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Our guide, Sharon, actually came earlier to start the tour as it was a holiday and traffic might be bad. took a ski lift up the Great Wall and toboggan down which was interesting as we never expected to see rides there. Sharon was very knowledgeable and made the trip easy. The day was extremely smoggy so views were not optimal especially at the Summer Palace, which was also very crowded. Would recommend skipping the Summer Palace unless you know its going to have perfectly clear weather.
Llamaschool United States of ...
Excellent tour, don't miss this one! Our guide was William Kuang, highly recommended. He got us to the Panda Garden slightly before 8:30, we practically had them to ourselves. We took a dragon boat up the waterway into the Summer Palace grounds as was the case with other Hanteng tours I took this week, our guide seemed to know the ticketing agents and we were moved to the front of the line for the boats embarrassing, but efficient. A good 2 hours spent @ the Summer Palace, we visited the temple and the living quarter. Lunch was fine, a place that caters to tour buses in the Olympic complex. There were two shopping stops, the pearls and the tea house these are unavoidable unless you hire a private guide--don't buy if you don't want to and you DO have room to bargain @ the pearl factory. Lama Palace was last, our guide is a practicing Buddhist and demonstrated the incense rituals and prayers, explaining everything. As we left, he noticed the monks were giving out fruit from the day's offering tables and shooed us all back in to receive them. Very good luck, evidently!
The private tour for my family of four was the way to go. Sally did a great job. My favorite part of our trip to China was our time at the Great Wall. I would have liked to have been there for the whole day. We walked as much as we could and it was not very crowded, so that was nice for photos. The toboggan ride down was fun too. We had a good lunch at a local restaurant. I have to eat gluten free and Sally did a good job of ordering so I could try everything. The Summer Palace was beautiful. It was nice to have a guide to share the meaning of everything. Pickup and drop off at our hotel made life easier.
Great tour and bang for your buck! You see all the most important sights of Beijing with a very informative guide. Would have liked a bit more time to see the Summer Palace and explore the parks around the Temple of Heaven.
Eva was only great. Wall and Summer Palace visits were highlights of our 2 weeks in China. Restaurant Eva selected for lunch was one of the best meals we had on our trip. Five stars all the way
Christina gave us a wonderful experience on the Great Wall and Summer Palace. Her English was excellent and her lively, outgoing personality was greatly appreciated. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with her and would highly recommend her to anyone! The sites we visited were fantastic!
Thanks for a memorable experience.
Excellent tour and guide and driver. We were able to arrange a train station pickup for one of our party and wait for a shower, for an extra cost which we were gladly willing to pay.
This part of the Wall is quite rugged and I would not recommend it for the weak. Lots of stairs even after the ski lift up to the wall. The toboggan ride down was a blast!!
There is an option of taking the ski lift down again or the gondola both ways.
Our guide gave us historical insight into the wall and the Summer palace. I could not imagine going to the Summer palace without a guide to explain the history and significance of the buildings we saw. It would not be the same.
I would highly recommend this tour for adventuresome people and this tour operator.
Our guide, Yelu, spoke fluent English, being an English major in university. She was happy to allow us to spend as much time as we liked at various places. Lots of pictures were taken.
It was nice to be able to phone the tour operator prior to the day to arrange for the train pickup and ask questions. Viator sent the contact information in order to do that.
A great way to see the most important sites in Beijing in one day! We started nice and early so we beat the crowds to Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City. Our guide was very knowledgeable and was able to answer all our questions about the locations we visited, Beijing and Chinese culture. I was not too fond of the visits to the silk factory and pearl shop as they felt like tourist traps. The Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace were also fantastic and we were lucky enough to have great weather the day of the visit. Since it was before peak tourist season there were only 4 of us on the tour. Overall a lovely day in Beijing- I especially recommend it if you are short on time and want to get the most out of your time in the city.
Very well organised trip with knowledgeable and polite guide. Pick up and drop off at the hotel. We have been on several tours in Beijing and this is one worth going on. There is an optional boat ride in the Summer Palace that we took as well at nominal extra charge.
We saw the major sights in Beijing. It was a busy day...but worthwhile. We saw 4 weddings at The Temple of Heaven while we were there. Loved the Summer Palace and our trip over the lake in a dragon boat. Great day trip.
Great tour. Cynthia our guide was excellent. Only 4 of us in the group. Had a great day. Summer palace is a must see in Beijing
Tour 3 of 4 in Beijing and what a way to start than waking up early and getting to the Panda Garden while the Pandas are still awake and eating, our guide Li got us there just after opening and they were quite active it was a beautiful sight and as the only 2 people on the tour for the second day running we had the guides full attention.
I have reviewed all my tours in Beijing please see my review on Badaling Great wall in relation to the "full day" and side stops on the tours.
Then it was on to the summer palace which is an absolutely stunning place and although on the tour you don't get to go up to the actual palace, just in the grounds you still get to see the amazing scenery, the marble boat and you get to ride across the lake on a dragon boat for a very small extra charge.
Then another lovely lunch after a tour of a pearl factory my wife spent some small change on a bracelet and that was all we wanted and no pressure from anyone to buy more, they respect no in China you just have to say it.
Then the Lama Temple, a highly religious place as expected and very interesting.
Another very lovely day in Beijing
I great way to visit the main must see attractions. The tour guide (Jackie) was friendly, helpful and funny. He shared curious stories in all sites making an effort to give more information than just the basic historic facts. I only wish we had more time to see the Summer Palace which is spectacular.
Amazing views at the Summer Palace, impressive architecture at the Lama Temple, and cute, cuddly panda bears made for a fantastic tour. Our guide, Cynthia, was very energetic and excited about giving us a glimpse into China's long history. We enjoyed every moment of the tour and the time that we got to spend with Cynthia!
In contrast to the tour to the Great Wall and Ming Tombs the day before this was a fantastic tour. As with the previous day my wife and I were the only ones on the tour. The tour was comfortably paced for us. Tiamanmen Square was busy due to being the Mid-Autumn Festival. It was unfortunate that it was raining as we walked through the Forbidden City, however our guide (Cherry - if that is her real name) took us along the right side away from the masses and slightly higher than the main throng of visitors. She regularly pointed out photo opportunities.
Getting back to the coach it was onto the Silk Factory. Although there was an opportunity to buy, there was no sign of any high pressure sales.
Onto the Heavenly Temple and the rain had stopped. Again our guide provided us with excellent information and provided us with time to have a look by ourselves. Before lunch it was on the Pearl Factory. Getting a theme here? Yes - we were shown how fresh water pearls are cultured and farmed, but it was followed by a purchase opportunity, but as with the Silk Factory no high pressure sales techniques used.
Lunch was at a restaurant as was good quality and quantity. And onto the Summer Palace. By now the sun had come out. The Summer Palace was busy, again because of the Mid-Autumn Festival. We walked to the Marble Ship, before coming back on the Dragon Boat (you will have to pay extra, but well worth it).
Would I recommend it - most definitely. We were not subject to high sales pressure at the Silk or Pearl Factories. Cherry was a great guide.
Our guide 'Jackie Lee' was the highlight of the day. We are still talking about him! This is a great tour. The Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven are very interesting and the Summer Palace is beautiful. I wish these tours avoided local businesses like the pearl factory though.
Jason was excellent and knowledgeable guide. Summer Palace was beautifully cool. One small observation - would have enjoyed slightly more time here and less time in government pearl, tea and chinese medicine estblishments.
Excellent full-day tour which covered the main sights in Beijing. Knowledgeable guide who genuinely enjoyed role and culture of the attractions. Although Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City could be reached easily alone, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven more difficult to locate so this tour was invaluable. As with Great Wall tour, visit to 'tourist trap' shopping sites annoying but likely to subsidise the price.
Great day tour. The guide Jason was fantastic with lots of great information and keen to answer any questions. Along with the Zoo, Summer Palace and Lama Temple we also went to a pearl shop which had a lot a beautiful items for sale at a reasonable price, and also to the silk factory. We weren't rushed at any time. Jason also assisted in engaging the locals, eg where artists were practicing dishu at the Summer Palace. Pick up and drop off times were as agreed. Lunch was at a local restaurant and there was plenty to eat.
Marian P United Kingdom
Jason was a wonderful guide. His English was fantastic and his attention to detail terrific. The weather in the morning was very wet but this did not spoil the tour at all. The visit to the Panda Garden was great; we saw a variety of ages of panda enjoying their bamboo breakfast! Off then to the Summer Palace where Jason was encyclopedic about the place, the history and the people - first class! Lunch was OK The Lama Temple was spectacular and an experience I will always remember. The booked itinerary did not mention the tea tasting but this was fun and its addition did not make me feel I had missed time elsewhere. I would thoroughly and warmly recommend Jason as a guide and this tour, too. I have booked tours through the company before in other cities and Viator have lived up to their usual high standards. Many thanks
Our tour picked us up at the hotel on time. It was just the two of us and one other woman on the tour. Our guide was full of information and talked almost non-stop. This was an extremely fast-paced tour. I would recommend this tour to people who only have a short time in Beijing because it crams a lot into on day. We first went to the Summer Palace and although we spent about 1.5 hours there, we only saw a fraction of it. You could easily spend an entire day there. The next stop was the Pearl Market where the showed us how pearls are made and opened an oyster. We were brought up to the next level where they wanted us to buy pearls. Afterwards, we were taken to the Temple of Heaven and spent about 45 minutes there. From there we went to lunch at a buffet. The food was not great. All of the dishes were vaguely labelled 'pork', 'chicken' and 'vegetable'. After lunch we were taken to the Silk Market. Another shopping experience where they showed you how silk is made. They let my boyfriend open up one of the cocoons, stretch the silk and help make a layer of a quilt. It was a fun experience and we did end up splurging on two silk quilts. After was Tiananmen Square. We only really saw it from across the street, but we were there long enough for photos. We went directly into the Forbidden City and again, we were there for over an hour, but only saw a small section of it. The guide walked very fast and we were exhausted by the end of the day. He was full of information and offered to take photos for us (which was the best part of being on such a small tour). There were a lot of people and panhandlers around the tourist attractions and having a mandarin speaking guide helped shoo them away faster. At the end of the tour, the guide offered to bring us to a cheap place for a foot massage. We were taken to a holistic medical school where we were given foot massages by students and the cost was whatever you tipped. Great tour even with the forced shopping stops.
L M Y New Zealand
I had a private tour for this trip and had a great day with tour guide Jacky Lee. Fantastic to see the young pandas playing and the Temple and Summer Palace are must-see spots.
awesome trip, however, we would have liked a bit longer at the summer palace, the tour finished at 1.30pm and started at 7.30pm so we had enough time to see the Summer Palace.
Steven E United Kingdom
went went to Beijing zoo first saw few pandas and 2 baby pandas so cute. summer palace was beautiful and Lama temple brilliant with largest buddha was amazing.
Perfect organisation. I was very lucky because I was the only person that had booked this tour for that day so I got the VIP treatment. Nice car, driver (David) and guide (Sheryl) all to myself.Sheryl was very knowledgeable and spoke very good English. She gave me the time I needed on all the sites. I never felt rushed which is often the case in these type of tours.Unfortunately it was very cold especially for the visit to the Summer Palace. I would like to see that one again when the gardens are green.Lunch was good but much too early for me (11 am) so I could not really eat much. The tour ends quite early in the afternoon which left me enough time to also go and visit the Temple of Heaven which is something I suggest they could add to this tour so that people with limited time can cover the main sights in 2 days. For my second day I booked "Great Wall, Forbidden City and Tiananmen square"
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