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Reviewed yesterday

I am a female solo traveller. I had booked my accommodation and worked out my route through Hunan Province and Guangxi by local buses, but believed my experience in Guilin and Yangshuo would be enhanced with a guide. So before arriving in China (and while I was on the end of my two week holiday in Vietnam) I contacted China Highlights. I explained the date I was arriving by bus in Guilin, that Inhad already booked my accommodation in Guilin (2 nights at the beginning and 1 night at the end) and Yangshuo (3 nights). I explained the date I was flying out of Guilin. Robert Hui was my contact person and tour organiser, and he replied extremely quickly with a proposed itinerary and quote. I liked the suggested itineraries, and after reading the reviews, I was confident that China Highlights was the right company for me. Robert was excellent, and quick to communicate.

Robert later advised me by email that my guide in Guilin and Yangshuo would be Mr. Chasen Cai. Chasen called me at my Guilin accommodation in the evening, to advise me that he will meet me in the lobby at 8:30am to begin our day tour around Guilin and to Daxu. The driver was very friendly, and so was Chasen. The driver drove very safely.

The car was very clean, and bottled water was provided.

In Daxu I was able to visit Mr Zhou and learn how to paint a monkey mask. It is much harder than it sounds, as all details are extremely precise and it takes attention to detail, concentration, patience and a steady hand, and Mr Zhou is a perfectionist and master of the art and craft. He is also kind and patient. These are dying traditions, and a must see on a trip to China, if you like learning about tradition.

Chasen was patient when I wanted to take photos of beautiful scenery and landmarks. Chasen provided a lot of interesting information about Chinese culture, tradition, history, thinking and philosophy.

The Reed Flute Caves were beautifully lit up and not at all humid or stinky from bats or monkeys like some caves around the world are.

Guilin is a very pretty and clean small city in China. A lot of work goes into making it beautiful with lovely trees and flowers lining the streets. The iconic sun and moon pagodas are a must see at both day and night (when they are lit up in gold and silver light).

The Li River cruise to Yangshuo was amazing. Chasen pointed out different rock formations and explained the names. He showed me the rock formation depicted on the 20 Yuan note and ensured I got a photo of it.

Chasen knew I wanted to eat local specialties, and the choice of the local restaurants selling local specialties on the trip that Guilin took me to was excellent. I was extremely happy with the choices of dishes, including taro, bok choy flowers, beer fish, lots of green vegetables.

I really enjoyed the cycling with Chasen from Yangshuo town to the surrounding villages. When it looked like rain was coming, Chasen checked the weather to make sure we were not riding into rain.

The bamboo rafting on the river in Yangshuo was also very enjoyable and relaxing.

In the late afternoon, I joined a cooking class at Cloud 9 restaurant in Yangshuo, with two other tourists. We went to the market with our chef/teacher, saw fruits vegetables and meat at the market, and cooked four dishes: egg dumplings with pork and chives, doufu and mushrooms, a chicken and peanuts with celery and carrots dish, and a favourite Chinese dish of mine: braised eggplant with garlic and chilli. We were able to eat our culinary creations for dinner, and could view the town as it got darker, and the place lit up.

In Yangshuo I also attended a painting lesson, and also got to try calligraphy. It was a lot of fun.

We drove back to Guilin and Chasen asked me if I would be interested in taking local buses with him and going to a traditional medicine market, tasting another local dish, and seeing some other places in Guilin. This sounded perfect to me. We drove to my accommodation, and I was lucky to be able to check in early, so I dropped my bags off into the room and then Chasen took me on a public bus and we went and looked at all the natural products at the traditional medicine market and Chasen explained the ingredients and the philosophy of Chinese medicine. It was very interesting, and a great experience. For lunch we had a most delicious and very popular rice noodle dish - a large rice noodle with a choice of filling and sesame seeds. The place had a queue of customers, it was so popular, which is a good sign. The meal was really delicious. Chasen also took me to a local market and he kindly bought me two delicious sweet Star fruits.

Chasen and the driver picked me up early on my last day to take me to the airport. Chasen accompanied me to domestic check in and left only after I was checked in.

The friendliness, kindness and cultural information provided by Chasen were very much appreciated.

From the beginning, with the promptness of the email communication, and the excellent organisation, I was happy with my choices.

I recommend Chasen as tour guide. He is excellent.

Thank helenka99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday

REVIEW .China highlights 14 day tour ,encompassing Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Guilin, Yangshou and Longsheng.



This whole experience began in a simple manner. An internet search. ..of course there were other companies, but even then it seemed that china highlights were more professional and assured. Perhaps there were others who might have been cheaper...sometimes you get what you pay for, I believe this was one of those times.

I sent a long and detailed brief to my agent at china highlights (micky Jiang) detailing our expectations and the sort of holiday we most hoped for.

Promptly we received an outline itinerary of some two pages. It took time and many emails to pull it all together but eventually we had a detailed 7 page itinerary detailing everything. The hotels,transferes, meals and planned attractions. Everything had been thought out and all the costing and meal allowances were clear and explained.

Well that was good but does it fly? Well I can say what a wonderful and well thought out experience we had. A truly polished plan which delivered on every level. This was a "Gold Standard " holiday experience.

All the guides were par excellent, with superb English, never was there a moment of not understanding or being misunderstood. Knowledgeable and informative. Capable and with a sense of humour which demonstrates a full fluency in the language. Skill sets which must place them at the top of the tree. I could carry on with the superlatives but there would be little point. You can't get better people, end of.

We lived as royalty and I will always remember the special touches...these are not taught not learned... it is like a form of art.

The way it was all worked out was truly amazing. It just kept coming at you, each day got better and better again.

I don't know if I would be able to afford such a holiday again. My wife and I are not wealthy...we work hard and try to save our pennies. For us this was a massive investment. Knowing now what we were to receive would have made this a much easier purchase. What a bargain it turned out to be.

You can't always know what lies ahead when you send your money and hopes and dreams halfway round the world. When you trust someone you may never meet. I can say trust this company, you will not regret it. By the way this is not one of those things your ever going to forget.

w0uld I do it again? If I can find the money...definitely.

Rob and jo cordey from ossett west yorkshire.

Thank robbhenry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chtcustomercare, Guest Relations Manager at China Highlights, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Hi Rob and Jo

We are very encouraged by your feedback, to know that everything from the start to the end went extremely well, ensuring you a wonderful and memorable time in China.
Definitely, when you are looking a holiday, and searching on the internet for a company to handle your plans to visit China, it can be quite daunting! We're pleased that Micky was able to ease and remove any fears you may have had, and that all our guides was able to deliver to you an unforgettable experience.
We certainly hope that you can make another visit with us again in the future.
Thanks again for sharing and giving us your recommendation.

Customer-care Team

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Reviewed 2 days ago

We had an exceptional experience using China Highlights. Our travel to Guilin and down the Li River was absolutely amazing and beautiful. Louis Liang was our guide, and we cannot speak highly enough about him. His English was very good, and he went above and beyond to make my wife and I, as well as our two young boys feel safe and welcomed. We would strongly recommend China Highlights and, specifically, Louis Liang as a guide if you plan on going to Guilin!

1  Thank Stay61967109958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chtcustomercare, Guest Relations Manager at China Highlights, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Hi there

We're encouraged to have read how your time in Guilin went, and how you enjoyed having Louis as your guide. Thanks for the recommendation, and hope that we can see your family again.

Customer-care Team

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Reviewed 3 days ago

Guilin is a wonderful base for exploring the terraced rice fields of Longsheng and village, the Reed Flute Cave, the fabulous Li River Cruise to Yangshuo and its fabulous countryside. It is a small city by Chinese standards, and has many green spaces. We would particularly recommend China Highlights and its guide, Jason. He speaks English very well, is knowledgeable, helpful, and good company. China Highlights organized our 22 day trip all over the country, and everything was top notch, well organized and first quality.

Thank zooboo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chtcustomercare, Guest Relations Manager at China Highlights, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Hi there

Thanks so much for an encouraging review. We're glad that you had a wonderful time exploring this part of China with its rice terraces and karst mountains along the LiRiver. Hope that we can be of service to you again.

Customer-care Team

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Reviewed 5 days ago

As a couple of older independent travelers (we're in our 60's), we wanted to visit China, but not in tour group. It was our first trip to China, and we were pleasantly surprised at how easy it is travel there independently (no more difficult than Europe, for example). The hotels were great, the food terrific, the people were friendly and helpful, and the high speed train system was incredible. Everything is very inexpensive by American standards, and the sites and culture are fascinating. That said, there are a couple of logistical challenges for independent travelers in China, and that's where we turned to China Highlights. Booking train tickets can be difficult and time consuming for non-Chinese speakers. You can book tickets quickly through China Highlights, and even have them delivered to your hotel for a nominal fee. We wanted to keep our itinerary flexible, so we just booked tickets as we went, and - without fail - the tickets magically arrived at our hotels as promised (and we were staying mostly at very small, local hotels). China Passage charges a service fee for this, of course, but it's very nominal and well worth it (plus the tickets themselves are very reasonable). The second thing we use China Highlights for was booking occasional day tours to sites outside the cities where we were staying. Travel bu public transportation into the countryside can be a challenge. Sometimes we hired a cab for the day (surprisingly affordable), but sometimes we booked one of the China Highlights day tours. These were a little more expensive than other day tours we saw offered, BUT they were just what we were looking for: knowledgeable guides, round trip transportation for the hotel, and NO required shopping/factory tours, etc. These were truly "small group tours" (a number of times, we were the only participants) and, again, we found that we could usually book them at the last minute (even the day before) to keep our plans flexible.

So, China Highlights is a terrific resource for independent travelers, but I said "life savings." Well, for us, it really was, sort of. Three weeks into our two month trip, my wife became seriously ill in the city of Guilin. I rushed her to a nearby hospital where some English was spoken, and they diagnosed her with an obstruction of her small intestine and immediately admitted her to the hospital. So there we were, literally half way around the world, with her in the hospital where English was barely spoken. As the seriousness of the situation became apparent, I called China Highlights and they immediately sent one of their local English speaking guide, Jenny, to the hospital to help us communicate with the medical staff, answer our questions, and navigate through the Chinese medical system. Jenny stayed with us the entire three days my wife was hospitalized, until she was eventually released and returned to the U.S. for surgery.

Yeah, so we give China Highlights two thumbs up!

1  Thank JeffY259
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chtcustomercare, Guest Relations Manager at China Highlights, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Dear JeffY259

Thank you very much for taking the time to write and sharing how you found your experience with us. We were sorry that you wife became ill near mid-way through your trip and was hospitalised. We do hope that the surgery was fine and she is recovering well.

Customer-care Team

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Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We recently had China Highlights organise our entire China trip, including Beijing, Xi’an, Guilin, Yangshuo and Hong Kong. We highly recommend their service for a hassle free and individualised / special service. Maggie organised our entire trip and it was our pleasure to meet her on the Guilin-Yangshuo leg of our trip. We appreciated the service of all of our China Highlights tour guides, but Frank in Guilin-Yangshuo was our family favourite! He is a genuine friendly guy with a real passion for his job and knowledge of all sites visited. We really connected with him and appreciated his accomodation of our entire family group, ranging from 70+ down to teens and a 10yo. Thankyou Frank ! The Guilin-Yangshuo leg of our trip was our favourite part, especially the Li River Cruise, our stay at Tea Cozy, and bike riding in Yangshuo.

1  Thank TanyaWho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chtcustomercare, Guest Relations Manager at China Highlights, responded to this reviewResponded 6 days ago

HI there

Thanks for sharing and letting us know how you time was with us. Great to know you enjoyed your time here as a family and we hope that we can serve you again.

CH Customer-care Team

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Reviewed 1 week ago

China Highlights answered my questions, booked my train tickets and delivered them to my hotel. All easy and effortless.

1  Thank Anita N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chtcustomercare, Guest Relations Manager at China Highlights, responded to this reviewResponded 6 days ago

Hi Anita N

Glad that you found our service easy and effortless. Hope we can serve you again, and that you have a wonderful time in China.

CH Customer-care Team

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Reviewed 1 week ago

Five stars for airport to hotel travel. Good comms before my arrival via whatsapp, driver waiting with a board and my name at arrival gate, water provided in a car, driver walked with me to the hotel reception to make sure I'm ok. On my way back I received a gift and water again. Driver was right on time. Clean and modern cars. Highly recommended for airport transfer. Great price value ratio. Thank you

Thank TheKowalskiFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chtcustomercare, Guest Relations Manager at China Highlights, responded to this reviewResponded 6 days ago

Hi there

Thanks for sharing how you found our private transfer service.
Look forward to serving you again.

CH Customer-care Team

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Reviewed 1 week ago

The 4 hour Li river cruise was amazing. The boat was very comfortable, food was good and service was excellent.
The scenery along the 4 hour boat trip was amazing. Absolutely beautiful combining incredible mountain views with tranquil river and landscapes. Pace of these cruise was perfect slow and easy allowing picture taking at a reasonable pace. And don’t miss the money shot (scene pictured on the 20 yuan bill).
Wonderful day on land and water.

Thank sertasteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chtcustomercare, Guest Relations Manager at China Highlights, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hi there

Great to know you enjoyed your day on land and water. The Li River Cruise is a nice was to sit back and enjoy the amazing scenery of the karst mountains. Glad that you did not miss the photo shot, of the 20 yuan note that depicts the mountains as a backdrop.

CH Customer-care Team

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Reviewed 1 week ago

We (four people) went on a fantastic 12-day China Highlights private tour. The last four days were spent in Guilin and Yangshuo with our incredible tour guide, Frank. He was very friendly, accommodating, and knowledgeable. The tours to various places were well planned by Frank and he offered a lot of information about each place. Frank spoke perfect English. On the first day, we visited Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill, and Daxu Ancient Town. Second day, we visited Minority Village and Longsheng Rice Terraced Field where we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the house of one of the villager and cooked by the villager. At the house, we learned how to cook bamboo rice. The lunch was one of the best meals we had during our entire trip! On the third day, we took the Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo. During the boat cruise, Frank pointed out a few of the mountains that had special features with names...quite interesting...very picturesque. At Yangshuo, we stayed at the Yangshuo Ancient Garden Boutique Hotel...an amazing place...a 5-star first class hotel. It appeared that some of the hotel employees were awaiting our arrival. Once we arrived, the employees grabbed our luggage and led us through some alleyways. At this point, we didn't know what to expect of our hotel...but, to our surprise, when we reached the hotel after a short walk, we were pleasantly surprise! The place was beautiful and the room was spectacular and comfortable. After checking in, Frank took us on a 1 hour bicycle tour (bikes provided by the hotel) around the Yangshuo countryside. Beautiful and peaceful place! The entire 4-day tour with Frank was memorable and incredibly enjoyable. We would highly recommend Frank to lead a tour.

Thank Freedom57073133162
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chtcustomercare, Guest Relations Manager at China Highlights, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hi there

We appreciate you taking the time to write about your experience. So glad that you had an incredible and memorable time with Frank that was unforgettable. You captured the essence of the place and have lots of stories to tell family and friends back home of your time in this part of China.
Hope that you can visit again with us.

CH Customer-care Team

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