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Magnificent China Tour

  • Submitted by: Jayant & Asha, United States
  • Submission Date: 29th Aug 2007

We would like to share our experiences of our travel to China.I started dealing with China Odyssey Tour consultant Wanda Wang and right from the very start, Wanda was absolutely wonderful – very prompt and quick in her responses to my emails,had a very good attitude to us making changes to our iterinary and extremely helpful in every possible way…starting from creating, changing and adjusting the iterinary to suit our needs and plans – to the very end – even had given us her cell phone number in case we need to call her anytime outside of her regular office hours….she was absolutely a delight to work with from day one till we came back home.

When we arrived in Beijing our tour guide met us and the airport and took us to our hotel.After a good night’s rest, the next morning we started out with Tiananmen Square which is absolutely magnificent.From there we went to Forbidden City – all the history as well as the architecture there is just totally awesome… was pretty crowded there but our guide was very helpful is maneuvering thru the crowds and gave us a lot of information and history associated with the Forbidden City

After that we were taken to SummerPalace and the landscape around there are just absolutely beautiful and very serene.We were also impressed with how clean and well maintained the whole area was – we also loved looking at the marble boat.

We were then taken to a little town called Hutong where we were taken in a rickshaw around narrow streets and also got to visit with one very hospitable lady who welcomed us into her home.

In the evening, we were taken to the Peking Opera which was a complete delight to watch….the juggling act was phenomenal!!

The next day was the long day of driving about 70 kilometers or so to the Badaling Great Wall of china…..even before you get there, you start seeing bits of it as you are driving and once you get there, you are in complete awe to think how they must have built it with no mechanical devices.We did climb up on there though it was quite challenging as it is quite steep but it was definitely worth climbing as much as we could.

Then we went to the sacred path and once again the serenity and well maintained landscaped was very impressive.We did feel that all thru the trip – wherever we traveled, they had well maintained gardens and had trees along road sides thus creating a pretty landscape.

The next day we went to the Temple of Heaven which is truly magnificent – the architecture on the temple and the colorfulness of the temple is just awesome.After that we attended a tea ceremony and learnt about the different teas that they have – after that said good bye to our tour guide and boarded our flight to Xian.

Once again, our guide was waiting for us when we arrived in Xian – which is always a great relief as without the guide, we would have been completely lost as there is abig language barrier.Of course the highlight of Xian is the Terracotta Warriors which is absolutely a ‘must see’ for anyone visiting China.It is such an unbelievable archeological treasure that is absolutely stunning when you walk in to look at all those statues.The farmer who found those is also sitting outside there to sign any books that you might want to buy, which was quite intriguing.Once you have gone to Xian to see the Terracotta warriors, then going to Wild Goose Pagoda is also worth the time….the history of Buddha that is depicted by the drawings on the wall, is very interesting and intriguing.

Then next we went to Chongqing to get out our cruise.Once again, like clockwork, our guide was waiting for us and while driving from the airport, you are just so completely impressed with Chongqing – at least we had not heard about it until we decided to travel to China – it is not a city one generally hears about – but it was so modern looking and well kept that we were totally impressed.We also found out that it is in fact the biggest city in South West China..We spent half a day in Chongqing visiting StillwellMuseum, ErlingGarden then enjoyed a hotpot dinner before boarding our ship for the Yangtze Cruise.

Yangtze River Cruise
Yangtze Cruise was good change of pace from the hectic schedule we had until we got on the ship.If one wanted to participate in activities, they sure had enough activities planned like Tai Chi, 101 Chinese speaking class, informative lectures on history, pearls, kite flying etc.The scenic beauty of the Yangtze is unique to that river, which as we remember it, is the largest river in Asia.Along the cruise, the ship docked in places and we got to go places with ancient history which was a contrast to the last day trip to The Three Gorges dam – a very modernly planned and built dam.

After that last day on the cruise, we flew into Shanghai – our last stop of our wonderful trip to China.Shanghai is a big commercial city, with modern buildings – we were quite impressed by the museum in Shanghai as well as the Bund – a beautiful place to take a walk any time of the day.In all the parks, gardens and any open space we found a lot of people doing Tai Chi, or group dancing or some sort of exercising. We also visited the YuyuanGarden which are absolutely beautiful and the market outside that is something I could spend hours and hours looking at things that look very intriguing.However, the crowds there are just a bit too much to deal with and that was the deciding factor as to how much time we wanted to spend there but we thoroughly loved all that area.I must say that during my stay in China, I did not see any obese people – must be their lifestyle and eating habits that keeps them fit and trim.

In the end, I would like to take this opportunity to very emphatically note that China Odyssey Tours did an outstanding job of making sure that we were completely pleased and happy with our travels to their wonderful country.All the tour guides did a great job, had a lot of knowledge about the history of the monuments we were visiting and very accommodative and helpful in every way – some of them even added extra side trips which were not part ofthe original iterinary so we would not hesitate to recommend China Odyssey Tours to anyone who is thinking of visiting China.Above all, once again Ms. Wanda Wang did an outstanding job of coordinating our entire trip…a big Thank you to Wanda and all the local tour guides.

Jayant & Asha