China Culture Tour (www.chinaculturetour.com) has been focusing on tailor-made luxury China tours more than 12 years and has served thousands of high-end clients including business owners, CEOs, lawyers, dentists, artists, photographers, company groups, school groups, etc. from all over the world. Contact us directly and we will customize you an unique tour based on your requests and interests.
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After much research we chose China Culture Tour for our two-week multi-centre trip to China with private guides and drivers. Our consultant, Nora, planned the trip with superb efficiency and consistently great communication, meeting our needs and preferences with a varied and exciting programme. She also ensured that everything went well, and made some necessary adjustments while we were there. It was also lovely to meet her over lunch when we went to Guilin. Throughout the trip the varied hotels and restaurants were all very good, and all four of our individual guides were delightful and intelligent young women who we enjoyed spending time with, and who made our trip so very enjoyable. They were flexible, pro-active, charming, knowledgeable and interesting.
Olivia in Beijing set a very high standard indeed, giving us brilliant tours of the spectacular Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Summer Palace, and local neighbourhoods which gave an insight into Chinese life. Sarah in Xian was energetic and lively, and our visit to the Terracotta Warriors was greatly enhanced by her knowledge and expertise. We visited a local family and made dumplings. Muslim street with its street food was also quite an experience! Linda, our guide in Guilin was exceptional, very caring, kind and interesting - the luxury boat trip to Yangshou on the River Li was stunning, and we also enjoyed visiting local villages, a tea plantation and research institute, the Daxu Ancient Town, the Longji terraced rice fields, and so much more.
Fay in Shanghai was a delight and made several great suggestions to ensure that we experienced the best of the Bund, went up the tallest building, and explored the interesting Tongli Ancient Water Town. There were so many other highlights and we found that every single day was really interesting and enjoyable - not a single disappointment. On two occasions we took the suggestion of the guide and went to a show - both were superb. The guides really know their stuff and look after you well.
It was brilliant to have private transport each day - the drivers never seemed more than a minute or two away. All the (potentially daunting) rail and internal air travel was made easy because the guides were always waiting to greet us as soon as we arrived anywhere, and took us to the furthest possible point when catching a train or plane. The strength of China Culture Tour lies in the very experienced and well organised planning, the attention to detail, the constant quality assurance throughout the trip - and above all the sheer excellence of the guides, their very high standards (and preparation), and their evident dedication and enthusiasm for their job. We felt that we were treated like VIPs - but by friends! We absolutely loved the whole experience and can recommend this company unreservedly.
My partner and I just finished a three week trip to major sites in China and thanks to Nora at China Culture Tour every day was an exciting adventure. We traveled from Beijing to Xian, Chengdu, the Yangtze River cruise, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Guilin, Yangshuo and finally Hong Kong. Nora worked with us to find a mix of 4 and 5 star hotels and in each city planned special activities, such as cooking lessons in local homes. She organized excellent and personable guides in each city, as well as private cars with experienced drivers. The restaurants selected offered excellent food as well as cultural experiences.
It's hard to single out the best guides--they were all great. In a couple of cases the English could have been better, but generally they were professional and enjoyable, adding to insights about China's recent past and present. It was almost like touring with a knowledgeable friend. I would give special nods to Sophia in Beijing, Jessica in Chengdu, Linda in Guilin, Fei in Shanghai and Cecilia in Hong Kong.
Recommendations: Book First Class bullet train tickets. More comfortable and more space for luggage. If you need to go by air, consider business class for flights over an hour and a half. Chinese planes don't have much leg room in economy and if you are average to large you will not be comfortable. When you arrive, book a five-star hotel to catch up with jet lag. In Beijing we stayed at the New World Hotel and it was top-notch and convenient for exploring on foot the central neighborhoods of the city. The four-star hotels she selected were all fine, but treating yourself here and there is a nice present to yourself. If you take the Yangtze River cruise, start from Chongqing and consider the Victoria Jenna and upgrade to an executive suite if you want a little extra room and your own table at dinner.
In Beijing take in the standard wonders--Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, but don't expect to be alone. Chinese domestic tourism has exploded and the mass of tourists can be crushing in key tourist sites. Be ready for that and patient and you will still have a lot to marvel at. The 798 Art District is lively and fun and filled with young hipsters and artists. The same goes for the Terra Cotta Warrior site in Xian. Wonderful but crowded. A special treat there was a lesson in dumpling making and a marvelous home-cooked lunch in a private home. We adored our time with Lily and her family.
In Chengdu the pandas are a must. So is the Jinsha Museum if you have an interest in early Chinese history. And a trip to Leshan to see the giant Buddha was awesome. On the Yangtze cruise, take the excursions, especially the awesome Three Kingdoms evening spectacle at Chengdu. The trip up Goddess stream is not to be missed. In Hangzhou, West Lake is awesome both in the day and evening. Break out of your hotel and go to the light and water show on your own. We paid for an expensive tea but got a ringside seat at water's edge, rather than stand in the crowd.
Shanghai Museum is totally awesome. We had two hours there and only got through two of the four floors. Don't miss the Shanghai Acrobats. Ask Nora to include tickets in your itinerary. Amazing. Then taxi to the lively/trendy Xitiandi district for an outdoor meal and people watching. Maybe the highlight of the trip was the Guilin region, especially the cruise on the Li River. The scenery is so beautiful. End up at Yangshuo Mountain Retreat, isolated and rustic. If you have time for an extra day to relax, bike or hike, take it. There's another huge outdoor spectacle in the evenings there, which is worth seeing. Finally Hong Kong and the magnificent view from the peak. Although there's a lot of turmoil and unrest there, we didn't encounter any problems on our stay. Again, I couldn't recommend China Culture Tours (and Nora) more highly. They provided a flawless experience--a trip of a lifetime.
Please forgive that this may be a lengthy post. I will start off by saying that this is my 3rd trip to China. Each summer I have been invited to give guest lectures in Shanghai; while in China I like to explore different areas. The first trip to China I researched tour agencies who could provide me with expertise and assistance in planning. I found China Culture Tour and read great reviews, so I contacted them. Nora planned my first experience and it was wonderful! I shared her contact information and my itinerary with colleagues who then contacted the company also with good results.
The 2nd year my husband was able to travel with me. I contacted Nora and told her I wanted the exact itinerary from the first year, including the same guides because it was a wonderful introduction to Shanghai, Xi'an and Beijing. He had a wonderful, unforgettable experience. So, it was only natural that on my 3rd year invitation I contacted Nora again and asked her suggestions on new areas to explore. We worked together to come up with an itinerary to Chengdu and Guilin. Again, I could not ask for a better itinerary or better guides. The customer service is impeccable. As a woman traveling alone I felt secure and confident in the plan and company.
The experiences and itinerary were so amazing, I was able to experience pandas as a panda keeper in the panda keeper volunteer program; I took an amazing river cruise, biked through incredible countryside, took a cooking and painting class, and bamboo rafted down the Li river. All of these were suggestions from China Culture Tour and were unforgettable memory making experiences in beautiful parts of China. Their expertise and suggestions were better than what I could have created on my own. The guides are always enthusiastic and helpful. Jessica in Chengdu took so many photos and videos for me (without being asked to) which was so nice as I was traveling alone. Mike in Guilin was great in helping to finesse the itinerary times to maximize the best experiences.
But more than creating a great itinerary and tourist experiences, this company including people like Nora and guides like Mike are what makes them stand out. Their customer service is outstanding! There were a couple of time on my China travels over the last 3 years that I have had "bumps in the road". One was my first year where I had some difficulty in the airport before I could even connect with my guide and she was able to help me resolve my issue. The next issue came from this last trip where my own flight arrangements (that I made outside of the tour company) had a flight canceled and rescheduled for 2 days later to return to the US.
Mike was with me and helping me to navigate the airline ticket counter, helping me to translate, and trying to find me another flight to Beijing to make my connection to the US asap, while I was on the phone to my airline trying to get assistance from them. Nora was trying to use her powers to help as well. Again, this was not their responsibility as these were arrangements that I made, but their extra time, support and resources helped me to not only negotiate a different flight for later that afternoon with another airline, but they also were able to negotiate on my behalf to have a complimentary hotel room and food vouchers while I waited until the later flight.
Nora typically, from the very first trip, communicates directly with me during my tours to see how things are going and to make sure everything is just right. This last time was no exception. She continued to communicate with me to make sure I made it back to the US OK after my initial flight schedule difficulty. This above and beyond personal service is why I would recommend them to anyone and everyone! They will be who I call if I get another invitation to China, in fact Nora is already tentatively planning my next China Adventure and I completely trust her guidance and advice based on my experiences in the past with them. I can't wait to return and experience new adventures!
I researched companies online quite extensively before deciding to go with China Culture Tour. Nora was my main contact and was able to answer nearly all my questions and accommodate most of my requests. I was planning to meet my son in Beijing, after he had completed a stay in Mongolia and wanted this to be an exceptional experience for both of us. Indeed it was! We loved it! We stayed in five-star hotels which were magnificent both in terms of service and amenities. (However if you'd like to keep the budget down and extend your stay a couple of days, I'd suggest perhaps only one 5-star, like the Four Seasons in Beijing and the rest 4 stars.) We stayed 5 days in Beijing, 2 in Xian and really only had one full day in Chengdu. Too short in Xian and Chengdu.
All of our guides -- Sunny in Beijing, Amy in Xian and Roy in Chengdu were knowledgeable, spoke English well, super nice and friendly and made our trip as easy and enjoyable as possible. As "foodies" and people who like to explore off-the-beaten-path, Amy was the one guide who really went above to accommodate us in Xian and I wish we had another day there and one more in Chengdu for exploring. What you can expect: the guides will stick to the itinerary to "a tee" and will find it difficult to adjust, so make sure you really look over your very detailed itinerary in your confirmation letter prior to the start of your trip. Even with that, we had tried to make some changes, which still ended up on the itinerary. For example, I had made it clear that we did not want to see the Olympic stadium, but it remained on the itinerary and it flustered our guide when we wanted to go "off script."
We wanted to see museums and wanted to have the guides eat with us so that they could help order. Challenges we got over. Note that the guides do not help at night-- they like to end their day around 4pm. Highlights: The hotels and their buffet breakfasts, Spending Sunday in Temple of Heaven park, the Summer Palace, Forbidden City, the food, exploring on our own, everything in Xian (the liveliest city!), dumpling lesson and meal in a family home, Tai Chi lessons, taking the bullet train, walking everywhere, the Great Wall, the people we met.
Some Disappointments: Having our guide tell the Sichuan restaurants not to put any spice in our food, not having enough time in Chengdu where there are two great museums and food areas other than the touristy ones, no time for shopping, Tiananmen Square was closed off (and our guide didn't know that), Hutong tour was cancelled and guide also didn't know that. We ended up doing some calligraphy, but we got the sense that we really didn't experience the whole Hutong area. All told, however, we LOVED the trip despite a few disappointments that really were inconsequential to our overall enjoyment and CCT made it so easy for us. I would definitely recommend them, especially for a first time trip to China, for price, reliability and ease.
We are two women in our 60s with a lot of travel experience behind us. We contacted CCT initially because of a suggestion on TripAdvisor, and boy are we glad we did! From the first email, Nora took exceptional care of us. She was very patient in helping us plan our trip, reining us in when our desires were too much for our allotted travel time.
During our 15 day trip, we saw Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, Guilin, Yangzhou, and Shanghai and went on a 4-day Yangtze River Cruise. We opted for a private tour, first class hotels, and business class trains whenever possible and were very pleased. The guides and drivers were, for the most part, exceptional. Even the one who lacked much personality (and treated us like feeble old ladies) was very knowledgeable. Shout out to Eva, Linda, and Alex who went above and beyond in taking care of us. Knowledgeable, friendly, prompt, flexible, eager-to-please, and responsive to potentially disastrous situations, our guides and Nora top the list of our best memories of China.
All of our guides spoke excellent English. We of course, spoke little-to-no Chinese. However, we found that smiling and laughing went a long, long way. We have so many wonderful memories of interacting with locals simply because they were curious as to what we were so happy about. In fact, one of our favorite guides referred to us as “exotic and charismatic!” (So apparently not feeble old ladies!) Seriously though, Nora planned the most amazing trip. She attended to our every concern and request.
For instance, when we found out the Leshan Buddha was closing for renovation, she arranged alternate tours at world heritage sites not often visited by Western tourists. When there was a mix-up with a passport number (that had the potential to derail our trip), both our guide Eva and Nora dealt with the issue seamlessly. (Eva took us straight to our train car, communicated with the attendant, and made sure we were still on the train as it left the station.) I mean, what trip doesn’t have its hiccups? That’s what makes some of the best memories. It’s how they are resolved that count. Between our guides, Nora, and our willingness to laugh and take it in stride, all was perfection.
Price-wise, we think CCT was a bargain. We originally looked into higher end travel companies, knowing we would be experiencing a lot of “foreign-ness” during the day and wanting more western amenities to retire to in the evening… at least on our first trip to China. After much research, we decided on CCT. For the price of a higher-end tour company (with 18 people in the group) we stayed in 5 star hotels with our own rooms, traveled via air and business class bullet trains, and sailed the Yangtze in luxury. Best of all, the two of us made up our “group” which had many benefits, not the least of which was the ability to be flexible with our time and itinerary. We just can’t recommend Nora and China Culture Tour highly enough and are so grateful to all for making our life-changing experience in China possible.
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I have to write a wonderful review to China Culture Tour mainly to Nora. I traveled to Beijing and visit different cities by myself. Nora arranged great tours with small group of people, she checked on me during all my stay and spoke to drivers for instructions. Nora provided a wonderful customer service and always willing to help. I highly recommend to visit China with a local travel agency and arrived with confirmed arrangements. It is a big country, long distances and language barrier. The drivers, tour guides, tickets to bullet trains etc everything was arranged by Nora. Thank you Nora for making me feel so welcome and protected while my visit to your amazing country. I will definitely come back with the help of China Culture Tour.
After considerable research into the best agencies for a 2-week private tour of China, we selected China Culture Tour for its consistently high ratings. Our contact was Nora and she was extremely easy to work with for our ever-changing ideas on what to see and where to stay. E-mails were always answered immediately even though there was a 12-hour difference in time zones. Our tour began in Beijing and ended in Shanghai and included 2 boat cruises on the Li and Yangtze rivers. Both were exceptional. The guides in each of 6 locations were excellent, spoke reasonably good English and were attentive to our every need. I would not hesitate to recommend China Culture Tour to others interested in a well-run private tour that can be tailored to their particular interests.
A group of four of us recently completed a 19 day tour of China that spanned over 8300+ km (5200 miles). The trip was organized and planned with Nora over the past 12 months. We started in Shanghai with friends, and proceeded to rely on her organization through Beijing, Xi'an, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Longsheng, Yangshuo and Guilin. She was extremely responsive to our inquiries and emails through the whole process, and her assistance in organizing such a wide ranging trip was greatly appreciated. Every detail was taken care of, including amazing guides, safe drivers, comfortable hotels, delicious food, efficient transportation between cities, and additional suggested activities.
In addition, each guide had suggestions for what to eat and where to eat, and was able to adjust the itinerary depending upon what the weather was going to do each day. We especially enjoyed the variety/choice of boutique hotels, and we loved ALL of our guides. They made the trip all the more wonderful. Nora made the planning for this trip easy and stress-free. Every guide met us upon arrival in each location, and from there, we were whisked off to amazing and beautiful sights. The only thing we needed to worry about was whether our cameras/phones were fully charged for each day. Even if you could plan a trip on your own - this was 100% better having someone who kept track of everything and checked in throughout the trip to ensure things were going ok. If you are planning a trip to China soon, China Culture Tour should be at the top of your list!
This is our first time to tour China using China Culture Tours, and we are happy we chose CCT. Lydia, CCT counterpart, was very helpful from day 1 of planning up to the time we returned back from our trip. All the tour guides are very friendly and helpful, special mention to Sarah of Xi'an and Clark of Chengdu. I will give ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ if there's one for their excellent service.
On our trip, we encountered lots of health problems. I was rushed to the hospital in Chengdu as well as my mom in Xi'an. The tour guides helped us all throughout, even Lydia helped out on a rest day via WeChat. I was not able to finish the whole tour; and was forced to fly back after leg 3. We called Clark in the wee hour in the morning to ask for help, and he immediately processed everything from buying me a tix for my way back home to sending me to the international airport and checking-in for me at the counter.
We were really pampered and well taken cared of during our stay till we left China. Most local tours offer good service. For me, what makes CCT different is they are very hands on, and you can count on them especially on unforeseen situations. I really appreciate the help that CCT has extended for us to get through the trip. I will be back this coming December. Once again, CCT will tour us again in other cities. I highly recommend CCT and you will never regret it, promise!???
We recently returned from a very enjoyable custom private tour of China with our extended family, covering Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Guilin/Yangshuo, and Shanghai over a 2 week period. Ms. Nora ** was our point of contact. When I first contacted CCT, Nora promptly called me first thing her time and things took off from there. She worked with me to customize the tour, offered feasibility guidance as we developed and fine tuned the itinerary over multiple iterations. We had multiple competing quotes from several nationally recognized tour operators and CCT rose above all of them with their highly competitive cost structure providing higher level services at every stop for nearly the same price as their competitors with no hidden fees. They provided all the documents required to get our visas on time from two different countries.
Throughout the duration of the trip, Nora was always available on WeChat to solve issues. When our flight in Guilin was delayed she offered us peace of mind saying if it didn't take off within the next hour, she'd reschedule on another flight. Nora gave us good advice when we asked, "Should we go to Tong Li, given that it was raining in Suzhou and we were getting delayed in Suzhou." She encouraged us to go to Tong Li and took care of all the arrangements and we are very glad that we got to see beautiful Tong Li because of her. We covered six cities and Nora set up the pick ups and hand offs seamlessly and we never felt lost of alone. She set us up with very friendly and competent English speaking guides in every city. More than just a travel professional, Nora played the role of a local friend who you could rely on for support and advice. I would happily jump on a rooftop to highly recommend China Culture Tours AND Nora to everyone.
CHINA CULTURE TOUR Company Information
- Company Name:
- CHINA CULTURE TOUR
- Company Type:
- Year Founded:
- Guilin(close to Hong Kong)
- +86 773 5835179