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Our guide Jackie made this day super fun! He talks super fast and does have quite an accent but is very open to answering questions and is so funny! We loved seeing the giant Pandas at the zoo. It was early in the day and the pandas were very active and fun to watch. We then went to the Summer Palace. Almost overwhelming in size but so glad we got to see it. We finished at the Lama Temple which was very interesting as they were celebrating Buddha's birthday. The temple was filled with chanting monks and lots of burning incense. Many worshippers there. They finished the service and began walking around the temple, still chanting. It was super interesting! Jackie took us to the silk shop and it was really interesting. Learned a lot! Glad we took this tour and would highly recommend it!
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.
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
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!
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
Steven E United Kingdom
went went to Beijing zoo first saw few pandas and 2 baby pandas so cute. summer palace was beautiful and Lama temple brilliant with largest buddha was amazing.
We had a great time in spite of the rain!! Never felt rushed. The Lama Temple was cool but if you have allergies bring a scarf to put over your nose.... the incense can get to you after a while.
I really enjoyed this tour. The sights Panda Exhibit at the Beijing Zoo, the Summer Palace, Lama Temple were extremely interesting and my guide, Tom, was very experienced, knowledgable, informative and helpful. I would not hesitate to recommend Great Sights Beijing or Viator or to take another tour with them in the future, as I was very pleased with this tour.
Michael H USA
From other tours with this operator, we expected a well-done tour, and the tour operator did not disappoint. The guide was very knowledgeable and energetic. And he let us explore a bit and take photos, so we did not feel we were on a forced death march even though we covered a lot of ground. The gem of everything we saw in Beijing was the Lama Temple. Beautiful and very educational with our guide. The Summer Palace, which is a collection of buildings around a very beautiful lake, is a place to be treasured more than once. It covers many, many acres and is stunning. On our next trip to Beijing, we will be returning here. This tour was very well done. Educational, good lunch at a very nice place, and the shopping stop was fun. Highly recommended. Consistently good tour company.
The Lama Temple and the Summer Palace were magnificent. We had an excellent guide.
Summer Palace was absolutely beautiful in September and giant Buddha in Lama temple amazing
Loved both the Panda's and the summer palace. Lama Temple not so much. There are better temples. The sandelwood Buddha was great. Our guide did a good job.
Really good trip with a friendly tour guide. We were also taken to a little Tea House where we were able to try lots of different types of tea, and learn a bit of Chinese traditions. Loved the Summer Palace, and the Lama Temple. The only thing about the Panda Garden was that it was a section of a zoo. Was expecting a little more than that, but overall a lovely day trip in Beijing.
I was a bit disappointed with the Panda Garden but overall it was quite an enjoyable tour. The Summer Palace and Lama Temple were both really nice and the lunch was also good. Our guide was very knowledgeable
PALLAVITA SAHA India
This was a good tour - Jackie was taken the guide and he gave lots of information and tidbits and good helpful hints on how not to get conned etc around the city. I had a lovely group of people with me and we all had fun. The summer palace is lovely as is the Lama temple. Really good experience!!!
A fantastic experience from start to finish. Our local guide was very accommodating and friendly. The Pandas were a highlight for my 9 year old daughter, and for me the Lama Temple was an eye opener to some of the Eastern beliefs.
Linda M Australia
Summer Palace close to heavenly experience, Lama Temple great insight into Buddhism. Panda Garden amazing, but duration far too short when bundled into other 2 tours--suggest separate visit.
Tour was ok. Pandas were ok but hardly a garden - at zoo. Lama temple interesting enough and Summer palace is definitely worth seeing. Tour guide acted as if she was doing us a big favour - scolding for not going at her pace. Told us we had to buy ticket for boat ride - not mentioned in itinerary
Could have spend more time by the pandas and the summer palace. The lama temple was amazing and there we had enough time. The group was big (13 people). The guide was very good in English but spoke so fast that it was difficult for people with another mother language than English to understand.
William D USA
Sounds like a lot, but (1) Summer Palace - very pretty - you don't need a guide; (2) Lama Temple - really interesting - the reason this tour got 3 stars but again you don't need a guide and (3) Panda Garden - the Pandas really look a bit rough - they are probably choking on smog like every other living thing in Beijing. The only reason to have a guide for any of this is to navigate and get around. Carly was our guide and she did a good job with what she had to work with, gave us as much info as there is to give on these sites.
Auf der Tour waren nur 3 Personen, so dass es schon fast eine private Tour war. Die Reiseleiterin war sehr nett und professionell. Insgesamt war es somit eine angenehme Gruppe. Die Stops waren allerdings bis auf den Lama Temple eher bescheiden. Nach dem Besuch der Pandabären im Zoo ging es zum Sommerpalast weiter. Von diesem lässt sich nur ein ganz grober Überblick mitnehmen, da es nur einen kurzen Spaziergang am Seeufer und über die 17 Bogen-Brücke gab. Die Palastanlage selber wurde nicht betreten ich war ein paar Tage später nochmals auf eigene Faust da und kann die Besichtigung nur empfehen. Danach ging es zu einem deutlich längeren Verkaufsstop in einen Perlenladen, der auch in der Tourbeschreibung angekündigt war. Die einleitenden Informationen waren recht interessant aber anschließend brauchte man schon sehr gute Nerven um dem Verkaufsdruck besonders in einer so kleinen Gruppe standhalten zu können. Das anschließende Mittagessen war einfach aber sehr gut, hat alles prima geschmeckt. Danach wurde dann unangekündigterweise ein weiterer längerer Stop in einem Teeladen gemacht. Hier wurde dann etwas über chinesische Tees erklärt und etwas verkostigt. Es wurde dann allerdings ziemlich unmissverständlich und nachdrücklich von der Verkäuferin erklärt, dass man nun auch den Kauf eines Produktes erwartet. Der Stop geriet zu einem kleinen Fiasko, nachdem die Dame sich immer mehr im Ton vergriff und ich den Laden dann verlassen habe. Unser Tourguide hat dann ihr Bestes gegeben und versucht durch Entschuldigungen und Geschenke des Teeladen-Managers die Situation wieder zu besänftigen. Das war dann schon ok, aber eigentlich wünscht man sich sowas nicht auf so einer Tour. Schön und ausführlich war dann noch der Besuch im Lama Tempel, dessen Besuch auf jeden Fall interessant ist. Es wurden viele Weihrauchstäbchen angezündet :-.
Wirklich lohnenswert war der Tag aber in Summe nicht. Es gibt sicherlich interessantere Touren, die nicht so viele Shopping-Stops beinhalten.
We viewed the Panda's at the Zoo and it could not have been better. The bears were playful and active. The Summer Palace, was closed due to dignitaries in town, so the tour guide purchased tickets, we walked into the gate and spent 20 minutes walking between the guards posted at every stop. It was a lack of planning on the part of the tour company, and the inability to change the tour quickly. The Lama Temple turned into a quick tour, after picking up the other guest, we started at 9:00 and were finished by 1:30. Disappointing!
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.
Lama temple is awesome, and highly recommended. The Tea Stop is rip off and we are unhappy about. If you want to see a rundown zoo, and pandas sleeping in a poor facility its for you. The Altar, is well, a disappointment.
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