Wht-09-12-2008

 

Group Size: 
4 people
Tour Itinerary: 
26 days private China tour (tailor-made China tour)
Tour Highlights: 
Beijing - Xi'an - Lhasa - Shigatse - Lhasa - Chengdu - Emeishan - Chengdu - Chongqing Dazu - Yangtze River - Shanghai - Suzhou - Hangzhou
Tour Dates: 
09/12/2008 to 10/08/2008
Other Comments From Client: 

Hi Helen, following is a summary of our experiences in China, I hope it is helpful.

Beijing:
Qianyuan International Business Hotel
Very good hotel in an excellent location. Aprox 10 minutes walk to 2 subway stations and on a main road which has many local restaurants. Easy walk to the Lama Temple. Good rooms, very quiet & the upgrade to deluxe rooms highly recommended as they are very big and comfortable. Excellent breakfast selection.
Local guide was Vivienne who met us at the airport with good transport and returned us in good time for ongoing flight. Speaks good English and very helpful with hotel check in arrangements and flight check in.

Xi'an:
Bell Tower Hotel
Excellent location opposite the Bell Tower. Easy walk to many shops, restaurants and tourist sites such as the Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Muslim quarter/Great Mosque and the city wall. Very comfortable rooms and excellent breakfast selection. Free interent access if you have your own computer.
Local guide Mai met us at the airport, excellent English and very helpful arranging hotel check in. Also arranged driver and guide for Terracotta warriors tour and return to airport. Very helpful. Other local guide was Gerry who took us to the Terracotta warriors and also returned us to airport. Excellent guide, good knowledge and English, and very helpful with the check in procedures for flight to Lhasa.

Tibet:
Lhasa - Thangka Hotel.
Excellent location five minutes walk from Johkang Temple and Barkhor, 15 minutes walk to Potala Palace. Big and comfortable rooms, very helpful staff. Good breakfast, more Chinese than western, but still plenty to eat, no problem. Free interent with own computer, very cheap to use hotels computer in coffee shop.
Local guide Lackton was excellent. She speaks very good English and was well orgainsed and knowledgeable. Took us to local restaurants close to hotel where food was excellent, and also allowed us time to relax and explore on our own. Local guides are not permitted into the airport in Lhasa, it may be helpful to future travellers to tell them that their guide will meet them outside the terminal in the taxi park across the road. It was a little worrying at first not to see anyone meeting passengers until we realised where the guides were waiting.

Shigatse - Manasarova Hotel
Our rooms were in the old section of the hotel, and we had some problems. The shower water was not hot, only just warm at best. The toilet in one room was blocked and did not work, even when the hotel staff tried to fix it. The air conditioner in one room had no control device. The rooms however were clean and comfortable. The meals we had at this hotel were adequate but nothing special. We were very tired when arriving in Shigatse, after a long day of travel, so we probably were not feeling too positive about the hotel. It was Ok for our needs, but maybe the rooms in the new section of the hotel are preferred.

Chengdu:
Haiyatt Garden Hotel
Excellent hotel. You have seen the rooms yourself and know they are very big. Hotel is in a very good location, we were able to walk to the square in the centre of the city and the park with the lake and gardens. A lot of shops and restaurants nearby. We had several meals in a restaurant on the 7th floor of the hotel, where there are many to choose from. Staff were very helpful, and when we returned from Emei they upgraded one room to a suite. Free internet with own computer.
Helen met us at the airport!!! Fantastic to finally meet you!!
Local guide to Leshan and Emei was Joe. He was excellent. Speaks fluent English and took us to only local restaurants for meals and to a tea plantation which included a tea tasting ceremony. Good local knowledge and very helpful with advice about train travel and station procedures.

Emei:
Hong Zhu Shan Hotel. Excellent hotel. Huge rooms, delightful location and very comfortable.Excellent breakfast selection. Free interent with own computer. Five minute walk to hot springs which are fantastic! Spent several hours relaxing in springs. Would advise driver to stay on motorways travelling back from Emei, not use secondary roads as some are very poor standard and uncomfortable.

Chongqing:
Huangjia Grand Hotel. We only arrived here very late, so cannot comment on location. The hotel itself is probably a little old. The rooms are OK, but the bathrooms are very small. Breakfast was a limited selection, but again OK.
Not up to the same standard as others we used, but clean and comfortable.
Local guide Tina was not aware that our train arrival time had changed, so she had to make a second trip to the station late in the evening. Speaks good English and very good knowledge in Dazu, and arranged to visit other sites in Chongqing to use time waiting for the boat cruise.Very helpful with boarding river cruise. This is a very unusual procedure with special cable cars taking you down to the boat and the actual dock hard to find. Tina was extremely helpful with this. The meals we had here were very good, but at big western hotels. We would prefer local restaurants, but that is our choice.

River Cruise:
President 1. Very good cruise ship. Excellent food and cruise staff, good day tours. We were able to upgrade our cabins to slightly bigger on a higher deck, which was very nice. If the price difference is not too much, I would recommend it to other travellers. Internet on boat very costly.

Yichang:
Local guide Alan was fantastic! We had our flight to Shanghai cancelled due to bad weather, and he was able to keep us informed about what was happening and made sure that we were able to continue our travels with as little disruption as possible. Also, took us to an art gallery and a museum to use our time while waiting for confirmation of flight details.

Shanghai:
Riverside Bund Hotel. Very good hotel in excellent location only 15 minute walk from Bund and 5 minutes to Nanjing Road shopping precinct. We were able to get to the hotel easily from the airport using the Maglev and the subway. Very comfortable rooms and excellent breakfast selection. Not too many restaurnats near hotel, had to walk to the Bund area for dinner.

Hangzhou:
Dragon hotel. Very good location only 15 minutes walk to West Lake and parks/temples. 20 minutes taxi from railway station. Rooms quite large and comfortable. Good breakfast selection. Internet very cheap in business centre.

Suzhou:
Bamboo Grove Hotel. Very large complex with tennis courts, swimming pool and gymnasium. Large comfortable rooms and excellent restaurant with comprehensive buffet at very reasonable price for dinner. Excellent breakfast selection. 20 minutes taxi to station and to major tourist sites (Tiger Hill and Humble Administrators Garden).

Summary:
All hotels were clean and comfortable and in good locations. All guides were very helpful and spoke good English. All flights and train travel went as planned except when beyond control due to weather. Overall we were extremely pleased with our holiday and all the arrangements made by you and your colleagues. Thank you again for your help, I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company to others, and would be happy to provide reference to other customers if required. I hope this information is of some help to you, best regards, Don Perriman.