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Wendy Wu ChinaTours Superb Value for Money

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Wendy Wu ChinaTours Superb Value for Money

Having travelled extensively and holidayed in at least 25 countries I can honestly say that our recent trip to China with Wendy Wu Tours was the most interesting and the best value for money holiday we have ever experienced.

The itinerary was well thought out and the implementation slick and well organised. In spite of many coach transfers, four internal flights and numerous excursions to tourist sites and evening entertainment the transport was always there waiting for us.

The national guide (in our case “Eric”) was knowledgeable, approachable and had a good sense of humour. The local guides were of a similar calibre.

The hotels were all good with the only minor complaint being the firmness of the beds but this is a fact of life in China and by the end of the trip it was not an issue.

We chose the Wonders of China tour as it seemed to “tick all the boxes” when it came to major tourist sites but were pleased to find that we were also able to enjoy many other experiences that would not have been possible had we gone independently.

Things like being taken by rickshaw to one of the Hutong areas of Beijing (high density living with narrow alleys, cramped accommodation) to be served lunch in one of the tiny houses. The food was excellent and the host charming all in all a wonderful experience. We were also taken out into the countryside to view village life and to visit the home of an elderly widow who was living a very traditional lifestyle. And at the other end of spectrum we were given the opportunity to travel at 431km/hr on the Maglev train from downtown Shanghai to the airport 31km in 7 mins. These are just a couple of examples of the extras that we were not expecting but which added enormously to the enjoyment of the holiday

Based on our experience of the “Wonders of China” tour we would have no hesitation in recommending Wendy Wu to anyone

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Wendy Wu ChinaTours Superb Value for Money

how much was the required "tip" to the guide, driver,national guide etc. were you required to give it ahead of time? how many shopping tours per day (and how long did each take of your time) was placed on the itinerary/ We would like to know.

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2. Re: Wendy Wu ChinaTours Superb Value for Money

There is a mandatory $60 per person tip which is handed to your national guide at the commencement of your trip. This is the only tip that is required. Your national guide will then pass on tips to porters, bus drivers, restaurants etc. You will not be expected to tip anyone yourself. We think it is a good system and felt a lot happier than having to guess what to tip individually.

If your tour includes the Yangtse River trip then tips are expected to be paid to the staff on the boat at the end of the voyage but this will all be explained in the Wendy Wu documentation.

There were three trips to "factories" on the trip . South China Pearls, Jade Factory and Silk Factory The are obviously buying opportunities but if you are not interested just admire the stock!

There were not too many other shopping opportunities unless you include

copy watches and other trinkets which are on offer everywhere. The hotel in Guilin was close to a couple of larger stores but few of our party bought anything.

Hope this information is helpful. Please feel free to contact me again if you have any qureies

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3. Re: Wendy Wu ChinaTours Superb Value for Money

Thank you for the added information. It helps keep the tour in perspective.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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4. Re: Wendy Wu ChinaTours Superb Value for Money

Compulsory "tips". Interesting concept in a country where there is no tipping at all. It is just an additional cost which makes their initial advertised price look cheaper.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Wendy Wu ChinaTours Superb Value for Money

Again JPDeM needs to corrected about his assumptions re selling/travelling into China within a Wendy Wu Topic.

In Australia due to ACCC regulations the tipping amount IS included in any advertised amount and is not an additional extra in order to make the initial tour price look cheap. In the US and UK markets this price is advised at time of booking so it is not an unknown quantity before arrival.

Tipping in China has been debated many times within this forum and we all know your OPINION, having posted it many times. Having tipping included in our tours removes the uncomfortable situation when our passengers are asked for tips (and they do get asked) but know they do not have too because their National Escort will arrange it all for them. This appreciation in highlighted continually in feedback we receive from happy customers, which is why we do it.

Thank you Chambishi for your feedback, it is much appreciated and is line with the 1000’s of others we receive directly each year. It is good to see people are willing to post positive comments on Trip Advisor when others use it to try and turn everything into a negative for their own reasons.

Best Regards

Customer Relations

Wendy Wu Tours Australia

Sherbrooke, Canada
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6. Re: Wendy Wu ChinaTours Superb Value for Money

The question of not tipping in China is not a matter of OPINION, it is a act.

Beijing, China
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7. Re: Wendy Wu ChinaTours Superb Value for Money

Agreed. No tipping is a fact of life in China. Those of us who LIVE here know that. Independent travellers do not tip and it has been reported that other tour operators do not impose these charges - and yes, they are charges - on their customers. Whether or not these charges are advertised is not the issue - and it may or may not be initially clear on the advertising copy. I find it telling that a representative of this operator feels it necessary to imply that a TA member has some sort of hidden agenda when in actual fact they merely pointing out cultural norm.

Whilst the OP has clearly taken care in writing this endorsement, perhaps they could elaborate on those "experiences that would not have been possible had we gone independently." Hutong tours by rickshaw with a lunch are pretty run-of-the-mill, for example.

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8. Re: Wendy Wu ChinaTours Superb Value for Money

wendy wu australia, you are located in australia and being in a western country, you know what tipping is. It is never mandatory, never compulsory, although may be expected. And definitely is given for service beyond the call of duty. As the OP mentioned, it was a mandatory $60 tip. Has the definition of tip changed? Or does it change once the jet enters chinese airspace? When I go on domestic tours here in the US, I do tip. But there have been instances where the service was with a frown and I did not tip.

I did ask once what was the minimum wage in china. This way I can have a reference as to the amount of tip I should/would give. No way am I gonna over tip(if I have to tip) in china- calculated as a similar percentage of what I tip here in the US based on the minimum wage.

Edited: 06 December 2010, 05:11
Sherbrooke, Canada
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9. Re: Wendy Wu ChinaTours Superb Value for Money

Minimum wage in China varies per region with a minimum of 710RMB per month in Ningxia to a maximum of 1,120RMB per month in Shanghai.

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10. Re: Wendy Wu ChinaTours Superb Value for Money

As a very infrequent visitor to the US I am surprised by this response. I always thought that tips were based on the amount of spend not on the wage being earned by the staff and that this amount was expected and if not paid things could get quite difficult. I have a friend who was chased down the street in the US because she had only left 10% and not the 15% expected.