Subject: Re: Considering China
Hello again Debby et al.

You asked in your original post about Eldertrek. They are a company out of Toronto and although I haven't travelled with them I have been on two trips with their former company Passages, which was similar but not aimed specifically at an older age group. When they changed their focus the accommodations became a little more upmarket and travel a little more comfortable. A friend just returned from their Vietnam trip and had a wonderful time. The local Vietnamese guide was delightful, the accommodation and food was very good. She usually travels independently, often with me but this time as she was solo she felt the need for a small group tour. She was a very satisfied customer and will use them again.

When I originally thought about China, I wanted to go independently and posted messages on the intenet. My first 5 replies all said don't do it! Eventually I got other more encouraging responses but decided as I wanted to meet the people as well as see the sights, I went with the tour. Because we wanted to see the Panda Breeding Research Center at Chendu and also to stay and walk on un-restored sections of the Great Wall, we had a week or so on our own at the end of the tour. Although we enjoyed ourselves and coped with travel arrangements, etc. and the walk on the "Wild Wall" was spectacular, we did not get the opportunity to interact with local people other than young students wanting to practice their English and we didn't have a decent meal once we lost Jasmine's guidance.

Regards Sue Waterloo ON