China trip arranger

A friend and I took our second trip to China in October ’05. Prior to the trip, we were put in touch with John Zhang, a tour agent employed by Teddybear Center (e-mail or phone 013983177596 or 023 63773545) in Chongqing, China, and worked with him in planning part of our trip.

We flew from Beijing to Chongqing, where John met us and took us out to dinner for a traditional hotpot. He planned a day trip for us to the Dazu rock carvings ($35), a place of spectacular Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian sculptures carved from the seventh to 13th centuries.

Two days later John made sure we were safely aboard a Chinese ship for a 4-day cruise on the Yangtze River. Accompanying us on the cruise was an English-speaking guide, Keith, whom John had hired for us. Keith was a delightful and excellent guide.

Landing in Wuhan, we then made our way by various buses to climb one of the Huangshan (Yellow) Mountains. The area is famous for its breathtaking scenery of granite peaks. From that town, we took a train to Shanghai.

John also planned our bus and train transfers and arranged our moderate-costing hotels ($30 a night or less). The cost of the cruise, guide, bus and train fare all came to under $300 each.

Most importantly, John, a proud and friendly man, was extremely responsive to our ever-changing requests and worked very hard for us. When we found ourselves in “difficulty” because of language barriers along the way, John made himself available night and day by cell phone to interpret for us. When we were forced to endure eardrum-splitting kung fu music on an hour-long bus trip, John contacted the owners of the bus we would be taking a few days later and requested that they keep the music to a loud roar.

We will be using John to plan a trip to the China branch of the Silk Road in a year or two. He has already begun working on the details. John is also able to plan Silk Road trips through the “stan” countries. We highly recommend John Zhang.


Pittsford, NY