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“China odyssey- overall good, but be aware of tipping”

China Odyssey Tours
Book In Advance
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$164.05*
and up
Guilin Li River Cruise Day Tour
Ranked #3 of 46 Tours in Guilin
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Guilin, famed as "the finest scenery under heaven", is one of the regions you must visit in China. Guilin is excellent for either a leisurely vacation or an outdoor adventure. Picturesque Li River flows through Guilin and Yangshuo, with fascinating Karst peaks along the way. The magnificent Longji Rice Terraces in the minority mountain area of Longsheng has never failed to amaze its visitors.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator
Reviewed October 12, 2011

We went with China Odyssey for some of our China holiday.

Overall we had a good time on our private tour. The tour guides, drivers, hotels, emails to arrange the tour, were all of excellent standard and service.

After the tour, we agreed that if you are going to go on a tour for China you might as well do it on a private one even though its a bit more expensive. If you're on a tour bus, there is no flexibility and you see less because likelihood is that the tour is for retirees who walk quite slow and a toilet stop is needed every 15 mins.

The best thing about China Odyssey is the tour guides. All the tour guides were on time picking us up from airports etc and some waited there when our flights were delayed. Dont worry about no one picking you up! The drivers were all excellent too of course.

Be aware that if you book with a tour company tipping is involved. We know that it's 'optional' and whatever else they say.

So the deal is the tour guides dont get accommodation (if they dont live in the city you are touring), so country towns and smaller places ,they have to find their own accommodation. They also dont get paid very much at all, about 150 yuan a day. Most of our tour guides did full 8 hour days with us, some hiking and climbing mountains etc.
So although tipping is "optional", the guides pretty much rely on tips to live.

Initially we were reluctant to tip (coming from a country that is not used to tipping and that we didnt really factor in the tipping costs into our overall tour price), but when we thought about it, we still tipped each of our tour guides because 90 yuan (30 for driver) and 60 yuan (tour guide) from each of us is not a lot (yes there is the argument about it all adding up..), but if we were angry about paying for quite an expensive private tour and then having to tip we shouldnt blame it on the tour guides, but on the actual company itself for charging high prices, not paying the guides enough and then us needing to tip on top of the price.

the tour guides of course didnt expect to be tipped and certainly didnt ask for tips or remind us about tipping. our tour guides were excellent and always enthusiastic.

my advice is, if you're going to book, the final price of the tour you pay does not include tipping, and you should factor tipping 90 yuan a day for each day on top of the final price.

17  Thank True_reviews_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChinaOdysseyTour, Public Relations Manager at China Odyssey Tours, responded to this reviewResponded October 18, 2011

Dear True_reviews_9, thank you for warm words, we are delighted you shared your enjoyments with China Odyssey Tours to all our worldwide friends. we believe that your colorful Memories will running through your mind for long time. Regards to your comments about the tipping, we might say your guide has been max the difficulties of his or her
work to become one of the strategies way to making money.

all though, it should always be considered a gesture of appreciation for good service
and not an obligation. It is an incentive to guides to maintain a high level of service, helpfulness and friendliness. therefore we do not incl in the tour price a fixed amount to cover all potential gratuities as it removes the element of choice or incentive.

We are totally on your side that you were not used to do so, however, we hope this little issue did not effected your tour much and the enjoyments are all on top of it.
once again thank you for traveling with COT and sorry for any inconvenience cased if.

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413 - 417 of 433 reviews

Reviewed October 11, 2011

You can never prepare too much when going to Tibet! I found I had quick communication with the agents at COT--they were very friendly, patient an caring!

Make sure you print all your paperwork--itinerary, hotel information, flight information. I think having a paper trail is very important.

I would get an international SIM card so you can contact the agents at COT whenever you need to in case you find difficulties.

Make sure your travel permit is correctly written upon pick-up.

2  Thank Nicola C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChinaOdysseyTour, Public Relations Manager at China Odyssey Tours, responded to this reviewResponded October 18, 2011

Dear Nicola C,
Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us!We are pleased to see that you enjoyed the trip with china odyssey tours and we've shared your comments with them at our all staff meeting.We look forward to the opportunity to welcoming you back in the future.

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2017
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Reviewed May 28, 2017
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Odyssey-COT, Public Relations Manager at China Odyssey Tours, responded to this reviewResponded June 7, 2017

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