I explored China for nearly a month with G Adventures. We started in Hong Kong and travelled through Yangshuo, along the Yangtze River, then to Xi’an, Shanghai and ended up in Beijing. I can honestly say that this China tour was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Here’s why I think it’s best to do a tour:
By speaking English I have had quite an easy time on my travels. Most people I’ve met have been able to speak it too. I always feel bad when people from other countries have to speak English to me when I haven’t learnt another language myself. I wish I could, and it’s on my bucket list to do so! In China, as expected, it was rare for the locals to have much knowledge of the English language. Therefore, being on a tour was the best thing I could have done. I had an English speaking guide and was around other people who could speak the language. This made things like travelling on the sleeper trains and ordering food simple, I would have definitely struggled without the tour (even with my friend’s pointy book!)
One of my favourite things about travelling is meeting new and interesting people. China was an awe-inspiring place to visit and travelling with a group of fantastic people made it even better. There were 9 people in our group all in our 20s. We all got on well and have even managed to keep in touch since the trip. I’ve visited some of them in their home countries and they have also visited me in England. What a great excuse to travel when you have friends to visit!… Not that you ever really need an excuse :p
Our tour guide was very kind and helpful. He told us interesting facts about China and all the places we visited. I had no idea that China held 20% of the world’s population. That’s 1/5 of the world’s population in one country! Our tour guide was also there to help when things went wrong. When I informed him I’d lost my camera he went out of his way to take me back to some of the places we had been the night before to ask if it had been handed in. Unfortunately it never turned up but I didn’t let that bother me, I was having too much of a great time!
As much as I love researching about my travels and making plans, going on a tour enables you to let someone else do most of the organising for you. You don’t need to spend hours working out how to get from one place to another, how long it will take and how much lighter your purse will be after. You can sit back, relax and let someone else do the worrying.