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-   -   Tour companies for China (https://www.fodors.com/community/asia/tour-companies-for-china-822262/)

annarb Jan 18th, 2010 07:29 AM

Tour companies for China
 
We are interested in taking a tour to China this summer? Does anyone have any recent experience with a good company? Is is unbearably hot in China in the summer?

thursdaysd Jan 18th, 2010 08:15 AM

If you do a search on this forum, you will find a number of posts explaining in great detail all the downsides of taking a tour in China, that "good company" is mostly an oxymoron in this context, and how easy it is to do it alone. Suggest doing some reading before you decide on a tour.

I found it decidedly hot in August around Beijing, but it was dry heat. China is a very big country, it won't be hot everywhere.

lxchiang Jan 18th, 2010 10:49 AM

If you must go to China during summer, in general early June is better than late June, July or August. Shanghai can be very hot, humid and in the rainy season (late June, and July).

twelveoaks Jan 18th, 2010 03:18 PM

Look at China Spree and/or China Focus. Both companies are based in the US and offer high quality tours with four star hotels, all meals and excellent quides. They are also about half of the cost of other better known companies. I ,as with others was suspicious of the quality as the prices were so low but we used China Spree in 2007 and were amazed. Go to frommers.com and you will find over 200 postings about China Spree and China Focus in their archives.

twelveoaks Jan 18th, 2010 03:21 PM

Hi me again,

One word about China during the summer is that the air pollution is generally very bad in Bejing, X'ian and Shanghai.

thursdaysd Jan 18th, 2010 03:58 PM

If you do the search mentioned above you will discover all the reasons why you should NOT use China Spree or China Focus.

PeterN_H Jan 18th, 2010 05:11 PM

> Look at China Spree and/or China Focus. Both companies are based in the US and offer high quality tours with four star hotels, all meals and excellent quides.

These are amongst the very last tour companies you should consider. China Focus is not 'based in the US' but it a mainland travel company pretending to be so, a ploy also used by many other companies.

> They are also about half of the cost of other better known companies. I ,as with others was suspicious of the quality as the prices were so low but we used China Spree in 2007 and were amazed.

But ought by now to be less amazed, having subsequently been informed of how companies at this level do make money, as well as the nature of true 'quality' in China travel.

> Go to frommers.com and you will find over 200 postings about China Spree and China Focus in their archives.

Many of them from company employees pretending to be disinterested travellers, a technique that of itself tells you these companies should be avoided.

An analysis of twelveoaks' observations on China Spree has been given before:

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...pree-tours.cfm

More general observations on China Spree, China Focus (identical problems), on various tour company drawbacks, and how to choose a tour company (if you must) here:

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...ritz-tours.cfm

Peter N-H

Jake_M Jan 18th, 2010 05:13 PM

I used Mongol Global Tour Company for my trip to China for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and they were outstanding. Will definitely use them again. Wow thursdaysd must be a pretty experience traveler because I think doing China on your own would be just plain crazy.

PeterN_H Jan 18th, 2010 06:00 PM

When it comes to using genuinely foreign-based tour companies the tours are often far less different from each other than the publicity might lead you to expect, since these companies simply hire the same local ground handlers as are serving many other companies. The key issue is to ask any tour operator under consideration the questions set out in the links given above.

> Wow thursdaysd must be a pretty experience traveler because I think doing China on your own would be just plain crazy.

In which case there are tens of thousands of crazy foreigners in China every year. While in no way wishing to suggest that thursdaysd lacks adventurous spirit, fully independent travel in China is utterly commonplace. And while some simply prefer the tour environment and that's that, those who do travel independently pay much less, do exactly as they please, and alter their itineraries according to who they meet and what they find that pleases them. Those who do take tours need to understand that many of the benefits they expect from choosing a tour do not come with booking China tours, and need to choose their tour companies with great care using criteria beyond those they usually use.

Peter N-H


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