12 Days Admire the Best Natural Beauty in China

Beijing, Jiuzhaigou, Chengdu, Zhangjiajie, Shanghai

Traveler Reviews


Tour Code: TCT-Scenic-03

Tour Type: Private Tour

Tour Highlights:

Well-planed China scenery tour, covring the 2 most beautiful destinations in China.

The real Pandora is just close at hand, visiting the Hallelujah Mountains in Zhangjiajie.

Be stunned by the magnificent fairyland-like landscape in Juzhaigou National Park.

It is not only a choice for China scenic tour, but also for China summer tour.

 

Best Travel Time: Suitable for April to October

Price from $ 2155

Free Inquiry

Day 1Arrival Beijing
Transfer service to hotel

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

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
Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, Temple of Heaven, Panjiayuan Antique Market

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

[09:00-09:30] Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby and start to explore the historical city of Beijing.

[09:30-12:30] You will reach the , the largest public square in the world. Walk through the square and visit today’s highlight: Forbidden City , the largest and most complete ancient imperial palace in the world. Hike to Jingshan Park, where gives a nice panoramic view of the Forbidden City at the top of Coal Hill.

[12:30-14:00] Lunch time at Shi Yuan Restaurant, Chinese local food, famous for the braised eggplant, vegetable ball, and diced chicken with walnuts in soya sauce.

[14:00-16:30] Visit Temple of Heaven, which was used to pray for harvest by the emperors. It is China's existing largest structure for sacrifice to heaven. Shopping time pearl Market.

[16:30-17:30] Back to the hotel, en route you can plan for the night show or the Peking duck dinner with your guide and ask for suggestions.

Forbidden City
Forbidden City

Day 3Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall, Olympic Park, The exterior Bird Nest and Water Cube

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

[08:00-08:30] Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby and start to explore the Great Wall.

[08:30-12:30] Drive to Mutianyu Great Wall, which section is more popular among foreign visitors. Upon arrival, you can choose to hike on the Great Wall, or take cable car up and walk around.

[12:30-13:30] Lunch time at Xiaolongpu Restaurant, famous for the vegetable food, such as fried vegetables, dry-fried beans, sweet corn cake

[13:30-16:30] Drive back to Beijing city, while you can take a nap in the car. Visit the exterior Bird Nest and Water Cube the amazing architectures that built for Beijing Olympic Games. After that you will experience Chinese tea at tea house.

[16:30-17:30] Back to the hotel, en route you can plan for the night activities, such as foot massage, houhai night bars and Sanlitun bar street.

Mutianyu Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall

Day 4Beijing - Jiuzhaigou
Beijing Hutong, Summer Palace, Fly to Jiuzhaigou

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel: New Jiuzhai Hotel ★★★★

[09:30-10:00] You will have enough time to pack up and check out. Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby and have half day leisure tour in Beijing.

[10:00-11:30] Drive to Drum Tower area for taking a relaxing Hutong Tour by rickshaw, which is the way to know the Beijing local lifestyle.

[11:30-14:30] Drive to Summer Palace, which is the existing largest, best-preserved imperial garden in China. Boat ride on Kunming Lake is included. Lunch will be arranged at nearby restaurant, named Xiangyangtun, with opera stage inside.

After lunch, be transferred to the airport for afternoon flight to Jiuzhaigou. Your tour guide will wait for you at the airport and help you to transfer to the hotel.

Summer Palce
Summer Palace

Day 5Jiuzhaigou
Jiuzhaigou Valley

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel: New Jiuzhai Hotel ★★★★

[08:00-08:30] Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby and start to explore the fairyland and national treasure.

[08:30-12:30] Take full day excursion into Jiuzhaigou valley with your guide accompanying. Take a shuttle bus from Lantian Station to the Long Lake, then walk around and enjoy the Long lake & the Five-colour Pool. After that, take a shuttle bus from Five-colour Pool to Nuorilang Waterfall.

[12:30-13:30] Lunch time will be served at Nuorilang restaurant in the park. You can also choose to have a picnic lunch at stopover site.

[13:30-17:30] Continue your hiking tour in the afternoon and feel relaxed without pushing at all. Walk to the Nuorilang Waterfall  for a visit before taking a shuttle bus from Nuorilang to Shuzheng Lake, visit the Rhino Lake, Tiger Lake, Shuzheng Fall and Princess Lake along the way in the bus . Then walk around and enjoy the Shuzheng Lake, the Shuzheng Valley, Take a shuttle bus  From Shuzheng Lake to Shuanglong Lake for a visit to the Shuanglong Waterfall.

[17:30-18:00] Finally take a shuttle bus back to the Lantian Station, and visit the Reed Lake, Bonsai Shoal and Mirror Cliff along the way in the bus. Relax in the hotel. The Tibetan dancing show will be an optional activity for you in the evening.

JIuzhaigou Valley
JIuzhaigou Valley

Day 6Jiuzhaigou - Chengdu
Huanglong National Park, Fly to Chengdu

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel: Atour Hotel Chengdu ★★★★
Note: From Nov to Apr the next year, Huanglong Scenic Area may be closed temporarily for tourists due to the weather condition, then you can visit Mouni Valley instead.

[09:00-09:30] After breakfast, our guide will meet you up at the hotel and transfer you to the airport for flight to Chengdu

[09:30-14:00] On the way to the airport, visit Huanglong National Park, which is a World Natural Heritage site, and famous for its colorful ponds, snowy mountains, deep valleys, and dense forest. All the colors of the rainbow are here. The landscape studded with waterfalls and terraced, colored limestone ponds of blue, yellow, white and green. We suggest you hike on the mountain to explore the real beauty of Huanglong National Park. There is also cable car service available, and you can take it to the top at your expense for relaxing trip. Lunch will be served at local restaurant nearby Chuanzhusi Temple.

Fly to Chengdu. Your Chengdu tour guide will wait for you at the airport and help you to transfer to the hotel.

Huanglong Scenic Area
Huanglong Scenic Area

Day 7Chengdu
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Renmin Park, Jinli Old Street

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel: Atour Hotel Chengdu ★★★★

[09:00-09:30] Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby and start to explore the Panda hometown.

[09:30-12:30] Enjoy your interesting tour to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding which is a huge institution replicates the natural habitat of the giant panda. Sightseeing shuttle bus is included. You will learn the habits and characteristics of Giant and baby pandas, observe them eating bamboos and playing around. Lunch will be arranged as local food at restaurant nearby.

[12:30-13:30] Typical lunch will be arranged as Hot Pot at Old House restaurant.

[13:30-16:30] In the afternoon, visit Renmin Park and it is the paradise for local people who addict to dancing, playing mahjong, drinking teas. We will arrange tea break in the park and mahjong lesson if you are interested in. After that enjoy shopping time at Jinli Old Street which is the elegant style of the architectures tells you what Sichuan looks like during the Qing Dynasty.

[16:30-17:30] Back to the hotel and the Face Changing show will be a good option or you can just stroll around Kuanzhai Alley which is the famous snack street in the evening.

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Day 8Chengdu - Zhangjiajie
Fly to Zhangjiajie, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, Glass Bridge

Meals: Breakfast
Recommended Hotel: Santa Daminga Internatianal Hotel ★★★★

After breakfast, be transferred to the airport for morning flight to Zhangjiajie. Your tour guide will wait for you at the airport and enjoy day leisure tour to visit Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon where you can watch the entire landscape of the North Temperate Zone karst topography, Canyon lush vegetation and fresh air. The weather in the canyon is cool and comfortable and you will enjoy 3 hours hiking there as warm-up to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. You will also have chance to visit the newest glass bridge which is the longest and highest glass-bottom bridge in the world. It has a beautiful name of Yuntiandu meaning Cross the Sky. Standing on the bridge, travelers can get a panoramic view of the majestic Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon under your feet. In the middle of the bridge, there is a bungee jump platform, where you can try the highest bungee jumping in the world. What an exciting experience.

Be transferred to your hotel after the tour and prepared for tomorrow’s breath-taking excursion to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.

Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge
Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge

Day 9Zhangjiajie
Wulingyuan Scenic Area, Tianzi Mountain Area, Yuanjiajie Scenic Area

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel: Santa Daminga Internatianal Hotel ★★★★

[08:30-09:00] Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby and start to explore Wulingyuan Scenic Area

[09:00-12:30] Get your Wulingyuan Scenic Area pass at the ticketing center with our guide help and aboard the shuttle bus directly to Bailong Elevator, the highest and heaviest outdoor elevator in the world. Take Bailong Elevator up to Yuanjiajie Scenic Area. The view from Yuanjiajie is exactly the same as what we see from the movie of Avatar. Standing on the observation platform in Yuanjiajie, thousands of peaks can be caught at the same time. Peaks in various postures just look like countless brave men. Rock pillars with green trees just look like handsome generals. They describe a scene of army. Although these peaks are solid, they let people enter into an imaginary world and present a lively picture in the front of our eyes. You will enjoy your two hours exploration on foot

[12:30-13:30] Simple Chinese lunch will be arranged at restaurant in the rest area of Yuanjiajie. We highly recommend you prepare some fruits and snacks beforehand

[13:30-16:30] Get on shuttle bus from Yuanjiajie to Tianzi Mountain Area and spend the whole afternoon in the scenic area. There is a famous saying that you have no wish to visit any other mountains after viewing the Tianzi Mountain. The landscape here varies in different seasons and also in one day, which makes Tianzi Mountain a very interesting destination. There are four highlights for the breathtaking sceneries: peak forest, cloud sea, sunrise and winter snow. Cloud and mist in Tianzi Mountain enjoys high reputation nationwide, especially just after the rain, which adds much charm to Tianzi Mountain

[16:30-17:30] Take cable car down the Tianzi Mountain and get back to your hotel. A folk show named Amazing Xiangxi is available for your evening activities.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Tianzi Mountain

Day 10Zhangjiajie - Shanghai
Tianmenshan Mountain, Tianmen Cave, Fly to Shanghai

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

[08:30-09:00] Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby and start to explore Tianmenshan Mountain which is the highest mountain in Zhangjiajie

[09:00-12:30] Take cable car up to Tianmenshan Mountain. The cable car lasts for 40 minutes and it is the longest line in Asia. You will see the gorgeous view while seating in the cable car and the mountain seems just in front of you. Hike on the mountain and you will walk on the floating glass plank. The experience is unique and gives you the feeling like just wandering in the clouds

[12:30-13:30] Simple lunch will be arranged at restaurant on Tianmen Mountain and take cable car down to the halfway

[13:30-16:30] Change to shuttle bus and get to Tianmen Cave site through the Tongtian Avenue which has 99 turns symbolizing that the Heaven has nine palaces. It is worth the title - wonder of highway in the world. Upon arrival, visit the Tianmen Cave. Tianmen cave the natural mountain-penetrating karst cave with the highest elevation in the world. It is actually a big hole in the mountain but people call it a cave and it has become a major attraction. The cave become the unique sight under heaven and breeds the profound and grand heaven culture of Fairy Mountain in the local area. Before getting to the cave, you have to conquer the 999 steps which is exactly a challenge to reach the cave.

After the tour, be transferred directly to Zhangjiajie airport for flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival, your Shanghai tour guide will wait for you at the airport and help you to transfer to the hotel.

Tianmen Mountain
Tianmen Mountain

Day 11Shanghai
Jade Buddha Temple, the exterior of Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Old Street, The Bund

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Recommended Hotel: SSAW Boutique Hotel Shanghai Bund

[09:00-09:30] Our guide will meet you up at the hotel lobby and start to explore the Modern city of China

[09:30-12:30] Visit Jade Buddha Temple, which is famous for the seated Buddha, encrusted with jewels, which is said to weigh 1,000 kg.Then visit the exterior of Oriental Pearl TV Tower, while walking on Riverside Promenade Bingjiang Da Dao

[12:30-13:30] Lunch time for the local special food, Dim Sum and Steamed Bun

[13:30-16:30] Visit Yuyuan Garden, which is a Chinese classic garden in city downtown, shopping time at Shanghai Old Street and Nanjing Road which is the earliest commercial street in Shanghai, you could look for some special souvenirs there. After that, enjoy a leisure walk along the Bund, famous for groups of buildings known as "a Gallery of world architecture"

[16:30-17:30] Back to the hotel, en route you can plan for the night Acrobatic Show, especially the ERA show as option, which is one of the most popular evening entertainments in Shanghai.

The Bund Shanghai
The Bund Shanghai

Day 12Departure Shanghai
Transfer service to airport

Meals: Breakfast

Free day at leisure and be transferred to the airport for departure flight. Our guide will meet you at the hotel lobby at appointed time. 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 $2824 $3093
6 ~ 9 pax $2155 $2424
Comfortable Hotel
★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2966 $3231
6 ~ 9 pax $2296 $2561
Deluxe Hotel
★★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $3200 $3619
6 ~ 9 pax $2530 $2950
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

doronbron

5.0

We just came back from an eight days trip with Janet at TCT during March 2017. The trip was tailored to our needs as we were in Shanghai for 5 days before starting our trip. We visited Shanghai Xian and Beijing. The help and service received from Janet and TCT were outstanding. Our guides in Shanghai (Sarah) Xian (Cherry) and Beijing (Cathy) were excellent, they all knew the history and were very flexible. The guides were always on time and we had excellent drivers. We would highly recommend TCT and Janet on your next trip to China.
susan v

5.0

My daughter and I recently did a private 13 day tour with TCT starting in Beijing and ending in Shanghai. We went to Xian, Guilin and on a 3 night Yangtze river cruise. I did a lot of research before using TCT as last year we had a very bad experience with a tour company in Morocco which really spoiled our whole holiday. Obviously doing a private tour is much more expensive but well worth the money. From the beginning my dealings with Bonnie were so personal. It was so nice to be met at airports/stations by a private guide and drivers. I loved the fact that the guides did all the check-ins at airports and at the station for the Bullet train from Beijing to Xian. I was so glad that Linda could accompany us right to the waiting room at station as there were thousands of people at the station and it could have been quite overwhelming. All the hotels that we stayed in were above my expectations for China. All our guides and drivers were very attentive and enthusiastic . We are vegetarians and all the guides made sure that they helped us find food at lunch time. Linda our guide in Beijing wrote a note saying we were vegetarians which we used in the evenings at restaurants for the whole trip. At the great wall of China we went up the chair lift and tobogganed down. My only criticism would be that we would have preferred to go up with the cable car and then walk all the way along the wall to the toboggan ride. Unfortunately when we said we want to toboggan down the guide decided that we should go up the chair lift as it is closer to the toboggan. I felt that we did not have enough time on the wall. My advice is for the guide to give all the options as the walk from the cable car is quite long and not everybody might want to walk so far. The Terracotta warriors were another highlight of the trip. Lucy we loved your selfie app....we want it too :) We loved the Li river cruise in Guilin and our guide Michelle even brought us a special vegetarian packed lunch as often the cruise does not have vegetarian options for lunch. She was so attentive on the cruise and pointed out all the special highlights of the cruise, something I did not see all the other guides doing. On our flight from Xian to Guilin there was not vegetarian option for us. I mentioned this to Bonnie and she then arranged that when we flew from Guilin to Chongqing that Cherry, who met us at the airport to take us to the Boat Cruise, had a vegetarian meal for us. Also when we disembarked in Yichang, Victor also brought along a vegetarian packed lunch for us. Jakob our guide in Shanghai practically became our family in the few days that we spent with him. He had the most amazing sense of humor and made us laugh every day. Thank you for the very special Chilli sauce. Bianca eats it on practically everything. To Bonnie and all the guides... Linda, Lucy, Michelle, Cherry, Victor and Jakob... thank you for making this one of the most memorable trips that we have ever done. Also big thank you to all the very proficient drivers for keeping us safe on the 'wild' Chinese roads. China is an amazingly beautiful and vibrant country to visit. Just one suggestion: On the itinerary mention all the optional shows that one can attend in different cities and suggest booking before you go. We were unable to go to the show in Shanghai as it was a weekend and fully booked by the time we asked our guide.
AgencyVanGogh

5.0

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

5.0

For my recent trip to China I used 'Top China Travel' to book and arrange for my private tour of three different cities in China; Shanghai, Xi'an, and Dunhuang. In each place I was met by a guide who spoke English and a driver. The agency booked all the accommodation, fights, and an itinerary which included the best tourist attractions in each city and two meals a day. My guides Larry, Miki, and Caroline not only showed me the cultural sites, they also explained the local customs, food and lifestyles. I stayed in great hotels, in fantastic locations in each city. I loved the food, people and saw some amazing sites. the whole trip seamed effortless for me and on my next trip to China I will use this agency to book my tour, I highly recommend Vicky Lu as your travel agent.
bp1234_12

5.0

Very satisfied with my recent Beijing>XIAN> Shanghai tour with Top China Travel. I wanted to have the services of a tour to navigate China given the language and short visit. From the inception Joyce my tour coordinator was very helpful and responded promptly to my many questions and clarifications. All aspects of the tour and options were very well explained and communicated. Guides were very knowledgeable and communicated with no issues in English. They were prompt, informative, helpful and Jolly which made the experience more pleasant. All aspects of the trips including internal train and flights were well planned and orchestrated so there was never any concerns and confusion at the sites and going on to the next destination. Guides were also helpful in suggesting venues for Dinner and currency exchanges, souvenir shops etc. Special call out to Ocean in Beijing who really goes all out to ensure you have an enjoyable and positive experience. Being an avid traveller, I can certainly recommend Top China Travel.
Juanita S

5.0

We used Top China Travel to plan and execute our time in Beijing. They were very quick in responding to our requests and helped us create a personalized 6 day tour, giving us all the information we needed ahead of time. Our guide, Louise, was wonderful. She is personable and it was a pleasure to spend time with her. Her English is great and she is very knowledgeable about Chinese history and culture. She could answer any questions we had and we learned so much.Our trip was successful because of our time with her. We had a driver who took us to each place and all entry fees were included in our tour price which was very convenient. I highly recommend this type of tour in a city that could have otherwise been intimidating. We will definitely use TCT again.
travelover007

5.0

We found TCT through a random internet search when looking for a local Chinese travel agency to help us plan our 2-week trip to China. We had a basic idea of what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go and Janet (our efficient and friendly TCT agent) put together a great itinerary for us that started in Beijing and ended in Hong Kong. We corresponded with her exclusively over e-mail and her responses were always punctual and on-point. The itinerary was very reasonably priced and TCT was able to organize everything from local hotel stays, restaurant meals, airport transfers, internal train and plane tickets and excursions in each city (e.g. great wall, etc.) As well, we were a group of 4 (myself, my husband and our in-laws) and our tours and transfers were almost always exclusively private. The guides in each city were knowledgeable and spoke decent English. Overall, we were very satisfied with TCT's services. I would recommend TCT if you are looking for a reliable one-stop shop to organize your China travels from start to end.
snoopy10463

5.0

We booked our trip with Top China Travel a private tour and was amazing experience. We were 4 people , just ladies. It was very well organized, our Spanish guides in the different cities very good especially Leon in Xian, the best. They were very knowledgeable and took care of us. Every time we went to another city, they didn't leave us until the check-in at the different airports. Our agent Raylene did an excellent job, organizing our trip, she was on top of everything. Thanks Raylene for our unforgettable vacation.
Alimeister77

5.0

I booked my flights without a tour thinking I could do it on my own. I soon realised it was not so easy as I thought. Top Travel China were a good option for booking a tour. Vicky helped with hotels, tours on our own (2 of us) and joining group tours. She arranged picking us up and dropping us off in luxury vehicles (Except the groups tours, which were in the normal not so great vans). The experience was awesome. Do be clear if you prefer spending more time in the village areas rather than the cities, but Vicky booked some awesome tours with some great guides, Annie in particular. A great service I have to say and what a fabulous trip.
docbj82

5.0

Lily, the tour organizer for Top China Travel, was wonderful. She planned everything and adjusted the trip to match our specific destination requests (My daughter and I were traveling alone). At every destination on the trip (from Beijing to Guilin), a driver and guide met us so we never had to worry about transportation or the challenges of making ourselves understood. Our guides varied from being very poor (when it was a contracted city guide to see the Great Wall or the Forbidden City) to the very good (when it was their guides for stops in Guilin or the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park). The Beijing guides couldn't speak English or spoke it poorly, they made us go to destinations no one wanted to see, and they were rude. Those places would be worth visiting on your own because Beijing's subway system is pretty straightforward and arranging transport to the Great Wall seemed uncomplicated.We are not great with guides in that we prefer to travel on our own and "discover" the joys of a new place without the rigidity of a tour, but having a driver and in some places a guide can be essential in China. If we didn't have a guide in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, we probably would still be there! In very few places do people speak English, so figuring out the queue system or even the need to hold onto your ticket for endless checking made the presence of a guide rather handy. The downside of having a guide, though, is how their presence limits your spontaneity and impedes your ability to choose where or what you want to eat. Eating Chinese food three times a day can be pretty depressing to your taste buds. From this trip I learned ( I have never used a tour company before and I have traveled all over the world) that you need to play an active role in requesting the kind of accommodations you want. We prefer to be in walking distance of city centers and having an English speaking person on staff would have been nice. In Xi'an we were outside the city walls and, throughout our trip, rarely did any of the hospitality staff in the many hotels we stayed in speak any English. That oversight was my fault because I failed to request those things. I expected some English proficiency from people working in the hospitality industry, but in reality English speakers didn't appear to be very common. Beijing and Xi'an were one time places for us (the crowds at the Terra-cotta soldiers were literally overwhelming), but the mountain region in the Hunan Province and the Li River in Guilin (bike riding in Guilin was a real highlight!) were delightful. No matter where you go, though, be prepared for endless crowds, a lot of shoving, and an ongoing din as you navigate this part of China. Top China Travel made an extremely challenging trip (China is not an easy country to visit- the inconsistency of sanitary toilet facilities, a form of public behavior that can be very disconcerting to visitors, and the total absence of any multi-culturalism), one that was a bit less challenging. We had a fascinating time in China. Many of the destinations we chose were not for the faint of heart or for someone who is new to international travel. In most places, we were the object of intense curiosity and the subject of many, many photos. The Great Wall alone made the trip worth doing, so don't be put off by the extreme hustle and noise that will surround you night and day. Top China Travel certainly helped make our trip one we will never forget!
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
Kiwimac53

5.0

We were looking for a tour in SW China while in the area for work and found this one. While we wouldn't normally get a private tour but surprisingly it was actually cheaper than most of the group tours in the area and was great value. While I would usually rather keep one guide for the whole tour, as you get to know each other and they get to know what you are interested in, we changed guides 5 times during this trip (fortunately we had the same guide in Kunming at the start and end of the tour which was a real bonus as Murphy, our Kunming based guide, was excellent.) In this case changing guides had the advantage of local knowledge at each site so compensated for the change. Of the 4 guides we had 3 excellent and 1 very good with each of them working hard to look after us and make sure we enjoyed our trip. Vicky, our Dali based guide was also extremely good making our time there a highlight. The tour gives you 2 days at each base ie travel in the morning, have the afternoon and the next day touring the area then drive to the next base. We chose the driving tour as we feel it gives you a better experience of the area and you get to see the locals in action. All the drivers we had were great - they went out of their way to look after us and were very safe, which is saying something for driving in China. While all of the guides were very fluent in English none of the drivers could speak English which was a slight disadvantage as you didn't have the guides with you when traveling between bases but the friendliness and helpfulness of the drivers more than made up for this. The tour was very well organised and we knew what we were doing from the time we met our guide on arrival at the Kunming railway station to when we walked through security at the airport on our way out. The tour comes with 4,5 and 6 star accommodation choices and we went for the cheapest 4 star option. While the English at the hotels was limited the guides made sure we were checked in and out and took care of any issues (which were minimal). The 4 star option is largely "Chinese style" hotels ie designed for Chinese visitors with breakfast consisting of what many westeners would consider dinner style food but there was always eggs and toast for the less adventurous. The hotels were all clean and comfortable and generally very well located. The Hotel in Kunming (Jin Jang Inn) was a bonus as it seemed higher than 4 star and we stayed there both on our way in and out. As well as breakfast, lunch came with the tour which was enjoyable as the guides choose the restaurants so we got a variety. I got the feeling that most of the restaurants were owned by friends or family or there was some arrangement with the guide, but as you get to formally review each guide and the meals at the end of each stop they work hard to make sure you enjoy the meal and there was always an abundance of food. We tried a range of local cuisine and there was only one meal we didn't think was up to par. You get your own dinner which also suited us as there is invariably a range of restaurants or for the more adventurous there is the street vendors and you can choose what you want. The vehicles we were driven in were all very good- plenty of space and very comfortable. Being a private tour, while there was a set itinerary, which was diverse and very interesting with something for most people, the guides could tweak it to suit individual interests eg more time at one site and less at another. It is easy to get a bit templed out but overall the itinerary was a good mic of nature and culture. I would thoroughly recommend the tour and the company and we will be looking to the company if/when we go back - Guilin is next on the list as the guides were very happy to discus what they thought we would and wouldn't enjoy based on working with us on this tour,
glennkim11

5.0

we looked around and could not find anyone else that would tailor a trip how we wanted it But Janet from Top China Travel was so helpful we emailed at first then talked on skype Janet Chan of the Guilin office went that extra mile Janet helped us plan our 4 week tour of China starting in Shanghi then to Yellow Mountain were Misha met us took us to some old villages then spent 3 days in the mountains with Misha showing us her wonderful part of the world (a Must do) then took the Public Bus to Hangzhou this was a great choice then onto Beijing, Xian by High Speed train (spoil your self go 1st class was great) we did the Great wall at Mutianyu we had 4 hr wish we had more time there Herbet our guid took us to The Sacred road & the Chang Tomb in the afternoon well worth the very long day Xian Terracotta Warriors Met the guy that found them and a great day Guili,Yangshou & Longsheng Annie or guid was great took us to some real out of the way places we met up with Janet in Guilin and she gave us a very personalised gift something very special to my wife & I Janet made sure we did not miss a thing. All of our tour guides and drivers were waiting for us at the train stations/airports as pre-arranged which took a lot of stress away. Everything ran so smoothly. A big Thank You to TCT Janet and the team for making our experience so enjoyable. WE will be Back The Food was Great go to the little cafes in the back streets well worth it and cheap
Gary G

5.0

For most of us, travel to China is either a distant dream or a once in a lifetime trip. Unfortunately due to language and cultural barriers/difficulties, planning and executing such a trip is extremely difficult at best. And for those of us who do not care for group travel, but rather the freedom and flexibility of fully independent travel, travel to China represents a difficult goal. After a lot of research I thought I had a basic idea at least of where I might want to go, but since I don’t speak Mandarin or read Chinese script/hanzi, traveling independently seemed impossible – and I was traveling solo. And at 71, I’m through with hassles and dealing with problems while traveling. Not only is life too short for that, but the time you have in a country is limited and how much time do you really want to waste dealing with issues vs seeing what you came to see or experience? I had previous experience dealing with independent travel agencies in Argentina and Chile, but didn’t expect that service to be available in China for some reason. But after a bit of additional research I discovered Top China Travel (TCT) and soon after my first contact with my travel consultant Rebecca Wei, things quickly fell into place. Turns out selecting TCT, was one of the best decisions I’ve made in quite a while. I began with a base three week Highlights of China itinerary, and modified it to suit my interests and requirements, including class of hotel, sights, and additional locations. Because with TCT, there is no limit to how much you customize, nor are there additional service fees for doing so. I ended up with a 25 day package to 11 different locations, and this has to be the highlights from what I discovered and guides repeatedly told me. I will tell you this is a LOT for one trip, but based on my age, it is unlikely I will go back again, so wanted to see as much as possible this trip. My itinerary included Shanghai, Huangshan, Yellow Mountains, Hangzhou, Guilin, Changdu, Xi’an, Yangtze River Cruise, Zhangjiajie and Beijing. I specified 5 Star hotels and believe me they were that – some of the nicest hotels I’ve ever experienced anywhere in the world including in the USA. But you can tailor that to your budget and requirements from three-star up. I’ve never experienced a trip so organized and well executed. It was totally flawless and hassle free. There was never a single issue or mistake. From the time I landed in Shanghai, I was met by an English speaking guide and driver (drivers Chinese speaking only), and taken to my hotel and hand held thru checking into the hotel, since everything of course was pre-paid thru TCT. Then the next morning a fully guided tour of Shanghai with evening free to myself. Additional evening activities are recommended at each location that TCT will arrange and book for you at an additional cost. I attended three while in China. Then when ready to leave Shanghai for Huangshan and the Yellow Mountains (which were stunningly beautiful and unique), I was taken to the train station and accompanied by the guide thru the check-in process and then I was off to Huangshan, where upon arrival I was met again and taken to the hotel with guided tours the following days. And this repeated FLAWLESSLY throughout the trip at each location. And the hand offs were quite impressive. At each location I had a new driver and guide, and they had my full itinerary of what I had done to that point and of course what I was scheduled to do and more impressively, had received a call from the previous guide advising them I was on my way. If this isn’t 5-star service, I don’t know what is. Now while this might all seem a bit too organized, I can assure it was not. There was flexibility and as a day progressed, as the guide got to know me better and felt I might enjoy more scenery vs a tea ceremony, for example, we could change that on the fly and at times did just that – within reason of course. And evenings were free. And another bonus was the experiences with the guides. Not only were they extremely knowledgeable and the drivers safe and reliable, but I learned more about life in China than I could ever have imagined doing since I developed personal relationships with the guides and the conversations were interactive and spontaneous and I had so much time with them each day. There is no way I could have accomplished or experienced this within a tour group. Words can’t express my thanks to Top China Travel and the entire ground operations including guides and drivers for making my China trip one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever taken. And perhaps in the next couple years I can return and see a few things I missed on this trip, or return to a special place and relax a bit more. I won’t say it would have been impossible to have planned and executed this trip without help, but I can’t imagine having done so without having the knowledge and relationships with the ground operations and so many other things. And I’ve planned and executed dozens of international trips with no assistance, but to places far easier than China or Japan. China is a fascinating and incredibly beautiful country, with scenery and culture unlike anyplace I’ve visited. Chinese people are welcoming and I felt safe everywhere I went. I highly recommend China as a travel destination and if you are looking for something similar to what I’ve experienced, I highly recommend Top China Travel. You won’t be sorry you selected them.
Michelle L

5.0

The tour wasn't that bad, we visited the forbidden city, temple of heaven and the summer palace in one day. The tour guide Vic was nice and if we had some questions he tried to answer that. We also went to the pearl market where my friend bought some pearls for a good price. To cut a long story short the trip was fine but my friend and I we wished we had more time to look around in the forbidden city and summer palace.
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