Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Private Custom Tour: Beijing in One Day. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
Excellent guide and good planning with Cindy made this a very efficient day
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
my trip went good and fantastic, tour guide could provide and fulfill all my requests! thumbs up for THOMAS the tour guide!
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'.
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!
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.
AILEEN MARIE Y
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.
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!
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.
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!
Worth doing but have clear agenda in your mind and don't allow yout guide to waste your time in places like silk store - likewise you are paying for the guide while they are selling something to you (not in a very polite manner). Be ready to spend on taxies - guides charge you for taxies all the time
This excursion will only be as good as you make it. I found working with the travel agency in advance to be problematic. I wanted to solicit a suggested itinerary in advance and work out the details before we left for China. The agency was unresponsive (4 attempts made) and ultimately I ended up relying on our tour guide from the previous day to help piece together a plan.
Tour guide did make this tour much easier and quicker. I only had one day for touring, so tried to cram in as much as possible, which the guide obliged to but I got the impression she was not too happy about this. I would have liked the guide to tell me more about the history of the places we visited. Overall good tour, but more knowledgeable guide would have made it perfect.
The tour guide did not turn up on the appointed morning but a call to the company resulted in a replacement appearing an hour later. I never found out what happened to the first guide. The replacement tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly and we went to the locations I requested. However on this tour you have to pay your own taxi fares and entrance fees so it works out a lot more expensive than taking the group tours. For lunch I chose to go to a noodle restaurant which was cheap and filling. Beware suggestions of visiting 'government' tea houses and so on! The souvenirs on sale are much more expensive than available elsewhere although the tea tasting itself was ok!
We gave our guide the spots we wanted to see- Summer Palace, Rickshaw rides to Hutongs,Temple of heaven and wanted to go to a good local place for lunch- she took us to a place that was the worst place we ate at during our trip, and made ha pay for her meal. Our guides's English was also not good.
Had a great time in Beijing however I paid significantly for it. I wish that i was informed prior to my trip that car service would be recommended for this tour which is of course additional. I was charged an additional 300 bucks on this tour. 166usd for the car service to visit the great wall. 133usd for tour of temple of heaven and drive to the airport. To me a rip off but because of late notice I had no chance to research and find an alternative.
The tour guide knew his stuff even though he had no idea where I wanted to go before we met. It was definitely worthwhile in terms of learning more about Chinese culture. The reason, however, for the low rating is that since I was a single traveler we finished everything rather quickly - quicker than if there were multiple people that he would have had to wait for. This meant he planned the day so that he still managed to take me to a pearl factory, teahouse and silk factory (all places he or the tour company would have got a commission for had I purchased anything). He also planned things so that lunch would have to be at a ‘tourist-trap’ restaurant out near the Summer Palace, where nothing else was available. This was an exorbitant cost for what it was and given it was not my choice. These events left an incredibly sour taste after the tour.
Firstly, had issues with being picked up from a nearby hotel (guide said he didn't know where it was and therefore wouldn't meet us there but rather at another hotel further away. After negotiations with his manager, this was resolved.
On the day of the tour, the guide was knowledgeable, but mostly about the benefits of other hotels. We would rather have been told about the culture and history more of this city. He did however help us with locating an ATM from which we could withdraw money as this was an issue for us in several ATMs we tried.
The Forbidden Palace section was probably the most enjoyable and the guide was very patient. However, the rest of the tour (Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square) was rushed and not worthwhile. Did not really get a good understanding and had to retrospectively look this up.
The main issue for us was at lunch (we spent just under 2 hours finding an appropriate restaurant. We wanted authentic Chinese food however, we also wanted to know what we were eating - 2 of the restaurants we went to had no English menus and a third restaurant was serving "real, authentic" local food which we really couldn't stomach such as Sea Cucumber and other delicacies). We eventually found somewhere suitable which served local food, had English menus and also was in a suitable price range - make sure you can go somewhere where the guide can eat too unless you are paying for them to dine - we didn't think it was value for money as once the taxis and entrance fees added up on top of the tip.