My father and myself decided to have a holiday in China a few weeks ago.(Late March 2012) I looked up the trip adviser and saw a recommendation about a particular concierge named “Storm Li” who works at the Holiday Inn Central Plaza in Beijing. My father had visited China the year beforehand and seen the Great Wall together with 50,000 other tourists. We wanted a more intimate experience on this trip!
We met Storm and told him we wanted to see the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors but not by a bus with thousands of other tourists. Storm came up with an itinerary that was simply fantastic.
1. He arranged for us to travel to a part of the Great Wall that is in original condition. It happens to be located in the back yard of a farmer’s property. What an experience!!! We were the only two people there and spent as much time as we wanted walking and exploring the Wall. The farmer’s wife was our guide. After this the two of us were treated to a lovely lunch at the farmer’s house---the meal was simply delicious!! A 30 minute drive to another part of the wall—again only the two of us there. We walked up unbelievably steep steps and stayed as long as we liked. Afternoon tea at another farmer’s house—wonderful !! I might add these farmer’s houses are very old and basic—the farmer and his wife were so friendly and genuine. They obviously have a hard life but seem very content and happy with it. Meeting the farmers was simply another highlight of our trip !!!
2. Storm arranged for us to get to the Terracotta Warriors at Xian. He recommended that we visit the Longmen Grotto on the way. He arranged all bookings ---trains, accommodation, guides and air fares back to Beijing. We were picked up early in the morning and taken to the train. How anyone could do this themselves is beyond me! Storm had arranged for a lovely lady(no English) to pick us up from the station to take us to our hotel for an overnight stay. The Longmen Grotto is a whole mountain carved by Buddhist priests commencing in the 5th century. According to a souvenir book there are 2345 caves, 2800 inscriptions, 40 Buddhist pagodas and over a hundred thousand Buddhist images----the whole mountain is grottos and is a must see!!!! I might add we did not see another European face there so I don’t think anyone knows about outside of China. We saw something nearby that again is unique to China. Our hotel was in a large city only 10 minutes from the Longman Grotto. Now I counted over 100 high rise apartment buildings, beautiful roads, parks,trees,an unbelievably large just completed railway station but very few people. It was really weird to look down from our hotel window and see no activity in the streets. It was described to us as a “Development City” whereas they are building the city and when completed eventually moving the capital which is approx 20 kilometres away. This is indeed worth seeing ---a whole city with very few people—This is impressive!!!
3. Next morning our friendly guide picked us up from the hotel and delivered us to the railway station and we caught the fast train to Xian. We were travelling at 294 Kilometres per hour and was a thrill. Arrived at Xian and was met at the station by our lovely personal guide and her driver. Helen’s English was perfect. Storm seems to have a network of guides all over China! She showed us the old city walls of Xian (14 Kilometres in circumference) and then took us to the terracotta warriors -- she was our guide throughout ---unbelievable!!! We left the next morning by plane( which was again all arranged by Storm) for Beijing.
China is not the easiest place to get around except for the advertised tours that are in every hotel lobby. If anyone is looking for a holiday in China outside of the normal advertised tours---Storm is your man!!! His English is perfect, his product knowledge is great and his network system( which is essential) is unbelievable. He can tell you places to see that you have probably never heard of. He is so accommodating as well --- when I happen to tell him my new camera had broken (I purchased it in the new development city a few days prior )he took it late one night and gave it back the next morning at 8.30am fixed---how good is that!!! I might add that all these trips and personal guides as arranged by Storm were very reasonably priced.
We could not be any happier.
It felt like a once in a life time trip you will never forget !!!!!!
Bottom Line--------Storm is your Man if you intend visiting Beijing!!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Holiday Inn Central Plaza Beijing, an Award-Winning hotel, is conveniently located in Guanganmen commercial and civic area, adjacent to the new Municipal Government Office Building and is within a stone's throw from Beijing's Financial Street. The hotel is close to tourist and shopping attractions such as Wangfujing, Oriental Plaza and the Forbidden City. It is 10 minutes drive from the West and South Train Station and 45 minutes from the Capital Airport.The hotel has 322 contemporary guest rooms, including suites and two floors of Executive Club rooms, all equipped with wired and wireless broadband internet, speaker telephone and multi-language voice mail. With a 640 square meter, pillar-free ballroom and 8 other function rooms ranging from 35 to 176 square meters, the hotel is an ideal venue for business meetings and social functions alike. All the meeting rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual facilities, built-in work station, wireless broadband connection and video conference facilities. The hotel's professional meeting team will ensure every event a success.The hotel also provides other facilities like business center ticketing and tour desk, kiosk, car rental, concierge taxi and limousine service, baby sitting service, karaoke as well as a Mini Golf Club. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Central Plaza Hotel Beijing
- Holiday Inn Beijing
- Beijing Holiday Inn
- Holiday Inn Central Plaza Beijing