My husband and I planned to be in Beijing in early July and had 4 weekdays available for an excursion to Xi'an. To make arrangements, I decided to try WildChina, based on information and reviews (on sites such as Tripadvisor) that I found on the internet.
From my first contacts with their offices in Berkeley, CA, and then Beijing, the WildChina agents were responsive and helpful. They arranged an itinerary that was well-paced and took into account our preferences - e.g. we took the bullet train to Xi'an, flight back; and they booked an excellent hotel. All transfers were seamless. In four days, we had a range of experiences, from biking on the city wall, to, of course, seeing the Terra Cotta Warriors, to visiting a farmers' home to make dumplings. And while there were shopping opportunities, there was none of the pressure that I experienced on a previous trip in China years ago.
The heat was fierce the week we were in Xi'an, something I dreaded; however, all transportation, restaurants, hotel, even the farmers' home! was air conditioned, so that the heat did not overwhelm our enjoyment of the trip.
Our guide was delightful - friendly, intelligent, prompt, professional (with excellent English), she effortlessly kept us on schedule without feeling rushed. Our driver was also terrific, a man of few words with a great disposition and an uncanny ability to maneuver in chaotic traffic. His vehicle, a van, was spotlessly clean, cool, and perfectly comfortable, with bottled water always available from a cooler.
It was our first time in Xi'an and we did not deviate from our itinerary, which covered all Xi'an highlights and was, as I've said, full yet well-paced. (Btw the bike ride on the city wall was an experience I would like to repeat in cooler weather..)
In all, we had a great time and hope to travel with WildChina again in future.
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