I arrived to Xi'an May 31st with just a few days to myself from a business trip in southern China. Not knowing anyone and not having a lot of time to waste working out bus schedules or arranging drivers I stumbled upon Emma's Tours and immediately contacted Emma to see if there was any chance of a tour (for the very next day!). Emma responded quickly and was very helpful, immediately contacting her team members to see if anyone was available on such short notice. I ended up spending Sunday with Michael as my guide to the Terracotta Soldiers and the Banpo Village. I had a wonderful time. Michael's knowledge of the history of these sites and of Xi'an in general was beyond impressive. The guy's a walking encyclopedia and there wasn't a single question that went unanswered. He's clearly got a passion for what he does and for the history of Xi'an. I was very impressed. Emma even called during the tour to make sure things were going well and that I was happy with everything. Customer service at it's finest!
I will say, my private tour was a little beyond what I had hoped to pay, about $170 USD. I had sticker shock at first, but when you really think about it the price is very reasonable. The tour lasted about 6 hours, included a driver and side trips to a couple of places Michael really thought added background to the main attractions. Considering how much it can cost in China to hire just a driver it actually is very fairly priced. If you want to save some money I'd suggest booking a smallish group tour so that the price per person is less. However, given my tight schedule, last minute planning and the service that was provided, I feel that even if you have to book a solo tour, it's well worth the price.
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