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The tour guide and the tour itself was fun. The food they give you is Western style Chinese food. Not exactly what you actually get in China but still quite nice. The Lama Temple was amazing. It was beautiful and our tour guide had a lot of knowledge about everything. Be careful at the pearl factory. I bought an 18 carat gold charm with a pearl in it and the gold is peeling off and turning back so obviously not real pearl. It might be government run but that doesn't mean it's 100 legit.
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!
Our tour guide, Gu, was excellent. The Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven are extremely interesting--unfortunately, when we were there, there was a huge conference going on of Chinese governmental officials from across the country, so Tiananmen Square was completely closed off and we weren't able to tour it. The tour also stops at a silk factory and a tea house--these are both very interesting demonstrations, but they both concluded with a pretty high-pressure sales effort by the staff there. The pressure is polite, but it is obvious that the expectation is that the tourists will make a purchase. Just be prepared.
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.
I am SO glad I went through Viator to get a tour of Beijing. My time in the city was short, so taking a guided tour was the way to go for me. For everything it included, I thought it was really well-priced and my guide was very knowledgable and optimized the time I had. In addition to the major attractions, I was taken to one of the most well-known and popular Silk factories in Beijing and also sampled 7 types of Chinese tea at a tea house near the Temple of Heaven and was able to do some shopping for family. My guide also took me to an authentic Chinese restaurant as we sampled many delicious dishes. I highly recumbent doing this trip and would say it is well worth the cost!
My tour guide Cherry is very knowledgeable. I particularly like Temple of Heaven. Forbidden City is very pretty too.
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.
What can I say...the pandas are too cute for words. Also saw beautiful peacocks and other exotics. The Tibetan Temple was awesome. Monks, nuns, and the faithful practicing their faith in a centuries old religious complex. A great day in Beijing.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
JENNIFER K Australia
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 just wanna thanks for the excellent tour that we had yesterday. Our guide jackie was excellent, he explained all about the old China and the new China. All the history of the temples and also he help us to shop some souvenirs because not all the salesman speaks english.
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