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  • A couple from Costa Rica had an 18-day wonderful trip to China in April, 2013

    Client: Jan Fitzgerald Nationality: Costa Rica
    Tour Dates: April 4 , 2013 -- April 22 , 2013
    Tour Planner: Sarina
    Itinerary: Beijing/Xian/Guilin/Chongqing/Yangtze Cruise/Yichang/Shanghai
    Dear Sarina,

    I am sorry it has taken me so long to write. We are not to our home yet and it has been a busy time visiting our children and grandchildren in the United States. We have had  a wonderful time reliving our visit to your country as we talk with family and friends. It will be a wonderful memory for us forever.

    Firsts of all, I want to compliment you on the excellent organization of transportation, hotels and places of interest to visit. You were my first contact with ETC and you did an excellent job of organization and made me feel that we had made a very good choice of agencies with which to tour. Almost all of the trip "went like clockwork". The only times we experienced inconveniences were due to things beyond your control, such as weather and flight delays. Even then, your guides were there to make things easier for us.

    Our first guide, Sophia was the perfect representative of your agency for an introduction to the hospitality we found throughout our 3 week visit to China. She was tuned into our need for a slower pace but managed to ensure that we got to see everything we were scheduled to see. She was also very helpful with an introduction to restaurant eating: how to order, what the foods were, how to eat with chopsticks. We really appreciated her willingness to sit down with us and help us. She was very knowledgeable about the history of the places we saw and easily answered our questions.

    We spent less time with Christian in Xian so we don't feel we got to know him as well as we had Sophia. His presentation was very well done. He was easy to understand and  was very knowledgeable.  We found him to be very conscientious, a thoughtful and honest individual. Chris had made an effort to accommodate our need to go a bit slower and do a bit less. However, he appeared to be quite concerned about our decision to not do one of the things planned. It was a "personal comfort" decision on our part. Our time in Xian was very special.

    Alice met us in Guilin. She had a special challenge as we had two days of rainy weather. It was nevertheless a wonderful time. Alice  found us the best seats on the river boat. What a beautiful area that is!!! We did have breaks in the weather for photos. Alice instructed me in the art of bargaining in the Yangshuo market. The mountain lodge was very special. We enjoyed the quiet time. Jim especially appreciated it, both because he was needing the slower pace and he is the family photographer. I think our best pictures came from there. I have also noticed that we are asked "did you see" most often about the karst mountains. Alice (and our driver) did their best to show us the countryside in a heavy rain. This was of special interest as we are from an agricultural area of the United States (not as pretty and much drier.) They also made a special stop for me to replace my watch battery.

    Amy was at the airport for our late arrival into Chongqing. Her introduction to us was stressed as my husband experienced a hypoglycemic incident just as we arrived at our hotel. Amy was super!! She was supportive and helpful in getting the food items he needed to normalize his blood sugar. She took good care of us on our tour the next day. I imagine this was a challenge for her as my husband and I tended to wander off in different directions. We enjoyed a hot pot dinner that evening. Amy helped us for a time - we obviously didn't know what we were doing - then arranged for one of the wait-staff to help us. It was great! She saw us off on the bus to our cruise ship. We really enjoyed our time with her.

    The cruise was also very nice (and the food was good.) The scenery was fantastic. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to mix with the people where, even when we had no common language, we were made to feel most welcome. The cruise ship staff were not about to let us off their ship until they were certain someone was there to pick us up. Your guide, Jackie, was of course there and, although we were not staying in that area, he gave us a talking tour of it.

    Jane was our guide in Shanghai. Jim got in on a half day tour with her (he was not feeling well), and I was the lucky recipient of her undivided attention. What a beautiful city! Jane had the challenge of a holiday weekend that added to the crowds and  time to our travel,especially the drive to Zhujaijiao. She also got in on my last minute shopping for gifts that I hadn't wanted to carry as we traveled about. What patience she had!

    As you can see, we really thought well of the guides. We did not get to know our drivers as well but we did have the experience of the taxi drivers in Anshon. Your drivers were, without exception, the exact opposite. They were cautious, courteous and skilled drivers and we very much appreciated their service.

    I am happy that I got to meet you in Guilin and thank you again for the dinner. I cannot begin to express how pleased we were with the tour, the guides, the drivers and our general experience with China. When we get home to Costa Rica and I have more time to myself, if you would like a short form endorsing your service and ETC I would be quite pleased to oblige.

    Very Sincerely, 
    Jan Fitzgerald