This was a tranquil spot and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was nice to see countryside and Fiona our guide was excellent. We were taken to a silk factory but there was no pressure to buy. Seeing the actual silkworms was also interesting.
I was allowed only an hour to explore the wall at Badaling and it soon became clear why. Over the 2 days I was taken to a pearl factory, a jade factory, a silk factory, a tea ceremony, a herbalist centre and a foot massage centre. I was furious to have the time curtailed actually seeing the sights I had wanted to see and instead was pressurised to buy something at each of the factories. When I made it clear I wasn't interested in buying anything - I had only just arrived in China - I was told by the guide I had for the two days 'Cynthia' that as they were not paid very well I was expected to buy something at each place so they could earn commission. I then asked to be taken back to my hotel but was refused and she was insistent on taking me to the foot massage which was "free". Again there I was asked to buy goods and they wanted me to see the 'doctor', so I could be told that I needed various herbal potions. I was very disappointed at the way I was treated and just viewed as an ATM. I think you should change the local operator to one that really wants to show China to visitors.
Again I had the same local guide Cynthia, who was more interested in taking me to factories/shops. This should have been a half day tour - if people are interested in going shopping they should be asked first. More time could have been spent at the Pandas and the Lama Temple.
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