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Lulu Belle United States of ...
We really enjoyed this tour for a number of reasons. Our tour guide, Tina, was extremely punctual, pleasant and very knowledgable about the culture and history in this part of China. We totally feel the tour to the Ming Tombs was worth it. After visiting the Forbidden City and Summer Palace, it's very interesting to travel outside Beijing to further see and understand the ways of the Emperor. We particularly enjoyed the walk down the Sacred Way. Visiting the tomb is very unique. After crossing a large gate, you enter a very peaceful courtyard. There is a lovely museum with interesting royal items. You are then able to climb the back structure and view the entire area. The tombs are actually in the hillside behind the structure, but it's still a remarkable place and a UNESCO site. From there, we had a decent chinese lunch at a Jade Factory. Because we've done tours like this in other countries, we had told Tina right off that we are interested most in culture and history - we are not shoppers and that is a big misconception of many American tourists. She understand exactly what we meant and respected our wishes - so while we ate in the Jade building, we didn't actually enter the factory or have to visit the gift shop. There are western restrooms here that are very clean. From lunch, we drove out to the Juyong Gap. Words will not even adequately describe how awe inspiring this adventure was. Smog was bad this day as it was a milder winter day and the view was beyond spectacular. As opposed to Badaling where you take a cable car from what we understand, Juyong is all foot power. You approach a level lot with shops, restrooms, etc. and immediately start climbing steps. You can literally climb and climb to your hearts content. NOTE - lunch can be a bit heavy and we are SO glad we didn't overeat given the strenuous nature of the climb. I would suggest at least 2 hours here. There are guard towers that break up the climb - and I'm still amazed how high you can really go. Tina leads you to the wall and you arrange a return meeting time at the lower level - but you are on your own to climb at your own rate. On the car ride back to Beijing, Tina continued to answer our questions and we really had a great discussion comparing and contrasting various cultures. A wonderful day that created lifelong memories!
NOTE - If you have ANY health issues or physical limitations, this might not be the best spot to climb the Great Wall. Badaling provides a tram but it's also typically a lot more crowded because of the accessibility. If you want a more natural experience, Juyong Gap is a great option!
Picked up at our hotel on time by our tour guide Jackie Li, a very informative and knowledgeable person indeed. Our visit to the Great Wall at Badaling was incredible, not to be missed if you visit China. Found the Ming Tombs a bit disappointing compared to the wall though. The typical Chinese meal was excellent, sampled a lot of different dishes. A visit to the Jade factory / shop was also included in the tour as well as having traditional Chinese tea. All in all, a great tour and highly recommend it. A big thank you to our tour guide Jackie, by the way, nice photos Jackie.
I enjoyed this private, day-long tour tremendously. Cherry was very knowledgeable about the history and culture of the sites we visited and could answer all my numerous questions. It helped that her English was very good because I don't know Chinese. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall was amazing and relatively uncrowded, as promised. I highly recommend the toboggan ride on the way down it's a fun joy ride that's not too fast or daunting. I also enjoyed the Changling Ming Tomb tour I learned a lot from Cherry about Chinese history.
The day was also punctuated with stops at craft factories and stores, which I guess is to be expected on organized tours. The cloissone factory was the most interesting because I could watch the crafts people at work in making the copper, Ming-style vases. I could have skipped the jade store, where I had lunch in the adjoining restaurant. The lunch was just okay, and was clearly geared toward Western tastes. The Mr. Tea store had some good teas and I learned something about Chinese teas.
Overall, I highly recommend this private tour it made seeing some of the more far-flung sites around Beijing easier to do. I also liked the private aspect of the tour so I could take my time with taking photos and asking questions, which I found more enjoyable than being part of a massive group.
It wasn't necessarily just the sites we visited that made this as enjoyable... it was our tour guide, Nikki! We can't say enough positive things about her. She was SUPER informative and very educated on the history of the Ming Tombs and Juyongguan segment of the Great Wall. She definitely made this tour exceed all of our expectations. This is a must do .... and ask for Nikki! Oh, and the sites themselves? Definitely worth it! Check out the photos and see for yourself.
Very informative visit to the Ming Tombs. Mutianyu was a good location to visit the Great Wall. Fun ride in the chair lift and not too crowded on the wall on a Sunday. Nice local lunch. Forced to go shopping, but got away without having to spend much. A very good day out.
It was a great experience! The size of the group is not too big and it allows us to know each other better. The guide, WIliam, is friendly and helpful. He has good command in English and answered all of our questions satisfactorily. I definitely recommend this toour for those who want to visit the great wall and the Ming tombs.
Very friendly, professional and informative guide. The crowds at Badaling were unbelievable, however the wait time for the cable car was not too long. The visit to the Ming tomb was very interesting. The day was capped off with a pleasant tea-tasting. Well done Viator
Highly highly recommended, Cherry was an exceptiontal tour guide. This was a private van tour with only 3 other people. We got to spend around 2 hours at the great wall, the ming tombs were also phenomenal. The jade factory was unexpectedly very interesting to see and the tea ceremony was much better than expected. Day lasted around 10 hours and was worth every penny
The tour guide was very friendly and spoke excellent English. She had lots of interesting information on the Ming Tombs, the great wall, Jade factory and the tea ceremony we attended. She was very interested in each person on the tour and made the whole experience very comfortable. I had an amazing time and learned so much.
Both Sarah, the tour guide, and the driver spoke English, they were very organized, and always on time. Sarah was very friendly. She taught me a lot about the significance of the Juyongguan section of the wall and about the history and culture of Beijing. She seemed to know a lot about many different subjects. I have visited Mutianyu and, personally, I found Juyongguan to be more beautiful. The visit to the jade factory was a wonderful surprise. I did not know about it and would have never known to schedule a visit if it had not been added to this tour. I hope to go back, you need to spend more time there to really appreciate everything that they have. Take your credit card! The meal provided at the jade factory was delicious and the restaurant itself was photo worthy. The service throughout the jade factory was impeccable. The Ming Tombs is huge. I loved the museum. It was wonderful to see such extravagance and to listen to Sarah explain the history behind it all.
Wall, Ming tomb, and Jade store wer all great. Food was good.
I had a great tour to the Great Wall and Ming Tombs. Our guide Jenny was lovely and very knowledgable about her subject and our driver was friendly too. The views at the Great Wall were wonderful and I would recommend this tour to others who want to see the Great Wall or Ming Tombs.
Eini D Canada
Great day visiting the Ming Tombs and Great Wall. Tombs were a bit disappointing in that you don't get to actually see the tmobs as they have not yet been excavated foe fear of damaging the articles buried underground. The wall was incredible. We chose to walk up the north side of the wall at Badaling because there were less tourists, but sections were quite steep. Our guide Jacky was very knowledgeable and shared a lot of information and history, almost to a fault.
Great tour guide Wiliam. Very knowledgable and easy to understand. Locals were very friendly and welcoming. Opted for personal tour and it was a fantastic decision. Toboggan ride from the Great Wall was fun! Highly Recommend!
Our tour was conducted by Cora Lin Li, an English-speaking guide. She came equipped with a tour van and driver. We were picked up promptly at 7AM from our hotel and whisked away to the Ming Tombs. We spend just enough time at the tombs, then went straight to Mutianyu for the Great Wall. She purchased the lift tickets for us at 100 RMB per person as clearly indicated on the tour details. You did have the option of not purchasing the lift ticket and walk up.
Cora was very knowledgeable, and her English was quite good - far better than my Mandarin. Wall tour was about 90 minutes give or take, and this piece was self directed.
After descending the Wall, we were taken to a ceramic / enamel factory adjacent to our restaurant. Lunch was fine, with both meat and vegetarian options.
Since we had a custom tour, we swapped the jade factory tour for a silk factory tour. Yes, there's upsell, but we went to a nice silk location with high quality product.
Keep in mind, you are really paying for transport, lunch and Q and A. We only had 3 people, so the real per person price was 119, not the stated 78.
Would recommend this tour, and it does take a good 8 hours as Beijing traffic is absolutely dreadful.
The tour guide was very nice and put a lot of effort into making everyone happy. I assume she does this everyday, which is amazing because it is a lot of work and this is coming from someone half he age.
Wall was very nice esp if you are athletic.
Though we had 20 visibility when it came to appreciating the Great Wall, our guide Cynthia made the day's tour interesting and enjoyable. She provided excellent historical context for the Ming Dynasty Tombs, pacing the tour perfectly. She kept us well informed about Chinese cultural practices and the roots of the language during the bus travel between stops. Lunch was nice. The tea ceremony was delightful, too. This tour is worthwhile.
My tour to the Great Wall at Mutianyu and Ming tumbs gave me more than what I was expecting. My guide William was well documented, spoke very good English and planned the tour very well. I really enjoyed it!
The tour was amazing. We got to see the Great wall, Ming Tonb, jade and pearl factories and a tea ceremony. Everywhere we went people tried to sell us things but this happened all the time in China. Our guide spoke very good English and gave us good information at each stop.
Obviously a must see in China and the tour guide, Jackie, was awesome. He did a great job explaining the history of the Great Wall and Ming Tombs as well as introducing the Chinese culture to us. He was also great about taking pictures whenever possible.
You need to be fairly fit to climb the section of the Great Wall that we visited. Our guide, Cynthia, was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable with her Chinese history. As well as the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs we also visited a Jade factory a chance to buy some genuine jade and a tea house. This was only a relatively small group 12 people which is a big plus. The tour was interesting and well worth going on.
Fantastic day. Punctual, friendly and informative guide who took us to a quieter section of wall due to local holiday. Spectacular views particularly if you are prepared to climb higher up the steps! Also enjoyed the jade factory. No pressure to buy but very interesting talk and demonstration. Beautiful Ming tombs also well worth a visit.
Eben F USA
This was a highlight of the trip. I still can't believe the personal attention we got and how reasonable the price was. We had one guide for the two of us and a driver and sedan all day. The guide was very informative and with us all the time, except for lunch which was a very good Chinese lunch in a small local restaurant. We paid extra well worth it for a cable car ride to the top of the Mutianyu Great Wall, which is much less crowded than many other touristy portions of the Great Wall near Beijing. Then, we made the climb to the top and spent about and hour hiking on the wall and taking remarkable photos with our guide with us the whole way.
The Ming Tomb was remarkable and the tour was timed to be there for a daily ceremony.
There were two stops at a Jade Factory and another factory, but no pressure to buy.
Great day! There were only two of us on the tour so we were able to visit a different section of the Great Wall. It was a beautiful sunny day so we got lots of great photos. The Ming Tombs were also great! The only things I was not expecting was the almost tourist trap-type visits to the jade factory and tea shop. These were not educational visits, but rather store visits with a bit of demonstration and we were pressured a bit to buy their overpriced items. We had a great guide who was able to answer all of our questions. I would recommend this trip to anyone who would like to see the Great Wall but is a bit short on time in Beijing.
It started early at 7:00 a.m. and it was the last day of spring festival. No traffic, no people at the wall until later in the morning. Cherry, the tour guide was informative, kind and patient with me. My phone battery went dead so Cherry took pictures of me which I would like her to email to me. The Ming Tomb was great, the jade factory and the tea shop. I enjoyed the entire day. Couldn't have been nicer.
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