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Are there any tours to China that don't include the forced shopping stops?

Are there any tours to China that don't include the forced shopping stops?

Jul 11th, 2005, 02:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 13
Are there any tours to China that don't include the forced shopping stops?

I would like to go on a 2 week organized tour to China and keep reading about all the forced shopping stops. This sounds very irritating when that time would be better spent sightseeing. Does anyone know of a tour that avoids this?
MLnLA is offline  
Jul 11th, 2005, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,926
hire your own guide and instruct them "no shopping stops"...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 11th, 2005, 08:01 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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I went on a three week China tour last fall with my university alumni association. We had three guides. The University appointed American guide, the general Chinese guide that went everywhere with us and the local guide in every city/town we visited.

There was close to a mutiny one day on the bus when we went to another forced shopping trip in Xi'an. We complained, but the general Chinese guide explained that the local guide could lose his/her job if they didn't make the bus stop at the various shopping venues.

That being said, they weren't all bad shops. I bought some gorgeous things. In Xi'an I bought tiles that are incomparable to anything I have ever seen in the US. The guys were less enthusiastic ;-)

I agree the only way to avoid this altogether is to get your own guide and get the rules clear upfront. Alternatively you can set rules as to time spent in each shop which we ended up doing. The guides apparently have no choice and you are in their country.
BostonHarbor is offline  
Jul 11th, 2005, 08:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,638
China is easy to see by yourself. Buy a good guidebook and do it independently. Why would any tourist put up with this kind of garbage?
Lyndie is offline  
Jul 11th, 2005, 08:38 PM
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I agree with Lyndie. I thought China would be hard to navigate which is why we went with a group. I was astounded at how incredibly easy it is to get around China independently. I would never go with a group again.
BostonHarbor is offline  
Jul 11th, 2005, 09:15 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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I think this is unavoidable if you go on a tour.
BigJim is offline  
Jul 12th, 2005, 06:31 PM
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Intrepid Travel has a pretty strong commitment to avoiding this kind of thing.www.intrepidtravel.com
massagediva is offline  
Jul 13th, 2005, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,937
When our group in Xian stopped at one more shopping stop ( a "rock factory"....a rug factory), we simply told the guide we were going back to the hotel and got a cab. Most of the group loved the shopping stops. We didn't, so used that time to do our own thing. China is the only trip we have ever done with a group and except for the shopping, the tour was well done. I doubt that we could have done as much in our time if we had traveled independently. But, no more group tours for us.
Elainee is offline  

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