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We had a really wonderful time in your beautiful country and enjoyed our stay so much!

Name: Petra, Marcello and Federico

Nationality: Italian

Date: Jun 29, 2010

OP: Sarah

Hello Sarah,

now we are back again to Italy after our trip to China. I'm very sorry I did not write before, I was a little busy after our return....

We had a really wonderful time in your beautiful country and enjoyed our stay so much! Everything was organised well and this made it a very pleasant journey for us.

Our tour guides were all very nice and clever persons with plenty of informations on the country. In Beijing we had Mr Cheng for 2 days (one day the join-in tour was 6 people, the next day 14 people), in Lhasa we had Mr Lhakpa Tsering (join-in group was 8 people), in Xian we had Ms Valen as our private guide and in Guilin/Yangshuo Ms Danni as our private guide. We loved all of them, Danni was certainly the one who spoke English best!

The 2-days train ride from Bejing to Lhasa was a really authentic experience and we could see so much of the countryside both in China and in the Tibet region, I would recommend this to anyone coming to China! Arriving by train to Lhasa makes it also much easier to get acclimated to the altitude.
The hotels you had booked for us were all fine. We just LOVED the Zhong Tang hotel in Beijing, it gives you a really Chinese way of living in a traditional courthouse and the location is excellent, just 10 minutes walk across the hutongs to the Shichahai lake area which was beautiful in the evening. We also booked the Zhong Tang hotel for the last 2 nights when we came back to Beijing after our DCT(Discover China Tours) tour had finished.

The Shangbala Hotel in Lhasa was ok and clean, breakfast was not so excellent but we had dinner in the Chinese restaurant and this was good. The hotel has a very good position, close to a lively street with lots of shops and restaurants and you can walk to Barkhor square and the Jokhang temple in 5 minutes. Moreover there is an ATM for international credit cards just in front of the hotel where you can withdraw money at any time without any problem.

The Xian Walker Boutique Hotel in Xian was a very modern hotel, very luxurious and spacious rooms, everything new, very good Chinese and Western breakfast buffet. Unfortunately we had pretty much rain in Xian so could not see the ancient city walls which should be of some interest.

The Hotel Universal in Guilin was not so bad but on our first night there we had a room on the 7th floor, the room was good and clean but the floor really looked a little shabby and not too clean. When we came back for our second night we got an upgrade for a very big room on the 5th floor and this was definitely better, the whole floor was kept in better conditions. The hotel has an excellent position right on the Li river and we had a wonderful view on the river. Breakfast buffet (Chinese and Western) was very good.

The Tang Ren Jie Hotel in Yangshuo was also good, we only stayed for one night, the hotel is very new and is close to the town center so you can easily have a walk in the evenings. Breakfast was nice and we even got a welcome drink for free when we arrived!

All internal flights and transfers were ok, we only had a small problem in Beijing with the guide who was supposed to accompany us to the West Station for the train to Lhasa, I don't know the name of this person but he was busy with other tourists in the evening and could not manage to come so we had to go to the staion with only the driver, and our friend Mr Ottaviani had to reach the train station by his own in a hurry. Anyway we could manage and there was no problem in the end, the guide also called several times on the phone to make sure we could reach the train in time.

I am attaching a photo of ourselves to this e-mail, some more emails for you and for Valen / Danni will follow, if you have any chance please send them along to Valen and to Danni, I had asked their email addresses but unfortunately could not find them any more when I came back home.....

Thank you again so much for making our trip a very positive experience and a wonderful holiday!!! We hope to come back to your country as soon as possible, and if we do we will certainly contact you again!

Best regards from Italy

Petra, Marcello and Federico