china tours for 2010

May 20th, 2009, 05:38 PM
  #1  
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china tours for 2010

okay i am going on a great cruise in aug on oceania doing europe , egypt and israel and turkey. so now i want to start planning my 2010 vacation, i would like to visit china, my partner is scared of doing it on our own, he always thinks he going to get sold into a sex slavery thing(maybe he is hoping) so he like tours , me i am kind of adventourous. so what would be some of the best tour companies to go with without breaking the bank, please if you work for one of these companies dont respond. thanks for your imput.
mikael
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May 20th, 2009, 06:15 PM
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Check out some of the budget, adventurous style tours from places like Intrepid Travel, GAP Adventures, Imaginative Traveller, Peregrine, etc. Inexpensive, very small groups, lots of adventurous aspects to many of their itineraries.
NoFlyZone is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 06:38 PM
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Searching Yahoo on "China Tours" "China Tour packages" or "Best China Travel Deals" yields more than one million results.
Cat12345 is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 06:48 PM
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showed him these sites , to raw for him, i guess a traditional tour company would have to do if anyone has any recommendations
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May 20th, 2009, 06:50 PM
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cat that is the easy part, knowing which tour company is the problem
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May 20th, 2009, 07:09 PM
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There's been a lot of discussion on this in the past, which a little use of the search box (above) will reveal.

But there are three general points to be made:

1. If you usually prefer to travel independently there is no reason to tackle China any other way, as vast numbers of other people do each year.

2. Organised tourism in China is a morass of deception and cupidity, designed to fleece you at every turn, and every booking with familiar brand-name tour companies is no guarantee that you'll escape unscathed, since all but a tiny number simply buy services from the same very limited number of Chinese ground handlers, and are either as deceitful and avaricious as they are, or are equally deceived by them.

3. With the possible exception of the international air element, there is no part of an organised tour that you cannot arrange more cheaply for yourself, and that's before all the kick-backs on shopping, etc., are added in.

If you do still prefer to take a tour, then there are key questions you should be putting to the operator before you decide. See this thread for a lively discussion of this topic:

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...--reliable.cfm

Peter N-H
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May 20th, 2009, 07:25 PM
  #7  
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peter thanks for info will be looking into this
becazican is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 08:07 PM
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peter i have read the thread from above. oh they can really be something else, i for one enjoy and will take your advice . my partner will just have to deal with it. do you still have a newsletter out, that was mentioned in that thread.would like some more advice on doing china on my own, can you recommend any websites.thank you for taking the time.
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May 21st, 2009, 08:14 AM
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I recommend buying a reliable guide book or two, having a good read, then posting follow-up queries here.

I don't have a newsletter, so I'm not sure where that's come from. I do moderate an Internet mailing-list for the discussion of travel in China which has been running for a little over 13 years and which may be of interest, but which is for queries a little more advanced than those that can be easily answered by looking in books or on-line. Google "The Oriental-List" for more details.
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May 21st, 2009, 04:27 PM
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We have just booked a river cruise for China with Viking River Cruise in 2010 2 for 1 sale going on. Since I've never been, this seemed very interesting to me. DH and I will arrive a day or 2 before the tour starts to be a bit more refreshed and on our own somewhat.
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May 21st, 2009, 04:52 PM
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And still overpriced at that rate. Have a look at this thread:

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...r-358030-2.cfm

and in particular view the trailer and rent (or go and see in the cinema as it's now on general release) the film mentioned.

Also this one:

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...ood-choice.cfm

Peter
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May 21st, 2009, 04:58 PM
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Unfortunately much of what Peter N_H says is true but that does not mean that you cannot/will not enjoy an organized tour to China. China is not as easy to do independantly as is Europe. A good tour company will save you much time and possible aggravation and, possibly, some money.
Most, if not all tour companies will take you shopping and, in some instances, you might even enjoy that. Just be aware of the fact that the Guides and probably Tour Director have a vested interest in your buying as much as possible.
My wife and I are "independant" travelers but I must admit that when we visited China in 2006, it was with an organized/escorted tour. We were part of a group of 16 wonderful and interesting people, most of whom usually travelled independantly. As part of the tour we spent 3 days in Tibet, something we might not have done without a tour. For the most part we felt that the Tour was exceptional and well worthwhile.
Do your research. Not all tour companies are alike. For what it is worth we used China Plus. They limit their groups to 20 people, stay at 4-5 star hotels and generally run a good show. They did, however, take us on too many shopping visits. They also encourage tipping of all guides, drives and the Tour Director.
Use your best judgment and have a great trip, whatever route you choose.
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May 21st, 2009, 05:09 PM
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sorry pete is guess i was talkng about the internet mailing list and questions that independent travellers like yourself may answer. i will order that book tonite. i was looking at viking tour for aug 2010 but they wanted me to pay in full by the 30 of this month for a trip a year and 3 months off, i thought no way.
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May 21st, 2009, 05:15 PM
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Wow, China Yangtze cruise ship fares are like airline fares these days, with fares F,P,J,C,Y,M,B,Q,H,V,L..... and buy one get one free.
Viking River Cruise is still on top of the line though.
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May 21st, 2009, 05:15 PM
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i meant to say i will order some books tonite. I spoke to my brother who lives in thailand part of the year and has been to china many times. I didnt know why i didnt bother to ask him questions but he tod me to do it on my own, that knowing me i would have alot more fun.
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May 21st, 2009, 06:02 PM
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> China is not as easy to do independantly as is Europe. A good tour company will save you much time and possible aggravation and, possibly, some money.

Clearly there are some who only wish to travel with tours, and when considering China companies should examine very carefully indeed what's on offer, making the enquiries indicated in the threads for which links were given above. But only those who haven't travelled independently (and especially those who after the event realise they might just as well have done so) will claim that money might be saved. Those who travel independently in China, taking the advice widely available here and in an assortment of guide books, will spend much less, eat much better, and, if they bring reading materials from home rather than listening to tour guides, be much better informed, than those on all but the rarest of tours. A Chinese travel company such China Plus that insists on multiple shopping stops and on tipping is brazenly dishonest, and should be given a wide berth.

For those genuinely comparing independent travel in China with fully escorted tourism the saving on time is the only argument worth addressing. But even then the time wasted on unwanted shopping stops and factory tours (shopping again), needs to be considered, as well as the tendency of the cheaper end of organised tourism in particular to locate you outside city centres yet bus you to a different hotel for a meal (and demonstration of something or other you should buy). All aspects of the itinerary are driven by which sight, hotel, and restaurant offer the most kick-backs, and time wasted on travel is not taken into account.

There are a very few foreign-run tour companies that fully understand what is going on, provide foreign tour managers who stick with you all the way, having the offensive tipping nonsense reduced to little or nothing at all, and keep shopping stops to as near none as they can (and then advise you quietly not to shop). These are the ones that need to be carefully sought out.

It may be more difficult to travel independently in China than in Europe (although one might reasonably ask 'Which bit?') but not significantly so, and many thousands of independent travellers to China demonstrate each year. Anyone who can do Paris without a word of French can certainly do Beijing without a word of Mandarin.

And it should be remembered that in between fully escorted and fully independent travel there are other levels: using ticket agents to run around and get your tickets for you, taking the odd one-day tour, and so on, which reduce admin time on the road to very little, yet leave independent travellers completely free to enjoy to the full whatever pleases them, and to stay as long as they choose, without heeding that call to return to the bus.

No one who usually travels independently should be considering an organised tour in China. Those who prefer organised tours should shop around with maximum scepticism, listen to very little their guides tell them, and sit out the shopping stops without shopping.

Peter N-H
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May 22nd, 2009, 09:07 AM
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You might look at itineraries on www.imaginative-traveller.com. We used them for the only "guided" tour we have ever been on. We usually travel independently but we had a great experience with their Japan trip. Mostly they organize the logistics such as lodging and transportation in small local places, you have an escort, but the sightseeing and dining is usually on your own. We liked the other members in the small group well enough that we often went about or ate with them anyway. We are a 40 something couple but it was a great way to share an experience with others. Our escort was from Australia and before Japan she had conducted many of their China trips. They have some interesting ones.
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