Hiring a China private tour guide is one of the best things you can do when planning your trip to China.
China is the most incredible, rewarding, exhausting, mind-blowing and exhilarating country you can imagine, but it’s vast and very different to the Western world. That’s not a bad thing and it certainly makes for an interesting visit but it’s good to be prepared.
8 Reasons to Hire a China Private Tour Guide (Before You Go!)
Getting met at the airport
Landing in China after a long and tiring flight, the peace of mind knowing that everything is taken care of from A-Z is such a relief. Imagine walking straight out of arrivals and finding your guide waving a board with your name on it. Bliss! And you won’t have to worry about finding your own way out of massive Chinese airports either!!
Your Own Private Car!
There’s no hanging around and waiting for other travellers when you’ve booked a private guide.
Within moments of meeting your guide you’ll be whisked off in a comfortable air-conditioned car!
And that’s heaven, especially if you’re visiting China when it’s hot, hot, hot..
Most private tour guides in China even made sure there is a supply of mineral water in the car, which is a thoughtful touch after a long flight!
You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the quality of vehicles that private guides use. The only teeny wrinkle is that some cars don’t have a huge boot (trunk).
Poor Charlie, our totally adorable driver in Beijing, struggled to get both of our cases (OK they were huge) and our cabin bags into the boot. Our guide ended up with one cabin bag on his knees for the whole journey from the airport to the hotel (about 60 minutes).
Tour guides in China take an annual national tour guide certificate examination sponsored by China National Tourism Administration, so they are bursting with knowledge and super-organised.
Help with checking into your hotel
Unless you’re staying in a big international hotel, you may find that the staff have a limited (sometimes non-existent) grasp of English. While it’s fun to communicate using a translator app (don’t forget that Google is blocked in China) it’s a huge relief to have your guide help you check in when you’ve arrived jet-lagged and brain fried from a punishing flight.
Pre-booked tickets are a godsend! They mean you get into historic and interesting sites with very little queueing time. All the ‘navigating’ of ticket booths, entry gates and security is a breeze with a guide to help you..
Max Your Agenda
You will fit more into each day with a private guide than people on large organised tours can. There’s so much to see in China, it’s a pity not to squeeze every drop of experience out of every day, while you’re there. Going with a private guide means you won’t waste precious moments waiting around for other people to get on and off coaches!!
Flex Your Agenda
One huge benefit of a private tour guide is that you can re-arrange or cancel elements of your schedule. China is hard work and some tours are lengthy so think about building in rest days. We managed to reorganise our activities with our guide’s help. We swapped a 2 1/2 hour cycle ride in the countryside for an awesome painting class.
A guide you can actually hear
In a big tour groups (30+ people) it’s sometimes hard to hear everything your guide tells you. It’s such a shame as Chinese guides are informative, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. With a private guide, you’ll hear every word and be able to ask questions and go at your pace. You’ll get lots of information about historic and interesting sites without being overwhelmed with facts.
It would be hard to visit China without an English speaking guide! A guide’s expert local knowledge will help you learn about local culture and find good places (and good things) to eat. You’ll visit local street markets, browse for bargains and always feel 100% safe.
Your guide will help you to know when you need to take your passport with you and guide you on tipping.
With our guide’s help, we managed 4 airports, 2 train stations and a cruise. Our guides stayed with us, guiding us through until we had checked in, making sure there were no problems. The airports and train stations were all very busy, so this was exactly what we needed.
It’s MUCH cheaper to book your tours as part of your package BEFORE you travel.
Now if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments down below. I’d love to help you out!