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Sara Naumann

Qingdao with China Odyssey Tours

By August 30, 2010

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It had been on my mind to start getting some information on tour companies on this web site for a while. A reader had written in complaining (rightly) that I didn't cover this subject well and I had been mulling over how best to do it when a kind operator (and also blog reader) from China Odyssey Tours wrote to see if I would review their services. As my dear readers know, I was planning a trip with my family anyway so I took them up on their offer.

Since I've been in China for so long, I'm wary of tour companies. (I have a - sometimes false - sense that I don't need any help and can do it all myself when it comes to trip planning.) Using a tour company has 2 components. One is the planning component and if you've got someone helping you who has good suggestions and is willing to work with you and your needs, then this is a sign of a good agency. China Odyssey Tours scores very high here. The other aspect is your guide and with any tour, you could be in a great location with a bad guide or a bad location with a great guide. This will color your tour significantly. We enjoyed our guide and thought he did well despite our last-minute changes and needs.

Read all about our experience with the company:

Photos: top - one of Qingdao's famous beaches; bottom - raising a glass of Tsingtao at the International Beer Festival. 2010 Sara Naumann, licensed to About.com.

September 1, 2010 at 4:56 am
(1) Sherry says:


September 1, 2010 at 9:26 pm
(2) Robert says:

We used China Odyssey Tours for our family trip to Guilin. I agree with your high ranking for them.

If you don’t speak much Chinese, a tour company is a must. But even if you do speak some Mandarin, I think you can experience much more with a good tour guide. Our guide helped the local Zhuang people cook lunch for us on the rice terraces of Longsheng. She also was instrumental when my wife wound up in the hospital at 1:00 in the morning!

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