14 Days Enjoy Natural Wonders of Zhangjiajie & Guilin

Beijing, Xi'an, Zhangjiajie, Guilin, Shanghai

Traveler Reviews


Tour Code: TCT-Scenic-10

Tour Type: Private Tour

Tour Highlights:

2-week China tour package covering historic China, natural China as well as modern China

Explore the long and colorful China historic wonders in Beijing and Xian, like Great Wall, Forbidden City and Qin Terracotta Warriors

Be astonished by the natural wonders in southern China cities, like Zhangjiajie and Guilin

You will not miss the modern metroplis in China by ending the tour from Shanghai
 

Best Travel Time: The period from April to October is most suitable for this tour.

Price from $ 1910

Free Inquiry

Day 1Arrival Beijing
Transfer service to hotel

Meals: No meal
Accommodation: In Beijing

Arrive in Beijing, the capital city of China. You will be greeted and met by TCT tour guide at the airport and transferred to your hotel, whenever your flight arrives in Beijing. After check-in, free at leisure for the rest of the day.

Beijing City View
Beijing City View

Day 2Beijing
Temple of Heaven, Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, Tea Store

Meals: Hotel breakfast, Chinese lunch
Accommodation: In Beijing

It will be an exciting day as we will explore the highlight in the downtown of Beijing. After breakfast, we move to 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 have chance to watch Chinese Kongfu, Taichi, square dancing, playing cards, playing chess etc.

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. An early lunch is arranged at nearby restaurant.

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. Then climb up to the top of Jingshan, from which you have a panoramic view of Forbidden City. 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.

Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven

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

Meals: Hotel Breakfast, Chinese Lunch
Accommodation: In Beijing

Guide will pick you up from your hotel lobby in the morning. 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. (***Cable car and slideway are available at Mutianyu Great Wall. It is optional and excluded from our price***)

Chinese 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
Mutianyu Great Wall

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

Meals: Hotel Breakfast, Chinese Lunch
Accommodation: In Xi'an

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.

Chinese 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.

Xi'an City View
Xi'an City View

Day 5Xi'an
Terracotta Warriors, Pottery workshop, Ancient City Wall, Exterior of Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Meals: Hotel Breakfast, Chinese Lunch
Accommodation: In Xian

Today we will have a full day to explore this historical and cultural city in China. Pick up from hotel in the morning, Drive to visit the most highlight spot in Xian. That is Qin Terracotta Warriors, which is the must-see attraction in Xian. After the visit, we will have a stop at a pottery workshop, where you will have chance to learn how to make a pottery figure. Chinese lunch is arranged at nearby local restaurant.

Then drive back to downtown of Xian and 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***). Finally move to Xian Wild Goose Pagoda North Square, from which we will have a good view of the pagoda.

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.

Qin Terracotta Warriors
Qin Terracotta Warriors

Day 6Xian - Zhangjiajie
Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian Museum, Fly to Zhangjiajie

Meals: Hotel breakfast, Chinese lunch
Accommodation: In downtown of Zhangjiajie

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 Zhangjiajie. Local guide is waiting for you at the exit and transfer you to check in hotel in Zhangjiajie downtown.

Shadow Play
Shadow Play

Day 7Zhangjiajie
Mt. Tianmenshan

Meals: Hotel breakfast, Chinese lunch
Accommodation: In Wulingyuan District of Zhangjiajie

Today, after breakfast, you will visit Tianmen Mountain full day, explore the six wonders of Tianmen Mountain including: Tianmen Mt Cable car, Glass Skywalk, Tianmen Temple, Bonsai Garden, Tianmen Cave, Connected-Heaven Avenue, etc. In the afternoon, we will drive to Wulingyuan District for overnight.

Mt. Tianmenshan
Tianmen Mountain

Day 8Zhangjiajie
Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, Bailong Elevator, Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve, Ten-mile Gallery

Meals: Hotel breakfast, Chinese lunch
Accommodation: In Wulingyuan District of Zhangjiajie

Today you will visit Yuanjiajie Scenic Area by taking the Bailong Elevator. This spot is a highlight of your private Zhangjiajie tour, famous in the world for the Hallelujah Mountains that appeared in the movie Avatar, and the magnificent "The First Stone Bridge in the World". Then we will take a battery car to visit Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve, where you could see mountains, grand valleys, and original forests. If you are lucky, you may see the marvelous sea of clouds.

Afterwards, take a small train to visit Ten-mile Gallery. Along the 5km drive there are unique stones forming different shapes, feeling like a natural landscape painting. In the end of day, we will drive you back to your hotel in Zhangjiajie to have a rest.

Zhangjiajie Forest National Park
Zhangjiajie Forest National Park

Day 9Zhangjiajie
Grand Canyon Glass Bridge, Baofeng Lake, Leisure time

Meals: Hotel breakfast, Chinese lunch
Accommodation: In Zhangjiajie

After breakfast, our guide will escort you to visit the Grand Canyon Glass Bridge, the longest and highest glass bridge in the world. Then the guide will accompany you to Baofeng Lake, where you will take a scenic boat ride around the lake. Free at leisure for the rest of the day.

Grand Canyon Glass Bridge
Grand Canyon Glass Bridge

Day 10Zhangjiajie - Guilin
Fly to Guilin, Reed Flute Cave, Pearl store

Meals: Hotel breakfast
Accommodation: In Guilin

After breakfast, transfer to airport to take the flight for Guilin, the most beautiful city in southern China. Upon arrival, our guide will meet you at the airport and transfer to hotel. En route, we will have a visit to Reed Flute Cave, the showcase of distinctly-colored stalactites and stalagmites. After a stop at seal pearl store, we will check in hotel. Free at leisure for the rest of the day.

Reed Flute Cave
Reed Flute Cave

 

Day 11Guilin
Longji Rice Terraces, Ping'an Zhuang Village

Meals: Hotel breakfast, Chinese lunch
Accommodation: In Guilin

We will have an exciting day to visit the ethnic group villages and the stunning rice terraces today. The local tour guide picks you up from hotel lobby in the morning. It takes about 2 hours driving from downtown of Guilin to Longji Rice Terraces Scenic Area (Dragon's Back). The magnificent terraces are built into the hillsides and look like great steps cut into the slopes as they wind around the mountainsides.

Lunch will be arranged at a local restaurant in Ping'an Zhuang Village, which is just located in the rice terraces. You will have chance to try the local food cooked in bamboo, such as bamboo rice, chicken, ect. It tastes with the light fragrance of bamboo, quite different from which we eat in downtown.

After lunch, you will have enough free time to explore the ethnic villages, where the Yao and Zhuang people have been dwelling for generations in wooden houses. You will understand how the locals' life is, and you will see the locals working in the paddy fields, the women in their national costumes doing needlework by the village path or beneath her roof, ect. We will drive back to downtown of Guilin from Longji at around 15:00 and you may arrive at hotel about 17:00.We will have a stop at sea-water pearl store.  A Four Lakes Night Cruise is recommended as an optional activity in Guilin.

 

Longji Rice Terraces
Longji Rice Terraces

Day 12Guilin - Shanghai
Li River Cruise, Yangshuo countryside, Fly to Shanghai

Meals: Hotel breakfast, Lunch box
Accommodation: In Shanghai

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. Then We will enjoy the countryside beauty by biking or local vehicle before transfer to airport for the night flight to Shanghai.

Li River Cruise
Li River Cruise

Day 13Shanghai
Shikumen, Yuyuan Garden, Chenghuangmiao Old Street, Silk Museum, the Bund, People’s Square, Shanghai Museum, Old French Concession

Meals: Hotel breakfast, Chinese lunch
Accommodation: In Shanghai

The last day but still an inspiring day to explore the city of Shanghai, the largest and most modern city in mainland China. We will start the tour by walking into Nong Tang, the alleys in Shikumen, where you could witness the locals' relaxing and plain life. You will also find the unique architectural feature of Shanghai.

Then continue the day trip to Yuyuan Garden which is a Chinese classic garden in city downtown. Then continue to explore the Yuyuan Bazaar (Chenghuangmiao Old Street) nearby.

Chinese lunch is served at a local restaurant, we continue our trip 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-rised buildings, just on the opposite of Huangpu River. After a visit to Shanghai Museum and the old French Concession, the tour will finish by drop-off at your hotel. You could discuss the night entertainment with local guide. Acrobatic show or the Huangpu River cruise is recommended as night activity.

the Bund
the Bund

Day 14Departure Shanghai
Transfer service to airport

Meals: Hotel 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.
Economy Hotel
★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2417 $2540
6 ~ 9 pax $1910 $2033
Comfortable Hotel
★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2588 $2767
6 ~ 9 pax $2081 $2260
Deluxe Hotel
★★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2938 $3238
6 ~ 9 pax $2430 $2730
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, 2019 to Feb 29, 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

kalpsgans

5.0

I was planning a trip to China with my mom and 2 kids. Had received a few quotes from various people, Joyce being one of them. After shortlisting, I decided to go with Joyce from TCT & that's the best choice I made which made my trip super nice and very memorable. Joyce is very nice, understanding, patient, always replied to my emails promptly and fully answered anything and everything I asked her. Eventually we both came up with a 12 day itenary covering 4 places - Shanghai, Xi'an, Harbin & Beijing. She had looked into every single detail to make sure all my needs were met. We are an Indian vegetarian family. :) Every 2nd day, there was a change in my idea and I used to write it down to her and she responded very well to everything :) So, there were English speaking guides and drivers for us during the trip. Every single one of them is just awesome and very prompt. A special mention to my guides Mulan - Shanghai, Miki - Xi'an, Gloria - Harbin, Emily - Beijing. Not to forget the drivers. Such helpful, friendly, professional, punctual, prompt and efficient people. The entire trip was so smooth. Ticketing, checking in at hotels, taking us to Indian restaurants, even checking us in at the airports no time was wasted and everything just went right. We covered a lot of places in all the cities. Had the best of weather (Harbin was -21) and it even snowed in Xi'an. The great wall is just grand :) At Shanghai, there was a little confusion and my ATM card got stuck at the bank machine. My guide Mulan did all she could to help me out. She spoke to the officers, tried to help and then when we were looking for other ATMs she walked with me all they way just to help me out. After we finished shopping, we forgot one of our packets at the market, Mulan helped it get delivered at Beijing for us. That's how sweet she is. Similarly, Gloria at Harbin was equally amazing. She helped us so much in that freezing weather - she even provided the kids with warmers and helped us click pictures when our hands were numb with cold & she made sure the kids had a gala time. Thanks girls. All tours were very professionally arranged. So much so that we had to prepone our trip by 2 days and when I mentioned this to Joyce, she immediately spoke to the agency and even arranged for a refund of the places we did not visit. Very accommodating, I must say. I would like to emphasise that without TCT, we would not have enjoyed our trip at all. It is my most memorable trip ever. Thank you again Joyce :) Had a very satisfying experience. Looking forward for more trip through TCT
Compass02899421901

5.0

We recently did a 14 day tour of China organised by Top China Travel. The professional service and arrangements exceeded our expectations. Very excited to be here. The sightseeing is beautiful and nice people. local birds, fishing and food, all fantastic.
Frank T

5.0

The city at night is breathtaking with great shopping, night clubs, and activities. Everywhere was beautiful and colorful. Abundant restaurants. A delightful city to visit.
Robin C

5.0

We wanted to do a short tour while stopping in Chengdu before flying to Kunming. We had used TCT very successfully before for a tour of Yunnan so they were our natural choice. As before the service we received was excellent. Daniel Mo, who was our email contact at the company was prompt and very efficient in his dealings. David our guide was knowledgeable and spoke very good English. The Old Chengdu Club hotel was excellent and our driver very steady! Trip arrangements were immaculate and the day trip to the Bifeng Panda reserve a sheer delight. I can happily recommend TCT
ULDan

5.0

We organised and booked our China tour (for myself and my wife) with Janet Chan from Top China Travel. We included Beijing , Xi'an and Shanghai. Janet is the best travel consultant we ever met. She is very professional, honest and always prompt in correspondence. All her suggestions proved really good and we achieved in our 8 days in China much more than we thought possible , way above our expectations, and absolutely stress free. Janet helped us promptly whenever necessary and all bookings (hotel, historical attractions, restaurants, intercity travels) maximized the available time and also allowed us to immerse not just in China's millennial history but also a bit in the local, normal people's life. All our guides were very good and helpful, and we felt treated like friends, not just customers, especially by Sisi (Beijing) and Vicky (Shanghai). We already plan our return to China for a longer holiday, and we will certainly book with Janet - Top China Travel again. Overall, a very satisfying experience.
574george

5.0

In April we had the pleasure of having Juli Liu as a tour guide for three days in Guilin China and the sourronding area. She speaks very good English. Is very friendly, knowledeable,and has a good sense of humor. She asked what we wanted to do and see and made suggestions of things she felt we might enjoy. She took us on a Li River day trip is not to be missed. She advised us on shopping and other things to do on our own. She did not rush us or try to push us to go to certain sights or stores. She stayed with us each day from early morning to what ever time we wanted. She even took us to an evening event after spending a full day showing us around. She also advised us on places to eat. We enjoyed her so much we wished we had allowed more time in Guilian. We plan on return to Guilian and will use Juli again.
Haider_SITTOUR

5.0

I have taken a 8 days tour program for one of my distinguished client from top china travel and it was the one of my best decision. A big thank to Ms Yocky for arranging such a nice tour program and the services that she and her team have provided to my client with such efficiency. undoubtedly, Top China Travel is one of the best tour operator in China. I highly recommend this tour operator for those who have plan to make their trip a memorable one.
Fenilshah123

5.0

We selected TCT to help us with our China trip. They delivered what they promised. They were there at every step. We took their help in Beijing and then again in Guilin. In Guilin, they had a personal trip for us. They really provided value. We are vegetarians and the options they provided were great. Lauren, our guide in Guilin knew every aspect of information and was very honest and the kids enjoyed her candid remarks. We were a family of four with our sons 26 and 24. At times, the four days of trip with someone constantly with you got a little too much as we wanted to have private family time but they were always understanding and accommodated us.
Cruiser794284

5.0

I took the one day cruise tour and it was fabulous. The view is very good and the service provided by the travel agency is also accepted. I highly recommend this tour for all of you.
geeta a

5.0

I booked my trip with Top China Travel,extremely professional and prompt.I was guided by the guides Cathy in Xian and Eric in Beijing,very knowledgable,knew the English language very well,knew history,stories,always ready to help with any of my problems that I feel I was travelling with companions.I was very happy and I know you
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.
Salim A

5.0

When I planning our private trip to china I have read many trip adviser reviews and I have noticed Janet Chan’s name came up a number of times so i sent her an e-mail asked for the best two weeks private tour in China for 6 persons , whiten two days she replied me recommending 5 cities ( Zhangjiajie, hangzhuo , shanghai, Beijing , Guilin ) we went through the program which she sent to us it was excellent so we asked her to go ahead to arrange our journey . it was a great choice we made, The tour guides were knowledgeable and helpful. The hotels which reserved for us by TCT were excellent We can only say thanks for TCT and especially Janet Chan
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!!
Chris W

5.0

When planning our China trip we read many trip advisor reviews and noticed Janet Chan’s name came up a number of times so we asked for her to arrange our journey across this fascinating land. What a great choice we made, she listened and responded to our questions and arranged all our trip that went off without any problems. We didn’t want shopping nor group travel and she responded brilliantly. Two days hiking on the wall with fabulous guide Miko, in fact all our guides and drivers were just excellent. High speed train meant we saw lots of China’s varied countryside and went to some out of the way places. We can only say great things about TCT and especially Janet Chan if you are planning a trip. Thank you Janet for an exciting and memorable trip!
Chris n Jools Winstanley
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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