Don’t skimp on a tour company. This was my 3rd trip to Beijing and the best yet. Our guides were fluent in English, accommodating, informative, curious and enjoyed sharing their slice of China. Our guide in Tibet said she liked small private tours because it makes her feel like she is traveling with family. We definitely felt well cared for and welcomed. Accommodations were mostly 4* and the breakfasts were very good. Limited ‘western’ options but very good if you enjoy Chinese breakfast items. Most lunches were in local restaurants and the guides helped us select varied entrees. Dining experiences were true to the distinct regions. We miss the food, already. Besides finding good guides, our tour company did a very good job to pace our trip. Our trip included the popular highlights and several less frequented sites. I felt like our experience was broader and deeper than a big-bus tour yet very efficient and easy.
Loved the Pandas in Chengdu and the Yaks in Tibet. All the sites were amazing. Excursions to HuaShan and Pudacuo National Park let us appreciate the natural environment. Seeing the local people in their devotional practices and monks debating and the rural ‘villages’ of 100,000 people, expands our perspective of normal..
If I were to do it again, we would extend the Lhasa visit to include Mt. Everest base camp. After traveling to Shigatze, it isn’t much further and you can’t see Everest otherwise.
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