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Author: gavin carpenter
Date of Trip: September 2012

28 days in China, not enough. We did the usual tourist run that most tours do, warriors, bears, temples etc however we had a private car with driver and an english speaking guide at every stop over. This gave us the independence that we like, more time if we wanted, less time at other places we were not really interested in. We also travelled by train rather than fly as many tourist groups do. The fast trains were all good, the one overnight slow one was an experience to sat the least, probably a bit less comfortable than the trans siberia train which was no first class, but fun anyway.

Guides met us at the stations and dropped us off again several days later. We also insist that the guides and drivers, if they will, have a meal with us where ever we may be. We get to learn more about them, them about us and we have great fun explaining the english language in many cases. They are taught english parrot fashion and what they have to say but throw something at them from out of the square and they are lost but we have a lot of fun explaining what we mean. World wide we have found english as a second language can be taught but the comprehension, and sometime the pronunciation is sadly lacking. More fun teaching these things and really getting to know locals who work as guides. In a number of occasions they have taken us to out of the way places that we would not have seen had we been a bit uppity and not been prepared to laugh and carry on. We will keep doing travel our way rather than group tours and suggest everyone at least look at this way of travel. Have not checked the price but do not believe it was all that much mose expensive.

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