After hearing many horror stories about traveling in China, I decided to book onto a tour. I searched the internet and came across "The Dragon Trips". The booking process was amazingly simple and the office in Shanghai kept me fully updated before my trip.
When I arrived in Hong Kong, unfortunately my luggage did not. To further complicate things, it wasn't going to arrive until after we had started the tour and headed into mainland China. The Dragon Trips were extraordinary at helping us retrieve our luggage, making arrangements and phone calls to ensure it followed us to the first stop, Yangshuo. Without the commitment from Jim, Alex and The Dragon Trips team, our holiday would have been ruined.
I completed the 15 day, Hong Kong to Beijing tour. The tour ran very smoothly, always being on time to important events such as trains and shows. Our tour leader, Jim, has been amazing. His knowledge and patience with the group was outstanding and he enabled us to see China from a local viewpoint, rather than from the generic tourist viewpoint.
China is a huge country and obviously there will be a lot of travel, it's inevitable. The sleeper trains were actually fine! I have slept perfectly each time. It was also really good to see China off the beaten track - spending time in places like Yangshuo. This would have been very difficult to complete without The Dragon Trips or without a decent understanding of Mandarin.
The highlight of the tour was the opportunity to sleep on the Great Wall of China - on an unrestored section away from tourists. Having the opportunity to explore this wonder of the world alone in a mountainous region was one of the best things I have done in my life. The experience was only heightened by getting to watch the sunrise and sunset on the wall. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and one I will always be grateful to The Dragon Trips for providing!
Without a doubt, if I was to embark on another trip to China, I would use The Dragon Trips again. I have had an amazing time and met some great people who are all on a similar wavelength.
|Inside the Forbidden City, Beijing.|
|On the Great Wall of China, waiting for sunset.|
|With a group of local Chinese teenagers in Chengdu.|
|Team building exercises with a Chinese team inside the Ming Dynasty Walls, Xi'an.|
|The entrance to the Worlds Largest Buddha Statue, Leshan.|
|Moon Hill, Yangshuo - after climbing a lot of stairs!|