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John M United States of ...
What a treat! It's great to be able to safely choose great foods of the street. Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly.
Highly recommend to take the tour.
John M United States of ...
Chef Mike is 'Da Bomb'
I would recommend this tour to everyone! Fantastic tasting dumplings where you get to sample a range of different styles and can eat as many as you would like, though everyone in our group walked away very full! The cooking class was also excellent and great for beginners, and you receive a recipe to follow when you are back home. It was the perfect ending to our trip.
Amazing. Just do it.
It was a nice and slow kind of tour, small group which is great and the guide Frank speaks good English and polite! Lunch provided was plentiful and of good quality. We bought the silk duvet from the factory and now our sleeps are so much more better.
Since we only had one day to do the tours of Suzhou and the old water town, I suppose this was a reasonable trip. However, if you can do a better one I'd recommend you keep looking. This tour had us rushed through a silk factory where they pushed goods on us - about 30 minutes of the tour was us being held back in the shops of the silk factory hoping we'd buy something. Two other issues: in one day, we only had time for one garden in Suzhou. We also went to the most commercialized water town - if I did this again I'd be looking for a less popular one that hopefully is much more authentic.
Great guide lovely driver best way to see the city
Wonderful, I characterize Zhouzhuang as the Venice of China it was beautiful despite being a cloudy / rainy day. While the guide seemed to have lost interest in guiding or providing information I still very much enjoyed the tour. Suzhou was certainly nice it was not as impressive as the garden I visited in Shanghai the day before the tour was still worthwhile.
I have rated 4 stars as I prefer to do my own research and therefore the lackadaisical attitude of the guide did not bother me but others might be disappointed and not appreciate the beauty and gondola type ride in the water village. I personally thought it was wonderful
In theory this could have been a great trip but in practice it was quite disappointing. Definitely not value for money and I would advise you not to book this trip.
My disappointment started with the preparations - minor points and if the trip had been good I would surely have forgotten about these. After booking this trip, I contacted the local agent to confirm at what time I would be picked up. To my surprise, the agent indicated that my foreign phone number didn't work in China ? and therefore that I would need to contact them again the next day to check with them at what time I would be picked up. I decided not to argue and called them again the next day. I was told I would be picked up at 8.00 and needed to be ready 5 minutes early. I was picked up around 8.25 hrs, which meant that I had to wait outside in the cold for about half an hour without being informed about the delay.
We had a very nice van and a good driver. We also had a very nice and friendly group. We were in total with 4 ladies. This is why I rated the trip with 2 stars instead of 1 star.
Unfortunately, the guide was incredibly inflexible, which is very surprising as we were such a small group and the ladies were actually really flexible. For instance, when we entered the gardens in Suzhou, we were rushed through the gardens in about 10 minutes and were not allowed to take pictures when the guide was speaking lady, listen to me!!. We then had about 15 minutes of walking through the gardens i.e. we had to do exactly the same tour again so that we could take pictures. Very weird experience. At that point I still thought it was funny as my fellow travel mates started rebelling : After a full day of rigid guidance it really started to annoy me. The highlight of inflexibility: I wasn't allowed out of the car to walk back home when we were about 1.5 km from the place I was staying. We first needed to drop of the other 3 ladies on the other side of the city centre and then we returned the same way to bring me back home... My fellow travel mates had absolutely no objection to the driver stopping the car to let me out and there were absolutely no safety concerns. So I was stuck for about one additional and unnecessary hour in traffic jam - traffic jam can be quite horrible in Shanghai.
Lunch was pretty average which is unnecessary as there are so many great and cheap places to eat in China. The silk museum was also average: small museum followed by expensive shops. The guide did not provide any information in the museum, he rushed out and we had to read the signs ourselves if we wanted to have any information. Perhaps the guide was just too tired: when we were in the van he was asleep for quite some time.
I debated between four stars and five stars and finally opted for five because the tour itself was excellent. The only drawback was Shanghai traffic. Our tour guide was very good and attentive to what we needed. She also provided us with great and interesting information about both Suzhou and Zhouzhuang. I would take this tour again.
Wonderful! Tour guide from England was able to give a resident's view of the city but still appreciate what was new and different to us. Easy to find the starting location and the spots were awesome! We have done many food tours and I liked that this one had PLENTY of food. I also liked sitting down and eating together: some we have done keep you moving so much that you get a bite then walk and never feel like you truly eat. Enough for a full dinner, complete with drinks for the evening. The tour guide pushed us to try new things and gave great context, but made everyone feel comfortable to try what they wanted! You do need to be a little adventurous though: we jumped into interested bites and views right off the bat.
This was a wonderful introduction to Shanghai It was a small-group tour and the tour guide Rita was excellent- fantastic communicator, highly knowledgeable and very friendly. I'd highly recommend this tour if you are new to the city and want to get a good, general impression.
Suggestions for improvement: I think for me personally it would have been nicer to have a little free time for looking around the Old Town instead of spending so much time at the Silk Factory.
Nyima our host was delightful, well informed on Chinese history and guided us through the streets of the French Concession District with ease and to some very nice food stalls. Cooking class was great but would have liked to prepare all the ingredients to be placed in the Dumpling. Thanks team.
Kartweeler United States of ...
The tour was well organized and the tour guide, Valerie, was quite knowledgeable. I went to Shanghai on a work trip and had no idea what the city was like - this tour gave me a great feel for what I discovered was an AMAZING city. I hope I get to return!
I felt like a schmuck for buying it, but I have to say I love my comforter from the silk factory. The only thing I would change, and the reason the tour loses a star, is the lunch spot. The food was barely mediocre, the air was smoky, and we were packed in like sardines. Surely EVERY tour group in town doesn't need to eat at the same place at the same time?
The Suzhou garden was good but not great. The garden was worn and I saw better stuff in Shanghai Museum for free. Zhouzhuang water was rather poetic, but the light rain killed off half of the fun. Most of the shops along the shore sold nothing but pig feet. Too much time was spending in the silk factory is a minus.
It was supposed to be a day trip with bullet train to maximise time efficiency and enhance experience of travel in the famed bullet trains.
It was a surprise to learn that the travel to Hangzhou from Shanghai was arranged in a A/C coach in which travel time was 3 hrs one way. No where in the voucher was this aspect mentioned and the rates charged talked about transportation in A/c coach which typically would be understood to mean within city travel.
Even for the lunch - which is a part of the package - the tie up is not with any quality restaurant but with a group booking eating place that serves limited quality irrespective of number of guests 1 plate of each item to be shared between the tourist having lunch. Pointed out about the same ,extra was being offered at add on costs- which is a complete rip off.Not seen it happening anywhere else.
Overall charge for the package and its delivery there is a huge gap and a feeling of being taken on a ride. Caution for other who trust that benefit of tourist is being protected and there is honest transparency in the packages being created. I have seen Bullet train package being offered at 138 wherein I had paid 169 and still got trapped on 6 hours of commute on 1 day trip.
Doing what: Hangzhou: Heaven on Earth Day Trip from Shanghai
This tour tried to do too much, the tour guide was uninformative, and too much time was wasted in transit in Shanghai and between Shanghai and Suzhou. The water village was the best thing on the tour and I recommend just doing that by yourself or with a competent guide.
Further detail: it is far better to take the bullet train to Suzhou from Shanghai round trip about 1.5 hours and hire a taxi or vehicle vs wasting 4 hours of your tour in a van. This could possibly have been compensated if our guide had been great, but he is probably the worst guide I have had - Tom gave barely any or no information at each site including no information on how silk is made at the silk factory or any history on the water village. He also berated me for being 5 minutes late for a 7:30am start before I proceeded to spend 1.5 hours waiting for everyone else to be collected and who certainly weren't waiting outside their hotels. He seemed far more interested in discussing Buddhism with the four Indians on the tour, who weren't even Buddhists. Also, this tour was far too rushed - we barely had any time at any site. I like to do a lot in one day, but this was just stressful. Tom literally herded us from site to site, telling us to hurry up.
I took two tours with UnTour...the Night Market/Street Food and while I was on it, learned about the Breakfast Tour which I took the next morning. They are expertly planned and every detail is considered...from water to wet naps to a great handout detailing everything we had seen and tasted.
Jamie and Ashley's expertise covered everything...not just the names of dishes but the cultural/local background on the items and the stories of the families who were devoted to the art and craft of food.
The tour really help make the huge city of Shanghai very approachable...okay..bite-size!
Make it you first booking in Shanghai...you will learn so much about the city that it really helps you to fully appreciate the rest of your Shanghai experiences.
Great trip. Our tour guide, Frank, made it truly extraordinary and delightful. He was soft spoken, knowledgable, warm, friendly, and really made this trip memorable.
Excellent tour and guide. I absolutely recommend it. Regards from México
The water village and The silk Factory wereboth verf Nice. The Guide Spike verf Well English. So we had a Great day and advies everybody to do this excursion with Viator.
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