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Best tour companies from Toronto or Vancouver?

Toronto, Canada
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1,069 posts
101 reviews
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Best tour companies from Toronto or Vancouver?

A friend and I are looking for a lower-cost tour that includes Beijing, Xian, Giulin, Shanghai and Hong Kong. There are so many companies in Vancouver and Toronto that our heads are spinning trying to decide among them.

For good or bad, we've found very little on this forum or on Google related to reviews of companies in Canada.

We'd love to hear from those of you who've been happy with your Canadian tour companies. Thanks!

Toronto
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for Tokyo
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1. Re: Best tour companies from Toronto or Vancouver?

what's "best"? All tours to China are handled by(i.e. sold off to) a handful of state-sanctioned agencies once you are in China. The fully-escorted- from-Canada ones have a tour leader(in addition to local guides) who travels free and everyone of the group pays for.

It's well known that ethnic Chinese businesses in Canada charge less for the same products(though not necessarily at the same service levels. Just visit Pacific Mall.) Now you have to ask yourself what additional services are provided by high-price agencies in Canada, that's above and beyond Chinese owned but canada-based tour companies. Remember once you are in China, it's the same few companies.

All the wholesalers in Canada can customize a tour for min. 2 passengers, costing not more than equivalent group tours.

Cheaper tours tend to have more shopping trips so talk to the tour company in advance.

www.chinatravelcdn.com

www.tianbaotravel.com

www.charmingholidays.ca

2. Re: Best tour companies from Toronto or Vancouver?

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Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Best tour companies from Toronto or Vancouver?

Although I have not used them, ChinaSpree (in Blaine, WA US just south of Vancouver) seem to have very high marks. I know they're USA, but still...

Canada
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4. Re: Best tour companies from Toronto or Vancouver?

As a Canadian who just got back from China last week, I'd recommend the American company we worked with, Asia Transpacific Journeys. They offer both small group trips and custom journeys. Our trip was competitively priced and very well organized. We travelled to all the places you mentioned except Shanghai, and they definitely offer Shanghai too.

Toronto
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for Tokyo
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5. Re: Best tour companies from Toronto or Vancouver?

a tour company based in Ontario offers consumer protection as per provincial regulations. A company operating out of the US... well good luck.

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Best tour companies from Toronto or Vancouver?

Thanks for all of your advice, and yes, bimimbob, I do indeed plan to use a Cdn company so that my investment is protected.

I visited Pacific Mall today and found some very good options from Tai Pan and Active Travel, much more reasonable than the Globus type prices. Also visited Tian Bao but found they are not catering to tour groups as much as people going home to visit friends and family.I asked lots of questions about shopping trips, etc, but ultimately I'm just using the tour to get from place to place easily as the chance for this trip has come up suddenly and I don't have time to plan much, so I won't get bent out of shape about shopping expeditions.

I'm going to check a few more places downtown tomorrow.

I would still appreciate hearing from anyone who has used a TO agency lately. Thanks again!

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Best tour companies from Toronto or Vancouver?

Just a warning about the Tai Pan tours...I've had friends who went with them and they complained that they were served more Western-style Chinese food when they were in China (like fried rice, chicken balls, sweet&sour pork). You may want to confirm with them what type of food is served to the tour groups before you book, if that's of concern to you. I know my friends were very disappointed.

8. Re: Best tour companies from Toronto or Vancouver?

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