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Chinese Silk Fan

Zhaoqing at Night - Seen from 7-Stars Lake and Crags

Bruce Lee


A Chinese Junk in Victoria Bay, Hong Kong

Latin meets Sino in this restaurant in Macao

Anne and Friend Practise Kung Fu in Foshan

Luxuary Night Cruise, Guangzhou

Making a Silk Fan by Hand In Guilin

Lion Dance
Tourist Guides for China
This page offers Tourist Guides for China (July 2010)
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General Comments:

You will normally be able to book internal trips and tours during your holidays. Chinese people tend to book all their own trips just a day or two before leaving - it really is that instant! The benefit is that you will pay local prices and have personally definable options. Here is a quick resume:

1..When booking locally you will need to show your passport with valid visa and entry stamp. This is normal, and expect to pay 'Cash', again normal practice
2. China International Travel Service (CITS) can be considered the local benchmark, but local booking agencies may offer better and different deals - However, you may need a translator
3. Prices are likely to be the same figures in RMB when booked inside China, as with comparable deals booked before your arrival in $ US Dollars

Guangdong and the Cantonese Speaking World

We live in Guangdong, which you may know as Canton. Therefore the majority of our guides are for local places we have personally visited, or received feedback about from other travellers we know personally.

The Cantonese World includes: Guangdong + Hong Kong, Macao, and Hainan Island of course; Guangxi Province, Northern Vietnam; and Southern regions of: Guizhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, and Fujian Provinces.

Standard Chinese Tours:

There are basically three types of Chinese Tour, namely: City Breaks, Local Tours, Regional Breaks, and Whistle-Stop Multi-Destination Packages. They share a lot in common = Great value for money (Booked locally in China), and very exhausting.

Whistle-Stop Multi-Destination Packages:
These are ideal if you have 3-weeks and want to see everything China has to offer. With these you can cram-in packages such as: Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Guilin, Yunnan, and Hong Kong - with options to fly into one city, and leave from your final destination. Agents also offer more leisurely Yangtze River cruises, etc. We suggest you look at deals offered by specialist agencies such as our featured company China Travel Guide. They will also offer bespoke itineraries and group deals

Regional Breaks:
These usually feature a particular area - such as Yunnan Province, ethnic minorities, specific culture, and also activities such as seeing the Panda Reserve in Sichuan Province

Local Tours:
As Expats who know our local area, we can offer excellent advice and adventures regarding local attractions; and even peasant village excursions - basically anywhere in Guangdong Region. Foshan itself is also the Premier World centre for Kung Fu. We offer specialist Kung Fu tours of 5-day multiples, with options for disinterested companions. We also highly recommend relaxing short breaks to other unique Guangdong cites such as ZhaoQing and Kai Ping

As well as local attractions there are zoos, theme parks, and theatre to enjoy. Alternatively, we can take you onto our local streets to meet our friends - shop, explore, or relax with a beer?

Please note: We are not a travel agency - we simply live here and know what to do!

City Breaks:

Name any famous City in China, and there will be a City Break package for it. The top International destinations are probably: Beijing and The Great Wall, Xi'an for Terracotta Warriors, Shanghai, Guilin, Hong Kong, and Macao. Most follow a similar routine, and are exceptionally good value for money. However, with our personal insights, you may find these tours can be far more relaxing and enjoyable...

There are basically only two classes of travel, International 4* and Chinese 2*. The differences only include: Slightly posher rooms, International breakfast option, English speaking (ish) Guide for trips. The charges can be alarmingly dissimilar, or almost identical - Here is China! Shop around for the best deals. Virtually everything else is identical

Chinese will endeavour to show you the maximum number of attractions during your visit - which may not be your personal plan? Read-on...

Let's take a standard 5-day, 4-night tour of Beijing as prime example:

Standard Beijing Itinerary:

1. Arrive mid-afternoon at Beijing airport and transfer to Hotel - via some nondescript attraction. Arrive hours later than planned, have dinner. Go to bed
2. Every day starts at 7am sharp into the charabanc, so rise at 6am if you want any breakfast! 4* tours usually return around 7pm; whilst 2* ones can be as late as 9pm, but you do get to see little more
3. This is your daily schedule for your entire stay, with one afternoon off
4. That stated, you will be taken to all noteworthy sights, and have shopping expeditions also
5. Nightlife is not normally included
6. Visits to what are essentially 'Guide Sales Commission' venues are always included. This is Chinese philosophy I am afraid + some are quite interesting, prices are very good, and goods sold are genuine
7. As a general rule, buy souvenirs inside attractions, as you are normally only offered inferior copies outside - at inflated prices
8. Your time at any given destination is strictly controlled, so you may prefer to make your own arrangements?
9. All meals are usually included, but expect to pay minor additional charges for most entrance fees, nominally less than Y100 per attraction
10. If you decide to skip a day, or leave a tour to do your own thing; please tell the guide as soon as possible, and only be as forceful as necessary - they are usually students working their holidays for a pittance, and they make commission from what you buy (Which may be their only income from their work!). Answer = tip them and be polite

Our Version:

As Westerners ourselves, we obviously have a very good idea what you are actually wanting. We usually recommend you take a standard tour package, because the basics such as flights, hotels, and transfers are cheap and sorted.

You can book a trip to The Great Wall from any hotel - this being the only attraction that requires a little planning, plus we can tell you how to enjoy the rest of your trip at your own pace; focusing only upon what you want to do

Compare a Standard Beijing Package Tour vs Our Own Version here

About Your Destinations:

Notes for Independent Travellers Only:

We can offer practical advice and local knowledge, supported by experiences from other independent travellers who have gone before you. Contact Us for further information, stating you intended destination or what you would like to experience. We can also give you a free point of contact whilst in China = ourselves. We live here and understand how China works!

See our dedicated page for Independent Travellers here
Related Pages: Ten Tips      Independent Travellers     China Guides
This information is as supplied by China Expats as dated 2nd August 2010, and/or other reliable sources. Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
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