China Educational Tours - its not just for School/College groups!
Our family have just completed the most amazing tour of China organised brilliantly by Leon at China Educational Tours. We had wanted to visit China for some time but had no desire to join a massive group tour, visiting places that we didn't want to, following a distant tour guide holding an umbrella in the air. Having thought it would be impossible to organise a tailor made tour taking in the sights we wanted to see, I came across China Educational Tours after an internet search. I sent an email and Leon responded within hours, after a few emails back and forth an itinerary was sorted, it took a few weeks for me to sort out our Chinese visas during which time Leon was in touch every week just to check all was ok and once our visas were in our possession I firmed up all our plans with China Educational Tours.
Our trip started in Beijing, being met straight off our flight and transferred to our hotel by our guide and driver, they made sure all was well before they left us, even recommending a local restaurant for us to try. We started our tour properly the next morning with visits to Tianamen Square, The Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven. Day two started with a walk along the Great Wall followed by visits to the older parts of the city where ordinary people live, finally on day three we visited the Summer Palace and then were put on a Bullet train to Xian. On arrival in Xian we were met by a new guide at the railway station and taken to our new hotel. Day four started with a visit to the Terracotta Warriors, that afternoon we cycled around the ancient walls of the city, then went on to visit a street market. On day five we took a train again, this time to Chengdu and arrived in time to look around a museum tracing the origins of people of the area. On our second and final day touring in Chengdu, we started off with a visit to the amazing Panda Breeding Research Centre, we then continued on with a visit to the People's park for afternoon tea, a Temple and finally a street market. On our final day we were picked up and transferred to the airport for our flight out of China.
Each day of the tour we were taken to a local restaurant for lunch and with our tour guides help had some fabulous local Chinese food. A special thanks also to our 3 drivers who conveyed us safely through the sometimes mind boggling traffic and driving standards, dodging the endless mopeds and bikes with such skill and concentration that we always felt quite relaxed. However our holiday was made by each of our 3 guides - theywere brilliant, they were knowledgeable, informative, flexible, friendly and just generally lovely to spend time with. They were each very passionate and proud of their home town, wanting to share as much of the history, culture and day to day living with us as they could. We would thoroughly recommend all the team but especially Jin in Beijing, Rocky in Xi'an and Linn in Chengdu - anyone would be lucky to have each of them as their guide.
Top tip : make sure you've got decent walking shoes - we walked over 60 Kms over the 7 days on our tour.