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I found an amazing trip to China back in September 2016 with Titan Travels, and booked it straight away as this was everything I ever wanted to do in when I visited for the first time. Now I always book my long haul trips with Susan at Holiday Please as she has always looked after us so well and have done so since 2012. Up to this trip all of my long haul travels are with Kuoni and have been amazing.
Anyway in the new year of 2017, I had read online that British Airways had withdrawn an airline service meaning that one of my flights have been cancelled. So I was aware of this and left it for about four weeks, expecting to hear from Titian Travels. So I called them, three times over one week, and each time they refused to speak to me. This made me feel very stressed, as this was also the time that my bad health had flared up and within weeks I was back on physiotherapy and eventually signed off work for over four months. Thankfully, Sue looked into this and advised that we could continue with the trip with amended flights and lay over in Amsterdam. Or change the trip completely and go somewhere else. I asked if we could have a tour only price and did ended up booking our our flights, And this did work out cheaper. The price that was quoted with Titan Travels was £1599 per person plus visa costs. We ended up paying £1121.76 plus visa costs, with includes an extra hotel room and our flights from Chengdu back to Beijing. We did look into continuing to Shanghai but that could be another trip in the future.
It was not however even clear until late April that the decision was made that we go ahead with the trip, when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and I was put on very strong medication just to get through the trip. Then the trip came round. I was apprehensive and nervous, this was my dream trip. I do not book tours like this. I love travelling interdependently so this was a good test to see what my potential future travels could be.
After arriving in Beijing airport, we were met and then just literally left in the terminal waiting for our tour manager Francis. It was a bit of a mess but then we had been delayed back at Heathrow for an hour due to a broken down plane.
The way this Essential China worked with Titan Travels is, you have a excursion included in the morning and then you chose whether you want to pay extra for the afternoon and evening ones. We did two extra excursions which cost about twenty five pounds per person. We did get sent all this information in the post just before we left. And had picked what we liked the look of. And we were advised the price of the tipping pool before hand which was much appreciated.
Our tour manager Francis, could not do enough for us. We really lucked out and even we went off to visit the Olympic Park on our own, he advised on subway tickets. I really like him and he is a credit to Titan in China ! And he travelled around China with us, that was nice. We did have local guides in Xi’an and Chengdu but I always went back to Francis as he was so good with us all.
The tour did feel rushed in Xi’an. We had two nights here and I would have liked an city tour around the oldest city walls in China. I felt that an extra night would be nicer and I was not the only one who felt this way.
The average age group for this trip was probably sixty years old and a few of the couples in their seventies had more energy than me. Mind you, my pills got mixed up with the change of time zones and left me with sleep patterns of three hours or less every night for the first five nights. Which probably did not help me. And my pain levels were all over the place.
Would I book an escorted tour again, most probably. Would I book with Titan Travel maybe when I am older. Unless of course there is a trip that is both the right price and the right experiences. Who knows. My first trip Essential China was amazing. I would recommend this trip for an introduction to Beijing, Xian and Chengdu and I just loved it !