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“Fabulous guides!!!”

Stretch-A-Leg Travel-Day Tour
Ranked #87 of 420 Tours in Beijing
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Owner description: Stretch-a-leg Travel specializes in historical walking tours in Beijing, hiking at the wild Great Wall and original villages around Beijing, and trips to unique destinations around China.We combine Chinese history, knowledge, and the culture expertise of locals with a commitment to international levels of professionalism and customer service.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed July 4, 2013

My brother and I spent 4 days in Beijing with Tony for several days, and Katrina for the remainder. We have used private guides throughout the world for travels, but these 2 were the best we have had. So knowledgeable and eager to please. They accommodated our wishes, never imposing an agenda, and always open to our inquiries and last minute change of plans.
Highly recommend Stretch a Leg!

1  Thank Patricia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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75 - 79 of 213 reviews

Reviewed July 3, 2013

After reading about stretch-a-leg, we decided to skip doing a tour for our China trip and travel independently except for Beijing, where guides were really handy. (You need one for a wild wall tour, and we didn't have much time in the city so it really helped having a guide, both for efficiency and information on the historical sites.) We had 2 full days in Beijing, so Henry took us to the wall on day 1, and Tony took us around the city on day 2. Both guides, and both days, were fantastic. It was really hot (about 93F) on the wild wall hike and we're a bit out of shape (and ate way too much at breakfast!), so we were pretty slow on the hike. (Once you get up on the wall, you get a nice cooling breeze and there are lots of shady spots, so the heat is greatest on the way up.) But Henry was really patient and never made us feel the least bit rushed. A very pleasant and informative companion/guide on our hike. One of our group lived in Beijing for 2 years and had been to the touristy parts of the wall maybe a dozen times, and she LOVED this hike. It certainly was a highlight of the trip for us--didn't see another soul on the whole hike, and pictures really don't do it justice. (It looks more overgrown in photos than it seemed at the time, and the overgrown bits were really cool in their own right.) Our 12-year-old daughter loved it too, and had no trouble with it. I very highly recommend this hike. It is strenuous, but even those of us who don't exercise managed it and loved it. Those who work out regularly shouldn't find it difficult at all.

Day 2, Beijing tour with Tony, centered on Tiananmen Sq and Forbidden City and environs, incl "money street", trad pharmacy and other cool stuff, followed by hutong tour with home visit. Really interesting and enjoyable, and Tony is really charming and knowledgeable, and handled last-minute requests seamlessly and gave us helpful advice on restaurants and other stops later in our trip. Yang, our email contact beforehand, was also really helpful. Overall, everyone was extremely professional and friendly--even the fussiest traveler should be happy with these guys (or if not, there's no pleasing them). I'm also really impressed with the way Tony runs the operation and keeps the size small and high quality--I'm sure he could easily rake it in by expanding it a lot.

Finally, the cost: all I can say is their price seemed to be about the same as the large tour operations were charging for a private tour. At least, I'm pretty sure what we paid for hotel, air, and guides in Beijing was less than we'd have paid even a non-premium tour operator to give us a much less satisfying experience, with shopping stops etc (which we didn't get with this outfit). And we got better hotel than the tours offered (Double Happiness). Air and hotel within China were easy to book ourselves, no need to pay someone else to do it unless you really don't have time. Plus, you get to support a really cool small business.

2  Thank PapaPiranha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2013

Our tour guide, Jean, was nothing short of AMAZING! She was a true professional, very knowledgeable, yet friendly and personable. She went above and beyond what we expected. She paid close attention to all of the details of our tour. She was attentive and provided us with suggestions for sightseeing after our tour with her. She is truly a gem. Thank you Jean and Stretch-A-Leg! You're the best!

2  Thank Mary408
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2013

Stretch-A-Leg provided me a once in a lifetime experience to be completely alone on The Great Wall through a strenuous hike. The truth is Tony is an awesome guide that is very helpful and knowledgeable. I was impressed that he is such a gracious host and able to be flexible with my changing schedule - we actually had more time than originally planned and got in an exciting side trip on the way back to Beijing. Tony led me on the Wild Wall Hike during a China national holiday, we hiked and climbed the rugged section of the Wall for about 8 Km and enjoyed the natural beauty of the area without seeing any other people. I trust Stretch-A-Leg fully to deliver a great experience and I am glad they are so professional with every detail of the tour. From the initial contact to the final good-bye, it was covered in advance and there were no surprises; on the tour - all of the views were actually more impressive than I expected! The Wild Wall Hike to the desolate area of the Wall was a huge blessing because of the historical and educational conversations that confirmed I made the right choice to tour with them. I was reluctant to hire Stretch-A-Leg at first, but now that I have completed the day I would gladly hire them again and I recommend them to anyone to provide a great tour experience in the Beijing area that is customized to your tastes.

2  Thank brucew3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 11, 2013

I've always been wary of using travel guides. I'm an experienced, independent traveler and I like to wander at my own pace and choose where I spend the most time. But everyone told me I should use a guide in China, so I (somewhat reluctantly) decided to give it a go. I could not be happier with that decision! Tony was an amazing guide--incredibly knowledgeable, warm and down-to-earth. I felt like I was being graciously hosted by a good friend who just happened to be an expert in Chinese history and culture, and who knew some unique, off-the-beaten path places in and around Beijing. He took me to an area of the Great Wall where you can do some real, honest-to-goodness hiking. The views were breathtaking and I didn't see another soul the whole day, since Tony knew to plan this leg of the trip for a weekday when most of the locals are at work. He took me on a Hutong tour in Beijing, where we enjoyed a delicious local snack and saw layers of history in neighborhoods that are all-too-quickly disappearing. Even in the larger historical attractions like the Forbidden City, Tony pointed out details that many others would miss--a tiny Maoist slogan scratched into the outside wall of an ancient temple. He was full of practical knowledge that added comfort to my experience--like seeing the side areas of the Forbidden City first and saving the grander central areas for the mid-afternoon when many of the tourists have left. And his historical, political and cultural knowledge were unparalleled. He is one of the most well-read people I've met, and he clearly has a passion for these sites, even after visiting them so many times. I loved seeing him snap pictures right along with me, of local men doing water calligraphy outside the Temple of Heaven or an area of the Great Wall shrouded in mist. He also gave me some great recommendations for what to do on the two days I had to explore the city on my own. I simply cannot imagine a better guide and I will never forget the amazing experiences I had in Beijing, thanks to Tony's guidance and unique perspective. I saw larger tour groups trudging through many of the same sites looking bored and miserable and I would definitely say you'd get more out of a couple of days with a Stretch-a-Leg guide than you would with a longer time in a cheaper group tour. The experiences I had were worth every penny!

3  Thank Christianna N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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