Tour companies in China

Old Jun 20th, 2019, 08:46 PM
  #1  
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Tour companies in China

We are a group of friends putting together a private trip to China as part of attending a wedding. To make it easier we're planning on using a tour group with customization. The companies we are getting proposals from are Odyssey Tours, China Tours, and Access Asia. Has anyone used any of these and if so what was your experience? One of the companies is significantly cheaper than the other and we're flying blind. Thank you.
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Old Jun 21st, 2019, 09:39 AM
  #2  
 
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Advice on the many problems with tour companies has been given so often here, I'll just direct you to this summary:

Tours

Use a tour company if you must, but ask the important questions given, be aware of the drawbacks, and go in with your eyes open and your wallet firmly shut.
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Old Jun 21st, 2019, 09:51 AM
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Also check with China Advocates in San Francisco. Excellent, high level of guides in all areas of China.
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Old Jun 21st, 2019, 04:29 PM
  #4  
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Thank you. Iíll read these. This is the first time I thought about using such a company.
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Old Jun 21st, 2019, 04:35 PM
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Some have a lot of reviews on TripAdvisor, some I never heard of before. So check there.
One doesn't need a tour to visit China but I can see the benefit if you are a group. You can certainly have a private tour customized to your interests. Make sure and demand that there should be no shopping stops or factory tours.
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Old Jun 21st, 2019, 05:19 PM
  #6  
kja
 
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Do keep in mind that travel to China is relatively easy to manage and plan on one's own.
And definitely pay close and careful attention to the cautionary notes and guidance if using a tour!
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Old Jun 21st, 2019, 09:31 PM
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Or perhaps do what we did, which was to get a driver that took us where WE wanted to go, and who kept his mouth shut. No propaganda came out of his mouth, and we did not visit any gift shops. And yes, as kja said, it was all very easy to plan. I hired the drivers from our hotels, and they helped me plan the itineraries in advance. We flew from city to city, and had the drivers meet us.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 05:56 AM
  #8  
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Thanks everyone. This is such a helpful forum. China Odyssey gets hundreds of excellent reviews and we chose all the hotels, number of days in each city, etc. They get very high marks for flexibility and quality of their guides. With so many people involved this was easier. I've only done one organized tour as part of a trip to Viet Nam so I was hesitant but I think we're OK.
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Old Aug 7th, 2019, 04:01 PM
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I am looking for Shanghai tour operators
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Old Aug 8th, 2019, 11:01 AM
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We had an excellent experience with China Advocates in every aspect. Everything was a high level of quality.
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Old Aug 8th, 2019, 07:01 PM
  #11  
kja
 
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@ emilyquirq: If you are willing to do so, travel to / in Shanghai is something you can easily plan on your own.
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Old Aug 9th, 2019, 12:32 PM
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I second kja's comments about not needing a guide in Shanghai. We stayed at the Marriott there, and they arranged drivers for us for out of town trips. While in the city, we either walked or took a taxi.
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Old Sep 12th, 2019, 02:42 PM
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It may be worth mentioning that if you choose to organise cars and drivers through your hotel you will pay an arm, a leg, and half a torso more then is necessary. It is far more economical (as much as a third of the price) to organise a taxi yourself. You may still choose to use the hotel, but be aware what convenience costs you.
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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 08:51 AM
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I searched on google and got in here.

My partner and I ever traveled to Tibet via Easy Tibet Travel that really helped us by offering a cost-efficient tour, although getting the Tibet travel permit did seem a bit problematic.

We're planning to travel in India or Nepal this fall.
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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 08:54 AM
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Your post of shopping stops really gives an alert. I was ever forced to shop, very uncomfortable experience.
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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 09:02 AM
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We have traveled to China three times, different regions, with a small group led by a professor from our college. The best company, hands down, who did the behind the scenes arrangements, was China Advocates out of San Francisco. Their network of guides in China was of a very high quality as were their lodging options, all Chinese hotels, which we we enjoyed. No shopping stops!
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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 02:17 PM
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And now absorbed into another company, or operating under a different name, so impossible to assess. None of the links to tours work, no testimonials since early 2018, and no Facebook postings since 2016. Operating honest tours (if that's what these were, and no Chinese ground handler was used to book accommodation or meals) will usually make them very much pricier than all the companies offering pell-mell itineraries for a seemingly impossible low price, but who line their pockets at your expense in so many other ways.
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Old Sep 17th, 2019, 04:47 PM
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Just exactly what information can we believe when it is coming out of china? Hardly any i'd say.
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Old Oct 30th, 2019, 11:32 AM
  #19  
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In June I posted a question about tour companies in China. We just came back. We used Odyssey Tours which is also Odynovo Tours. It was perfect in every way. It's based in China and was about half the price of the American company. It's fully customizable and the guides were wonderful. Lunch was included each day and all were delicious. Don't hesitate to use them. And China was a great destination.
.
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Old Nov 17th, 2019, 02:52 PM
  #20  
 
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Just my two cents on tour guides in Asia in general. It's hard to find English speaking people that anyone who speaks English good enough to be a tour guide can land much better and more prestigious job. It is not like Europe where many people speak more than one language. Often English is their second language or third.
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