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