My tour was a private tour: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven in Beijing 5533CBJH. The tour was thorough and interesting. To walk through Tiananmen Square was to get an appreciation for the size of the square and the People's Hall. Next was the Forbidden City. My guide, Cris, was thorough in describing the history and life within these walls. We litteraly walked through history as we examined the architecture and through the various halls that were home to the history and maturing of the art of pottery. The grounds and buildings were beautiful. We next took an optional side trip to a silk manufacturer, which was interesting. I had time to review their shop - too many items to choose from! From there we went to a local restaurant. I don't know if it is policy, but since I was on my own, I ate lunch alone. I would recommend giving the client the option - I would have liked to carry on our conversations over lunch.
We finished the tour at the Temple of Heaven: a very expansive garden with historic temples and buildings, including Echo Hall, the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and the Round Temple. But the walk through the woods and the serenity of nature was a nice end of a long day. Cris, my tour guide, was genuinely kind, informative and easy to converse with. She answered my questions and helped me gain greater understanding about Chinese life, culture and history. I recommend this tour and I hope you can get Cris.
This was a good tour. Enjoyed the Peking duck!! The duck was excellent!! Temple of Heaven was impressive. The Kung Fu show as more of a story of one child and not that much fighting but still interesting. Overall -- a great experience.
Amazing! Our tour guide Jacky was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and his English was very easy to understand. The history of the forbidden city, temple of heaven and the summer place are something you should for sure see in Beijing.
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.
We had Robert as a tour guide today to the square, forbidden city, and temple of heaven. He was engaging and really a good teacher to my son for mandarin in addition of course to his extensive knowledge. We would highly recommend him to others.
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.
Tour 2 of 4 in Beijing and a more cultural and historical look at Beijing, We had Jackie Li for the second day running and on this tour my wife and I were the only 2 so a private tour which was lovely. I have already made reference to other peoples reviews relating to "full days" and side trips on tours in my review of the Badaling section of the great wall, I think that they both add to the tours and make them more comfortable. After our tour of Tiananmen Square and the forbidden city (Where our guide showed us where to get the best photos away from the crowds) then it was on to the silk factory where we bought some lovely gifts for our family, again no pressure to buy and if you say no they don't mind as I didn't buy things on every tour. However my wife had wanted to go to the silk market anyway, yes you can buy things cheaper elsewhere and we did that as well but the quality really was better in the silk factory so just decide whether you want cheap from the silk market or well made from the factory, there isn't a huge difference in price.
Then we stopped at the temple of heaven and the walk through the park and gardens was wonderful with local people meeting to dance, play or yoga in the park is really something special and shows a real sense of community in Beijing that is lovely. I realise I don't mention the sites themselves much but the speak for themselves.
Then off for lunch which was pleasant everyday although the first day at the jade factory was probably the best or at the enamel factory but all lunches on every tour were very nice and plenty of food.
Then back to the hotel by 2pm and off out for the afternoon.
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.
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.
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.
Wonderful tour. We saw so much on this tour and our guide Jason was great. Once again we were the only two on this tour which really made it special. We had lunch in the most beautiful gardens and Jason made a point of taking us down to the Echo Wall at the Temple of Heaven. It was further to walk and wasn't normally on the tour but he did it for us and yes, the Echo Wall really does work. This tour with Jason as your guide is a definite for Beijing.
I recently had some tours from some of your lovely guides around Beijing of the forbidden city, temple of heaven, Beijing opera and the night walking tour. The tour guides were wonderful; very knowledgeable of the areas, and fun people to spend time with. I was very impressed with their prompt and timely starts to the tours, which was especially important being in a new city as it was reassuring that I was meeting them in the correct place and there was no confusion. I have experienced poor timeliness in the past so I was really appreciative of the tour guides for this attribute. The tours were well structured, and very good value for money, and I was happy that I was neither rushed nor delayed with the time I spent at each location and with the guides. The mixture of private cars, local transportation, and planned meals was excellent and I feel that I had a well rounded and informative experience in Beijing learning about the history and culture of the intriguing city. I particularly appreciated the professional experience and coordination between the main office, the guides, the locations visited and the drivers. I have been very happy with the experience and I fully recommend that others use Viator for planning their own tours. In light of this I have copied into this email my friend Ester who would like to organise some tours for Beijing, and I hope you are able to organise some fun activities for her! She is particularly interested in going to the Great Wall of China. Thank you very much for the wonderful experiences which I will carry with me for a life time!
I went on the Beijing Private Tour on Thursday, 25 April 2013. The tour guide was excellent - friendly and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the gift and also allowing me to customize the tour to include the Temple of Heaven and Olympic Park. If I return to Beijing in the future I will be in touch to find out what other tours you have.
I wanted to tell you that our tour today was fantastic and incredible. My wife and I did the private tour. Our english speaking tour guide did an outstanding job. She provided us with great history and allowed us to move at a pace that made it possible for us to see many areas of the Forbidden City. We saw the beautiful porcelain. The silk factory was so much fun and our guide hosted a great lunch. Also, the Temple of Heaven was wonderful. I am completely satisfied and could not ask for anything more. I highly recommend this tour and our guide to anyone interested in this tour. Easily 5 stars out of 5
I did two day tours in Beijing. Both were outstanding. On the first day to the Great Wall of China I was the only traveller and I had a driver and fantastic guide to myself. This gave my maximum flexibility at each attraction. Second day trip was to Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Place - this day with just one other traveller - another great guide.
It was a great Beijing tour, with the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven
We had a very enjoyable day out - visiting the majority of the main things to do in Beijing! Guide was lovely and spoke English well. we were in a relatively small group which was nice as it wasn't too crowded. The driver was however half an hour late as they couldn't find our apartment and nobody was given our phone number to phone us. The guide was lovely and even offered us the opportunity to go on a boat in the man made lake between the summer palace and temple of heaven.
Another flaw to the trip was visiting a silk making factory which was a massive gimmick to make us buy a quilt/pillow/clothes. Nobody bought anything so it was a waste of time.
Also the guide said there was a lot of traffic so on return to our apartment they just dropped us 10 minutes from where we were staying and said for us to walk from there. We booked this tour as it was a pick up and drop off to our APARTMENT/HOTEL not for us to have to walk 20 minutes to get home after paying for this service. Other than that we enjoyed our day.
We had a lot of fun on the tour. Our guide Cynthia was AMAZING!! She was very bubbly and energetic. She made it a point to stop at every monument and take pictures of us in front of it. That part was greatly appreciated because I didn't really feel comfortable handing my camera off to random strangers. So we ended up with several hundred great pictures and several of them were because of her. I can't say enough good things about her. As for the trip- we learned a lot about the history and culture of each monument. It was neat learning all of the quirks like why their door frames are raised or why the roofs are different colors. All four monuments we visited were definitely worth the trip. I would suggest bringing lots of water!! Its hot and there isn't always places to stop to get something to drink. The reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 was because everything felt rushed, at one point we were even asked to run because we were running out of time. Granted there was a lot to cram into one day. We figured we would be pushed a long a little. BUT- everything was rushed except when they took us to the government funded shopping places. We went to the pearl shop and the silk shop and spent far to much time there. With that being said the people were very friendly and we never felt pressured. I just wish we could have spent less time sitting there waiting to be allowed to leave and more time seeing the sites. We didn't get to see most of the Temple of Heaven or some of the Summer Palace because we ran out of time. Which is a bummer because they were beautiful places. Also- the lunch was at a mediocre buffet that wasn't really 'Chinese' and the food had been sitting out for a while. We ended up having to get snacks later to hold us over until dinner. But, with all that being said, the trip really was great. We would definitely recommend it, especially if Cynthia was the guide. The day was jam packed with culture, history, and fun. Its well worth the time and money.
Guide: Great, Sites: Great, Everything-in-between: UGH! My guide Jason was great, he was funny and very knowledgeable. The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and Temple of Heaven tours were amazing, but by the time we got to the Summer Palace I could tell the clock was ticking faster than we were moving. I had to go back to the Summer Palace later and spent about 4hrs just wandering around, it is a truly amazing place and cannot be seen in an hour. The stuff-in-between that was terrible was lunch (a buffet that made me sick later) and Dr. Tea…watch out for this place. I am a tea snob, love it, and the tea during tasting was great quality…the stuff I took out of the package when I got home was the same overdried left over bits that I get at Walmart, but I paid close to three times the amount!
Very busy day. We did not actually go into Tiananmen but viewed it from across the busy street. Our guide Mr Jackie Lee was very knowledgeable, and very enthusiastically pro-China. The Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven were jammed but we made the most of it
Overall the trip was worth the money. It was a good introduction to Beijing, especially for someone who has never been there before. However, the tour was rushed at the end. We only spent about 40 minutes (there was only 2 of us on the tour) at The Summer Palace. This place is so huge, a full day doesn't even do it justice (I did go back). Also, the Temple of Heaven was rushed.
On the whole it was very good but I felt short-changed at Tiananmen Square. We basically walked across it without an commentary or getting to stop to look around. That could have partly been because of the weather which was very, very cold and windy. Thoroughly enjoyed the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven. A little more time to explore on our own would have been nice and less time at the Silk Factory. The buffet was horrible. Thomas, our guide, was very informative and helpful.
Tiananmen Square simply immense and imposing, although Forbidden City involves a demanding 4 hour walk. Excellent knowledgeable, English-speaking guide, very enlightening insight into ancient Chinese architecture & cultures. Because of tiredness, cut tour short and didn't see Temple of Heaven. Too much in one day.
This was a good tour to see the main attractions of Beijing in one day. We were collected from our hotel at 0730 and went straight to Tiananmen Square. Our guide Jackie was very informative, at times too informative and a little tricky to understand. It was also freezing cold and it would have been nice to do more talking while walking to keep warm rather than standing and listening. We visited Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven, however, at the Temple of Heaven Jackie received a call to collect his daughter from school and I felt our tour was cut short as we did not visit the art gallery. We also visited a silk factory, pearl market and tea house none of which were in the itinerary. While each additional visit was interesting, it was clear the intention was for us to purchase souvenirs. My main criticism was the lunch; unfortunately the food was very poor quality and all cold (although presumably it was hot at some point). Overall the tour was good, but by no means the best I have experienced.
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