‘Incredible’ trip with China Odyssey

By Jill Miller
This item appears on page 25 of the March 2018 issue.
Dennis and Jill Miller at the Great Wall.

My husband, Dennis, and I took an incredible customized trip to China arranged for us by Alick Peng (alick@odysseytours.net) of China Odyssey Tours (phone +86 15697730073, www.chinaodysseytours.com). We went to Beijing, Xi’an, Guilin and Shanghai, March 12-24, 2017. 

Mr. Peng arranged all of our guides (who spoke excellent English and took very good care of us), drivers (who were safe and punctual), activities (all of which went flawlessly), two flights within China (I wish we had airline service that good in the US!), the bullet train from Beijing to Xi’an (a smooth, wonderful ride) and spectacular hotels (which were centrally located and exceeded our highest expectations).

Our trip started in Beijing, where our guide and driver were waiting for us. We stayed four nights at the Regent Beijing (www.regenthotels.com/regent-beijing), our favorite hotel of the trip. It was centrally located and safe, and the staff was amazing and friendly. The breakfasts were delicious!

In Beijing, our private guide, Angela Liu, showed us a great time! We visited Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, hutongs (narrow alleys) by pedicab and, of course, the Great Wall. Be sure to go to the Mutianyu section of the Wall and take the round-trip cable car for easier access. 

We caught a high-speed G train to Xi’an. What a wonderful ride! I’m not a fan of trains, but after traveling 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph) in such a smooth fashion, with comfortable seats plus snacks provided by stewardesses, I’m sold!

Kenny Bai was our guide in Xi’an, where we stayed three nights at the 5-star Sofitel Xian On Renmin Square (www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-5949-sofitel-xian-on-renmin-square/index.shtml), which had a wonderful, friendly staff. 

In Xi’an, we saw the amazing Terracotta Army, the Ancient City Wall and the Xi’an Art Ceramics & Lacquer Factory.

We caught an evening flight from Xi’an to Guilin so we could visit Yangshuo for three nights. I would recommend a morning flight, as we arrived very late at our hotel, the Green Lotus Hotel (www.green lotushotel.com). This wasn’t on par with our other hotels, but it was the best in the area. 

Jill and Dennis Miller at Beijing's Forbidden City.

Yangshuo is a “don’t miss.” What a peaceful change it was from the city! It offered beautiful scenery and all sorts of outdoor activities. We took a bamboo-raft ride on the Yulong River that was so peaceful. That day we also saw the show “Impression Sanjie Liu,” which had the beautiful mountains as a backdrop.

The next day we headed to the town of Fuli, where we walked the ancient streets and visited a handmade fan-drawing store (and made our own fan). Then we went to the town of Xingping, where we watched the process of making Songhua candy. Merrick Li was our guide and was so much fun! He spoke English well and was entertaining and knowledgeable each step of the way.

Then it was off, by air, to Shanghai, where we were met by our driver and guide and taken to the Grand Central Hotel Shanghai (www.grandcentralhotelshanghai.com), which was within walking distance of The Bund, a “must see” at night! 

We also went to Zhujiajiao, a water village, for a day trip. A visit to the Shanghai World Financial Center yielded amazing views of the city and The Bund.

For the two of us, the total cost of our 13-day, 12-night trip was $4,572. This included private guides who were with us a minimum of eight hours each day, a private driver, hotels, all-you-can-eat breakfasts and all entrance fees. You’ll need a visa to visit China.

We booked online and corresponded through email. Mr. Peng answered promptly and changed the itinerary several times to meet our needs. Payment options were easily understood and safe.

We had thought this would be our only visit to China, but after the fabulous trip Mr. Peng and China Odyssey Tours arranged, we’ll go back. We had an absolutely fantastic time!

Brandon, FL

Dennis and the bullet train we rode from Beijing to Xi'an, China. Photo by Jill Miller
Jill and Dennis Miller in Guilin, China.