China Links Travel

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Latest Reviews

“What a fantastic tour!”


written by on 13/04/2016

I have just spent 12 days touring China with China Links Travel. What a marvellous trip! The planning and organisation was faultless, including the obtaining of a Chinese Visa. The guides (3 of them) were helpful, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and humorous. The sights that we saw were awe-enspiring and we made maximum use of our time in China. The group was small-ish (9 to 11 people) and was just right. The hotels top notch and the food was beautiful. All at a great price too! I could not fault this tour. Well done China Links Travel!

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“Beijing-Xian-Yangtze-Shanghai tour ”


written by MichaelGibson on 23/11/2011

My wife and I have just returned on the 15/11/2011 from a great tour with China Links Travel and I must say it was the trip of a lifetime. I had been browsing the websites before I decided on this company and although the cost was considerably lower than other tour companies, I would like to bet that the services were every bit as good. The China Air flight from Heathrow was smooth and although 10 hours plus, you have your own screen to watch hundreds of movies to pass the time ( 2 meals and free drinks provided) Our arrival in Beijing Airport saw us meet our guide, Toby Lee. We were to have different guides at each city who were all very good but I cannot stress enough what a great guy this is. The guides were all very knowledgeable, polite, spoke good English and were helpful in every way that they could. Each guide ensured that we were checked in at Hotels, Airports, Train and Ship, literally staying with us until the last moment of departure, very reassuring. Each hotel was spotlessly clean. Electric sockets take flat 2 pin adaptors for charging your batteries etc. The service and food was very good with no problems of upset stomachs.(stick to the bottled water) One thing about the meals, don’t expect the courses to come in a set order. One of you might get your soup, then both a main course, then the second soup arrives before the rice has been served. The arranged lunches during the day when we were on our excursions I can only describe as top class at each of the different restaurants, which were also spotlessly clean The only difference was when we visited the Hutons where a meal was provided by a local family. This also was most pleasant and an enjoyable experience. Not a problem asking for a fork anywhere if you don’t use chopsticks. Breakfast on the ship ( Victoria 3 )is buffet style with plenty of choices with the welcome banquet and farewell banquet allowing you to be waited on. We never bothered eating on the train as it was 8pm when we boarded and to be honest, not particularly hungry after our meals during the day. We opted for the overnight train hoping to see more of the country, but our friends from Canada had opted to upgrade to a flight to Xian, which we would do if we ever made this trip again. Other than when we were on the ship, we had our own people carrier (a nice, modern, air-conditioned vehicle) for each excursion, so the 4 of us could ammend the itinerary if we needed to, although we did more or less stay to the original plan.The usual bartering is necessary with the locals for your souveniers, the best tip we got from our guide Toby was to stick to the first price that YOU decide. If you change your mind, they've got you, but it's all part of the fun. As well as the main sights detailed in the tour itinerary, we took in 2 operas a Kung Fu show. We also tried the Peking Duck, which is a must, as is also a visit to the TV Tower in Shanghai ( not for the faint hearted) Not a lot of time for atmospheric shots if you are in to photography due to the busy itinerary, it only leaves you to take loads of record shots. You need a fast telephoto/zoom lens for the Terracotta Warriors (photography allowed but no flash) I would definitely recommend China Links Travel to anyone if they want a great tour, at a very reasonable price for everything that you get. Once more,the tour guides were exceptional, especially Toby!!! Finally,I would also like to thank Helen, of China Links Travel in London, who was most helpful in answering all of my queries before we set off on this great tour.

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“General comments: First of all, I thought the holiday...”


written by maryphillips on 12/10/2011

General comments: First of all, I thought the holiday was fantastic value for money. The hotels we stayed in were very good, the internal flights were efficient and comfortable, and the activities/visits we did were first class. I also thought we were extremely well fed! Tour Guides: They were all first class. They were so well informed in their subjects, and made it interesting. They were all very different characters, and I liked the individual angle each one brought to the subject, and also the imagination and flexibility they showed. I loved the impromptu trip to the Art and Calligraphy school in Xian. Our guide in Dali decided we would cut the lake cruise and took us cormorant fishing instead, which was awesome, and one of the highlights of the holiday for me. Angel, our guide in Guilin/Yangshuo, was wonderful when our coach broke down and the whole thing was dealt with so efficiently, with no fuss and very little delay. We actually enjoyed out little wait by the roadside because we could have a breather, take photos of the countryside and look at the plants and the birds! The drivers were all excellent too, especially Mr Ho in Dali/Lijiang who got us safely through the mountains on a hair-raising and dangerous road. The guides were all very considerate of our individual needs. I was particularly glad that they knew where to find the best loos! They also made sure, when we were going to miss a meal because of a flight schedule, that we had something to eat. I found tipping the guides was at times a difficult issue - not because I didn’t think they were worth it, because they certainly were. Some of the party, however, clearly wanted to give less and this was embarrassingly obvious when we were in a small group. We were all in some doubt whether we were giving too much or not enough. Accommodation: The hotels exceeded my expectations and were extremely comfortable. As we got to the slightly more out-of-the-way places, there were little snags (for example the plumbing in our room in Dali and Lijiang), but nothing major and it was all such an interesting experience. The worst moment in the holiday for me was when we arrived late and tired in Shanghai from Lijiang, and the receptionist tried to take a 500 Yuan deposit off each of us for the rooms. There were only four of us and perhaps he didn’t realise we were part of a tour. Anyway, we just refused, so he cut off our minibar and TV facilities, and we felt a bit downtrodden and humiliated. When we talked to the others we realised he had indeed made a mistake, because they were not asked for a deposit, so we reported it to the guide, and I think she dealt with it. However, this was just one bad experience in an overall very good experience, and not the fault of China Links. Transport: Very comfortable and efficient. The buses were on time and comfortable, and all well and safely driven. The internal flights were excellent and the guides got us through any problems. We were very touched, on our return journey from Lijiang to Shanghai, when we had to change in Kunming and claim our baggage to check in again. We thought we were on our own, but found a China Links guide (Bamboo) waiting for us to help us get through the check-in in time. She had heard that our plane had been delayed. We really appreciated this care. Service Staff: All excellent. Food: Generally excellent. I personally enjoyed it more, the further we got away from the big cities, in the less sophisticated restaurants. For instance we had wonderful meals in Dali, Lijiang, and the villages. I was less keen on being herded with all the other Western tourists into these huge buffets, but I could appreciate that it was a safe and efficient option in some places. For me the best meal ever was the dumpling supper in Xian. It went on and on! Thank you for an unforgettable experience. I have seen and learned so much, and it seemed like three months instead of just under three weeks. The whole country is changing so fast that next year it will all be different, but I would still like to go again! Mary Phillips 4 October 2011

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“Me and my wife recently returned from a 2 week holiday...”


written by on 09/05/2011

Me and my wife recently returned from a 2 week holiday in China and we had the most wonderful time. We visited 4 cities - Beijing , Datong , Xian and Shanghai . Upon arrival our guide picked us up and dropped us to the hotel. She was extremely polite and spoke really good English. Not having to worry about queuing up for tickets at monuments is a big plus. Our guide arranged this for us. She was also a good photographer and pointed out good photo spots. We were so impressed by the monuments. They were absolutely amazing.

Every morning our guide would pick us up at an agreed time. They were always on time ready with the driver. As we travelled to 4 cities we had 4 separate guides and every single one of them was always on time so we had no complaints at all.

Me and my wife are both vegetarians so before travelling to China we had some concerns about food. I mentioned this to China Links Travel and they communicated this message to the guides in China so they could take us to restaurants which can cater for vegetarians. To my surprise there were various restaurants that could cater for our needs.

Having a local guide really helps as he/she is knowledgeable about local restaurants and can communicate our requirements to the waitress/chef. Overall food was not an issue at all.

We had a wonderful time on this holiday and booking it with China Links Travel was a wise decision. We have recommend China Links Travel to our friends and family and they are keen to book as well. I will certainly book more holidays with them.


- Great English speaking knowledgeable guides.
- Guides always on time.
- Various vegetarian restaurants around.
- No queuing at monuments.
- Personal driver.
- Fantastic hotels.

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“Our Tour with China Links Travel was absolutely...”


written by TerryLondon on 06/05/2011

Our Tour with China Links Travel was absolutely wonderful. All five of us had an amazing time, it's just a shame that it is over now and we all have to go back to work and studies! The whole holiday was extremely good fun and well organised and we have hundreds of memories that will last a lifetime and between us enough photographs to fill a book. The sights in China lived up to our expectations, our Guides were really very good, the food was lovely, the accommodation was better than we had expected and we even joked that it was the 'China Tour for Idiots' because everything was so well organised for us that we felt guilty not doing any work ourselves! We could hardly have asked for a better three weeks. We cannot thank China Links Travel and the boss lady Helen enough for all the work she did and the value was, to put it simply, unbelievable. If you need any written testimonials or anything for the website, let us know, we'd definitely recommend this company to our friends and family and hopefully some of them will be able to have an experience similar to our fantastic one. And anyone else wondering if it is a good idea to go with a smaller company, we can only say we did and we wouldn't have changed a thing.

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“Well, we're back safe and sound from a wonderful...”


written by helen889 on 05/07/2010

Well, we're back safe and sound from a wonderful holiday ! I have to say that we were delighted with the way things ran so smoothly. We were always met punctually by the guides and were delivered safely to our hotels and checked in without any problems. The hotels were exactly what we expected - all were fine with some being better due to the star ratings we had selected.

Arrangements for food all ran smoothly and we enjoyed the selection of restaurants and the food chosen by the guides. The only small matter to mention was that in Beijing on our first day, we were told that a mistake had been made and that they should not have confirmed lunch and an evening meal for us on our itinerary and that it was not included.They offered to arrange an evening meal at a discounted price of 60 RMB per person, which we accepted.

The guides were all friendly, willing and efficient - with most of them speaking very good English - although one or two either had a very strong accent making it difficult to understand or had more limited vocabulary making it difficult to communicate fully with us. They were also flexible and were happy to accommodate the occasional request from us to do something that was not scheduled when there was time available.

As the organiser for us in the UK was excellent. They delivered everything they said they would and to the quality promised. So, a very big thank to China Links Travel for making our holiday problem free and all the more enjoyable as we always had confidence in their arrangements !

Now we are back home and have reflected on the holiday, we feel they gave us fantastic value for money and we would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending them to others.

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“For most people a two week sightseeing tour of China...”


written by Dickyb on 24/06/2010

For most people a two week sightseeing tour of China will be a holiday of a lifetime, so it is critical to choose a reliable and efficient tour operator.

China Links Travel ( may be a new operator in the UK but they supplied a wonderful and relaxing, well organised trip at a very reasonable cost. Both my wife and I found this post retirement holiday a wonderful self gift for a working life and fulfilled a lifelong dream.

Your trip can be enhanced if you are forewarned of some points we found useful to know. All the flights are fully ticket free and are totally electronically generated bookings; you will not get a ticket. Trust the system and just present your passport at each airport check-in desk. Your local Chinese guide will easily find you on arrival and take right through to the boarding point when transferring.

I would strongly recommend that you take a full photocopy set up all the key paperwork including your passports and particularly the flight arrangements and to keep these very safe until you return home.

Your long haul flight baggage allowance might be 30 kg, but they only permit a very strict 20 kg allowance for all the internal flights, so take care and attempt to keep your suitcase weight to below 18 kg if possible, giving yourself a little allowance for accidental overfilling. We took with us small luggage weighing scales. You can carry a lot of hand baggage which is useful when returning home with lots of presents as it was in our case. Don't forget the very strict rule carrying liquids in hand baggage which is easily forgotten on the internal flights and any liquid container over 100ml, flammable or explosive materials (which includes even very small aerosols) these will be confiscated as happened to us with expensive insect replant and sun cream.

All the hotels were first class; no problems with travel arrangements were experienced. Don't forget some loo paper -- all hotels and restaurants are fine, but outside they are stand-up loo's and no toilet paper so carry your own just in case!

There was a consistently high standard of local Chinese English speaking tour guides, who are all government licensed and very knowledgeable well educated and extremely polite people. They put in a lot of effort to meet all our needs both for historical interest and down to finding a loo in a hurry when caught short or finding a shop for that thing you forgot to pack. NB: If you like to wander off on your own, I strongly recommend that you always take down your current guide's mobile telephone number and hotel address/telephone number, as you will be in a country where very few people speak fluent English and it could be difficult and frightening if you do get lost in a busy and crowded place.

You may be advised that tips are not required and you will certainly never be asked for them by anybody. However the current practice throughout the country and with all the major tour operators equally, are that guides and appointed drivers will be relying on their tips to survive as for many of them this is their only source of income, they are not always paid a fixed wage. As a personal guide only, we decided to give each guide 100 Yuan per full day and 50 Yuan for less than one day and half that for the drivers. Talking to other British tourists we seemed to be giving the typical average.

I took a four outlet electric trip extension adapter to keep camera batteries and mobile phones topped up. Some hotels have normal UK square pin sockets or you will need to use the square pin to 2 parallel pin adapter bought from holiday shops.

We did drink the hotel tap water but it must always be boiled first. All the hotels supplied adequate free bottled water. If you like a cup of coffee in the bedroom, you will need to bring with you the small sachets of coffee/powdered milk is all the complimentary drinks are tea of all kinds. Neither of us had any tummy upsets.

You'd be wise to carry a lightweight pocket rain-mac and a small collapsible umbrella particularly if visiting during the rainy season. You would be wise to wear suitable footwear for the many steps and sometimes long walks.

Don't forget all the meals are Chinese using a rice bowl, so practice using chopsticks before you go and remember the soup is always drunk last. The meal was often presented in parts, so start eating when it arrives. There was always one free complementary free drink per meal including beer and soft drinks but not spirits. You knew when the meal had finished when the water melon arrived.

You will visit many and varied restaurants and try all sorts of new foods -- try it first and enjoy it -- before asking what it is, otherwise you might miss out something rather special.

You really will have a wonderful and enchanting time with many varied experiences just relax and go with the flow. Some of your days will be long with early and late starts. But if you have the stamina I would really recommend that you do try to get to some of the evening shows they really are wonderful and a relatively low cost.

I hope you have is a wonderful experience as we have had and I'm very pleased that we chose China Links Travel as our tour operator and feel confident to recommend them.

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