My family of four have just come home from an 8 day Nexus China Classic Tour. The first thing I... read more
My family of four have just come home from an 8 day Nexus China Classic Tour. The first thing I... read more
Nexus Holidays was great to work with. We wanted to decouple our flight from the tour package to... read more
Late leaving a review, but better late than never. We went on Mercury Travel's 19 night tour of China and Hong Kong in June 2017 and had the most amazing time. Mercury travel have put together an excellent value for money tour; the travel arrangements are good, the hotels excellent, the guides (tour guide Max and local guides) professional and charming and the excursions and trips breath-taking. I have to admit we did get rather sick of the food, most of which was included. The same dishes most meals in gloopy sauce and lots of 'sticky rice'. We thought twice about the Hong Kong add-on but I'm so glad we did it. If you do it, don't go on the organised tour just do your own thing. Hong Kong is small and easy to navigate. We had a guide book with the 'must see' highlights of Hong Kong and we did them all. Others who went on the organised tour missed out on many highlights.
The biggest frustration was not having enough time at the main sites, such as the terracotta army and the Great Wall, but that's the nature of the beast and can't really be helped when you are on such a tight schedule. Our day at the Forbidden City was the most frustrating. The weather was terrible (which can't be helped) and we basically marched from one end to the other in our complementary plastic ponchos only...Late leaving a review, but better late than never. We went on Mercury Travel's 19 night tour of China and Hong Kong in June 2017 and had the most amazing time. Mercury travel have put together an excellent value for money tour; the travel arrangements are good, the hotels excellent, the guides (tour guide Max and local guides) professional and charming and the excursions and trips breath-taking. I have to admit we did get rather sick of the food, most of which was included. The same dishes most meals in gloopy sauce and lots of 'sticky rice'. We thought twice about the Hong Kong add-on but I'm so glad we did it. If you do it, don't go on the organised tour just do your own thing. Hong Kong is small and easy to navigate. We had a guide book with the 'must see' highlights of Hong Kong and we did them all. Others who went on the organised tour missed out on many highlights.
The biggest frustration was not having enough time at the main sites, such as the terracotta army and the Great Wall, but that's the nature of the beast and can't really be helped when you are on such a tight schedule. Our day at the Forbidden City was the most frustrating. The weather was terrible (which can't be helped) and we basically marched from one end to the other in our complementary plastic ponchos only stopping briefly here and there. We didn't get to visit any of the galleries, chambers etc. etc. Beijing has so much to see, we are planning to return to do it justice, including a full day at least at the Forbidden City and a return trip to the Summer Palace which, again, we only scratched the surface of. The great Wall was a real highlight, and it's good that this tour takes you to a quieter section of the wall, at Mutianyu. Our guide Max said that other sections can be ridiculously busy, and "instead of seeing Great Wall of China, you see Great Wall of black hair." Once on top of the wall we had 2 hours, so we walked for an hour one way and then back again.
This is the first organised tour we have ever been on and we had some major reservations about being in a group situation, but on the whole it wasn't a problem and we all got along very well.
We would certainly recommend Mercury Travel and this tour, and intend to book with them again in the future.More
We had a wonderful 15-day trip with Sinorama Tours which began in Beijing, then did a 5 day cruise down the Yangtze through the Three Gorges, to Yellow Mountain, and then ended in Shanghai.
We wouldn't have asked for a better experience. I've read a few less-than-positive reviews from others about this ship and Sinorama in general, but I disagree. Sinorama is a discount travel agency and they provide EXCELLENT service for the price you pay. I suspect the grumpy raters were expecting "champagne receptions for beer prices", as they say.
Our tour guide, Mary Li, was phenomenal. She was with us the entire trip and was personable, interesting, and not only gave us historical information but also shared cultural insights which helped us all relate to her and the fabulous country of China. We had additional, local guides in several of the cities we visited who were also very good and often excellent. They all had very good English skills. Zoey from Beijing, in particular, had an excellent American accent.
In all, we would highly recommend Sinorama to anyone who wants to experience China on a budget. We really feel like we got more than we paid for.
Just returned from a 15 days tour in China (golden China) by Sinorama Hollidays.
Excellent a very comprehensive tour, visites, Shanhai, Jonzhing, Chonquing, Xian, Pekin, Excellent Hotels, everything very well organized, we visited the main sites of historic/touristic interest in China, the Guides were very helpful, Meals were doverse and good, Yangtze river cruise a Plus to be able to vosit little towns with historical sites.
Sinorama people were too responsibles, our Guide Nick was great, excllent relation Quality/price, it surpases my expectatives, w/0 the guidance of the tour could not be possible to visit all the places we visited, the local Factories we visited offered very good products with a hight quality. Thanks Sinorama
Returned from our Wonders Of China 16 day trip with Mercury holidays. Had a brilliant time and i would like to think that all 31 of us mixed very well from the start. Have read the previous reviews of this holiday and would heartily agree with them all and only have a few comments to add. It was disappointing to find that the Admin side of Mercury were a little lax to say the least. After booking this holiday i had to ring them to get a confirmation e-mail to say i had paid a deposit. I was told that we would receive our tickets within fourteen days of departure. Needless to say no tickets arrived. Rang again and they said they were very busy and that i would get the tickets within 10 days. Still no tickets and actually got them 5 days prior to departure ( over a weekend) . Its a shame because its nice when all runs smoothly. Spoke to other folk on the trip and one couple got them 2 days before and another via email. I suggest they get there office staff sorted. Its no good telling me they are busy - i expect them to be busy as they are running a travel agency!! I decided to upgrade for the river cruise on the Yangtze and after having to ring twice i actually got an email to confirm the upgrade. Later on the tour the guide - Richard - had no knowledge of our upgrade and had to get in touch with the office to confirm our booking.Again not good enough. I found the hotels to be a bit of a mixed bag and the last one at Beijing was terrible. Had to go to the main desk to complain and was satisfactorily given another room. Not a very good hotel (Raddison blu) and we were there for four nights. One drawer and a very small hanging space. Minor issues really i suppose but things like this can mar an otherwise brilliant time. Of course there was a Conference going on at the time and it does mention in the 'blurb' at the bottom of the itinerary that hotels may be changed. We had to fly back to Shanghai from Beijing for the journey back to UK which is a bit of a 'pain' however there must be a good reason for this. For future holiday makers on this trip back to Shanghai please note that although you will still be air-side you will still have to travel thro security again prior to your flight back to UK. When we disembarked the Beijing flight you continue thro the airport with your guide. At some point he will have to leave you and then you will need to head for the J area on the third floor to go thro security again. On another point i would add that the rest room facilities on this trip were excellent. There were plenty of toilets around (although some of these are squat) and very clean as well. Our tour guide was very good in letting us know where and when the toilets were so no need to panic. There was a four hour coach journey and again we stopped twice en route for rest breaks. The trip on the Yangtze was very enjoyable. and of course not really within the control of Mercury Holidays. It would be wise to take a few bottles of drink with you as there is no where else to get them. The drinks are expensive on the cruise
and there does not seem to be a restriction on the alcohol you may take on board provided you drink them in your cabin. You will find that you are unable to go ashore at any time unless you are on an organised tour - which i find is a bit of a shame. Our tour guide - Richard - was very knowledgeable and was able to answer most questions put to him however i felt rather than know what was going on in the first second and third dynasty then it would have much more interesting to be told what was going on right outside the coach window. Verbal diarrhea methinks ! Nevertheless a brilliant holiday - good food- good company and would not hesitate to go with Mercury Holidays again. In fact i am just looking at there Vietnam holiday.
We booked a Sinorama Tours package for China, Yangtze River Cruise and Bangkok. We will never book another package with them. Supposedly controlled solely by the corporate offices in Montreal, their policies were inflexible and uncaring. Overall, our tour guides were excellent at their jobs but were delegated little authority when having to address group issues, make decisions or resolve problems timely. Based upon Sinorama's advertising and printed itineraries, we expected specific high-quality hotels in convenient locations (or similar) in every city. Not only did Sinorama make last-minute changes to the hotels but booked properties well out of the tourist areas. Hence, we spent hours upon hours by bus in massive traffic jams traveling from hotel to attractions and return. The quality of the group meals, especially dinner, was horrendous...and the quantity even worse. One smallish piece of fatty skin per person was their version of "Peking" duck! A plate of what resembled canned corn was frequently one of the dishes served to us for dinner. The lunches were by far superior, as most were good buffets. When being able to have a meal can be substantially delayed because one of the other buses arrived before ours and there was no seating, then something was terribly wrong with Sinorama's planning. We were on tour to visit historic and scenic attractions. When those visits were cut short or subject to ridiculous time constraints because we needed to be at a so-called silk factory, pearl/jade factory, private art gallery or tea shop, so that our hoped-for purchases would generate commissions, then there is something terribly wrong with that picture. In those few instances where we insisted that we would not join the group in some activity or join them later, we had a fantastic time touring on our own at our own pace and without the commercial advertising. We travel frequently and totally understand the importance of structure and schedule. But with Sinorama, they wanted to control every moment of every waking (and sleeping) hour to a fault. It was not a pleasant experience.
We just returned from a two week tour to China with Colette tours. First of all, our biggest complaint was the tour group size. When we booked the tour we were told it would be limited to 20 to 24 people but when we arrived we had 40 people in our group. You can imagine how long it took to do everything from boarding the bus to bathroom breaks to checking into hotel. Speaking to Collette after the tour they apologized Saying that it was a training issue and that their tours could be up to 40 people. For the 4 hotels that we had, Two were decent but two were very poor with moldy bathrooms and stains on the carpet and bad locations. They may advertise five-star accommodations but in China five star equals three stars in the US. The Yangtze river cruise line, Victoria was only average with very small rooms and average food. There were three flights between the cities but after one we had a five hour bus ride in a cramped bus. Our tour guide,, Link, was wonderful as well as the local guides. Days who are very packed with very little free time. The terra-cotta warriors, the great wall were the highlights. Overall, I would not recommend this tour line And if I had it to do it over again I would spend a little more for an upscale tour