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The tour was announced as taking place when at least two passengers registered. It turned out that we were the only ones who had booked that tour that day. I was concerned that this could reduce the quality of the service, but I was mistaken. We had our very private tour with our own tour guide Jacky Lee and driver in an air-conditioned limousine. The guide provided a lot of details while visiting Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. On our wish he focused on the Treasure Gallery there. The Peking-duck lunch was good and provided you with some insights in the peculiarities of the Chinese cuisine. The day was a public holiday with loads of tourists at the Great Wall. Since the motorway was almost blocked, the tour guide redirected the tour to a lesser known part of the Wall that had also much fewer tourists and was more scenic. The Wall was much more steeper there, too. It was also a hot day at the beginning of August, and temperatures reached 38 degrees centigrade. It took us 1 1/2 hours to reach the top of the mountain and to return. However, we were rewarded with a most impressive view of the area with the winding wall on top of the ridge. We also visited a silk and a jade manufacture and a tea ceremony shop. I acquired a silk gown and a jade ball of life'', which symbolizes three spheres of prosperous successive generations. In the tea shop I came across Pu-erh tea for the first time. This tea comes from Yunnan and is from the same tea leaves as green tea. The difference is that Pu-erh undergoes a fermentation and oxidation process over many years I bought a ten year old block. The ferments include peptide-blockers which prohibit the storage of fat in the fat cells of the human body, for which the tea is also called slimming tea''. This effect is confirmed by chemists.
In all this was a very rewarding tour which offers a cross-section of insights in Chinese historical and cultural achievements.
We had the most amazing tour with our personal guide (Sue Lyn) and driver. We enjoyed Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, went to a climb the Great Wall. Our guide even arranged a special lunch for my husband who has a very limited diet, while I enjoyed a very tasty Peking duck that was delicious!
We very much enjoyed this tour. It was just my husband and me with a private guide named Goo. He was very knowledgeable and patient answering all our questions and explaining the Forbidden City. He took us to the Badaling section of the wall but beyond where the crowds are. We were virtually alone in a mountainous part of the wall. It was breathtakingly beautiful and the weather in May was perfection! This was a true highlight of our time in Beijing. Highly recommend and couldn't say enough nice things about our guide Goo.
Great tour. Forbidden city and the square are something to be seen and visited. Tour guide was wonderful
The Great Wall is a must do, it's amazing when you get on top and see the wall around you. Our tour guide Mr. Jacquie Lee was very knowledgable, friendly and happy to show us around. Arquitecture in the Forbidden City is impressive.
I was in China on business, and only had one day to spend in Beijing, so I wanted to see as much as possilbe. The Beijing Essential Full-Day perfectly meet my needs. Our guide Jackie was very knowledgable of the history and stories about each site we visited. He kept the group moving to ensure we didn't linger too long at any particular site. Jackie's English was very good and made the trip very interesting. One thing to remember on this tour is that it will make for a very long day, so if you tend to move at a slower pace, a shorter tour may be more well suited for you. However, if you have just one day to see the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and Tiananment Square, this tour is perfect.
Great way to see the cool sites in Beijing!
Our guide, Kevin, was very knowledgeable and fun. One cool thing about this tour, in addition to visiting the Temple of heaven, Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square, Kevin gave us the background or history of certain parts of each venue then allowed us to explore on our own.
We also ate lunch at China's first KFC! A must do.
Doing what: Small Group Beijing City Tour
Our tour guide, Gu, was excellent. The Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven are extremely interesting--unfortunately, when we were there, there was a huge conference going on of Chinese governmental officials from across the country, so Tiananmen Square was completely closed off and we weren't able to tour it. The tour also stops at a silk factory and a tea house--these are both very interesting demonstrations, but they both concluded with a pretty high-pressure sales effort by the staff there. The pressure is polite, but it is obvious that the expectation is that the tourists will make a purchase. Just be prepared.
William is an excellent tour guide -- he was knowledgable, flexible in terms of scheduling, and well-versed in English. He intrepidly led us up the Great Wall in -20 C temperature and wind chill as well as around Tiananmen and the Forbidden City. The trip was a great value in my opinion.
Steven D Australia
For the price this is a good value tour that provides ample time at the Great Wall and decent walk through the Forbidden City. The booking process, and follow up communication was excellent and re-assuring given I made late changes. The guide, Victoria, was polite and enthusiastic with good English. Bus was clean and efficient picking me up on time from the hotel. The stop overs at a Jade and Silk factory were a little annoying but given they were timed for a useful stop, not overly troublesome. Overall excellent value.
This was an excellent trip, the tour guide took us to a part of the wall, that was private and away from the crowds. After speking with other folks who went to the more touristy parts of the wall, I am so pleased we payed that bit extra and had the wall almost to ourselves. The guide was very knowledgable and kept us informed about the Forbidden city, we also went to a silk factory and other points of interest. Overall, money very well spent, would thoroughly recommend this trip to everyone.
My tour guide Cherry is very knowledgeable. I particularly like Temple of Heaven. Forbidden City is very pretty too.
This was a great tour and a fantastic way to see the top sites in Beijing that are usually very busy and difficult to move around. Jackie was a very informative tour guide and there photograph opportunities that I don't think were available with the other tours running that day around the Forbidden City in particular. Highly recommend!
My tour was a private tour: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven in Beijing 5533CBJH. The tour was thorough and interesting. To walk through Tiananmen Square was to get an appreciation for the size of the square and the People's Hall. Next was the Forbidden City. My guide, Cris, was thorough in describing the history and life within these walls. We litteraly walked through history as we examined the architecture and through the various halls that were home to the history and maturing of the art of pottery. The grounds and buildings were beautiful. We next took an optional side trip to a silk manufacturer, which was interesting. I had time to review their shop - too many items to choose from! From there we went to a local restaurant. I don't know if it is policy, but since I was on my own, I ate lunch alone. I would recommend giving the client the option - I would have liked to carry on our conversations over lunch.
We finished the tour at the Temple of Heaven: a very expansive garden with historic temples and buildings, including Echo Hall, the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and the Round Temple. But the walk through the woods and the serenity of nature was a nice end of a long day. Cris, my tour guide, was genuinely kind, informative and easy to converse with. She answered my questions and helped me gain greater understanding about Chinese life, culture and history. I recommend this tour and I hope you can get Cris.
Dream come true. Our tour guide was fun and always wanting to help take our picture. The forbidden city was very impressive. Our guide was quite knowledgable. The Great wall was amazing. I feel so blessed to have seen it. What an amazing trip!!
Amazing! Our tour guide Jacky was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and his English was very easy to understand. The history of the forbidden city, temple of heaven and the summer place are something you should for sure see in Beijing.
A great way to see the most important sites in Beijing in one day! We started nice and early so we beat the crowds to Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City. Our guide was very knowledgeable and was able to answer all our questions about the locations we visited, Beijing and Chinese culture. I was not too fond of the visits to the silk factory and pearl shop as they felt like tourist traps. The Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace were also fantastic and we were lucky enough to have great weather the day of the visit. Since it was before peak tourist season there were only 4 of us on the tour. Overall a lovely day in Beijing- I especially recommend it if you are short on time and want to get the most out of your time in the city.
Excellent way to experience Beijing for first-time Americans like my wife and I. Our guide John was very informative. His English was excellent. He made us feel welcomed and comfortable in what for us was a very foreign environment. As per the tour description he picked us up upon our arrival, got us checked into the hotel, took us out for meals, and guided us on our tours around Beijing. Based upon our desires, he selected the restaurants and did all the ordering. We greatly enjoyed all of his selections. We feel like we had very authentic dining experiences.
The sites are wonderful, but be prepared for extensive walking and bad air. The first full day was six hours of walking before we asked to take a rest in advance of the acrobatics show. John was able to accommodate us by finding a coffee and tea room where we spent a quiet hour. The show and the Great Wall were awesome! However, the air quality in Beijing was extremely bad while we were there. Visibility from the Forbidden City and the Great Wall was very limited which was disappointing. That combined with the strenuous walking makes this tour difficult for those with health issues.
The default hotel is the Jingtailong. It is within walking distance of Tiananmen, shopping, and dining. Some of the staff speak English. The included breakfast is at the hotel's restaurant and is an Asian/Western buffet (have your room key card available). The rooms and beds are large and comfortable but the beds are firm. Check-in/check-out is different from our experiences in other countries. While John handled the check-in, it involve a lot of activity and time. A deposit is required- keep the receipt. Check-out also involves a lot of time and activity- present the deposit receipt to speed the refund. The housekeeper will inspect the room for damages before the desk will complete check-out. Allow 30 minutes prior to pickup.
Overall, this tour was awesome and met or exceeded all our expectations.
Grayden H Australia
Excellent insight into the Forbidden City. Would be good to have gotten more information on Tiananmen Square or being able to tour some of the surrounding builds of the Square. Tour guide was excellent - really nice and spoke the best English of any of our guides.
great really enjoyed the Forbidden City
Our tour guide Cynthia was very kind and nice with us. She tried to made our tour very exciting and interesting. My flight was delayed so I start the tour later, after the Forbidden city so she told me they will make a refund for that. I didn't asked for it so it was very nice from her.
We went to the Jade Factory and we ate there; the food was very good and enough for all of us. After that we went to the Silk Factory and to the Great Wall. It was amazing but maybe not enough time, only 1:30 hour. We finished at the Tea ceremony very interesting. GREAT TOUR! RECOMMENDED FOR ONLY ONE DAY IN BEIJING!
Tour 2 of 4 in Beijing and a more cultural and historical look at Beijing, We had Jackie Li for the second day running and on this tour my wife and I were the only 2 so a private tour which was lovely. I have already made reference to other peoples reviews relating to "full days" and side trips on tours in my review of the Badaling section of the great wall, I think that they both add to the tours and make them more comfortable. After our tour of Tiananmen Square and the forbidden city (Where our guide showed us where to get the best photos away from the crowds) then it was on to the silk factory where we bought some lovely gifts for our family, again no pressure to buy and if you say no they don't mind as I didn't buy things on every tour. However my wife had wanted to go to the silk market anyway, yes you can buy things cheaper elsewhere and we did that as well but the quality really was better in the silk factory so just decide whether you want cheap from the silk market or well made from the factory, there isn't a huge difference in price.
Then we stopped at the temple of heaven and the walk through the park and gardens was wonderful with local people meeting to dance, play or yoga in the park is really something special and shows a real sense of community in Beijing that is lovely. I realise I don't mention the sites themselves much but the speak for themselves.
Then off for lunch which was pleasant everyday although the first day at the jade factory was probably the best or at the enamel factory but all lunches on every tour were very nice and plenty of food.
Then back to the hotel by 2pm and off out for the afternoon.
Great day with Michelle, walked around Forbidden city and climbed the wall, a must
Lew and Leanne New Zealand
This was a great day. We were picked up at our hotel on time and taken the short distance to Tienimen square. Then onto the Forbidden city. For most of our visit to the Great Wall, we were the only visitors there. Our guide Carolyn was fantastic. Highly recommended
In contrast to the tour to the Great Wall and Ming Tombs the day before this was a fantastic tour. As with the previous day my wife and I were the only ones on the tour. The tour was comfortably paced for us. Tiamanmen Square was busy due to being the Mid-Autumn Festival. It was unfortunate that it was raining as we walked through the Forbidden City, however our guide (Cherry - if that is her real name) took us along the right side away from the masses and slightly higher than the main throng of visitors. She regularly pointed out photo opportunities.
Getting back to the coach it was onto the Silk Factory. Although there was an opportunity to buy, there was no sign of any high pressure sales.
Onto the Heavenly Temple and the rain had stopped. Again our guide provided us with excellent information and provided us with time to have a look by ourselves. Before lunch it was on the Pearl Factory. Getting a theme here? Yes - we were shown how fresh water pearls are cultured and farmed, but it was followed by a purchase opportunity, but as with the Silk Factory no high pressure sales techniques used.
Lunch was at a restaurant as was good quality and quantity. And onto the Summer Palace. By now the sun had come out. The Summer Palace was busy, again because of the Mid-Autumn Festival. We walked to the Marble Ship, before coming back on the Dragon Boat (you will have to pay extra, but well worth it).
Would I recommend it - most definitely. We were not subject to high sales pressure at the Silk or Pearl Factories. Cherry was a great guide.
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