Aurora was a terrific guide during our 4 day stay in Beijing. Her services actually began far ahead of our arrival - she was very diligent in our e-mail correspondence, providing both timely and informative responses to my many questions. We worked together to shape our itinerary and Aurora was receptive to my suggestions and trying different ideas versus using a standard itinerary.
Most importantly, Aurora was friendly, honest and literally took care of everything including purchasing our tickets into attractions. I have heard stories of "guides" pushing tourists towards locations where they receive kickbacks (Jade Market, tea "shows", pearl market, restaurants, etc) or marking up prices to attractions and keeping the difference. Her itinerary was literally catered to our desires and we avoided all scams, pushy vendors, or places that weren't in our best interests. Restaurant selections were amazing (dumplings, Hot Pot, and homestyle restaurants).
Aurora arranged a car service from the airport for a reasonable price using a good driver who met us at the gate, complete with a welcome sign.
With the exception of the Great Wall trip, we did not use a driver because we wanted to experience Beijing at a more personal level. Aurora did an excellent job navigating the city via taxi, bus, subway and by foot. I think this is more work for her but she didn't seem to mind.
Aurora was very knowledgeable at all sights. We learned a great deal and her insights made each visit more valuable than doing a solo trip with a guide book.
By the end of the trip Aurora was more of a friend than a guide. We genuinely enjoyed her company. She is currently studying for an advanced guide certification through the government and we wish her the best.
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