Official Guides

Mar 26th, 2012, 03:39 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 257
Official Guides

Getting close - flying out tomorrow!

I am seekiing advice on guides and drivers in the following cities. I have already been reading bios on Synotrip and The Beijinger and I have also spent some time reading the reports here.

I will usually need a car with driver as well as the guide for at least one full day, possibly more, in each of these cities. I don't want to pay a fortune, but I accept that I'll get what I pay for.

Shanghai
Suzhou
Beijing
Pingyao County (no guide, need a driver from Taiyuan Railway Station about mid-day via Jinci Temple, wait there and then continue to Pingyao).
Xi'An
Yangshuo

Advice of city-specific web-sites like The Beijinger would be much appreciated. Also, actual personal experiences, good or bad, would help a lot.

TIA, Alan
http://loraltravel.blogspot.com/
Trav_Eller is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 05:25 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,288
What do you want the guide to do? In general, in China, you're better off with a good guidebook. A car and driver is easy - just walk out of your hotel and negotiate with a taxi (not too close to the hotel if it's an expensive one). I did have a guide in Datong, and in Suzhou, arranged through CITS, and I knew as much as the Datong guide and more than the Suzhou one.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 05:33 PM
  #3  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,841
My experience was similar to thursdaysd's.
kja is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 08:42 PM
  #4  
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 257
I suppose what I really need most is an English speaking driver. My main requirement is transportaation and interpretation.

But my reading indicates that is hard to find.
Trav_Eller is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 09:01 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,288
Why do you need an English-speaking driver? Get your destination(s) written in Chinese by your hotel (although your guidebook should have that) and don't forget the hotel card. Most of the time you don't need a car for the whole day, take taxis. Cheap, plentiful, honest, no tips.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 11:15 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 427
The only place where I could see you needing a driver are in Beijing for the Great Wall and to go to Pingyao. You can find a Beijing driver in the Beijinger. For Pingyao, I suggest that you ask your hotel to send someone to pick you up while telling them that you will have a stop along the way so that they tell the driver.
JPDeM is offline  
Mar 27th, 2012, 04:52 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,288
And have a good trip!
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 27th, 2012, 05:10 PM
  #8  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,841
> The only place where I could see you needing a driver are in Beijing for the Great Wall and to go to Pingyao.

You can see the Great Wall by taking public transportation from Beijing.

You can visit Pingyao by taking a train from Taiyuan.

In Taiyuan, Jin Ci is along a bus line, or you can take a taxi.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
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