Nexus China Tour
Nexus China Tour Reviews
Nexus China Tour Oct 17, 2011
Nexus China Highlight 9 Days Tour – Beijing, Nanjing, Wuxi, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai
I took the tour in March 2011.
Nexus 9 Days Tour is very reasonably priced and includes the internal flight from Beijing to Nanjing, mostly 5 star hotels, all meals, a co-ordinator in Beijing and one in the other cities, local guides in each city, bus transportation and transfers from/to the airport, admission fees to most attractions, and personal attention to any requests. The low price is offset by the number of shopping stops which are included in the tour. However, most shopping stops have an introduction which is informative and instructive even if you don’t shop. There was no pressure to buy anything at any time – many people in our tour did a lot of shopping.
Because of Nexus’ association with the government of China, and the large number of offices and guides throughout China, I believe that Nexus sometimes had special access to attractions such as preferred bus parking and preferred drop off points for attractions that other tour companies may not be able to offer.
There were a few activities which involved an extra charge such as an evening karate show (not worth the extra cost according to someone who went) a canal cruise in Souzhou and a foot or body massage in Souzhou (reasonably priced and worth the extra cost) and a night boat cruise on the Huangpu river in Shanghai (do not miss it!). Transportation was provided to all the extra activities. If someone wanted an extra foot massage the Nexus representative tried to arrange it at the hotel.
Many of the hotels were out of the city centers, and it seemed as if we sometimes spent quite a bit of time criss-crossing the city for meals, sightseeing, and getting to the hotel. Since we often didn’t get to the hotels until 9 o’clock or so after dinner, everyone was tired so the fact that the hotels were out of the city center didn’t really matter.
There was always enough to eat, and most meals were good, with some very good meals. There was an emphasis on vegetables and the fish portions (often with lots of bones) were often not enough for the full table. At each meal there was a bottle of pop and a couple of large beers on the table for those who wanted them. Lots of green tea. In the mornings, the breakfast was supplied buffet style in the hotels, and included a large selection of western and asian foods, often with special stations for eggs, noodles or other items.
As usual with a tour group, there were lots of times we had to wait while someone used the washrooms, tried to do some extra shopping, or spent too much time shopping at the shopping stops. Telling people they had to be back on the bus after a certain time would have eliminated some of the long waits for people to finish purchasing items. Realize that the shopping stops are the cost for such a low initial cost of the tour. The tour guides often talked for far too long when people wanted to sit back on the bus and watch the scenery go by or sleep, or at attractions when the time would have been better spent actually getting out and seeing the attraction than standing around listening to the guide. Since this was the first tour of the season there were a few minor glitches, but the Nexus representatives were able to work everything out satisfactorily. There were two group photos taken which you could purchase, one in Beijing and another in Hangzhou.
Tips were $10 a day for the bus driver and tour guides, and could be paid in Yuan, US, Canadian, or Australian dollars. For our tour we paid all the tips on the last day, but that may vary depending on the tour.
Shopping stops included a jade factory, Cloisonne factory, herbal medicine center, painting inside the bottle gallery, silk bedding and clothing store, freshwater pearl jewelry store, a tea plantation, and jewelry store. There was no bargaining on the price in the government run stores, although sometimes they would provide an additional item if you purchased a certain amount.
Always have a supply of toilet paper and hand wipes with you since toilet paper and hand towels or air hand dryers were often not available. Be prepared for lots of squat toilets and try to arrange your schedule to use the hotel washrooms in the morning and evening. A hint – if you see a handicapped toilet it probably has a sit-down toilet.
If you buy silk sheet sets, be aware that they really don’t compress all that much and some airline overhead bins may not have enough room to hold them.
Be prepared for lots of walking since the drop off point from the bus to the attraction may involve quite a bit of walking. Stops at the Great Wall and Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum involve lots of stairs – up and down.
If you shop at any place other than the government run stores you can usually bargain. Start at about 10% of what the price says.
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