09-08 2021-09-13 $609$866Enquire
2021-09-15 2021-09-20 $609$866Enquire
2021-10-06 2021-10-11 $609$866Enquire
2021-10-13 2021-10-18 $609$866Enquire
2021-10-20 2021-10-25 $609$866Enquire
2021-11-10 2021-11-15 $594$845Enquire
2021-12-15 2021-12-20 $575$798Enquire

Price includes:

♦ Sharing transfers for group tours
♦ Domestic flight or train tickets based on economy class
♦ Accommodation on twin bed room sharing basis
♦ Driver and English-speaking guide service during tour.
♦ Entrance fee to the attractions listed in the itinerary
♦ Meals as specified in the itinerary.
♦ Government taxes and service charge.
♦ Insurance fees (China Life Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance)
♦ Luggage Transfers between airports and hotels.
♦ Tibet Permit if the itinerary includes any destination of Tibet

Price excludes:

* International airfare or train fare for entry or leaving China
* China entry visa fee
* Any meals, tours and activities not specified in the itinerary.
* Tips for guides, escort, drives, bellman, etc.
* Personal expenses
* Single Room Supplement
* Personal travel insurance


Remarks:

※  Prices are valid from Nov 1, 2019 to Dec 31, 2020, 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 Yangtze River 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

FromCanada514

5.0

We still can't believe that we've spent 11 days of dream in China, organized for us by TCT Guilin. The pick ups at the different airports went without a hitch. our guides were warm and so friendly, although a few were quite busy with their IPhone. The hotels recommended were outstanding. The breakfast at The Marriott were excellent. The terra cotta army in Xian is a marvel. The dumpling banquet in Xian was somewhat below our expectations though. The cruise on the Yang Tse river, a once in a lifetime experience though a bit too short. Don t hesitate to upgrade to the suite on the Victoria cruises (Victoria Selena), you won't regret it, a panoramic view of breath taking intensity....quite interesting shore excursions, they are worth the money. We would hesitate one second to book another and longer trip with TCT Guilin.
jeanettey54

5.0

Both my husband and me booked a 8 Days tour self designed, no shopping China tour with TCT in Nov 2018. Yocky is the best consultant that I have worked with. She is so responsive and patient with all my request from the planning stage to the end of the tour. I was so impressed with Yocky answering my message even at 6am in the morning due to flight delay. We are so thankful that she had always tried her best to help and take action with some unhappiness with hotels and other issues. Without hesitation, I would strongly recommend TCT to everyone interested to tour China.
MartinBaxter58

5.0

After completing an upstream Yangtze River Cruise from Yichang to Chongqing we had a couple of days in Chongqing itself. We decided to organise a full day private city tour and as a result I did some research on the internet as to the options. I quickly discovered that Top China Travel (TCT), who are based in Guilin, not only had the best option but also the best prices. I contacted TCT and was immediately contacted back by Yocky Yang. She was excellent in all aspects in organising the tour for us. All communications (her English was amazing) were made through WhatsApp which worked really well, payment was made through PayPal. The actual Full Day Tour included Peoples Hall and Square, Three Gorges Museum, Huguang Guild Hall, General Stilwall Museum and the Erling Park. A huge and excellent lunch (spicy Sichuan cuisine) was also included. Our guide David (who contacted us the day before to agree hotel pickup timing) was excellent, super friendly, spoke excellent English and was incredibly knowledgeable about all aspects of Chongqing. He pretty much let us dictate the speed in which we moved from one place to another, and there were no shopping stops !!! At the end of the tour we expressed a wish to visit Hongyadong as we had heard good reports of this quirky bar / restaurant complex and its amazing views. As we didn't know the way he offered to walk us there which was a nice touch, indeed we had a few drinks together which finished the wonderful day of nicely. Both Yocky Yang at TCT and David our tour guide are highly recommended.
Jose M

5.0

Back in Lisbon, Portugal after a safe trip. Two weeks in China went fast. The first week, in Beijing, was for professional reasons (Conference), on our own (myself and my wife). We had visit Beijing nine years ago. We got now a better knowledge of Beijing (we use a lot the subway system this time, although taxis are affordable) and after this we discover Shangai and Hangzhou. The trip was organized quite in the last moment and TCT (Vicky Lu) was very helpful. Most of business was done by email and phone. We had visit in the past: Nanjing, HK, Macau, Guanzhou and Shenzen. This last week… the trip went ok and all the transfers were easy and the guides always on time. The drivers were nice and professional. The guides were sympatic and careful. In general the guides had a good (reasonable) handling of English. We met briefly twice Jane in Beijing. She took good care of us. Our guide in Shangai (Aiko?) made us see the planned journey and she was kind. Our guide in Hangzhu (Momo) was very easy to deal, more open and had quite good domain of English. She was funny. Lucas (we only meet him briefly) took us to Shangai train station. Nice guy. All the lunch meals were quite acceptable and the choice made in local restaurants pleased us. The Equatorial Hotel in Shangai was comfortable and up to the standards required (although no internet was complementary included in the room, why not?). The Hotel was located a little faraway from the center (beginning of West Nanjing Road) but it was easy to get restaurants near by. Since taxis are cheap in China, we could move easily to the People´s Square zone and West Nanjing Road … and other places (Pudong, etc). The West Lake Hotel in Hangzhou was below our expectations. We found the Train Stations fantastic, modern, functional and well organized… much better than in Europe. A suggestion… the local guides could give more hints for “things to do “ after the program. Myself and my wife… we are quite easy going and curious and we find our own way in order to know better the places we are visiting… but for other people visiting a few suggestions could help. Overall we had a good time. José Moura
rachs84

5.0

We worked with Janet who created the most incredible 10 day trip to China. We were so happy she recommended Yellow Mountain (one of the biggest highlights of the trip.) Not only was the itinerary perfect, but we have the most amazing, knowledgable and friendly tour guides. We loved Olivia in Beijing and April in Huangshan. I am glad we decided to do private tour. I don't think we would have been able to appreciate and enjoy all of the cities and sites we saw if we were in a group. The food was incredible, easy transition from city to city with the help of the tour guides. This trip exceeded our expectations. Thank you, Janet and Top China Travel!
Gamini H

5.0

We went on an 11 day Private tour organised by TCT to Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Cruise on Li River and Shanghai. Everything was so perfectly and professionally organized by Bonnie. Prior to the commencement of the holiday she was so helpful and responded very promptly to all our questions and requests. The tour was perfectly tailored to our taste and we have seen and experienced more than what we expected. The Guides were very knowledgeable, especially Christina in regards to her proficiency in English and the knowledge (Sabrina – Beijing, Christina – Xian, Jay Guilin and Alice Shanghai). They were very helpful and went out of their way to help us and make us happy. At times communication became somewhat challenging though, it did not significantly affect us. They recommended very pleasing, fantastic and one of a kind shows that left memorable impressions on us. We highly recommend TCT to anyone who is planning to have a tour in China. Thank you Bonnie and the team for the wonderful and memorable holiday. Gamini & Wijitha
Dan C

5.0

Top china travel put together a great tour starting with boat crude down down li river beautiful scenery the whole trip very informative guidelines then trip to caves which again was good very well planned
kcoble44

5.0

I am from the USA and currently live in Beijing. My wife and I wanted to visit Xian mainly for the Terracotta Warriors. I looked online for tour companies and began to see just how many were in operation. I did as much research as I could to ensure I did not land in Xian without someone there to followthrough on our arrangement. I finally settled on TCT after emailing them for more details. Mimi was extrememly responsive and was able to help build a private tour for us. I paid via PayPal which I like to do as often as possible while overseas. Our guide and driver picked us up from the airport, took us to the sights, and then to our hotel. The next morning they were right there again and dropped us off at the airport. There's something about logistics that I love and TCT has got it down. Sometimes you don't know what you are going to get with foreign companies. Needless to say, this tour company isn't one you need to worry about. It was impressive. All the best.
Kihei.Goldilocks

5.0

Our tour: Beijing, Xi`an, Yangtze River Cruise and Shanghi When we first made our inquires, we thought we would be hooked up with a group but due to our dates, it turned out to be just my husband and I. It was one of the best tours we’ve been on and we travel the world. First, we were immediately notified of a hotel upgrade prior to leaving home due to a National Holiday they declared in China. Our first hotel was close to the center of Beijing and everything would be shut down due to the Military Parade scheduled. Upon arriving in Beijing at 4:30am, we learned from our “super” guide, Grace, that all tours would be shut down for that one day also. Not a problem. We ended up going to the Great Wall and the Summer Palace the day before the shut down. We had plenty of time at both locations plus a delightful lunch on the way to the Great Wall. The day after the shutdown, was to the Temple of Heaven, (actually a wonderful park with everyone doing everything from dancing to playing checkers) then on to Tian`anmen Square. Here the decorations were still up from the parade and it was starting to get crowded but we started early, the Forbidden City and the Rickshaw Hutong Tour. Lunch was part of the Rickshaw tour and was in a local Chinese home. Normally, these might be spread out over a couple of days but we had to compress due to the shutdown and didn’t feel we missed anything. Again, Grace and our driver were wonderful and she knew all the short cuts etc… Then they drove us to the high speed train. Grace arranged our tickets and even boarded the train with us to make sure we were in the right seats, Loved this girl!! We were met in Xi`an at the train station by _____and driven to the Ramada Bell Tower. First on the agenda was the Ancient City Wall. This wall is about 40 feet high and probably 15 feet across. It isYou popular to rent bikes and ride around it (lots of tandum bikes) or walking or jogging. The whole distance is about 6 miles around. (visible from Google Earth) Then on to Terracota Army Museum. This is about an hour drive out of the city. This is a large complex. I don’t know what I was expecting but I didn’t expect buildings other than the hugh one built over the warriors. Lunch was provided at a restaurant on site. Back to Xi`an and a quick stop at the Wild Goose Pagoda. Here you are given into the care of a Pogoda volunteer to take you thru the grounds. The next morning we had some time before our flight to Chongqing so ___ took us to the Shaanxi History Museum. This museum has some wonderful exhibits that are well worth the time. Our flight was met by the local guide and driver and they took us to the Victoria Llanna. I can’t tell you how fantastic it is to have these guides to move you around and look out for you. There is no way we would have known to hire a local porter to carry our luggage to the boat They put a suitcase on each end of a bamboo pole and carry it down probably 60 cement stairs to a 50 foot metal walkway on drums extending out to the boat. I had to hold on to the rail just to walk across to board the boat. No way I could have handled luggage. Our guide recommended the proper fee to the porter and fended him off when he wanted more. Registration is on board the boat. Our guide helped us with that and then off he went. On board, you are seated with a group of other travelers. We were called the Foreign Independent Travelers. We had couples from France, Israel and Australia at our table. The meals are oriental but it is easy to find something you like. Every meal was buffet except for the final night. Always breads, eggs, meat and various fruits for breakfast. Lunch and dinner had rice, chow mein, various meat and vegetable dishes and always watermelon. In the bar area, I found an ice cream bar that was my daily reward! The different Georges were beautiful. On one you stop and board smaller boats to go deeper into the Goddess stream. At about 11pm on the final night, you start through the locks of the three gorges dam. Two boats go through at a time. Take a nap so you can stay up for this transition. When we arrived in Yichang, another very competent guide came on board and collected us. Hired a local porter for us and up the hill we went to the car and driver. Then on to the Yichang Airport to catch our flight to Shanghi. Our guide walked us into the airport and made sure we had our boarding passes. In Shanghai we were again met and taken via the MagLev train to the Marriott Puxi Hotel. The MagLev operates out of the Pudong airport so if you want to ride on this, you need to arrive at the right airport. (our son said we had to do this so, there you go) Our day in a took us to the Jade Budda Temple, YuYuan Garden, Old Town, Oriental Pearl Tower (clear observation floor-like you are standing on air), Nanjing Road and the Bund. All doable in one day and at an easy pace. I’m not a shopper but did take my picture at the Apple Store to show I was there! Next morning we went to Watertown. This is a town with canals (think Venice) that is 1700 years old. Walked the streets and took a cruise on the wooden boat. Very peaceful amid the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. On to the Hongqiao Airport for a flight back to Beijing. (We were on Hawaiian Airlines so needed to go in and out of Beijing ) Our last day in Beijing we went to the Pearl Market to shop. This is where one goes to by knock offs. High end handbags, electronics, toys etc. (Flight crews go there to shop) This is not a souvenir shop. The next morning another guide and driver showed up to take us to the Beijing Airport. A guide and driver are the way to travel China and Top China Travel does it well. All guides were English speaking and paid attention to any requests we had
JrnyJunkie

5.0

The views are stunning and the boat that we were on had VIP seating for just our group with a private balcony to view the river.
Katie E

5.0

After much research we decided to go with Top China Travel for our 15 day trip to China. We worked with Janet and what a wonderful help she was. Janet answered our multitude of questions with patience. She offered helpful suggestions, helped us with our tour on the spot when a plane flight was cancelled, booked us outstanding hotels, and we had excellent service. They even called us and wondered if everything was going well in China. From the moment we touched down in China, our tour guides and drivers were right there for us showing us sights, answering questions, changing plans if we wanted to see other things, and helped us above and beyond what we expected. We went to Beijing, Xian, Xining, Lhasa, Chongqing, on a Yangtze River Cruise, visited Yichang and Shanghai. Quite the amazing trip. I would highly recommend Top China Travel for your travel needs to China. They were also reasonably priced. Thanks Top China Travel and Janet. What a trip!
Justine G

5.0

Our family of four just completed a 8 day tour with TCT. Janet helped organize a fantastic itinerary that was flexible and accommodating for our 75 year old mother. We loved the cable car up to the Great wall and Xi'an City wall. Yuyuan Gardens, the trip up the Pearl Tower and all the temples were breathtaking sites. The Capital Hotel in Beijing and Ramada Hotel in Xi'an were very good and the breakfasts diverse and tasty. Every lunch was an taste adventure and we loved the Beijing peking Duck dinner. The guides were very knowledgeable and we enjoyed our guide, Summer, in Xi'an very much. Thank you for an extremely enjoyable and memorable tour! Outstanding!!!
Hartmut M

5.0

I wanted to visit Tibet, and based on the very positive reviews for this company, I booked with them and was not disappointed.
Our contact was Janet, and she was great both in preparing the trip (including answering immediately to our questions, even when it was midnight in China) and in making sure everything worked out smoothly (including checking at 5:00 am that we indeed got our transport to the airport).
In Tibet, we took the "5 days Lhasa & Yamdrok Lake" tour. On the way to Tibet I had a stopover in Beijing, and took the opportunity to do two days of sightseeing. I asked Janet for recommendations, and she suggested the day tours "Hiking on Jinshanling Great Wall" and "Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, The Temple of Heaven".
I think these tours were indeed the highlights of both Beijing and Tibet for us, and if I would go to Tibet again (e.g. with my wife and son, who could not come with us this time) I would book the same tours.
I usually prefer to organise my travels myself, but it seemed the only realistic possibility to get a Tibet travel permit is to book with an approved travel agency. In general, when booking with an agency, you pay slightly more and have fewer options, but on the other hand, it saves a lot of preparation time and is a lot safer if you don't know much about the country you travel to.

In Beijing, the expertise of the travel agency got our group on the Great Wall at a spot where almost no other tourists were - this spot was (almost) inaccessible due to a construction zone. On my own, I certainly would not have discovered this possibility. The other tour let us see the highlights of Beijing in one efficient and cheap bus tour, but on the other hand, it included a bit of (I guess) sponsored stops at a "Traditional Chinese Medicine" institute and a pearl factory. I would rather have paid a bit more and skipped these promotions, but they were short, and I just relaxed with a drink in the air-conditioned cafeteria. (During the preparation, Janet told me about the "shopping" that was included, and the "Jinshanling Great Wall" tour without shopping, but for the "Forbidden City" tour there was no alternative without shopping.)

In Tibet, the first day was for acclimatisation to the thin air, and indeed I was out of breath from just climbing the stairs to our hotel room. But after basically sleeping the first day, I was OK the next days, and for me the visits to the monasteries and the Potala Palace were absolutely amazing. Individual photos cannot convey the atmosphere of these large buildings with thousands of small and large rooms full of statues, pictures, scriptures, every square inch decorated, and everything with ancient traditions, but still in use today. This was the main reason I wanted to visit Tibet, and I was not disappointed. My daughter also enjoyed the mountain tour a lot, although to me it seemed surprisingly similar to the Alps (we live in Switzerland), just 4000 meters higher, and with cows replaced by yaks :-)
The only little inconvenience was the transport from and to the airport, which is about 50km from Lhasa. When we arrived, the driver was not there yet (it turned out his previous clients, who needed to go to the airport, had been late), and after he arrived, we still had to wait for some hour for the next clients to arrive at the airport (their plane was delayed). Well, that is what you get with cheap transport (included in the package). The opposite thing happened on the way back - the transport that would have been included in the package did not go early enough for the plane that was booked for us, so we had to pay 400 Yuan extra for private transport. But then this was super efficient, picking us up exactly at the promised time and bringing us to the airport at the right time to check in.

Summary: Amazing destination, very well organised tours, would book again with them!
vosoledad

5.0

From the planning of the trip with Janet to the amazing private guided tour given by Jimmy and driving by Mr. I, we felt cared for and pampered. We arrived on my birthday and Jimmy waited for hours for us due to a delayed flight for one of our party, with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for my birthday. We had asked for a hike along the Great Wall and were able to hike a five hour stretch on a nearly deserted piece of mountain trail culminating in a fantastic view of the snaking wall near Inner Mongolia. Jimmy was encouraging to us as not all of our party were the best hikers. Jimmy gave accurate historical descriptions of what we were about to see, he didn't make up answers to our sometimes random questions, but tried to find out the answers to them if he didn't know. He was personable and seemed to know what we needed before we did. Mr. I is a talented driver, navigating the chaotic Beijing streets with smoothness and skill getting us to our destinations in a timely manner. He also made sure we had water, which was essential for the hot (90*) and above days we were there. Our three star hotel the Holiday Inn Express was a new facility with great amenities. We had been worried that three stars in China might be a bit iffy, but this was very nice. We just happened upon Top China Travel on the Internet, but couldn't be more pleased with our experience.
Amanrey

5.0

Even though the boarding process might be a bit of a hassle, the tour is totally worth it: amazing landscape and unspoilt nature. One sees locals fishing, big birds, daily river life. The one hour trips on the river don’t do this fantastic amd unique lime stone scenery justice, the 4 hour cruise is very recommendable if you want to see this Guilin highlight! The boats are very comfortable, one can order Chinese food. With children it is recommendable to bring hats, sunscreen, snacks ( in case they don’t like the Chinese meal offered), binoculars and cards.
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