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A full day tour of Beijing

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A full day tour of Beijing

Postby judgegeoff » 22 Apr 2018 07:46

Later this year Chris(Seamouse) and I will be visiting China for a cruise to Japan. The package includes flights to Beijing, 3 nights in a good hotel, a conducted tour of the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, a flight from Beijing to Shanghai and a night in a hotel there before embarking on the RCI ship "Quantum of the Seas" for a cruise around Japan. On return to Shanghai we will be flown back to the UK.

As we have almost two full leisure days in Beijing we decided to look at local tours and have booked a full day tour (8 hours) through ''. They pick you up from your hotel in the morning in an air-conditioned 10-15 seater coach and take you to the Beijing Zoo to see the giant pandas. We are then driven to the 'Birds Nest' a covered sports stadium built for the 2008 Olympic Games, followed by a visit to the 'Water Cube' where the Olympic swimming, diving and other aquatic sports were held. From here we are driven to the Lama Temple for a conducted tour.

After a typical Chinese lunch (included in the price) we will be taken on a 2 hour Hutong (Beujing old lanes) tour by rickshaw. We will then be driven to Jingshan, an old Imperial garden, where we can look down upon the Forbidden City. Our final stop will be at a silk factory and shop (where else!) before being returned to our hotel in the early evening. All entrance fees are included and the services of an English speaking guide. They have confirmed our booking but do not require a deposit - full payment will be taken by the guide when we are on the bus.

The price per person for this full day tour, inclusive of lunch, is 200 RBM, 34 US dollars or £22.69 in real money! Now I am aware that China gives excellent value for money, but it does make me wonder if we are being ripped off by the cruise companies. On disembarkation in Shanghai RCI are offering a 4 hour panoramic tour of the city with drop off at the airport for £56 per person, bearing in mind that they are already committed to transporting us from the port to the airport as part of the overall package.

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Re: A full day tour of Beijing

Postby tomvet » 22 Apr 2018 08:44

Yes Geoff - the cruiselines do charge a premium, in my mind it's a rip off as I can usuually work out a cheaper alternative and this is more so when you are dealing with 5 persons. For example your Shanghai predeparture tour would cost us £280. We certainly would get a private transfer for less than that. For two the saving if any would be less so for a couple who want to have the convenience of being directed to where they need to go, it may represent value for money, however when you compare the actual cost of providing the service and allowing a reasonable mark up - I think you will agree that the mark up is unreasonable and therein the rip off sentiment lies.

I wonder how much the poor guy who hauls overweight western tourists arund the hutongs in his Rickshaw gets paid? I bet he earns more in modest tips than what his basic pay gives?
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