Our China expertise
We have been creating China holidays since 1994. Paul, our main China specialist, first travelled to China in 1983 and in the intervening years has made over 30 visits to every corner. Added to Paul’s knowledge is that of Belinda and Charlie who are both Sinophiles. It is this wealth of in-depth knowledge and first-hand experience that enables us to tailor your holiday to meet your exact requirements and interests.
Why we like China
Look closely and you will find that innovation and antiquity exist side by side. While over the last 20 years China has emerged as a global superpower, it retains a rich history and distinctive culture. From the man-made wonder of the Great Wall, to the natural beauty of Yunnan, China is a land of both rare beauty and stark contrasts.
What to expect on your china holiday
One of the big issues facing those travelling to China, which can also affect the price of a holiday, is the quality of the guides. Many are paid a minimal salary and make up the difference through commission from shops, resulting in unwanted shopping trips. Also, seemingly identical itineraries but for a lower price, could be for a number of reasons such as the standard of the guides, the transportation used (slower trains and choice of internal airline) and whether the trip is a 'shopping' or 'non shopping' trip. Be warned.
Some ideas for a China holiday
- No visit would be complete without seeing the terracotta army at Xian or the Great Wall.
- Travel to the Great Wall by campervan and trek across remote sections of this incredible site.
- Follow the ancient Silk Road ending at the atmospheric town of Kashgar in the west with its colourful Sunday market.
- Track pandas in the Qinling Mountains south of Xian.
- Cruise the mighty Yangtze on a luxury river boat
- For a remote slice of China, journey to northwest Yunnan where mountains soar and minority tribes still thrive.
The language seems hard to grasp, is English spoken over there?
Mandarin is difficult to speak and understand and although English is becoming widely spoken throughout the country especially within the cities, never presume you will be understood. If spending a day at leisure in a city we would recommend writing down the name of your hotel and any sites you may wish to visit in Mandarin as a taxi driver or local won't necessarily understand English. In Hong Kong, Cantonese is the official language, with English closely followed. Embracing the local language is all part of the adventure and you will certainly raise a few smiles when you have a go!
What should I take that I may not be able to find over there?
Luckily nearly everything you will need is available in China. We do advise if you require any kind of medication to bring it with you as it can sometimes be hard to find the right one. Toiletries are also something we suggest, such as sun cream, insect repellents and preferred shampoos and moisturisers.
Is the street food safe to eat?
Like anywhere where street food is the norm, we always advise eating at places which appear busy with fresh produce. The food on offer in China is like nowhere else, so trying some of the delicacies on offer will be like nowhere else on the planet and provide new culinary experiences.
Will a guide travel with me on my train journey?
No, your guide would not travel with you for your train journey. Your local guide will leave you at the station with full instructions and directions for boarding the train and you will then be met from the train at your arrival destination. If travelling with a party of 10 or more it would be more normal for a national guide to accompany the group throughout, including train travel.