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  • ETC arranged a successful trip to Guizhou for a couple from Finland

    Client: Stephen & Tarja Spencer Nationality: Finland
    Tour Dates: September 2 , 2016 -- September 18 , 2016
    Tour Planner: Lydia
    Itinerary: Chongqing, Kaili, Sandu, Rongjiang, Zhaoxing, Guilin, Yangshuo

    China trip 2.9 to 18.9 2016

    Chongqing.

    Guide services. Peter. Good language skills. On time and good knowledge of sights.

    Driver services. Mr Wang very good and safe driver also very helpful and always on time.

    Train to Guiyang. Mr Wang took us to the train VIP room to make sure we were checked in. The train left and arrived on time. Interesting trip we shared a compartment with a young Chines couple who spoke some English.

    Guiyang.

    Hotel. Novotel. Good quality hotel nice room breakfast was average.Hotel staff were very helpful.

    Mr Yang gave us a short walking tour of the centre of Guiyang city which was very interesting and unexpected.

    Mr Yang took us to a very nice modern restaurant with excellent food.

    Kaili.

    Hotel Grand Metropark Hotel. Good quality hotel. Nice room breakfast was average.Hotel staff were friendly and tried to help as much as they could.

    Mr Yang took us to a local restaurant serving hot pot which was very good. The manager of the restaurant asked us how we enjoyed the food. With my limited Putonghua I was able to tell her that we enjoyed the food.

    Sandu.

    Fufeng holiday hotel. As we expected this was not a very comfortable hotel. The first room we were given was situated under the airconditioning equipment which gave off a loud noise due to a worn pump and would have been impossible to sleep. Mr Yang helped us to change to another room which was quieter.The hotel staff were not very friendly. Breakfast was very basic.

    One of the highlights of Sandu was Mr Yang took us to a local festival where there was some dancing by local groups. This was very interesting.

    Rongjiang.

    Dongxiangmi Grand Hotel. As we expected this was a simple hotel. When we used the shower the drain was blocked and the bathroom flooded. We got the maid to clean it up for us. The hotel staff were very friendly.

    In the evening Mr Yang arranged for us to eat in the hotel. The food was nothing special. Breakfast next day wad quite good.

    Zhaoxing

    Hotel Indigo lodge. A small but clean and very well run hotel. Breakfast was good. I asked the owner of the hotel where I could buy some of the tea that was provided in the room. He very kindly gave me a sample packet. We went to see a free show in the evening which was really good.

    Mr Yang arranged for us to have dinner in a nice restaurant and we sampled some typical Dong food which included Bee larvae which for us was a special delicacy. Later on we visited a bar and did some shopping. This is really a nice town we enjoyed our short time here very much.

    Rongjiang

    We came back to the Dongxiangmi Grand Hotel. We had a larger room this time but still the same standard of hotel.

    Mr Yang took us out for a meal in a local restaurant. The food was very good.

    Next morning Mr Yang took us to the Bullet train terminal and checked us in to wait for the train to Guilin.

    Guide services. Mr Yang proved to be an excellent guide we visited many villages with him and his explanations were very interesting. His English language skills are of a very high standard.

    Mr Yang went out of his way to make sure that we were comfortable and made it easier for us by checking us in and out of the hotels. He also chose some very good places for us to eat. The quality and variety of the food we had whilst we were with him was very good.Driver services. The driver Si was a very competent driver and safe driver and we had some very difficult areas to drive through in the countryside. We never once felt any concern about our safety.

    Guilin

    The Water Fall hotel. This was a very large hotel with a lot of rooms. We were given a room on a no smoking floor which was our preference. The breakfast was very good. The room itself was of a good standard but a bit on the small side and a shame they couldn’t remove stains from the carpet. However it was well situated close to the lake and the night market. We enjoyed being in Guilin and the hotel it is a nice city with lots of things to do and see.

    Day trip to Longji rice terraces. This was quite a hard day two hours travel each way and then a lot of steep walking in the heat to see the rice terraces. It was worth the visit and John the guide arranged for us to have lunch in a restaurant on one of the hillsides.Li river cruise to Yangshuo. This was a leisurely cruise down the Li river . Beautiful scenery the whole way. We were warned beforehand that the lunch on the boat would be simple. It was not very good and far below the standard of food that can be found on the street in most towns. Our guide gave us a lot of information regarding the sights on the way.

    Yangshuo.

    Hotel Snow Lion Mountain resort. This was a small hotel but with a very good standard of service. The rooms were very clean and tidy and the food was of a good standard. We met and spoke to the owners of the hotel who were very friendly and made our stay very enjoyableThis was now the end of our guided part of the trip. The rest of the time we spent on our own after returning to The water fall Hotel Guilin.

    Guide Services. John was with us every day on this part of the trip he gave us a lot of information on things we were seeing and additionally on the history of China. He also arranged for us to have some good meals too. He went out of his way to see that everything ran smoothly.

    Driver services. Unfortunately I didn’t get to know the driver’s name but he was very good always on time ready and waiting for us.

    Conclusion .

    The initial planning carried out by Lydia Yin was very detailed and was the basis for making it a successful trip.

    We have travelled in China before both with a group and on our own but this was in the large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai first in 1992 the in 2008. I learnt a few words and phrases in Putonghua before we came this time and it proved to be very useful when we were exploring on our own. We could not have travelled to or seen and understood the the cities and villages that we saw on this trip without a personal guide and driver. So for us it was a unique experience. The service from all of the guides and drivers used on the trip were excellent. The food that we ate on the trip was almost all excellent.

    We also enjoyed the time we had on our own and explored several sights by with either taxi or metro depending where we were.

    One of the highlights for the main part of the trip for us was the time spent with Mr Yang visiting the different minority villages and people in this part of China. His management of this section of the trip was first class and I think I learnt and saw a lot of new things from him regarding Chinese history and culture.

    Rating for the trip 9/10.

    The only negative thing I can say about the trip was outside of both ETC’s and our control. This was the exchange rate for the Euro and USD which made the trip more expensive than we had budgeted for.

    One last humorous comment. When we drove on the toll roads there is an exit lane marked ETC I think this stands for Electronic Tag Card. Our driver Mr Wang had one of these cards so we could drive through without stopping. We called this the special Easy Travel China lane especially for ETC customers.

    Stephen & Tarja Spencer 04.10.2016

    Tailor-made China tour itinerary

    Day 1 Chongqing Arrival

    Day 2 Chongqing: Ciqikou Ancient Town, the Three Gorges Museum, Eling Park

    Day 3 Chongqing: Dazu Rock Carvings (Baoding)

    Day 4 Chongqing to Guiyang, transfers by train.

    Day 5 Guiyang to Kaili, Guiyang: Qingyan Ancient Town. Kaili: Matang Gejia Village

    Day 6 Kaili to Sandu: Shiqiao Ancient Papermaking, Qingman Long-skirt Miao Village

    Day 7 Sandu to Rongjiang, Sandu: Yangweng Shui Village to see embroidery and other textiles

    Day 8 Rongjiang to Liping to Zhaoxing, Rongjiang: Dali Dong Village, Dimen Dong Village

    Day 9 Zhaoxing to Congjiang to Rongjiang, Zhaoxing: Zhaoxing Dong Village, Tangan Dong Village. Congjiang: Basha Miao Village

    Day 10 Rongjiang to Guilin, Guilin: Reed Flute Cave, Banyan Lake

    Day 11 Guilin: Palace of Prince Jingjiang, Elephant Trunk Hill, Seven Star Park

    Day 12 Guilin to Longji to Guilin, Longji: Ping'an Village, Longji (Dragon Back) Rice Terraces

    Day 13 Guilin to Yangshuo: Li River Cruise to Yangshuo, West Street

    Day 14 Yangshuo to Guilin: Free day

    Day 15 Guilin to Chongqing: Transfer to Chongqing by flight

    Day 16 Chongqing Departure