I like to travel on my own, but sometimes, in more complicated regions or when feeling lazy I opt for a travel agency. No, I do not like big groups, they aren’t my preference. But there is always a possibility to get into a small one. How? Look for travel agencies working with small groups. You can find them even in China! If you travel with a small group, you never need to wait for long when your fellow travelers will come back to the bus, or wait in long lines. A good example os such agency – China Culture Center – www.chinaculturecenter.org. The trips they offer are not cheap, but always interesting. All trips I went to with them had 5-6 people only.
Another travel agency I can recommend- China Discovery – www.chinadiscovery.com. They had the guides – ok almost all of them:)) – with possible -to-understand English and quite a good knowledge of the area, which is not very common here. You can take them even if you are on your own, but 3-4 people would be less costly…
One more tip for a reliable travel agency
One more tip for travelers in China – have a look at Ctrip (now they just converted into Trip) – one of the biggest on-line travel agencies in the world (even for your trips outside China) you might have nice surprises there. If in China- ask your Chinese friends to help you- if you use the site in Chinese language, you will get even better price.
If you want get more practical information for your trip to China have a look at my book Ani Right ” Practical Tips to Live or Travel in China” at www.amazon.com/ dp/ B075Z3WGY8
A disclaimer- those agencies do not pay me for advertising, they have no clue that I write about them. This is just my personal experience!