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My Wendy Wu Tour Of China – A Review

” I fulfilled a lifelong ambition when I was lucky to be given an opportunity to visit China. This was to be a trip of a lifetime for me & it was everything I’d been hoping for. “

This trip was hosted be Wendy Wu Tours & we were even joined by Wendy Wu herself for part of the trip! 

Chongqing

After an 11-hour flight from Heathrow direct to Chongqing getting through the airport was such a smooth process that we were through the airport in no time at all. We were one of the first groups of people in the world to enter China on the group E-visa. This new service is bookable through Wendy Wu Tours & is a great benefit to any visitor. China. 

My first impressions of the area were from the window of the transfer coach was surprise at how green it seemed to be, having read that Chongqing was home to an astonishing 33 million people! 

Our first stay was at the Chongqing Tongjing River & Holiday Hotel which has reputedly the best hot springs in all of China. We were given a guided tour of the hot springs which had around 48 different pool each offering a variety of treatments & experiences. These ranges from the famous fish spa to bathing in red wine or having a hot & cold extreme temperature exposure. All of which we were able to enjoy. 

Dazu

Next Morning, an early departure & en route to an area known as Dazu. Here we were taken to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Dazu Rock Carvings. At this site, there are literally thousands of statues related to Buddhism, Taoism & Confucianism. There are over 70 sites with rock carvings in Dazu & over 60,000 statues in total. Carvings date back to the 9th century & continued up to the 13th century & are the best-preserved cave temple art of its kind in China. In my opinion they are a definite must see & one of the most amazing sights I have seen. 

Heading from here to our next hotel, the Begonia, to enjoy dinner & check out the local area. The Hotel Begonia was situated in a lovely park area which was quiet & relaxed. Perfect to unwind get away from the hustle & bustle of the busy city life. 

Black Mountain Valley

After Breakfast we travelled approximately 70 kms. from Chongqing to the Black Mountain Valley. This is one of China’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty. You will be surrounded by stunning waterfalls, valleys, gorges, forests & crystal-clear streams. The area is known for its fresh & clean air you’ll be breathing in air renowned for its health & healing benefits. As we hiked around 6 km negotiating plank roads & floating bridges it only really felt like we had done 2km. Some would say it also has mysterious anti-ageing properties, though sadly, no-one in the office seemed to notice on my return…! However, I must say that walking in the valley is an unbelievable experience as, with your lungs filled with this incredibly healthy air, you’ll cover long distances on foot in a fraction of the time it would take outside of the valley, making you feel rather like a superhero…. 

After a day in the Valley, you’re sure to have one of the best night’s sleep of your life, plus it’s the perfect cure for snoring. During the hike we encountered some local people know as Miao People, all dressed in traditional costume, they were doing a promotional video which we got involved in so we were elevated to celebrity status I had our 15 minutes of fame!

We arrived at our next hotel, the Wansheng International Hotel. This was situated right at the edge of a square where the locals would meet both in the evening & morning to participate in a variety of activities from square dancing, Tai Chi, badminton, or even ballroom dancing. We were free to join in if we wished. Our next stop was the Hotel Wulong Zhongke Yiyun Hotel for a quick change & we were off to see a musical extravaganza in an huge open air arena, which was situated with a mountain back-drop.

The show, ‘Impression Wulong – the Real Scene’ show at Taoyuan Grand Canyon, Xiannvshan town, in Wulong county was directed by one of China most well-known directors – Yimou Zhang. This was the man who directed the incredible Beijing Olympic opening ceremony. “Impression Wulong” is an amazing performance featuring more than 100 actors. Using traditional regional musical forms for the majority of the show, the 70-minute-long performance give audiences the chance to experience Chongqing’s beautiful natural landscape & unique customs. Words do not do this show justice it has to be seen to be appreciated but well worth it. 

Chongqing

Next morning, we headed back to Chongqing & our first port of call was a visit to the ancient town with it’s array of local markets & shops. This was really busy & there was lots going on & lots to see. Many traditional stalls selling local foods, crafts & clothing there was a kaleidoscope of colours & sounds this was a true experience of how the locals would go about there daily shopping, eating etc. 

After the hectic ancient town, we were taken to Chongqing zoo to see one of China’s must-see attractions – the Giant Pandas. I was surprised to be able to get so close to these magnificent animals. They were not at all fazed by the massive crowds that had turned up to see them they seemed happy to just sit & eat their way through their ample piles of bamboo. Chongqing is a developing region for western tourism & for a while, we upstaged the pandas, with many local wanting photos with us! Then, a short whistle-stop to a local shopping mall, before heading back to the hotel to enjoy the hot springs & retire for the evening. 

Chongqing & The Yangtze River 

Up bright & early this morning as we were off to a conference held by the Chinese Tourist board . At the conference there were many stands for all areas of China & other countries, all showcasing the best their regions have to offer from traditional foods to local dances & customs. There was certainly a lot to see & do & we had some VIP meetings, including the Deputy Mayor or Chongqing & the famous Wendy Wu, who has been a long-time friend & partner of Travel Club Elite. 

After lunch, a short visit to a local park & museum before heading to the local restaurant to try Chongqing’s famous Hot pot. If you enjoy spicy food, you would love this; just delicious!

After our amazing feast we were off to meet Wendy Wu again, for a cruise along the Yangtze River. This was a chance to see The Chongqing City skyline all lit up at night. This was a truly amazing experience & I my photos only offer a glimpse of this spectacle. 

 Sadly for me, the next morning was our return to the UK. One surprising aspect of China for most visitors in the incredibly advanced, modern infrastructure. This was evidenced during our tour of Chongqing International airport & the newly opened terminal. During our homeward flight, I reflected on my amazing trip of a lifetime; I would recommend tours of China to anyone, especially with the experts, Wendy Wu Tours.  Many of my colleagues have also visited China & South-Asia with Wendy Wu & we’d be delighted to answer any questions & help you to plan your own dream trips! 

Jayne MacDonald

Travel Club Elite. 

About the author – Jayne MacDonald is a Senior Travel Consultant at Travel Club Elite.  Jayne has extensive travel experience & recent trips include Nepal, many USA states, Cuba & ‘most of’ Europe!  Jayne would love to hear from you with comments, queries & to help organise your own tours, holidays & travel: 

Contact – [email protected]  or please call free – 0800 707 6229 

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