From the mountain lakes of Tibet to the vast arid deserts of Inner Mongolia, vast China truly is nature at its very best. Beijing, with its Great Wall and Forbidden City, offers many sightseeing trips and chances to explore local culture. Shanghai, meanwhile, is a sprawling metropolis, ideal for food, wine, events and nightlife. Or, head to Xian for day tours of the Terracotta Army.
“Absolutely completely overpriced for China. Over $500aud for the day + I had to purchase the train ticket. $500 bucks for a very short tour of the gardens at the lake + a temple is ridiculous. I ran around gardens, went to a terrible place for lunch full of mosquitos and bad food (I got sick) and then tea tour missed and a shitty temple tour. The guide talked at me the whole day and would not let me look at what I wanted to look at. She actually physically hit me when I did not listen to her boring commentary. I just wanted to look at the temple but I was not permitted to. She was offensive to western standards. I could go on for ages on how terrible and a rip off this tour is. I also had someone from tripadvisor email me as I had given a rating. It was not me so I can only assume the tour operator pretended to be myself for a review. You need to discontinue this company.”
I deeply apologize for the fact that you felt like our guide was not up to your standard. We, at Shanghai Advisor Tour, are doing everything we can to make sure that something like this never happens.
Lynn, your guide for the tour, is a young, friendly and talkative girl. I am sorry that she tried to be friendly and make you feel comfortable. And about the few concerns that you mentioned, please let me explain our side of the story.
1. Price: Yes, we do agree that it was a bit pricey for solo traveler but as we all know, the cost for a guide and vehicle is the same for 1-3 people per group.
2. Food: I understand that you were not satisfied with the lunch. However, that day was a public holiday (Chinese dragon festival). All the restaurants in our list were fully booked so, the one we chose was in the tea village where they provided you with green tea after your meal. I guess the food and the location (the tea plantation) was too local for you. We will make sure that we will not take our customers to such places if it feels inconvenient to them.
3. Tour duration: The tour which was supposed to be 11 hours turned to 12 hours and we had to cancel the visit to the government tea house since the traffic was quite bad. If we hadn't cancelled that, we would have been stuck in Hangzhou overnight as we wouldn't be able to catch the train on time (all the tickets were sold out).
4. In regard to your concern about your email address being used to rate and review our company on TripAdvisor, I would like to say that we have not done anything of that sort. It is unethical and our company is very strict on those fronts. We do not use customers' email addresses to review our company.
We are deeply apologetic for all the inconvenience and we thank you for your response. It helps us understand how we can make our services better.”
“I completed the day tour of the Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, silk museum and Temple of Heaven tours that included Chinese lunch.
My Beijing tour guide Michael is excellent, funny and intelligent, I just felt like he gave me some real insight into history of Beijing.
My guide also got suggestions for the best spots for photographs. The lunch at a local restaurant by local people with very few tourists was great with bountiful quantities and delicious flavors.Highly recommended!”
“Highly recommend this two-day tour of Beijing. Our guide was very knowledgeable and spoke good English. All of the main highlights were covered, we never felt rushed but still got to experience a lot in 2 days. Highly recommend this tour.
From the beautiful mountain lakes of Tibet to the vast arid deserts of Inner Mongolia, from the fairy-tale islands surrounding Hong Kong to ancient forests, a trip to China always brings you closer to nature at its mesmerizing best. While its language barrier, undulating energy, humongous population and apparent lack of space, a journey to China often ends up feeling tiring and stressful, the simplest way to ensure that you enjoy this fascinating country for all of its beauty and millennia-old culture is to focus on specific areas and don’t try to add too many things into your itinerary. You will still have to jostle with millions of domestic and international tourists, but you will also be able to enjoy an intriguing and uplifting experience.
Wander the Summer Palace in Beijing
Explore incredible Buddhist art in the Mogao Caves
Cross part of the Great Wall of China
Walk through Beijing’s Forbidden City
Visit Qin Shi Huang’s Terracotta Army in Lintong District
Don’t go looking for the ‘Chinese’ food you’re accustomed to eating at home. Proper Chinese cuisine is mostly simple meat and cooked vegetables, and is very different from what you’ll find in Westernised Chinese restaurants.
The only currency you can use in China is the yuan (or RMB). Business will not accept Hong Kong dollars or US dollars. If you can’t exchange currencies before you travel, many large banks allow you to exchange money using their ATMs at a reasonable exchange rate.
Receive a compliment? Don’t say thank you - it’s a sign of vanity. Refuse them - it’s polite.
Many websites are blocked in China, including Google (Gmail) and Facebook. If you desperately need these tools to contact friends and family back home, seek advice from the locals. We Chat is one of the most popular messaging app.
Purchasing a Chinese sim card for your mobile phone is simple and cheap. Carriers even offer a service where you can call to request directions and they text you the address in Mandarin for easy communication with taxi drivers.
China has seasonal weather so please do check up on the best time to visit China before planning your tour. And if you’re still hunting for more things to do and places to explore in China, do check out our China Travel Guide for more information.