Sadly it’s time to wrap up my Sinorama Holidays China tour with some final thoughts and observations. These are in no particular order but I hope will be helpful to Westerner’s considering a trip to this country.
There’s a lot of negative perspectives on the internet about Sinorama Holidays, Chinese airlines, the people and more that I just didn’t find true and am glad I didn’t let those opinions scare me away.
I could never have seen as many sights or have spent so little if I tried to do it myself. The guides were all very good to excellent and John, who was with us from airport pickup to the final morning, was kind, patient and a wonderful person.
I did think some of the shopping stops were too long and the pace through some of the sights (particular Tienanmen Square and Forbidden City) was too quick.
Here’s a few thoughts that weren’t covered in the previous 20 plus posts. 🙂
The buses were in good shape and had overhead storage in addition to under the seat. A couple had footrests but none had a restroom. Stops are made every 2 to 2 1/2 hours with opportunities to use the restroom so it wasn’t an issue for the group.
Our bus in Beijing had several broken seats in terms of they wouldn’t stay upright.
The hotels were all excellent and met or exceeded the typical 3-4 start ones I use when traveling for business in the U.S. Details are covered in the specific posts here, here and here.
All meals were included on my tour and ranged from excellent to terrible with the majority in the good category. All breakfasts were very good to excellent and had western options. There were really only two terrible meals and I had protein bars and nuts to supplement those meals.
Just know you will get very tired of Chinese food as there are no western lunches or dinners. Also, until we got on the river cruise lunches were typically between 1 or 2 pm and then we’d had an early dinner of 5 or 5:30!
I met some great people and only a few I wouldn’t want to travel with again. One lady in particular was very annoying and acted as if she was on a private tour. Everyone had to hear about her problems and she responded to everything the guides said as if it was a private conversation.
Overall, great group.
My travels to and within China involved three of their airlines: Air China, China Easter and China Southern. All exceeded my expectations were fairly new aircraft, professional crew and good service.
I only liked the food on Air China but it was the only one I flew internationally.
I had heard a lot about how rude Chinese people can be (by our standards) with pushing and shoving in public spaces. I only experienced this when trying to get on a hotel elevator in Xi’an and my own assertive nature came out and let them know it to cool it.
Really, it was better than a Black Friday sale! In fact, at the Terracotta warrior pits, several times Chinese people purposely made room to let me get to the front. They were also cute when asking me or tour mates to take our pictures with them.
I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to China again and look forward to using my 10 year visa before it runs out to see areas we didn’t cover this trip. If you have the chance to travel to this amazing country, do it!
Don’t miss the previous China posts linked below.
Going to China (tour and visa)
China: Trip Preparations
November 12-13, 2016: Travel to Beijing
November 14, 2016: Beijing and Great Wall
November 14, 2016: Ming Tombs and Peking Duck Dinner
West International Trade Hotel Beijing
November 15, 2016: Hutong and Temple of Heaven
November 15, 2016: Tiananmen Square, Fobidden City and Beijing Opera
November 16, 2016: Pearl Factory and Summer Palace
November 16, 2016: Traveling to Xi’an
November 17, 2016: Jade Factory and Terra Cotta Warriors
November 17, 2016: Dumpling Dinner and Tang Dynasty Opera
Grand Barony Xian Hotel
November 18, 2016: Traveling to Wuhan
Howard Johnson Pearl Plaza Wuhan
November 19, 2016: Wuhan to Jingzhou
November 19, 2016: Boarding the Century Diamond
November 20, 2016: Yangtze River and Three Gorges Dam
November 21, 2016: Yangtze River and Goddess Stream
November 22, 2016: Yangtze River and Shibaozhai Pagoda
November 23, 2016: Chongqing to Beijing
November 23, 2016: Beijing to Home
China Packing Lists
Thanks for posting about your trip. We leave for this same itinerary in 3 weeks. Just curious about the cost of the internet package for on the cruise? Do you remember what the costs were?
Hi Eileen. It was 300 Yuan for the unlimited in room connection; less (although I don’t recall amount) for access from the lobby.
Kristina Zbylut says
We just returned from our Sinorama trip a few weeks ago-it was amazing and we can’t wait to go back! I really wanted to thank you for your trip blog and tips; you prepared us for so much (Pstyle included!). We had a hard time finding any information about Sinorama tours, so your blog proved invaluable! Three out of the four in our group read your postings, so your name and experiences came up often when we embarked on a new day (I think our tour mates started to wonder who this “KayLynn” was!). Thank you again for taking the time to share your trip!
Thank you for coming back and letting me know the trip report was helpful. I’m so glad you enjoyed the trip!
Stevie Magid says
Loved your trip so much that now I don’t need to take it! Great pictures and wonderful dialogue of your experiences. Would love to read about your trip to Italy. Please send me the link.
Your blog is so full of useful info! Thank you! We will be going on Sinorama’s 15 day Imperial China tour in April. Did you have any opportunities to try snacks from different vendors while touring? The only extra excursion that I saw offered, that we didn’t take was the dump,into dinner. We are signed up for a night time tour & dinner in Beijing & the acrobat show in one of the cities (I’m so overwhelmed, I can’t remember the details!). I will purchase the VPN plan that you suggested-thank you! Would that allow my son to watch Netflix or YouTube in China?
You’ll love the trip! There were limited opportunities to buy snacks from vendors. I would caution against it. Two different people on my tour became ill after buying snacks from vendors. It’s best to pack your own.
I didn’t try to stream videos but as long as the connection is fast enough I believe they are accessible with the VPN. You’ll have to check the vpn site for more information.
Arrrgh! I’m not tech-savvy, I purchased the Express VPN, but not understanding, when you were in china, did you need to search for which vpn to use as you traveled from place to place? Thank you.
I let it auto select the best server to connect to each time.
Jim and Joan Reed says
Thanks for such a great blog! Loved all the pix and videos.
We are leaving on a 15 day Wild China Sinorama tour in 2 weeks and your info is proving very helpful. Very nice effort and good to know what to expect. Shared your site with 3 other couples who will be going too.
Jim and Joan Reed
Thanks so much for the kind words! I hope you have a wonderful trip.