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China Travel, Fall 2014

J M
Atlanta, Georgia
5 posts
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China Travel, Fall 2014

Looking for a reputable tour company offering more upscale travel, small number of tourists, few, if any shopping stops. Quality and price are important.

Beijing, China
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9,701 posts
5 reviews
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1. Re: China Travel, Fall 2014

You might want to define what "upscale" means to you, since you also mention quality and price being important in the same post. As in, your expectations of accommodation, food, guides, transport, experiences, etc. Most of the true upscale companies are geared to doing custom, private trips. Wild China is excellent and uses their own guides, but they aren't cheap. www.wildchina.com Or are you looking for a small group tour, more or less predefined, that you can join with?

2. Re: China Travel, Fall 2014

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J M
Atlanta, Georgia
5 posts
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3. Re: China Travel, Fall 2014

We are seniors and have never taken a "tour" trip. I have always planned our itinerary, hotels and transportation. We like 4-5 star hotels and good food. Important sights are much more important to us than shopping stops while in China. We seek quality along with great value which is possible to do when you plan your own trip.

J M
Atlanta, Georgia
5 posts
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4. Re: China Travel, Fall 2014

I will check them out.

Beijing, China
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5,000 posts
82 reviews
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5. Re: China Travel, Fall 2014

Why are you looking for a tour given your past preference for independent travel? If you have the time it generally pays to plan your own trip. You can always hire a private guide if needed here and there.

J M
Atlanta, Georgia
5 posts
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6. Re: China Travel, Fall 2014

Mainly because of the language barrier and the unfamiliarity with the nuances of the country.

Beijing, China
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5,000 posts
82 reviews
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7. Re: China Travel, Fall 2014

I almost wrote before, 'if you say it's because of the "language barrier" I'll roll around on the floor in laughter.'

Not sure what you mean exactly about being unfamiliar with the nuances of the country. Isn't that always the case when you travel to foreign lands? Anyway, I don't think these reasons present insurmountable obstacles to independent travel. This is evidenced within these forums. If you have time to prepare I'd suggest you reconsider joining a tour because it may not suit you based on what you've said about previous preferences.

Beijing, China
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9,701 posts
5 reviews
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8. Re: China Travel, Fall 2014

Given your past travel style and preferences, I wouldn't join a group tour. I have to agree with Qup--if you don't speak the language, there's really no difference in trying to tackle China on your own vs Hungary or Russia if you don't speak those languages either. It's just the systems ("nuances")for getting things done might be a bit different AND you're dealing with a population of 1.3 billion who also may want to travel alongside you. I think that a combination of independent free-days plus some days of localized support (private driver and English-speaking guide) would serve you well and be no more expensive than a small group tour....actually less expensive plus you could set your own agenda. Which method to use where depends on your itinerary, but the overall trip planning concepts you have always used will work pretty much the same way in China. Remember that most of the tour companies regardless of price range, subcontract out to local guides....so you might as well cut out the retail middleman and go straight to the actual providers in places where it makes cost- and time-efficient sense to do so. In most of the larger cities, going mostly independent is feasible. You might be very pleasantly surprised at the public infrastructure available to you....with English signage and announcements.

The most difficult part of planning a trip to China is figuring out how to cram an itinerary wish-list into one's available time frame. That is where you should begin--with your wish list. And avoiding choosing major Chinese holiday periods for your trip.

Edited: 6:10 pm, February 04, 2014
Sherbrooke, Canada
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41,329 posts
826 reviews
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9. Re: China Travel, Fall 2014

Check different tours. Find an itinerary that you like and copy it. Do it yourself with private guides. Several good ones are listed here: tripadvisor.ca/Attractions-g294212-Activitie… or here www.synotrip.com

Edited: 6:15 pm, February 04, 2014
J M
Atlanta, Georgia
5 posts
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10. Re: China Travel, Fall 2014

I found your response most helpful and well said. Thank you.