878 China Tour & Trip Reviews

China Tour & Trip Reviews

878 Reviews
4.7 out of 5
Excellent 669 Great 188 Average 15 Disappointing 2 Terrible 4
99% Recommend
Value
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals
4.7

Editor’s Take

What to Look For in China Tour Reviews

Most trip reviews tend to focus on some or all of these 5 key areas, not all of which may be relevant to you: the tour guide, travel company, service level, country or countries traveled in, and the trip itinerary.

Remember, just because you see a 1 star review doesn’t necessarily mean that person disliked the country - however in China it’s a bit of a different story.

Negative or lower rated reviews for China tours often bring up the culture shock - though most have a positive word to say about their tour guide and the trip itinerary in general. So in the case of China reviews, the tour itself may have been enjoyable but the country was different than expected.

As you read China reviews, consider that China - while a wonderful country with amazing history and people - can be very challenging for travelers, particularly western travelers.

The language barrier is one of the primary reasons that traveling with a local guide is essential in China. They are invaluable for keeping things calm in the often crowded and confusing areas you visit, make sure you find things to eat that you’ll enjoy, and can also help you experience more rural countryside regions, that would be extremely difficult to navigate independently if you don’t speak the language.

That said, while most guides in China speak english, sometimes their accent will be thick and difficult to understand. This can be quite frustrating for some and possibly lead to a lower review score. Be sure to take this into account as you read China tour reviews.

Accommodations in China may also be quite different in terms of comfort level, depending on where in the country you’re traveling, and the tour style. Many China tours feature overnight trains, which can be quite an experience - not always super comfortable.

Homestays and local hotels are very common on China tour itineraries, and these too aren’t every travelers cup of tea. Be prepared with an open mind and adventurous spirit, ready to learn about a very different culture from your own.

If you want a professional take on traveling in China, see the Stride Travel China Guide »

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Tour Reviews

Blg

Recommends

Fantastic November 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
They took very good care of me as I was a woman traveling alone, never once did I worry about a thing. It was extraordinary. I am using them again to go to Japan.

R

Recommends

Outstanding private group tour November 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We were a group of 34 seniors departing from JFK on 12 Oct 2017. The itinerary was the same as the standard 17-day tour and it was well-paced for our group. Mark Ma was our Tour Director, and he was very helpful, friendly and made sure that everyone was safe and enjoying the trip. My group has been on several guided international tours, and this was one of the best. smarTours helped us set up the tour, get our visas and got us first-class hotels throughout the trip. I recommend that you consider them for your travel group. Ms. Suzanne Anderson at their NYC office was specially helpful. Thanks to everyone at smarTours for this excellent experience.
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M

Recommends

18 Amazing Days in China November 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Julian and I are still talking and telling everyone we meet about the surprisingly wonderful trip we recently took. Our guide, Mr. Li Bo, Oscar, was our mother, father, savior, historian, bathroom locator and best friend throughout the entire trip. He seemed to have a second sense and was there when we needed him, either for a pharmacy, help with our luggage or credit cards and the ATM's. The local guides, especially Allie, in Shanghai were extremely helpful and knowledgeable. The hotels and Yangtze River rooms were excellent. All the shows, parks and extras and river cruises were wonderful. The food was pretty good but the hot pots and dim sum that we had when we ventured out on our own was sensational. It's an amazing country with beautiful and unusual sites. I look forward to more trips with SmarTours and I can only hope that they are as great as this trip was for us. Thank you Oscar.
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AS

Does Not Recommend

What a nightmare! October 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
Do not book with Gate 1. If you do, don't get sick cause they leave you for dead. If you do they will take creepy photos of you. If you do don't get the travel insurance, because they will not honor it.
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A

Recommends

Let One Hundred Flowers Bloom October 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Space, and the (temporary) frontier abound provided that you go boldly, up,
more up, and even more up; cast aside fears of teeming hordes, and remember,
the people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world
history. At times, you become the 'attraction' - videoconferencing a chap's
wife on her drive home so she could practice her English (at the top of the
Wall, naturally). That was a first. High fiving hundreds of school kids,
while teachers convulsed with laughter (on the wall too), in a society where
physical contact is not a thing, also a first. Underpinning it all, a long
past with, to quote a fellow traveller, "zero history of democracy". And the
kittens really do want their fluffy tummies tickled, oh yes they do.
Decades of watching China from afar, dissolving whilst sitting on some unused
telegraph poles, on a country road, alone at sunset.


Pema. Well, it's always handy to have a Tibetan guide, when you bump into
some Tibetan monks, looking for a group photograph with some westerners for
their Instagram. Or need to explain the fire in your room. Retrieve a
confiscated bank card. Discuss the geological formations under the wall and
the materials in it. Get you through 'Security' painlessly. And be objective
about Tibet's relationship with China.


1) the Dong Fang has a machine which converts cash banknotes (sterling, USD,
canadianD, euros, and many more) into yuan, which is very handy indeed.
2) two types of ATM exist, ones that hand out cash and return the card, ones
that are for account management only, and hold onto the card. Make sure you
are using an international bank, and a real ATM. Worth watching what other
people are doing for a few minutes.
3) Euro / US plugs sometimes work in the local sockets, but if you require
mains, take a three pin Chinese adapter. Not many amps in the supply, so
charging is slow.
4) Do not, repeat do not, leave electric oil radiators switched on in an
empty room. And stand by for a few minutes to pull the plug out of the
socket after switching on.
5) keep an eye out, and the camera hot, for feral panda spotting.


Water for drinking: arrive, fill kettle, allow to boil, open lid to cool
down, do something else, pour into 'tough' water bottle / bladder, refill
kettle etc. Everywhere has a kettle for that purpose. Have a thermos, with
local tea leaves instead / as well. Even petrol stations have hot water
boilers. The journey to a plastic free world starts with the first step.


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A

Recommends

walking the great wall of china and xian extension October 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
spent 6 days walking the great wall of china and then a walking tour of
beijing. we then went on a sleeper train to xian where we saw the terra cotta
army
walking on the unrestored parts of the great wall.


Jack was great and spent a lot of time explaining the history and he was a
great ambassador for his country


We took metal water flasks with us but were given small plastic bottles of
water every day so we didnt need the flasks. In september the weather was
great and i took warmer clothing both for the day and night which i didnt
need.


i was very disappointed in missing the walk in olympic city as we just drove
passed it. Also I didnt like the skytel hotel in xian as it was soulless. No
real communal area and no outside space/garden. The room was fine. Not to
keen on the breakfast.


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A

Recommends

Great Wall of China October 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
First time I have done something like this before but it has been one of the
best trips I have done.
Wish I could of been out there longer
Descending the heavenly stairway, listening to stairway to heaven on the way
down


Jerry was very knowledgeable, funny, fair and a great person in general


It's hotter than you think, make sure you have a semi decent level of fitness
(hill walking especially), bring insect repellent and about £200 should
cover spending (possibly a bit less).


Consider doing the add on, I wish I had done it but it will give me an excuse
to go back


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A

Recommends

Introducing....Great Wall of China October 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Fantastic jam packed trip, from trekking up long steep challenging slopes to
witnessing the stunning views from the great wall. A journey well worth the
undertaking. I was a first timer to trekking, and a single traveller. The
trip was well planned and executed. The organisation was second to none,
from co-ordinating hot savoury pancakes on the great wall for lunch, to
organsing shows and Tai Chi classes everything was done with a smile, a sense
of humour and professionalism. A lifetime of memories, a personal
achievement and a hunger for more. If you are thinking about it- think NO
MORE, just book it - you will not regret it!
Pushing myself to trek up the vast paths and steps, to witnessing the views
making the hardwork pall into insignificance. Couldn't believe I was there
on the Great Wall of China with a group of lovely people in the care of the
most professional tour guide.


Professional, organised and funny.

Jerry wears many hats as the tour guide - the historian, the nurse, the
accountant, the food expert, the motivator, the teacher, the translator, pest
controllor.........I could go on. He wears all these hats with humour
humbleness and integrity.

One thing though.......'those walls Jerry are NOT FLAT!'....!


Take your walking sticks, the climbs are steep and therefore the climb down
is also steep. I didn't take mine, and that was an epic fail. I was loaned
a walking stick from a fellow traveller and it made a huge difference to
being able to keep up with the group.

Before you go - hill walk for up to 5-8 km a time......making sure you can
maintain a steep hill walk for up to an hour whilst carrying a back pack with
around 3-4kg in it.


Simply - brilliant. I'll be back!


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A

Recommends

Walking the Great Wall; and Xi'an October 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We recently returned from the Great Wall tour and the extension trip to the
city of Xi'an to see the terracotta warriors (14th-26th April). The Great
Wall experience opened our eyes to the hinterland of Beijing where we trekked
the rugged sections of the wall, some of them challenging, staying in local
homestays along the way. The families who run the homestays provided
authentic hospitality in the most fantastic locations in and around national
parks. Throughout our trip, under the inspirational leadership of our guide
Jerry (who looked after our every need with inexhaustible attention to
planning and detail) we learnt about China's fascinating history and culture
as well as entertaining asides on the economics of China. The weather was
brilliant. Following the tour of Beijing (mainly Forbidden City) at the end
of the walk, we took the extension to Xi'an, under a new guide. The sleeper
train from Beijing was an extra experience (it was fine!) not to be missed.
The terracotta warriors are housed in a purpose-built heritage site; the
numbers and scale are massive; you feel you are right back in the 2nd century
BCE during emperor Qin's rule. Xi'an is also worth exploring, including the
city wall, which is in perfect condition. Food on the Great Wall was
excellent - invariably eating in local restaurants along the way - all food
freshly cooked and washed down with the ubiquitous "cold beer"; always with
fast and friendly service. This review is just a snapshot of a truly
memorable holiday. Well done again Exodus.
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A

Recommends

Our China experience October 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Truely wonderful, the Great Wall was full of twists and turns, ups and downs
, it’s more than I expected. The food was amazing , and we were made very
welcome by all. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who loves
mountains as the scenery is second to none , I did the Xi’an extension;
great fun seeing the 8th wonder of the world something I won’t forget! To
top off this trip we were blessed with WEE WON English name JERRY. He is a
true ambassador to his country. He was there 24/7 , full of energy and a
graduate in economics, history, and tourism! Thank you exodus.
The first sight of the Great Wall brought a tear to my eye , the length
history and reason for it’s being there !


Jerry is an ambassador of knowledge in his country, he is a great speaker and
very organised, never late, and should be used for any extensions after this
trip ;


My advice pack light, wear good walking shoes , there are high climbing up
stairs, and slopes down , so a head of heights is needed, and be a little
fit or may struggle with pace .


This trip isn’t just walking the Great Wall , you get the experience of
culture, traditions, and to enjoy their food ! We had the opportunity to see
a kung foo show , and other evening activities, each activity was brilliant
and memoriable .


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A

Recommends

Great Wall and Xian October 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Great Trip. Hiking the wall was the highlight of this trip. The group got on
really well together. The hotel hosts were great. Jerry the guide was
fantastic. He knew his job so well. Great guy. The walking was tough at
times. The extension to Xian was also good. I would recommend this trip.
Seeing how big and how long the wall really is.


Jerry was so good. He got everyone in the right place at the right times. He
made the group feel at ease.
This is my third trip with Exodus and he has been the best group leader I
have had.


Hiking can be tough at times. There are a lot of steps to go up and down.


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A

Recommends

Darjeeling , Sikkim & the Singalila Ridge October 2018

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
This trip is wonderfully varied with each day having something different to
the last. The accommodation throughout is very comfortable especially if you
love an adventure. There are highlights such as heritage and eco hotels and
lodges , and full service camping with roomy tents . In March and the
beginning of April the weather included sunny days in the cities of Delhi and
Calcutta , contrasting with cold fresh nights on camp , with a hail shower .
The hotel in Delhi has a pool and relaxation facilities , and for anyone
arriving earlier , there is time for city tours to see the sights . The
drives from the plains to the Himalayan hill stations revealed beautiful
rivers , terraced tea plantations and habitations on high and steep slopes .
We visited colorful Buddhist temples and the Unesco World Heritage site of
the Toy Train at Darjeeling .
Being woken at 0500 and being lead by Rajeev our leader , to the top of the
ridge near the Kalijar campsite to see the sunrise lighting up Kachenjunga ,
the 3rd highest mountain in the World , and seeing the whole range of the
Himalayan snow capped mountains in front of us , which included Mount Everest
in the distance . Rajeev was tremendous in pointing out and naming each
individual summit . The team took the trouble to ensure we even had cups of
tea and had lots of time to savour the amazing view and take photographs.


Rajeev was excellent in leading our group which had walkers with varied
experience , and walking pace . He gave detailed information about the region
, farming methods , his country and the mountain ranges , and answered our
many questions . He is a very capable leader .


Come prepared to try out different food , and with fitness preparation for
walking to summits on fairly steep slopes. Bring a camera too !


I think the highlights wee often the optional parts of the trip like walking
to the summit of Singalila , and seeing the Everest range on a clear day so
make the most of these . The 16 Zoe's , a cross between a Yak and a cow ,
were the fantastic animals that carried our camping gear for us , and the
team of herdsman and cooks provided an amazing service during our camping
trek .


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A

Recommends

China Calling October 2018

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
What a great trip !
6 hiking days and 2 days seeing the sights in Beijing with Pemma our Tibetan
guide and our mixed bunch of 16, comprised of couples and solos making for a
great trip to China. ( I didn’t book the Xian extension ) the hikes are
tough as they are up and down the many ridges that the wall sought to protect
and most are on the “Wild Wall” where we had the fantastic views all to
ourselves, so expect some tender knees and sore calves as the days progress.
Accommodation in the country is in friendly and comfortable homestays and Don
Fang in Beijing is about 30 minutes walk to the Forbidden City and Tianenmen
square etc. China is a real mix of old and new and the vibrant colours are a
treat for the eyes. Ticking the Great Wall box with this Exodus trip was
memorable and as is the case on many a trip there were only minor things that
could be improved but take it from me, if you’re thinking of booking then
take the leap, you’ll love it.
The Stairs to the Sky near Jiankou are scary, picturesque and a challenge to
mind and body, but what a thrill !


Pemna is a super guide, ever smiling, friendly but most importantly is
putting you as his primary goal.


Don’t underestimate it’s a tough enough hiking trip with more downhill
setions than most


It’s a great trip
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A

Recommends

Very good - just a few tweaks October 2018

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
Overall, we LOVED this trip and would highly recommend it.

Just a few minor complaints, many of which are unavoidable (but some could be
addressed):

- Air pollution was pretty bad on some of the days (though not all).
Obviously, Exodus can't do much about this, but future travelers should be
aware. I had heard the air quality had improved significantly since the 2008
Olympics, and that might be...but it was still pretty bad.
- Plumbing! Other than the Beijing hotel, every single guest house we stayed
at had plumbing issues (and it wasn't just our rooms - the other travelers in
our group had the same issues). You name it - scalding/freezing shower
water, no water pressure, drainage issues. It seems like these SHOULD be
pretty easy to fix, and yet....
- WIFI - there are many sites that are banned in China, but others (CNN,
EPSN, local news sites) are accessible...when you can get a signal. Most
places we stayed at *claimed* to have wifi, but the networks were slow at
best, and in most cases unusable.
- Food - generally pretty good at the guest houses, but there was not much
variety (suprisingly).
- Tai Chi - it was nice to have a Tai Chi lesson, but the instructor stood in
the front of the group which made it difficult for those of us in back to see
her. She should have been in the center, or if possible elevated on a
platform or stage so everyone could see her.
- Crowds - on the final day we went to the Forbidden City in Beijing at what
seemed like the worst possible time: Sunday afternoon. The crowds were
ridiculous. If possible, Exodus should try to arrange this tour early on a
weekday morning to avoid (or at least lessen) the crowds.

Again, all these complaints are minor. Overall, we loved our experience and
would recommend it to anyone considering it!
The first day on The Wall - just the exhilaration of actually being there!


Jerry was good - he spoke a bit quickly and was a bit difficult to understand
at times, and was quite opinionated on some topics...but overall quite good.
Very patient and good sense of humor.


The hiking gets a bit intense - be sure you are in good shape!


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A

Recommends

Imperial China and Yangtze River Cruise October 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We have just returned from this busy and full on trip. As other reviews have
said 'China is big!' We saw and experienced so much - from the different
styles of food, transport and sites. Our guide was informative and shared
lots of information regarding Chinese culture and history as well as the
amazing development that has occurred during the last 20 years.
Realising just how far China has come and how far it plans to go. This is awe
inspiring rather than inspirational. The infrastructure projects, buildings,
size of cities, numbers of travellers/ tourists/people. Reading about it
can't really prepare you for the reality.


Dragon was extremely good at managing expectations and ensuring the whole
group navigated the busy schedule. He was professional, funnyGo patient and
very good at helping us make the most of the opportunities available. This
included where to stand on the boat to get the best view, upgrading our
dining option on the Yangtze cruise to avoid the scrum in the dining room. We
enjoyed hearing his anecdotes of growing up and life in China.


Be prepared for the crowds but don't let them put you off as the Chinese were
always friendly, helpful and good natured. Take mosquito repellent and wear
comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking but it is all manageable. Use
the 'farmers' to carry your bag on to the cruise boat there are a lot of
steep steps down to the river. Have an open mind and be willing to go with
the flow. Foot massages were great (especially the ones on the cruise).
Enjoy!


We met lots of interesting travlleling companions and the group size of 16
worked well with a mix of couples and singles, so there were always people to
hang out with if you wanted to. Go for it - you won't be disappointed


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