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sylvester Aug 3rd, 2005 12:21 PM

private guide: Xian, Beijing
I know that people have different opinions about using private guides in China, but my husband and I need one for Xian terra cotta warriors. Was quoted price of $138 US (about 1120 yuan) to cover both of us and ac car, and guide. Seems high; comments?

I also wanted to consider one in Beijing for Summer Palace or Forbidden City. But do both of those Beijing sites have audioguides we can rent (we usually like those)?

Thanks for comments.

Sargent Aug 3rd, 2005 01:24 PM

When we were in China three years ago and had a great guide for the Terracotta Warriors that we booked through the Hyatt there. I do not remember the price, but there is no organized tours that I remember of and it is hard to get to, so a guide is worth it. As for Beijing, we also had a guide there. There are no audio guides at any site you listed. Our guide was terrible and we booked her through the Grand Hyatt in Beijing, it really is just the luck of the draw. But if you book the guide yourself or if you have the hotel or a travel agent do it, be sure to tell them exactly the type of guide you want, ie: one who knows the history and can tell you a lot of information vs. one who can just get you past the long lines but can't do much else.

Patty Aug 3rd, 2005 03:49 PM

I stayed at the Hyatt Xian a few years ago and if I recall correctly, they could arrange a driver/guide/vehicle for RMB 500 per day to visit the terracotta warriors. It's probably gone up since then, but I doubt it's over 1000 RMB. Who did you receive the quote from? Perhaps you should email your hotel (unless that's the source of your quote).

Amy Aug 3rd, 2005 04:21 PM

There are audio guides at the Summer Palace and Forbidden City; they have little light-up routes and commentary at each site within the complexes. They worked fine for me! (July 2005 trip)

chchkiwi Aug 5th, 2005 05:56 PM

As we were entering the Summer Palace in Beijing a couple of weeks ago, my husband and I we were approached by a young lady who was a student at the nearby university. Her English was very good and she gave us an extremely informative two hour tour. I would certainly recommend a guided tour and this worked for us.

chchkiwi Aug 5th, 2005 05:58 PM

Forgot to mention that the abovementioned two hour tour cost us 70 yuan (about US$9.00).

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