Our tour of China and the Great Wall was awesome. Our tour guide was entertaining and extremely knowledgeable about his home country. I learned so much about Chinese history and culture in 7 days; more than I thought was possible to learn. This was the most educational trip I've ever taken in my entire life.
bobbo / Adult traveler Kansas City, Kansas / Posted on March 21, 2017
It was quite a culture shock on arriving in Beijing. Tour director was friendly, and helped us through language and cultural differences. It is a place of paradoxes; modern, yet ancient. Great overall experience.
Reneem / Group leader mora, NM / Posted on March 17, 2017
MY CHILD WAS TOTALLY AWWWD BYT THE EXPERIENCE. THE FOOD, THE PEOPLE, JUST THE WAY OF LIFE AND CULTURE. SHE HAD FUN BARTERING WITH THE VENDORS AND JUST LEARNING. IF IT WASN'T FOR EF TOURS MY CHILD WOULD NEVER HAVE GOTTEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO THIS. IT SEEMS LIKE IT IS A LOT OF MONEY BUT FOR WHAT YOU GET IT ISN'T. SHE HAD SUCH A GREAT TIME SHE IS GOING ON THE TRIP TO AUSTIA, GERMANY & SWITZERLAND.
COOKIE98 / Parent FLORIDA / Posted on March 14, 2017
The trip to Beijing and Shanghai was absolutely amazing! I had the best time learning the culture, going to different venues , and connecting with other people from around the world. Although , I did experience some inconveniences. The hotel chosen for us to stay in Beijing did not satisfy me at all. I feel like you all can pick a better place for travelers to stay in Beijing. I highly recommend that you all pick another hotel for future travelers. Other than that, the trip was great !
Tallie / Student traveler Forsyth, Georgia / Posted on July 28, 2016
I was so much fun and so informative.
Crystal798 / Student traveler Posted on July 16, 2016
Amazing experience! EF Tours did a great job from start to finish. I would definitely use this company again and also highly recommend it to others. The only request I would have is to stay at a higher quality hotel. The hotel was outdated and poorly kept.
China2016 / Adult traveler Posted on May 13, 2016
Unexpexted Amazing Experience
I have to say I was very skeptical at first about traveling to China. We had an amazing experience and we were completely surprised by all the wonderful sites we visited. The fact that we learned so much about the culture and how the other side of the world lives is an experience I will never forget.
HappyParent32016 / Adult traveler Plantation, Florida / Posted on March 30, 2016
We were extremely lucky and saw the city with only 1 day of smog the entire trip. Along with this there is a lot to see. We were moving the entire trip but there still seemed to be a good balance of free time. There were some nights that we finished early but that gave us free time in the city to explore. We found some really great restaurants during this exploration time. I would have liked more free time and autonomy at the zoo but that was a very minor problem. We had plenty of time at all of the major attractions and everything was done very well. Our guide (Coco) was great and really connected with the students very well. This was my first trip with EF and I was very impressed. It seems like this trip is a result of reacting to good feedback.
mfauerb2 / Group leader Bourbonnais, IL / Posted on March 29, 2016
One in a life time trip!
This trip was amazing! Our tour guide was the sweetest person ever and I felt welcomed with open arms. I wish I could go back to China!!
Madeline2K16 / Student traveler Plantation, FL / Posted on March 28, 2016
Education not 1st on this tour
As an EF Tour- I was hoping for a little more education out of my tour. Our director was a Chinese national who clearly knew a lot but did not actually provide a "tour" at every site. We got headsets for only 1 DAY of our tour where our director gave detailed info on Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Summer Palace. While it was great getting to see these places, they are so large that I feel they should have been given more time at each site. Tiananmen Square/Forbidden City should be one day and the Summer Palace should have been a different day. I would have preferred a guided tour at the Great Wall in Ba Da Ling also so get a history of the section of wall you are walking but again, this was not provided. A guided tour was also not provided at the Olympic Birds Nest/Water Cube. Here you went in- looked at a giant stadium and moved on- you learned nothing of the construction or saw any photos of the games held or toured the actual stadium like the lockers or anything. I have done stadium tours before- they usually show you all the behind the scenes areas but not there. Very disappointing.
I was also disappointed that we did not have admittance to all sections of things. At Summer Palace for example- we walked along the lake and around from one entrance to the other- we did not actually visit the Palace- we were told this was an additional cost and we did not have time for this (Again- should have been a separate day.)
Our trip was plighted with retail lures as well. We were told we were going to learn how silk was made- I'm thinking a manufacturing plant or something. We get the "Home section" of a department store pretty much. A woman very quickly talks us through the life cycle of a silk worm and how they collect the silk, then quickly demos show they process/stretch it to make a comforter out of it- which you could then buy. After this short demo- you then got to "shop" the overly priced under quality silk with a "group discount" where they accepted CNY/Visa/ and American CASH.
This was an HOUR I could have spent at the Temple of Heaven or Summer Palace. This was not the only instance of this sales lure either. They did the same thing with telling us we were going to learn about Freshwater pearls. They took us to a jewelry store where again- we learned for 10 minutes and then "shopped" for the remaining time. I was appalled that EF tours took kids to these places!! Why would a middle school child need to go into a Home section or a jewelry store? Especially without a parent? Kids in our group where told not to purchase things unless an adult was present but this didn't always happen and those kids spent a lot of money.
Another complaint would be the meals. Beijing is rated as having some amazing food. Did I get to try it?? No. Our 1st dinner, our director informed us that we would be having a more Americanized dinner to help get more familiar with the cuisine. I didn't realize this was going to be every night of the same meal!! A friend of mine who lived in Beijing for years told me some menu items to make sure to enjoy while there- like hot pots- never did these appear on any of my pre-ordered dinner. Lunch was also a joke as you were given 30-45 minutes to find a FAST FOOD restaurant with hopefully a somewhat understandable menu to order from. Most the fast food available was only American fast food also- like KFC, Subway, McDonald's and Dairy Queen.
A whole day was also given to shopping on this tour- this I feel could have been spaced into the other days so again you would get more time at the larger sites and have a more slower paced afternoon with shopping. Also- if you're going to take me shopping- don't just keep taking me to places that sell the same thing. They all sold low quality, knockoff products where you could barter for your lower price. The kids had fun bartering which was good- but they also were under the impression that they were buying authentic items (which was not the case).
I am forever a student at heart. I love learning and I feel like this tour fell short of the education it sounded like it would provide.
StudentHeart / Adult traveler Denver, Colorado / Posted on October 21, 2015