We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Xi'an guide & driver (Mary)

Austin
Level Contributor
79 posts
Save Topic
Xi'an guide & driver (Mary)

Just returned from Xi'an. For a great guide & driver contact Mary ( maryguide@yeah.net ).

She picked us (wife and myself) up from hotel... was both our driver and guide for the full day. Cost was very reasonable. She did charge an additional small fee for her guide service (this is optional, but well worth it). It was about what we would have paid if we hired a guide for just one site... and she acted as our guide for the whole day. We visited three or four sites each day. The only additional cost was the entrance fees at each of the sites we visited... but we did not have to pay for Mary's entrance fee, because as a registered guide, she has a pass that gets her access.

You can tell she is proud of her heritage and proud of her city (Xi'an).

Good guide/drivers that speak very good English are hard to find in Xi'an. She is very pleasant to spend the whole day with and very knowledgeable.

440 replies to this topic
Sherbrooke, Canada
Level Contributor
45,281 posts
824 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Xi'an guide & driver (Mary)

"reasonable" is a matter of opinion. Facts are better. Please tell us what you paid, what it covered and how much time was involved.

Austin
Level Contributor
79 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Xi'an guide & driver (Mary)

I chose the word "reasonable" because everyone's charge might be a little different ... depending where you hotel is and which sites you choose to visit in a day (i.e. your choices may not be in the same general area of the city). We paid ...

> 350 Yuan for the day for driver service

> 150 Yuan for guide service for full day

On first day we visited the Banpo Museum, Terracotta Warriors, Chinese Imperial Gardens and Hauging Pool

Second day we visited the Xi'an History Museum, Wild goose Pagoda, and City Wall.

During the time driving between hotel and sites Mary provide a wealth of Xi'an historical information in a friendly, easy to understand manner.

London, United...
Level Contributor
2 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Xi'an guide & driver (Mary)

Just come back from a visit to China which included a stay in Xi'an. I was introduced to Mary, a registered guide, who made my visit really worthwhile. She is very good and knowledgeable. I am always wary of tourist guides but this one proved that there are those you can trust. A few moments with her and you realise that she loves her city and its attractions - to her what she was doing was not just a job but showing off the best of China and her history. Being shown the sites was like travelling with a very knowledgeable friend.

Amazing service at an incredibly low cost. You can't beat 300 yuan for one day private car tour!

I recommend her to anyone who wants an enjoyable tour of Xi'an at a more than reasonable cost.

Contact her at maryguide@yeah.net Phone 86 -18706848837.

Oss, The Netherlands
1 post
Save Reply
4. Re: Xi'an guide & driver (Mary)

Early May 2014 I was in Xi'an for business of the Focus on Vision Foundation and had a day for rest and leisure. I decided to visit the famous destinations of Xi'an including a.o. the terracotta army. Through my hotel a guide had been arranged. I was very pleasantly surprised to be promptly awaited by Mary at the time agreed. She guided me the whole day during a private tour. Her English is perfect and she is witty. Her knowledge of the Xi'an attractions is good. And...she is a safe driver. She drives a well maintained and very clean car. In short: it has been a great pleasure to have been with her the whole day. I would like to recommend her to everyone who visits Xi'an. Her mailing address is mayguide@yeah.net and her telephone number is +86 187 0684 8837.

For further reference: Jan in 't Veld, the Netherlands, E jan@intveld.nl, T +31 625 060 444.

Oklahoma City...
Level Contributor
5 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Xi'an guide & driver (Mary)

I was in xian in may 2014, A fifty plus female on a solo trip .My guide in Xian was Lily. Excellent guide.Knowledgeable and helpful; spoke and communicated well in english Her driver picked me at the airport and dropped me at the train station on departure.I was unhappy with my room at the Bell tower hotel (which really needs renovation },so she found me a room at the Sofitel hotel AND helped me move. All her arrangements were excellent and I would use her again.Her email is xiantourslily@gmail.com

Edited: 08 June 2014, 01:24
2 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Xi'an guide & driver (Mary)

My friend, Vasantha, and I have used tour guides in Beijing and in Xian. Mary was our guide in Xian. There were only four of us in the group and we received much individual attention and all answers to our questions. Mary's English is good and her knowledge of Xian's history is excellent. We mainly wanted to see the terracotta warriors, of course, but the tour included much more. Watch out for the gift shops at the museums. The four farmers who discovered the terracotta warriors are often on site and will sign a book and have pictures made with you--for a price, of course. The ones in the gift shop and in the museum itself are the real deal--the government pays them to do this promotional work. There are hawkers of miniatures on the grounds. Don't pay more than 10 RMB or at most 20 for their wares. They will say 20 to Americans then tell you they mean dollars. That would be ridiculous, but they easily bargain down.

As with all of these tours, as far as my limited experience goes, there are stops at government run shops where you learn about Chinese traditional crafts (jade, terracotta, ceramics, furniture, etc.) and where you can buy things at "special prices". These things are certificated and most are beautiful craftsmanship. The tour company likely receives ample compensation for stopping but the stops are worth it. Just be careful of your expenditures.

A major highlight of the tour was the Banpu primitive village excavation. This excavation indicates that Chinese civilization began over 6000 years ago.

Trip cost: The Xian tour was more expensive than our Beijing tour--almost double--but still under $100. The amount does vary and Is suspect it is possible to bargain here also. When you stop for lunch, buy a beer or a soft drink because service will be better. No tipping means they rely on their beverage profits for the lunch.

All-in-all, this tour was a very good experience--kind of like being shown around a city's sights by a friend. I hope to stay in touch with Mary.

2 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: Xi'an guide & driver (Mary)

Just want to clarify since there is a typo in Mary's email address. It is maryguide@yeah.net

Amritsar, India
Level Contributor
101 posts
130 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Xi'an guide & driver (Mary)

Took Mary's services for Xian visit recently. She was really good , very knowledgeable about this historic city.

Her English is fluent and she is very helpful by nature.

She arranged a good car for us and her charges are very nominal .

Whosoever is visiting Xian should contact her so that their stay becomes enjoyable and planned .

Thank you Mary once again for making our stay wonderful.

West Midlands...
Level Contributor
1 post
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: Xi'an guide & driver (Mary)

Xi’an needs no introduction with so much excellent information already contained on this site, but for those of you looking for the assistance of an excellent English speaking tour guide & driver, then I can thoroughly recommend Mary. She has been a licensed English tour guide for 11 years, having previously been an English teacher in Xi’an. Her services are excellent value & she operates pre packaged group or private individually tailored tours to suit your needs. She may be contacted by phone 86-18706848837 or via email maryguide@yeah.net.

My tour with Mary.

This was my first visit to Xi’an, and I consider myself really fortunate to meet Mary. I had booked to visit the Terracotta Warriors, the tomb of the first emperor Qin Shi Huangdi, Huaqing Hot Springs & Banpo Neolithic Village as part of a small group tour which she was leading. Our visit to the Terracotta Warriors was preceded by a short informative visit to the official licensed factory where we witnessed replica Terracotta Warriors being produced in the same manner as the originals, alongside the production of ornately decorated lacquered furniture & traditional wood carvings. The items were good value & there was a comfortable relaxed atmosphere with no pressure to purchase anything.

We then proceeded to the Terracotta Warriors and Mary’s detailed knowledge really brought the site to life. If I’d visited here under my own steam I would certainly have not reached the same level of satisfaction.

Lunch was included at a traditional Chinese eating house, where the food provided was of excellent quality, ample quantity & with sufficient variety to cover most tastes.

After lunch we moved on to visit the site of the first Emperor’s Tomb, which was a short distance away.

Next was Huaqing Hot Springs, again Mary’s detailed knowledge came to the fore providing just the right level of detail.

Lastly we visited the archaeological site of Banpo Neolithic Village which gave a fascinating insight to a matriarchal society. Mary made the whole day thoroughly enjoyable. She was always accommodating, had a great personality & led the group at a comfortable pace. In comparison to similar tours this was great value. I personally tend to shy away from organised tours, preferring to explore alone, but I must admit I wouldn’t have had such an informative and interesting experience on my own.

During the day Mary freely provide suggestions & information on places to visit in Xi’an on my own to make the most of my stay. During conversations I mentioned that I was hoping to go to the Zhouzhi National Nature Reserve of Shaanxi which was a couple of hours drive south west of Xi’an, in the hopes of seeing a Panda in a more natural environment, but sadly I had been unable to find any tours available. Mary said she had a day free whilst I was in Xi’an & offered to drive me there for a very reasonable charge. I took her up on the offer and we had a fantastic day with a spectacular drive alongside the Qinling Mountain Range towards the reserve, passing through the site where Lou Guan Tai founded Taoism. There are around 20 Pandas living on the reserve in a natural habitat therefore there would be no guaranteed sightings. We scanned the enclosures for over 20 minutes when suddenly our first Panda was spotted. On seeing our excitement a couple of nearby reserve staff went & fetched me some bamboo & apples for me to feed to the Panda who was named “LO LU”. Shortly afterwards another Panda appeared whilst “LO LU” disappeared back into the undergrowth. Before leaving I was lucky enough to be blessed with my third sighting making it a truly memorable day. :-)

Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
1 post
16 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Xi'an guide & driver (Mary)

We just returned from a weekend trip to Xi'an. As we were travelling with our 8 month old daughter, we were looking for a tour guide and a driver and were lucky to find both in one person. We don't like to take taxi in China as you usually cannot fix a child seat on the back seat, so this was a perfect solution for us.

Mary was very friendly, helpful and flexible and made this a perfect weekend for us. We had contacted her shortly before flying to Xi'an and still had to make up a plan what to see during the stay. She had some very good suggestions when we met in the morning at the hotel and was also flexible to our changing requests during the day as it was extremly hot and we needed a break at the hotel for our daughter to cool down.

There is a lot already mentioned in the other replies, so I will keep it short by saying "I really recommend to contact Mary whenever you have the chance to visit Xi'an".

Reply to: Xi'an guide & driver (Mary)
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Xi'an
Recent Conversations