This was a fabulous trip. Our tour guide, William, really took the time to make it a special experience. We had crazy weather with snow so our plans were deterred and our return flight to Shanghai was cancelled. We felt no stress and William and the tour company took care of everything. Even down to him running around the airport and staying with us until we were completely set on our new flight. He asked us what was a must so we did get The Great Wall and it was magnificent covering in snow. Despite low temperatures we had an awesome experience and would highly rec this tour if you only have one day to get to The Great Wall Don't miss it!
A long day but well worthwhile. The Forbidden City, Tiamen Square and the Great Wall all live up to the high expectation I had. Thee guide was excellent - Friendly , informative and professional. Air delays into and out of Shanghai mar the tour.
I booked this tour for my 15 year old daughter and me not really knowing what to expect. However, from the Lobby call to the pre-processed airport checkin we were surprised how smoothly everything went. The meeting at Beijing continued the flow and we were continually surprised and delighted the day ahead. The history of Beijing combined with the hospitality if our English speaking guide and his capable driver made this one of the most memorable days of our trip. If you love history and want to make the most if a wonderful day out we certainly recommend this tour. A fantastic day that will stay in our memories for a long time to come.
If you only have a day, take this tour! We were very lucky with the weather and our guide was really fantastic. Be prepared to walk, we covered a lot of territory in one day. The only weak point was lunch at the Jade shop. If you're a foodie, this is disappointing. However, I'll bet you can get your guide to go to a more interesting stop for lunch if you have an adventurous appetite.
It was AMAZING to see so much of Beijing in such a short time! My guide was very professional and friendly. I've learnt so much about Chinese culture and local life from him. Everything went smoothly and I highly recommend this trip!
It was well worth doing and Jason was an excellent guide and so was his driver.
Excellent organization. Great guide and driver. Pick up from hotel on time. Superb itinerary. Highly recommend.
It was amazing to see all the top attractions in Beijing in one day and back to Shanghai at night. It was super organized and one of the best experiences I've ever had around the world. I mean, what a brilliant idea! btw the lunch was superb as well!
Was picked up by guide at hotel lobby. Were driven to airport where he guided us through line to pick up boarding passes and got us to security.
Met at other end by cheerful, friendly guide who took us to van.
First stop was a government owned silk factory. Fairly interesting but the hard sell to buy a comforter was annoying. The scarf prices were better than Silk King and quality was good so grabbed one.
Then on the Forbidden City. This MUST be experienced to be believed. Photos cannot convey the awesome scale of the place. Guide had good information and helped us find a calendar in one of the onsite shops.
Then in the van to the jade factory for a really mediocre lunch bring your own snacks!
The real hard sell came in the enormous but empty store where the manager could focus his whole attention on us. Nothing interested us but he REALLY wanted to sell us something. Sorry, no sale.
Then a very short ride to the mountains outside the city to the wall.
The wall is....steep. Breathtaking....literally. Wear comfy shoes and be ready for a workout. But worth every moment.
The views are stunning and we had great luck to have clear air after a week earlier Red alert smog days don't know what would have happened if that was our tour day as airports and highways were closed
From there we were dropped at the curb not taken to the gates
There is no way we could have managed this day on our own.
We have had the cousin-in-law tequila factory/souvenir stops in Mexico as well so that's the price one has to pay for the service.
The language barrier makes China more challenging than other countries as well so a guide is almost a necessity. Went to Souzhou on our own and just buying train tickets was an adventure NO English signs in Souzhou station!
Will continue to use Viator as tour company of choice!
Highly recommended although seemed quite expensive for a day. Both Maria the guide and the drivers were excellent, and I manages to see the Great Wall, a jade factory, the Olympic Park and the Forbidden City all in one day. I was taken to the airport far too early but I do understand that Beijing traffic can be very temperamental.
Great tour, started a little early. Delivered as promised airfare, airport driver, tiananmen square, forbidden palace and great wall all by a knowledgeable english speaking tour guide. Only other complaint is the standard tour of a jade factory and silk factory. Really just a slightly pressured sales trip after the tour which only lasts five minutes.
My tour went well. The tour guide and driver were nice people and made the day interesting android ex me with a great insight into every day life in Beijing. The Great Wall was amazing and I recommend that every one does the climb for as far as they can. It is truly a magnificent piece of Architecture and history. The slide cars were a fun way to come back down the Mountain. I will use viatoura again when I travel.
The trip was perfect for my needs. I only had a day, and I didn't want to leave China without seeing the Great Wall. Transportation was convenient: A driver picked me up from the hotel, had my printed plane ticket, then the tour guide and driver for the day picked me up from the airport, and the same driver picked me up at the airport at the end of the day. The tour guide was very nice and easy to understand. I enjoyed the Forbidden City and the Great Wall the most. I was also shown a tea shop, jade shop, and silk shop which were good to see, but also encouraged buying and haggling a bit... I didn't mind much, but by the end of the day, I was tired and just wanted to go back to the airport (I was the only person on the tour). I recommend this tour if you're on a tight schedule, but it would be more fun with someone else too.
First, the good parts- we really enjoyed visiting the Great Wall- this part is definitely worth doing.. The Forbidden City was also interesting. The guide and driver tried very hard to get us everywhere quickly, despite the terrible traffic in Beijing (including a quick stop at Tienanmen Square) and the guide gave us lots of information. The pick-ups and drop-offs went smoothly. However, it was a very long day. It would have been better to put us on an earlier return flight to Shanghai. In order to save time, we could suggest cutting out the trip to the Chinese Medicine Clinic in the afternoon, under the guise of getting a "free" foot massage! This was an unexpected consultation with a doctor and his translator who wanted us to spend thousands of dollars on medicines and they were not impressed when we did not buy their recommended treatments. We did not set out to go to a doctor's appointment on our holiday- the whole experience was quite unpleasant and we felt ambushed. The "free" foot massage was not complimentary either as we were pressured into leaving a tip. At lunch, we were given the "opportunity" to buy jade but this was more low-key at least. Overall, it was interesting but tiring and a bit stressful -between the long hours ( nearly 18 hours from pick-up to drop-off), the sales pitch and the seemingly never-ending traffic gridlock of Beijing. It would have been nice to have water available on board the bus as it was a long time between lunch and further opportunities to eat and drink (i.e.at the airport, several hours later)..
Note from Viator: Thank you for your review. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced during your tour. We have contacted the tour company and have addressed your concern with them. Thank you for helping us ensure the quality of our tours.
It was an interesting day, very fast paced. It did not start out great though.... At 5:30 am, on our way down in elevator, when the doors opened, the Guide that was shuttling us to airport said You are late. It turns out it was 5:32am-Apple time. Not a pleasant start. At airport we were given paperwork, but struggled to get past security as the paper barding pass was not accepted. After 3 tries of very mean airport personnel, we finally were able to get on. I personally think, that you know your own airport, Guide should have helped us print a boarding pass at the airport. Shanghai airport everyone is pushy, rude, and have no sense of personal space at all-to the point of feeling uncomfortable. Ran to gate, and got on plane, but we thought we would miss the plane with all the back and forth with boarding pass. Guide in Beijing was good. Great Wall was amazing, as were T Square and Forbidden City. Lunch at a Jade Store was good, but salespeople were indeed pushy, and follow you around the entire store. On our way back we were dropped off 3 hours prior to departure, which was a bit early. We could have gone somewhere else as we are only in Beijing once. Once dropped off at airport, Guide was in extreme hurry to leave us. Above complaints I am providing as this was an expensive tour and the described airport experience make a huge difference on stress and in how you spend the day.
This was a total rip-off
We spent nearly 4,000 for 4 people to see The Forbidden City and The Great Wall. But, here's how the day really went down:
-- We were picked up in Shanghai at our hotel and escorted to the airport. Our guide was quick and smart and thorough. We had zero issues on the Shanghai side on both ends of the day. The Beijing was another matter altogether.
-- We were picked up on time in Beijing and driven immediately to some silk scam shop, where we were marched through a 2-minute explanation of how silk works the same explanation about worms and larve and moths you saw in 2nd grade and then held hostage inside as we were expected to buy poorly-made silk products one could find in any Chinatown shop in America. We were HOUNDED by several touts in this shop who were relentless in their effort to sell us this garbage.
-- Since we had to get up at 4am to hit the airport in time for our early flight, we hadn't eaten breakfast yet. When we asked to stop to get something to eat at about 10am, we were told we had no time and had to wait for lunch later -- and that it was better for us to wait because we could eat more food when we are hungrier.
-- We were then driven to the Forbidden City and dropped off on the street several blocks away from the entrance. We were then marched to the front gate by our shockingly empty-headed guide who seemed to be obsessed with how many babies the various princesses had, but offered little else about the City or the fact we were standing right in Tiananmen Square or across the street from Maos tomb or anything else of relevance.
-- Once inside the Forbidden City, our guide continued on about the babies, didnt know much about the individual buildings and encouraged us to take a lot of selfies. We were inside the City for about an hour when we were told we needed to shuffle off to our next destination. So, we were marched outside the wall again, back to where our driver had parked the car.
-- On the march back to the car, we saw several shops, etc. where we could grab a snickers or whatever to stave off the hunger. But, we were told that food was dirty and that we needed to wait for the official lunch.
-- We then started to make our way to the wall by car or at least thats what we were told. At some point our guide made a phone call where she pretended to arrange for our lunch at a restaurant.
-- An hour or so later, our driver pulled off the highway to a largely empty parking lot that surrounded a large building. We were told this was a our lunch stop. Once inside, we were shuffled into a room and told to sit down. Another woman walked into the room and started a spiel about jade and how to tell good jade from bad jade, the history of jade, the importance of jade, etc. Still no lunch.
-- Then we were corralled into a massive warehouse where, of course, several touts were trying to sell us jade at highly inflated prices.
-- Once we spent about 30 minutes literally pushing the salespeople off of us, we were escorted into an adjacent building where lunch would be served. We saw no menu and were offered no choices. Cold dishes of food that had been prepared several hours earlier were flung onto the table. We ate the rice and left the rest of it, which was horrible. So, so much for the theory that it was better for us to wait because we could eat more food when we are hungrier.
-- Finally, we were back on the road and off to the wall. We were told that because it was so late in the day and because traffic back to Beijing would be bad, we could not go to the back part of the Wall where most people go, that we should go to the beginning to save time.
-- At the beginning of the Wall we were given 45-minutes to walk around and be back at the van. We did that and got back in the van, where we we told we could just sleep because there was SO MUCH TRAFFIC.
-- An hour and 15 minutes later, we arrived at the airport more than 4 hours before our flight. We were dumped off outside the airport where we were told we should just look around for our flight and gate by ourselves and that we should give the driver a big tip.
For an EXPENSIVE private tour, you are not treated well. For starters you are picked up at 4:30 in the morning. No time for breakfast, nor is anything open. The drivers or tour guides do not provide you with water, which you can not take on the plane. They are also put off by the suggestion that as tour guides, especially in the hot summer, they should have had some water. Second, they really do not treat this as a private tour. For starters they had miscommunication from the tour company that we did not want to go to the Great Wall. I have no idea where they got that from, but after a while of straightening it out they got us to it. We were rushed through the Forbidden City. Did not have a chance to look at anything. Also, early in the tour we told them that we were not shoppers but was still forced to go to a jade factory and a tea house. These are like any other tour shopping stops except when there are only two on the tour, the sell gets much more aggressive. The delicious Chinese lunch as described by the tour was in the jade factory and it was pretty much a general tso's chicken like we get in America. Then we were just dropped off at the Great Wall and that was it. Why couldn't we have gone to the Temple of Heaven instead of the two shopping tours? Why was our return flight not until 9:30pm and forced to stay at the dingy Beijing airport for an excessive amount of time? SAVE YOUR MONEY AND DO NOT BOOK THIS TOUR!!!
Julie S United Kingdom
Our tour guides English was extremely difficult to understand, so we had to just nod and smile in hopefully all the right places - so missed out on loads of info She kept telling my son that he looked just like his 'daddy' - my son is 27 and we were with his step father! We asked to go for 2 minutes to Tianamen Square which was opposite the forbidden city but she got very stressy and although she agreed to go, she told us we were now running late and would get no lunch and have to go to another location of the Great Wall. Still starving , she then proceeded to rub my husbands stomach whilst telling a story about a 'happy Buddha'!! All in all this was a very expensive day trip and a complete disappointment.
Note from Viator: Thank you for your review. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced during your tour. We have contacted the tour company and have addressed your concern regarding guide service with them. Thank you for helping us ensure the quality of our tours.
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