China Highlights Hong Kong
China Highlights Hong Kong
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China Highlights Hong Kong takes you to explore the highest peak of Hong Kong, going by tram and enjoying the views along the way. Going to the home of the fishermen and the classic Repulse Bay.
Hong Kong, China

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,402 reviews
Excellent
1,331
Very good
61
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5
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2

Antoinette S
Melbourne, Australia5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017 • Solo
I traveled as a solo female to Beijing & booked two full day tours through parent company Viator. I can't believe my good fortune on being assigned Tour Guide Crystal & Driver Mr Young from China Highlights Tours. I selected the small group VIP Forbidden City & Great Wall at Mutianyu tour. Despite the horrendous traffic, Crystal was waiting for me on time in the hotel lobby. She escorted me to an immaculate car driven by the gracious Mr Young. There was an annual Communist Party conference happening, so crowds & queues were worse than usual around Tiananmen Square. I don't know what magic Crystal used but her polite conversations with Officials & the presentation of her ID, had us sailing to the front of the lines. I was in awe of Crystal's knowledge of history & thoroughly enjoyed my time around Tiananmen Square & then inside the Forbidden City. We were then on our way to a quaint local restaurant for lunch before heading to the Great Wall. The restaurant was busy - Crystal took our order - a first for her, I believe! I cannot adequately describe what a wonderful experience the Great Wall was. I have no doubt that Crystal made this an unforgettable experience (I was assigned a different tour company for my second day in Beijing & the experience could not have been more different) As awe inspiring as the Wall is, it is also very challenging to traverse. Crystal was so diligent in pointing out where extra caution was needed. She also set up some amazing photo opportunities. Theses are memories that will be with me forever. I feel I was in receipt of service that was 'above & beyond ' (refreshments provided, advice re my onward travel arrangements). As a solo traveler, I can't express enough how much I appreciated this kind & friendly person who looked after me so well.
When next in Beijing, I will not hesitate to contact China Highlights Tours. Their staff are a credit to them.
Written April 3, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi there We're pleased that you enjoyed your time in Beijing with Crystal, and that she made you feel at ease at all times. You'll definitely have captured many memories of your time and we are sure you friends would enjoy seeing your photos and hearing of your experience. We'd love to see you again too when you are next in Beijing. Don't hesitate to call us. Take care! Regards CH Customer-care Team
Written April 6, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

tjmgreene
Benalla, Australia5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016 • Couples
My wife and I recently enjoyed a three week tour of China, as organised by and negotiated with China Highlights.

We travelled in the month of October, 2016, which reputedly is the best time to visit China weather-wise: 8-31 October.

When planning the tour with Coco Yang, the organiser, we specified that we wanted to travel privately, not part of a group, with our own driver and guide in each location. We were particularly interested in seeing the old China, learning about the country's history and experiencing the culture of minority groups, as well as seeing some of the great sites visited by tourists from both within and outside China.

The trip was simply fantastic and exceeded our expectations in almost every regard.

We visited Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Yangzhou, Kunming, Lijiang, Chengdu, Chongqing, Yichang and Shanghai. This also included a one-day cruise on the Li River and a three day cruise on the Yangtze.

All of the hotels we stayed in were comfortable, clean, safe and friendly. They were typically four star in quality. Importantly, the location of each was ideal: central, close to restaurants, wine shops and banks. All provided the internet. English-speaking staff were generally available.

The guides were outstanding. Susie, our first guide in Beijing, was typical of all. Susie is a charming young woman. She is knowledgeable about China. Not only did she know all about the places we visited - the Changling tomb, Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Hutong, Drum Tower, Summer Palace and Lama Temple - but she also answered our many questions about current life in China, its achievements and future challenges. We really enjoyed getting to know about her own personal life and family background. She is fluent in English. As a guide she paced our activities nicely and we never felt rushed. She was always punctual, courteous, helpful and attentive to our needs. Most of all she was personable and friendly. We learned so much.

We were delighted with the efficient and effective transfers from airport to hotel and reverse, to cruises, and during the day to the various activities we had planned. We were always confident that we were running on time. This was due to Coco, the guides and drivers.

All of the guides took us to interesting places to eat lunch each day and at our request gave recommendations for dinner in each location. The regional cuisine became a highlight of our tour. Standouts were spiced river trout and Peking Duck in Beijing, dumplings in Shanghai and Sichuan-style food. We were never disappointed and typically ate in mid-level restaurants.

We learned much about the minority people including the Yao and Zhuang people but others too. We visited their houses, villages and farms and our guides were adept at building these activities into our program. We recommend this activity to discerning tourists.

The highlights of our tour included the obvious ones (Forbidden City, Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors and Yangtze) but, more importantly, the opportunity also to interact with the guides, drivers and local people and thereby learn much about this fascinating country.

Our only reservation about the tour was that it included relatively few opportunities to walk or hike, as we had requested. We did do some walks and enjoyed them immensely: for example, walking to the Longi Terraces, in the Stone Forest and on the Jade Dragon Mountain. In retrospect we should have been more specific when planning the trip. For instance, I regret that I did not have a few hours to walk along the Great Wall to really sense the history. We should have checked the draft itineraries more carefully and allowed four, rather than three, weeks for the tour. This was our responsibility.

We personally recommend China Highlights to any would-be visitor to China. The company provides not only value for money but also the opportunity to plan a trip to cater for one's specific interests. We plan on returning to China in the near future and will use China Highlights again.
Written November 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ni hao timgreene Wow, what an adventure you had, and so pleased to know you enjoyed your time exploring China with us. You covered a lot in the 3 weeks exploring not only the countryisde and minority areas, but from the old ancient capital to the modernity and ever changing skyline of the mega-cities. We're glad that Coco and our guides were on hand to help make this trip happen for to enjoy and capture your interests. We do hope that you can come again to explore more areas of this vast country. Zai jian CH Customer-care Team
Written November 29, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Miet P
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Family
Sophia is your perfect guide for a Bejing tour. Because she is born in Bejing and still lives in the heart of Bejing, she can give you a lot of information and valuable tips to have this great chinese experience. The first night she reserved tickets for a wonderful Bejing opera and went with us after to a typical chinese restaurant in the bejing hutong area to taste a deliscious hotpot.
The next days we we visited Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, the Great Wall at Mutianyu, the Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, ... She gave us the time we needed to look around, take pictures and enjoy the tour. Her English is perfect and she even learned us some chinese words.
She is a very enthusiastic person, very very friendly and a fantastic guide.
Written July 31, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GauthierHK
Hong Kong114 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Couples
We booked a tour with China Highlights to go on the great wall for one day.
First, the website was mentioning that we could hike from Jinshaling to Simatai, but they replied it could not be done because the 2 sections were not joined anymore. That's not something new, and it would have been good to update the website with this.
We were supposed to have free water for the whole day, but after drinking 2 small bottles each (we were 2 people), there was no more water, and they didn't do anything to buy anymore.
There was supposed to be hiking poles available, but they didn't offer it to us.
The guide had no idea about what was happening, she didn't know the 2 sections of the wall were not linked anymore, even though the person i had by email knew about it. She had no idea where to get off from the wall on our hike, and had to ask vendors on the wall about it.
Then we got to Simatai, and she had no idea where we would have lunch. She had to go in some restaurants and check whether the budget was ok, then she said we could only have 3 dish and that's it. Given the price paid (198 USD / person), i find this very cheap.
When we got to Simatai, they forgot to ask our passport numbers early enough, and forgot to ask us to bring the passport with us, fortunately we could still get in.
After that they offered either to go up by foot, or by cable car.
The thing is it was already quite late (1.30pm), and going up by foot would have taken at least 2 hours i reckon, meaning the only solution was to go by cable car, but we had to pay for it.
On top of that, because it was not free for the guide, she did not go with us. So much for having a private guide that doesn't go with you...

After i filled the comment form (which was not even in an enveloppe), the guide called me at my hotel at 8.30pm, saying she read it and was sorry about it, and wanted to make up for it.
She then called again at 10.30pm, saying she wanted to bring some gifts to us the day after.
Then she came at our hotel at 11am in the morning, directly at our door (i call this intrusive) to bring a cheap photo book of the forbidden city and some chopsticks.
She said she was sorry and did not want the management to know about this.
Looks dodgy to me.
Written March 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi GauthierHK, We are very sorry that we failed to meet your expectations and that our service was less than ideal. Fortunately, we were able to connect with you and provide a refund to you as a way of apologizing. We take pride in our service and nothing disappoints us more than when we find out we've let a customer down. We have taken note of the things you've mentioned in this review and will make every effort to improve our service so that in the future this won't happen again. Regards, China Highlights Customer Care Manager
Written March 9, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Gabriel I
27 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Solo
It was a 2 days tour in Beijing (Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Jingshan Park, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace and Bird's Nest Stadium of lunch in both days). I'm gonna summarise it here and then put it in detail below:

DAY 1: Basically the Guide just passed by Tiananmen Square quickly with no explanations, only 55 minutes in the huge Forbidden City (poor info again) passing by 6 places inside INSTEAD OF 10 THAT WAS IN THE ITINERARY, then she move the park for this day, din't go with to the summit of it and therefore, no explanation about anything of what to see up there. Going to the Great Wall, she slept on the way until there, didn't tell me anything about the Great Wall history, est (only read the info board there said the year it was built) and SHE SENT ME ALONE to the top. Detail: The rope way was included so to have the Toboggan I should pay the difference (Rope way or Toboggan 100, both 120, so difference 20RBM), however she ASKED ME FOR 120 RBM then I said toboggan is 100 (I didn't realise it was the same rope way and toboggan for 120 RBM to pay only 20) and she took me 100 RBM and I saw she getting a paper of 80 RBM and the ticket guy giving money back to her. She gave me ONLY 1h 30min there and we were back at the hostel around 16h (1h before planning, counting that she added also the park that was not supposed to be on that day).

DAY 2: We should start the day at 7:30, but she started at 9:00, we went for only 40 minutes at the Temple of Heaven, again very poor information, almost nothing, then around 1:20 at the huge Summer Palace, where we didn't walk by the gallery (as it was in the itinerary), we just took the boat to the bridge and finished the tour there. There we bought I souvenir at the entrance for 5 RMB and when the other participant saw he wanted to buy and she gave hers to him saying it was 10 RMB. After it we went directly to the restaurant that WAS NOT THE ONE IN THE ITINERARY and WE ARRIVED AROUND 2:30PM FOR LUNCH (so, the other participant didn't visit to the Jingshan Park because they did only this day and she went there in the first day). Once at the restaurant she just said that maximum food budget was 60 RMB (you can not eat properly with that - 7 euros), so i just asked rice with something and she made me pay 30 RMB to her, HOWEVER SHE ASKED 2 MEALS EXACTLY THE SAME AND TOOK ONE AWAY HOME WITH HER. After it she didn't stop at the Bird's Nest Stadium to take the "panoramic view picture" that said in the itinerary, and when I asked to stop she stopped the van in the middle of the street next to Water Cube (opposite site of the stadium) and told me to go OVER THE FOOTBRIDGE to take the picture. I said it is impossible and she not happy at all went to another street, stop the van in the middle of it and told me to JUMP IN THE FENCE to take the picture with a lot of other fences in the way and far from the stadium and the "panoramic view" (she said it is where they always take picture - unsafe and unbelievable). In the end she dropped me at a Hotel next to mine almost 1h before the programmed time, considering that we started 1:30 later!!

So, basically it was terrible!!!! Very very poor information, didn't go with me to Park and the Wall (so it was basically go yourself, not a guide that goes with you and explain). I felt really extorted at the Wall with the toboggan thing, at the Restaurant and the tour in general for the priced I payed and the service I got. At the Forbidden City only 6 places (it said 10 in the itinerary), different restaurant, made me pay the food, no proper picture at the stadium, started the day after and finished before, etc... I really think I waste my money and time in Beijing with such a terrible experience.

Full explanation below:

DAY 1:
- Initially (and it was not a big deal), the guide asked me to come to hotel next to my hostel to pick me up, when at the tour arrangement it was planned to be at my hostel.

- In the first day and should go to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square at the beginning and it was terrible, once she passed walking through the square with say any historical details, and it was basically saying that there is a big and important square, moving to the Forbidden City and not really willing to wait for pictures or helping me with pictures (once the group in the first day was only me). Actually she took some pictures, but not very happy and always walking fast to not be asked for take it and always saying that I should buy a selfie-stick.

- Inside the Forbidden City and stayed ONLY 55 minutes and visited 6 buildings INSTEAD OF 10 that was in the itinerary. Again, very poor explanation and most of the time it was me asking things trying to get some information.

- After that, she just said to go to the Jingshan Park and told me to go up the mountain alone, AGAIN without any explanation in the beginning and of course up there, once I was alone and didn't know what to pay attention of any important detail that a guide should accompanied and tell you to look at.

- After it we moved to have lunch and the Great Wall (the lunch was brocoli, noodles and dumpling). At the Great Wall she said NOTHING, the only thing she did was read what was in an information board saying the year it was build. Also, she told me to go up alone because she goes up everyday, so she wait for me in the low-level. I payed for the Toboggan 100 RMB, instead of the 20 RBM difference from the 100 rope-way included and SHE ASKED ME for 120 RBM initially, them I showed that the price for Toboggan was 100 RBM and she took it to buy and I saw i ticket on her hand for a refund of the 80RMB. Also, she gave me ONLY 1 and HALF hour on the wall, so at 14:30 WE WERE ALREADY at the car coming back to my hostel.

- Adding on that, she was sleeping during the car trip to the Great Wall and coming back, what is not very professional, mainly considering the poor historical explanations that she should be giving.

- They left me on hostel 1h before the planned, and considering tht she added the park that shouldn't be that day.

DAY 2:

- Instead of start the day at 7:30, she picked me up at 9:00 and we went to the temple of heaven (less than 1h) and then to the Summer Palace (around 1h). Again, very poor information, but this day I had 2 americans in the group so we keep asking and we got the same impression that she didn't explain properly and didn't really like to be asked.

- The 2 americans didn't go to the Jingshan Park because she did it with me on the day before. Also, she kept my ticket from the Summer Palace for some reason. Adding on that, she bought a souvenir in the entrance with me 5 RBM each and 1 minute after the american guy said he would like one she said she could take hers giving the same money, but actually charged 10 RBM.

- We had lunch in a restaurant different from the one of the itinerary, she took us to a restaurant next to the Bird's Nest Stadium, and once there she said our budget for lunch was 60 RBM (with which you cannot eat properly), so I asked for normal rice and one plate with shrimps which costs 90 RBM all together and she asked me for 30 RBM, however she asked for 2 dishes, eat 1 and took the other away with her...

- Finally, she didn't even stop at the Water Tube and Bird's Nest Stadium, she passed with the van next to it and I asked to take the picture and it was in the itinerary, so she just asked the drive to stop the van in the street of the Water Cube so I could take a picture FROM ABOVE THE FOOTBRIDGE, but I could barely see the stadium from there, so she moved to another road, stop the van again in the middle of it and told me to jump in the fence and take a picture from there, very far away from the stadium and with limited view. Me and the american guy said it was not a good view and she said that it's what she always do because you can not see the whole stadium and get closer. It was very far away, unsafe and nothing close the "best panoramic view" that was described on the itinerary.
Written October 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Gabriel We are very sorry to learn that your trip was not met to your expectations. After following up on this we would like to emphasis that on no occasion were you misled or overcharged with any prices. Concerning the Great Wall cable-care and tobaggon ride down, it was made clear to you that in our itinerary and on our website, that . . "If you want to take one way cable car and one way chairlift or toboggan, you need to pay the price difference CNY100 per person at your own expense." As you clearly state the budget per person for lunch was 60RMB per person. From our experience and customer's feedback, this is usually substantial. One cannot make comparison to one's own country of the allowance and how much food one would get for that price. The lunch that was ordered by you was well over the budgeted price, hence the extra charge was made to cover the cost. The extra dishes ordered by our guide, was for herself and the driver, to which they paid it themselves, not out of the budget of your customer's meal allowance. We do acknowledge that there were aspects of your tour that fell below your expectation and we had remedied this with you. Once again, we apologize for this and thank you for your detailed feedback, as this will help us to review our services and to make necessary changes for improvement in the future. Regards Customer-care Team
Written October 31, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AKMarsh
Hebburn, UK5 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2016 • Solo
I am a British citizen who was entitled to a 72 hour visa free visit to Beijing. I booked the standard trip for November 2016 with Whitney (--) who was really good. She arranged my accommodation in Dongfang hotel which was a nice place in a nice area. I felt in safe hands with her and her colleague Susan (--), who sent me details of my trip that were very helpful getting through customs. I highly recommend having a copy available as the Chinese authorities scrutinise every detail so this was very useful.

However, my tour guide, May (--) was a big disappointment. At first she seemed nice, helpful with a sense of humour, but soon it became clear that she was completely uninterested in my experience and wanted to get me over and done with. On day one, she raced me across Tiananman Square, barely allowing me to take in the experience, let alone any photos. Then we dashed through the Forbidden City and Summer palace because she said it wasn't interesting even though I wanted to see it. The dinner was ok, nothing spectacular but was at least included. I thought we were going quickly so we could spend more time in the next place but it turned out she just wanted to drop me off as early as possible so she could get home.

On the second day, I was rushed around the Great Wall and had to ask May several times to take my photo as she said she was bored as she sees it several times a week. I did my best to take in everything and thankfully enjoyed myself regardless. Again the food was ok, nothing amazing. I spent the vast majority of time being driven to the next place, only to have a whistle stop and then get dropped back at the hotel. The Temple of Heaven was seen and done in about 15 minutes which was disgusting. She didn't even translate any writing for me so I had to guess what was going on. I had to prompt her to tell me about things and whilst she knew her information, she was always unwilling to stop and explain what I was seeing, as though I was stopping her from doing something she wanted.

The driver assigned to me did not speak a word of English but was happy to talk at length to May, who would speak to her in Chinese and completely ignore me. I asked for the radio to be turned on several times but they refused as they were talking and I sat in silence. The driver even ran a red light as she was also texting at the wheel and had to do an emergency stop, which was really dangerous as the roads were a little icy. Thankfully no one was hurt. May gave me a form to fill in on the way back and checked it after I had completed it, scrutinising my average review. She gave me a long lecture about how she deserved a high score and so I felt coerced into changing my answers. When she was satisfied that I didn't make her look bad she then continued to ignore me.

On my third and last day, May met me at the hotel and practically frogmarched me to an ATM. She demanded 600 yen for herself and 300 yen for the driver which I thought was excessive (given my experience) but did so because I needed to get to the airport. She counted it out exactly before allowing me to get in the car and demanded I gave her a good review on trip advisor. Luckily the app didn't work on my phone as she watched over me the entire time.

All in all, I was very disappointed. Wendy and Susan in the office were great, I could not fault them, but May was a big let down. As a person she was funny, but as a tour guide she was 100% in the wrong industry. I did not get a satisfactory experience and as a result, I would be hesitant to recommend this company which is a real shame considering how pleased I was before I experienced May's bad attitude.
Written December 26, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear AKMarsh We are sorry to have read of your disappointment with our guide and driver in Beijing during your 3 days stay. Usually all our guides and drivers are aware of the standard and professionalism that is required by our company. We will follow-up with the remarks you have made to help us verify what had happened and will contact you directly via email. CH Customer-care Team
Written December 30, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Teresa G
Denver, CO4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Family
We booked a 2 ½ week tour through China Highlights for our family – two adults and three college kids. Whitney did a great job and was patient with our many revisions to our itinerary. Lili was our first guide for 4 days in Beijing and set the bar very high for the remainder of our trip. We all loved her and she was like one of the family. She was very friendly, knowledgeable, had a great command of English. Our youngest daughter has spent four years studying Chinese and Lili was great in helping her and conversing with her in Chinese. She was the ultimate guide and friend as she took care of all of our needs in addition to be a joy to spend our days with. We visited several sites in Beijing including the Summer Palace with Boat Ride, Garden of Virtue and Harmony, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, The Mutianyu Great Wall(cable car up and tobaggan down), Bird Nest, Lama Temple, Temple of Heaven, Hutong Tour in Xicheng District. Along with the driver, Lili made access to everything easy and comfortable. She chose interesting restaurants for our lunches and gave good suggestions for other places to visit. We have not hesitated in recommending Lili and China Highlights. We have recommend to several people that have inquired about travelling to China already.
Written December 11, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anne W
Calgary, Canada53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Family
My family of 3 used China Highlights to create a private tour the summer of 2014 and were blessed to have clear blue skies most of the time in Beijing . Our trip was coordinated by a wonderful woman named Christy Luo who worked diligently to ensure everything was just right. Not only was I delighted with the service, but she did an awesome job at ensuring that our costs were unbeatable (and I did compare with other tour agencies). We went to a number of different location - Beijing was our first stop

The company * * * * *

Before we left Canada I have to say I was quite nervous visiting China...but my fears were soon put to rest. We were given a phone and had direct contact with Christy Luo at all times (should there be any concerns along the way). China Highlights did an absolutely amazing job...above and beyond all our expectations. The guide we had (Leo) was kind, courteous and did all she could to make certain we were happy. We knew that this was a once in a lifetime trip and so we really wanted to make sure we took lots of pictures. Leo served as a personal photographer and did a brilliant job for us. I think our tour days were supposed to be 8 hours long, but I'm sure we must have gone a good 12 hours every day...we wanted to see all we could. Leo took us for amazing walks around 2 different parts of the great wall in blistering heat. he even carried our backpack along the way. The amazing thing is that Leo changes plans at a moments notice when we wanted to change our itinerary the second day of our tour.

We always had water, snacks and toilet wipes wherever we went - Leo made sure of that.

Attractions
Here is a list of what we saw (and my personal ratings out of 5 stars):

Hiking from Jinshanling great wall to Shimatai * * * * * (totally spectacular, and the restaurant here had the best sweet and sour pork in all of china!)
Yu Yong pass great wall * * *
Lama temple * * * * * (wow..it's huge - this is not one building)
Tiananmen Square *** (just a big square - but a must to see, besides its directly beside Forbidden city)
Forbidden City * * * * * (quite a lot of building exteriors to see - fascinating)
Hall of clocks and watches (attached to Forbidden city) * * * * * (lots of clocks- really neat)
Kung Fu Show ( in Red theatre) * * * * * (I cried...very moving drama, the songs stays in your head forever. This is not just martial arts)
Beijing Opera * (and I like culture...totally a snoozefest, but this was my choice, not the tour people's idea I should have listened when they tried to talk me out of it)
Summer Palace * * * * (nice, but paled in comparison after seeing Forbidden city)
Hutong * * * * (a really cool thing to see in Beijing - nothing like it in North America)

Small lanes with communal housing * * * * *
We also ventured out on our own and walked into small lanes close to our hotel. We saw another part of China...perhaps how the cleaning staff of the fancy hotels live. It was enlightening.

Traffic * * * *
Oh my goodness...it is like an amusement ride. Coming from North America we never saw anything like it. Man, you have to be skilled to drive in China! Those people were making 5 lanes out of 4, getting within an inch of one another and never an accident to be seen. It was fun and amazing. Just make sure to walk alongside your guide if you have to cross a busy street

The atmosphere of Beijing is like nothing I have ever experienced. It is loud, fun and calm all at the same time. The people are amazing....despite the constant craziness, no one ever seems to get upset There is so much history there, so much to see, I regret that I didn't stay a couple more days and a couple less days in Shanghai.

Shopping * * * * *
We found that the best place to shop for bargains in all of China is in Beijing. We went to a mall called the pearl market (open until 7 pm). We found really excellent deals on shoes, silk scarves, jewelry. I bought a lot there, but I wanted to see what else I could get in the rest of China. No, this was the best place in my opinion. Lots of knock offs. Also good for so veneers and things like chopsticks, fans, etc. We were never taken to any stores. We specifically asked to go to this market and were given the time we wanted there.

Food
There was never any lack of food. the thing was that we were often too busy to eat. Sometimes we would run in and get some quick KFC for lunch so we didn't have to stop. The restaurants we were taken to were always awesome. leo helped us order each time and checked on us to ensure we were happy.
The best restaurant experience was when Leo took is for Peking duck - a really neat thing to see and eat. It is a dish that is actually prepared in 3 separate ways. We don't do well with chop sticks, so always were given forks.
Apart from restaurants, there are dozens of make shift venders everywhere....they come out of the woodwork at night and the smells of delicious sidewalk fare is wafting through the air.

Hotel
We stayed at the Crowne Plazza Beijing and I was so happy we did. I didn't know what to expect...I even asked if they had hand soap before I left Canada. Oh my goodness...was I ever wrong!!! In China, they stock hotels with everything...soap, shampoo, lotion and slippers. When I needed anything it took about 2 minutes flat to grant my request. The buffet breakfast was really good. Once they ran out of the yogurt I liked and the manager personally brought me one from the back.

Toilet Tip
You will find both eastern and western toilets in china (see my photo of eastern style). It took us a while, but we caught on how to use them. However, many places have both. I learned that even at the more remote attractions there is often a handicapped stall with a western type toilet, so it is possible to usually have access to such a toilet. However, there were a couple of occasions where only eastern toilets were available. Still, it is an experience.

We went on with China Highlights to see Xian, Guilin, Yangshuo, Chongqing, Yangtze cruise and Shanghai
When all was said and done I compared my costs to what I would have spent on a regular bus tour (the kind where you go with 30 other people). I was astonished to see how similar the prices actually were. China Highlights really came through and offered us an amazing deal. We saw everything we wanted and were never rushed. I am so glad I saw China this way
I hope this review helped you. If you have any questions, I have LOTS of info about China Highlights and China in general. Thanks for reading
Written March 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Anne, So gald you had a great trip. Leo is a great tour guide. I'm thrilled China Highlights could be a part of making some wonderful memories. Regards, China Highlights Customer Care Manager
Written March 30, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kate
Geelong, Australia5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Couples
If you enjoy history, with a knowledgeable and informative guide.. then this is the your for you! We enjoyed a day with Linda visiting Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. We took the Forbidden Palace Emperor special tour. Linda’s knowledge of the history of the special members of major dynasties was quite comprehensive. If you want to learn more about Chinese history, then this is the tour to take.
Written November 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Kate Thanks for letting us know how your day went with Linda, and that she was able to impart to you much of the history and background of the sites. Hope you can visit again. Customer-care Team
Written November 4, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ArjunP_SD
San Diego, CA39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019 • Couples
We arrived in Beijing last weekend for a 3 night stay and tour organized by our US travel agent with China Highlights.

We were received at the airport by our smart and affable guide Serena. She speaks excellent English and loves to chat - and so do we - so the 1 hour drive to our hotel (Penta Hotel) went by quickly!

After checking us in and even helping us with money changing Serena left us to recover from our travels - setting up a time to meet us at the lobby bright and early.

We were lucky to have a colleague’s parents take us out for a yummy 😋 dinner so were rested and well fed by the time we met Serena the next morning.

First thing that morning the value of having an English speaking guide was realized... Tinnamen Square was closed for a few hours because of rehearsals for October 1st celebrations... and we didn’t realize that till we got there. Serena quickly adjusted the schedule and we did the Summer Palace (initially planned for the afternoon) first.

Serena was very knowledgeable about all the sites and also general “life in China” questions. She coincidentally happened to be vegetarian like us so choose excellent local restaurants for us 3 to eat in.

She also adjusted to our preferences - the afternoon in Forbidden City got very hot so she made sure we were hydrated and was happy to take us to a garden area of this amazing site when it was too hot to walk by yet another courtyard with no shade!!

The next day after Hutong tour we went to Water Town - which is basically a resort town built at the base camp of the Great Wall. After checking us in to our ex elect boutique hotel (William Edgar) she walked us over for a yummy 😋 Hot Pot lunch. We then walked along (Serena happy to take our photos wherever we wanted) Water Town and as hoc decided to see a free acrobatic performance (excellent!) before taking the cable car up to the Wall.

After the Wall visit we came back to Water Town to see one of the best fountain shows we’ve ever seen - beats Vegas hands down!!

The next day Serena let us sleep in (!) as we didn’t want to the morning Wall visit and we threw instead saw a cute Buddhist temple and pagoda. On way back to Beijing airport for our flight to Xian Serena found a suitable restaurant close by to airport that served up some great vegetarian options.

Through these 3 days Serena has become a friend (my wife and her had private conversations about the dating scene in China!!) ... and she made sure we were checked in an through security before she said her final byes 🤗

We strongly recommend China Highlights (flexible and exclusive private tour) and especially Serena for anyone wishing a memorable visit to Beijing 👍👍
Written September 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi there Thanks for letting us know how your time went in Beijing with Serena. There is so much to see and take in, and it seemed you were able to accomplish a lot during your few days in the city. Thanks for the recommendation and we hope to have another opportunity to serve you again. Customer-care Team
Written September 20, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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