Rita was our guide for this tour and she was great! She met us right on time and was very knowledgeable about both Shanghai and Hangzhou. She took us to a wonderful restaurant across the street from the tea growing hillside where we watched them picking the tea leaves. We loved the bullet train ride, too. Highly recommend both the tour and Rita!
We booked this private tour for a party of 3 (two seniors, one adult) and had a wonderful time! Sunny was very friendly, knowledgeable, and spoke English very well. During the train ride to Hangzhou, she would point out sights and was very informative on what to expect on the tour itself. At the Linyin Temple, she was an excellent guide and made history entertaining. Next we had a homecooked lunch at a local tea house/restaurant. Sunny did the ordering after asking us for our preferences. Everything was delicious. We wanted to buy some Dragon Well tea we had at lunch so Sunny helped us get higher quality tea at a good price. Then we made our way to West Lake, where we walked around while Sunny provided additional insight into its history. Unfortunately we visited in November, when none of the flowers are in bloom. The lake was still lovely, and I can only imagine how much more picturesque it would be during the spring! Lastly, we walked down Hefang Street, window shopping at the various goods and foods being displayed. After another bullet train ride back to Shanghai, we were driven back to the hotel. The highlight of this tour was definitely the Linyin Temple and Sunny herself!
We are very happy that we have booked this tour. The guide is very knowledgeable and speaks fluent English. She answered all our questions and was also flexible with the itinerary as it has been drizzling the whole day. Like all tours, she brought us to places to buy local produces, but at least not very pushing like some others. At the end of the day, we asked her to recommend some good restaurants in Shanghai, and she even dropped us at the door step at one of them. The two restaurants she recommended are really amazing and we have enjoyed our dinner very much for the next two days.
Take this Tour! We enjoyed going to the tea plantation and taking in the sights. Our lunch at the local tea planter's restaurant was very good. The vegetables were fresh and when we requested for mushrooms to take back home, the owner was more than happy to sell us their kitchen's stock. Our guide Lily was very knowledgeable and helpful. When we wanted to climb up all the way to the top of the mountain temple, she gamely took us even if it was a long way up. Make sure to go up the top, the view was amazing!! Plus our 4 year old adored Lily. She really is very good with children. The bullet train trip was also fun. It was nice to travel like a local. Definitely a must book tour!
It's simple: Do not think, just book this tour you won't regret it. We visited very beautiful places and had a very nice meal. Although I was very skeptical about Asian food in general, she persuaded me to try chicken feet and many other things. I now can confirm that the dishes really tasted great. :- At least for me it seems that the Chinese dishes have in terms of tastes even more in common with Swiss ones than with many other European meals, although I didn't expect that. So it was a perfect experience in which I also could learn very much about the Chinese society and public transportation system. And one word for her organisational talent: It was incredible how smoothly she all the transportation and visits handled.
And for those who are still considering the booking:
I was after three tours with them able to use the Chinese metro network, the bicycle renting service, the Chinese keyboard on my phone to send some simplified Chinese characters around the world, ....
What else could you possibly expect after such a short period of time?
My wife and I decided last minute to take this tour and we had a quick response from Viator rep. Ms. Sunny. She was very professional and detail oriented tour guide. She even taken care of our special request for a vegetarian diet. Fro hotel to rail station and from there to sites in Hangzhou and back to hotel was a wonderful experience. Sunny was like a family member and took us around and gave us the history lesson of every site. We enjoyed the tour and will highly recommend the Viator and guide Sunny.