Donald E. Bartholomew, JD, MS, Attorney  
( Maj,USA,Ret. & prior Navy)
Protecting Clients' Rights Since 1983
  1179 Hilltop Drive, Redding, CA 96003   Tel. (530)246-1621
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China Vacation Travel

Visit and Tour The Real China on Your Terms....

You can call me to find out more about a private, inexpensive, guided tour in China. I have very nice friends who reside in China, who speak English well, and are retired/semi-retired, and who can provide personalized tours for you and a few friends, or you and your family members.  (I have visited China 3 times, as a tourist by myself, and have benefited by having friends there. I only speak about 30 words of Mandarin, and I enjoyed China very much. I plan to keep visiting China in the years ahead, perhaps 3 or more times each year. It is a huge country with many interesting things to see and do.)

   The easiest place to visit first in China is probably Beijing (great subway & bus system, many historic sites, easy access to subway to international airport,wide variety of foods, many people will be able to speak some English). 
    One of my friends can meet you or your small group at the Beijing International Airport (PEK), escort you by subway to your hotel, And, then spend the next week or so meeting with your group each morning at your hotel in central downtown Beijing and then escorting your group to whatever sites you and she have selected for each day.
   The advantage of having a personal private Chinese English speaking guide is that you and your group can spend whatever amount of time you wish at each historic site without being rushed along hurriedly in the manner of the more expensive generic organized tour groups.
   Your guide can help you see the REAL China, take inexpensive local public tranportation (subway, buses, or cabs - all are cheap), eat in real Chinese restaurants, and spend however long and leisurely you wish wherever you want to go.  If you are a "foodie" you will love China, especially sea food.

    The typical costs to have your private personal tour guide is a $150 per diem fee ($150 for each day, whether there is just 2 people or a half dozen adults/kids in your group including your days of arrival & departure), the actual costs of her hotel room (at or near your hotel), costs of her meals, fees for her to enter sites with your group, and her transportation costs to accompany your group wherever your personalized itinerary takes your each day.  You will be responsible to pay yourself each day your hotel bill (as well as the hotel bill for your guide), your transportation to and from sites your guide takes you to, your and your guide's meals costs, fees to enter the sites your visit,
    Your personal guide will suggest quality hotels which you can book yourself for the duration of your visit (assist you in making reservations for your group's rooms as well as her own room). And, your guide will suggest an itinerary for you for your days in China (taking into consideration sites which you may suggest based on research you may have done).

    Travisa.com is a very helpful, easy company to deal with to obtain your Visa from the Chinese Consulate nearest you so you can enter China as a Tourist.  I used this company to easily and quickly obtain a 10-year, multiple reentries Visa from the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, so I can enter China for up to 60 days each time I visit China, as man times as I wish, over the 10 years validity of my Visa.

   Install the free WeChat application onto your smart phone. It is indispensable for communication with folks, as probably 'everyone' in China has a WeChat.com account (cost-free social media, networking, which has free video chatting, messaging, voice mail, sending pictures/documents, and eletronic payments at stores/restaurants if you get WeChat pay installed onto your phone when you are in China).  Also install a couple of Translator applications such as Baidu translator, Microsoft translator, and Google translator (which may or may not work in China, because the government tries to block google products, Facebook, Youtube, etc).  You may also wish to install a VPN which has been assured to work in China on your phone before you get to China. You may also wish to install an email program/address other thane google related, and a browser other then google. Someone in your group may want to bring along a backup smart phone which is GSM capable, with all your applications loaded on it, so you can at least use this phone in WiFi mode  in case you break or lose your primary phone. You should also load GoogleVoice onto your phone and deposit some money into the account, as it was cheap and convenient to use this to call China from USA for just one cent per minute. I don't know if you can call back to USA as I used WeChat and non-google emails  to communicate at no cost over WiFi or internet when I was in China. Have friend(s) back home in USA also install WeChat onto their smart phones so you can easily and at no cost video chat with them from the Great Wall of China and other historic sites, or just speak with them easily at not cost if you need to.

    "Must have items" for your visit to China: 
Dual SIM smart phone with GSM network frequencies (and USB charger/cable,and backup battery pack )- get a Chinese cell phone SIM card as soon as your arrive in China so you will have internet/telephone access (and not have to rely on free WiFi, which is widely available but sometimes 'spotty');  At least 4 major credit cards (MC, VISA) which you notify in advance of your trip when you will be in China so they don't stop the card when you are using the cards in China; bottle of generic Imodium (Loperamide) an antidiarheal over the counter medication; your prescription medications; comfortable walking shoes/windbreaker/very small pocket umbrella; backpack; about $500 equivalent Chinese RMB; a money belt; a pouch which hangs on your belt and tucks inside the waistband of your slacks (for passport which you must take everywhere with you, and to carry credit cards/cash/etc.); a small pouch on  a neck strap which you hang around your neck and tuck inside your shirt;  Beijing Subway/bus card which you purchase and load up with the equivalent of about $15 dollars U.S. to facilitate getting on/off subways/buses all over Beijing just by waiving the card over electronic sensors on boarding bus, or entering subway(rather then having to pay cash/purchase individual ticket for each ride on public transportation);

     Travel light, (to the extent that you emotionally can do this...) only a carry-on personal bag, and one small carry on piece of luggage (with roller wheels). Even though for international flights you can typicall check two pieces of luggage - why do that if you don't need all the extra stuff, try to travel as light as you can. You can easily and inexpensively purchase toiletries, and other things in China, so why pack and carry all this stuff?  Don't bring a bunch of extra clothing - just bring wash-and-wear casual clothing and wash your laundry in your hotel room a few times each week, easy to do.

    Plan on doing a lot of walking, wear comfortable casual clothing, and good walking shoes.

   Before you travel to China, buy and peruse/read a few used current tour books such as "China" a DK Eyewitness Travel book, about 630 pages paperback with many picture, very cheap used copies are available on amazon.com     -And-   "Beijing and Shanghai" or "Beijing" both also by DK Eyewitness Travel.   "Beijing" by Lonely Planet, some 280 pages of very small font type in a compact paperback formate, cheap, gently used from amazon.com

JUST DO IT. LIFE IS TOO SHORT.    

Get your passport, get your 10 year China tourist Visa, and arrange a trip to China while you are still 'young', ...... and ambulatory.