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Touring with Catherine Lu

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HCMC
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Touring with Catherine Lu

We are an American family of five (three boys, ages 7,5, and 1) who live in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. We have spent the last week in Beijing. We just completed day three of our touring of Beijing with Catherine Lu. She was an excellent and very efficient tour guide.

I initially contacted her about 2 months ago to see if she was available. She responded very quickly to email messages sent to her. She came up with several itineraries for our family. At the time we were unsure if we wanted to use her services for 3 or 4 days. She came up with different plans for us depending on how many days we hired her. In the end we decided on three days. She took us to most of the big sights in Beijing. She offered so much insight into each place we toured and made things so much more interesting than if we had been by ourselves. In addition to her extensive knowledge of the city and Chinese history, she is also very friendly and helpful. We are not exactly easy to tour with considering all of our kids, but she was very patient and kind with our family. The boys asked her many silly questions and she was always willing to answer and our baby had so much fun with her.

In addition to the touring, she also arranged airport pickup and dropoff, tickets to the kung fu show and acrobat show, and transportation with a van and driver for each day of our touring. The driver was very good and did not mind our very noisy boys in the car. The days we were not with her, she offered suggestions for other things we could do in town. Overall, she made our trip so much easier and much more interesting. We would definitely recommend her services to anyone visiting Beijing. She can be contacted at catherine_1130@hotmail.com

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Touring with Catherine Lu

Great report. Glad you were pleased with her services!

Auckland, New...
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2. Re: Touring with Catherine Lu

We spent about 4 days in Beijing (Oct 6 - Oct 9) and also engaged Catherine Lu as our tour guide. We could have done the trip ourselves without a guide but decided that we would use Catherine as a guide , and was very happy with our decision. She speaks excellent English (I can speak Mandarin but my husband only speaks English), is very knowledgeable in the history and background of all the sights we visited. Her father drove the car which took us to the Great Wall and we were very pleased with his service as well.

Overall, we were extremely glad that we visited Beijing, and glad that we managed to engaged Catherine services as a guide - definitely highly recommended.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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3. Re: Touring with Catherine Lu

Would you be kind enough to inform the readers about her rates (specifying what was included and how many hours) and how much per day for the van.

Singapore
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1 review
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4. Re: Touring with Catherine Lu

We were on a business trip in Tianjin and had a free weekend in Beijing. I myself is a Singaporean with 2 Americian colleaques. I searched for private tour guide and found Catherine Lu.

We booked her for 2 days on 8 & 9-Jan. Her service is very good and she is quite knowledgable about Beijing. She speaks good English. For 2 days, we toured Great Wall in Mutianyu, Summer Palace, Fobidden City, Temple of Heaven and shopping in Pearl Market.

The places that she took us for lunches were local resturants, They serve very tasty food and very cheap. For the 3 of us with Catherine and the driver(5 persons), the lunches were each less than RMB200.

For dinner on 8-Jan-11, we were on our own and went to a nice high class resturant. For 3 of us, our dinner cost us RMB1700. We should have ask her to take us out for dinner. It may not be a high class resturant but the places that she took us for lunches were very good in taste and very cheap.

When we want to do some shopping, she would ask us what we want and then bring us to Pearl Market and help us to bargin down the price of a jacket from RMB1400 to RMB300.

I would highly recommend her to others as a private tour guide. The saving that we get from lunches and shopping would easily pay off her tour guide fee.

Her contact detail is catherine_1130@hotmail.com

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Touring with Catherine Lu

john, did cathy stick to an 8 hour day or was she flexible with the time?

Singapore
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6. Re: Touring with Catherine Lu

The tour itinerary for us on the 1st day was from 8am to 6:15pm. As we went to watch the Acrobatic show which start from 5:15pm to 6;15pm, she asked us if we mind that she do not join us for the show but have the driver take us back to the hotel after the show.

I think she is flexible on the time but you show clarify it with her before you confirm the her service.

Edited: 11 January 2011, 20:54
Los Angeles
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327 posts
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7. Re: Touring with Catherine Lu

My question is the same as JPDeM....

I am curious to know how much she charged......I see the the cost of everything else mentioned, except her charges.

Thanks.

Robbie

Sydney
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8. Re: Touring with Catherine Lu

We had Catherine for 2 days last week.

She met us at hotel at 9am (because it's freezing cold in the morning) and the tour end around 5-5.30pm and she charged us RMB400/day.

We went to Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Drum Tower, Bell Tower, Hutongs and Prince Qing's Mansion on the first day.

Heaven of Temple, Lama Temple and Summer Palace on the second day.

Cathy is very nice lady - she took us to nice restaurants.

Don't forget to ask her many questions :-)

I don't think you need tour guide when visit Mutianyu - only need a driver - I have been charged RMB 500 for Mutianyu & Olympic Stadium - I spent 5 and half hour at Mutianyu - great experience.

Los Angeles
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9. Re: Touring with Catherine Lu

Thanks for the info SydneyPilot.

I was wondering....when you pay someone RMB400 per day, does one also tip her/him? how about the driver? If so, how much?

Thanks.

Robbie

Sydney
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83 posts
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10. Re: Touring with Catherine Lu

I didn't tip ... but invited Catherine to lunch - she said no to dinner.