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Trip Report (Dragon Delight Tours Review)

Level Contributor
69 posts
13 reviews
Trip Report (Dragon Delight Tours Review)

A group of 19 (9 students and 10 chaperones) just got back from Shanghai and Beijing with Dragon Delight Tours/Chinatourstailor. Personally, I have been on 3 Chinese tours in the part(Grand American Travel located in San Francisco, H.I.S. from Japan and now Dragon Delight Tours from China), and I can't say enough about our fantastic experience this time around.

We started planning in the beginning of September of 2009 and I was hesitant at first because the company is located in Fuzhou, China (my hometown :-))... I was worried about the money transfer process and the fact that the company is in China (hate to say this, but there are lots of scams among my own people, lol). Mr. Josh Huang, whom I highly recommend, was awesome right from the start. We planned an itineray together that only included Shanghai and Beijing (we only had 1 week over the Chinese New Year's). Here is detailed day by day experience:

1. Day 1 Sunday (2-14): We arrived in Shanghai and were greeted by our tour guide Miss Ge. The bus took us to Swissotel Shanghai right next to Jin An Temple (she even recommended the Maglev Train but we wanted to be economical + some of us did it the last time we were in Shanghai). The hotel was superb (right next to the Jin An subway). Dinner was not included on the first day and I took my group to Xiao Yang Fried Dumplings. Unfortunately, the restaurant was getting ready to close because the staff was about to have a New Year's dinner together. After we told the cashier that we came all the way from Peru, NY, they were generous enough to fry up two pots of the GREATEST DUMPLINGS in the world for us. We even had a private table for the 19 of us (we were the only people in the store). We can't thank them enough, the cost for 19 of us was about 180 yuan (each person had around 8-10 dumplings). We ended the night walking to Nanjing Road and then took the subway back to the hotel (weather was cold and rainy :-()...

2. Day 2 Monday (2-15): We took a tour of the World Financial Center after breakfast (hotel buffet was excellent and I am a pretty tough critic). Unfortunately, it was extremely foggy and we could not see much from the top. All of us wanted to pay extra to get to the top floor, but the financial center staff didn't recommended itbecause visibility was close to 0 that day (honest Chinese comrades, more and more proud of them each day). Next came lunch on a restaurant boat, food was so so, 5 out 10 starts, typical tour lunch for westerners (my students enjoyed it though, these are kids that lives on burgers, fries and mashed potatoes)... We then checked out the bund and Nanjing Road again in the afternoon (kind of disappointing because of construction and the rain). At this moment, we were all a little bummed out since we travel so far to check out the bund view of the Pearl Tower, Jin Mao Tower, etc... The mood was changed completely when all of us decided to "shop..." This is even a new experience for me, usually we would stop by Cheapo Road or side streets near Nanjing Road. The new discovery is 580, and it was AWESOME, my friends bought 8 NHL jerseys and the students had a great time (vendors were much less aggressive then the Silk Market in Beijing, that will come later)... Dinner will be a story for the future since I am going on and on already :-)... The acrobat show at the Ritz Carlton was our treat for the evening, 10th row view (although I thought Beijing's show was better from 3 years ago)...

3. Day 3 Tuesday (2-16): It's a cold and dry day outside (should have done the World Financial Center today. We enjoyed the Jade Buddha Temple tour but the kids really enjoyed the Yu Yuan Garden (City God's Temple) more because of more bargaining and shopping... The place was completely packed because it's the first nice day during the New Year's. I tried to get some Nanxiang Xiao Lung Bao for the students but had no chance because of the crowd (I had them watch the Anthony Bourdain episode in Shanghai last year), lol...

I am going to stop with the detailed reviews because this could go on forever. If you have questions about the tour or the company, please let me know at calculus1918@hotmail.com. I am not sure if I can post the following but I thought we got an unbelievable bargain on the trip. The cost per person in China was about $570 and it included the following:

1. Swissotel in Shanghai (3 nights), Beijing International Hotel (4 nights, needs updates, excellent location but very old hotel).

2. Lunch included daily (all tailored toward westerners), nothing like Xiao Yang dumplings, but good enough to satisfy the general public.

3. Only dinner included on the tour was Peking Duck at Quanjude (good not great), but I liked the option of having the evenings free to explore on our own (we were free at 5:00 pm every day).

4. 0 Government Center/Friendship Stores which saved hours each day, a HUGE +++

5. 2 shows, Acrobat in Shanghai and Kung Fu in Beijing (great seats too).

6. Entrance fee included all the main attractions (Great Wall, Summer Palace, etc), and the World Financial Center and the Birds nest (this was negotiated before departure with Mr. Josh Huang).

7. Our tour guide was superb, Nancy from Beijing even came to Karaoke with us at Partyworld (expensive like crazy, more than 800 RMB on Saturday for about 90 minutes not including food).

I can't say enough about this tour agency. It blew anything away for the price. Kids ate scorpions, everyone shopped till they dropped, we ate like pigs (ok, maybe I ate like a pig), lifetime of memories for everyone :-)!!! Please check out the photos at my school site:

perucsd.org/lchen/…202009-2010.htm

Miami Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Shanghai Region
Level Contributor
6,554 posts
152 reviews
1. Re: Trip Report (Dragon Delight Tours Review)

Thanks for the great review. Who did most of the planning of the places to see and stop, you or the tour company?

Please write a hotel review and post it in the hotel review section. Your experience is valuable to others.

Level Contributor
69 posts
13 reviews
2. Re: Trip Report (Dragon Delight Tours Review)

It was a combination of myself, Mr. Josh Huang and of course all the great members at http://www.tripadvisor.com/ :-)!!! I have been back 6 times in the last 4 years, but I learned so many new things from everyone on this site. I have to give the credit of "580" to the United Airlines Staff, especially an Asian flight attendant by the name of Robert (ironically, he was shopping there the same day, small world :-))!!!

Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
5,716 posts
47 reviews
3. Re: Trip Report (Dragon Delight Tours Review)

GREAT TRIP n nice photos.But i think there r still many parts of Shanghai missing from yr trip.

Level Contributor
69 posts
13 reviews
4. Re: Trip Report (Dragon Delight Tours Review)

We were only in Shanghai from Sunday afternoon until Wednesday morning (had to leave for an AM flight to Beijing). During our two and a half days there, we got the following in (I am sure not even close to everything):

1. World Financial Center (superb building but 0 visibility on the day we were there)

2. Bund (so sad that it's blocked off for the Expo)

3. Nanjing Road (same as the past)

4. Jin An Temple (easy access right next to hotel)

5. Jade Buddha Temple (good but nothing like Beijing, great cultural experience for the students)

6. 580 Nanjing Road West Market (blows away silk market in Beijing)

7. Xiao Yang Fried Dumplings (best meal on the entire trip)

8. Acrobat Show at Ritz Carton (great view from 10th row, but again, lacking something compared to Beijing)

9. Xin Tian Di (French Concessions, nice walk from Jin An Temple, good westernized environment, smaller than I thought)...

10. Shanghai Museum (nice exhibit with lots of history, kids were worn out at the moment and they wanted to do more shopping, lol)...

11. Great time with friends and family (PRICELESS)!!!

Edited: 9:30 am, February 28, 2010
Level Contributor
69 posts
13 reviews
5. Re: Trip Report (Dragon Delight Tours Review)

More details for the trip for people looking for a tour to China. This is my feedback letter to Mr. Huang :-)!!! Again, having been on 3 tours to China, not one compares to this company.

Mr. Huang,

I want to thank you and your company for everything in China. My students had a great time in both Shanghai and Beijing due to the the great package you provided for us. Miss Ge (Stacy) was fantastic with everything in Shanghai and the kids really enjoyed Miss Jin (Nancy) in Beijing (she even came to Karaoke with us). Everything on this trip was well organized and we loved the fact of having the evenings free to ourselves to explore the city :-)!!!

Pros:

1. Both tour guides were excellent professionals and we really enjoyed them.

2. Hotel in Shanghai was fantastic and the location couldn't be more perfect.

3. Free time at night to explore was critical.

4. Free time away from government centers/friendship stores gave us more opportunities for our own events.

5. The acrobat show (10th row) and the kung fu show (1st row in the balcony) were nice bonuses.

Cons:

1. The hotel in Beijing (superb location) needs to be updated. If the Swissotel in Shanghai was a 5 star, Beijing International would be a 3 star.

Overall, I would rate your tour and your company A++++++!!! Thanks again Mr. Huang for all your effort throughout this entire process. The trip was priceless for our students and now they have a lifetime of memories :-)!!! If we ever have another trip to China in the future, we'll call you right away :-)!!!

Sincerely,

Lin Chen

Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
2,754 posts
26 reviews
6. Re: Trip Report (Dragon Delight Tours Review)

in shanghaipartyworld is one of the most expensive Karaoke places ;) my friends like to go to Haoledi (and they choose the one is like 12-6am, overnight, and i think they told me was the price is really really cheap.)

Level Contributor
69 posts
13 reviews
7. Re: Trip Report (Dragon Delight Tours Review)

The only reason we chose partyworld is because most of the group (actually 18 out of 19) are all Americans so we desperately needed English songs. I wanted my students to get a sense of the Karaoke in China (personally I don't really enjoy it, maybe during college days), but it's a great learning experience for them. That being said, it was SO EXPENSIVE, over 800 RMB for an hour and a half with 190 rmb credit (each person must spend 10 rmb for snacks/drinks)... The kids really enjoy it and that matters the most for us in the end :-)!!!

By the way CuteMinMin, thanks for calling Xiao Yang Fried Dumplings for me to see if it was open on New Year's Day, couldn't have done it without your help, thanks again for all the valuable information on this forum!!!

Edited: 10:13 pm, February 28, 2010
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
2,754 posts
26 reviews
8. Re: Trip Report (Dragon Delight Tours Review)

Karaoke is a nightmare to me...still remember that in the collage friends grabbed me to go to Karaoke with them ( overnight Karaoke)...

good to know that you enjoyed the trip:)

Level Contributor
69 posts
13 reviews
9. Re: Trip Report (Dragon Delight Tours Review)

Quick answers to private messages to make things easier for the members:

1. Dragon Delight Tours

http://www.chinatourstailor.com/index.htm

2. Hotel and subway accessibility

5 Star Swissotel Shanghai (superb hotel, 5 minute walk to Jin An Temple subway)

5 Star Beijing International Hotel (more like a 3 star since it's under renovation, 300 meters to Jianguomen subway)

3. Xiao Yang Fried Dumplings

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g308272-i2804-k338…

4. 580 Nanjing Road West

It's a big mall with fake items but the vendors are not nearly as aggressive as the silk market (plus they sell superb looking Hockey Jerseys, friends bought 10 of them for approximately 120 rmb each, they go for more than $150 in the U.S.)...

Good luck and let me know if you need any other questions answered :-)!!!

Washington, DC
1 post
1 review
10. Re: Trip Report (Dragon Delight Tours Review)

Thanks for your detailed review and replies. It made me miss China tremendously!! My home town is Guangzhou, I have been in the US for 12 years, and look forward to visiting China again soon!