Going the Extra Mile — Because We Care
Travelling is all about experience yet the experience is not only decided by the flight class, hotel rooms, or written itineraries. China Highlights always strives to offer a China tour with beautiful memories. This page shows some of our customers’ experiences when troubles and problems were encountered in their tours with us. Of course, nothing or nobody is perfect, but we try to make sure every problem is solved in a good and timely way . We do that because we care.
Being troubled by health issues during travel in a foreign country is usually a big worry. But one of our customers had an impressive and cozy memory of his hospital stay during his tour of China.
Trevor Brearley, a customer of Robert Hui, suffered from an abdominal problem and spent four and a half days in a Guilin hospital. Robert Hui (a China Highlights’ travel advisor), with Ricky Liang and and Henry Liu (China Highlights’ English-speaking guides) used their own time to take care of Trevor. Especially Robert Hui, who spent three days (including a weekends) taking care of Trevor, acting as a translator, a caregiver, and a contact person with the insurance company.
“My biggest memory of my trip to China is your personal kindness to me. I really cannot thank you enough for all you did. When I said goodbye I felt as if I was saying farewell to someone I had known for many years,” said Trevor in his thank-you note, “I didn't feel that my time in hospital was in any way wasted.”
Trevor traveled to China together with 14 other people, 5 of whom were blind. China Highlights’ responsible travel advisor (Robert Hui), considerate English-speaking guides, and professional drivers all contributed a lot to giving them a memorable China tour.
When they came across a farmer selling lotus flowers, Jenny Zeng, their English-speaking guide in Guilin, took the initiative and asked the driver to stop the vehicle to buy some lotus flowers, so that our blind customers could touch, smell, and feel the natural beauty. Trevor and his fellow travelers' 15-day China tour surpassed their expectations.
Trevor enjoyed his meal delivered by Robert Hui.
China Highlights is always willing to offer extra-mile service to customers. Miss Fen Lan, a German-speaking China Highlights tour guide, received an email asking for help in finding a traditional Yao-minority musical instrument — a changji (长积), which is quite rare. The customer (Christian Schneider, a musician from the USA) said that he had tried for a long time to find a changji, but failed.
Fen did a lot of searching, and she found out that it might be possible to get a changji in a remote village in Baise Prefecture. After many tries, Fen got in touch with one of the last masters of the changji, and found out he was able to make a changji. She convinced him to make one for her, but the village was too remote to mail the changji to Guilin, where China Highlights is located. So Fen asked her sister to go to the village personally to fetch the changji. So, after much arranging, our customer got his precious changji mailed to him by Fen.
Prof. Christian Schneider: http://www.schneider-oboe.de/index.htm
Christian Schneider recorded his experience of finding the changji and expressed his appreciation to China Highlights and our obliging Fen Lan (in German, see website below).
What might happen to you if you travel to a foreign country without the required visa? Can you imagine the trouble, disappointment, and loss you might have?
A group of three Australians traveled to China with China Highlights recently (March 1–6, 2013). They chose Hong Kong as their gateway city, and their next destinations were Macau and Beijing. Our circumspective Hong Kong tour guide Chas Ye, when communicating with our customers, found out they didn’t have the necessary China visa for the Beijing leg of their tour, notified us at China Highlights, and accompanied them to apply for their Chinese visas, so that they would not be stopped from completing their Beijing tour.
Circumspective Chas Ye helped the McGraths to avoid troubles of traveling to the Chinese Mainland without the required visas.
The heavy rain of June 24th, 2012, in Beijing put countless people in panic and danger, including the Schadles. Their train had already left the station but was made return due to the severe rain.
Being stuck at the train station, they called up their travel advisor Kim Huang in Guilin. After confirming there was no way they could leave Beijing that night, Kim started trying to book a hotel for the family. To comfort and de-stress the family, Kim stayed up and made countless calls booking hotels and flights and changing the itinerary for the rest of their tour. There's a long distance between Beijing and Guilin, yet the Schadles felt connected and safe till the problem was solved.The Schadle Family and Their Travel Advisor Kim Huang
During their China tour in February, 84-year-old Jean Bertrand and his wife 80-year-old Francoise caught pneumonia due to the cold weather. Jean had a high fever of 40°C when they arrived in Guilin. Their travel advisor Celine Liang called the ambulance and took them to the hospital.
Considering their age and health situation, the doctor suggested they get treatment immediately and stay hospitalized for at least a week. During this time, Celine was always with them, as an interpreter, a helper and a friend. With Celine's help, their daughter managed to contact the insurance company and book a hotel in Hong Kong. The old couple was sent to Hong Kong for treatment. "Merci encore pour toute votre attention et votre gentillesse. (Thanks again for your attention and comfort.)" they wrote to Celine when returned home safe, sound and healthy.Warm-hearted Celine Liang helped the senior couple out of emergency
"So I was like…lost everything!" as Robert Michael Rosenbaum recalled, the moment when his Yellow Mountain tour with his wife and friends suddenly got unpleasant, because he realized his passport was missing. They had gone up to half of the mountain; it was a long way to wind back where they had been. With their tour guide, they started the search but hit no luck.
Robert and his wife and their friends started to give up. It was then that a Chinese tourist found their guide with Robert's passport. Robert expressed their gratefulness and took a photo with their new Chinese friend. Their Yellow Mountain tour carried on with a beautiful memory.Robert Michael Rosenbaum and His New Chinese Friends
On the TripAdvisor forum, Jan Bedson wrote:"I felt like we really had someone looking after us at all times which is important when you are in such a different country to our home."
On their China trip in March, Jan and her husband George got gastroenteritis on the Yangtze Cruise due to the weather. They couldn't get up in the morning, let alone visit the Three Gorges Dam. They got a great treatment in Maoping Hospital at Yichang.
They got well but were regretting not visiting the impressive dam. To their surprise, when their tour guide Ms. Lu picked them up and drove to the airport, the car went at a slow pace, enabling them to view the Gezhouba Dam from a distance. The distance gaze at the dam was imprinted in their memory.Review of Jan Bedson on the TripAdvisor Forum
Just a few days after they came back home from China in November, John and Joanne got a mail from Beijing, China. Inside, there was a brand new tea saucer, the same as the one that they lost in Beijing.
What to bring home after a China tour? The same as other travelers, John and Joanne wanted something special. A delicate set of teaware was a great choice. Unluckily, when they arrived home, they found one tea saucer of the set was missing. Not quiet sure when and where exactly they lost it, they just took a shot at contacting us. Their Beijing tour guide was Mr. Wong, who spent a couple of days contacting the owner of the teaware shop. The owner couldn’t find it, either. Not letting John and Joanne down, the shop owner decided to offer a brand new saucer for free. And it was mailed straight to America by the tour guide Mr. Wong.A Piece of Memory of John and Joanne’s China tour
It was not exactly a lucky day when Walter Williams slipped and got hurt on his first trip to Yunnan. Good thing was he was going to visit his friend in Shanghai, who took Walter to the hospital upon arrival. Walter didn't require our assistance for his Shanghai trip. However, when his family emailed us asking how he was, we got him in contact with them.
Despite no tour guides being available in the peak season, we managed to send one experienced guide to express our condolences and concern. Our tour guide visited Walter in the hospital and offered our any assistance that was possible.For his first time to China in 2010, Walter Williams and his wife took a Tibet tour with China Highlights
During her Beijing trip in May, 72-year-old Suzanne Udell was not feeling well because of the heat. Suzanne couldn't walk too much yet still wanted to visit more attractions in Beijing. Not being asked for help, her Beijing tour guide Garry An proactively provided help. After a couple of calls, a free wheelchair in nice condition was sent to Suzanne. With Garry An leading their way at an easy pace, the rest of Suzanne's Beijing tour continued. A little bit of extra attention did a great help.
Attentive Garry An helped Suzanne travel further and easier
Yves and Claire read that summer is the best time to travel to Guilin and this small city is pretty easy to explore on one’s own. So, after their Yangtze cruise, Yves and Claire visited Guilin, which they planned on their own.
They had a great time in Guilin until Yves' aero-otitis got worse and needed treatment immediately. No tour guide or friends to reach out to, they recalled their travel advisor Carol Wang who did a great planning for their Yangtze cruise and Yellow Mountain tour. Carol is in Guilin, why don’t we call her for help?
Carol got to their hotel shortly after the call. For 4 working days, Carol was their interpreter and accompany. And she also helped them get in contact with a hospital in Guangzhou, in which Yves would get some better medical care. It was difficult to get train tickets during the peak season of August. However, Carol tried everything until she got two tickets to Guangzhou just before their departure time. Off they went, Yves and Claire waved goodbye to Carol at the station with a sincere "Thank you."Photo taken from the Yangtze cruise
For a person who had spent some time in China, George Michael Blackburn would prefer anything but a group tour regarding to travelling. For most of the time, group tour means rushing, tiresome, tourist shops and not much good enjoyment. In August 2012, Beijing Medical University organized a 3-day group tour for the staff to Xi’an, which Professor Blackburn didn't expect much fun from.
Cathy Kong was their tour leader. "She remembers everybody's name!" just after the briefing of the tour, this young girl with friendly smile and speaking great oral English impressed the group. During the whole time, Cathy stayed with them, keeping them safe and comfortable as well as informed of every attraction in the tour. The history and purpose of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, ordinary life for local people, Xi'an authentic cuisine and things about Xi'an's long history and unique charm was well expressed by her. Cathy's expertness and passion certainly won her a high praise from these professors. Professor Blackburn and his colleagues came back to Beijing with a new attitude towards group tours.
It was a heart-breaking trip for 67-year-old Lynne Visser because her husband, Andre Visser passed away on the Yangtze cruise. It was even harder to face the entire course of events that followed: cremating Andre's body, getting documents, getting back home with Andre's ashes, and so on.
We offered to handle the matter. Calls and emails were made for getting everything that Lynne needed. After a difficult process, Andre had a special cremation on the Wu Mountains. Lynne took the love of her life back home with a grateful heart. Our hard work and compassion did help her as she wrote: "We had a wonderful time in your country and my memories will always be of how happy my husband was."Thank-you letter from Lynne Visser, whose husband spent his last days in the beautiful Three Gorges Posted: Nov. 1st, 2012