12 Days China Essence Family Tour

Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Yangshuo, Shanghai

Traveler Reviews


Tour Code: TCT-Family-05

Tour Type: Private Tour

Tour Highlights:

 No shopping stops
 Culture Interaction with local family
 Cover the essence destination and wonders of China
 Explore deeply at easy pace & DIY experience
 Classes in Beijing Hutong and Xian cave dwelling
 Farming work in Guilin local farm land
 

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

Price from $ 1703

Free Inquiry

Day 1Arrival Beijing
Transfer service to hotel

Meals: No Meal
Hotel: In Beijing

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 Opera
Beijing Opera

Day 2Beijing
Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple Heaven, Facial makeup painting in Hutong

Meals: Breakfast, A la carte Chinese lunch
Hotel: In Beijing

Today we start to explore this city treasure 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. 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.

In the afternoon, we will 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. Then we move to a less commercial Hutong nearby. A short walking (around 30mins) along the authentic Hutong will give you a deep impression of the local residents’ live. We stop to visit a local family to learn Facial Makeup Painting for Beijing Opera.

Tour ends by driving back to hotel. Please feel free to consult with your local guide about the evening activities in Beijing, such as the night shows of Beijing.

Good to know:
1. Besides facial makeup painting for Beijing Opera, activities also can be arranged In Hutong: Learn Chinese calligraphy and painting; Learn to make traditional handiworks like Chinese knot and Paper-cutting; See an acrobatic display by a Chinese yo-yo master, and learn to make dumplings/kites with a local family.

2. Besides exploring Hutong on foot, you may also try it by bicycle or richshaw. Whichever you prefer, please share with us. We will make it cater your real needs.

Hutong
Activities in Hutong

Day 3Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall, exterior of Bird Nest and Water Cube

Meals: Breakfast, A la carte Chinese lunch
Hotel: In Beijing

It will be an exciting day today. In the 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 and included in our itinerary*)

A la carte lunch is arranged at a good restaurant at the foot of Mutianyu. When we drive back to 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.

Good to know:
1. With less commercial and crowds, Mutianyu Great Wall is available to take cable car up and down, or get up by cable car and down by a sled to slide down, which is an exciting option when the weather is nice.

2. Need more time on the Wall, no worries, just tell us when you book this tour, we could arrange a picnic lunch for your family on the Wall.

3. In summer, swimming in the Water Cube is a great choice to cool down and have fun with your beloved children.

Mutianyu Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall

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

Meals: Breakfast, A la carte Chinese lunch
Hotel: In Xian

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.

Good to know:
Beijing zoo
with giant pandas is always attractive to friends no matter from oversea or China. If your family would like to visit giant pandas, please tell us. We could arrange it for you too.

Summer Palace
Summer Palace

Day 5Xian
Terracotta Warriors, Make pottery figurine, Ancient City Wall

Meals: Breakfast, A la carte Chinese lunch
Hotel: In Xian

Today we start to explore the ancient city by driving to Terracotta Warriors and explore one of the world's most important archaeological finds, with troops, horses and carriages in battle formation. Shuttle bus will be arranged for your convenience. After that you will have a chance to visit a local family and learn to make mini version of pottery figurine by your hands as gift to bring back home.

A Chinese Lunch will be arranged nearby the scenic area of Terracotta Warriors.

In the afternoon, we drive back to the city to visit the Ancient City Wall, which represents one of the oldest and best preserved Chinese city walls. Bicycle or sightseeing car will be arranged on the wall to go around. (We will visit the Bell Tower instead of the city wall if the weather does not permit.)

Good to Know:
1. Bike-riding on the ancient city wall
is only allowed for children above 10 years old or taller than 1.4 meters (4.6 feet). If your child is too young to ride a bike, you may have a relaxing walk instead or take a golf cart.

2. Shaanxi History Museum is a great place to watch vast collections of ancient cultural artifacts. If you family is fond of Chinese traditional culture, you might choose to visit it. Please notice it closes on Monday.

Terracotta Warriors
Terracotta Warriors

Day 6Xian-Guilin
Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Learn Chinese Calligraphy in Tang Bo Art Museum, Fly to Guilin

Meals: Breakfast, A la carte Chinese lunch
Hotel: In Shanghai

In the morning, we drive to visit the exterior of Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and you will have chance to watch the North plaza fountain show. Then head to Tang Bo Art Museum, where gives you brief history and examples of Chinese art. The calligraphy lesson will be arranged and you will learn to write Chinese characters. You will also have chance to learn to make the traditional shadow play.

After lunch, we drive to Xian airport for the flight to Guilin. Your Guilin tour guide will wait for you at the airport and help you to transfer to the hotel.

Shadow Play in Tang Bo Art Museum
Shadow Play

Day 7Guilin
Daxu ancient town, Fir Lake and Banyan Lake, Reed Flute Cave

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: In Guilin

In the morning we firstly drive to visit the Daxu Ancient Town with cobbled streets, Wanshou Bridge (Longevity Bridge), ancient buildings and the century-old docks since Ming Dynasty. Walk into the town, you might lucky to see some locals watering plants in their farmland, mostly are vegetables like water spinach, peanuts, carrots, celery, garlic…etc. Then walk back along the Li River, it feels like the outside commercial world disappears and never came here.

Drive back to the city, lunch will be arranged in Jolie Vue Boutique Hotel where you could enjoy a good view of our city mark-Elephant Trunk Hill.

After the enjoyable lunch, the attractive lakes-Fir Lake and Banyan Lake nearby should not be missed. We shall walk around them leisurely (about 0.5-1hr). After that, have a trip to Reed Flute Cave (1 hour) - the showcase of distinctly-colored stalactites and stalagmites.

Fir Lake
Fir Lake

Day 8Guilin
Li River Cruise, West Street, Farming work in Yangshuo

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch-box on cruise
Hotel: In Yangshuo

In the morning you will be driven to the Zhujiang Pier for the Li River Cruise (about 4 hours from Guilin to Yangshuo). Savour the fairy-tale scenery while cruising down the meandering river to Yangshuo. After disembarkation, you can have a walk along the famous West Street and check in hotel nearby.

In the afternoon, we drive out of the downtown to visit a local farm family in Gaotian village. Follow them to farm in the land with your family together. Roll up your sleeves and trousers for ploughing, sowing, planting and harvesting, each one might be your life-time experience due to the season.

Tours ends by driving back to hotel in Yangshuo.

Good to know:
1. Not so much into farming work, no problem. Try bike-riding in countryside area or Take part into a painting class or Taichiquan course with a local master are also worthy your precious time in Yangshuo.

2. The night Show of Impression Liusanjie is highly recommended as an optional activity in Yangshuo if you are interested in. Feel free to ask our local guide in advance.

Li River Cruise
Li River Cruise

Day 9Guilin-Shanghai
Fly to Shanghai, Transfer service between hotel and airport

Meals: Breakfast
Hotel: In Shanghai

Today have a leisure morning and we drive to the airport in Guilin directly for the flight to Shanghai.

Good to know:
In the morning of Yangshuo, either countryside tour by bike or bamboo rafting in Yulong river, they both are great experience for your family. Feel free to tell us in advance. We could arrange that to cater your real needs.

Bike-riding in Yangshuo
Bike-riding in Yangshuo

Day 10Shanghai
Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai City History Museum, the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Old Street, Nanjing Road

Meals: Breakfast, A la cart Chinese lunch
Hotel: In Shanghai

Today we start our day trip to the foot of The Oriental Pearl TV Tower to visit Shanghai City History Museum (The Former Shanghai Wax Museum), where you will know more about the history and development of Shanghai. Then take the elevator up to the 2nd ball of the TV tower, from which you will have a bird-eye view of Shanghai. Go on driving through Lujiazui, the finance & trade zone in Pudong of Shanghai, where you will find many skyscrapers. We will have a view of the modern skyline of Shanghai.

Then back to the Bund, admire the illuminated buildings lining the Huangpu River. From the Bund, you could see the landmark of Shanghai--- the Oriental Pearl TV Tower as well as other high-rise buildings, just on the opposite of Huangpu River. Enjoy a local lunch in a local restaurant nearby the bund.

After lunch, we continue to visit Yuyuan Garden which is a Chinese classic garden in city downtown. Then continue to explore the Shanghai Old Street and Nanjing Road nearby which is the earliest commercial street in Shanghai. Drive back to the hotel, en route you can plan for the night Acrobatic Show, especially the ERA show, which is one of the most popular evening entertainments in Shanghai.

Good to know:
Revolving Restaurant Oriental Pearl Tower
is at the top of the Tower, soaring at 267 meters above Shanghai’s bustling streets. Enjoying a buffet lunch in this top revolving restaurant is an experience unlike any other, with its breathtaking views of the city in full vision beneath and all around you. If you like to try it, please tell us in advance. We could arrange it to suit your interest.

Oriental Pearl TV Tower
Oriental Pearl TV Tower

Day 11Shanghai
Free day on your own

Meals: Breakfast
Hotel: In Shanghai

Enjoy a free day on your own arrangement.

Good to know:
1. Shanghai Disney Resort
is the first Disney Resort in mainland China. The resort will cover 963 acres in Pudong, Shanghai, approximately 3 times of the size of the Hong Kong Disneyland Park. Shanghai Disney Resort includes a theme park (Disneyland Park), two themed hotels (Toy Story Hotel & Shanghai Disneyland Hotel), shopping and dinning complex (Disneytown) and Wishing Star Park. Have a day trip in Disney Resort with your family might be a good leisure choice for your reference.

2. Plan a half day trip to the water town Zhujiajiao or Xitang; or plan a day trip to the famous city Hangzhou (1hrs) or Suzhou (0.5hrs) by high speed train from Shanghai. Please feel free to share with us your interest, we will work out the itinerary catering your real wants.

Day 12Departure Shanghai
Transfer service to airport

Meals: Breakfast

Free day at leisure and be transferred to the airport for return flight. We can arrange the Maglev train ride to Pudong airport if you are interested in, or we will drive you directly to the airport.

Service Ends

Tour Price (US$ per person)

Hotel Class Group Size Dec. ~ Feb. Mar. ~ Nov.
Comfortable Hotel
★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2203 $2400
6 ~ 9 pax $1703 $1900
Deluxe Hotel
★★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2500 $2853
6 ~ 9 pax $1999 $2352
Price includes:

♦ Domestic flight or high-speed train as specified
♦ Private transfer between the airport or railway station, attractions, and hotels
♦ Private licensed English-speaking guide and driver service
♦ Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast on sharing basis
♦ All attraction entrance fees as specified
♦ Meals mentioned in the itinerary, Chinese local food
China Life Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance

Price excludes:

* International Air tickets or Train Tickets to enter or leave China
* Tips to your tour guide and driver on your own discretion
* China Entry Visa Fees
* Personal expenses
* Optional tours, meals, activities and services


Remarks:

※ Prices are valid from Mar 1, 2020 to Feb 28, 2021, 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

cromaris

5.0

I had such a wonderful time on this very well scheduled and prepared tour! I got to see so many amazing sights and I loved every minute of it. The friendly and helpful guides has made this trip most memorable for me. They was the best tour guides I could have imagined. They made me feel save, guided, comfortable, informed, and interested in our daily scheduled tours. They are professionals who is in tune with his clients interests at all times and could introduce all the places of interest and various landmarks to me at the same time. I will remember this trip forever, thanks a lot! Being in a private tour I could spend more time in the places that I liked and did not feel me rushed. Thanks for the well-planned hotel where I slept were lovely and at breakfast the food were freshly made and delicious. This is a very professional and well-organised tour, it made me feel like I am having friends bring me around to show me the sights, history and culture of your wonderful Country. It was such a wonderful experience and I would definitely recommend Top China Travel Tour Operator to anyone who wants to explore China. I came back to Brazil already missing my Chinese friends and guides. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you for the welcome, professionalism and friendship during my journey through China. I intend to visit China again and no doubt the next time will request your services again. Thanks & Regards Claudio Graziani Romaris São Paulo, BRAZIL
lonabrunton

5.0

We started out in Beijing and then traveled by fast train and airplanes, visiting Xi'an, Guilin, Yangshou, and finally Shanghai. We saw all the most famous and auspicious sites, scenery and nature and experienced the amazing people and culture of China. Having tour guides and drivers to ourselves made the trip intimate, friendly and provided a rare opportunity to be part of the travel rather than onlookers. Eating lunch with a retired woman in Shanghai in her home was a highlight. This is one of the best trips we have ever taken. Thank you to all our guides and drivers, Janet and Top China Travel.
Chris R

5.0

We are a young couple from Australia. We originally were going to book a trip through a local (Australia) travel agent but luckily stumbled across TCT as we save thousands of dollars and had an amazing holiday. We contacted Janet Chan and she replied with a detailed and clear itinerary. Although the company based is in China we often got same day responses if not the next day, and Janet was able to create an amazing holiday with a good price. We had nice guides like William in Beijing, Cherry in Xian, only issues were with Aries in Shanghai. He was not as good, his English was great, but he didn't seem very interested and would often walk miles ahead which meant we would lose him in very crowded areas. This was the only dampener on an otherwise excellent holiday.
ralphrarb

5.0

I highly recommend Top China Travel (TCT) in particular Janet Chan for her excellent professional services in organising our recent tour in China. My wife and I did not want a group tour because we wanted greater flexibility so Janet put together a tour that took in all the major sight seeing cities. It was very well organised, the accommodation was great e.g. excellent locations, English speaking and delicious buffet breakfasts and close to all the major sights that will leave us with lasting memories. Her choice of guides was very good, they also spoke excellent English and had good personalities and were all very knowledgeable, the drivers were also very good and drove safely. In summary we believe that TCT provided a quality value added service and would recommend TCT to anyone looking for a reliable Chinese agency for organising their travels. Ralph Arbon Brisbane, Australia
Wilfred B

5.0

My wife and I planned our two-week tour of China with Maggie of TCT to include Shanghai, Hangzhou, Xi'an and Beijing. We found her to be incredibly prompt and helpful in responding to our emails and flexible in altering the preliminary itinerary to meet our needs. TCT's guides in each of the cities were competent, personable young professionals, well-informed and able to make every day an exciting and knowledge-quenching experience. Again, they were also flexible, caring and responsive to our needs. Overall, we had a fantastic vacation and compliment Maggie and TCT on their outstanding customer service and program quality.
andryvsutrisna

5.0

It's been a few months since I finished our 11 days (23 Dec-3Jan) private China tour arranged by Janet Chan from Top China Travel. The trip consists of the following cities: Beijing - Hangzhou - Suzhou - Shanghai - Guilin - Hongkong. I really need to thank Janet for her patience towards the schedule changes and all of my custom requests for driver transfer to dinner etc, and even for restaurants booking. In addition, I also found their price to be the best compared with the other competitor. All of our local guides (Sunny in Beijing, Summer in Hangzhou, Isaac in Suzhou, Ryan in Shanghai, and Jay in Guilin) were all helpful, flexible, and very accomodating. They even explained in both english and chinese since my parents can't understand english. They even add some objects here and there so that we can enjoy most of our time in China. They also recommend all of good restaurants in each city. All of them were really good, we even had the best porridge and liu sha bao while we were in Guilin.. Overall, we really enjoyed our time in China, and I didn't expect the trip would be so easy with TCT. Once again, thanks Janet Chan who enables us to make the most of our holiday. Can't wait to plan another trip to China with TCT.
Mishki_12

5.0

We used Top China Travel for planning our trip from Shanghai to Hangzhou. Bonnie from TCT was our contact person. She was very helpful, corresponded with us by email before our trip and was extremely responsive and flexible, trying to accommodate our interests. . Every aspect of the trip was well planned and organized. She purchased our tickets on the bullet train, reserved our hotel in Hangzhou (hotel Shangri-La), arranged for airport transfer, and excellent private guide in Hangzhou and Shanghai. We highly recommend TCT for visiting China. Thank you Bonnie.
Redbeak

5.0

If you ever go to Beijing try to have Likun Sun or Li as we called him, as your guide. He is very professional, very knowledgable and also good fun. His English is very good, so no communication problems, and he goes out of his way to make sure you see and do everything you want to. We went to Gubei Water Village, to Simatai Great Wall and on to Chengde, where we visited the Imperial Summer Resort. Li suggested we took the shuttle bus which took us around the huge grounds with several photo stops with fantastic views. An excellent suggestion as there was no way you could have seen so much on foot. Then we visited the Putuo Zongcheng Temple and Quingchui Mountain. Li was able to tell us all about the history of the temple, explaining its origins. From there we drove to Shanhaiguan Area to see the First Pass Under Heaven, Great Wall Museum and where the Great Wall ends/starts in the sea. Again Li was a fount of information. But the thing we really appreciated was being able to find out so much about not only Chinese culture and history but Li told us about everyday life. Unlike many other guides Li had a professional career which involved travel abroad, and when he was forcibly retired at 60 he retrained to become a guide. His previous experience gives him a perspective and depth of experience you don't get with younger guides. He tells you about life in China past and present from personal experience. And best of all he is so very enthusiastic about being your guide, for example, finding out what you like to eat and making sure you get it!
A TripAdvisor Member

5.0

I booked the 8 day Beijing, Xian and Shanghai tour. Merry was our guide in Beijing. She was great. Met us at airport. Was on time for all transfers and communicated everything to us ahead of time. We let her make the food choices for us after she enquirered what we like. She chose very well. The food was outstanding. She asked what we liked and catered our tour to our liking. We added to one day making it a 12 hour day. She was polite and professional throughout. We stayed at Howard Johnsons Paragon hotel. It wAs a nice hotel and the complimentary breakfasts were great. Off to the next portion of our trip.
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!!
lucian1939

5.0

Wonderful time in Beijing Cian and Shanghai for a ten day period. Covered the Great Wall in Beijing, Terracotta Warriors in Cian and the Bund in Shanghai. Also visited the Silk Factory, Muslim Street, French area and a Cultural Show (which was great and should not be missed) and also a Private Garden. The Tour Guides and Drivers went to great lengths to make us visit as memorable as possible and attending to us round the clock.
Helen L

5.0

We have just returned from a very satisfying trip to China. One of the highlights was the lovely city of Guilin. We had no idea that this would be such a pleasant spot in which to stroll around and enjoy the bridges and walkways. The temperature was comfortable and we felt at home walking around the park, footbridges, and along the lakes. Helen and Jim from Canada
Raghavan A

5.0

We signed up with TCT after reading reviews of Tibet tour agencies. Our trip included 4 days in Lhasa, two in Shigatse and one at the base camp. TCT made all the arrangements including the Tibet permit, hotels, tour guide, car and the driver for the entire trip. The arrangements were superb. The guide and the driver were very accommodating to our needs and made the entire trip very convenient. At the base camp, the guide even arranged for extra oxygen in case we need it. She was also very helpful in advising us as how to get acclimated to the altitude. The entire trip was smooth and enjoyable and we would highly recommend TCT for travel to Tibet.
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
ReginaPuebloWest

5.0

My daughter and I took a private tour with Top China Travel to Shanghai, Guilin, Chengdu, Xian and Beijing. I really enjoyed the private tour as opposed to a bus tour, because we were able to discuss some details with our tour guides and make slight changes to the itinerary. For example, we loved the Panda Reserve in Chengdu, so instead of leaving early to have lunch elsewhere, we were able to eat sandwiches there and spend more time with the pandas. Also, while visiting Tiananmen Square I commented to our guide that it would be interesting to go inside Chairman Mao's Mausoleum someday and see his preserved body. The guide noticed that the line wasn't long and asked if we'd like to go now. We said 'yes', and he took us in even though it wasn't on the itinerary. We had to pay a small fee to check our bags since no bags are allowed inside, but we loved our guide's flexibility. Bus tours aren't as flexible. Two of our favorite days were the Chengdu Panda Reserve and hiking the Wohushan Great Wall. I must mention that hiking the Wohushan Great Wall was very difficult and took every ounce of energy we had; it isn't for everyone. But if you are in good shape and love challenging hikes, you may really enjoy this hike. (Other visitors should visit another section of the Great Wall.) Another favorite day happened in Shanghai. It was a very personal day. My daughter was adopted from Shanghai, so we asked Janet at Top China Travel to help us visit her orphanage. They were able to arrange this visit. It meant a lot to us. The two places where I wish we had spent more time was in Guilin and the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Guilin is a lovely town with five lakes that are connected and surrounded by a park that stretches across the small city. There is also a lovely shopping area in town. It would have been nice to have another two - four hours to simply walk and relax in Guilin. It can get hot there, so this extra time might not be fun if its mid-day during the summer months. The Temple of Heaven was nice, but what I really loved was the park surrounding it. The Chinese gather there to exercise, practice martial arts, sing, dance, play games and much, much more. I could have easily spent 2 hours simply relaxing in the park watching people. All of the hotels were nice and clean. All of the breakfast meals at the hotels were wonderful. All of our guides were eager to please, although we had trouble understanding a couple of them. There English was always good, but sometimes the pronunciation needed improvement. Our favorite guides were Cherry in Guilin and Jimmy in Beijing. We loved our tour agent, Janet. She was helpful from the beginning of the planning process all the way through the end of our trip. If I return to China, I will use Top China Travel again.
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