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Private tour Guides for Shanghai and Beijing?

Private tour Guides for Shanghai and Beijing?

May 28th, 2006, 09:04 AM
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Private tour Guides for Shanghai and Beijing?

Our first visit to China (although well travelled Internationally) and would like to have private tours in Bejing and Shanghai. Any one have recommendations of GOOD ENGLISH SPEAKING guides?
Vacationer1 is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 06:00 PM
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We had a good experience with our guide Jerry:[email protected] He took us to the Great Wall at Mutiyanu, the Ming tombs and the Sacred Way. We didn't need a guide for other places in Beijing or Shanghai. We took a cab and self-guided!
Marija is online now  
May 29th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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Author: eastwest
Date: 05/18/2006, 04:14 pm

I posted this recommendation a couple of weeks ago under a different heading, but I'll repeat some of it here. I have used each of these guides several time, and both speak excellent English.

In Beijing I have used Jane Yeo as a guide. Her website is http://janeyeotours.com/ or email her at [email protected]

In Shanghai I have used Chen Shen Shen. His site is http://shanghaitours.skene.org/index.htm and his email address is on that site.

Both guides are excellent, informed and altogether helpful. They can custom design a tour for things you particularly want to see and do, and their rates are reasonable. I have used their services as recently as this past March. If you would like more specific information, please email me at [email protected]

I find that a good private guide is well worth the cost. You don't waste time figuring out how to get from place to place, where to eat, where to shop, and you get a very educational, memorable day. If you have days to spare, then go ahead, take a bus or subway, walk, get thoroughly lost and have fun anyway. The people of China are its biggest asset.
eastwest is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 08:27 PM
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Thanks Eastwest. I did email the two people you mentioned but have not yet heard back. Also, do you remember how much the costis approx? My hotel is willing to set-it up but I don't know if that will be much more expensive.
Vacationer1 is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 05:12 AM
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Cost depends on what you want to see; I have found both Jane and Shen are very reasonable.

If you book a guide through your hotel, I promise it will be much more expensive.

Be patient waiting for an email reply; sometimes it takes two or three days to get a response. How soon is your trip? You can telephone the guides if necessary.
eastwest is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 11:59 AM
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I too am curious about the price of a guide (reasonable is a rather vague answer). Having just returned from my first trip to China with my Chinese wife, I can't imagine not using a guide or specifically an interpretor. There were so many times I thought how I would have missed so much without my wife knowing the local language. Let me be clear, if you just want to see the Bund, Nanjing Lu, Shanghai Museum, Yuyuan Gardens, etc, you will not need a guide or interpretor. However, if you want to understand the local customs, shop for clothes, silk, better souveniers, or try local restaurants (and acurately translate the menus as the Chinese translations are awful yet comical), etc, an interpretor will be invaluable! I have traveled to Europe over a dozen times and felt very comfortable doing everything myself. This is not true with China particularly if you decide to head out to the countryside, something I highly recommend.
pop is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 01:27 PM
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I find good guide service invaluable too. For either guide that I've recommended, the best way to estimate cost is to read guidebooks and explore the websites mentioned above.Then email the guide with an outline of what you want to see and how much time you want to spend. I always do something different, so what I've paid may be irrelevant to what you want to do. Both of these guides are flexible and willing to show you just what you want to see, even if it's out of the ordinary. They are very helpful on shopping quests and will help negotiate a fair price. They also know great places to eat and will do all the ordering if you'd like, and it's all part of the negotiated price.

Prices for some of Chen Shen Shen's tours of Shanghai are posted on his website; see the URL above in my original reply to Vacationer1. I consider those prices reasonable for the excellent services he provides. Shen is a real pro.

Jane is great too. Some friends recently booked a tour through another source for a day in Beijing. Their guide took them to the Great Wall and Tian'anmen Square and provided a restaurant lunch. For what these friends paid their guide, Jane would have charged a third. Yes, she's "reasonable," but you should check directly with her for your specified needs.

eastwest is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2006, 02:16 PM
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ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 25th, 2006, 09:13 PM
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me too.
aussiedreamer is offline  
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:44 PM
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Thanks, EastWest! Nothing more important to our enjoyment in travel is a good private guide. They make a major difference. Thanks for sharing.
Elainee is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 09:44 AM
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I wrote to Jane about a week ago and have not heard back...wonder what the "normal" response time would be....?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 28th, 2006, 09:33 AM
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ekscrunchy: I used Jane in Beijing a few weeks ago. You have to be persisent - send another email and/or call her cell. I had to write a couple of times to get a price quote; and even after that, I had to send several repeat emails to make sure everything was confirmed and that she was all set for our airport pick-up. It subsequently occurred to me that maybe she had not received all my emails from the US. She's very nice, dependable, and we were pleased with her services.
spring212 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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Spring, Thanks! I DID hear from Jane today; she sent suggestions for what seems like a standard Peking tour..

Day One..Airport pickup, visit to Forbidden City and T. Square, Temple of Heaven.

Day Two..Mutianyu Wall and possible shopping for bargains in a market, if you want..

Day Three..Summer Palace, Lama Temple and a hutong. Transfer to airport.

So now I suppose I need to to refine this to fit my time frame and needs. I was hoping to stay in the city about 5 days and use her for a few of these, both for side trips to the Wall and possibly Qing Tombs, and for a day or two of city sightseeing...I am glad to hear your recommendation as it gives me confidence to proceed with what seems like complicated planning..

Thanks for letting me know...would love tips from anyone on how to plan a couple of days with a guide...before striking out on my own...in Beijing..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 28th, 2006, 04:47 PM
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Maybe this is helpful. Here's the Beijing itinerary I set up for my parents (private tour for 2 people). I consider the price EXTREMELY high, but I wanted to be sure I had a guide that had been used by someone I knew because my father is hard of hearing. I did a similar tour and I don't have the details here with me but swear the price was much much lower. The bigger the group the lower the price, of course. Keep in mind that most people make about 1 USD/hour. My english-speaking personal driver and company receptionist each make 3100 RMB/month before tax (about US 390) and that's the rate established by a US Fortune 100 company! A colleague told me some college grads she knows make this amount for Chinese companies in Shanghai. I cannot recommend my parents' guide because I did not receive the particular one I scheduled so I don't trust them enough to recommend to others.

If you're price sensitive, you can add stops at "factories" (i.e. Silk, Pearl, Jade, Cloissone, etc) as the factories pay tour guides for getting tourists into their shops. You should see the prices there! Crazy! I specifically stated I didn't want any of these time-wasting stops but I'm sure they got a piece of the purchases at the Dirt Market visit.
Thu, 21st Sep: Xian - Beijing (D)
Xian - Beijing, MU2109, China Eastern, 1040-1220
You’ll be met by your guide at the airport.
After check-in the Beijing Grand Hotel, you have the tour of Tian'anMen Sq, Hutong's (the old alley of Beijing) rickshaw tour, a local family visiting, dumpling learning and making.

Fri, 22nd Sep: Beijing (L)
Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace then Dirt Market.

Sat, 23rd Sep: Beijing (L, D)
Great Wall at Mutianyu section. Peking Duck Dinner.

Sun, 24th Sep: Beijing-Chongqing
The tour of the Forbidden City then to the airport.

Cost is RMB1980/person * 2 = RMB 3,960. Pay cash to at end of trip to airport

Cost include:
Airport pick up and drop off.
Transportation service for sightseeing of Beijing.
Hutong's rickshaw tour and dumpling dinner.
Tickets for sightseeing in itinerary.
Two lunches,1 dumpling dinner,1 Peking Duck dinner,
Cable car for Great Wall.
Guide service.

They also went to some sort of martial arts show arranged by their hotel. Kung Fu, I think. They loved it. They went to a food street too, which I recommend for taking pictures.

My husband liked going to Mao's Tomb which is in Tian'anMen Square. The line looks long but it goes fast. It costs maybe 1 RMB (about 12 US cents) to enter. It's pretty interesting seeing people's reactions when they see Mao and when they buy flowers which they soon discover are plastic and recycled to the next line of tourists. You can't bring cameras nor bags with you though. We had our guide hold them but kept all money with us.

If you stay close to the square, I've heard that people like to see the flag raising and lowering ceremonies. I haven't seen it myself.
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