China

guest post: what are the benefits of an escorted china tour?

Posted on Updated on

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post contributed by Mediabuzzer. The views and opinions expressed in the post is that of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of Wise Monkeys Abroad.
Image by Josephine Lim via Flickr
Image by Josephine Lim via Flickr

The value of an organised, escorted tour through China is worth more than just peace of mind. It can translate into cost savings, making new friends for life, and perhaps one of the most important commodities we have: TIME.

There are too many benefits of a tailor-made China tour for us to list here and they are not difficult to articulate –let me assure you!

  1. Break the Language Barrier

China is a vast country with a variety of different language dialects which make up its diverse culture, and navigating them is no easy task if you are unfamiliar with them. Organising a custom escorted China tour will provide you with the sort of local backup one needs to manoeuvre on their journey.

  1. Get Your Papers Sorted

An escorted China tour company will assist you with obtaining the required paperwork you need to visit the country. Take a lot of the guesswork out of obtaining visas with the help of your tour company and spend more time doing what is important to you without the headaches that come with navigating visa requirements.

  1. Save Money

Organised tours will allow you to get bulk pricing on a number of destinations from hotels, resorts, attractions, and even food discounts at popular restaurants. Do not pay regular prices at places you travel to when you book your journey through a reputable tour company.

  1. Save Time

Escorted China tours 2016 will also help you book everything to your specification, from hotels to restaurants, just by answering their basic questions. A tour company will be able to string together your travel experience based on your preferences and open doors that you may not be able to open all on your own.

No waiting in long queues for tickets or meals. With an organised China tour operator, all of these tasks will be completed in advance of your journey so you can focus on enjoying yourself.

  1. Learn History

A popular China tour company will be able to hold your hand and walk you through every location you visit explaining all of the cultural nuances and historical significance as you go along. They are typically able to offer both entertaining and educational commentary every step of the way.

  1. Don’t Play the Fool 

With as diverse a culture as China’s, there are bound to be many ethnic and etiquette-related ways you might slip up if you are on your own however an accredited China tour facilitator will keep you in the loop as you go along.

  1. Avoid Tourist Traps 

Reputation is everything to a tour company and because they are always trying to attract more business due to the competition that comes with the job title, they’re going to treat you right by making sure that you are safe and that you do not get taken advantage of.

A tour company will ensure that you spend your money with other companies that are reputable and have your absolute best interests at heart, every single time.

Advertisements

buddhist cave art in the yungang grottoes

Posted on

With Le back into full-time work, time has just been slipping away. It has been over six months since we returned from our last overseas trip and we just are getting edgy to plan our next one.

At the moment, we have a few short local getaways planned but we are hoping for an overseas trip at some point for 2-3 weeks at the end of the year. We’ll see how it pans out.

In the meantime, let’s go down memory lane for a little bit. We thought we would look back on a UNESCO site that we visited back in 2012….

It was April 2012, and we were in China. We were rather unaware that it was still going to be COLD…. So very very cold!

The day we went to Yungang Grottoes it was absolutely freezing and windy. We can recall so clearly how we had the hoods of our windbreakers pulled tightly over our “beanied” heads, our scarves wrapped around our necks and up around our faces… just enough to reveal our eyes.

IMG_7052

The cold air was slicing through us despite our multiple layers…

But walking around the grottoes in that cold air was worth it! It was worth every teeth chatter, it was worth every shiver, it was worth the sting on our cheeks from the wind.

Before arriving at the caves, we walk down a path with tall majestic carved columns, then over a bridge with the frozen lake below.

IMG_7060

We had no idea what we were in for…

IMG_7062IMG_7064

There are more than 250 caves and more than 50 000 carved statues of all shapes and sizes. Impossible to see them all in the time we had there.

IMG_7106 IMG_7093

The sizes of the statues vary from tiny to massive – some are inside the caves while others are outside.

IMG_7073 IMG_7091 IMG_7094 IMG_7095 IMG_7096 IMG_7101 IMG_7099 IMG_7065 IMG_7067

The level of detail on the carvings was mindboggling. And to think this artwork dates back to the 5th and 6th Century, it had us in complete awe.

IMG_7092 IMG_7086

The visit to these grottoes was definitely an experience to remember for many reasons. By the end of that day, our cheeks were frozen solid!

 

Yungang Grottoes was listed as a UNESCO Heritage site in 2001.

To see the other UNESCO sites we have visited, visit our unofficial bucket list

 

weekly photo challenge: blur

Posted on

Most of our photos that are blurry, we delete straight away. So this challenge was hard for us but we managed to find one of the Xi’an wall.

IMG_7514

Do you keep photos that are blurred?

Have a great weekend!

Feel free to drop us a line here.

the top 5 that did not disappoint

Posted on

So we’ve written a post about the top 5 places that underwhelmed us, then we wrote about the top 5 unexpected places and now is our top 5 that was everything plus more than we expected. We should also qualify that we have had lots of “overwhelming” moments on our travel but we narrowed it down to our top 5 for this post – which wasn’t easy.

5. Galapagos Islands

IMG_5581

The place where Charles Darwin came up with his evolution theory.

The place where there is abundance and diversity.

The place where animals and humans can swim together and walk together.

The place we would recommend to everyone in a heartbeat!

4. Uluru

IMG_8901

In the centre of our home country lies the monolith that is ever so famous. It wasn’t only seeing Uluru itself that made this the most jaw-dropping memory we have in Australia, but it was the entire experience itself; seeing Uluru during the day, seeing Uluru changing colours, watching the sunset, being under the stars in the red centre, understanding more about the Indigenous Australian culture and beliefs.

We published a photo essay recently on Uluru if you want to see more photos.

3. Yellowstone National Park 

IMG_0507

Being the first National Park in the world and with 9000 square kilometres to explore, one cannot really not pass up the opportunity to visit here. We visited in October and we had snow – lots of it. And it only made the scenery so romantically magical.

We were able to catch glimpses of different wildlife, we visited Ol’ Faithful Geyser and we were mesmerised by the sweeping landscapes and colours.

This is one of the first places we ever visited that as soon as we left, we said, “We’re coming back here again!”

2. Lake Titicaca

IMG_4468

Floating reed islands? The minute we heard about these many years ago, we knew we had to visit it one day. And when we finally did, we fell in love. It didn’t matter that we were 3000+ metres above sea level and that every few steps we felt out of breath. Because as we stepped on the reeds and realised that we were actually walking on a floating island, the moment was ingrained in our memories forever. Looking around us, we saw the local residents waving to us in their colourful sweaters – welcoming us to their home. On this planet, there are plenty of unique places to see and this is one of them.

1. The Hanging Monastery

IMG_7119

In the side of the cliff, 50 metres above the ground, there stands the monastery/temple that conjures up images of ancient China immediately.

This is the first place that we have visited in the world that brought tears to our eyes. We were so overwhelmed with emotion, peering upwards at it that we did pinch ourselves to see that we were really awake. Then walking through it was another thing altogether – held by what look like only wooden logs – we prayed that it was still architecturally sound. We held our breath when we saw it and we held our breath when we walked through it.

There you have it – our TOP 5 places that met and exceeded our expectations. Any surprises?

There were a few others that were close contenders such as Machu Picchu, Neuschwanstein Castle, Carcassonne, New York City…… plus many more!

Where have you been that you had high expectations of and it delivered? 

Leave us a comment.