Gecko’s was recommended to me by a traveller I met in Thailand. I decided to check it out, read some reviews and instantly knew this was the group I wanted to travel with as I was travelling on my own. I knew I wanted to head to China and see more of the inland than the coast. It was perfect!
There were so many great things about this trip. The landscape was amazing. Every bus, boat or train ride I was looking out at the beautiful countryside. I would continually lag at the back of the group as I wanted to take as much time as I could looking out at the views and of course, taking pictures.
Climbing the Great Wall of China was fantastic; however, the absolute highlight of my trip was in Xian, seeing Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors. They were absolutely massive and beyond what I imagined.
The best local experience was in Yangshou. We rented bikes and rode through small towns and gorgeous scenery. I had a smile planted on my face and tears in my eyes at the breathtaking beauty that surrounded me.
Did you bring home any souvenirs?
Of course! My favourite is a Chinese lion head brass door knocker that I bought for myself. I plan on putting it on the front door of my next apartment.
What was your favourite food?
That’s tough - hot pot, noodles, dumplings, Peking duck, stir fried rice. But if I had to choose just one...the best meal I ate was at a small little restaurant/stall that I happened to come across as I went for a walk in Xian, specifically in the Muslim Quarter. There was no menu so I looked around the restaurant and just pointed to what some other patron was eating. I was a little nervous but when the dish was placed before me it smelled heavenly. And the taste.... mmm… a perfect mix and blend of spices, meat, and noodles. Simply delicious!
What was the local transport like?
One of the funniest experiences I had was the overnight train rides. The first overnight train we took we were all were in a fit of giggles at the six-bed compartments. Climbing to the top bunk and trying to change into your pajamas created an explosion of laughter.
What item do you always take with you when you travel?
Any tips for anyone considering joining a Gecko’s tour of China?
Be prepared for the stares from the local people. It took me a while to become comfortable with the stares – but they are not mean or harmful looks. They’re just inquisitive, questioning or inquiring looks. Say hello and see what happens!
Thanks Heidi! It sounds like you had a wonderful time! For sending through a trip review, Heidi has scored a voucher to use towards her next Gecko’s tour. She’s already planning a Machu Picchu trek.
If you’d like to tell us about your own Gecko’s experience, you can post a review on the Reviews Tab of our Facebook page! If you post a review by 30 September 2010, you’ll receive an AUD$50 voucher (or equivalent in your currency) towards your next Gecko’s tour!*
*AUD$50 towards a Gecko’s Grassroots Adventure tour, land cost only (excludes international and local flights). The voucher is valid for a new booking only and travel must be completed by 30 September 2011. No extensions apply. If you reside outside of Australia, the AUD$50 will be converted into your local currency on the day your booking is made, using www.xe.com Gecko’s Adventures takes no responsibility for currency fluctuations. This voucher is not transferable. The voucher cannot be sold or redeemed for cash. There is no refund for any unused portion of the voucher. Gecko’s takes no responsibility for winners who do not redeem their voucher within the time period specified. Your voucher cannot be used in conjunction with any other Gecko’s sale/discount or Last Minute Special. However, your voucher can be used in conjunction with the Loyalty Discount. Passengers must be 18 years of age or over. Booking conditions as per our website www.geckosadventures.com Other conditions may apply. The winner must be aged 18 years or over.