We had quite an amazing trip. We saw SO much and learned SO much! As I wrote in the paper evaluation I filled out at the end of our 3 days tour in Beijing, all four of us absolutely loved our guide, Jin Qiang. He was just wonderful. He knew so much about every place we visited. I love learning the history of the sights we see, and he was a fountain of knowledge (like our own personal Wikipedia!). He showed us so much and taught us so much. His English was great, he answered all our questions, and he always MOST courteous and kind. He took such good care of us. We don't speak Chinese, but we felt very secure with him understanding us and translating for us.
Jin was waiting for us right at the port as we got off our ship, and walked us back into the port at the end. He also went into the hotel with us to make sure we got checked in OK.
The hotel, the Regent Beijing, was just spectacular! Definitely a WOW. It was beautiful, the room was great, the service excellent, and the breakfast was SO delicious! The four of us gave it a 5 star rating.
We liked our lunch on our first day best (3-24). Since we couldn't read the menu ?, Jin chose a delicious assortment of foods for us. The food at the second day's restaurant (3-25) was very good as well, but since the restaurant was in a greenhouse, it was HOT. A beautiful setting, but hot and humid.
"We recommend you to customize a private Beijing Tour based on your interests and requests!"
We enjoyed all the sites we visited. The Forbidden City and Imperial Palace was amazing. And Jin knew about every single building in the massive palace complex. Climbing the Great Wall of China was quite a thrill, of course. I checked that off my Bucket List when I visited China 9 years ago, but it was a first for everyone else. And two checks off my Bucket List! We all felt a great sense of accomplishment in conquering the climb. The Summer Palace was quite beautiful. The magnolia trees were in full blossom when we were there. SO pretty! Riding in a pedicel in the hutong was so much fun. It was great to see the local people who live there going about their morning shopping, walking, etc. And I loved getting to go inside one of the homes in the hutong and see the lovely interior. I had visited the hutong 9 years ago, but didn't get to go inside a home. So that was special. Then the Temple of Heaven was lovely too. I learned lots of interesting bits of history from Jin that I didn't learn during my first visit - like how many people it took to build the Great Wall and the fact that no women were ever allowed into the Temple of Heaven complex.
Overall, it was a very busy three days, and we were tired at the end. But we packed a lot into our three days. Jin truly made it a special three days for us. He gets 5 stars as well! Such a sweet and kind man.
Thanks for all your help too, Nora, in planning our trip and fulfilling all my requests and everything on my wish list. I was the one who planned the trip for our little group (Cliff, Bonnie, Ken, and me), and everyone was so happy and impressed with our itinerary and our hotel. By the way, I found China Culture Tour on Trip Advisor. Keep up the good work!
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