Tour Guide Reviews
Aug 04, 2012
I first traveled to Kunming in 1997 when I adopted my daughter Wu Shan Shan. She is now a junior in high school and went on a class trip to China in the Summer of 2012, spending a week in Beijing and two weeks in Chengdu. I arrived in Chengdu just before the school trip headed home, then Shan Shan and I took a 19 hour, 1,100 Km trip to Kunming.
I discovered Timmy on this website a month before the trip, and we emailed and spoke via Skype many times before we met in person.
She spent all eleven days of our time in Kunming with us, and she made the trip a complete success. She was always gracious, upbeat, humorous, very intelligent, caring and kind. We felt completely relaxed with her and consider her a lifelong friend.
Timmy's real name (in Pinyin) is Tao Fei Yan. Her first English teacher tried to give her an Anglicized name of Tiffany, but that did not fit her at all; she is no girly girl. She has an impish nature and quick sense of humor. She renamed herself Timmy Tao, which is perfect.
She was helpful in many ways, in addition to just being fun to be with.
For instance, I developed severe laryngitis at the midpoint of the trip and we made a trip to the (number one) hospital in Kunming, where a thousand people were seeking attention. Timmy sat me down and went off to negotiate the lines. She was back in three minutes, whisked me in to see a doctor, who proscribed antibiotics which we bought downstairs. We were in and out in 45 minutes, amazing.
We also went to visit the orphanage, only to find that in order to get a tour we needed to get permission from the district headquarters several miles away. Once again Timmy was invaluable; she found the right people to talk to, handled the lengthy negotiations and pestered them gently until the permission was obtained. A side note to fellow adopters; the permission note also required a payment of 1,600 CNY, about $250, and they really want the original adoption certificate. (We did not have it with us but Timmy talked them into accepting the photocopy of the adoption notarization, which I did have).
Timmy was also superb and tenacious about getting the best price for the many antiques I purchased. We re-visited the same underground antiques emporium three times and she was of great service each time.
In short, I cannot recommend Timmy highly enough. She was a joy to travel with and really did make the trip a complete success.
Charlotte, Vermont, USA
Aug 01, 2012
Jul 28, 2012
Delightfully comfortable! Sam is amazing. Her English was great and we loved her sense of humor. She instantly bonded with our 10 year old son. She helped us navigate our way with all forms of public transportation to the sites of our choice (with her awesome input). We were in contact by email weeks before we arrived. We told her what we were looking for and things we wanted to experience. Of course, we asked for her own personal input as well. She planned our itinerary for us and worked with our schedule and needs. She met us each morning at our hotel and made sure we made it back to our hotel each evening. She allowed us to experience the culture with the security of her language skills! We valued and appreciated her honesty when we asked questions about what we saw, things we experienced, etc. She also helped us get our bullet train tickets a day in advance so we wouldn't have to worry about getting those at the station to go to Shanghai. I think it's important to mention that Sam felt like a part of our family, not someone we had never met before. Also, our son asked when we arrived in Shanghai, "Is Sam meeting us here at our hotel?" He was so disappointed to learn that we only got to spend time with her in Nanjing. She is so good that we will be back and we will use her again. What a blessing she is!
Jul 28, 2012
Hello to future travelers to Beijing.
Just want to let you all know we had Vivie as our guide whilst in Beijing early April 2012.
It was like meeting an old friend. Vivie was warm, friendly , well organised and extremely punctual.
We found Vivie very engaging, her English great, and her knowledge about the culture and history of the region was amazing.
Vivie organised train tickets, for another planned tour to Datong, and went out of her way to deliver them to our hotel, just hours after our arrival in Beijing.
On a personal level, Vivie helped me with a small problem I had, and I am so very grateful to her for that.
Vivie went over and beyond her duties in looking after us.
If you need a guide In Beijing, you can not go past Vivie Pan, she is an asset to the industry. I highly recommend her.
Thank you Vivie for making our trip so enjoyable
Jul 27, 2012
My wife and I just returned this morning from a nine-day vacation in China. During our two days and one night in Xian, Linda was our guide and lifeline to the vibrant and rich culture and history of Xian and its surrounding areas. We hit the ground running, arriving on Sunday morning, after having spent three days in Shanghai. Linda took us straight to the hotel, which she selected and booked for us, an excellent choice the Ramada Xian Bell Tower Hotel, at the very reasonable rate of 446 rmb (about $65) per night for a very clean room with a king-sized bed with a wide-screen computer with unlimited internet access for no additional charge (the only hotel in China that provided this during our stay.)
We toured the Terra Cotta Warriors Museum and Historical Site, the Han burial site, the Tang Dynasty evening show, as well as visits to the Bell Tower, the City Walls, the Muslim area and the mosque. As a fun side excursion, we visited an interesting fresh food market which included such local specialty items as soft-shelled turtles, bull frogs, many varieties of fish, all waiting for that lucky gourmet to come along and scoop it up for their next home-cooked meal.
We found Linda to be intellectually engaging and academically gifted to provide us with an amazing experience, while at the same time enjoying one of the most spectacular cities in China.
We would recommend Linda without hesitation....you cannot go wrong.
Meyer & Marni Denn, Dallas, Texas
Jul 27, 2012
My family and myself were travelling to Beijing for the first time, and with no idear for local culture. so about a month ago we booked Terry as our tour guide in Beijing.
Jul 23, 2012
I would like to recommend my new friend Lisa to anyone seeking a guide in the Shanghai area. On very short notice, Lisa was able to pull together a plan, fulfilling all of my requests, which were varied. She took me to a couple of temples, an herbalist, some shopping, the museum, and a number of other fun places. This young lady puts her heart and soul into her work, and is very friendly and engaging. I am grateful to know Lisa and count her among my friends. If you're looking for some help getting around Shanghai, do yourself a favor and get in contact with this young, intelligent dynamo.
Jul 22, 2012
I and my family are from Manchester UK. We just finished a 3 day/4 night trip with Aline . She was fantastic. First of all, my decision to visit Chengdu was a last minute one, but she arranged everything on about 10 days notice and were very helpful in arranging how I could pay . I told her what I wanted: to see pandas, volunteer at the panda habitat, and hike in Sichuan province. She arranged precisely the trip that I wanted and all of the restaurants were excellent.
Finding reliable, cheerful, and English-speaking guides in China is a must, especially once you wander beyond Beijing. This was a big highlight of my trip.
I just want to say when you travel to Chengdu it`s hard to find such a excellent English guide as Aline
Well done Aline!!
Jul 22, 2012
Our group consists of fourteen people and we had a wonderful experience with Wendy while we were in Guilin. Through the 6 days, Wendy has shown her professionalism in handing all our needs beyond her duties. She generously extended her working hours till night accompanying us whenever we wish to go. Although our group is always late, she has no compliant at all, accommodating us all the time. We were not being "Chase" by her.
Wendy has a good command in English & explained well all the itineraries & has a good local knowledge of the area and places of interest. All our meals were well arranged by her. She even took care of our hotel complaint although the hotel was book on our own. One most important thing to note is that we were Never taken to any of these commercial tourist shops where we were "force" to purchase. First time in all my trips in the past 12 years.
On behalf of the group, I wish to say a big " Thank you" for taking care of us in the past 6 days. Additional Thank you from me & my family for all the help extended to me in Yangshou for sending my son to hospital when he felt ill. This trip is taken as one of my BEST trip ever! More important is that we have a good guide like you. Thank you again for showing us the best Guilin has offer. Please feel free to contact us if you happened to be in Kuala Lumpur and we are most willing to play host to you.
Sam & Family (6), CH Foo & Family (4), Mr & Mrs Chong Cm, Mr & Mrs Choy Ys
Jul 20, 2012
My family visited Guilin together with my Chinese relatives from July 1-4, 2012. Richard was our guide for two days in Guilin. I started to plan the trip in early May. I had taken my kids and my relatives to visit Beijing and other cities before; I did not like fixed itineraries and hated shopping stops arranged by travel agencies. So this time, I wanted to hire an independent guide who would give us flexibility. I did some online search and found Richard through synotrip.com. I had a few e-mail communications with him before I hired him. I was impressed by his enthusiasm to show us his hometown, and his indication (quote) “everything can be resolved by discussions” with regards to our tour itinerary.
Richard greeted our party of 16 people (with age 6 to 74) at the airport. For the next 4 days, Richard took us to attractions in Guilin city, day trips to Yangshuo via Li River cruise, and to Longji Rice Terrace. Our party was demanding: diverse in age, language and culture. Richard was very helpful and accommodating; he did his best to make everybody happy. He is very good with children. We enjoyed our cruise on Li River very much; hiking along Longji Rice Terrace was fun too.
I want to particularly mention two occasions that Richard was very helpful (beyond a guide’s responsibilities). My relatives wanted to buy a special fruit to take back home. Richard offered to ride his own motorcycle to buy the fruit at a distribution center to save money and brought the fruit to our hotel. We had a memorable 4th of July celebration in Guilin thanks to Richard. My two children were missing the fireworks on 4th of July back in the States. So we wanted to buy fireworks, but there were no places in the city selling fireworks at the time. Richard rode his motorcycle and went to outside of the city to buy fireworks, and he helped us celebrate the 4th of July on the bank of the beautiful River. My children had greatest time; they wrote about the spectacular fireworks after they returned to the States.
Check out Richard if you ever visit Guilin!