We just arrived back from our second Wild China trip. Once again, every aspect of the trip was... read more
We just arrived back from our second Wild China trip. Once again, every aspect of the trip was... read more
The trip was very well planned ! It wasn't too rushed and was very enjoyable ! Thank you to the... read more
This trip -- our second with WildChina -- took us to Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Guilin, and the Yunnan Province. At each stop, we were greeted by a friendly, informative, English speaking guide who looked after us like we were family.
With little more than a phone number, our Guangzhou guide managed to locate my wife's distant cousins and locate the homes where her grandparents lived 100 years ago -- and arranged a reunion lunch she'll never forget.
The hotels were amazing -- even in the more remote parts of Yunnan -- and the food was delicious. We enjoyed marvelous mountain hikes, visits to incredible temples, and so much more!More
Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience, it means the world to us. We're thankful to have been able to help create your China adventure.
We're overjoyed to hear about your trip. The story of finding your cousins and visiting your grandmother's home has been making waves across our headquarters. It is an absolutely beautiful and heartfelt story - we feel lucky to have helped.
We wish you all the best!
The WildChina Team
We recently had an 8 day trip to Beijing and Shanghai put together by Wild China. They did an outstanding job! Attention to details and flexibility in schedule were top notch. The on the ground guides were awesome and provide an extremely professional/friendly experience.
When going back to China...Wild China will be our first and only stop when booking.
Thanks a million for taking the time to share your WildChina experience. These reviews always make our day.
We feel incredibly lucky to be able to put together your China journey and we're delighted that everything went so smoothly.
Now that you've taken on Beijing and Shanghai, we're excited to show you China's "wilder" side when you return. :)
The WildChina Team
We just completed a tour of Shanghai, Beijing, and Xi’an arranged by WildChina. The guides, the drivers and vehicles were all first rate and the care and attention paid by staff members was beyond expectations. The itinerary planning help was great and I cannot say enough about the guides communication skills, their attention to our needs, and constant dialogue with us during our trip. WildChina made our trip memorable.
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience with WildChina on your recent trip.
Creating meaningful travel opportunities and connecting our guests with their ideal China adventure is all about communication. From the initial design stage with your dedicated travel advisor, to on trip updates, all the way to post-trip follow up – we admit it, we’re talkers, we want to make sure that you’re getting everything you can out of our journey.
We are so glad you enjoyed your time with our guides (we love them too) and hope to welcome you back to China sometime very soon!
This was a superb trip. We are experienced travelers, and were extremely impressed by how well thought out this itinerary was. The thoughtful reading list WildChina had suggested before the trip helped set the stage for us. We saw the "greatest hits" of China (Beijing, the terra-cotta warriors in Xi'an, Shanghai) and also spent 6 wonderfully relaxing and intimate days in Yunnan Province. Not only was the itinerary beautifully designed, our guides were uniformly wonderful. Jerry Dong in Beijing, Jessica Zhu in Xi’an, and Ariel Wang in Shanghai were knowledgeable, enthusiastic, flexible, and people we wanted to spend time with. WildChina set up a day with Chris Che, an art expert in Beijing, which gave us yet another view into Chinese modern culture. Tony Huang, our guide in Hangzhou (a day trip from Shanghai) gave us a local perspective and was smart and thoughtful. Our guide Frank Shan in Yunnan was a treasure and so kind. He immersed us in the daily life of Dali and Shaxi. We were welcomed into homes, enjoyed tea and a number of meals with local Bai villagers, and experienced village life (while staying in lovely accommodations). It was hard to say goodbye to him – he touched our hearts. Mei Zhang, the founder of WildChina, is from this part of Yunnan Province, and we felt as if we had been welcomed into her home town. It was beautifully planned. Hotels were all great, and our rooms in Beijing and Shanghai were out of this world. In Shanghai WildChina arranged for a room on the Bund with an absolutely breathtaking view of the river below and Shanghai’s modern skyline. WildChina did an admirable job arranging in-country transportation - two plane flights and a couple of bullet train rides. Our drivers were uniformly skilled and the cars were always stocked with water and snacks. The planning, the pacing, the guides, and the thoughtfulness of this trip surpassed any we have taken. We worked with Fann Fang, one of WhildChina's travel designers. She took care of every single detail. She came by our hotel in Beijing to welcome us herself - it was an added treat. She was always available via WeChat. She was awesome and should be acknowledged. Cannot recommend WildChina enough - this trip in a complicated and beautiful country like China was a truly rich, meaningful and many layered experience. The best of what travel could be.
Wow, thank you so much for this detailed and heartfelt review! We couldn’t be happier to have helped you get the most out of your China adventure.
For all of us at WildChina, its trips like yours that keep us working hard to connect our awesome guests with life changing experiences in this vast, beautiful land – from the urban galleries of Beijing to the mountain huts of Yunnan, really the trip of a lifetime.
Fann Fang is indeed a Rockstar trip designer! We are thrilled you enjoyed working with her as much as we do, it’s the attention to detail and personal relationship that we foster with all of our guests that allows us to craft our highly personalized journeys – hopefully we will have a chance to plan another adventure for you in the near future!
Safe travels and many happy returns,
Kendra and her team were great to work with! While planning she was responsive and flexible, customizing to what we wanted to see. Always kept us updated on any road closures or itinerary changes as the trip approached. And never had to change our plans very much at all.
Our guides were wonderful. We spent the most time with Rock- great personality, interesting info about culture and the environment, mindful of our space and comfort, flexible in our timing and when we wanted to start in the morning. The hikes were beyond our expectation- beautiful and challenging. Hiking to the guest houses were fun and the hotels we stayed at were beyond beautiful!
In Chengdu- the hotel again was amazing! It was interesting to hear our guide speak of history from the Han perspective. Time with the Pandas were fun, I would opt to skip cleaning the area. But breaking the bamboo is was fun as well as feeding the pandas. Alex took us to the Dao mountain, grateful he suggested we take the cable ride up and walk down, it was incredibly challenging even just going down! Alex took us to the train station and went as far as loading our luggage on the train. Very helpful.
Xi’an was actually a last minute request to Kendra, and she booked our tickets and tour guide. We were met right off the train! Our guide was wonderful. She was energetic and funny. Took us to a quick lunch place per our request, which was very tasty. Took us through the Terra Cotta warriors and dropped us at our hotel.
I highly recommend Wild China. Everything was beyond expectation!
Thanks for taking some time to let us know what you thought about your WildChina experience, we are thrilled to hear you had a blast and love Kendra and our guides as much as we do!
Flexibility is key to getting the most out of your journey, no matter where you choose to travel, and at WildChina it all starts with your dedicated travel designer and the first draft of your custom itinerary.
We are glad you had the chance to add on a Xi'an visit to your trip, apart from the stunning Terracotta Warriors, we think its a seriously underrated foodie destination so you definitely lucked out!
Happy travels and we hope to welcome you back for your next China adventure soon,
If you are currently in the process of researching the plethora of tour options in China and trying to coordinate/evaluate them half way around the world, let me save you the time: GO WITH WILD CHINA.
They are far and away the best company to work with, no matter what the measure: professionalism, communication, price, and flexibility. Most importantly, they are a real standout in the two most important ways:
1) Picking Quality guides
2) Thoughtfully selecting activity options that make you feel like you are experiencing China and not just touring
For some background, in planning my big trip throughout China, I used multiple tour operators for various places and traveled to places independently. I initially planned on Wild China for the portion in Yunnan; however, after my experience with them versus independent travel, and other operators, I called them halfway through the trip and asked for their help in planning my time in Beijing as well. Looking back, I wish I had someone to tell me to use them for the whole trip!
The first big reason I have for recommending Wild China is founded in a fundamental concept that I didn’t fully appreciate until my visit, which is, when visiting China, you will get more out of your trip with a guide. While this may be obvious to some, it took a little longer to sink into my stubbornly independent mind that traveling with a guide isn’t less intrepid and doesn’t mean less adventure.
It’s not that traveling independently isn’t possible. It is, and I felt perfectly safe while doing it. However, the combination of the language, cultural differences in communication and general lack of good online information (beyond the big tourist areas) results in a barrier that will inhibit you in experiencing all there is to offer.
That being said, your guide will make or break your trip, and this is what makes Wild China such a stand out. Their guides are in a category all their own. Other operators’ guides were perfectly nice, professional and knowledgeable, but my guides Wild China were engaging and knowledgeable in a way that goes above and beyond.
As a New Yorker, the best way I can describe it is like the difference between being shown around the City by a hotel concierge versus experiencing the city with a life-long resident. The concierge will help you in getting tickets to the circle-line and recommend whatever Broadway shows are currently popular while the individual who has lived here since birth can navigate the subway like a ninja, knows all the best places to get a slice, and will take you to the off-Broadway show that will become a Broadway show in a year.
Going around Yunnan with my guide Huang was like that having that local friend to show me around. Whenever I expressed interest in something, he would show me the best place for it, and once he got a sense of my personality, would even change the itinerary to include experiences I would like. For example, he saw I enjoyed hiking and chatting with locals on the trails around Tiger Leaping Gorge, so he made sure we changed the itinerary to include a more challenging trail with better views and knew the most hospitable local guest house to make a reservation at along the way. When I expressed curiosity about local dishes, he took me to a restaurant known for serving regional mushrooms (which are very popular all over Asia due to cancer-fighting abilities – didn’t even know!)
And while there was no question that I felt like I had more authentic experiences because of having a local like Huang showing me around, he also indulged my very touristy requests and his familiarity with the different tourist options were of great benefit as well, and resulted in a more quality experience. For example, I wanted to try different teas while in China, and he knew the best place for a tasting and best person to explain the history, what tea is had when and for what purpose.
The second reason to go with Wild China is the unique experiences they curate for each area and the guidance their coordinators provide in choosing with ones to go with. My coordinator, Kendra, was supremely prompt and communicative. Kendra was able to put together an amazing grouping of activities for me, some of which I didn’t appreciate the value of until I was there.
For example, in reading the itinerary, I saw items like Hike Tiger Leaping Gorge, and thought “Great, that looks beautiful!” But then also saw the item, Naxi Dinner Party in with Local Family in their Home and thought, “I don’t know about this one, this will most likely be awkward and forced - a dinner party with strangers in someone’s home?”
I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and genuine experience. It was wonderful to have the chance to sit down with local people, try a home cooked meal and hear all their stories about the area. In fact, a lot of the local guest house stays ended up being some of my favorite parts, and I really credit my coordinator for those recommendations. I am not sure I could have envisioned what it would be like ahead of time and was very glad I had someone who could size me up quickly and knew better than me what would be best.
Wild China really does an amazing job of looking at the details of what makes a place special and providing specialized experiences and activity options that go beyond just the tourist sites. My experience with other operators’ version of “tailoring a trip” and “curated activities” was checking off boxes from a list of sites you want to go to, and then making an itinerary that links them together in an efficient way.
I think the benefit of going with Wild China is summed up in how I felt after my trip to Yunnan with Wild China versus Yangshuo/Longsheng with another operator. Both were stunningly beautiful. But I left Yunnan in awe of everything about it, and with a feeling that I had “gotten to know” it, whereas with Yangshuo and Longsheng I left feeling like I had simply observed a beautiful place. Without a guide like Huang who grew up hiking the local trails and had knowledge of every restaurant in town (and probably who owned it) and Wild China’s thoughtfully planned experiences, I couldn’t get as much out of Yangshuo and Longsheng. Wild China: Worth every penny, book with them!
WOW! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this long and detailed review of your WildChina experience. We are thrilled that you left Yunnan feeling like you had really gotten to know it. Creating experiences where you participate in local culture, rather than just watching it from the sidelines, is one of our key philosophies and we are so grateful for your trust. We're incredibly proud of our travel designers and guides, and your kind words have been passed on to Kendra and Huang. We sincerely hope that we get the chance to help you experience other parts of China in the near future!
Best wishes and Happy Chinese New Year!