We love receiving our clients’ feedback about their WildChina experiences. Your positive reviews make us glow with pride, and the areas where you think we could’ve done better help us to improve for the future.
This month, a WildChina traveler took the time to put so much detail into their WildChina feedback that we couldn’t not share it. We’re incredibly proud of the team members it mentions and extremely thankful for this client’s trust. The photos within this post were also taken by the same client, on her WildChina journey.
Review of WildChina Travel by Rachel B. | January, 2019
“If you are currently in the process of researching the plethora of tour options in China and trying to coordinate/evaluate them half way around the world, let me save you the time: GO WITH WILDCHINA.
They are far and away the best company to work with, no matter what the measure: professionalism, communication, price, and flexibility. Most importantly, they are a real standout in the two most important ways:
1) Picking Quality guides
2) Thoughtfully selecting activity options that make you feel like you are experiencing China and not just touring
For some background, in planning my big trip throughout China, I used multiple tour operators for various places and traveled to places independently. I initially planned on WildChina for the portion in Yunnan; however, after my experience with them versus independent travel, and other operators, I called them halfway through the trip and asked for their help in planning my time in Beijing as well. Looking back, I wish I had someone to tell me to use them for the whole trip!”
Lijiang. Photos by @therealbenaroyal
“The first big reason I have for recommending WildChina is founded in a fundamental concept that I didn’t fully appreciate until my visit, which is, when visiting China, you will get more out of your trip with a guide. While this may be obvious to some, it took a little longer to sink into my stubbornly independent mind that traveling with a guide isn’t less intrepid and doesn’t mean less adventure.
It’s not that traveling independently isn’t possible. It is, and I felt perfectly safe while doing it. However, the combination of the language, cultural differences in communication and general lack of good online information (beyond the big tourist areas) results in a barrier that will inhibit you in experiencing all there is to offer.
That being said, your guide will make or break your trip, and this is what makes WildChina such a stand out. Their guides are in a category all their own. Other operators’ guides were perfectly nice, professional and knowledgeable, but my guides WildChina were engaging and knowledgeable in a way that goes above and beyond.”
Tiger Leaping Gorge. Photos by @therealbenaroyal
“As a New Yorker, the best way I can describe it is like the difference between being shown around the City by a hotel concierge versus experiencing the city with a life-long resident. The concierge will help you in getting tickets to the circle-line and recommend whatever Broadway shows are currently popular while the individual who has lived here since birth can navigate the subway like a ninja, knows all the best places to get a slice, and will take you to the off-Broadway show that will become a Broadway show in a year.
Going around Yunnan with my guide Huang was like that having that local friend to show me around. Whenever I expressed interest in something, he would show me the best place for it, and once he got a sense of my personality, would even change the itinerary to include experiences I would like. For example, he saw I enjoyed hiking and chatting with locals on the trails around Tiger Leaping Gorge, so he made sure we changed the itinerary to include a more challenging trail with better views and knew the most hospitable local guest house to make a reservation at along the way. When I expressed curiosity about local dishes, he took me to a restaurant known for serving regional mushrooms (which are very popular all over Asia due to cancer-fighting abilities – didn’t even know!)
And while there was no question that I felt like I had more authentic experiences because of having a local like Huang showing me around, he also indulged my very touristy requests and his familiarity with the different tourist options were of great benefit as well, and resulted in a more quality experience. For example, I wanted to try different teas while in China, and he knew the best place for a tasting and best person to explain the history, what tea is had when and for what purpose.”
Yunnan. Photos by @therealbenaroyal
“The second reason to go with WildChina is the unique experiences they curate for each area and the guidance their coordinators provide in choosing with ones to go with. My coordinator, Kendra, was supremely prompt and communicative. Kendra was able to put together an amazing grouping of activities for me, some of which I didn’t appreciate the value of until I was there.
For example, in reading the itinerary, I saw items like Hike Tiger Leaping Gorge, and thought “Great, that looks beautiful!” But then also saw the item, Naxi Dinner Party in with Local Family in their Home and thought, “I don’t know about this one, this will most likely be awkward and forced – a dinner party with strangers in someone’s home?”
I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and genuine experience. It was wonderful to have the chance to sit down with local people, try a home cooked meal and hear all their stories about the area. In fact, a lot of the local guest house stays ended up being some of my favorite parts, and I really credit my coordinator for those recommendations. I am not sure I could have envisioned what it would be like ahead of time and was very glad I had someone who could size me up quickly and knew better than me what would be best.”
Songzanlin Monastery and the start of the Tea Horse Caravan Road. Photos by @therealbenaroyal
“WildChina really does an amazing job of looking at the details of what makes a place special and providing specialized experiences and activity options that go beyond just the tourist sites. My experience with other operators’ version of “tailoring a trip” and “curated activities” was checking off boxes from a list of sites you want to go to, and then making an itinerary that links them together in an efficient way.
I think the benefit of going with WildChina is summed up in how I felt after my trip to Yunnan with WildChina versus Yangshuo/Longsheng with another operator. Both were stunningly beautiful. But I left Yunnan in awe of everything about it, and with a feeling that I had “gotten to know” it, whereas with Yangshuo and Longsheng I left feeling like I had simply observed a beautiful place. Without a guide like Huang who grew up hiking the local trails and had knowledge of every restaurant in town (and probably who owned it) and WildChina’s thoughtfully planned experiences, I couldn’t get as much out of Yangshuo and Longsheng. WildChina: Worth every penny, book with them!”
To see what else travelers say about our trips, head over to tripadvisor.com. If you’re ready to start planning your own customized China journey with one of our experienced travel designers, get in touch now.