Read our client’s comments below. Many people book with us because their friends, family, neighbors highly recommended our tours. That is the highest praise we could ask for.
Sylvia Dore and Richard Lang, Victoria, BC – Shanghai to Beijing Explorer, October 2016
We have been back over a week now, and we wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our tour. Peter and all the local guides were so professional and helpful. All the locations on the tour were worth seeing, and the timing of our visits to the day’s sites worked really well. No one ever felt rushed, and the days off in between were perfect. For the most part, we were happy with our hotels. They were clean and well-appointed, and the staff were friendly. The beds everywhere are really hard, so that was something we had to work around. Some of us had to ask Peter to request extra padding. Also, I didn’t realize there was so much smoking in China! Some guests smoke in the elevators, hallways, etc., so it’s hard to avoid that odour. Of course, all these are not under the control of your tour company, so it is not a complaint against you. The one exception to the hotels was our last one in Beijing. Apparently, the original hotel bumped our group out to make room for a conference and put us in an older hotel near Tianamen Square. The hotel rooms were awful! (Dirty carpets, mould in the showers, door keys that worked sporadically). It was not up to a 4* hotel. The bus drivers were really friendly, with the exception of the driver in Nanjing. He never smiled and smoked in the bus while waiting for us, so the bus stunk like smoke. We asked Cindy and Peter to talk to him, and it got better, but a couple of times it was still evident there was smoke in the air. Other than that, all our coaches were comfortable with lots of room and we always felt we were in good hands. Everyone loved the quality and quantity of the food. The guides were really good about picking dishes they felt everyone would like. Having a couple of Chinese men in our tour, the guides didn’t mind checking for preferences and working with suggestions. A couple of us got tired of eating Chinese all the time, but we were able to get our fix for western food on our free days. There was sometimes too much food! Good thing we did a lot of walking during the day. Overall, we would all recommend Far and Away Adventures to our friends and acquaintances (and already have). Well done, Michele!
Nancy and Bill Seymour, Prince George, BC – Guilin and Yangtze River Explorer, October 2015
What a wonderful trip! It is amazing how 20 totally different strangers can get along so well, even teasing each other half way through the trip. All the guides were very knowledgeable and fit right in with our quirky group. Peter was always in the background looking after his “family” as one of the guides called us. If someone was lagging behind to take pictures, me on a couple of occasions, when you turn around he was quietly waiting for you to catch up with the group. If we needed anything Peter was right on it and always available to the group for questions or concerns. Some times we forgot he was behind us as we were so busy sightseeing and listening to the local guides but he was never too far away.
Now I know why Barb and Russ wanted to go with Peter again!.
Gareth and Carol Goodger-Hill, Mill Bay, BC – Shanghai to Beijing Explorer, April 2015
As you know, this was our second trip with Pacific Rim. You and Peter earned our trust and respect from the 29 day trip that we took in 2012 and reconfirmed it with this Shanghai to Beijing trip this year. We enjoyed the trip immensely. From start to finish, it went smoothly and enjoyably. As you know, I was interested in a custom side trip to Nanjing to see the naval construction area of the 1421 Chinese Treasure Fleet. You accommodated us superbly and made that portion of the trip pleasurable. The guides met us promptly and helped make that portion of the trip enjoyable. When we joined the group in Shanghai, it was a pleasure to see Peter again. Besides the scheduled trip, Peter was able to put me in touch in Jinan with a printer for my book, that I could visit on my free day there. Besides making arrangements to print my book (with Peter helping as a translator), we enjoyed a traditional Chinese tea ceremony to seal the deal. Much more pleasurable than a simple handshake! And Beijing is such a wonderful place to visit and we enjoyed seeing it again. All in all, thank you and our thanks to Peter for making this trip a great success.
Jonathan Rayner, Mill Bay, BC – Shanghai to Beijing Explorer, April 2015
A note to say how much I enjoyed the Shanghai to Beijing Explorer trip to China. For someone who has never been to China before, it was a wonderful introduction to the country. And it was all made so easy – from your meeting with the group to answer questions before we left to Peter’s professionalism as a guide throughout the 15 days in China. I’d always traveled independently before so this was my first experience with a group. It could not have been more enjoyable. No worries about language, accommodation, where to eat, quality of food, local transportation, safety, sights to see. I was free to simply enjoy the trip. Peter was very personable and totally unflappable. He was attentive to our needs and open to our suggestions for changes to the itinerary. Also, the local guides were all very friendly and went out of their way to arrange some extras on our free days in Shanghai and Beijing. Definitely a worthwhile experience.
Jim Chow & Donna Hay, Victoria, BC – Shanghai to Beijing Explorer, November 2013
This was our 3rd trip with Pacific Rim Travel so having Peter meet us at the airport was a much anticipated welcome to China. And once again it was an experience we’ll enjoy remembering for a long time. Since our first tour, which was the reverse of this one, Peter has set the gold standard for guides. He provides security for new visitors and freedom to explore to those who want to. He offers suggestions for “off itinerary” experiences which are most often greeted with enthusiasm and, for us – make each tour unique. Shanghai with the acrobatic performance and Beijing with a visit to the Olympic site at dusk as the lights of the Bird’s Nest were slowly coming on, were magical and very 21st century. But the “villages” of Tongli and Qufu where one steps back into China’s history for a time are part of the reason we’ve visited the country repeatedly. Michele’s organization and Peter’s execution along with help from the capable local guides made this trip a pleasure for us and one we can highly recommend!
Dr. Lynda Reynolds, Victoria, BC – Shanghai to Beijing Explorer, November 2013
I am left with such wonderful memories of the experiences we had on this trip and the incredible changes in China since my last trip there with Pacific Rim Travel in November, 2006. In addition to all the places and people we saw, sites we visited, (including the incredible UNESCO site of Confucius home, temple, and cemetery in Qufu; and then discovering this was also a site used by Royal Roads University in their Master program in Intercultural and International Communications), fabulous food, incredible shopping, and having the ability to visit the Fabric Markets and have clothes made to measure. What made it such a special experience again was having Peter as our guide throughout the tour in China. His ability to be flexible and spontaneous unscheduled stops, allowed us to discover places like: “BBQ Alley”, Mosques, swimming areas where natural springs were bubbling up, going through Hutong and meeting local people, canal rides, etc., it made the tour such a rich and enjoyable experience. I was so very grateful that Peter was available for this trip and that I had this opportunity to visit China once again. I would highly recommend to folks who want to experience the “real” China — the culture, the people, the way of life, the shopping, the cuisine — and not a transplanted North American tour with N. American hotels and N. American food (but still have all the “creature comforts”) — that they consider this tour.
Tamara, Uwe, Tom and James. Rothoehler, Nanaimo, BC – 29 Day China Special, September, 2013
This was our second trip to China with Pacific Rim Travel. We were spoiled with good food and excellent hotels. It was very well organized! We never missed a boat , a plane or train ! The sightseeing places were well thought off. Especially in Dali where we went by boat to a small Island. No tourists except the 8 people of our group. (Four of them was our family). The Jade Dragon Snow Mt. was another highlight for us. The Gobi Desert, Turpan and the Camel ride in the Singing Sand Dunes will never be forgotten either. These are just a fraction of beautiful places we have seen in 29 days. It was wonderful !
Tamara, Uwe, Tom and James Rothoehler
Diana Smith, Sumerland, BC – Guilin and Yangtze Explorer, September 9, 2013
I really appreciated you including me at short notice when my other trip was cancelled. I always felt safe and well looked after, the sites and sounds were amazing and the amount of food although very good was sometimes too much in too short a time span. Guilin has fantastic rocks, clear crystal water, green mountains and spectacular caves, the Li river cruise was mesmerizing.Our walk up the Great Wall was very pleasant as it wasn’t busy, the views were amazing but the almost vertical climb not for the feint of heart. The Terra Cotta warriors are mind boggling in their numbers and the presence they have in the enclosure. I would definitely recommend your company to friends looking for an authentic China trip.
Dave and Pat Connolly, Nanaimo, BC – Guilin and Yangtze Explorer, September 9, 2013
Dear Michele, We were overwhelmed with the value of our trip. The accommodation was top rate, the meals generous and the quality of food excellent. If anything we would criticize that the food was too plentiful and much wasted. The guides were knowledgeable and gracious and the choice of attractions well planned. I think all of us yearned for just some western fare. Sometimes we would be delivered to a restaurant and notice a MacDonald’s next door. Believe me, we would have welcomed a Big Mac after the abundance of Chinese food. We appreciated the choice of western food for breakfast. We have been crowing far and wide to friends and family of the dollar value of the trip. We sincerely hope our advertising will bring you more eager travellers.
We have travelled a lot in our lives and we are honestly GUSHING that this was our best trip ever.
Sincerely, Dave and Pat Connolly
Betty Best, Scarborough, ON – Guilin and Yangtze Explorer, September 9, 2013
Hi Michele, I would definitely recommend Pacific Rim Travel for anyone considering a trip to China. You answered questions promptly prior to departure any time or day of the week.
The varied itinerary was well planned, full and excellent value. Peter, National Guide was efficient, friendly and competent. Peter’s replacement- Tony, 5 days into our trip, did a good job of ensuring our days flowed smoothly (including “watching out” for the 9 travellers in our group). The local guides were easy to understand, the hotels very modern (with the exception of Guilin; great location though) rooms all clean, the food was excellent (too much !) and the multiple transportation modes were all great. I loved the two free days to help appreciate what we were experiencing.
China as a travel destination far exceeded my expectations. Thanks to your Company for ensuring the biggest worry of the day was what time we needed to get to breakfast, as another wonderful day unfolded in China. Betty
Jim Monahan, Whistler, BC – Guilin and Yangtze Explorer, May 10, 2013
Hi Michele …… thank you for organizing such a wonderful tour of China. It was truly an unforgetable experience – from the crowds and noise of the great cities to the peacefull river cruises and views of the terraced countryside. Your man in China, Peter …, is a first class guide and a fine person to get to know along the way. I would highly reccomend your company to anyone interested in seeing the Orient. Many thanks. Warm regards from Whistler, Jim Monahan.
Peter and Evelyn Battistoni, Surrey, BC – Guilin and Yangtze, Explorer May 10, 2013
Our small group (7) returned safe and sound May 24 and we had a wonderful trip.
I think all of us agree it was the trip of a lifetime. As you are probably used to hearing, Peter was a terrific guide – knowledgeable, competent, polite, efficient and very open. By the last day we were all friends and had tears in our eyes from laughing. The local guides, for the most part were very good.
The sights were amazing, the food awesome (barring some minor digestive problems for a couple of us) and the accommodations and transport very good.
One minor complaint was the local guide and driver in Guilin. Tony, or Tong, the guide was inadequate because his English was difficult to understand……. The driver (can’t remember his name) took unnecessary risks and made us feel uneasy. We weren’t in a rush at that point, so there was no need to drive so aggressively. Otherwise, everything went off smoothly and we were very happy with the organization and places we were shown. We would have no hesitation in recommending your company to anyone contemplating a trip to China.
Terry and Deby Matthews, Surrey, BC – Guilin and Yangtze Explorer, May 10, 2013
What a trip!!! Thanks, Michele our trip to China was fantastic! The itinerary was unbelievable and the guides were exceptional, especially Peter. We’ve told all our friends and neighbours what a great job at setting up a tour you and your company do. I think the only city guide we didn’t care for was in Guillin [Tony]. His bus driver must have thought he was English, he spent more time on the left side of the centre line than on the right…. OMG
The selection of hotels and restaurants was great. We’ve never eaten so much. It would have been great if the guides could have joined us at the meals. I understand they are not allowed and I’m sure they need a break from all of our silly questions. [like what are we eating?]
Our first city guide in Shanghai said it best, We were to be sticky rice and keep together especially when crossing the roads! It became a common phrase amongst our group throughout the tour…. Thanks again.
Peter and Sherry Durnford, Ladysmith, BC – 29 Day China Special, Sept 2012
We have been on two China trips organized by Pacific Rim Travel. On both trips we were impressed with the professionalism of the guides, the planning of the itineraries and the adventure of travel in China.
We highly recommend Michele Kennedy and Pacific Rim Travel to anyone contemplating travel to China.
Their trips offer great value and, through years of experience in China, flawless knowledge of the routes and attractions.
Anita Stoughton, Fort Langley, BC – 29 Day China Special, Sept 2012
Apart from the antiquities I really knew nothing about China. I was blown away by the scenery. The boat rides on the Li and Yellow rivers.the old towns we visited, and the area in the northwest from Urumqi to Lanzhou were icing on the cake. 29 days is not long enough! I guess another trip to China is in my future!! Many thanks again and best regards.
Carol and Gareth Goodger-Hill, Mill Bay , BC — 29 Day China Special, Sept 2012
Thank you for our wonderful 29 day trip to China. It was probably the best trip we have ever taken – both for the location but also for the organization. China exceeded our wildest expectations. They have created a country of magnificence and breadth. The construction and reconstruction is beyond our understanding–we thought Vancouver was modern city! Three thousand kilometers of 300kph train, and they say it with a shrug of the shoulders –“Why not!”
Our excellent tour guide, Peter, made it really special since he immediately took care of any small difficulty that might arise – and there were not many – from the moment we met him in Shanghai to the parting in Beijing at the airline gate. As we were leaving Beijing I said to my husband “I wish were flying to Shanghai to do this all over again.”
There were so many highlights I cannot begin to enumerate them. The agenda was imaginative and interesting; the food was delicious and plentiful; the small number in our group meant that we interacted well with everyone.
If I have any suggestion, it would be to have a couple more “free” days to let us wander and poke on our own–especially Beijing and/or Shanghai. Having said that, I understand that to make the trip longer might be a problem with people who have to buy travel insurance. And the trip as it is now, I wouldn’t want to cut anything out–it was really good the way it is. Thank you so much. We hope we have the opportunity to travel with your company again.
Sandy Barnes, Clarkston, MI – Beijing – Shanghai Custom Tour, June 2012
We are safely home and jet lag recovered from a most amazing trip in China! We are so thankful that we stumbled on your agency and services. We trust that this was by design. I can’t imagine how different our trip would have been and how much we would have missed without the provision of our guides in Beijing and Shanghai. The conversations and e-mails we had prior to departure prepared us in so many ways. Thank you for your patience and guidance along the way and for the seamless results! If we ever intend to travel in Asia again you will hear from us.
Sincerely, Sandy Barnes
David Burghardt, Edmonton, AB – Shanghai to Beijing Explorer – Oct 14, 2011
“The Shanghai to Beijing Explorer tour was an excellent experience! From the moment we were met at the airport in Shanghai until our departure for Canada from Beijing, Peter, our national guide, seemed always available to graciously ensure that our trip was memorable and trouble free. Unquestionably, he is a top professional! All of the guides were personable, interactive and exceptionally informative. The hotels were modern, functional and the beds were always clean. The food was excellent, and, to my knowledge, not one member in our group had any food related illness. The buses were clean and modern. The drivers were all highly skilled. The two rides on the 300 plus km/h bullet trains, shopping for high quality knock-offs in Beijing and walking the China wall were highlights of the trip. Now I feel that I have truly experienced China. Without reservation, I am recommending a trip with Pacific Rim Tours to all of my friends.”
Rosemary Hetu, Langley, BC – Shanghai to Beijing Explorer – Oct 14, 2011
Had a great time and the tour from Shanghai to Beijing was wonderful. Peter our National guide spoke excellent English. He met us in Shanghai and left us at the airport in Beijing. The weather in October was great, one day of rain and quite warm. I would highly recommend this time of year. We had several local guides throughout our trip. Some spoke better English than others but they could be understood and they ALL knew the history of China and of the cities we were in. We saw so much in the 14 days. There was always lots to see and do. Due to factors beyond anyone’s control there were a couple things we didn’t see but others were added in so we definitely got our money’s worth. The negatives: hotels are not the best kept, although clean it seems the nationals don’t take very good care of the rooms they occupy. Need a hotel that just rents to tour groups. Beds are very hard but you get used to them. Lots of Chinese food but we did have 3 free days and I don’t think anyone in our group ate Chinese food on those days.We had a small group, only 13 so everyone got to know everyone else quite quickly and we had lots of nights with different people hosting an evening in their room. We had a regular sized bus so lots of room to spread out! Will I take another tour with Pacific Rim Travel? Definitely, I need to see the south of China.
Kathie Wiebe, Abbotsford, BC – Guilin and Yangtze River Explorer – Sept 16, 2011
The trip was great and the Panda Reserve was the ultimate, to see the adults and the babies so close was an experience. The food had improved 400% over the mid 1990’s when we were there before and the accommodations are greatly improved. We had sufficient time for shopping and such too. The Terra Cotta Warriors are worth the visit and the extra flights etc. The River Cruise was spectacular again and we really enjoyed it together with the tour of the dam where you can get a really good view of the locks. We also really enjoyed the final day’s tour of the real Chinese quarters and the visit with the family. Thanks again for the great tour.
Ione Condit, Kalamazoo, Michigan – Guilin and Yangtze River Explorer – Sept 16, 2011
Michele, I have these random thoughts floating through my head and want to share them with you. First and foremost, it was an awesome trip.
It is hard to identify things we really liked as it was ALL GOOD!
We were so impressed with Peter’s abilities and with him as a person. It started when he met us at our gate in Shanghai when we thought we were on our own till the Canadians arrived. From that moment on, he took care of us… even loaned us some Yuan to buy some drinks while we waited in the airport. Actually, the local guides were all knowledgeable, had a sense of humor and many shared personal stories or view points that added dimension to their dialogs.
I was (overly) worried about being lost in China and Peter commanded such confidence in his ability to “herd cats” that I learned to rely on him and trust his judgement. Peter’s my man in China, for sure!
Things to consider:
1. I took the pre-trip info seriously and did not take any dressy clothes. Twice during the trip (Captain’s Reception on the Cruise and the Tang Dynasty show) I would have liked to have worn ‘dressy casual’. We took your advice of traveling lite to heart and we were glad we did!
2. Often, we did a lot of touring between arriving at an airport and arriving at the hotel. I would have felt more conformable if the local guide could have given us the hotel card before we toured all day so as to have it with us during the day. It’s a peace of mind thing as Peter did such a great job of “herding cats” that no one got separated from the group. But still…
3. Highlights of the trip for us were: Li and Yangtze cruises, Terra Cotta Warriors, Cormorant fishing, Giant Panda nursery and visiting a family in the courtyard section and the ‘ghost’ market in Beijing. 4. Disappointments : The Olympic Center (viewed through the haze, some distance away), the ‘Chinese Medicine Museum'(not a museum at all but an ‘opportunity’ to buy supplements), the Great Wall (very crowded and very steep steps- heard of places to take gondola up and walk – not climb- the wall).
Ken and Brenda Patton, Victoria, BC, – Central Kingdoms Tour – Sept 18, 2010
Dear Michele and Jim, We have returned safely after another unforgettable China experience! This new Central Kingdoms tour certainly deserves its place on your growing list of options and matches the high standards of our two previous adventures with you. The world class destinations we were able to visit on this trip were all well chosen, and, as before, were exceptional value for money. We could go on at length about the great pleasure it has been for us both on all fronts – hotels, food, enjoyable company of fellow travellers, etc. – but let us simply ask you to pass on to Peter and his in-situ team, our warmest appreciation.
We are already wondering what to pack for the trip to the moon that Peter said he was working on!
Kindest regards, Ken and Brenda Patton
Norma S. , North Vancouver, BC – Tibet and Yangtze River Explorer – May 22, 2010
Dear Michele, I can finally sit down to write this note and let you know that the escorted tour to China and Tibet was amazing. Everything was so well organized!!
From the very moment I saw that Canadian flag at the Shanghai Airport until the moment we said ‘Good Bye’ to Peter in Beijing, everything in between was excellent. The hotels, the local guides, the places we visited, the food, the flights between cities, transportation in all the cities, the local drivers, everything was really good.
China is such a beautiful country. I enjoyed visiting each place included in the tour, the excursions that were offered to us along the way, and the wonderful evening shows in Shanghai, Lhasa, Xian and Beijing. I was particularly surprised by how green and clean the cities are. I loved seeing so many flowers along the roads in Shanghai, Xian and Beijing.
For me, this trip was meant to be. I believe God led me to your company when the tour I had booked was cancelled. I had never thought before of visiting Tibet and I am so glad I did. Lobzang, the local guide was very good, and we learned a lot through him. Visiting Tibet was such a great experience, even having to experience for the first time the symptoms caused by high altitude. They only lasted for a few hours. I’ve heard you do the tour that includes Tibet only once a year. I am so glad I was able to join it! Thank you for making room for me when the tour was already closed.
Peter is a wonderful human being and an excellent tour guide. He is efficient, patient, and caring. He is always on top of everything. Having him made us all feel safe and everything went very smoothly. His presence was a must, particularly for someone like me, who can only fluently say in Mandarin “Hello” and “Thank you”.
My tourmates were amazing, and they all contributed to make this trip very special.
Thank you for organizing such a great tour. I feel very comfortable recommending your company to others. Everything you mention in your website was delivered, and one tour guide in particular, went above and beyond. Ann, the local tour guide in Beijing, instead of letting us have a free day, as per itinerary, she spent both day with us, which was very special.
I feel very comfortable recommending your company, and this trip in particular, to others, and even to my travel agent at Marlin Travel.
Thank you very much again for organizing for us such a wonderful tour!
Sincerely, Norma S. North Vancouver
Dr. Rosemary Tingey – Tibet and Yangtze River Explorer – May 22, 2010
Here we all are, freshly back from our wonderful China and Tibet trip. It was a good group (and happily, small) and we all got along well and had a great time. The hotels were generally well chosen re locale and comfortable. Tibet was awesome, although walking on the Great Wall ranked as my number one favourite. Peter, our guide, was very helpful: unobtrusive but there if anyone needed anything out of the ordinary. A very nice fellow. The local guides were good too, especially Lobzang in Tibet and Anne in Beijing. Just a couple of things we noted that may be of use to future guests:
1. I note in your pamphlet it mentions talking to your doctor about going to altitude. It seems most GP’s don’t know that much about altitude sickness and its prevention. Our little group of 4 took Diamox (acetazolamide) the day before and during our Lhasa sojourn and we were the only ones not to get bad headaches and GI upset, including Peter. The Chinese medicine equivalent is not effective. [ …..] Apart from some tingling in the toes it has no real side effects. You might consider a stronger advisement to Tibet groups to ask their docs or a travel doc for it specifically. It made a world of difference to us!
2. We took the pamphlet at its word and took about $500 Cdn in cash. Then we discovered there were several optional trips costing about 400RMB each so that was eaten up pretty quickly. Anne in Beijing did take us to a bank, but to avoid that hassle it might be worth mentioning the optional trips (the acrobat show in Shanghai, the White Emperor’s Palace, the Kung Fu show in Beijing to name a few, all of which were fantastic and worth seeing) so people can plan to take more money.
Many thanks for the opportunity to see a country I would not have felt comfortable sightseeing on my own. My appetite is whetted! Sincerely, Rosemary Tingey
Earl Wilson and Dorothy MacKay, Chilliwack, BC – April 17, 2010 Shanghai to Beijing Explorer
We had a wonderful 2 weeks in China thanks to Pacific Rim Travel … beyond our expectations. The tour was interesting, well thought out, an easy pace and as a bonus we had wonderful travelling companions, so much fun. We learned and laughed our way through this fascinating section of China.
– Our flight was on China Eastern Airlines. Our economy seats were comfortable and with more leg room than we have had on other overseas flights. The food and beverage service was very good. We were impressed and would fly with them again.
– Peter, our tour leader, was with us everywhere, smoothing the way, rescuing us from traffic in the crosswalks, finding us when we got lost [our own fault], he even rustled up extra duvets for us one cold night. The city guides [Vivian, Michael and Ann] were exceptional. They knew Chinese history thoroughly and were very open with us on questions about China today.
– Our hotels were clean and comfortable, they all had the firm beds the Chinese prefer and thankfully all had western toilets …. because of my age and a new hip I was concerned about the “squats” but it wasn’t a problem .. I think to please the western tourists to the Olympics lots of “sitters” were installed everywhere. [look in the handicapped stalls!]
– Our meals except breakfast were all Chinese food .. enjoyable and varied with forks available for non chopstick users. We had one western meal .. steak!! and of course the usual MacDonald’s for a cup of western coffee, KFC, Subway and Haagen Dazs to remind us of home.
– Our travel was mostly by bus in the traffic mash of bicycles, scooters and honking cars our drivers were awe inspiring. Our overnight “luxury” train ride was an “experience”. The dayliner Bullet train took us through the rural area so we saw a great mix of the way people live in the cities and on the farms.
– China is a country of contrasts and we saw so much … the very new and the very old. The new is very advanced and the old is maintained and cherished .The people are kind and helpful .. and they all seem proud of their country. China is a must see, it is a different world, for now anyway. Because of the price, and the good planning of Pacific Rim I would highly recommend this tour to everyone.
Marie Shaw, Cultis Lake, BC – April 17, 2010 Shanghai to Beijing Explorer
Michele we just wanted you to know how very much we enjoyed the tour that you arranged for us. We thought everything was really tops. We heard nothing but compliments from everyone. Everything was so clean. Peter always handled everything so well. Please tell your customers that in public places there are always sit down toilets in the handicapped stalls. Thank you for everything!
Win and Michael Fairbrass, Armstrong, BC – March 13th, 2010 Shanghai to Beijing (Excerpt from letter sent to us)
Thank you all once again for this trip or adventure if you will, our fourth trip with your company in a 6 year period. Speaks well of the company, the tour guides, the accommodations, from beginning to end. The hotel staff, polite, helpful always, the food excellent and most plentiful. The sites we visited, so much history! The architecture & decor, Shanghai Museum was very impressive, 3rd floor showing early clothing, the embroidery, no zig zag machinery in those years. We only made 2 floors, next time shall see the other 2. The infrastructure that has occurred since our first visit, very modern, making so much improvement to the daily lives of the ordinary people …….
….. Thank you China and Far and Away Adventures. Lord willing our intent for 2011 will be a revisit to the Yangtze on your cruise, same time, mid-March. Sincerely, Win and Michael Fairbrass
Hank and Lois Bos, Wallaceburg, ON, and Tony and Ferne Bos, Elora, ON, Oct 16, 2009 – Beijing to Shanghai Explorer
We just got back from our wonderful Beijing to Shanghai Explorer trip (Oct 16-30, 2009). Two of us (Lois and Hank) were on the land portion only tour after a ten-day trip to South Korea visiting our son who is teaching English there. When we arrived at the Beijing airport, Peter, our ever-gracious host, was there to greet us and took a taxi with us to the hotel, and helped us settle in. The others who flew in from Vancouver arrived late that afternoon, including my brother and sister-in-law Tony and Ferne. Throughout the tour our city guides, Simon “says”, Baker, Wu, Vivian, and the courteous bus drivers were wonderful. All of us especially appreciated the good humour of the bus driver who drove us on the first part of our journey. His smile was infectious, and he was never rattled despite occasional setbacks. The weather was fantastic (mid to high 20’s, and Peter gracefully thanked the group for bringing it to China). The accommodations were always comfortable and all staff were invariably courteous and helpful. Almost all the hotels had been rescheduled for us because JiNan was hosting the National Sports games; smoothly organized in any case. The food was more than satisfactory, and often outstanding.Thanks to Peter who helped solve an ATM problem for Tony when the machine ate his card. His support is much appreciated. Later Peter took a group of us on a walk to a bank for those who needed some Chinese currency. Chinese people are very friendly, and very busy. The traffic was wild but always exciting. The cities are beautiful and often awe-inspiring (especially the futuristic architecture in Shanghai and in JiNan the Baotu Spring Park and Botanical Garden). We also saw several wonderful evening theatre productions, and some of us enjoyed a most relaxing foot and body massage arranged by Peter. Above all, we travelled with a great group of Canadians from across the country, and we had fun! China was a great place to visit. Far and Away Tours/Pacific Rim Travel provided an excellent trip at great price. We highly recommend this trip to others.
Dave and Karen Olsen, BC, May 8, 2009 – Beijing to Shanghai Explorer
Just wanted to let you know we had a wonderful time on our China tour. The weather was great, no swine flu. Our local guides were very informative and Peter looked after us all very well. We were so impressed with China. Amazing modern structures and beautiful parks. Hope to see more of the country some day. We would definetly recommend this tour to our friends. Thanks.
Dianne and Barry Simpson, Wingham ON, 26 Sept, 2008 -29 Day Tour
Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed this exceptional tour this past October. Thanks for allowing only 8 of us to travel on this tour. Peter our main guide was superb as were all of the other guides in this 13 city tour. The hotels were excellent, food delicious and the tour amazing. Twenty nines days just flew by so anyone wondering if they could last that long, it’s no problem at all. Our friends are awed by all the sites we visited and all we that we did. We thank
you all for such a superb tour. Looking forward to new tours perhaps to Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia? Peter hinted they may be in the works. We have been recommending all who ask us to check out www.pacificrimtravel.com and will continue to do so.
Bonnie Gailfus, Calgary AB, 11 Apr, 2008 Beijing to Shanghai Explorer
Just to let you know that we have all arrived back home safely from our trip. The trip was wonderful, everyone had a great time. The guides that we had in China were exceptional, and everything was very well organized and came off without a hitch.I know that everyone in our group, as well as the 3 others from Eastern Canada, all felt that we received great value for our money, and would not hesitate to recommend Far & Away Adventures to others in the future. Thank you again for everything!!
Dan Morosin, Burlington ON, 11 April, 2008 Beijing to Shanghai Explorer
Hats off to everyone involved in the April 11/08 trip. Tony, Peter and all the local guide did a terrific job. Highly recommended trip. Great value for the money. Sure got a different perspective on China. Just a couple of comments on my part: 30 minutes or so at Tienanmen Square was not enough. A place with so much history etc. needs more time and in Hangzhou we were relocated to the Hai Wai Hai Xixi Hotel. While the hotel was excellent, it was to far from ” all the action”. What made Shanghai so enjoyable was that the New Asia Hotel was within walking distance to all the major attractions. Again, many thanks.
Leroy & Janice Paulson, Leduc, AB. 28 Mar, 2008 -Beijing to Shanghai Explorer
Just to let you know we had a great trip to China. The tour was super with good english speaking guides. Tony was really an excellent person to be with as were the others, the trip home was long with connecting flights but that is the only way it works. Thank you for putting a good tour together.
Dayle Johnson, Camrose AB, Mar 28, 2008
I have been back home for more than two weeks now, enjoying my photos and diary of the wonderful tour we had in China. I can’t say anything negative about it, since it was more than what I expected, however, I really didn’t know what to expect since I had never been on an escorted tour before. Also travelling single, with old and new friends, was a new experience for me and one I would do again. The country was at it’s spring time best, with trees and shrubs in bloom as we moved north to south. I found the cities to be clean and filled with friendly people where ever we visited. Most importantly, our accommodation was good, the food was excellent and all the guides were exceptional. Each local guides, Wang, Vanessa, Tony, Jimmy, James, and Vivian were able to pass on their great knowledge of the area they were involved with and made it all very interesting at the same time. Of course Peter and Tony held it all together with understanding and patience. After our tour of Beijing we were a small group of 12 people that Tony looked after very well. He took some of us on additional side tours, on days with free time, that we would not have otherwise been able to accomplish on our own. All the while he managed to keep the necessary schedule for all of us to enjoy as much of China as we could. All in all, it was excellent. Some of the hotels were of course better than others but well above what I expected. Each place we ate, either separate restaurant or hotel restaurant, was very good and provided both food and service that was first class. Please pass my best wishes on to your guide staff for their kindness, patience and caring. It was a wonderful tour and I would recommend it to anyone interested in going to China.
Bruce and Shirley Kitchener, Mar 28, 2008
Dear Peter, We reported the loss of our camera and a pair of jade earings to you on March 29th. We wish to apologize to you for this error. We located both items in one of our suite cases upon our return home. I have emailed the manager of the New Asia Hotel and apologized to them as well for any inconvenience or loss of reputation this may have cased them or their staff. Peter, we are sincerely sorry for this error. We had such a wonderful trip to China and we would not want this to taint the visit nor your thoughts as to the reputation of your Canadian visitors. If there is anything else that we can do please let me know. Thank you again for a wonderful trip.
Bill and Rike Weizenbach, Ottawa 0N – FEB 29-, 2008. AUSTRIAN SOCIETY SPECIAL PRODUCTION
We are now back in Ottawa for a week and I want to make some comments regarding our trip to China.
First of all we had not been on an organized tour before and therefore have no comparison to make, however I have to say that I had not imagined that an “organized tour” could be so well organized. First of all full credit has to go to our Ottawa person, Roland Pirker and the tour guide who met the tour in Beijing by name of “Peter” which is his English name. From there on we had very competent and pleasant local tour guides who met us in each location. At the airports we received our boarding passes, at the hotels we received our room keys, the busses for all the different locations were always ready and waiting for us, all the restaurants were always ready to serve us, the luggage was picked up in the hotels when we left etc etc. In China, everywhere we went Peter was always making sure that there were no wayward tour members and I think he deserves a Gold Star ! At the Shanghai airport, my wife and I had some minor problems when checking in, apparently the computer at the check-in counter could not read our passports when swiped and the data had to be manually entered at an other desk. Well Peter took care of it and he of course had to communicate in the Chinese language. The same thing happened in the Beijing airport and again Peter took care of the situation. Without Peter we would have had a bit of a delay. All the while doing his thing in a quiet and competent manner. He seems to have an air of authority about himself. Where ever we went in China we saw many tourists from different countries and many, many Chinese tourists on boats and busses or just sight-seeing in all the different cities, the point I am trying to make is that we saw no signs of unpleasantness and the Chinese tourists or ordinary citizens seemed as happy as any Canadian or Western European citizen. By the way, in today’s newspaper The Ottawa Citizen, I read an article that says that the air in Beijing is polluted. Well we were in Beijing for three days and we had blue skies and I did not notice any pollution myself. It makes me wonder if some of the negative statements that are being made about China also have some political motivation. Whenever progress is being made in a country that is going from an underdeveloped stage to a more modern society, one can always find negative things but in this case in China , the benefits the Chinese people have obtained far outweigh the things that still have to be improved. I better stop my comments now or otherwise I could go on about the terrific tour we all had for two weeks in China.
Thanks to all who had a part in organizing and conducting the tour,
Roland Pirker Ottawa . Tour producer for the 40 Austrian Society Special Production 29 Feb 08
Dear Jim and Mike! Many thanks to the two of you for making our China tour not only perfect, but more so enjoyable and memorable From Vancouver to Shanghai everything was perefect. Peter was super as always, everybody loved him. Here is the email of the Benders, both enjoyed themselves immensely. I will call you. Cheers. Roland
John and Joanne Bender
We were just thrilled by our tour of China! Everything was so well organized, and it all ran so smoothly! We were able to see an incredible amount in this amazing country, thanks to the efficient planning of the tour. Peter impressed us in China as he coordinated everything so well. If you are in contact with him, please say a huge thank you to him again for all he did for us. We want to commend Far and Away Adventures and Pacific Rim tours for an excellent tour package. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to our friends as the best way for first-timers to see China. Roland, thanks again for all your work! You were a dedicated tour leader and made sure that we all had a great time. Thanks for a wonderful trip that we will never forget. We look forward to being able to share our photos by email with everyone on the trip. All the best! Happy Easter to you and Burgie!
Wilf Trithart, Duncan BC – Beijing to Shanghai Explorer
We want to thank you for the wonderful China tour. We and all the other people really enjoyed the tour, the wonderful hotels, exceptional meals and the very professional English speaking tour guides. The Chinese people are very friendly and like to tlak totourists. We just can’t say enough about how much we enjoyed everything and this amazing country.
Lois and Stu Weber, Elmira, ON – Beijing to Shanghai Explorer – Oct 5, 2007
Thank You. Just thought I would drop you a note to say that we had a wonderful time on your Beijing to Shanghai Explorer tour starting on Oct. 5/07. It was great to have someone looking after every detail of the trip. Even when we booked the land only portion Peter went out of his way to meet us at the airport 6 hours before the the rest of the group arrived to make sure that we had no problems getting the the Hotel. We saw many wonderful sites and met lots of new travelling friends. Tony did a great job as our main tour guide. Just one suggestion. DO NOT SUGGEST THAT TRAVELLERS CHEQUES ARE AN OPTION FOR EXTRA CASH. Nowhere that we tried would accept them. At the Bank of China we did get them cashed but it was a 1.5 hour ordeal. Just ask Tony about this! Without his help I wonder if we would have managed at all. Thank you again Tony.
Horst and Brenda Gross, Brampton, ON – Tibet and Yangtze River Explorer – April 6th. 2007
Dear Mike & Jim: I have been slow in sending a thank you and comments re our Lhasa, Tibet and Yangtze River Tour – April 6th. 2007. But it doesn’t diminish the wonderful time we had with our group, and our guides to spectacular places of interest in China. First to thank you for suggesting this tour which included Tibet. It added a truly magical feeling of adventure to the whole tour. Although we enjoyed immensely every aspect of China we experienced, Tibet was the highlight with its very beautiful, friendly people – from the smiles on the red-robed monks as they chatted with each other, to the rosy cheeks of the round-faced children. The Jokhang Temple is a must. The view from the rooftop of this very interesting and colourful temple, of the city of Lhasa, with the surrounding mountains is breathtaking. We couldn’t get enough of it. Climbing slowly up the Potala Palace’s steps with the locals – one old lady offered me a stick of gum when I took her picture – adding a truly special dimension around every turn. The whole trip was amazing. We loved the food, experiencing the differences, depending on which province we were in. We felt like we were not only learning about the history but experiencing it as we cruised down the Yangtze River and got pulled through the rapids in our little “pea” boat in a smaller gorge. Our guide “lovely” Linda actually sang to us. At the end of this adventure, the magnificent, massive structure of the Three Gorges Dam stood there, demonstrating the magnitude of the things the Chinese people are able to accomplish. Climbing The Great Wall on a beautiful, sunny day was an experience of a lifetime. It was an exhilarating trek up the 1200 steps of the Juyongguang section of the wall. After accomplishing that, there was excitement in the air when our guide Joe, after getting the group’s approval, organized a trip to the opera that evening – something I had hoped we would be able to do. We were amazed when, on every one of our Air China flights, our luggage was on the carousel when we arrived to pick it up. Only in China! Our guides were all very personable and helpful, understanding our personal needs and providing us with information about shopping and the use of our money to avoid loss and scams. Shopping was a positive experience, understanding that bargaining is a way of life and that there is a procedure to follow in order to enjoy the experience. Joyce, our national guide, was especially delightful and helpful, making our whole trip seamless.She was a big help to Andrew when he needed to download pictures onto a disc at a Kodak Centre. He thanks her. They were eager to share with us what it is like to live in China – especially as a young person. It was wonderful to get the feeling, that they are positive about China’s future and their place in it. All in all it was an outstanding, enjoyable but very busy 15 days, jammed packed with adventures, making it well worth the money spent. Our son Andrew had asked us to join him for part of his 7 month backpacking trip to SE Asia. This tour met all of our needs despite the fact that he is only 26, and we were all considerably older. We thank Far and Away Adventures of Pacific Rim Travel – China Office, and the other 7 people on our tour, for contributing to this amazing family adventure. With warm regards, Horst and Brenda Gross
Donna Hay and Jim Chow, Victoria BC – Special Production Guilin & Yangtze River Explorer – March 23 ’07
Hi, Mike and Jim. The “Special Production Tour” has returned! And what a wonderful trip it was! The group e-mails have been flying the last few days with everyone still amazed at what we saw, how busy we were, how much ground we covered and universal agreement on what a wonderful,caring, thoughtful guide Peter is. It was so welcoming to be greeted at the Beijing airport by an old friend. And until we said good-bye at the same airport, we were counted, and guided and cared for and counted, had special attention paid to *emergencies,* and…. counted! The fact that there were 32 of us, required a LOT of counting. The group who had been to Badaling last year LOVED going to Mutianyu instead, and the new people just loved it anyway – the drive off- highway on the way there being a highlight. It was a wonderful day to stroll through the Summer Palace, and Tony (local guide) had such interesting stories to as he got to know us well enough to share some of his history. The city is looking more and more ready to host the world in 2008. The inter-country flights were on time and efficient, and of course Peter made our check-in and boarding as smooth as we could hope. There was some issue with weight restrictions on 2 of the flights, but the problem was short-lived – thanks to Peter’s intervention. Each day, each city had its own highlights. Many people would have liked more time in Xian and Guilin – the history in one being quite awesome and the beauty of the latter seeming so peaceful. The Yangtze cruise exceeded expectations, as does the experience of visiting the dam project. As each of three groups on the cruise – German, Chinese, Canadian – took part in an entertainment evening, it was a spark of hope in seeing the possibility for the peoples of the world to find common ground. And Shanghai…….. even those whose energy was flagging after such a busy two weeks, rallied seeing the wonders of the city. Pu Dong, the museum, Mag Lev train, Yu Yuan Garden, Nanjing Road, acrobats, (shopping – shhhh)……….. when are we going back was the question of the day! Comfortable hotels, great food, personable and expert guides, it was indeed a *special* production. Thanks so much for your superb organization, patience when a few people needed to change plans, and general expertise in running tours of this amazing country. Any one of us would recommend you with out reservation.
Until next time……
ED: This was a word of mouth, unadvertised special for a group who went on a Beijing to Shanghai by Train last year and some of their friends. It went out with 32 people on the Guilin and Yangtze River Explorer this spring.
Louis Cossette, Longueuil, QC – Beijing to Shanghai Explorer – Feb 16, 2007
Just a short note to tell you how satisfied I was of the above mentioned trip. Besides being an eye opener on the state of China today and a discovery of some of the nicest tourist attractions the world has to offer, I truly enjoyed having everything being taken care professionally by Peter, our main tour guide, and the others. No hassle at train stations ( It was Chinese New Year in China, their busiest season), all luggage transfers (and tips) being taken care of, not even having to choose meals in the menu. I also had to buy an extra piece of luggage for the souvenirs I brought back, but that is a problem that belongs to me! I hope to travel with your agency some time in the future,
Nicole Dube Gatineau, Quebec – Beijing to Shanghai Explorer – Feb 16, 2007
I took the trip for the 15 days period starting on February 16, 2007 and found it quite simply amazing. Everything went smoothly, the food was good, the hotels were good, and the places we visited were good. And all this was made perfect by our tour guides, who in all cases were outstanding. I particularly want to mention Peter, who followed us from beginning to end on this trip. Over and above all the attention he was always giving us, he did some ‘extra duties’ not called for. For example, he took one of the group to the hospital during a 2-hour shopping expedition and brought him right back to us. One evening, 5 of us wanted to go to an internet cafe. He took us 2 blocks from the hotel, verified the prices and made sure everything was o.k. before he left. All of these little extra attentions made the trip a perfect. You may rest assured that I will recommend that trip to my family and friends.
Butch Montreuil Comox Valley BC – Beijing to Shanghai Explorer – Feb 16, 2007
I have just returned from the above trip, I was totally impressed with the quality and the high standard, I have traveled on numerous escorted tours in Asia and Europe in the past, This has been one of the best, if not the best. Peter did a superb job and I know I will meet him again, please feel free to have people contact me reference your tours, Ph 250 338 1788
Chris and Irene Winnipeg MB – Guilin & Yangtze River Explorer – May 26, 2006
Hello to all! We recently returned from a memorable trip to China. Without a doubt this was an experience beyond expectations. Our 15 day trip was remarkably reasonable. An incredible value for the money. We visited Beijing, The Great Wall, the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian, in Guilin we enjoyed a day cruise on the beautiful Li River, a 3 day cruise down the Yangtze River, to Wuhan and a flight to Shanghai. They did an outstanding job on this well planned itinerary. Our reliable guide, Peter, accompanied our group of people from arrival in Beijing until our departure. A job well done. Take the trip! To see the detailed itinerary go to www.pacificrimtravel.com/ and check the tour called Guilin and Yangtze River Explorer. You would be amazed by this remarkable country. Some of our co-travelers considered this the best trip they had taken. Have a great summer!
Alfred and Terry from Winnipeg, MB – Beijing to Shanghai Explorer – Nov 24, 2006
Hi: We want to thank you for the wonderful trip that we had, we left on, from Winnipeg. We had a great time and visited many interesting places in China, this is a fascinating Country. Peter our tour Guide is THE BEST, a great person, always ready to help everybody and always with a great smile, indeed we had a great time and we have told our friends about your agency, we are thinking about going to Tibet this year, possible October or November. The food was great, the hotels very good (only the beds are a little bit hard) but we found out that the Chinese people like it that way, so we asked for extra comforters and solved our problem. Thank you again, we had a great group and everything was great.
Sandra Manning Surrey, BC Beijing to Shanghai Explorer – Nov 10, 2006
Mike and Jim: I have just returned (last Friday) from our trip “Beijing to Shanghai Explorer” by First Class Train (15 days land and air) and I wanted to express to you my gratitude for all the arrangements that were made. I cannot express how much I enjoyed the trip and the special thank you to our main tour guide “Peter”. Our group was very compatible and we became a great family of friends enjoy and sharing all of our experiences. Peter was exceptional in providing so much information (about every city we visited and activity we took part in) and guidance to us (as well as keeping us all in line). His patience and gentle manner was very much appreciated. All of the guides we had went out of their way to make sure we were all looked after. We made some very good friends which I hope we will be able to keep in touch with. My only regret I have is that I lost all of my photos from my chip on my camera so I guess my only solution to this will be that I will have to return and certainly will recommend your company to everyone I talk to about my trip. Thank you for all of your efforts in arranging an exceptional experience and trip.
Paul & Anne (Peggy) Dilliott Ridgetown, ON Guilin & Yangtze River Explorer Tour – March 17, 2006
Dear Mike. Thank you for helping make this fantastic trip, the “Guilin & Yangtze River Explorer Tour – March 17, 2006,” possible. This trip was perfect in every way, thanks to our Tour Guides, Peter and Michele, as well as the City Guides. It was grand to have Peter at the beginning and the end of our trip. Michele was such a caring, thoughtful young lady who certainly made sure that everything went smoothly for everyone, as she watched over each of us. Our Beijing Guide, Wong, was such an intelligent, articulate, friendly, helpful lady. We learned so much from each new guide that we had. Our fellow Canadian travelers and our friends Jake and Renée; the delicious Chinese food that we enjoyed; the beautiful scenery throughout China; the Chinese people; the extra tours / entertainment on our free days; the Yangtze River Cruise; the rickshaw rides; all the accommodations; the perfect weather; and anything else that greeted us was splendid in every way. Thank you, Mike, and all of those involved for a dream trip beyond words. God bless you always with good health, continued success, and always peace. Our email address if you or any interested travelers wish to use it is firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Hay and Jim Chow Victoria BC Beijing to Shanghai Explorer March 17, 2006
Hi. Mike. We have arrived back from our March 17th tour of China and while not in this time zone YET, I wanted to let you know how fabulous it was!! Peter is SUCH a good host for his country and the other guides were wonderful, too. (Wong set the gold standard in Beijing – knowledgeable, personable and delightful!) We were so pleased to see the eagerness of everyone to show us the China of *tomorrow*, but more importantly the China of *yesterday.* The impromptu stops at a village market, daily corn grinding – a surprise even for Peter!! – a gentle Sunday morning walk through a quiet village with home visits – priceless. I could go on and on, and with the others in the group we’ve done so at length, but for now, if you ever need anyone to speak on your behalf – without reservation – let us know!! The people we met, the organization, the places we visited………. you get the idea. We loved it! Thank you! Ed: They and 30 of their friends are on a private tour of the Guilin & Yangtze Explorer produced exclusively for them departing on 23 March 07
Ab Kastor & Monique Moulard Fournier, ON Beijing to Shanghai Explorer Nov 12, 2005
Hello Mike. We would like to tell you how much we have enjoyed our Nov 12th trip, absolutely fascinating and so well and super well organized. Our guide Tony, local from Beijing was the best and so knowledgeable with perfect English and sense of humor, the other guides not so easy to understand but still good. Peter and other Tony, very very helpful and GOOD BODY GUARDS ( ALWAYS THERE TO ASSIST YOU AND TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING RAN SMOOTH ) NOBODY GOT LOST IN THE CROWDS!! Very good visits, a couple too long (e.g.) House of Friendship) and not enough time spent at the Great Wall, one high light of the trip. The diversity was interesting and challenging at all the Temples and Gardens, other highlights, (OUR EYES WERE NOT BIG ENOUGH ). Hotels( very plain, very clean but good except for Shanghai, very very noisy in the morning and evening (the city). Food, meals, service, nothing but the best, a lot of food and quality food. Bus drivers, outstanding!!!! All the free time we had gave us the chance to explore and discover on our own, subway, museums and markets etc…We have learned and seen so much in such a short time, fantastic. We recommend that trip Beijing to Shanghai to anyone and are willing to leave our e-mail or phone # for references. email@example.com Ab & Monique 613 524-3749. Thanks again Mike , it was the trip of our life! Please inform us of other good opportunities, we like to go again to the Orient. HAPPY NEW YEAR AND THE BEST TO YOU FOR 2006.
Laurent S. Lapointe & Rachel Choquette Montreal, Quebec Beijing to Shanghai Explorer Nov 12, 2005
Hi Mike, I just wanted to write to let you know the trip was fantastic! You delivered everything promised and much more. Heck, I even enjoyed to overnight sleeper! And with our group, there were too many people for the first class sleepers, so I volunteered to sleep in the coach section, and that was great fun! Our national guide was Tony and he was simply amazing. Very helpful, friendly, great explanations, everything you would want from a guide. All the local guides were also super! We also had the great fortune of traveling with a super bunch of people. They were all amazing! I will recommend your trips to friends and colleagues. Thanks again!!
Alan Scott Vancouver BC Tibet & Yangtze Explorer Oct 29. 2005
Dear Mike, having just returned from the above tour, I wanted to express my sincere appreciation for the incredible organization that you and Peter must have put into the tour. Although I understand you have run these tours many times before, in a country like China many things could have gone wrong. Peter is the nicest and most quietly confident individual who takes everything in his stride. All the local tour guides were knowledgeable, efficient and entertaining (except perhaps for Joe). My only comment, and I hope it is constructive and not meant to be critical, but so much was compressed into such a short time that it was a bit overwhelming. It was unfortunate that we arrived in many destinations (i.e.; Chongqing), very late and did not have time to see the city. Also, I would have appreciated more “free time” in Tibet etc, in order to explore local areas without constantly being shuffled through all the heavy tourist places. However, it gave us all a wonderful “overview” of such a large country and for me, identified the places I would hopefully return to someday. Thank you once again, you did a great job.
Harvey & Irene Marriott Clandeboye MB, Beijing to Shanghai Explorer Oct 1, 2005
Hi Mike: Our tour group left Beijing 7 hrs late Oct. 15 and consequently 16 of us missed the possibility of any connection out of Vancouver to Winnipeg on Sat. Oct. 15. Air China treated us very well putting us up at the Delta and providing dinner, breakfast and lunch. Ten of the group got out on the 2:15 flight Sun. Oct 16 and the other six of us got out at 6:30 so all was well. Our trip was wonderful – a great experience. It was a very large group for Tony and his local guides, but overall everyone cooperated very well and everything worked well. Tony did a great job!! As you know a couple of the hotels got changed on him and with that large a group I’m sure he had to do some scrambling around to get another place that would be acceptable and both places were The rooms in all the hotels were certainly 3-4 star, but the carpet in Beijing needed to be replaced. Also the replacement hotel in Jinan, the carpet needed replaced. The 1st Class Train trip was fun, but I doubt it could be considered 1st Class. In looking across the platform at some of the other trains and sleeping cars, they looked a lot better class. One night – no problem – we had many laughs, but just so that you know. We ran into some problems in cashing travellers cheques – in fact in Shanghai we had to go to a bank – we had no problem in Beijing. Mind you our hotel was changed in Shanghai so perhaps that made a difference. Small amounts are easier to change than large amounts in both travellers cheques and cash. For your information regarding purchasing duty free liquor to take to Beijing and purchasing on your return visit. The Duty Free Outlet is in the secured area in the Vancouver Airport so there is absolutely no problem for an individual to purchase the allowable amount (1 litre per person) and take it on the aircraft. The same goes on your return to Canada. The Duty Free outlet is in the secured area in the Beijing Airport and you may purchase 1 litre per person and take it on the aircraft with you to Vancouver. DO NOT BUY IT IN SHANGHAI DUTY FREE BECAUSE THAT IS NOT AN INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT TO BEIJING AND IF THEY SOLD IT TO YOU IT WOULD BE CONFISCATED. It was a fabulous trip Mike. Ed: China is still China and not Canada. Sometimes things aren’t always what they are supposed to be, even here. We have changed train companies for the 2006 season to what we consider a better run railroad with better equipment, and a better schedule for the passengers.
Tom and Yvonne Paech, Toronto ON. Beijing to Shanghai Explorer Oct 1, 2005
Nee How Mike, After being home for 2 weeks and getting the ‘lag back in sync, I thought I should state some of our comments and tips like those before us. You may remember me as the schlepper you met at the Air China counter in Vancouver, who carried the Tour/Bus/Info manila envelope for you to Tony waiting for us at Beijing International. Man you are a master of keeping the overhead down! This of course benefits us all and I was happy to do it, as was Tony to receive it. Please feel free to post the following as is! So here goes in no particular order:
* Your company delivered everything your web site promised and a whole lot more. Like us, most of our fellow travelers that we talked to didn’t understand how so much tour value and diversity could be covered by such a reasonable price! Yes, we are spreading the word!
* 2 weeks was not enough; we felt like going back to Shanghai the moment we walked in the house upon return. Perhaps next time we’ll go for 3 and for those thinking about it, do it; you will not regret it!
* Our tour group (photo attached) of 44 and as I remember it; 2 Americans, 16 Manitobians, 4 Gentlemen from El Salvador, 7 Ontarians, 2 Quebecois and the rest from the West Coast. If I’m incorrect, please forgive!
* The buses were world class; the trains were not and the night train was our personal low point of the trip. The train changes to a western tourist train for the 2006 season: ED
* I had a 100% wool cashmere suit fitted and delivered to our hotel room in Beijing in under 8 hours the same day from the Silk Alley. It fit and was finished beyond expectation.
* Be very careful with paper money and travellers cheques; the chinese super scrutinize everything. No tears or scribbles allowed on foreign cash notes, your signature on T/C’s must match to their approval and do not accept 50Y notes from anybody except the bank. (favourite counterfit note)
* Bring your debit card; your hotel, banks and ABM terminals are plentiful. You don’t need to bring foreign cash; everybody deals in Yuans straight up. This will be the world currency, if not already, in case you haven’t heard.
* The temples, palaces and gardens we saw will satisfy the most demanding historians.
* Bring digital cameras with extra battery packs; every hotel room had one outlet that took my charger direct without converter plug even though I brought the ‘world kit’, I never had to use it.
* Bottled water is everywhere; 3 or 4Y a pop.
* The Chinese have only one ethic and it’s called WORK; what these folks have accomplished since the ‘bamboo curtain’ came down is staggering. They did in 15 years what took Canada 50! Construction is 24/7 where it matters. Edited for length. Ed
Kathy Keenan Langley BC Beijing to Shanghai Explorer Oct 15, 2005
I arrived back into Canada on Saturday, October 29. And I want to thank your company for such a wonderful holiday. The tour guides that we had during our trip were just plain Fabulous! The national guide we had was a man called Tony (Chen Xuedong). I was travelling alone, and Tony treated as if I was his mother, taking the time to make sure that I got into see all the sights. And to make sure that I got a picture of myself at the important places. He stayed with us until we got on the plane in Shanghai. I had problems with my luggage going through the security with my carryon, the security tried to explain things to me, but the language barrier was there. Thank goodness Tony was right there to help me and get things sorted out. You can’t imagine how much that meant to me, being in a foreign country, thousands of miles from home, not knowing the language, and knowing no one. Your company is extremely lucky to have such a person to contact your tours for you. I would greatly appreciate it if you would pass my appreciation and thanks along to Shandong Travel Service.
Jeff Hurst Regina SK China South West Explorer Sept 9, 2005
Mike, I am just sorting through some of the 2000+ photos taken on my recent 22 day, China Southwest Explorer Special tour. I wanted to take a moment to thank you for arranging the trip and Peter for his company. I thought trip was a great value and showed me parts of the country I would have otherwise missed if traveling on my own. The Silk Factory tour was very interesting, but the Panda’s in Chengdu was the overall best attraction. My main reason for booking this trip was to get to Guilin’s Li River. I had heard and read so much about the area, but there is noting like see it, being right there on the river and enjoying the cruise. One comment, some of the local guides seemed “too” interested in getting us into the shops. I appreciate that fact that the shops are part of the program, but the attractions and what they have to offer should come first, then the shops and their goods. If you could forward this message to Peter, I would appreciate it. It has a couple photos attached he can give his wife, so she know what he looks like these days. I’ll be posting more photos to this site, if any one is interested. SITE: http://photo.epson.com ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks again. I’ll certain travel with your crew again.
Sheila MacFeeters Toronto ON Beijing to Shanghai Explorer Oct 1, 2005
I read the previous website comments before we left and was prepared for questionable food quantities and terrible washrooms — but neither fear came true as even the ‘squatter’ on the overnight train was tolerable. As a bonus our trip of 45 people didn’t include the traditional “always last” person that can be so frustrating. The hotels were all greatly better than expected and I can say that everything was great!! Tips I’d offer to folks considering the trip – take a Nalgeen water bottle – you can boil your own in your room most nights instead of buying bottles everyday. Take your loved ones measurements and a small tape measure if you plan to buy clothes – the sizes in China have no resemblance to Canadian sizes and their imperial tape measures can have over 3″ to the cm! Be sure to have a suitcase lock – it is mandatory on internal planes and trains, and take an extra in case you buy so much stuff that you have to buy additional luggage!! Definitely take toilet paper and Kleenex – even if you’ve never had allergies before the pollution in Beijing is sure to get you sniffling. Take US$ good condition bills – hotels all change money, but several didn’t accept either Canadian bills or Travellers Cheques of any description. The ‘no liquor in carry-on’ policy confused some people – for clarification, it doesn’t apply to Duty Free bought in the airport. When we visited “the countryside” our guide Tony suggested we bring candy for the children – we all agreed it would have been better if we’d brought dollar store pens/pencils/paper (suitcase filler from Canada that will surely be replaced for the trip home) or even the free toothbrushes/combs that appeared in every hotel room. Probably most important – practice your bartering skills as you’ll use them for every purchase and without them you’ll pay way too much!!!! See you again someday
Wayne & Jayne Tulloch, Tom & Kay Attridge, Ontario Beijing to Shanghai Explorer Sep 9, 2005
My wife Jayne and our friends Tom & Kay Attridge were on the Beijing to Shanghai Explorer on Sept. 9th. 2005 .We enjoyed the trip very much My wife wasn’t feeling that well while we were in China and thanks to Tony and Kathy, they helped her out for most of the tour. When we returned home she went for an M. R. I. and the Dr’s. discovered she had suffered a brain aneurysm . They operated on Oct.8th. and repaired it . We were fortunate it didn’t happen while we were in China. As I mentioned, the trip was great, except the last day when we returned to Beijing. When we arrived at the airport, it was total confusion, as nobody knew where to go and we just about missed our connecting flight to Vancouver. I suggest that a rep. from the tour company in Beijing, to meet the flight from Shanghai would be a great asset. I have been checking your website quite often and noticed there are no comments from any of the tour members, who were a nice bunch of people, I might add. Thanks for a great trip as it was quite an interesting experience. We have added a guide for the airport in Beijing.
Jacquie Hatkoski (with Lois Feilding) Dwight, ON on the Beijing to Shanghai Explorer May 6, 2005
I am tardy in emailing you regarding my trip with Lois Feilding on May 6/05 on the Beijing to Shanghai Explorer. What a wonderful time we had! Our group ranged in age from 9 to 80 years old and everyone completely enjoyed our time in China. The itinerary was well planned and our accommodation was good! We enjoyed the presentation and choice of food. Peter was always helpful, organized and always there somewhere in the background. Only 5 of our group went to see the optional evening of Confucius Dream – those who did not see this missed such a wonderful presentation. I t is a must see! Anyone considering this trip will not be disappointed! I have recommended it to several people.
“The Clarke Family” Oliver, BC Beijing to Shanghai Explorer July 22, 2005
Hi Mike: Just wanted to send an email to say how amazing our China tour was. We had a fabulous time (all of us including the kids!) We just do not understand how you can pack so much in for the price! Our group we traveled with was a great fit (everyone got along.) Peter our guide was 110% all the time and all the other guides were very informative and fun. Just had to say thank you and ask what other tours your company has available for our future travels! Sincerely, Happy Campers. P.S. Just wanted to mention although I think others were going to email you to tell you to make sure you tell the next groups to take new Canadian bills, no rips, tears or writing on them because they will not be accepted. Thanks again….
Barbara Bobanovik and Jeanne Vlasics, Toronto, Ontario Beijing to Shanghai Explorer May 20, 2005
What a great trip! It will take us a long time to digest all that we saw and experienced. We were really impressed by the organizational aspect of the trip. Everything ran like clockwork which can’t be an easy job considering the traffic in Beijing and Shanghai. Our guide Tony was excellent, not only very efficient (cell phone on the ready if changes had to be made) but very knowledgeable about the sites we visited and always ready to help or answer any questions we had about Chinese customs and local people. He knew where the best shopping was which was much appreciated by the shoppers in our group. Highly recommend the extra tour we took in Beijing to the Hutong with a visit to a private home and the Kindergarten. I just wish we could have had more time in Beijing (less in Shanghai) to visit the Summer Palace (skip Tian men square – a drive by is sufficient) and have more time in the Forbidden City. We had great people in our group which made this trip even more enjoyable.
The McCulloch Family, Pat, Kathleen, Kristin, Megan, and James Chatham, Ontario Beijing to Shanghai Explorer July 8, 2005
Hello Mike, Just returned from our trip. The tours, meals and accommodations were great. We had a wonderful time and made good friends with the Berman’s (our daughters shared a room). Everything was so well organized! Mark (very personable) mentioned that you may do a tour to Thailand in the future. Please let us know as we would be very interested, perhaps with the Berman’s again. If anyone in our area wants information, feel free to use our names as references. Thanks, Pat McCulloch.
Ken and Irene Smith, Regina, SK Beijing to Shanghai Explorer April 15, 2005
Hello Mike: I just want to add our compliments to your tour of China from Beijing to Shanghai April 15 to 30/05. We had a wonderful time and learned about Chinese culture along with climbing the Great Wall, walking in Tien’an men Square, and many other sites. We were impressed at how Beijing is preparing for the 2008 Olympics. The other cities were also impressive in their own way from Jinan to Shanghai. We particularly liked the pace of the trip, the good food, hotels and the warm hospitality of the Chinese people. Tony was our terrific host, really looked after us as did the guides in each city. A great trip, a most reasonable price and we recommend it every chance we get.
Ginette Lamontagne & Lynn Gary Nethercott Trois – Rivierres QC
Beijing to Shanghai Explorer & Yangtze River Explorer April 1, 2005
Thank you for an unforgettable one month adventure in China. Two weeks ”Beijing to Shanghai Explorer by first class train (April 1/05 – April 15/05) then, immediately followed with two weeks on Yangtze River Explorer with Terra Cotta Warriors (April 16/05 – April 29)” . Your experience, attention to detail, competence and the team skills have made this trip very enjoyable for both Ginette and I, everything happened as it was planned with no problems. No small feat considering the logistics involved. We will tell our family and friends of both your tours and the ‘new China’ that we have seen.
Bob and Jomi Dares, Surrey BC, Beijing to Shanghai Explorer, 18 Feb. 2005
Thank you for an amazing trip through part of China. I have never been on a travel tour before, my wife and I have prefer backpacking or camping. China is not what I expected. It is a very advanced society that handles its resources very well. We were amazed at the amount of artistic workmanship that went into constructing some of the buildings. The meals were delicious and ample (though somewhat repetitious) – Chinese food in China is not the same as the Chinese food most Canadians have grown up with. Here we are more used to fried or steamed food with lots of rice, noodles and meat. In China I found many of the steamed vegetables were unknown to me and rice dishes were always only plain steamed rice. Although I had seen noodles being made by hand in some of the market places it did not appear on any of our tables. The Chinese beer was excellent. Peter was the perfect host. He is very well organized and made our complex tour appear to be not a problem what-so-ever. When something does go amiss, Peter has contingency plans and his cell phone at the ready to go to plan “B”. Every hour of every day flows without a hitch. Even on our “free days” Peter had offers of sights or trips that did not appear on the itinerary. I would recommend that anything Peter advises as an added event is well worth the added investment. This includes the acrobat circus, a kung fu show and a ride on the mag-lev train among others things. Our hotels were much better than I expected and I was surprised to find that every hotel did have 120 volt outlets for recharging batteries or whatever you may need. Our group was only nineteen tourists and I felt we all got along very well. We varied in age from 20 to 74. As was previously mentioned every group has someone who is consistently last. We had ours and he was quickly recognized. It gave us all assurance that our group was complete as soon as this person boarded ” our bus” . It was all in fun and a great time was had by all. We saw a lot of things in only 15 days – I was sorry it was over so soon though at times it felt like we were there for a month. I am looking forward to more trips to China with you. ( The three gorges looks very good. ) Maybe that trip will include some of the many people that I have been directing to your website. Thanks for a trip of a lifetime.
William Chudy Vancouver BC Beijing to Shanghai Explorer, April 1. 2005
It is about a week since I returned from a Beijing to Shanghai vacation organized by your tour company. The trip has left a very agreeable impression on me due in no small measure by the wonderful staff employed by you in China. In particular I would like to single out for a commendation the tour guide in Beijing, Jenny. She is not only very proficient in the role as a tour guide, but leaves me with a superb first impression of the wonderful Chinese people. She reveals a warm personality that is a great joy to experience, reflecting the sentiment shown subsequently by my many encounters with other native Chinese. The second person worthy of special note is deputy resident manager, Peter. The level of organization and variety of sites was reflective of a well balanced tour package. I was impressed by the smooth, unhurried flow of events. Hotel accommodation and meals were beyond what I had anticipated for the price I paid. Peter’s uninterrupted, polite attention to all our requests was appreciated by all members of our group. This trip was without doubt the most remarkable in my travel experience, so thank you for a job well done.
Behram & Sheraz Bhesania Vancouver, B.C. Beijing to Shanghai Explorer April 1, 2005
I am finally back down to earth in the Canadian Time Zone. It is exactly a week since we returned from this fantastic trip, at the most unbelievable price with the right impression of what China is and not what the ABC and CBC show us here. As Nostradamus has said “The Yellow Race Will Rule The World” and it will be proven true not before too long. The Sleeping Giant is not waking up – it has already woken and the world should pay heed. We loved every minute of our trip – the fabulous hotels, the great food morning, noon and night, the excellent company and most of all our National Guide – Peter and all our other respective guides in the other cities – Jeannie, Tony, Jimmy, Kenny & Vivian. Air China was fabulous too with great service, excellent food and plenty of room so that we were not cramped in like we usually are on Cathay Pacific. We couldn’t believe how green, luscious and clean China is. Everyone says “oh they just took you to the good parts”. No we saw all the various sights including the hutats, the villages, schools and the elite restaurants. Just one suggestion that we made to Peter was – every two-three days take us to a Pizza Hut, KFC or MacDonald. We went on our free days to Pizza Hut in Jinan and Shanghai and both were wonderful. I could write pages and pages more but all I can say is a big Thank You from Behram and me for a trip of a life time which came unexpectedly thanks to Daisy and Manu Naidoo in Victoria who saw your ad. Please make them a bit larger – but don’t worry. I am acting as your spokesperson in promoting your company as I promised Peter and already have 4-6 people interested. Please keep us informed of all your future trips especially to Japan, Tibet & Burma. Anyone reading these comments and interested in knowing more please do not hesitate to contact me at sherazbehram@shaw .ca We live in Vancouver, B.C.
Jane & Derrick Wilkinson Beijing to Shanghai Explorer – March 18, 2005
On our return we called to let you know how much we enjoyed our trip. However, we felt a few lines would best convey our absolute enjoyment of this tour. We still can’t stop talking about it. We have traveled a great deal over the years, but this was by far our best organized tour. Having Peter as the tour manager added to our pleasure. He was professional, considerate, helpful and friendly. The city guides, Jonathan, Tony, Jimmy, Joanna and Vivienne, were equally as friendly and very informative. Certainly it would have been impossible to cover as much ground without them. Each city we visited had its own special charm and we have had great difficulty isolating one high-light. However, the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Thousand Buddha Hill, Confucius Mansion coupled with our stay in Shanghai and the harbour cruise, the ride on the Mag lev train and the unbelievable Acrobatic Show was a great blend of ancient and modern China. We’re looking forward to joining another trip you have planned for China . Once again thank you for an unforgettable experience.
Judy Law / Stephanie Choo Burnaby BC Beijing to Shanghai Explorer FEB18, 2005
This is my feedback on the tour. Stephanie and I enjoyed the whole 15 day trip! We had a wonderful time, Air China was good…good service, plenty to eat and drink; our group was fun, it was a humorous, pleasant group, we all got along well; the tour guides did their jobs well, Peter kept an eye on all of us and made sure no one was left behind; the food was just the way I like it, lots of vegetables and enough meat, there was always plenty to eat, towards the end of the tour some people were missing their steaks and mashed potatoes but that’s okay, they probably don’t know it but they went home healthier! One hotel was not so clean, the rest were, and all hotel service was good. The sightseeing was interesting; the carpet factory was boring but we learned how much work went into making one; on our free days, the tour guides didn’t just tell us where the markets were, they took us there! I appreciated that so much! And thank you for your advice, we did bring as little as we can and took home much more. Here is something to add to your tips list. Please enlighten people about the Chinese way of eating a shared meal at a round table. At this trip, the people passed dishes of food around and with some dishes, by the time the last person received the dish, there was only a few morsels left…talk about courtesy!! Okay, the turntable on the middle of the table was there for a reason, the dishes were big and they were hot, they should be left on the turntable and people should help themselves to the food by turning the table. Have some courtesy, notice that there are other people at the same table, and that they are waiting to get a portion of food too, don’t take as much as you want, take a reasonable amount so that everyone at the table will have some too. I thought people learned to share when they were children. As I said, there was plenty to eat, but it was rude to hog favorite foods. Other than this…. THE TRIP WAS WONDERFUL! People at my workplace heard what a good time I had and two are looking into joining your tour. THANK YOU!
Brigette Daniel Calgary AB Beijing to Shanghai Explorer MAR18, 2005
We have just returned from the Beijing to Shanghai tour which was absolutely fabulous. As well as our absolutely fantastic time as China presents itself, the hotels were really first class, the food was more than enough, the guides were really great, especially Jonathan in Beijing and of course Peter who was with us all the way. The tour was so well organized. Everything appeared to go so smoothly. We had great fun on the overnight sleeper train. Peter had mentioned the Yangtze & Tibet tour and we have seen you advertising for this tour in the Calgary Herald ………………… Please send more information. Thanks
Dave and Dianna McGowan Port Coquitlam, BC Beijing to Shanghai Explorer MAR 4, 2005
Just wanted to drop you a quick line to let you know how much we enjoyed our China trip. We still can’t stop talking about it. Our group traveled between March 4-18/05. We have done a lot of traveling over the years, but this was our first organized tour. We are now convinced it’s the only way to go. Having everything pre-planned for us was wonderful. We sat back and enjoyed every minute of it. The food was plentiful, the guides were great and we had a lot of fun with our group. China is such an interesting country and with all the information given to us over the two week period we came home feeling like we had learned so much. We never could have done what we did on our own.. I know Dave spoke to you on the phone and you told him about planning other tours in the future. We’re very interested in hearing all about those plans once you have put them together. We definitely want to travel with Pacific Rim Travel again!! And we’re convincing all our friends that they should travel with you as well. Do you have an email address for Peter, our national guide? We would like to thank him for all what he did to make our trip so enjoyable. With the rush at the airport I didn’t get a chance to properly thank him.
Heiko Behn and Barbara Baird Nanaimo BC Beijing to Shanghai Explorer MAR 4, 2005
Mike. Just a quick note to let you know the trip was fantastic. We both had difficulty in determining what the highlight was. Although the first class berth on the train wasn’t what we Canadians expected, it was an adventure none the less. One of the tour mates came by at night to sell us the toothbrushes, slippers and combs collected throughout the tour. Hard nosed haggling too. Enjoyed Peter, Jennie, Vivian, Tony, Joanna and Ted and they really assisted in making the trip worthwhile. We would recommend the trip for anyone. Perhaps for the free days there might be a bit more info for things to consider. We did the summer palace on our own ( there was a tour organized but the timings didn’t fit for us) but wasn’t terribly expensive as we rented a taxi for the afternoon and the diver had a modicum of English learned from the radio. The Jinan Zoo was a definite highlight in part to the circus act and in part due to the chilly weather. The temperature went down to -2 for the last day in Jinan and carried onto to Qufu with bitingly cold and heavy winds causing a number of people to catch colds etc. Our fault of course but…Generally speaking we were surprised how similar it appeared to Vancouver in commercialization etc ( without the English of course). The people were friendly and as long as we stayed near the areas we lived language barriers were no issue. In Shanghai the night tour, the acrobat tour and the maglev train were all optional extras and might have been included as things to do on the free day. Perhaps the group highlight was the 26 people into the MacDonald’s on the last day in Shanghai. One item Barbara noticed was that her hair curling iron did not work in the first hotel and when we tried to obtain one, it turns out they must be made in Taiwan because none were to be found throughout the areas we visited. ( Even the happy faced Wal-Mart guy couldn’t help.) Thanks again for a great tour and say hello to Peter next time you speak to him.
Dennis and Nellie Crowe, Deloraine MB Beijing to Shanghai Explorer FEB 18, 2005
Hello Mike, Dennis has asked me to send this along.
Dear Mike, should have dropped a few lines earlier, but just did not get around to it. Feb. 18 to March 4 th trip to China was a very good tour and an experience, and was very affordable. We stayed at excellent hotels and ate at top restaurants. It was a little cold when we arrived and could not find any warmer clothes, for people of heavy nature. (He means fat!!!!!!). The guides were very good.-Peter, Jennie, Ted and Vivian.
If you could move people on the train during the day, I think it would make it better, than at night time. Just my thoughts. While we are in contact, Mike could you give me some ideas of cruises on the Yangtze River, days, prices three star and five star, anything of interest. Very Happy with last trip. Dennis.
Brian and Jan Bradshaw, Ladysmith BC Beijing to Shanghai Explorer MAR 4, 2005
Just a note to tell you how much we enjoyed our trip to China. The itinerary was varied, all went like clockwork, good hotels and meals (I actually gained a couple of pounds-Chinese food is not supposed to do that!), and the guides were first class. The group we were with were a fun group too. That helps! Unfortunately we didn’t get to thank Peter properly. He took the flight to Beijing after ours and said he would see us there but it was not to be. So would you please pass on our thanks and appreciation for all his good work. One thing I would like to suggest is that at each hotel it becomes routine for room numbers be assigned to each member of the tour. A couple of times keys were just handed out with no note of who was where. That could have been a problem if some one were late or missing at the start of the day or if there had been an emergency phone call or, worst scenario, if there had been a fire. Ed: The front desk always knows where everybody is because of the security documents we are required to provide them on check in.
John and Hilda Kessling Winnipeg, MB Beijing to Shanghai Explorer NOV 1, 2004
Hello Mike ! We went on your Beijing to Shanghai Explorer on Nov1-Nov 15. It was excellent and we had so much fun. Keep up the good work , and we might be back . I told all me friends about this wonderful way to see so much of China . The Hotels , the service – Great! Absolutely amazing how everything worked out ! Peter was Super , and all the other guides too, especial. Jennifer in Beijing !! Thanks very much from Winnipeg
Maggy Kaplan and Jack Fun, Vancouver, BC Beijing to Shanghai Explorer May 7, 2004
I realize that Jack and I neglected to tell you, after we arrived home from our trip in May (Beijing to Shanghai by first class rail), what a wonderful time we had. Jack had a recurrence of cancer in June which kind of took our attention away from things like writing to you, but he’s doing fine now. In the meantime, we did manage to recommend this trip and your company to a number of people because we were so impressed by the quality of the trip as well as by our fellow travelers. The guides were particularly great — well informed and patient and they consistently outdid themselves to look after our needs. Vivian in Shanghai even went shopping on her own time to get us that great Chinese rice schnapps/vodka/ whatever that we all grew fond of at better prices than we could have done ourselves. The accommodations were top notch with one exception that couldn’t be helped and the food was out of this world. We both felt that we had a closer than average opportunity to get a look at the Chinese people in this grass roots tour, and again the guides were really open and forthcoming in addressing our questions and comments about China and the Chinese. All in all a great trip, great value, great people. When it comes time to travel in that direction again we’ll definitely be back in touch. Thank you,
Pat and Ernie Cowden, Port Mc Nicoll ON Yangtze River Explorer 15 Oct 2004
There are not enough adjectives to describe our trip to China and the Yankze River cruise. It was amazing, educational, exhilarating, exciting, fascinating, eye opening and awesome. We left on the 15th of October and returned on the 29th. We were so surprised at the magnitude of the country, its population, the people and the sights, sounds and smells. We read about China in newspapers, news magazines, see it on T.V. and other media, but never could we have been prepared for what we saw and were part of. We were especially happy with Peter. He is very responsible, caring, helpful, kind and thoughtful. Ernie’s birthday was on the 21st and it so happened that was the night we were at the dinner theatre and at the end of the dinner, there was a loud Happy Birthday played on the P.A. system and Peter and Yale (local tour guide) came down the steps with a birthday cake for him. Another time, Ernie had an unexpected accident, and Peter in true Peter style, came to his aid and was there for him (and me) helping us to overcome the problem that was associated with it. We are so thankful to have found your web page with this trip on it. I will certainly recommend this trip to anyone who is looking for an adventure that we feel is second to none. Thank you so much for being patient with me while we were making our plans, getting our passports etc. The people we traveled with were all wonderful and if we had handpicked them, we could not have picked better traveling friends. Peter made it the best.
Charlene Gordon, Stratford ON Beijing to Shanghai Explorer Oct 15, 2004
Excellent trip, Mike. Good guides, good itinerary, nice group> members. Overall, an outstanding value for the money paid. My thanks to you and Pacific Rim Travel.com. I will recommend this trip to others. So I take it everyone calls you ‘China Mike’? Regards,
Al Cosar, Kelowna, BC Beijing to Shanghai Explorer July 23, 2004
I’m long overdue, on contacting you, so, please accept the apology. Mike, on behalf of Al, Jay, Jayme, Matthew Cosar, I’d just like to express our thank you’s.. The China trip, was absolutely fantastic ! There were no unpleasant surprises, hotels, food, transportation, guides, itinerary, were just great.In short, it was a heck of a lot of fun, and we’ve every intention of doing this again. Additionally, we had the good fortune of traveling in the company of a terrific group of people. In fact, we recently got most of the group together for a dinner in Vancouver. How often do you hear of this ? Mike, thanks again, and we look forward to future travel arrangements with you. Best of regards, Al Cosa
Gene Kutz Monticello, IL USA Guilin Explorer with the Terra Cotta Warriors 1 Oct 2004
Just a note to let you know how much I enjoyed my trip, It was wonderful! Now if my body can get straightened out.
One gal on our tour wanted one of my negatives and I never got around to giving it to her. If you can send me her address, I will send her the negative. Also, I go to an RV park this winter with 1500 people. If you have something I could put on the bulletin board I would sure recommend you. Have a good one and thanks.
Ken and Judy McCormack Surrey, BC Yangtze River Explorer 1 Oct 2004
Just got back from a very enjoyable and informative tour of China. All the tour people were great. The people of China were great. A couple of observations that I will pass on:– Make sure all $ bills you take are excellent quality or they won’t be accepted for exchange. Some hotels will not give cash for VISA. The ship charged their bill and gave cash on VISA (That’s great). Paying for an upgrade: Upgrade to cabin with deck of little use because of windy cool weather. It was possibly offered only because so few passengers (47). The crew was great. – Take your own coffee, pop, beer on ship due to high prices. Liquor was a bit better price.- Tips aboard ship were unexpected, lucky they gave the VISA cash. Will run 200y per person. This was the first time tips were expected on a river boat. Ed.
Lawrie Spooner Victoria, B.C. Beijing to Shanghai Explorer with Tibet Extension July / August 2004
When a web-site in cyberspace offers prices that look too good to be true, our first reaction is, and should be, healthy skepticism. My training and daily experiences as a lawyer have taught me to be even more skeptical than most. Browsers of your web-site are entitled to know that I have learned this bargain is legitimate and that the testimonials are not manufactured. I see that other members of our tour have also posted letters on your web-site. My son, Myles, went on the Beijing to Shanghai tour in March of 2004 and reported back that everyone on the trip agreed it was amazing for the price. Reassured, my wife and I went on the Beijing to Shanghai trip in July/August 2004.
Our thanks to our national guide, Peter, who traveled with us on that two-week tour, and to Jennifer in Beijing as well as all the other local guides. (Also thanks to the other 26 people we met on our tour, who all showed their interest in learning about China and so added to the enjoyment. We even had a reunion at Gerry and Mary Ann’s house in October, which members of the tour from throughout British Columbia were able to attend.)
While China has some of the inconveniences Western travelers would expect in a developing country, China is at the same time a country that is modernizing at a surprisingly rapid pace: a poor third-world country transforming into a modern prosperous first-world country before your eyes. My guess is that a price this low for a tour of this quality will not last long. As China approaches 2008 and beyond, costs are bound to be driven upward by increasing tourism and prosperity in China.
At the end of the two-week tour, my wife and I also added on a one-week extension to Xian, Lhasa (in Tibet) and Chengdu. That was also a tremendous experience. There were only the two of us on the extension tour, yet in each city we were met and escorted by our own local guide and our own personal driver. In Tibet, we were very fortunate to get an ethnic Tibetan guide with an authentic Tibetan point of view and understanding of his country.
We were uncertain about what to expect from domestic flights within China, but were pleased and impressed not only with the Air China flights over the Pacific, but also the smaller airlines within China.
I have told everyone who asks: Grab this bargain while it is still available. P.S. I can also assure readers of your web-site that I have met ‘China Mike’ in Victoria, and that he is a real person who has personally tested his tours over the years.
Margaret Sherwood, Richmond, BC Beijing to Shanghai Explorer July 23, 2004
Mike; Sorry this note is late, but just wanted to thank you for a great tour of China in July-August. The rooms and buses were comfortable, food was plentiful, tour guides were excellent – now if you can just do something about the summer weather!! Boy, it was hot! Beijing Jenny added a day tour of the Hutong (old Beijing), silk alley, and Beijing Opera (mainly for the BCIT people) and this was a great day. Peter also took us to the Outdoor Theatre in Quifu, which was spectacular! ( a must-see for everyone!) Thanks for a very memorable trip! Hope to hear of more tours from you.
Mr. & Mrs. Amin Bandali and Mr. & Mrs. Abdul Jiwan Toronto, ON Beijing to Shanghai Explorer July 23, 2004
Please accept our sincere appreciation from us, including my friend Mr. & Mrs. Abdul Jiwani for our trip to China on July 23, 2004. Peter & his team (Jennys’) were helpful, cooperative, kind and extra ordinary tour guide. Please convey my special thanks to Peter for his outstanding company & assistance to all the places we visited. Our group were the BEST! We have taken lot of vacation around the world but this trip to China will be most memorable. It was beyond our expectation. I have refereed this trip to many of my clients & friends. I am sure that you will get more business. The following are few of the negatives issues we encountered: 1. My wife & other group people were upset & uncomfortable with hard bed at Beijing Hotel. My wife could not sleep all the nights we stayed in that hotel. 2. Being Muslim, we don’t eat pork. Each place we got more pork dishes than chicken and beef. Our concern were discussed with tour guide but situation did not improve. Also, each restaurant had a similar type of dishes & it would have been better if menu would have been different at some restaurant. The fish dishes (less seafood) was awful & bad smell. 3. Some of the sites on our trip was not satisfactory. We hope instead, if we were allowed more time in Beijing and/or Shanghai. Overall, our trip was fantastic. We hope to visit China in near future through Yance River trip & also if Hong Kong is included as part of the package. Please retain my e-mail in your data base & inform me if you organize any future trip in this matter. Many Thanks.
Joe Habibi and John Teitelman , Toronto, ON Beijing to Shanghai Explorer May 7, 2004
It has been more than a week since we returned from the Beijing to Shanghai Tour and we are still under the spell. As the only members of the group from Toronto we would like to express our great satisfaction from the tour. To say that we have received full value for the price is to state the obvious. The choice of hotels, restaurants and the various sites to be visited was remarkable. All along, every day and everywhere, the performance of the accompanying tour guides was exceptionally professional. Outstanding among them was the full-time guide Peter BiQiang who, with his humour and warm personality, was liked by everyone. We shall not hesitate to recommend this tour to other fellow-Canadians.
Joyce & Peter Hopkins, McKellar, ON Beijing to Shanghai Explorer Mar 5, 2004
Just a short note to say we had an awesome tour of China. Peter and the local guides were wonderful. We learned a lot. The food was awesome and we definitely were NEVER hungry. Extremely well organized. We will be raving about it for some time. As soon as I get my pictures developed I’ll send a few along with a more elaborate recommendation of the trip for your file. I also have a couple of suggestions I’ll send. Thanks again for a GREAT trip.
Ken & Brenda Patton, Victoria BC Beijing to Shanghai Explorer Mar 5, 2004
We want to thank you for organizing our just-completed March tour to Beijing, Jinan & Shanghai etc.! We were so impressed with the end-product in every respect -transportation, hotels, food, itinerary, value for money etc. Our special appreciation goes to Peter for his professional leadership throughout, and to his team of excellent local guides and drivers, who made every day a memorable experience. The many chosen examples of the cultural and artistic achievements of the people of China, past and present, in urban areas and in the countryside, far exceeded our expectations! We look forward to sharing our unforgettable experiences with all our family and friends over the coming weeks. Kind Regards, …………..
Bish and Hansi Bhagwanani, Victoria, BC Nov 2003
Hi (or NAY-H0-MAH…as they say in Chinese!!) We are back in our beautiful Victoria from our trip to China. We all had a great time there. Amazed at the progress they have made…..booming economy, clean, modern cities (no papers on the road), big shopping centers. Cities looked like those in Japan and not like Indian cities (though India has it’s own charm). People were very sharply dressed and nice to visitors. McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Huts were everywhere and were popular with youngsters. Shopping in bazaars (not in regular stores) was just great. Went with two suitcases came back with four!!! Tour was very well organized…..it was fifteen days, seven cities all inclusive guided tour. We had a national guide and a local guide. Breakfasts were buffet-breakfasts, lunches and dinners were 12-15 courses: fried rice, fish, chicken, pork, tofu, lots of greens, oranges and watermelon etc. Beer and soft drinks were also included. Moving from one city to another we just had to leave the suitcases outside the room door and they will be deliver at the room door in next city. Sight-seeing was great…..saw the Great Wall near Beijing, Tian’ anmen Square, Forbidden Palace, Shanghai’s booming new towers….. there was construction boom everywhere in China. Hotels were clean, Western style, three and four stars ratings. Buses and train journeys were luxury type. We recommend the trip to everyone!!! Cheers, Bish.
John and Doreen Dunne, White Rock, BC Nov 17, 2003
I only know you from the voice on the telephone at your office in Victoria and you might remember me as the last one to make the final payment on the trip above. I had to let you know that it was a marvelous trip and to prove it I am attaching a copy of a story I wrote about it. I think it says everything. You may use this in any way you like. I might do that Yangtze River tour sometime. Keep up your good service. (The story was run in the Vancouver newspaper travel section. Ed.)
Bill and Karen Craven, Courtenay, BC Nov, 2003
Mike, I sent you a letter about our trip, hope you got it. Very positive experience, thank you. Just to let you know, over the past couple of days I have provided your email and web address’s to half a dozen people. Hopefully you will get some business out of some of them. Its the least we can do for you given how much we enjoyed ourselves……Also, we wrote a letter to the Province (Vancouver Newspaper) , but so far it hasn’t been printed, keep tuned…..thanks again Mike…
Wayne, Nicole and Nicolas Murphy, Bellingham, WA Nov 17, 2003
We just got back from our trip and we are still trying to absorb everything we experienced. This trip has a lot of “bang for the buck” and I would recommend it to anyone. Peter was excellent, as were all the local guides. We have always soloed on trips so we weren’t exactly sure what to expect with a tour group. After our experience, I’d say it is the only way to visit a foreign country. The country wasn’t anything like I had expected. All the people were friendly. Lots of progress happening. Everything was clean. Everyone we talked to seemed to have a lot of pride in their country. The haggling over prices took a little bit of getting use to, but once you learn the rules it was a lot of fun. It was an experience being in cities that had 13, 17, 20 MILLION people. We did have one surprise that we hadn’t anticipated. My son (8 years old) seemed to be a kind of “celebrity” to the people of China. Everywhere we went, the girls, ladies, men, everyone wanted to have their picture taken with him. We would pull up along the side of city buses and everyone would turn to look at him. So he got to experience being a “Star” the whole time he was there. Make sure your camera’s Smart Cards work. I had a 126MB card that I was going to use for the Shanghai portion of the trip that didn’t work ($125 for new one in China). We did learn some Mandarin before the trip. The words were “Hello”, “Thank You”, “Yes”, “No”, “Please”. Just this little bit made a big difference with the people we did talk to. We have already started saving up for our next trip with your company. Keep up the good work Mike and Peter.
Bernard Mottet, Vancouver, BC China November 5 – 26, 2003
I just wanted to thank you for a phantastic tour. I enjoyed every bit of it, all three parts: BCIT, Yangtze River, Xi’an. Everything worked out very well, people were very nice, the tour guides exceptional, the food excellent. It shows that the planning has been fine tuned over the years, because I can say that in my opinion you are pros. Thank you very much. I will certainly advertise and recommend your company to the people in my circle of friends and acquaintances. Maybe in the future I will try another tour with you to other parts of Asia. All the best for the Season, a happy and healthy new year.
Belinda Ling, Vancouver, BC Oct 11, 2003
I just got back this past weekend from my China trip. Had a great time, and thought you might like some feedback on how things went with our group. Firstly, I would like to say that I thought Frank did an excellent job as our national guide and local guide in Jinan. He watched over us like a mother hen, without being annoying. He was polite, friendly, knowledgeable, had a good sense of humour, and was accomodating in every way. I also asked him many questions about Chinese culture/philosophy that the group would have no interest in, and he was able to explain things well on a personal level. He helped us with our shopping, and went out of his way to make sure all our needs were met, without ever showing the slightest annoyance with us. On a scale of 1-10, I would give him a 10/10. Peter was very friendly and helpful as well, although we “train people” didn’t spend much time with him. He was the guide for the group of “boat people”..(edited for length)…………………………..
All in all, the price was right, I met many nice people, learned a lot, ate well, took 360 great photos, and had a wonderful time. Thanks again for your great service. I will definitely recommend your travel company to my friends. Ed: Belinda sent us a lot of great pictures, some of which we are going to integrate in our web site at some point. She also provided us with a long and detailed evaluation of the tour, the service etc. Some great, some areas we had to improve on and did – See Gordon Drewett comments below.
Neville and Eleanor Hope, Fanny Bay, BC Oct 11, 2003
We’ve been back from our China trip for just over a week now, and while we’re still basking in the afterglow of such a fabulous holiday, I wanted to say a big thank you to you and Peter, for making our trip such a memorable one. The routing you chose was perfect and allowed us to see many of the things that we have dreamed of seeing over the years, and none were a disappointment, although the Three Gorges dam is so immense, it is difficult to absorb the scope of it. Only through traveling upstream on the cruise was it possible to really grasp the impact of the project on so many people, communities and agricultural areas. Peter was amazing in his ability to keep us all on schedule, while giving us considerable leeway to do the things we really wanted, while being very willing to amend the schedule if there were things we were less interested in (there weren’t many of these). Also, his willingness to arrange unscheduled extras we had an interest in, usually for only the actual cost of the attraction, was beyond any reasonable expectations. He was also uncanny in his ability to appear (as you had said he would) just when any of us were getting into difficulty. He has wings???………………..I continue to be amazed at the value of the tour you are able to offer at such a reasonable price. I hope we can return in the future and take either the train trip or the Tibet tour. Hopefully Peter will continue to work for you for many years yet- I know he would make either of these tips as memorable as the tour we’ve just finished. Please feel free to use any of this letter in your clients’ comments page. I am recommending China and your tours to anyone who’ll listen!
Wayne and Pat Renney, Victoria, BC Oct 11, 2003
Just wanted to let you know we had a fantastic time! The weather was perfect, the people were wonderful and our group was dubbed “The Magnificent Eleven”! The food was great and the sights and tours were breathtaking. The cruise on the Yangtze was absolutely spectacular! Peter was a terrific guide and made sure we never felt awkward. Everything seemed to fall into place and if we ever needed him, he appeared. He is very personable and we all enjoyed talking with him as he explained things to us. Once again we want to thank you for an experience of a lifetime! We highly recommend this tour to anyone contemplating a trip to China.
Gordon Drewett, Mount Hope, ON Oct 11, 2003
Mike, Just got back from my best vacation ever. Got email problems, so will keep it short. Found some items belonging to Donn, when I got back. One of 3 brothers from Seattle. I picked them up my mistake. If you could give me his address; I will forward them to him. In 2005, I would like to take the 13 members of my family to China. My oldest son is in a wheelchair, so my last itinerary would be out, although he might be able to see the Great Wall etc, with a bit of help from the family. Anyway, something you could look into Frank did an excellent job, as did John and Lydia. Carl knew his stuff, but was a little terse at times. Mai Li is friendly enough, but needs to check behind to make sure that people can keep up. On our river cruise, we had to quick march over a mile from where the taxis dropped us off, even though there was a taxi stand within 200 yards of the cruise office. Almost had another heart attack. Many thanks anyway. (Ed: Carl and Mai Li, as well as their companies have been removed from our guide roster – not meeting our standards.
Hermine Borduas, Toronto, ON China April 14 – 28, 2003
I have returned 12 days ago from the Beijing to Shanghai trip of April 14 – 28. It gave me a wonderful first view of part of China and the experience was so much enhanced by the quality of the tour. What attracted me to choose your trip was its low cost: I reflected that since I had never been to China it did not matter what I would get to see and do. Instead of the poorly organized tour I half expected, I got a smoothly running, well thought out program. Also, the meals were superb and the hotels very comfortable and well located ..(edited for length)…………. I am almost sure I will go on one of your other trips next year. I would particularly like to be on a trip led by Peter because I very much liked his low-key approach: he is very knowledgeable, provides all the important information, is always there to help if anyone has any queries or problems, but also he knows how not to interfere with the people’s private enjoyment by staying in the background when this is desirable. After a while, it felt like he was one of us………………….
Barb & Ross Penton, Stratford, ON China March 31-Apr 14, 2003
On behalf of Barb & I, we wish to say how pleased we are with the recent Yangtzi Explorer Tour from March 31 to April 14 that you organized. In spite of the SARS scare, when we were in Australia, we and our friend Pat Williams, decided to carry on to meet the tour. We arrived in Beijing prior to the flight from Canada and were met by Peter and two other guides who made us feel “at home” while we awaited the arrival of the rest of the group from Canada. We had 5 more friends of ours in the original group from Canada and when the plane landed we were anxious to see how many, if any, of our friends were on the plane. To our disappointment, none of our friends arrived. Several other people did and we had a brief introduction session and off to the hotel. Throughout our whole trip, Peter was with us, often on the sidelines, but always there when needed. He really did look after us so well. The local guides and bus drivers were also good in the various places we stopped to visit and made our trip exciting. Our small group got along very well, and whether together or alone, we felt very safe in China during our free time to wander. Our friend, Pat Williams, fell prior to leaving Australia, and Peter was always there to assist her, whether on or off a bus, or to carry or lift her luggage. This was over and beyond his duty as a guide, I am sure. It was so appreciated……We were so pleased that you had kept our friend, Vivian, here at home informed when she was worried about our whereabouts and health.
Money and health permitting, we look forward to taking another of your “Tours” in the future. Thank you
Linda and Oscar Sawicki, Burnaby, BC China March 3 – 17, 2003
YOUR TOUR WAS FANTASTIC–BUS, TRAIN, TOUR GUIDES, HOTELS, MEALS,
EVERYTHING WAS GREAT~! I have been telling all my friends, locally as well as far away.
All our friends know that we like a good deal when we travel so that we can travel
often, and if we are saying this is a good deal then they are interested~!
Jenny Matthews, Abbottsford, BC China March 3 – 17, 2003
Hi Mike, just a note from a happy traveler who enjoyed the tour of China which left of March 3 to Beijing and traveled down to Shanghai. This was a wonderful tour and made even better with the assistance of Peter and the various local tour directors in the various cities. They were extremely knowledgeable and helpful. The choice of hotels was great and so was the food. I cannot believe the number of things we have seen and the fact that the entrance into so many cultural locations was included in the price seems amazing. I am so glad that I noticed your small advertisement in the Vancouver Sun and followed up on it. Thank you for organizing such an interesting and economical tour. I look forward to joining another tour in the future.Thanks.
John Eckert, St Catherines, ON. China Nov. 4 -18, 2002
Mike, just a note to tell you how much Brian Campbell (St Catherines) and I enjoyed the Explorer tour. It was everything you said it would be and much more. I am glad that you did not overstate your case, As a result, our expectations were low but our experience was superb. Thanks again. Peter was a good organizer. He was there when we needed him and at other times he disappeared in the background.There was a request to Peter that he organize a Thailand, Viet Nam and Laos tour. He said this could be done sometime in 2003. If this materializes, will you keep me and Brian informed? I think we would go again.
Ted Ibrahim, the Kootenays, BC, China trip Nov. 4 -18
I just wanted to let you know how pleased I was with the China tour. It exceeded my expectations and was extremely good value. I will not hesitate to recommend it to my friends, so I think it likely you will have others from the Kootenays applying to go in the next year. All the guides in China did a very good job, particularly the national guide, Peter. Some minor comments for improvement (from my viewpoint at least) are that on some occasions, I would have preferred to spend more time walking at an outdoor site e.g. more time at the Great wall and less at the jade factory; also Peter did not seem to have a complete listing of the names of all the group when we arrived at Beijing Airport and I think that at the hotels, a note should be made of who is in which room, so that someone can be located when necessary. ED: Thank you for your comments and suggestions. I’m glad you enjoyed your tour. Someone on that tour was carrying all the registration copies of the participants, broken down by rooms, and who shared with whom. That person gave that package to Peter on arrival. You must have been the first one out of the gate! Those documents make check in easier, and gives Peter an opportunity to record room numbers when keys are issued. He also has a list before you get there, of the groups by pairs or singles with critical data for registration and or special visas. The initial registration in Beijing is always a little chaotic, and this was compounded on your tour because we were using a brand new hotel, and, for the first time. Normally it works very smoothy. The front desk of the hotel would always have the room number of each guest. Sorry for any inconvenience. Mike
Lee and Cecile Edes, Ladysmith B.C.
What a great trip. From wonderful food to a special group of people from across Canada and the U.S. Notable sights to us were the Great Wall, Terra-cotta warriors and the cruise on the Yangtze. Of course the last night on board, when the group got together for the talent show in the lounge, will always be remembered. Peter and his local city guides were exellent. Jason in Beijing leading his first tour, to Louisa and finally Rocky in Shanghai. We left the group in Shanghai, to visit friends in Haiyan county. Then we visited Zhouzhang a township on water, and also Suzhou and Hangchou. A unforgetable trip.
Tom Ripley, Victoria BC
I have just returned from the Nov. 4 Beijing-Shanghai trip. Only 1 word to describe it: Fantastic! Everything extremely well-organized, good hotels, excellent meals, and an outstanding itinerary. Thanks very much.
Edna Warnock, Fort Collins CO
I was very pleased with my trip to China 10/07/02. You did a very good job describing it. Peter was such a great guide. Very unassuming, and watched over us to be sure no one got lost. I made sure he got an extra good tip. The other guides were super, too. Jason, Louisa and the rest. It was a very strenerous trip and everybody had tired legs. I don’t think I’ll be going out for Chinese food for quite awhile. But everything was great. The bus drivers were incredible. Don’t know how they managed. Would highly recommend the trip to friends. An incredible bargain. The only complaint I would have was the hotel in Beijing. The toilet didn’t work real well. Thanks again. (Ed: We changed to a brand new hotel on the Nov. 04, 2002 tour)
Angie and Mike ( Robertson-Senkiw), Claremont, Ontario. Oct 21, 2002 tour
Bravo Sir! … on masterminding one of the best organised, best value for money vacations we have ever experienced. The Beijing to Shanghai Explorer by First Class Train far exceeded our expectations on every level. The itinerary gave us a multidimensional snapshot of China: the old and the new: big city and not so big city: past history and future vision: urban versus rural. The accomodations were faultless both in terms of comfort, location and efficiency. Our tour guides were excellent – especially Carol in Beijing and Shelley in Shanghai. As for Frank, our national guide, what can we say?! Such an efficient and charming individual. Totally organised – we never had to think about our luggage, transportation, meals etc. A wonderful sense of humour – he made us laugh a lot and always made us smile. Such a mother hen – constantly making sure that everyone in the group was together, offering advice and help when asked, concerned when anyone suffered from aches and pains, ever the gentelmen helping everyone on and off the coach, train etc. We have already told many of our friends about our trip and how impressed we were, both with the country and the tour. How you can do so much for so little is amazing. Thank you.
Vicky, Dave, Ian, Cody, Ladysmith BC China Tour by Train Aug. 12,02
WOW! What a great trip we had. Thanks so much to our guide Frank Li for his patience, calmness and great sense of humor. Frank had a wonderful sense of balance and never panicked when our group dispersed in all directions at every opportunity. This tour had what we felt we needed in terms of time to explore on our own. We really enjoyed the visit to the small village it was great to exchange the wonderment of cultures theirs to ours and us to them. The most memorable aspect of our trip was the people of China, warm, open and welcoming. Thank you for making our experience so unforgettable.
Gary Keck, Las Vegas NV (excerpts from an extensive commentary)
I just got back from two weeks in China. I went with a tour group out of Vancouver, BC, Canada. ………………..It was a terrific trip. Something different every day. It’s a very good deal. I contacted two Asian travel agencies and about a dozen other Internet sites before I settled on this outfit. It only costs $1200 PP (shoulder season) double occupancy for everything including food. Plus $100 for tips and since I was alone an extra $200 single supplement. Only problem is it cost a bit over $300 RT from Vegas to Vancouver plus an overnight stay in Vancouver the night before we left. We departed on a Monday morning and returned exactly two weeks later on a Monday morning. The web site is www.pacificrimtravel.com. Oh, you also need a Chinese visa which you can get by mailing your passport to LA. That’s another $50. So total cost for me was very close to $2K. I would recommend this outfit to anyone. If you can get to Vancouver for nothing the total PP cost would be only $1300, which is about $500+ dollars less than most similar trips offered by other agencies………………………Well, it was a great trip. You should give this serious consideration if you’re at all interested. We were treated like royalty. Everything went smoothly. You could easily get away with taking only $300 in cash to spend. This would pay for trinkets and food and taxi rides, etc. Ironically the only problems were in the US and Canada. I almost missed my flight to Vancouver out of Salt Lake City …….
Tammy Yee Diegel and the Yee and Hansel Families, Calgary AB
On behalf of my family I would like to extend the warmest thanks for a very memorable trip. I think I can speak for all eight of us (my family) when I say China was absolutely fascinating and the scenery is breathtaking. I can’t believe the value we got for our money! The hotels were very nice and spacious. The service was impeccable. Everywhere we went we were treated like royalty. The meals were all excellent and despite the over-abundance of food we always found room for the watermelon! Peter was a great ambassador to the country. He was always very attentive to our needs and truly went “above and beyond the call of duty”. He even took time to show us around on his day off! Thank you so much, Peter! Oh and thank you for making my birthday so memorable. Peter ordered a birthday cake for me which really made my day special. Our tour guide in Beijing, Duncan, was quite the historian. He taught us so many interesting facts; things that I will remember, always. We will always remember his kindness and warm smiles. Oh, and I can’t forget the bus drivers…who needs a roller coaster when you’ve got a tour bus driver in China! I almost forgot to mention the shopping…in a word…AWESOME! I hope to go on another ‘Explorer’ tour in the future…perhaps near the 2008 summer Olympics. Bottom line: Don’t let the value of this trip fool you…everything was A+ including the organization, hotel rooms, food and tour guides! It really is a trip of a lifetime. Again, many thanks! Best Regards,
Joan Formosa, Chatham ON China Explorer – Beijing to Shanghai by First Class Train 2001
It has been a month since we returned from China and we can’t stop thinking about what a wonderful time we had. We had such a unique tour: Mount Taishan was definitely a highlight for me and I really loved Suzhou. The hotel in Beijing was fine and the other hotels were just great. The food was excellent everywhere. Peter is such a gentleman and a diplomat and he took such good care of us. I can’t praise Lionel, our guide in Beijing, enough: he was the best guide we have ever had anywhere, and certainly the most entertaining…….. Our bus drivers were amazing drivers and I wouldn’t have missed the train rides for anything. You see so much more when you can use trains instead of planes………….The overnight train was definitely a fun experience for me. There was a regular orchestra of snoring which will give me great conversational fodder! I hope I can save up enough to take the Yangtze Explorer Tour(?) (Xian, Yangtze Cruise, etc.) within the next few years. In conclusion, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for a wonderful tour.”
Leah Bishop, Fredericton, NB China Explorer – Beijing to Shanghai by First Class Train 2001
I have not had a chance yet to tell you what an experience the trip I took was. I am still under the influence of China, what a wonderful time we had! I am very impressed, and will be sure to be telling all my friends and family about the trip (I went with half a suitcase, and came back with a suitcase and a half!), not to mention showing all the things I brought back……I hope to use your services again in a couple of years, there is so much I didn’t see!”
Bob & Carole Lucas, Vancouver, China Explorer – Beijing to Shanghai by First Class Train 2001
Had a wonderful time, unbelievable value, unbelievable food and personal service with very knowledgeable guides. Looking forward to another trip with you in the near future. Thanking you for all your input for a holiday of a lifetime”.
Jack & Dorean Binns, Vancouver, China Explorer – Beijing to Shanghai by First Class Train 2001
Just thought that we would let you know what a great time we had on our China trip. Everything was so well organized, & Peter did an excellent job of looking after us. We enjoyed all the tours, the hotels were very good, ………… ……it was amazing how our bags always arrived at the hotel, & nobody got lost. The group we traveled with were a great bunch of people, & everybody got along fine, We are already looking forward to next year, as we want to do the Yangtze River cruise. If you have any specials coming up for about the same time of year, let us know. Also Air China was very good, excellent service & food. Thanks for a great holiday that we will never forget”. ED: Went again on the Oct 7, 2002 Yangtze River tour and brought a lot of friends . Thanks Jack and Doreen!
Jim Currie, Ottawa, China Explorer – Beijing to Shanghai by First Class Train & Yangtze Tibet Explorer 2001
I have been on two of your explorer trips this year: Beijing to Shanghai by train in March and the Tibet, Yangtze River tour in August. Both were priced right and were absolutely fascinating. Your national guide, Peter, is one of the best and I am looking forward to my next trip with him.”
Gail and Johann Schnabl, Manitoba 2001
We were part of the March trip to China this year and had a GREAT time. We want to commend you on the excellent organization, choice of areas to visit, food, hotels, etc………… We usually travel on our own but felt that we needed some more assistance in visiting China. However, we were a bit worried that we would feel like part of a herd of sheep. This never was the case ………. We will be checking your web site for other offerings in the future. In the meantime, we have been telling various friends and hopefully you will have more participants from the Winnipeg area. Thanks again”.
Richard Mc Carley, Oregon 2001
China was great! We definitely want to return, hopefully in time to see the Yangzte before they flood it……………… I took my film in today for processing, 27 rolls of 36. I’ll have to refinance the house to pay for it …..China is such a photogenic place ………..Thanks for the opportunity to be able to see some of China …. it was a wonderful trip! “
Barbara Curtis, Alpine, California 1993
“We had a wonderful time, and we could not believe the price. Let us know where else you are going …”
Marilyn Jackson, R.N., University of Victoria, School of Nursing, Health Care in China Tour 1994
“….overall the service, arrangements and follow through was excellent …”
Tom & Shirlee Lee, Richmond, British Columbia 1995
“Thank you for the Sept 18, 95 China Tour, it was very enjoyable and well organized and excellent value …. The national guide and local guides were extremely professional and efficient”.
Reneta Waterlow, Victoria, British Columbia 1994
“… I feel we got very good value for our money.”
John Graham, London, Ontario 1996
“For the price (we’ve been on at least five other tours) and for the territory we covered this tour offered the best value we’ve ever had. It was interesting, well-paced, exciting and we enjoyed many fine Chinese meals.”
Margaret and Glen Gore, Chilliwack, British Columbia 1995
“We were very impressed with the good hotel accommodation and all the meals we received. The tour was just the right pace for us in that it kept us busy without being frantic, yet we saw everything and more than we thought we would.”
Bea Paxman, Wenatchee, Washington 1995
” … a trip to treasure for the rest of my life! Thanks….”
Ted Lauritzen, Valencia, California 1992
” … Not only did I see China at a price I could not believe, I had a great time. Seems like all I did was laugh, eat and drink beer….”