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.
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.
Throughout my two week trip in China, I was most looking forward to the historical side of Beijing, primarily Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. I had learned a lot about China's history and it had always fascinated me. I truly wanted a private experience (where I could pester the guide with tons of questions) and this tour delivered! My guide was an expert on all things China and answered all my questions and gave me more insight than I had expected to receive. All at such a great price too!
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!
My tour with Mr. Jimmy Li was an excellent 1 day tour. I appreciate that I was able to visit all three venues the same day-Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and the Great Wall. There were five other persons on this tour and it was a good group. Mr Li did a great lecture on each venue as well as answering questions. Our Chinese lunch was delicious and the jade and silk demonstrations were good. I would highly recommend this tour if you have only 1 day to spend in Beijing. The time at the Great Wall was adaquate as was the other venues. The transportation and driver was good as well. Thanks for the good communications on the meeting place and pick up time. Arrived back at my hotel on time.
very busy day started at the wall was very busy, then visited Tiananmen square and Forbidden City was brilliant so much history
This trip was fantastic. The adventure to both Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall was breathtaking. The experience was made so much better for the excellent local guide. An absolute definite if you're ever in these parts.
Jackie, our guide was excellent and the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall were amazing. Jackie's indepth knowledge of the Forbidden City was very much appreciated and I don't think we could have done this attraction by ourselves. Could have spent more time at the Great Wall and less time shopping. We were expecting one stop at the Jade factory but the Tea Shop and Silk Factory weren't mentioned in the itinerary when we booked. Overall, though a fantastic day if you want to truly explore these amazing icons.
Our tour of Beijing Essential Full-Day Tour including Great Wall at Badaling, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square was wonderful! We had a great day where we were shown the major sights of the city plus a few extras like the silk and jade factories. I loved that all the entrance fees were included in the tour price. Also, the convenience of being picked up and dropped off at our hotel was greatly appreciated. I was slightly disappointed in the lunch, but that wasn't the main attraction, so I didn't dwell on it. Over all I would highly recommend this tour to a friend!
Tour was great, our guide was informative and funny. The Great Wall was amazing (must go again in spring time). Forbidden city and Tiananmen Square was an experience. No waiting in lines for passes, transport or security. Went to a silk house and tea house, interesting, but they try to sell things.
The Great Wall was the highlight and the tour overall was good. We would have liked more time understanding the significance of Tiananmen Square though. Overall a good way to see everything, well top 3 main sights if you only have one day.
The tour started at 7.00am. We went on one of the first days of the Chinese National holidays so everywhere was packed to capacity. At 7.30am we were standing in Tiananmen Square, overwhelmed by the number of locals that can gathered. The visit to the Forbidden City was good but limited in the sense that we did not really go into any of the internal "temples" as we walked through the F/City on the outer footpaths, which were still within the F/City so as to avoid the crowds. We arrived at the Summer Palace at 2.30pm by which time over 110,000 people had entered so that will give you a feel on numbers! Likewise, in order for the small party to keep together, we were constantly on the move, so little time to really look at anything. We visited a Chinese Medicine Hospital (waste of time), as well as a silk factory (quite interesting) and a pearl factory (great if you wanted to buy some very reasonable priced pearls). Obviously the latter three stops were purely there to part with some cash! Our guide, Mr Jacky Lee, was excellent as he took time to take photos of the couples in the group and he knew the best places to capture the photos so well done to him. Lunch provided was good. Apart from the crowds, a really good day was had by all.
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
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.
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