China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Friday, February 22, 2013

2 For 1 China Tours a Bargain?

This is my 25th year of travelling to China with over 50 trips and 20+ years doing Tours To China.  I have seen the very good and the very poor tours.  I have also taught a class on Travel in China here in Seattle at the University of Washington and some of the Community Colleges as a one day seminar.  A bargain is only a bargain if you are happy with the results and the value you received.  One of the often over used phrases is

"2 For The Price of 1"  for just about everything these days including the tour business.  I receive many advertising flyers and one particular one advertised a 13 Day tour including Shanghai, Xian, Beijing and a Yangtze River Cruise.  Cost was based on 10 or more people in a group  (sometimes as many as 40 or 50)  The advertised cost was $6,899 per person and Did NOT Include the International airfare.   If you booked early you would get 2 tours for the price of 1 or  $3,449 per person dbl. occ. for a group tour.  I took their tour itinerary and sent it to my partner in China without telling him the cost and asked him to quote it to me using the same level of hotels, boat and a few more sights.   I could do a 15 Days similar tour with a 4 day Yangtze River cruise on a 5 Star Line, plus one additional city to visit for $2.497 pp dlb. occ. for 10+ people not including the international air.   I can do the same tour as a Private tour for from 2 to 4 people for $3,297 pp dbl. occ.   Smoke and Mirrors can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.   Do your research and compare what you get for what you pay.  Deluxe hotels can mean just about anything.  It takes a  Knowledgeable, Professional tour planner to really give you what you want for what  you are able or want to pay.   China's economy is flourishing these days as you will see.  For more information contact us at   web site is    in Seattle doing Quality Tours to China since 1992.  Ask for our references of some past customers who do not mind being contacted either about their tours or my services.  Click on the photo for a full screen view!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Taking Adopted Chinese Children Back to China

Several years ago I was asked as a  China tour operator whether I did tours for parents of adopted Chinese children wanting to go back to China to find their roots.   It becomes important to the children once they are in their teen years to know more about their culture and where they came from.   I put together my first tour for parents and their child with a very rewarding result for both them and myself.  Since then my name has gotten passed around and I now do several tours each year.   All had their own rewards and results. Most came from orphanages but not all.   One I like to tell about is a girl that was adopted when she was 5 years old and had been raised in a private family home by caregivers .   She had no memory of her past.  We managed with much research to find the family.  The family invited her and her Mom to dinner since the husband was a chef in a restaurant.  She saw her home and the room that was hers and met all the rest of the family.  This is only one of the stories I could tell but enjoy sharing it with you through my blog.  This has become very rewarding for me as well knowing that I have added to many lives in some small way.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Great Wall Locations to Visit

There are many locations to visit the Great Wall much depending on your time available and what you want to do.  The most popular place with tours and buses to just visit the Wall is Badaling section which I really do not recommend if you are on a private tour or on your own.  Usually there are 50 to  80 buses in the parking lot and it is very crowded with many aggressive sellers.   Mutianyu is my choice with few buses and better scenery as you can see by the photos here and far less crowded.  If you are more into a bit of hiking with fewer tourists, then Jinshanling or Simatai sections are nice to hike between about 40 miles north of Beijing but not a stroll in the park.   If you are looking more for a wild section with few repairs the Huanghua to Zhuangdaokou Guan loop which takes three hours of more to hike and climb are for the avid hikers and climbers.   No matter which section you go to it is overwhelming and photos can never substitute for a real visit.  Take a lunch along for fun if you like although there are restaurants at Mutainyu and Badaling sections.  For more information see my web site at   I am celebrating my 25th year in travel through China and am glad to share the latest travel information with you.