Subject: Re: What do you like/dislike about guided tours?

Your experience reminds me of a similar one we had in Kyoto, Japan.

A Japanese business associate of my husband's arranged a tour of some special gardens that one was not allowed to enter unless on a guided tour. We were on a tour that was supposed to be in both Japanese and English. However, we were the only English speaking people in the group.

The tour director practically ignored us and would go on and on in Japanese and then say one little basic sentence in English. Most of the time it was come along. She ignored our requests to repeat things in English. It was very annoying.

There was a Frenchman in the group who was with a private French tour guide who spoke Japanese. I speak high school level French, so I stuck close to them and listened as she translated the Japanese into French. I missed a lot, however, at least I got some of it.

Generally speaking, we're not people that take many tours. We prefer to go our own way, but as Lucy pointed out, sometimes you can pick up some really useful info by sticking with a tour group in a particular church or museum.

On our recent trip to Kangaroo Island, Australia, doing a two day tour was the best way to go. The guides drove us all around the island gave us lots of info about the animals, conservation efforts, etc. It wouldn't have been as enjoyable without them. The fact that the guides are KI natives and just love what they do certainly added to the enjoyment.

Candice NYC