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.
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