Tag Archives: suzhou

Explore China with Wild China

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Wild China is an exceptional travel company that offers amazing trips of a lifetime in China and southeast Asia. Over the years, Wild China has received numerous awards, including NatGeo’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime and Travel + Leisure’s Trips of a Lifetime. It has also been named one of NatGeo’s Best Adventure Travel Companies (On Earth).

Wild China was conceived by founder and Yunnan local Mei Zhang during a 56km pilgrimage in the Himalayas. During her grueling hike, she had no guide, lodgings or transport. Her challenges inspired her to pioneer a service for other travelers to enjoy China’s stunning cultural and natural landmarks with expertise and comfort.

For those exploring China for the first time, their escorted itineraries take guests to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, and other familiar marks on the map. Experience China with an experience team of travel professionals, with just your family or in a small group of 12 like-minded individuals.

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For seasoned travelers, Wild China offers personalized adventures in unique locations, such as the rugged Xinjiang Province or the Tibetan Plateau. Their team of expert adventurers will take you on unforgettable journey through the rich landscape that is East Asia.

Trips are offered as private tours (fully flexible) or small group tours (with scheduled departures). They also lead education tours designed to empower young people to make a difference in local communities.

Upcoming Trips Include: 

4-Day Beijing’s Past & Future

5-Day Escape to Lhasa

10-Day Ancient Tea and Horse Road with adventurer Jeff Fuchs

13-Day Gastronomic Tour of China with food writer Fuchsia Dunlop

and many more!

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Call your agent at Wittravel to learn more about these awesome trips—503.224.0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Filed under Asia, Bhutan, China, India, Thailand, Tibet

On the Ground in China!

Considering a guided trip to China but can’t visualize your day to day? Step into our On the Ground with WIT Agent Barb Baumer. Barb traveled to China in March 2013 with one of our favorite small group tour organizers, General Tours.

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We stayed at the Sofitel in Beijing, a very nice hotel in a good location, not too far from Tiananmen Square. In the morning we had a walking tour of the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven. In the afternoon we visited we visited the Great Wall. There are now two locations most frequented by visitors, General Tours goes to this newer location called Ju Yong Guan, as it is less crowded with visitors.

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After one day in Beijing, we flew to Xian for an experience unique to General Tours—GT partners up with the Antiquity museum and allowed us to examine and handle ancient artifacts thousands of years old, all of which have been recently excavated from archaeological sites all across China.

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We also visited the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian. It’s an amazing place, much larger than I expected. IT’s hard to comprehend the enormity of the area and the amount of artifacts that have been uncovered. They are still working to rebuild many broken statues!DSC01028

We then flew to Chongqing to start our Yangtze River Cruise on the Yangtze Explorer. This ship has large rooms, all with balconies and lots of storage space, very substantial buffets for breakfast and lunch, with multiple a la carte choices for dinner. We stopped at the village Fengdu and sailed through the Three Gorges.

In Shanghai we spent time walking along the Bund and Pudong. General Tours took us to a small silk factory where we were educated on the production of silk fabric. We also spent time at the Shanghai Museum, which has great collections of Chinese artifacts, sculptures, paintings and ceramics from many different eras.

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We also were set up for a private guided trip to Suzhou, Portland’s Sister City—the city has so many gardens—it was early spring and things were just starting to bloom. We took a high speed train and met a guide in Hangzhou, a beautiful city on a lake surrounded by green hills. We visited a Buddhist temple in the hills and a tea farm—a nice respite from the bustling Shanghai.

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WIT Agent Barb would love to share with you more of her firsthand tips from China! Call Barb at 503-224-0180 for more information on China and/or General Tours.

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Filed under Asia, China, General Tours, Vendors

Where in the World is the WIT Agent? — Suzhou, China

This week Pam is taking the train to Suzhou to sightsee before starting her Viking River Cruise tour.

Suzhou is Shanghai’s little sister – lying about 115 km (71 mi) from the bustling metropolis. Coincidentally, she is also the sister city of Portland, OR, WIT’s hometown!

Pam is sure to enjoy this peaceful and beautiful town, for centuries nourished by the Grand Canal and as many as 60 gorgeous gardens, many of whom have been recognized on the World Heritage List. The charm of Suzhou is certainly its natural gifts and beauty—dubbed the “Oriental Venice.” Its old style architecture also adds a lingering feel of history and mystique.

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It’s a great destination for souvenir shopping—away from the hawks in Shanghai, offering a wealth of wares from teas, silks, embroidery, freshwater pearls, sandalwood fans, musical instruments, jade, lanterns and the characteristically sweeping smoking pipes. Expect to have your haggle skills once again challenged. For a special treat, pick up a snuff bottle—tiny, elaborately painted glass bottles that once contained tobacco. Head to the Taoist Temple of Xuanmiao (Mysterious Sublimity) in the old city, where a collection of great local vendors sits just outside the walls.

For a real treat, don’t miss the Humble Administrator’s Garden (and the opera performance hall) or Suzhou Museum, constructed by renowned architect I.M. Pei, best known for his design of the Louvre glass pyramid.

How to Get There: Suzhou is reachable by bus, but most favorably by train—a high-speed train runs frequently from Shanghai and Beijing to any one of four stations around town. Tickets must be purchased at an international ticketing office, available in most large stations. On arrival, expect to wait a while for a taxi—Suzhou is currently in the process of building an underground metro system—but in the meantime, taxis are rare and difficult to track down.


Interested in touring the canal city of Suzhou or any of her neighboring sisters? Email info@wittravel.com or call us at 503.224.0180.

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Filed under China