Guides in China

Old Feb 24th, 2001, 04:29 PM
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Guides in China

Has anyone had any experience with taking a tour with a private guided tour in China? Thinking of taking such a tour and meeting up with friends in Beijing for the tour. We will have taxi transport and private guides for the duration of the trip. Guides will meet us in each city and take us on the tours/ro hotel etc. Any thoughts?
Also, how is it to travel independently in Japan for a 2 city tour of Tokyo and Kyoto?
Old Feb 24th, 2001, 05:05 PM
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I took a private guided tour for one day with my mom in BJ, to the Great Wall, Forbidden City, etc. We had a very good experience - FAR better than being with a busload of other tourists, but with explanations and help w. tickets & so on when we needed it. We only had the tour guide for one day, and then did 2 days on our own, which is how I preferred it.

Haven't been to Japan, but my husband has, and he says as long as you have a good guide book and rely on your hotel concierge to write a few things down for you, you'll do fine on your own.

Goot luck!
Old Feb 24th, 2001, 05:31 PM
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Thanks Andrea! Just a little uneasy about being on our own and not knowing the language. It is a private guided tour for most days to all of the highlights in 4 cities. I agree with you response on the bus tour option. Sounds like a great way to go by your report.
Old Feb 27th, 2001, 01:45 AM
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My name is clarence guo,a taxi driver and tour guide in
xi'an----the home town of terra-cotta warriors,i offer you a special tour to terra-cotta museum,banpo site,and cave dwelling village where you'll find some family still live in the cave houses which built hundreds of years ago,meet local farmers and kids there.
pls check:
the story about my tour.
pls visit my web site
Do you like my special tour?

Do you need help in xi'an?
Old Mar 20th, 2002, 07:24 PM
John Owen
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I have visited many cities in China, including Beijing, Zhengzhou, Nanjing, Xian, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Yichang, Wuhan, and Chongqing. By far, the best tour in any city was that provided by Clarence Guo.

Clarence offered a day tour that not only took us to the main attractions in Xian (the City Wall, Banpo Museum, and terra-cotta warriors, but he also took us off the beaten path for a look at cave homes--still occupied by local residents. Our planned one-day tour with Clarence turned into a two day tour, as we hired him for our second day also.

While driving in the countryside looking at some abandoned cave homes, we were driving down a small dirt road and heard music from the distance. We asked Clarence to find the source and were pleased to find a group of local musicians standing in a field practising their music. We asked to take pictures and were pleased with the response of the locals, as they even allowed me to play one of the large drums and take a picture--talk about a "Kodak Moment!" These local people then explained (through Clarence's interpretation) that they were practising for a small community festival that was planned the next day. The locals invited us to return and come and see them play the next day.

Well, to make a long story short, we hired Clarence again for the next day and he took us to the festival. This was the highlight of our trip. The people from the local countryside had gathered on the side of the hill for the festival. They had erected a few tarps making a make-shift stage. When we arrived local performers were in full make up performing a Chinese Opera. This was much better than any "staged" production, because it was not staged for the benefit of tourists--it was a real slice of Chinese life. We ate local fried bread, and barley noodles--that a man was making behind the stage with a large noodle-making contraption.

Clarence also arranged for us to visit a cave home that was occupied and we visited with the resident there.

In sum, the tour with Clarence was great and the price was very reasonable. Clarence not only will take you to the main attractions in Xian, but he will tailor a tour of Xian to your interests. For instance, this year I am going back to Xian with five friends and Clarence has arranged a tour of a school. One of the friends traveling with me is a school teacher and she wants to see what a school in China is like, where English is taught.
Clarence has even arranged this.

If anyone wants a tour in Xian, I would strongly recommend Clarence Guo--but beware, he's already booked for April 4th and 5th for me and my friends.

Hope this is helpful.

John Owen (Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.A.)

Old Mar 22nd, 2002, 11:37 AM
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My wife and I just returned from trip to Beijing, Yangtze River and Shanghai this week. My personality is more suited to making arrangments prior to trip. We used private guides in Beijing and Shanghai. We did not pay alot of money and really don't care if we were $10 or $20 high or low.

Beijing ~ used Tony Yan. Tony has a new Audi with very nice leather interior. His English is very good. He has an outgoing personality and we felt was a very good choice. He was very reliable. We went to Great Wall at Mutianyu, Hongqiao, Liulichang, Mao's mausoleum, Beihai Park, Li Family Restaurant, etc. We paid 800 yuan a day including automobile. He paid all tolls, parking fees, etc. We gave him a 100 yuan tip per day. We bought his lunch. He will ask a higher fee up front but will bargain. One of these was a 13 hour day. Tony's direct e-mail is: [email protected].

Shanghai ~ used Eric Zhang. His English is excellent (he lived in Australia 2 years). We also felt he was a very good choice. He was very reliable. We went to Bund, Peace Hotel, Yu Yuan Garden, old town, HuaBao Building, and Shanghai Museum. We paid $50 USD. We used taxis (which run about $1.50 per segment ~ cheap). We gave him a 100 yuan tip. We bought his lunch at Lu Bo Lang (in old town and highly suggest). Eric's direct e-mail is: [email protected].

We took about $100 in 2 dollar bills. They loved them. We also took miscellaneous American chocolate candy. They both have children and I think were very appreciative. We also took the new $1 coin. They did not know what they were and did not indicate they wanted like they did the $2 bills. Have a nice trip.

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