China Adventure » Review by Yvonne
Walking the Great Wall of China was surreal, seeing the Terra Cotta Army was new and exciting but what made the China tour so much more than the tourist sites were the people. Not only did I have the greatest people in my group but our tour guides from each city were so knowledgeable about their country that it made learning/listening less of a chore.
During our 12 days tour to China we visited Beijing (Guide: Hubert), Xian (Guide: Michelle), Shanghai (Guide: Annie), Yangzhou (Guide: Julia) and Hong Kong (Guide: Gain). With each new city, we had a different guide and each guide helped us navigate a country that spoke little or no english. What I love the most is that although they were from the same country their views of China were very different. I felt as though their views and knowledge was an extension of the city they were guiding us through, which gave me a better understanding of the people and culture from each city.
Because Contiki caters to people in their mid-30's and younger the tours and activities were geared toward the younger crowd. Yes we visited the Great Wall and the Terra Cotta Army, which is a must for China, but we also visited the art district called 798. We rode a rickshaw through a Hutong neighborhood and had lunch with a Chinese family in Beijing; visited the Muslim quarters in Xian; and there was the cooking class and rafting in Yangzhou. In other words, Contiki did a great job in showing us all aspect of the Chinese culture: from old China to modern China.
However, the best part about my trip was my group. I don't think the trip would've been as exciting if we didn't get along like we did. I'll have fond memories of China thanks to my "I love BJ" group. And last but not least, a huge thanks goes to Luke for putting up with us and our shenanigans for the entire 12 days. Without your knowledge and your helpful hits, I would've come home with more souvenirs than I needed and loss more money that I wanted to.
Review written Jun 2012event 0.3