Friday, January 24, 2014

More Testimonials about Great Wall Hiking Tours

As we have never rated anyone on Trip Advisor before, we were unaware that you would get a copy of the feedback. As such, we wanted to write personally and let you know that we were absolutely impressed with the service we received while in Beijing and touring with your company. After the initial mistake on day one, we were very pleased with the sincere apology and effort to rectify the situation.

Cheney was just fantastic as a guide, both through the 7 days hiking and on our day around the city. His grasp of the English language was commendable and his teaching of the Chinese language to us was great and a lot of fun. His historical knowledge was great and very interesting. Of course the hike on the Great Wall was absolutely amazing and Cheney made it fun; nothing was too much trouble and we were never rushed or pushed for time. The food on the trip was fresh and beautiful, and the local owners of the home stays should be commended on this, along with their friendliness. We were always made to feel welcome and nothing was a problem to them. All in all, this was one of our most favorite treks ever, so thank you for all of your efforts leading up to our arrival and throughout the trip; you can be proud of the people you have working for you they are great service providers!

The day of the tombs was great! We had actually met Danny briefly during the week at one of the accommodation places where he had other clients also, so that was nice, as you get used to your guide after 7 days and build a bit of a rapport with them, so I was a bit sad to leave Cheney. Danny was great, his english was pretty easy to understand and his history knowledge was also extensive, he is clearly a bit of a history buff! He was a great guide and very accommodating. We were not hungry at the end of the tour, so he waited until we got back to the city before stopping for lunch, we had a nice lunch, then he dropped us where we wanted to go shopping and explained with a map how to find our way back to the hotel from there; this was very helpful, as it was a little daunting for us getting around the city (coming from a much less crowded and busy place ourselves). Please tell Danny thanks for a great day! All in all, the entire trip was fantastic, in no small part to your help and organisation. The whole thing was enjoyable and a great learning experience for the both of us. We have been given a few ideas for a return trip by both guides, so may just come back with our two girls and try a Tibet trip or something. If we do, we will definitely be back in touch. Also, we have a great company here which we do a lot of treks through. They are keen to know about our trip with you and are always looking for companies to work with overseas who are reliable and fit with their style of travel. Would you mind if we pass on your details to them, as we think your company would be a good fit for them also?

Deanne & Raymond Sinclair, Australia


 Our trip yesterday with Oliver was so wonderful. I cannot begin to show my appreciation for his patience, knowledge and good humor. The trip was perfect in every way. The hike was magnificent, the meal was wonderful and even the transport was just fine in spite of traffic. Oliver was a fantastic guide from start to finish. He knows a lot of Chinese history of the Wall and seems very proud of his heritage. He has a terrific command of English, made even more sweet by his wonderful sense of humor. I wish we had more time to do more trips with your organization,

Sarah Smedley and Tim Cole, USA

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I want to express my satisfaction with the various items your company put together for my tour of Xi'an. I liked the hotel very much and the tours were good. I will definitely recommend you to others.

Eric Lund, USA

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We walked the Jiankou-Mutianyu and Gubeikou-Jinshanling with our guide Jack. Although the weather was not good it was a great experience, especially the night in tents in the watchtower with heavy rain, thunder and lightning- so amazing.

Charlotte Winding, Denmark


Monday, January 20, 2014

Great Wall Cares: Charity Programs to Support Great Wall Village People

About Great Wall Cares®

While millions of visitors have had the opportunity to walk on the Great Wall, we at Great Wall Adventure Club want to shine a spotlight on those individuals living along Great Wall, and to give hope and encourage progress to them and their community.  We are committed to ensuring that all of our clients have a positive environmental and cultural impact on the places they go and the people they meet.  In order to expand upon this idea we have formed a new charitable organization called Great Wall Cares. Through aiding the local economy in terms of education, jobs, and stability, we are striving to improve the lives for these hard-working and wonderful people.      
 
While much of the international media spotlight on China has been focusing on the cities and urban areas, Great Wall Cares wants to shift the conversation to China’s rural areas, many of which are struggling with poverty and a lack of education. Great Wall Cares sees a world where the needs of those in rural China are given the careful attention and support they deserve from people and organizations from around the world.
 
Great Wall Cares plans on tackling the issues facing rural China in a multitude of ways, by giving, teaching, training, through the support of our partner businesses, charities, and schools, and by the creation of a Great Wall Charity Trek, information on which will be upcoming in the next few months. For more information on the upcoming Great Wall Charity Trek and all of our other current efforts please refer to the “Great Wall Charity Trek” and “Current Initiatives” tabs at the top of this website.
 
Simply put, at Great Wall Cares, we’ve been inspired. The places and the connections that we’ve made during our travels along the Great Wall- whether it’s been with the people, the land, or just the vitality of a certain area - is what drives us to utilize the powerful reach of tourism to create a positive, sustainable impact on the Great Wall that we all cherish. Great Wall Cares endeavors to build a Great Wall for an even greater tomorrow.
 
Please visit Great Wall Cares site for details!

Great Wall Adventure Club: Responsible Tourism


Responsible Tourism by Great Wall Adventure Club

Our responsible tourism and environmental policies form an integral part of Great Wall Adventure Club’s how we operate. Our overseas challenges visit some of the world’s most amazing places and we want to help preserve them as much as possible for future generations!

We are committed to ensuring that all our customers have a positive impact on the places they go and the people they meet.

We believe that more than anything it is the people around you who really make an adventure special. That’s why we think we go further than any other company in helping the people living in China, particularly rural areas of this country. To us, responsible tourism means treating all our local employees and associates fairly and ensuring they are properly remunerated for their hard work and commitment to each and every challenge.

  • In many of our destinations of the Great Wall sections,  we have local partners who are extremely knowledgeable about the Great Wall’s terrain, hiking routes, paths, military areas, to make sure our hiking is safe and well-operated.
  • We are hiring local guides who are peasants of low income. Our employment of those people and using their facilities such as their accommodation and dining facilities to make a year-round contribution to the local economy.
  • Our guides are paid significantly more than government and our competitors.
  • We do not use tips to top-up salaries, as we pay our staff a fair and generous wage.  The distribution of tips is carefully monitored by us to ensure fairness and transparency.
  • We take pride in our staff and local partners, and the invaluable contributions they make to ensuring all our clients have the best possible experience. We run an annual reward scheme for the staff who have received positive feedback from trip participants.
  • We have evaluation of the local hostels we use. Great Wall Adventure Club’s certification program is one of the first of its kind in China. The certification program is meant to ensure quality control, and is yet another way in which GWAC is making sure that our clients can get the best travel experience as possible. Utilized by our lodgings (ranging from resorts to hostels) and restaurants, a Great Wall certified establishment means that our clients’ lodging/restaurant is up to Western standards in terms of safety, comfort, convenience, and any other amenities that a Western visitor would come to expect. We only use officially approved lodgings/restaurants for our travel programs, and we are constantly evaluating and reviewing these locations on a yearly basis.
  • We adhere to strict guidelines regarding the vehicles we use meet the standards of environment protection and the safety standards of People’s Republic of China.
  • All of our staff (all our office staff, guides, cooks, porters, drivers) are local to the area, providing jobs and stability to the local economy.

Testimonials from Several Clients about Their Experience of Great Wall Hiking!

Below are the testimonials from some clients who took our Great Wall hiking programs.


It was a great day and your guide was excellent. I will certainly look to use you for future trips when in China.

Phil McAveety, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide's Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer

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Thanks Vivian! We had a really great time. Aaron was awesome! The hike was definitely harder than we expected - especially the night hike, the first one through the wood - but at the end of it all it was extremely rewarding. We feel very proud of our accomplishment and grateful to have experienced this once in a lifetime trip. My colleagues who visited on Tuesday all had a great time! I think they were just jealous that we got to do 3 days :)

Laura Silverman, Publicist

Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil

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I highly recommend taking a tour with this company. They are very organized, and make the whole process very easy.

I really enjoyed the 1AA day trip, the wild sections of the wall are amazing, and a good challenge. If I had more time, I would have like to try one of the multi-day trips. Our guide Connie was also great, she was very knowledgeable whenever we had questions about the wall, very friendly and her English was very good.

I was outside of to pickup and drop off area, and when we returned to Beijing from the trip, I needed to get a cab back. Terrance and his girlfriend both helped me get a cab back to my hotel, negotiated a price for me and told the driver where I needed to go. This was totally above and beyond what they needed to do, and I really appreciated it!

Again highly recommended!

Pete Gemakas
Research In Motion Ltd - BlackBerry
Waterloo, Ontario
Canada

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We just completed the Jiankou to Mutianyu hike with Leo on Monday 15th of November 2010 and I wanted to say how wonderful the trip was - your sight mentions it will be the highlight of our staying China and it most certainly was.

It is a memory I will hold forever and while I found the hike challenging physically I cant imagine seeing the wall any other way. This 1 day hike was the only way to really see the wall.

Leo was fantastic .. very knowledge, friendly and his English was exceptional.

You really made our family trip once in a lifetime event - I will have no hesitation in recommending you to anybody.

Lana King
American Express International, Singapore

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Thank you for an amazing experience and incredible day hiking the Jiankou to Mutianyu section of the Wall. Every part of the tour was fantastic - your courtesy and professionalism from the very first email through to being dropped off at our hotel after the day on the Wall made every moment enjoyable. In particular, I am emailing to praise our tour guide, Bill.

By sharing his vast knowledge of the Wall during our ride in and while hiking the wall, Bill make the journey even more interesting and enjoyable. Bill has a wonderfully positive attitude and was extremely helpful and encouraging during every minute of our trip. In addition to recommending the Great Wall Adventure Club to friends and colleagues, I have also recommended that they ask for Bill as a guide.

I'd like to say thank you again for making our experience absolutely incredible!

Melissa K. Siekierski
Ernst & Young. LLP

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I wanted to send a quick note of to say thank you for an amazing adventure. The entire day was perfect thanks to our tour guide, Bill. He was so knowledgeable about the wall’s different sections and history and he certainly made the experience fun and interesting. I will certainly recommend this excursion to friends and family and I will be certain they ask for Bill for an outstanding experience!!! Thanks,

Mary Zabjek
Gartner | Healthcare
USA

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I wanted to take a moment to thank you so much for asking Oliver to be my tour guide on these two tours. He is very knowledgeable, which I would expect from any competent tour guide. In addition he is very enthusiastic and obviously very much enjoys and takes pride in escorting his guests. He was a lot of fun to be with and I very much enjoyed our time together. Oliver is an excellent tour guide and brings honor to The Great Wall Adventure company. Also, I also very much appreciated our driver who, although he spoke no English, was very friendly.

I will most definitely recommend your company to my friends who might travel to China, and hopefully will visit there again someday soon.

C. Russo, USA

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Aaron did a fantastic job guiding us for 4 days on the wall. He was very informative and fun to talk with.

Joy was our tour guide in Xian. Joy also did a fantastic job and was very knowledgeable. Joy went above and beyond what a guided needed to do as she actually rode to the airport with us to make sure we got checked in okay.

A big thank you to both Aaron and Joy for making my trip to China - a trip of a lifetime. A trip that was fun but also a great learning experience!

Theresa (Teri) Hamer, USA

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Aaron was a fantastic guide. He was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and pleasant. His command of English was great, and he was very informative about local geography and Chinese history. He was very sensitive to my dietary restrictions (vegetarian) and worked with the various restaurants to make sure I was able to get the food I needed. He was also flexible in adjusting the itinerary since I had some knee problems during the middle of the trip. The driver Mr. Bai was relatively new, and while pleasant, was not as flexible as Aaron. They worked out everything that had to be worked out. All in all, it was quite a memorable trip, and I've already recommended Aaron and the Company to my client who makes frequent trips to China. I hope we'll be able to sign up for another adventure soon! Many thanks.

Adam E., USA

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I am emailing to say thank you so much for the warm welcome we had in Beijing. I was very impress with Jack and the driver. Travelling with a child can be quite challenging but Jack made it easier for us. They really went out of their way by finding us KFC or a western toilet. I would definitely book a tour with this company again, it was worth every cent, please thanks Jack and the driver for being patient and awesome people!! Thanks again.

Rebecca, Leana and Summer:), New Zealand

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I just wanted to let you know that I had an incredible day hiking the Wall. Jack was so wonderful and the other two people you arranged for me to go with were so nice. The route was spectacular!! Thank you again and I'll be certain to recommend your company to anyone I know traveling to Beijing!

Mary Birkhauser, USA
  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Experience the Greatness and Wonder of China on Foot

      Officially established in 2003 in the cities of Dallas, Texas and Beijing, China, for 10 years Great Wall Adventure Club (GWAC) has been bringing the wonder, mystery, and excitement of “the middle kingdom” to visitors and daring explorers from all over the world. Our satisfied clients have included over 12,500 people from 59 countries. Initially established as solely a Great Wall trekking organization for backpackers, our success and drive has lead to us expanding operation to include all angles of China exploration, from cruises on the Yangtze, hiking in Tibet, exploring the tropics of Yunnan, and all the other great pursuits to be had.
      Great Wall Adventure Club has been proud to lead numerous illustrious groups on their own Great Wall trek. US Softball, Google, IBM, and the Embassy of the United States of America are just some of the parties we have been fortunate enough to serve. Just recently, the world renowned Cirque du Soleil, in China to perform their enormously popular "Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour" show elected to go on their very own Great Wall Adventure with us! Cirque du Soleil, which has performed on six out of seven continents, has provided a dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment to millions of people for almost 30 years .