Trip Interview with Mike and Sally 2010 April
|Name: Sally Sokoloff / Mike Greaves
Age: 60 / 62
Purpose of Trip: Tourism and Tai Chi
Visited Places: Beijing, Wudang, Xian
Hutong Rickshaw Tour -Beijing Calligraphy Workshop
Thanks for coming to China with SCIC Beijing!
1: Was this your first time in China?
2: Which trip were you participating there?
Beijing, Wudang, Xian 2nd- 15th April 2010
3: How long was your trip for?
4. What did you think of China?
5. How were your local guides and SCIC Staff?
They were excellent. Vincent was obviously very knowledgeable. Helen in Wudang was flexible and very efficient about everything, Henry in Xian was great fun and responded to the group's preferences for where and what we should eat.
6. Any tips on getting the most from the Trip?
Be prepared for any weather in April. Keep an open mind about the sights and visits
7. What did you learn on the cultural workshops? Did you enjoy them?
We did calligraphy and painting, and heard three musicians on traditional instruments. The workshops were a good learning experience and very interesting.
8. What did you think of Chinese food there?
We like Chinese food, and found the range and variety of dishes served really good and very interesting, especially the vegetable and non-meat dishes. Chinese food in China is delicious and imaginative.
9. What were the meals like on the trip? And what was your favourite Chinese dish?
The range of restaurants from the very simple (lunch at a home in a hutong, and a vegetarian lunch in the Purple Cloud Temple in Wudang were memorable) to the luxurious made it a great eating experience. The guides were interested in knowing the sort of places we liked to eat. We had one evening meal in a hotel in Xian with a Chinese and European buffet and the food there was very poor indeed, but this was the exception.
10. What was your accommodation like?
Good in Beijing (Mentxe hotel), basic in Wudang (but we had been warned) and very luxurious in Xian. A nice mix!
11. Have you made any friends on the trip?
Yes, we are corresponding with others about the Tai Chi exercises and methods.
12. What is your favourite thing about the trip?
Doing Tai Chi training in the temples
13. Why did you choose SCIC Beijing's Travel Program ?
Through personal recommendation from people in our Tai Chi class in England
14. What benefits have you gotten from the Trip?
A wider view of Tai Chi
A first experience of China
A great break
15. Any tips for other visitors coming to China for study trips or holiday?
Do not fly via Moscow.
16. What other places or cities you would like to visit next time?
Other holy mountain areas
17. Will you come to China with SCIC Beijing again?
Here are a few things you could improve:
We would have liked fewer visits to commercial outlets. The silk shop was great, but cloisonné is very out of fashion in England, and we could have done without the pearl shop and other manufacturing workshops. The pressure one is put under to buy is not a good thing.
The tea shop visit in Beijing was unnecessary as time was short for the tourist visits, and the prices of tea to buy were very high: the tea shops outside of Beijing were much more fun, and the stops for tea happened naturally within our schedules.
Within your cultural programme, it would be nice to have two or three half-days on Chinese cooking, maybe focusing on Beijing or one of the other regions visited.
Thanks for your time; we hope you will come to China with us again!