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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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  • Reviewed May 2019
    Lynn Simpson

    Captivating China

    Superb trip with plenty to see and do. The Great Wall is amazing, the Terracotta Warriors fascinating as was the Han Yangling Mausoleum. The Shanghai Museum should really be included and not optional. The visit to the Giant Panda breeding research base was great. Plenty of exercise to work off the effects of the delicious food with walking the Wall, dancing in the park, cycling the walls at Xi’an and cycling through the stunning scenery of Yangshuo.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the Great Wall Giant Panda breeding research base

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter was very knowledgable and organised. He always had a smile on his face. He organised a cake and celebrations for my husband’s birthday. Alan still talks about the longevity noodles. Thanks Peter.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Well worth the effort and hassle of getting a visa.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Probably the most disappointing part of the trip was the visit to the Three Gorges Dam. Leave it out and add in the Shanghai Museum.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Geraldine Kevill

    imperial china and yangsie river cruise

    Peter Wong was a very good guide. He explained in detail the history of China from the early ages until the present day. I found the trip very educational. The fastness of landscapes, with high rise flats, went on forever. The train stations were enormous and larger than most airports. The motorways didn't seem to have any traffic jams because they were gigantic, and they were numerous in number. The culture was interesting, and I enjoyed the operas and dance, and there belief in Buddha. The great wall was very impressive, and I really enjoyed walking it, for me it was the highlight of the trip. The terracotta worriers were amazing, and I also was captivated by the Pandas. The overall experience was mind blowing, but I would not like to live there. I would like to mention the cooking class. Would this class be better held later in the day, as most of us were very full up so soon after breakfast. I would like to thank all of those involved with the planning and organisation of this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The great Wall

    What did you think of your group leader?

    very informative, he certainly knows his history.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    to have the cooking class later than so soon after breakfast.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As I have already explained in the first section of the questionnaire. The group as a whole got along well, any problems that we encountered were soon solved by Peter.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Nigel Brereton

    A great trip, who have interest and energy

    Kris was an excellent guide with detailed knowledge on the Nation and people of China. Answered questions with a easily to understand words. There is little rest save for travelling, trains, river cruise and Flight all went well. The trip notes mentioned long Station Platforms, this was true however due to Station location a walk of 700 to 900 meters was often required, many with large bags required help. The use of ATMs to obtain cash in Cities is available, however not in rural areas as much. Very few Business take European Cards, as cash is widely used.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A number, the River Cruise, cycling in villages, seeing the old part which will soon be gone, with an excellent guide in all ways.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    An excellent guide in all ways.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light, you may have to carry you bag up 2 flights of stairs and walk 900 meters to the Bus. Draw out cash in large centres. Listen to you guide and perhaps take notes. My bag was 14 kg, so not difficult, able to help others.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you want to see some of old China go soon.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Holly Creevy

    So much included

    This was my first trip outside of Europe, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to step outside their travel comfort-zone and immerse themselves in a completely different culture. This particular itinerary is excellent, as you visit a wide array of landscapes and landmarks. An important consideration is that China is changing so fast. If you go now you can still see both the old and the new side-by-side, which is really interesting. It is also the sort of place where for all but the most intrepid I think it's necessary to go on an organised tour with a guide to translate/explain/direct everything and drivers to navigate the road system.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's so hard to choose. I think it would have to be visiting the Forbidden City in Beijing. This was the very heart of a civilization, and I was amazed by the size of the complex and the richness of meaning behind all of its structures and components.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Leon was incredible. He was exceptionally well organised and knowledgeable. He never seemed to tire and always had the energy to answer extra questions and arrange extra trips out. He made each person in the group feel valued as an individual, and always acted in a calm and professional manner.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. In the words of a local guide, China is having a 'toilet revolution'! There are a surprisingly large number of public toilets available at frequent intervals, though bring your own loo roll and hand sanitiser. 2. Don't underestimate the VISA process. It is far more involved than for most countries, and UK travellers will have to visit a national centre to get their fingerprints taken. (From word of mouth in our group, the Edinburgh and Manchester centres were easier to deal with than the London centre, which is busier. I'm not sure about the Belfast centre). 3. Pack a range of clothing (in layers). As the distances travelled are huge, the climate will change a lot through the trip. 4. All the hotels we stayed in had both American-style and Australian-style plug sockets in the rooms, so either of those travel adaptors would be fine. 5. ATMs are available at frequent intervals throughout the trip, so although you will be expected to pay for most things in cash, you don't need to bring all of it in advance.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Fiona Galazin

    Hints and tips

    This is not a restful trip. It is full on from the start but it gave us everything we wanted to see in China and our guide Kris made it very easy for us. She had a good sense of humour and warned us if there was anything she thought might be difficult for us. Be prepared for crowds. Most of the tourist sights are busy with Chinese tourists, especially the Terracotta Warriors and the Pandas at Chengdu.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was a great holiday. The Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, the pandas, the Three Gorges, Jangshuo and the Three Kingdoms show. Couldn’t pick one out. A possible improvement might be to take another overnight train rather than have the overnight stop in Wuhan. After visiting the dam we travelled for one and a half days on a series of trains and coaches whereas getting an overnight train would have been more restful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kris was a great group leader - funny, patient, informative and took care of everybody. She is one of the best guides we have had and we have done quite a few Exodus holidays.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light. I would suggest not more than 15KG and wheeled luggage. You will be moving around a lot. Take toilet roll and hand gel with you when outside the hotel. Pack a mug, spoon , tea bags and coffee as hot water is available on trains and at airports. Don't expect cold milk though, take powdered if you like your tea white - it wasn't always available except in better hotels. Laundry is cheap to do in Jangshuo. The Three Kingdoms show was fantastic. Can't comment on the others but the rest of the group thought all shows were good, especially the acrobatic show in Shanghai. Carry money and passport at all times. Take cash as credit cards can't be used when the group leader is organising meals etc. The trip notes were about right in terms of what you need for money. China is not as cheap as you might think. Shanghai was the only place we used credit cards and even then not everywhere. Luggage is X- rayed before you get on trains and flammables and sharp objects ( even scissors) may be confiscated. We got away with a penknife but one of our group had their aerosol deodorant confiscated. Keep power packs and camera batteries in hand luggage, even leaving Shanghai. They will get you to open your luggage even after you have handed it over at check in. You will need sunscreen and insect repellent. Trainers were fine, walking boots not needed, but you will be walking quite a lot. If you upgrade to first on the overnight train you will get your own loo and 2 in a cabin (£70 each). Some of the group thought this was definitely a plus. Accommodation on the boat was better than I expected ( not necessary to upgrade) but it is worth upgrading for the food as it means you will eating with a group of 30-40, rather than 300.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Emma Sayer

    A great way to see all the great things in China

    Have low expectations and be positive was the motto of our guide. My own expectations were exceeded! We got to see so many great things

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Pandas! I booked this trip over any other because we go to visit the panda breeding centre. They are the most cuddliest and most adorable creatures. Whilst we were there we watched one get a bucket stuck on its head to one falling out of a tree. Yangshou with its Karst mountains! I love the countryside and this place was just stunning. We had rain most days we were there but the mist rolling across the mountains is just beautiful. A nice break from the busy crowds of the city too. The great Wall - Just wow! Even more breath taking in real life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dragon was very efficient and organised. He told us what we needed to know and what was happening a few days before it happened. He made us aware of optional extras that we could partake it. The motto of the trip was to have low expectations and to be positive. Dragon would often give us the worst case scenario and prepare us for the worst which meant we were never disappointed or surprised. And most things actually proved to be okay or to exceed our new expectations. Dragon was very helpful and supportive. My luggage got misplaced on a different coach and after a few phone calls managed to get it back quickly and without fuss. There was also a problem with my passport number. The office had pre booked my train tickets with my old passport number and so wouldn't pass the security check but after the first incident, Dragon managed to sort extra tickets so this wasn't a problem further along the road. Although not forth coming with information, Dragon knew alot and would give you all the information that he could give. No problems with translation.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't drink the water. You don't need to cover your legs for temples and things. We were supplied with bike helmets for our bike ride and had the option to hire some at other places. So no need to take your own. Don't flush the loo roll. Walk the steps up to the great wall. It's tough but if only a few of you do it you get that section of the wall to yourself for a good hour before you see everyone else that comes via the cable cars. Great opportunity for solo photos too. Practise with chopsticks before you come - its great fun to learn before you come and sometimes forks can be hard to find. Good trainers will get you through this trip! Lots of walking. Don't upgrade on the boat. We saved £50 and got to eat with the locals. We couldn't speak to them directly but I enjoyed watching how they used their chopsticks. If you only pay for one extra activity, do the night show at the Li River, Worlds largest natural theatre. Breathtakingly beautiful! Make sure exodus send you the exodus luggage tags - helps porters know that your luggage is all the same. Take an extra SD card, your going to need it!! One your packed, take half the clothes and double your spending money!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you want to go to China just once and see as much as possible, this is the trip to do it. If your a solo person this is the trip for you. A large group of 16 means you never feel lonely but you can still do things on your own if you want too.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    David Sarsiat

    CHINA ADVENTURE

    We enjoyed our experience in China and came home with a better understanding of the Chinese people and culture. Unfortunately, when we continued our trip to Hong Kong we discovered that someone had taken most of our Hong Kong money (equivalent to $500 Canadian). We keep these funds locked in safe deposit boxes, so not sure how this could have happened. We would like others who go on this trip to keep any cash with them at all times.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Biking in the countryside.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very organized and factual.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Keep your valuables with you. Do not trust the safe deposit boxes.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Sandra Woodward

    Imperial China and Yangtze River Cruise

    We have just returned from this busy and full on trip. As other reviews have said 'China is big!' We saw and experienced so much - from the different styles of food, transport and sites. Our guide was informative and shared lots of information regarding Chinese culture and history as well as the amazing development that has occurred during the last 20 years.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Realising just how far China has come and how far it plans to go. This is awe inspiring rather than inspirational. The infrastructure projects, buildings, size of cities, numbers of travellers/ tourists/people. Reading about it can't really prepare you for the reality.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dragon was extremely good at managing expectations and ensuring the whole group navigated the busy schedule. He was professional, funnyGo patient and very good at helping us make the most of the opportunities available. This included where to stand on the boat to get the best view, upgrading our dining option on the Yangtze cruise to avoid the scrum in the dining room. We enjoyed hearing his anecdotes of growing up and life in China.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the crowds but don't let them put you off as the Chinese were always friendly, helpful and good natured. Take mosquito repellent and wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking but it is all manageable. Use the 'farmers' to carry your bag on to the cruise boat there are a lot of steep steps down to the river. Have an open mind and be willing to go with the flow. Foot massages were great (especially the ones on the cruise). Enjoy!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We met lots of interesting travlleling companions and the group size of 16 worked well with a mix of couples and singles, so there were always people to hang out with if you wanted to. Go for it - you won't be disappointed
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Sue Shaw

    China and Yangtze

    Great trip ,great guide.so much going on!!! One of the best of 10 trips I have been on with exodus.Thank you Chris .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just loved the cycling 🚴‍♀️ trip to moon 🌒 Hill ,paddy fields,, noodles drying in the sun ,watching the river and rafts going by ,what’s not to love.So relaxing 😌 xx

    What did you think of your group leader?

    just really spot on ,thanks Chris.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for early starts and quick turn round but it’s a fabulous trip!!!! .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This should be on everyone’s bucket list !!!! 😘
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Maggie Hatchard

    China in summer!

    A very good and interesting holiday taking in all the fascinating places that China has to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Terracotta Army was for me the most inspirational part of the trip. The size of the find and how much they still have to uncover, so much so that they are leaving a huge proportion to future generations to explore as they have so much to do already.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Jane could t have been more helpful or considerate, she was a delight and went out of her way to help everyone making sure that we were all comfortable and supported. She was also very knowledgeable about every part of the trip. She will be truly missed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    August is the Chinese school holidays and also the hottest time of the year so really crowded everywhere and extremely hot and humid. Think about going at a different time of the year!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I throughly enjoyed the trip, we saw so much and experienced so much. All was well organised. Comfortable hotels and great food. Lots to see and do. And many many steps! Worst day was 45 flights of stairs! Wish I’d started counting the steps when I arrived. Lots of walking and half of them upor down or so it seemed! If you go in the summer take clothes that can be easily washed through, it’s very, very sweaty!
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