China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Monday, October 17, 2011

Best Place to Visit and Hike the Great Wall

Probably the top interest destination in China for most tourists is visiting the Great Wall. Perhaps no thought is given to where the best place is to visit for lack of knowledge however. For the average tourist, my favorite area on the Wall is the Mutianyu section. Not many tourists here and it is the most beautiful section with lush green vegetation. The large group tours go to a closer section to Beijing accessible by freeway which is called the Badaling section where you will often find 80 or more buses in the parking lot and very crowded. Both sections have cable cars that take you up onto the Wall. Once you are on the Wall at Mutianyu you may hike out left which is quite level. About one mile out is a section not repaired to show you what it was like when it was in ruins. Few tourist go beyond 100 yards so often you may hike out to areas where there are few if any tourists for great photos. For avid hikers there are other sections with more challenges which I will be glad to share with you if you contact me by email. Tours to China and Tibet has been my business for almost 25 years. Let my experience and local Chinese associate partners help you plan your own special tours to China. Customized tours to your interests and needs is our specialty.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hotel Deals on the Internet

For those searching the internet for the best deals in hotels; one needs to be very careful to read the fine print. My wife and I just returned from a trip to Spain. Although I am a tour operator to China, it is our off season vacation which she arranges every year. Needing a hotel the night before we left Madrid, she looked for a location close to the airport and reasonable just for one night. On Price Line she found the Hotel San Pablo just 5 minutes from the airport since we had a 07:00 flight the next morning. The cost was $49.90 Euros or $67.37 U.S. dollars. When we arrived posted behind the desk was their rack price of $39.00 Euros or $52.65 U.S. The clerk was embarrassed about it and gave us a large suite to compensate since we had pre-paid the one night. No breakfast was included. In China it can be the same when booking a hotel. Be sure the hotel is as they listed as a Sofital and Sofitel are two different hotels. One being a major international hotel and the other being a "knock off". One is well located and the other in Beijing although advertised as close to Tiananmen Square is actually 1.2 miles away.
Is Breakfast included as well as the 15% to 20% service charge included. Breakfast per person can be from $12 U.S. to $25 U.S per person if not included. You get what you pay for not matter where you travel these days so be careful what you are purchasing or booking. For more tips on travel in China check our web site at 25 Years of Experience and we too get hooked now and then travelling in other countries during our off season.