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Julie and Her Mother from America

China Culture Tours

Hi Grace,

We are so sorry we haven't gotten this to you sooner. Mom has been traveling a lot this month, so it's been hard for us to touch base to collaborate on it. I'll send a couple of pictures in a separate email too. Thank you so much for a wonderful experience! We loved our trip. Hope you are well.

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Here is the feedback.

We loved the Li River cruise. It was so beautiful and it seemed like there was another amazing landscape around every corner. Actually, we loved the entire Yangshuo experience. The scooter ride around the countryside was a definite highlight, especially stopping for the bamboo raft ride and the visit to the ancient house with the general's family. The visit to the terraced rice fields was another wonderful highlight of our trip. The long-haired people were so interesting. It was fun to experience the local culture of the countryside. Chengdu was another place that we really loved. The Panda Breeding Center was amazing, and the cultural parks were so interesting and beautiful and relaxing.

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Every one of our guides was outstanding, and we couldn't possibly pick just one as our favorite. They all were our favorite. They were all quite knowledgeable about the places we visited and really went out of their way to make us comfortable and make sure that all of our needs we're taken care of. They all went above and beyond by recommending and accompanying us to evening entertainments. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each of them and hearing their stories. They were all so friendly and helpful and were definitely one of the highlights of the trip for us.

China Culture Tours

With a few notable exceptions, the hotels were up to standard. The customer service at the hotels in Chengdu and Guilin was not necessarily the best, but the rooms were generally comfortable in all cities and the locations were good. The breakfasts in all locations were ok, if somewhat nondescript. We definitely enjoyed the Red Wall Garden Hotel in Beijing and the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat the best. Both were in great locations, had wonderful service and beautiful rooms and delicious food. 

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There were many WOW moments. We loved Yangshuo, the Li River cruise, the Panda Exhibit, the Waterfall Hotel in Guilin and the evening boat cruise in Guilin. We also thought the Terra Cotta Warriors and the Forbidden City and Summer Palace were very interesting and educational. The cable car up to the rice paddies and our driver's skill in getting us up the treacherous mountain road safely were really amazing. The Beijing Acrobat show made us go "wow" several times! It was incredible.

China Culture Tours

For the special suggestions to pass on to other travelers, here they are:

During the summer, make sure you bring a towel or washcloth with you on your excursions, since it is very hot and humid almost everywhere.

Also, bring bug repellent if you are going to be on the River at all, and make sure you have wipes for the toilets, since not all supply toilet paper.

Make sure to take advantage of the safe in your hotel to lock up important things.

Invite your guides and drivers to eat lunch with you. Not all will, but when they do, it is very fun and gives a chance to get to know them better. Plus, the allotment of food included in the package is more than any one person can eat at a time. It's good to get a variety of food and experience different things, so the allotment is good for that, but we had a lot of wasted food, so it was nice to have more people to eat it.

If you feel comfortable, take a scooter ride instead of a bus tour in Yangshuo. It's a great way to see the countryside and is very fun! It's only a little nerve-racking in the city, but was so worth it!

If you go see the Pandas in Chengdu, make sure you get there early in the morning and head right for the baby panda exhibit immediately. Jim, our guide, knew to do this and it made all the difference so we didn't have to wait in line to see the babies and could devote more time to the rest of the park.

It probably isn't worth it to wait for the shuttle bus to the entrance to the Terra Cotta Warriors, even if it's hot. You stand in line for at least 20 minutes when it would take about that long to walk there. It's kind of a toss-up, but it's also hot standing in line.

All the shows we saw were incredible and were quite different in each city. Everyone was worth it. If you only see one show, though, make it either the Beijing Acrobats or the Tang Dynasty Dinner and dumplings show in Xi'an.

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We will absolutely recommend your company. We have told everyone how great your company was to work with and would highly recommend it. 

Julie

Julie from America Tailor-made a China Tour to Beijing, Xian, Chengdu and Guilin.

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