My overall experience was less than what I expected. First of all, we had three different guides in Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai. The young lady guide in Beijing was very friendly and she gave us some options when we were dining. I thought that was nice and she was very friendly and the time management was better. The guide in Xi'an, she was kind of nice and had a lot of information and history but her belief was bit overwhelming, Daoism and immortality was the way.....etc. Science and religion was not the way ??? The guide in Shanghai was very knowledgeable as well but again his comments like "The democracy in US is not really working ?" I wasn't about to convince him of Democracy but I wasn't about to change my mind about Democracy either. We were there for tour and history.....
Also in Xi'an and Shanghai, the meal was disappointment, we didn't have any choices. We ate what was given to us. The time management was not as good as in Beijing either. We felt like we wasted some time in Xi'an and Shanghai. Having a lot of knowledge was nice but we definitely felt warmer and comfortable in Beijing with the young lady guide.
We did enjoy The Great Wall the most !!!
We did a side trip on our own in Hong Kong and it was nice on our own. We should have traveled to Macao.
I would definitely pay and choose our own meals and restaurants. The breakfast was fine but I would not eat the most of the meals that was included in the package. The show with dinner in Xi'an, the buffet was not what we expected. Only good food was the hand made noodle with soup where we had lunch next day at the same location and they closed at 2 pm so we had to go to airport early and hang around for 2 hours.
The Japanese dinner in Shanghai was one of the experience we like to forget. Greasy and salty fried rice, meat, and vegetable, not what we eat !
TRAVEL COMPANY COMMENTS:
Thanks for your review on Zicasso.com. It's unfortunate that you do not enjoy the trip as what youexpected.
First of all, we want to say sorry for the situation happened in the trip. For the guide service in Xi'an andShanghai, I think that you might misunderstand our guide job and comments on your questions. In Xi'an, our local guide is one of the best English-speaking guides there who has worked as the tour guide for over 14 years. This morning I checked with her about your comments on her. She didn't mean to change your belief or religion and "sell" her opinion to you. She just want to show the guests the original Chinese culture and Chinese's belief which are attractive to the guests who travel to the foreign country. In Shanghai, for the opinion on Democracy in US from the guide, I think he has the right to express his personal opinion after you asked him for the comments on the "Democracy in US". I think different persons have different opinions on the same thing. We will inform with our local operator and ask the guides avoid thepolitic issues in the trip in the future which might lead to the unpleasant conversation based on the cultural difference and belief. Hope you understand it.
Secondly, the food.
I'm sorry that you do not satisfy with it in Xi'an and Shanghai. Normally, the package tour includes the set meal at the designated restaurants by the local tourism committee if the travelers do not mention about the food requests when booked. If you have food requests, you should let us know ahead of time. Then we can make the arrangement accordingly ahead of time. When I contacted with you during the trip, you didn'tmention the problem with food as well. So I think you are okay with the food. In the future, we will give our guests more flexibility on the food choice and avoid the set meal on the designated tourist restaurants.
Thirdly, the time management.
In Xi'an, I checked with the local guide and was told that the itinerary has been adjusted based on your permission and requests. The site Former Residence of Family Gao had been moved to the first day tour in Xi'an. Hence the first day tour in Xi'an was a long time tour and second day tour in Xi'an(the day when you fly from Xi'an to Shanghai) was shorten than our schedule. Your guide said she double check with you whether you would like to visit some other interested site or not after you finished the lunch that day. And you said no. Then she made the arrangement on the airport transfer. The itinerary is totally based on our reasonable paced tour for international travelers. If you expect on a tour with fast-paced, you should inform it with us ahead of time when booked. In Shanghai, the guide said that he totally followed the itinerary and didn't shorten the visiting time on the sites.
Again thanks for your support and understanding. Hope you bring back the good memory of China in thetrip and leave the unpleasant things behind. We will do our best to control our food quality in the future as well as other service. We warmly welcome you to visit China in the future again.
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