We recently enjoyed an amazing visit to China which was a first for both of us as far as visiting mainland China goes.  We have both been to Hong Kong, but expected and were glad to find mainland China very different.  The first place we visited in China was a place called Guilin.  You may have never heard of Guilin, but chances are you have seen pictures and paintings depicting its unique landscape with limestone mountains reaching up like fingers from the ground.  I never knew where all those China buffets in the States were getting such cool pictures until our friend Matt posted a link to some pictures on Facebook.

If you ever get the chance to visit China, we would highly recommend a trip to Guilin.  The beautiful and unique landscape and the kind and genuine people have made it one of our favorite travel experiences yet.

We will be posting more updates from our trip to China soon, but in the mean time, you can see some pictures from our trip here.  And, a video of the Li River Cruise in timelapse below.  Enjoy!

Highly Recommended Tavel Guide Service

While looking for information and recomendations on Guilin, we came across a great tour guide and decided to try him out. I’ll let our Trip Advisor review tell you the rest, but the main point is, if you want a great experience, book a tour of Guilin with Jack at Yangshou Private Tours.

Trip Advisor Review:

Between me and my wife, we have traveled to over 30 countries and more than 100 cities. Our experience with Jack, his guide skills and travel arrangements have been the best either of us has ever experienced!

We usually don’t use tour services as we enjoy finding places on our own and trying to explore some off-the-beaten-path locations, but for this trip, because we wanted to see a lot in a limited time and also as we needed some bookings done in advance, we decided to book a private tour with Jack! That turned out to be best decision we made in our trip! Easily worth triple what we paid for his services!

We told Jack what we would like to see and asked him if he had any other suggestions. He then put together a custom package which included everything we had asked for and more and sent us the proposed itinerary the next day!

We were blown away by the amount of planning and detail Jack provided in the itinerary and how he was able to fit in everything we wanted on such a tight time table. We could not have been happier and he even took care of all of the booking and some of the pre-paid expenses for us. This was great and the opposite of what all the other places we had checked with said they would do. They said we could book when we got there, but we were arriving at midnight and needed to be on the boat for the Li river cruise by 9AM, so having it booked in advance gave us the piece of mind to know for sure that we would make it to the boat at the time we needed.

When we arrived, Jack called our hostel to make sure we had arrived safely and confirm with us the next day’s itinerary. We enjoyed a great Li River cruise, taking in the breathtaking beauty of the Guilin/Yangshuo area and then met Jack at the dock where he took us to a great hotel with a beautiful view of the city! He even took care to book the room with the best view of the sunrise.

Throughout our traveling, we not only enjoyed Jack’s superb planning and execution, but also his great personality and friendship. One of the things that Jack did a couple of times for us in the villages we visited, was talk to the locals who would usually allow us into their home and, on more than one occasion, offered us food and drink. These experiences, we agreed, will be ones we will never forget and allowed us to see a side of China, and it’s people, that no other tour package could allow.

Jack took care of us and had a great itinerary planned for us from the moment we arrived all the way up to the time he said goodbye to us at the Airport. If you are going to Guilin/Yangshuo, do yourself a favor and make an investment you will not regret by utilizing Jack’s Awesome Private Tours!

We were so grateful for not only having met a great, capable and organized guide, but also in gaining a friend whom we hope to visit again, and in the mean time recommend to everyone we meet. Thanks again Jack! Hope to see you again soon!

Sincerely, Valerie and Griffin http://valerieandgriffin.com/