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Anyone used Tours China (www.tourschina.com)?

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Aug 3rd, 2016, 02:19 PM
  #1
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Anyone used Tours China (www.tourschina.com)?

We're looking at taking an Asia trip in October and Tour China (www.tourschina.com) has a package that the people in our small group like...Have you had any experience with them?

Thanks so much in advance for your help.
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Aug 3rd, 2016, 07:38 PM
  #2
kja
 
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I can't speak specifically to the tour you mention, but I can say that in general, tours to China are a notoriously poor option --
... and not just because hotels are generally poorly located and substandard,
... and not just because the meals are generally substandard and unrepresentative of delicious local cuisines,
... and not just because you are likely to face lots of "shopping opportunities" that eat your time and offer only lousy options,
... but perhaps most importantly because censorship has meant that tour guides in China simply cannot provide you with full or accurate information about what you will see because they are not privy to information that you can get on your own through a few good guide books and a bit of advance research. Even the best guide has no access to key information about the history or cultural context surrounding some of the places you will visit! There are lots of threads here on Fodor's about these issues -- do take some time to peruse them before you commit.

But: You do not need to join a tour to visit China! I'm one of many people who have traveled there independently, and I did so as a solo female (and I am not the only woman to have traveled there solo.) So another recommendation: before you commit, check my trip report, or that of any of the MANY other Fodorites who have had wonderful experiences traveling around China on their own. My report is from 2010; note that if anything, independent travel has gotten EASIER in China since then. (As a specific and important example: You can now book trains in advance and from outside China, something you could NOT do when I visited.)

Hope that helps!
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Aug 4th, 2016, 05:15 AM
  #3
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Thank you!
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Aug 17th, 2016, 04:56 PM
  #4
 
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Hi kja, I had signed up for a tour of China with Gate 1 and it just got cancelled. I am looking for whatever information you have about planning a trip to China. My husband and I plan on bringing 3 teenagers with us and have about 12 days (we go in November). Could you link me to your report on China from 2010 please?
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Aug 17th, 2016, 06:43 PM
  #5
kja
 
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@ monktonmom: I'm sure the cancellation is disorienting, but it could turn out to be a blessing in disguise!

Here's my trip report:
http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...na-amazing.cfm
(For future reference, you should be able to click on my screen name to find it -- trip reports are in the lower part of one's "profile" page -- the page to which that click will take you.)

Before reading, you might want to note that I ventured off the usual Western trail through China, and I was often outside my comfort zone -- but as you'll see, I managed and I had a truly wonderful (and liberating) time! The "usual" stops for Westerners on a 12 day trip would be places like Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and honestly, Beijing and Xi'an were not hard places to enjoy. (I didn't make it to Shanghai or Hong Kong.) Also note that some important things have changed since I was there, most notably, you can now book trains in advance from anywhere (even your desk).

A few other tips: Get yourselves a couple of good guidebooks, be sure you always have hotel and destination names in both English (so you can read it) and Chinese characters (so others can read it), and if you can, learn at least a few basics (like thank you and hello).

Hope this helps!
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Sep 9th, 2016, 12:16 PM
  #6
 
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thank you! I am checking that out right now. I appreciate your help!
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Sep 9th, 2016, 04:46 PM
  #7
kja
 
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@ monktonmom: Feel free to post questions on the thread with the trip report, and to start your own thread when you've got some plans you want us to consider.
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