I am taking a group of my university students (10 people total) to China in May 2007. I have travelled to China in the past and have used full package tours. But I don't want to do that as I find the guides want you to see what they want you to see...not what I want to see and do. But I do need some help with translation and rail/hotel bookings for our group. I've done a lot of independent travel in China too, but am searching for the middle ground between guided tour and complete independence.
Does anyone know of an agency that will let me hire a part-time guide that isn't part of the package tour but can help out for a few days at a time? We will be traveling in the Three Gorges area as well as northern Yunnan (Tiger Leaping Gorge).
We are a tour operator in Beijing, china. We provide hotel, air/rail ticket booking service and necessary advice/translation assistance on your trip.
Actually it is a customized flexible package service (different to traditional tour package), and very suitable for traveler, like you, who want hotel & transportation booking service, but have flexibility to arrange your time on your own.
If interest, please PM me.
Hi, besides the Three Gorges, where do you want to go? Maybe I can help with tickets and hotels.
Agree with you that traveling with tour group won't be a good idea if what you want is more than 'sleep on the bus, wake up for the photo-shooting'. However, as you are traveling as a larger group 10-12 people, the most important thing to do might be research and agree on the main route first. Public transportation in China is still not so convenient for backpackers as in Europe, specially if you choose train (May 1- May 7 is the national holiday in China, getting train tickets is impossible).
As your destination will be mainly in Southwest of the country, you may contact some credible national-wide travel agency and hire a van, tell them the route you designed and the driver itself can be a guide. Point is to make sure the driver is experienced and responsible for his driving behavior (0ne friend once had a drunk driver as tour guide!!!), ofcuz English at communication level is nice to have too.