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wendy wu tours - poor quality

norfolk england
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wendy wu tours - poor quality

did the magnificent china tour in sept /oct 2008.

the itinerary is excellent and we had a superb guide (maggie) but all else was poor. we were assured that wendy wu was a good company - not a bales or titan but good quality mid-price. unfortunately we ended up with budget class accomodation, travel and food:-

1. food - only one quality meal in 21 days! food was simply awful - very cheap quality - rarely any meat, if there was then it was full of bone and gristle - the very cheapest quality cuts every time. nearly every meal was basically very thin soup, stodgy rice, some spicy things and every (literally)dessert was water melon - absolutely no alternatives. meals became a joke amongst the tour party.

2. accomodation - cheap class hotels - beijing was miles away from the centre with nothing in its vicinity but run down housing. shanghai was next to the motorway on a busy road. chengdu was in a 2 star annex to the main building etc etc

the yangtse cruise boat was the worst of the lot. the cabins were the standard of a basic ferry boat. reception areas were uncomfortable and the deck had little seating and what was there was uncomfortable - no loungers just cheap metal chairs!

several of our party got food poisoning on the boat - including myself - and i am very careful about hygiene and food when abroad.

we met wendy wu travellers from other tours who were on far better quality boats - it seems it is down to 'luck' of the draw with this company.

this boat should have been scrapped long ago.

3. travel - planes were fine but coach travel was again mostly in cheaper less comfortable 'busses' with no on-board facilities - even for the 4/5 hour transfers.

we were not expecting 5 star comfort or quality but our party generally felt that the tour was mostly 2 star - especially those who had been on previous tours with wendy wu to other places eg vietnam.

our guide was excellent and tried her best to compensate for the lack of quality with her service and attention. she looked aftger us really well without actualy accepting our criticisms

i would not travel with wendy wu again - i wished i had paid a little extra and gone with a better quality company

rw norfolk england

259 replies to this topic
hong kong
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1. Re: wendy wu tours - poor quality

Sorry to hear about this, but if you had done a little research (on tripadvisor!) you would have known about this.

Also, there's no need to pay 5 star prices to have a 5 star experience in China. Instead, avoid the agencies and tours and do it independently. Hire private guides in each city to make things easier, and use a good guide book. You can choose your own hotels (use tripadvisor hotel for reviews).

2. Re: wendy wu tours - poor quality

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Removed on: 02 July 2009, 23:35
 
Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: wendy wu tours - poor quality

Hello RW

did China Splendour with Wendy Wu in October 2008. Hotels were "average" but we didnt expect 5 star. Did however expect better food. Cannot agree more with the comment about food. Absolute slops. And the tour guide took any attempt to discuss the quality of the food as a personal affront, even an insult.

HAd friends who paid twice as much for a 5 star tour with Helen Wong. The accommodation may have been 5 star, but they ate in the same "banquet" rooms, in the same "tourist" restaurants. Every couple on their tour wrote to the tour operator. Of course there was no reply.

I ate away from the Wendy Wu tour on a couple of occasions (was sick of rice, tofu, french fries, and NO meat). Ate wonderfully well for a few dollars, even though we ordered by pointing at other diners dishes.

I dont know why the tour operators all feed the need to drive all foreigners in that city to the same tourist restaurant when there were cheap good eateries just outside our hotel

Melbourne, Australia
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for Beijing, Lijiang
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4. Re: wendy wu tours - poor quality

That is where tour companies can cut down on costs & save themselves some dollars. Unfortunately it is their customers who misses out. All meals included sounds like a good deal but in reality it is not. Especially in China where there is such a variety & it so much fun when you find some real gems & get to try lots of different foods.

You can save an absolute fortune if you do a bit of research & travel round China without the help of an organized tour.

You get to choose your hotel & stay 5 star at discount prices.

You get to choose exactly where you want to go & how long you want to stay.

You get to eat what you want where you want.

You get to choose what style of transport.

You don't have to share your tour with 30 other people:)

Essex
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5. Re: wendy wu tours - poor quality

Hi We live in Essex and are considering a Wendy Wu tour in the Autumn. We had/have now concerns regarding food and accommodation given that unlike most brocures nowhere can we find any information regards these. Having read your comments it sounds very similar to Moscow in the 70s. It would be a 28 day tour, a long time if conditions are poor. Diana

6. Re: wendy wu tours - poor quality

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Removed on: 22 January 2009, 16:05
 
Timbuktu, Mali
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7. Re: wendy wu tours - poor quality

In response to drumbrake "if you'd done a little research on tripadvisor" I think this is a little unfair. We've booked wendywu for later this year, I expect like rw, did research before hand. If you look at the past comments on tripadvisor, a high number are positive regards wendywu. Clearly rw's comments are not, and therefore are concerning to me...but for you to suggest that basically everyone thinks wendywu is poor and you should have known better, seems a little harsh. Do you think wendywu is by far the worst tour company or do you simply not like tour companies full stop, and prefer independent travel. I see you have many past posts, so I'm sure you are very informed and I would appreciate your further comments. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Best regards

G

hong kong
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8. Re: wendy wu tours - poor quality

Wendy Wu Tours (or any other tour company) I have no particular opinion about.

All tours receive generally common complaints about the following points:

> food - being taken to tourist restaurants and being given the same food everyday.

> factory shop visits - the number of them and the resulting lack of time given for sightseeing

This post also talks about hotels and transfers. As I said earlier, by travelling independently it is relatively easy to take control of the standard of hotel you stay in and their location. Bus quality you have little control over.

Usually, after each negative opening post about a tour company, there are several contradicting positive posts from first time posters in the following weeks. When researching a holiday, it pays to be suspicious about any post overly positive or negative about a hotel or tour company,

Personally I think it is in the interests of tour companies to make travel in China seem as difficult as possible, so making it appear necessary to go on an organised tour. Actually, many people travel in China independently without problems and have an enjoyable time. I think if someone has found their way to tripadvisor to ask a question about China, then they are half way to being convinced of the possibility of travelling by themselves to China.

Timbuktu, Mali
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9. Re: wendy wu tours - poor quality

Hi Drumbrake

Thanks for confirming that your issue is with tours in general. I agree entirely with what you are saying regards being suspicious of overly positive or indeed negative reports (some reports are clearly adverts while other are by people who perhaps would not be happy with anything). Some of the reports I have read eg angel57 seem quite reliable in terms of saying don't expect things to be luxury or perfect but on the whole with wendy wu it was a good experience. I take the point, that you don't need to go with a tour and perhaps indpendently you will get even better value for money. However in our case, we do want to go on a tour (it is just so much easier re:organising flights/accomodation/trains/coaches etc etc)and we have read up on wendy wu (and reports are generally okay/good)- so we basically have the choice of going ahead or cancelling and losing our deposit. We do not expect luxury hotels or the most wonderful food imaginable - however we do expect reasonable standards, so hopefully wendy wu will deliver that otherwise we should rethink the trip!

Melbourne, Australia
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for Beijing, Lijiang
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10. Re: wendy wu tours - poor quality

As mentioned China is an option to do as an independent traveler. It sometimes gets overlooked & is perceived as hard to do by yourself. But with a bit of planning & research, it is quite achievable.

Saying that, there is certainly nothing wrong with group travel & it is preferable for a lot of people. It once again comes down to researching the different companies and trying to sift out the disruptive posters who are constantly advertising their own services or putting in false reports of others. Like the opening post here I suppose. Is it from a "real traveler"?

On the Food issue there is a great new book that has been published by Beijing resident and foodie Eileen Wen Mooney

immersionguides.com/products/21/Beijing-Eats

The Beijing food scene is wonderful.

Graeme-edinburgh: I have a friend who did a Wendy Wu tour in October & she loved it. She said the guide was fantastic. Didn't mention the food tho lol. As regards to food I can't comment as I don't do tours but I would imagine that all the tour companies would be similar in this regard. I guess you could do what a lot of people do & chose to eat elsewhere wont cost you much & part of the fun of traveling - finding those hidden gems:)

Annie

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