Some food tours disappoint by being timid or obvious, but not this one. Zeben, our guide, was a great host and guided our convivial group of eight to some great food served in possibly-too-generous-portions accompanied by plenty of local drinks. We never would have found these food sources on our own, let alone known how to order! A fantastic time, I recommend this tour!
Lots of great food. In fact too much great food for me to eat all of it. The two guides we had on this tour were very knowledgeable, and having one local guide plus a guide originating from England was a really good combination for giving a good view of Beijing. The notes we were given at the end about where we'd visited were very helpful.
We did this tour in early July and I can say it was one of the absolute highlights of our travel to China.
Our guide Kelly made sure we spend a perfect night out in some of Beijing's Hutongs.
Not only did she provide perfect organisation and a fun trip around the back alleys of a fascinating neighborhood, but offered an awesome mix of interesting history, fascinating food knowledge and great anecdotes.
The places she took us were all more than worth the visit and hard to impossible to find without local knowledge. And the food couldn't have been any better.
If you do one guided tour in Beijing go for this one.
I had an amazing time with Garth as my tour guide!! The food was delicious and very interesting. You will not be able to try any of it by yourself and Garth knew a lot about the origins of every food item. I can't recommend this tour any higher. It was truly amazing to spend the night eating and drinking with Garth!
Where do I start? How about with the guides Eric and Kelly. They hail from Canada and USA respectfully, but are fluent in Chinese and English. Our group was promptly met at the Beijing Subway Line 5 Beixinqiao stop, and this was both easy and awesome. Don't worry about using the subway the best option due to massive traffic, as it is very easy and cheap 4 Chinese Yuan in each direction. I have attached a map to give you a sense of the system. For those who have any anxiety about train systems, focus on the Last stop on a particular line that you want to travel to, and that lets you know which train to take. Also focus on the color/ of train you wish to ride.
Once we were all together, Kelly and Eric introduced themselves and everyone else, and we were off for the best experience ever. They took us into the famed Hutong district and it dates back more than 600 years. The dark alleyways, and narrow thoroughfares are hard to navigate, but our guides got us through the areas that they are experts in using daily. We went to a variety of stores, small restaurants, or other interesting places, and that is what made this tour so good. I will not give away their little secrets, but there was one surprise after another. I will tell you even after knowing about all the places we went, it still would be difficult, if not impossible, for you to manage to do what we did on this tour on your own.
The guides purchased food/drink/beer at every location, gave very detailed information about all items cooked/consumed, and even gave a historical backdrop to China which I am sure many do not know. A little extra information was so good for my knowledge base, and I LOVED every second of it. After eating traditional/speciality items, from the variety of locations visited, Eric and Kelly made sure that the group knew how to get back to their respective hotels. These guides were all about safety, from the start till end, as I have a shellfish allergy. They have vetted the restaurants, and know they are hygineic and safe for the tourist. I could not have been more happy with this tour and I give it a 78.55 on a scale of 10.0!
These guides do these tours, not to get rich, but out of the goodness of trying to get you to experience Chinese culture in its most authentic form, so tipping is much appreciated. I should have tipped more. If anyone has questions about anything in this review, please reach out, and I will do my best to answer any questions. I will be off to Shanghai China next, and just left Dubai. So far, this tour has been my highlight:! Thank you Eric! Thank you Kelly!