Insider's Guide to Beijing

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Linda M Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2008

Nothing planned specifically. Outstanding, knowledgeable, English-speaking guide suggested traditional teahouse ceremony, silk factory visit and market shopping. Happy with very laid-back experience. No rush, no fuss.

Jeremy H USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2008

The tour guide was friendly, knowledgeable and with good language skill. We loved the flexibility of the private tour. The cost does not include transportation admission fees etc.

Gershwyn Canada

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2015

Our tour guide, Michael, was very friendly and informative. The tour was very pleasant despite major road closures that inhibited our ability to visit some of the other sites.

Ling N

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2015

This was great. We had a tour guide who knew how to get around the city making our tour very easy and convenient. We picked where we wanted to go the night before and then they planned it. Wonderful. Good English speaking guide.

kathryn w

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2014

This trip leaves it up to the customer to decide where to go in Beijing so we relied on our guide--who gave us good information. For someone of my "older " years 8 hours was too long--we gave up at 5 hours..
The guide was helpful and her knowledge was great but a little difficult to understand.

Melinda B

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2014

Overall our tour was very good. We had provided the tour company with ideas in advance but it didn't seem like all of the pre communicated sights were passed on to our actual guide. That was ok because our guide was flexible and quickly adapted to what we told her we wanted to see. We had requested the use of public transportation and used the metro to get to the first stop but after that our guide suggested we switch to a taxi. The traffic was horrible so this didn't seem like the ideal option. I understand that this may have been more convenient, but I felt like we had a lot of wasted time just sitting in a cab and being in some very frustrating traffic. Our guide was knowledgable and friendly which made for a pleasant tour and she did a great job making sure we fit all of the many things into our day that we wanted to see.

francine c

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2014

It was a nice experience to visit the Great Wall. We had a nice guide who was able to speak great English. Make sure however to add on a couple of hundred dollars extra as we needed to add on the cost of the car and other items.

eric g

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2013

great tours and excellent guide Cindy was very patient and helpful with my kids as well

eric g

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2013

Excellent guide and good planning with Cindy made this a very efficient day


4 star rating: Recommended
April 2013

Great, two of us and one very smart guide,worth the money.

Mr P B

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2012

A bit rushed in some places but got to see most of what I wanted. Gave me the experience of getting around the city so was able to return to places on my own where I wanted to see more.

Stella V

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2012

The guide was friendly and informative, he made every effort to take us to all the places we wanted to go taking the traffic into consideration.

Valerie P United Kingdom

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2011

This custom tour was good as the guide took us around various points of interest in Beijing, such as the Summer Palace, Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City as well as to a market and teahouse. I felt we managed to pack a lot into our day. We wemt everywhere by taxi which was the most convenient way of getting about if you wanted to see anything, otherwise the subway is an exscellent mode of travel. We started out at 9.00am and finished around 5.30pm so we had a full day.

Sam Australia

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2011

I had a great day with Jennifer. She spoke good english and fun to be around. She took me to all the places I wanted to visit. Thank you.

George T

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2011

Please keep in mind that transportation is not included. The guide gives information about the various locations, helps with speaking to locals, and assists with arranging taxis and meals.

Raja A

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2011

Perfect if you want a customized itinerary. Michael our tour guide was really friendly, incredibly helpful and loaded with information. We took him to the Jiayuguan section of the great wall, a Jade factory and Dr.Tea, a fantastic tea house. The only disadvantage is that its a bit expensive if your group is smaller than 4. Otherwise, great experience,

spdaza Colombia

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2011

Taking this tour was the best decision. If you don't have much time and don't want to miss an spot, this is the tour.
The guide was great, she was so lovely, she knew it all, every historical and cultural detail.

The only thing... renting the car for the day is smart bt I think too pricey for Beijing


4 star rating: Recommended
May 2011

my trip went good and fantastic, tour guide could provide and fulfill all my requests! thumbs up for THOMAS the tour guide!

Maulana Ahmad ... 

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2011

The guide, Li, called me the night before my tour. He tried very hard to make me use a private car from his company fat additional cost for the whole day, even though I wanted to use taxi's and local transport instead. He convinced me that it will be much easier than using local transport in Beijing. I finally agreed. meet guide the next day in Hotel lobby and talked about itinerary. Decided on 3 places: Ming tombs, lama temple and panda zoo. He raised the car rental price up because the ming tombs is 1.5 hours from Beijing. The actual tour is great, Li is a good tour guide and he didn't pressure us to go to 'government shops' although he did brought to a jade factory. English was good, personality was good, very energetic guy. Takes great pictures of us too. Only regret was not being able to talk things through before going in tour, our itinerary for the day seems 'rushed'.


4 star rating: Recommended
August 2010

This is a great option for your first day in Beijing to help you get settled and find your way around town. Buy a guide book in advance and select a few landmarks to visit, but don't be surprised if the landmarks you choose are so big you can't see them all in one day. You pay a premium to book through Viator in USD as opposed to finding your own local guide, but the convenience and ability to use a credit card is well worth it!

Sjla USA

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2010

My colleagues and I were on a short business trip and had limited time to see the sights. This private custom tour was perfect for the four of us. Our tour guide, Ming, was friendly and knowledgeable. In a day we were able to visit the Temple of Heaven,Great Wall at Badaling and the Summer Palace. In between the sites, we went to a jade factory,ate lunch and visited a pearl factory. At the end of the day, we felt like we were able to get a great look at some of Beijing's sites.


4 star rating: Recommended
November 2009

Guide showed up on time at 8:30 am. We told him that we wanted to visit the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall and Forbidden City. He talked to a cab driver and arranged for the taxi to be with us for the entire day for a fixed price. The guide suggested lunch beside a Cloissone factory so he got to somehow squeeze this into the itinerary. The Cloissone place was a pleasant surprise. Guide spoke ok English but could have been better and more in depth regarding the history of China.

Susan S USA

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2009

Our guide was knowledgeable & charming. Our only unhappiness was with the Viator 800 operator, who told us we could see the Great Wall, Hutong and Forbidden City in one day, which was impossible. So we missed the Great Wall!

Randall H USA

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2009

For a more tailored and immersive experience, I would highly recommend doing a custom private tour. You essentially have a tour guide all to yourself for about 8 hours and maybe also a driver as well. I was able to select what I wanted to see and the time frame allotted to different activities. I chose which important sites I wanted to see as I'm really into photographing scenes and people. It's also really somewhat reasonable in price although you do need to factor in an amount for a tip 10 to 20 depending on quality of service since the guide and maybe a driver essentially spent a full day with you. On this first day tour we went to the Mutainyu section of the Great Wall to avoid all the tourists usually at the closer Badaling section as well as the Summer Palace.

lauren s h

3 star rating: Worth doing
March 2015

Our guide Cynthia spoke english very well but she talked way too fast so after a while trying to listen became tiring. She was very nice, chipper and full of energy for our action packed day. Having the guide for the day was very worthwhile especially on the 72 hour visa stopover in Beijing. The city itself exceeded our expectations. It was unfortunate that the main square was closed down for government meetings during our tour.
My major issues with this tour were more administrative and thus the lower rating
1. You have to email the local tour company and confirm hotel and pick up time. This is redundant information they can easily get from viator. Once you submit your itinerary, they will try and tell you which of the sites you will have time for and pare it down as much as possible so their commitment is less. We eventually said this was our list and we were ok if we didnt get thru it but we were going to try. In the end, we finished off supposedly 3 days of sightseeing in 1 with time left to spare.
2. On viator it asked how you would like to be contacted and we said via phone to Canada. Our guide instead caled the hotel and left a message for us to confirm our tour time. This was totally unnecessary and also created tons of confusion amonst the staff because of a minor english barrier. Turned out the guide wanted to upsell the guide only tour and pay for their tour vehicle instead of the hotel driver. This was exhausting after a long haul flight and was totally unnecessary.

My advice, know what you want and settle for nothing less and this tour will be great!

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Tour code: 2042PV_01


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