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Great guide lovely driver best way to see the city
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.
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.
Fantastic! The guide was great!
This is a good tour. Highly recommend it over other similarly-priced day tours in Shanghai.
The 3 stops on this trip offered very different glimpses of the region. The Net Master's Garden may not be the largest of the famous gardens in Suzhou, but it was lovely. The tour of the silk factory was interesting and don't pass up the chance to touch the silkworms even if the intention is to introduce a commercial/souvenier element to the day. When you think of the history of silk you must think of China. And the trip to Zhouzhuang and time to explore the water village was an interesting contrast. I even enjoyed the view from the van window driving to and fro! The weak spot of the tour is the relatively uninspired lunch included in the tour.
It was a rainy day and we were the only two on the tour but our guide Frank and the driver gave us a good trip in a new Buick van. Hangzhou is a beautiful city in the tea growing region and it was impressive to see the new highways and rail lines along the way. Did the West Lake boat trip in the rain and stopped at an impressive pagoda built by an emperor around the year 950.
Doing what: Hangzhou: Heaven on Earth Day Trip from Shanghai
This trip was a huge disappointment. We slowly walked through some but not all of the sites listed in the tour description, and our guide talked very quietly, if at all. It seemed that we spent much of the day sitting and waiting to go to other more interesting sites, but this never happened. A few members of our group were disappointed enough that they left in the middle of the tour.
Started tour by picking up tourists from 6 different hotels. This took 2.5 hours. Had the guide been explaining what we saw along the route, then it would not have been so bad. We went to a museum, were told to walk fast to get into queue, and when we got there the line was incredible. So guide changed plans and we went for a walk in the gardens. At this time he would tell us a bit about where we were, however, guide was soft spoken. One of the tourists complained that he could not hear what the guide was explaining. This little comment turned into a bit of an argument. Guide said that he was picking on him and that he had gotten up early at 5am and this was not fair, as it is humid today and very hot. This set the tone for the rest of the tour. It gave us the impression that this guide was new to tourism. For lunch we were basically on our own at a restaurant. I had no idea what were served to eat. The Pearl Factory employees were quite pushy, and I think we spent way too much time there. Then the Silk Factory was interesting to see how silk is spun, but the sales people were too pushy, once again. We are on vacation, and paying for a tour, I did not like having to continually say no thank you to sales people that have been trained to by pushy. No, thank you, I do not need a comforter, I live in Miami where it routinely is hotter than Shanghai. Sales people would literally follow you throughout store, even listening to the our conversation, and responding when we did not address them. We were kind, but I did see other tourists not be so kind. Guide made a heavy pitch at the end for us to be left in town and find our way back by taxi. I didn't think this was appropriate either.
Jamie made the entire experience fun, informative and 100 delicious!!! We had a friendly and diverse group, including Maggie, whom I believe as also part of the Glutton Guide team, and she had a lot of great additional information to offer regarding living and eating in Shanghai. She was also kind enough to help me out navigating the Metro after the tour.
Thanks for a great morning in Shanghai, Jamie and Maggie!!!
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