Really neat seeing the planes being assembled! Knowledgeable guide and convenient pick up from the city. I will say that if you have a car, just drive out there yourself, the tour will be much cheaper that way.
Zhouzhuang: The water village was GORGEOUS, cute and the gondola ride was really beautiful, peaceful and fun. Everyone on the trip wished we would have spent much more of our trip in this town instead of the other activities. Highlight of the day and probably some of the best pics from my entire trip to China. Again, wish we had had more time in this town and less time spent in Suzhou.
Suzhou: The Net Master's Garden was beautiful but smaller than I imagined. I think the best part was seeing the old furniture that has held up so beautifully and the lovely wall hangings. Nice place, a bit crowded. Having the guide was key, learned a lot. The silk factory was just like others that we had all visited, although I appreciated that this one I actually got to see people making the silk and the live silk worms. The lunch was also fine but nothing stood out.
All in all, a great trip that I highly recommend to see the beautiful water village and the Net Master's Garden.
I was disappointed that I wasn't able to visit Mt. Emei while in the area but found this tour and was impressed!
First of all, I did not realize that this was a personal tour. All the other trips I've taken on Viator.com are with a big group. Not for this one, just you and the guide! My guide was nice and fun, which is good since just the two of us spent the whole day together.
The irrigation system was okay, a bit crowded by the color of the water was beautiful and the bridge to see right by the entrance was neat. I like the swinging bridges, would have liked to go to the temple across the longer swinging bridge but we didn't have time, too far of a walk.
The Qingcheng Mountain was great!! First of all, it's quite the adventure to get up there: you do a hike, then a (really smooth, short) boat ride and then a gondola ride to the top! (Be prepared, you'll have to pay for these tickets extra when you get there but it's very cheap and would take you hours to walk it so this is much more fun and practical way of doing it. And don't worry, still plenty of hiking and good exercise on this excursion!) There are plenty of interesting things to do on the way up, like see the temples or eat lunch at the monastery (the best Kung Pao chicken I had in China!) One very special moment for me was there is a "lock wall" where you can buy a lock and engrave it and leave it, very fun, cheap and quick to do and a lasting memory leaving my mark on the mountain forever. Lots of great opportunities for good shots on this excursion (I travel to take pics so that was the most important thing for me.)
The one thing I'd recommend is to bring warmer clothing for the top, you're in the clouds and it gets cold. I forgot mine back at the hotel and survived but was a bit chilly, my own fault.
We spent two weeks in Asia and this excursion was one of the things I looked forward to the most, and the top thing we talked about when we got back!
We did SO much on this excursion, I'll try to remember it all. We started out checking out a real (not touristy) market a bit outside of town. The guide explained what all the things were and what they were used for, very interesting. Then we went to a farm where we did a bunch of stuff. First we did an ox cart ride. Then the owner of the farm gave us a little Thai cooking class (which was especially entertaining because he spoke no English so it was a lot of pointing and sherades and laughing.) Then we ate the meal that had been prepared (it was our best meal in Thailand.) Then we left the farm for the park.
We started off the park experience by doing a short hike into it (which included a steep set of stairs) to a waterfall. Then, driving out of the park, we came across a bunch of monkeys and stopped to take pictures.
After that, we went for the elephant ride which was definitely a highlight of the whole trip. At a certain point, the driver jumped off and had us taking turns riding the elephant bareback while he took pics of us with our cameras. It was a lot of fun and really more challenging to stay on then you'd think. And then you get to tip the elephants at the end by feeding them bananas. :-) We got SO many great pics from the driver using our camera!
I definitely would recommend this trip as a must-do for anyone with an extra day in Bangkok.
Ayutthaya was really cool with its ancient temples and ruins. I was very glad we went out there, a highlight of the whole trip.
It reminded me of a trip in Mexico of walking around Mayan ruins, but not as high and with a lot of headless Buddhas. (They have mostly fallen off due to damage. One head is enrapped in the roots of a tree, that was my favorite thing to see, SO neat and the thing I was looking forward to seeing the most.) The Summer Palace on the way was a nice place to roam around and check out. The boat cruise back: the food was standard buffet, and the ride itself felt a little long but it was a pleasant change of pace from the bus. And no traffic. :-)
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