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.
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.
Great tour at an unbeatable price! I'm so glad we chose this option. It was our first time in China and this was a great introduction for us. It covered all the basics - Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Forbidden City. It was the perfect mix between the must-see "tourist" attractions and cultural immersion we would not have been able to do on our own. Great sights, friendly people and amazing country!
L M Y
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.
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"
I really enjoyed this tour. The sights Panda Exhibit at the Beijing Zoo, the Summer Palace, Lama Temple were extremely interesting and my guide, Tom, was very experienced, knowledgable, informative and helpful. I would not hesitate to recommend Great Sights Beijing or Viator or to take another tour with them in the future, as I was very pleased with this tour.
Loading more reviews