1. When is the best time to go to China?
Travelers can visit China any time of the year with each season having positive and negative contributing factors. Fall and Spring season tend to be the best in terms of weather, offering a consistent 50-72 F temperature throughout the country. Summer can also be a great time to visit for those who are prepared for sunnier days and higher temperatures above 72 F and more frequent bouts of rainfall. Winter can be very cold in the northern regions, but also offers fewer crowds at certain populated sites such as the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an. Chinese travel season tends to be highest the first week of May, first week of October, and then June - Sept and Jan/Feb when school holidays are granted. Visiting China outside of these times will leave you facing fewer tourist crowds. Regardless of when you travel, you are certain to enjoy your visit so long as you are prepared for the weather at that time of year with layered clothing and possible rain or snow gear.
2. What are the accommodations like?
In each location, we strive to use charming accommodations that are locally owned and characteristic of the area. They can best be compared to small, family run bed and breakfasts rather than international chain hotels. All hotels have private baths, hot water and clean, comfortable rooms except in instances where noted such as a homestay. We strive to also find hotels in good locations, whether that be walking distance to main attractions, or out of the city if it is consistently noisy. Larger hotels are used in metropolitan areas as typically these are the only available options.
3. Do I need a converter/adapter for the electricity?
China generally uses 220 volt, 50hz AC electricity. Taiwan uses 110 volt. Many hotels however offer 110V and 220V sockets in the bathrooms in larger cities. It is recommended to bring a converter or to purchase one in China upon arrival, and one will likely be needed to adapt the plug shape for any device you bring.
4. Are meals included?
Most meals are included for yourselves as well as your guide. You will need help translating the menus, and thus the guide will typically eat with you unless you specify a different arrangement. Occasionally, when you are in a larger city with many restaurant options, you will have the option to choose where you would like to eat.
5. What are the tour leaders like?
Our tour leaders are exceptional! They are fluent in English and Mandarin, and some speak Korean or Japanese as well. Our tour leaders all attended college and are licensed by the China National Tourism Board. Many were born and raised in the local areas where they guide and are among the very best guides available in each region. Some specialize in specific adventure activities as well, such as hiking. All of our tour leaders treat our travelers like friends, showing visitors both the major highlights and the local treasures.
6. What type of transportation is used?
Our China tours utilize a variety of transportation including private vans/cars, comfortable high speed trains, flights, etc. We use a mix of private/public transportation to provide travelers with the safest and most efficient transportation in each area. Occasionally, we may include non-typical transportation modes (rickshaw, bicycle taxi, pedi-cab, etc.) for short distances to give travelers a sense of local flavor. Each tour itinerary page has a description of the transportation included on that tour. If you have additional questions, just ask!
7. What type of food is typical of China?
Chinese cuisine includes styles ad methods originating from centuries of ancient China practice, as well as outside influences. Eight major cuisine schools exist within China: Anhui, Cantonese (Dim Sum), Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu (Peking Duck), Shandong, Szechuan (Kung Pao), and Zhejiang. Many of these names correspond with the respective provinces from which they originated. Regardless of the methods and presentation, all Chinese cuisine uses similar staple ingredients such as rice, noodles, vegetables, and varying sauces and seasonings.
8. Are these trips suitable for kids?
While the trips are suitable for kids, they may not be ideal. Some tours involve a fair amount of car travel and transit in between main destinations that may not be advantageous for younger kids. We are happy to customize an option t