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Xian Tour Guide Brian Bay - recommended!

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Copenhagen, Denmark
posts: 1
reviews: 17
Xian Tour Guide Brian Bay - recommended!

I would like to recommend Brian Bay for local guide of Xian. He has a wonderful knowledge of local history, his english is excellent and he loves his job as a tour guide. To Brian Bay being a guide is a liftestyle. He is dedicated, enthusiastic and highly professional. But what makes Brian special is his kindness and helpfulness. He helped us send a parcel from the post office - I doubt we could have done it ourselves, sending a parcel from China to Europe is quite complicated. We had to fill in an address in Xian - and Brian Bay suggested that we used his private address. And so we did - because we knew that we could trust him if anything went wrong.

One more thing that shows Brians helpfullness: We wanted to see the Terracottas and the historic museum on day 1. Day 2 we only needed Brians help to get the tickets to the Tang Show. Or so we thought. Although it was Brians day off, he insisted on guiding us to the show to make sure we were allright. He had ordered the dumbling dinner (very delicious) and made a reservation for good tickets. He also insisted on showing us the muslim mosque and helped us bargain in the bazaar (good for us, not so good for the saleswoman - had we been on our own we would have paid double and believed we did a good bargain...)

At the Terracottas he brought us to a local noodlerestaurant - the meal was delicious. And cheap.

I also want to recommend Brians Bays driver. He is by far the best driver we came across in China. We felt safe every minute. The van/minibus is new and confortable.

We felt sad leaving Xian and Brian Bay - it felt as if we said goodbye to a friend. How many guides do you think of as a friend? Not many.

148 replies to this topic
posts: 8
reviews: 11
31. Re: Xian Tour Guide Brian Bay - recommended!

We recently had the pleasure of having Brian Bei as our guide for the day in Xian, China. Brian was enthusiastic, has a wealth of knowledge about the history and culture of China, and having him made our visit to the Terracotta Warriors, particularly, absolutely fantastic, we would have been lost without him, and not learnt as much. He explained everything so that we could understand it, it made the visit so much more interesting. He also took us to other places in Xian, and this was particularly helpful, we never would have found them on our own. We cannot thank Brian enough for making our day in Xian and at the Terracotta Warriors so wonderful.

posts: 94
reviews: 68
32. Re: Xian Tour Guide Brian Bay - recommended!

We also used Bryan as our guide for the Terracotta Warriors and think he is terrific. He is knowledgeable and gives you lots of information without putting you on info overload! The warriors were amazing, but I don't think we would have appreciated them as much without Bryan. I do recommend using him as your guide, and he can be e-mailed at bryanbaichen@yahoo.com.cn

I hope you enjoy China as much as we did!

Irvine, California...
posts: 1
33. Re: Xian Tour Guide Brian Bay - recommended!

I also used Brian as a tour guide in Xi'an China. I have traveled to many places in china. This was not my first time in china, but it was my first time in Xian. Unlike big city such as hong kong, or shanghai, I recommend having a tour guide. Everything is so spread out that it would be beneficial to have a tour guide. I used Brian's services and it was very enjoyable. I had a private tour. You can arrange any special tour with you and he will accommodate for you. But that is not why I recommend him. He goes above and beyond a duty of a tour guide and he looks after your interest. I stayed one extra day and wanted to go see Hua mountain that was not part of the tour. Though I have some information on how to get there, but he took it upon himself to find out the route, train time, and even wrote down chinese instruction for the taxi driver. He also helped me by giving me an idea of the price of certain items so that I would not be overcharged for souvenirs. But the most important reason you should choose him because you can trust him because I did.

I hope you all enjoy your time in xian. You don't have to stay very long but enjoy your experience. I did.

posts: 1
reviews: 4
34. Re: Xian Tour Guide Brian Bay - recommended!

Booked a days tour with Brian during a short stay in Xian, we visited the Terracotta Warriors site and the Muslim Quarter. Brian also helped me purchase a tripod, suggesting where to buy and then helping with negotiations.

I have booked a number of private guides on various trips to China, all the guides like Brian have been really friendly and willing to go that extra mile to help, But what makes Brian stand out from the other guides is his excellent knowledge, not only of the history but also his local knowledge, for example were we're able to miss the crowds at the Terracotta Warriors site ,even though it was Chinese New Year, by arriving early as suggested by Brian.

If you are planning a trip to Xi'an and are looking for a private guide I can highly recommend Brian.

posts: 2
reviews: 1
35. Re: Xian Tour Guide Brian Bay - recommended!

Brian Bay - An outstanding tour guide!

My wife and I (mid fifties) spent 3 days with Brian in Xian, China and area in March, 2013. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of Chinese history and more importantly gets very excited about sharing his knowledge with his clients. Very impressed with his willingness to tailor the tour experience to my requestes (e.g. riding a bike on the 14 KM old city walls of Xian). On an interpersonal level, it was a pleasure to spend 3 days with Brian and Charlie his driver. He was always on time and was very sensitive to our requirements and expectations. I have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone who is looking for a guide for the Xian region. His English is excellent!

Belfast, United...
posts: 1
reviews: 3
36. Re: Xian Tour Guide Brian Bay - recommended!

We would recommend organising your tour guide for Xi'an through Bryan. For the dates we had chosen, Bryan was already booked so he organised for his colleague Andrew to take over and guide us who, with Mr Wang the driver of the clean, modern and comfortable car, made our stay in Xi'an easy and memorable.

We had wondered about the value of organising a guide as we are independent travelers. However many of the sights are spread out throughout Xi'an and public transport is complex and slow, and taxi drivers don't speak English. You can pack a whole more tourism in by being guided and taken from one sight to another. Explanations of what you are seeing are often brief or only in Chinese so you gain a lot more from someone who is knowledgeable.

On your own you will often be approached by people offering tours but you should stick with *licensed* guides as they

are knowledgeable - having studied for a couple of years and passed an exam

can buy tickets from the tour guides office often reducing the waiting time

get into attractions for free i.e. you don't have to pay an entrance fee for them (unlicensed guides you have to pay entry fees for)

know what tourist want to see (the Warriors. the Great Pagoda etc) and what they don't want to see (tea ceremonies and factory tours)

Also Bryan purchased high speed train tickets for us from Xi'an North station to Beijing - a service our hotel (the Hilton) did not offer.

As for an itinerary, much depends on the time you have available, we had two days and Bryan came up with a plan that didnt see us rushed for one venue to another but allowed us a good feeling of the best Xi'an had to offer.

So in conclusion to get the best out of stay in Xi'an hire a guide - and Bryan/Andrew will provide an excellent service.

Beijing, China
posts: 1
reviews: 3
37. Re: Xian Tour Guide Brian Bay - recommended!

We would highly recommend a tour with Bryan also! Our family took a tour with Bryan for one day in April. The day before our tour Bryan arranged transportation for us from the airport to our hotel and then met us the following morning at our hotel to take us to visit the Warriors, the Wild Goose Pagoda and to bike on the Old City Wall. We all enjoyed the day and my boys, ages 6, 8 and 10, really loved seeing the Warriors and biking on the Wall. Bryan is extremely knowledgeable, his English is very good, his driver is safe and the van is very comfortable. He was very prompt in responding to emails and was happy to provide us with useful local recommendations. Again, we would highly recommend him to anyone planning to visit Xi'an.

Beijing, China
posts: 1
38. Re: Xian Tour Guide Brian Bay - recommended!

After reading the reviews on trip advisor I contacted Bryan to see if he could be a guide for myself and friends when visiting Xi'an.

I was very impressed, he responded to my initial email very promptly, and we quickly agreed a schedule for our day.

My expectations were high based on the comments already posted, and Bryan exceeded expectations. He was on time, very friendly, very informative about the places we visited during the day, and also for suggestions during the remainder of our stay, and his choice for lunch was excellent! I would highly recommend.

London, United...
posts: 1
reviews: 4
39. Re: Xian Tour Guide Brian Bay - recommended!

Hi from Norway

I can confirm that Brian is an exilent tourguide in Xian. Clever and polite. We used his knowledge for 2 days when we vist Xian in mai 2013

I can recomend Brian and will use him again when I I come back to Xian with friends next year.

You can ask him about hotels and restaurants and he will help you with everything you need to know.

Better with a local tourguide than a big tourgroup from the hotel.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to send me an e Mail


Louisville, Kentucky
posts: 4
reviews: 4
40. Re: Xian Tour Guide Brian Bay - recommended!

We used Brian as a guide two weeks ago in Xi'an. He was absolutely delightful! We only spent one day/ night in Xi'an so, needless to say, we were expecting to see a lot in a short amount of time. Bryan & his driver Charlie picked us up from the airport & we headed straight for the Terracotta Warriors. It was reassuring to know we could leave our luggage in the car with Charlie. Bryan was extremely knowledgable about everything to do with the archeological site. His English is impeccable & his passion for his work is admirable. We had a great lunch at a noodle restaurant (we even got to see them make the noodles). We continued to Xi'an city for a bike ride on the city wall. We also visited the Muslim quarter & Mosque. Again we were impressed with Bryan's knowledge of the area. Bryan helped us check into our hotel, suggested a great restaurant for dinner (he even wrote 'not spicy' in Chinese on a piece of paper for me to present to our server at dinner as my diet prevents any spicy), & made sure we knew how to get to the water show. Lastly, Bryan arranged for Charlie to pick us up at our hotel at 5am the next morning for our flight to Beijing. Needless to say, Bryan made our short time in Xi'an possible, we learned so much about the area & the Warriors, we had an amazing time, & we ate some incredible food! All thanks due to Bryan!!!

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