Overall, the trip was great. The longest stay in Chengdu was wonderful, the hotel, meals and all the activities. The pandas were especially a joy to see in a beautiful wooded park as well as the overnight trip to Emaishen mountain. The transfer to Chongqing was seamless and the ride on the fast train very comfortable. The river cruise was quite enjoyable, the accommodations very nice and the scenery excellent. The only problems were not allowing enough time to get our first flight out of Shanghai which we nearly missed. The other was the last overnight slow train from Yichang to Shanghai. Although we agreed to take a shared sleeper cabin, the space in the cabin was cramped and other passengers would frequently leave and arrive at various places. The bathrooms also were not as clean on this train, people were constantly smoking in the aisles which affected the air quality and the food service required knowing some Chinese to figure out what to order. I think travelers should be forewarned about the lack of comfort, privacy and condition of the toilets when one is taking such a long trip on one of these trains. Had we known this, we would have preferred to have flown back to Shanghai. I don't know whether the fast train would have been much better, but at least it would have taken only about half the time. Our liaison at this travel agency tours was otherwise excellent in making sure all our connections were made and that we were enjoying the trip.
Pandas, Emaishen mountain, the Sichuan opera, the old streets of Chongqing.
We would not take the slow train ever again unless for a short distance.
TRAVEL COMPANY COMMENTS:
Good day! How are you?
Thanks you for your detailed reviews on Zicasso.com. We appreciate your comments and suggestion on the trip.
Firstly, I will apologize for the problem on the airport transfer from Shanghai to Chengdu. We checked with the guide. As he is a new hand English-speaking guide(just for the easy task), he didn't make the right judgement on the timings when you requested to add the speed maglev train. It costs more time for he to meet with you again at the airport as the speed train is much faster than the vehicle. the guide should take the maglev train together with you to make sure everything is under control. However, he didn't do it. Although you finally board on the plane, we are still sorry for the situation which makes your feel uncomfortable.
We have urged our local operator in Shanghai to emphasis the problem and do more trainning on the new-hand guide even if it is just a easy work. On your case, the guide should explain the reason and concequence clearly to the guests before making any changes. We will definitely take measures to improve our service quality in the furture.
Secondly, for the overnight train from Yichang to Shanghai, it's the normal speed train. The facility and service is not so good. But the price is cheaper than the flights. I also send you the faster train before. But the train are the same level service and standard. I'm sorry for the misunderstanding. I thought that you initially mentioned(on the trip requests) to take the train back to Shanghai is for the sake of saving money. I should double check with you before the booking. In some cases, the travellers normally happy to take the ovenight train to save the tour cost. There is also the modern speed train with good service from Yichang to Shanghai which is supposed to arrive at Shanghai on the same day. But it is quite a tired trip as it costs around 9 hours on sitting (In my opinion, if the train ride is over 4 hours, it's better to get the sleeper seat). So I do not recommend the speed buleltin train to you.
I think the problem is a misunderstanding on the train service and standard in China (bulletin train, overnight train etc). If the guests expect the comfortable and decent trip, for long distance transporation, it is better to take flight other than overnight train in China. If the guests plan a budget trip in China, then the overnight train is a good way to save money on accommodation and flight. In the future, we will inform with any guests who book the train ride with the real situation to aviod the confusion.
Last not least, as you mentioned that you overally enjoyed the trip with us especially the trip in Chengdu-Leshan-Emeishan, we do hope you can leave the unpleasant things behind and keep the good memory of China. We are looking forward to your second China trip in the future.
Wish you all the best!
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