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Posts Tagged ‘China’

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Taste of China UPDATE

To update yesterday’s China post and our original Taste of China post, I was pleased to see that this past Sunday’s L A Times published details for our Taste of China vacation.
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As you can see in the article, our China deal for $999 has completely sold out, with 161 passengers booked, but we still have about 25 spots available for tours for only $100 more at $1099. But hurry, because this deal just opened yesterday, and it won’t take long before it’s all booked up!

Taste of China meets MSNBC

I’m happy to report that our Taste of China vacation was published in today’s MSNBC Budget Travel column, so have a look!
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For more information on Taste of China, have a look at our original blog post, or our recent podcast with Taste of China tour guide and Beijing resident, Sam Lui.

Friendly Planet Travel Podcasts: chatting with China

At Friendly Planet Travel, we’re in constant communication with our tour guides around the world. We just like to be sure that we’re completely on top of everything that’s taking place in every Friendly Planet Travel destination, and make sure our guides know they’re doing a fantastic job. In fact, the No. 1 praise we receive from returning travelers is all in thanks to the great work done by our talented and informative tour guides.
Since our guides play such an integral role in your Friendly Planet Travel experience, we thought it would be a great idea to kick off a podcast series in which you can get to know a little bit about some of the locals.
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First up in our series is Sam Liu. Sam has been a Friendly Planet Travel tour guide in China for the past nine years. Last week, Bridget, one of our Friendly Planeteers, had the opportunity to speak to Sam, and learn a little bit about what it’s like to be a Friendly Planet Tour guide in China.
We’re thankful Sam could take the time out of his busy schedule to chat with us for a few minutes, as he was getting ready to leave for the annual Duanwu Festival, otherwise known as the Dragon Boat Festival.
Hit play below to meet one of our very talented China tour guides.

Hot hot hot deal: 10 days in China for $999!

I don’t know about the weather in your neck of the woods, but we’re in the middle of a heatwave (in April?!) here in suburban Philadelphia. To go along with the hot weather, I’ve got a deal to announce that’s simply on fire: 10 days in China for just $999! Our Taste of China vacation has always been a popular package with Friendly Planet Travel customers, but this new sale price has everyone saying WOW.
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Taste of China takes Friendly Planeteers on a 10-day tour through three of China’s most fascinating cities: Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai.
Beijing — China’s historic and cultural capital — and Shanghai — often called the "Paris of the East" — are probably two of the most dynamic cities in the world. And Xi’an is the site of one of the world’s most important archeological treasures: the army of 2,200-year-old terra-cotta soldiers, including more than 8,000 life-size ceramic soldiers, chariots, and horses buried there to protect the tomb of the first Qin emperor.
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What’s the catch, you say? There is no catch. The deal includes all transfers to each destination, breakfast every day, some other meals, superior hotel accommodations, scheduled tours, and more of the quality features you’ve come to know and love about Friendly Planet Travel.
We’re always in communication with our tour guides, hotel directors, and flight suppliers, trying to get the best deal possible for our travelers. As you’ve probably guessed (and as I’ve touched upon here on the blog), the economy has had a big impact on international travel in 2009. And suppliers are cutting their prices to attract more tourism, which many of these countries depend on.
As soon as a deal breaks, we pass that on to you. We were able to knock our usual Taste of China price of $1299 down to $999. Phew! Can I get some ice cream delivered to my office now?

Friendly Planet Travel: Live from Peru

Here at Friendly Planet Travel, our employees don’t just make it possible for other people to see the world, but they get out there and do it themselves. In fact, we encourage the members of our Friendly Planet Travel family to take advantage of the amazing deals we offer our customers every day.
That’s why it’s not unusual to have a Friendly Planet Travel employee sitting across from you as you eat lunch on the Yangtze Cruise in China, or riding along beside you on the bus from Quito to Octavalo in Ecuador.
On Monday, Zach, one of our Friendly Planet Travel employees, will be boarding a plane for our Amazing Peru tour. You can follow along with Zach on all of his Peruvian adventures (or, at least the adventures where he has Internet access) by keeping your eyes on @Zach_FPTravel on Twitter. Isn’t technology amazing?
Bon voyage, Zach! Happy Tweeting!
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The New York Times’ Practical Traveler points to Friendly Planet Travel’s practical prices

A recent Friendly Planeteer was interviewed by The New York Times’ Michelle Higgins for her weekly Practical Traveler column.
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Denis Weber, who traveled with us to China in February, pointed out that with our deals, he was able to take advantage of a 10-day tour of Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai for less than what he would have paid for airfare alone had be been trying to book a trip himself. Thanks for pointing us out, Denis!

See the world, change your life

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I always say that seeing the world is the only way for people to understand it. And unless you experience a different culture for yourself, you’ll never truly grasp it. Traveling changes you forever; whether you’re touring ancient temples in Thailand, digging a well for a family in Borneo, or sipping wine in Italy.
And once you catch the bug — like so many of our vacationers have — you’re a traveler for life. That’s why I was thrilled when this particular customer testimonial rolled in last week. As always, here it is, completely unedited:
“I’ve been on six tours with Friendly Planet so far, and I have to say that those tours have opened up my understanding of the world. The thing about travel to foreign countries is that it changes you, leaving you with a much better understanding of the world, long after you’ve returned. Each tour I’ve been on has been exciting and different, even repeat tours to the same destination. One of the great things about the FP tours has been the amazing diversity of people on each tour; I’ve met everyone from newlyweds to retirees, all looking for adventure. Most of my fellow travelers on FP tours have tended to be well-read, well-traveled, and not fussy at all. They’ve come to taste the amazing foods and walk the amazing streets, not to buy trinkets and eat at McDonalds. Not surprisingly, many of us keep in touch long after the tours are over, and I’ve met more than one “repeater” on the trips to China. And I’m always surprised to find how nice the hotels are. One more thing is that going on these tours is really a good use of your time overseas, since you don’t have to waste time with paperwork, check-ins, deposits, etc. You just go have a drink or walk around the block and come back to pick up your room key. The guides are always funny, helpful, and go out of their way to make sure you have a good time. And there’s always plenty of time to explore on your own. Thanks again for the great experiences. I’ll be back in April to re-visit Thailand!
– Jeff Jenkins, Boca Raton, FL”

Averting disaster in China

There’s nothing that illustrates the difference between a Friendly Planet
Travel tour and our competitors than how travelers experience a travel disaster.

Now, let’s define disaster. That can be anything from someone getting sick
on the trip to losing a wallet or passport, to a snafu in the itinerary.

Here’s a story, just in from a customer letter (pasted below) that falls into
the snafu category. As you read it, ask yourself how you would feel were you
in the same situation.

This happened recently during our Best
of China
tour. Not even the weather man can always predict the
weather, right? Well, that was the case this winter in China.

Flights were grounded, and passengers (ours and others) were at risk for not
making the boarding of the Yangtze
River
cruise. This is one of the most spectacular legs of the entire trip,
and you don’t want to miss it.

Our Friendly Planet Travel tour guides quickly figured out an alternative
route, bought new tickets (without penalty to our passengers), corralled our
tourists, and set off on the new route. The day was saved.

While Friendly Planet’s travelers boarded their cruise ship, hundreds of other
travelers were left stranded. They missed one of the most dramatic and exciting
parts of the trip.

Needless
to say, everyone on the Friendly Planet Travel tour was thrilled with our course
of action. Many have written to express their gratitude. Here’s a copy of the
letter I just received, which sparked this blog post.

This is the actual letter, verbatim, without any editing.

“Meena and I had a wonderful time in China, especially making friendship with
fellow tourists. Each day was a great vacation with all kinds of relaxation
and plenty of food. Too much beer… breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overall our
last year China trip was memorable with the wonderful organization and planning
by Friendly Planet to make our stay very comfortable and enjoyable. Taking
care of our needs and requirements (Vegetarian meals) and responding to various
emergencies were the commendable services of Friendly Planet and the tour guide.
We could have missed our joy of the Cruise if they have not administered the
alternate mode of flights and the bus ride to reach the destination when the
original flight was canceled due to weather condition.

In short, we had a ball each and every day with varieties of excursions, tours,
and high quality top rated hotels, restaurants and shows — we all got the
real value for the price. The openness and good communication of our tour guide,
Sim Liu, is greatly appreciated. The finale episode highlight in Beijing was
an important event with Riksha rides, kindergarten tour and visiting a Chinese
family. Friendly Planet is the way if you want to leave the worries of planning,
touring and eating, this being my second time experience with their services.
Last year we had a vacation to South America with their group.

Meena and Ram”             

Have you had a Friendly Planet Travel experience? Have you had a bad experience
elsewhere? Share your story with me at PMGoldman@FriendlyPlanet.com,
or post it as a comment here.

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About Peggy

Peggy Goldman is a specialty tour operator and travel expert, who owns and operates Friendly Planet Travel, a full-service company that specializes in tour packages to exotic worldwide destinations at affordable prices.   More about Peggy

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