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Dai Li (Darren956) - Our driver - one of the best we had.

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United States
Level Contributor
71 posts
82 reviews
Dai Li (Darren956) - Our driver - one of the best we had.

This is a long overdue recommendation for Dai Li (Dai20008@yahoo.com.cn)

My fiance and I was from USA and in general we dont need "tour guides" but more of a driver.

Being both engineers and budget conscious, we always look for the best priced drivers and honest ones. We are very careful about not getting "tour guides" that takes us to tourist traps where they will receive commission.

In Xian, we used Dai Li as our driver. . We asked him to take us to see Wu Zetian tomb and a couple other attractions in the area. It was a whole day trip and at the end was the dumpling dinner and the tang dynasty show.

We search on this forum before our trip and found Dai Li. Yet we did not book him before we get to Xian because we didnt know our schedule. However since we had his contact, we were able to call him and he responded right away and picked us up right on time at the hotel the next morning. He is also very affordable and gave us a fair price for our trip (trust me, my other half is very frugal and fair). We dont like to be overcharged, but we dont want to unpaid others either. Dai Li gave us the fair good value price for the places we wanted to go to.

My fiance is really picky and usually suspicous of tour guides (sometimes we get the ones that take us tourist trap place for commission). However we were really happy with Darren. He takes you where you need to go - basically on the the best tour guides we ever had. He doesnt make you feel too intruding and lets you go where you want and give you ideas.

Even after we paid him and we thought everything was completely and our service was finished (when he dropped us at the Dynasty Show) - as we wanted. When we got out of the show and dinner (2 or 3 hours later), it was raining and we were scrambling. However, Darren came running to us and pointed us to a buggy and told the driver to take us home. He must have realized it was raining (we didnt know because we were inside) and we will be soaking wet because we didnt have an umbrella. Overall we highly recommend him.

Darren is a guide for that is knowledgeable, honest, responsible and cost effective. We traveled quite often, so we know a good tour guide when we get one.

Anyone who wants to talk to directly to us, can send us a message, we will be happy to help you on skype. We want you to know we are not a tour guide, but actually the real travelers. We would like to help other travelers as many of those who helped us when we planned our trip to Xian last year. Jason - Anna

Tour Guide we used in Xian:

Dai li (Darren)


cell phone: +86 13679168961

Edited: 10:14 pm, April 16, 2013
22 replies to this topic
Magog, Canada
Level Contributor
31,743 posts
638 reviews
1. Re: Dai Li (Darren956) - Our driver - one of the best we had.

It would be usuful to know the price he charges.

United States
Level Contributor
71 posts
82 reviews
2. Re: Dai Li (Darren956) - Our driver - one of the best we had.

We researched the average price for a driver in the area and from our memory he matched or beat it. Actual price really depends where and which car, num of people. I think if you contact him, he will work with you at a fair - good price

Level Contributor
97 posts
3. Re: Dai Li (Darren956) - Our driver - one of the best we had.

That's a nice report.Gave us more expearice to select tour guide and English speaking driver.Also worth to hire them for worth to see attractions and save time and money.Thanks wbptrip.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
17 posts
4. Re: Dai Li (Darren956) - Our driver - one of the best we had.

That english doesnt look like a newyorkers english. Looks more like an ad for the driver

United States
Level Contributor
71 posts
82 reviews
5. Re: Dai Li (Darren956) - Our driver - one of the best we had.

Not everyone have times to edit and grooms through our writing. We just want to get our points out and spent min time. Sorry it bothers bother you so much English professor!

Xi'an, China
Level Contributor
258 posts
6. Re: Dai Li (Darren956) - Our driver - one of the best we had.

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RE: Hire a driver for 1-2 days vs a tour guide

From: CloverIsSweet

Status: You replied to this message at 6:34 am, May 17, 2012


I am looking for a 1 day driver to pick me inside the Wall, then drive me to Qianling Tomb & Yangling Tomb, then drop me off at the Big wild goose pagoda. Let me know how much you charge.


On February 12, 2012 9:13 AM Darren956 wrote:

Dear CloverlsSweet

I've sent you my suggest and the price about your tour in Xi'an. have you got that? so i hope to get the details of your Xi'an trip, then let me give you a good price for your Xi'an trip. if you still have any questions or need any help in China, I'm happy to help you .

Best wishes

Dai li


Cell phone: +86 13679168961

On February 7, 2012 9:01 PM CloverIsSweet wrote:


Can you tell me your rate? We would need pickup from our hotel (muslim quarter) to goose pagoda/tang dynasty and other major attractions. Probably like 1-3 days.

On February 7, 2012 8:28 AM Darren956 wrote:

Dear CloverlsSweet

Thanks your message, if you need any help or have any questions, let me know that. I'm very happy to answer them promptly. I can offer you with guide/van transportation any time.

let you have nice trip in our city.

Best wishes

Dai li


Cell phone: +86 13679168961

On February 1, 2012 2:35 PM CloverIsSweet wrote:

On January 31, 2012 8:33 PM Darren956 wrote:

I'm from Xi'an, let me help you. dai20008@yahoo.com.cn


Thank you..

I will have more questions for you closer to my trip time in May.


Xi'an, China
Level Contributor
258 posts
7. Re: Dai Li (Darren956) - Our driver - one of the best we had.

Hi Vinod S

I remember She and her friend visited Xi'an last year ..looks very young undergraduate students and Chinese Amrican.that's right ,they are from Newyork. if you don't trust that. it doesn't matter. leave it alone.

here are our PM which we wrote in last year, that may help you understanding that. thanks so much.

Level Contributor
13 posts
132 reviews
8. Re: Dai Li (Darren956) - Our driver - one of the best we had.

We have just returned from China and used Dai Li as our tour guide while we were in Xi'an. Dai Li was great, a local person with plenty of local knowledge. He was very flexible and we basically decided on each day, depending for example on the weather, what we would want to do. He struck me as very genuine, friendly and keen to ensure you enjoyed your stay in Xi'an. He was reliable, on time and most importantly did not take us to any "Jade" or "Art" exhibitions although I am sure if we had wanted to he would have. I spoke with a lot of other travellers about their guides and most had gone through agencies and I can assure you that Dai Li's price is very very competitive. When we left, Dai Li was able to use his local knowledge to get us through the line for the plane check in so there was no long wait in a queue. I would highly recommend him. You also get a driver so your car is always there waiting for you.

Level Contributor
15 posts
10 reviews
9. Re: Dai Li (Darren956) - Our driver - one of the best we had.

We hired Dai Li (Darren) based on the reviews in this post. He was the biggest disappointment of our trip in China. We were a family of 9 - hired him for the car and guide service. He was most disinterested in showing us around, he did not know the history of most sites. Infact at every place we visited, he would read the write-ups at the entrance and then tell us about the place (after we would insist on him telling us about the place!). He didn't know entry/exit times or even entry fee costs! If he was a regular guide, how could he not know these basics, especially considering the fact that there are only 4-5 things to see in Xian. At one point we told him to go hear other guides and come and replay what they were telling their tour groups. At many points we caught him giving us completely incorrect information. At one site he told us to go and see it ourself and come out and meet him at the car- we completely refused as we were paying him for guide services!! By the second day when we went to the terricota warriors (which he had assured us he knew better than the other places), he finally hired a guide for us there itself to take us around- perhaps the smartest thing he did on the entire trip. He was obviously not confident of his knowledge and decided to further outsource his services. I have to however mention that through all of this, he had a pleasant and pleasing personality and was at no point gruff or rude to us. The driver on the other hand was possibly the most angry young man we saw in China! He drove safe, which was a good thing, but refused to stop at a store to buy milk for one of the babies with us, or drive through the city wall in the evening to see the lights. He was quite rigid. We ended the trip dissapointed with our tour services, but very happy with the outsourced guide at the Terricota Warriors. Darren's price was competitive and good, however I would definitely pay for an actual guide, but hire him for his car services. This experience has made me lose faith in tripadvisor reviews to a great extent.

Level Contributor
230 posts
7 reviews
10. Re: Dai Li (Darren956) - Our driver - one of the best we had.

I must admit I'm quite suprised by your experience with Dai Li, we used him in January and found him very helpful.

We tend not to use guides, prefering to do our own research, but Dai Li prices were not a whole different from using public transport and when you factoring the convenience of his service made it really good value.

We found his knowledge brought our own research to life and at no time did we feel we were missing out on anything.

His driver was always prompt and friendly, although I don't think he spoke much english


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