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
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
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