This was a great way to start our trip in China. The tour guide and driver were excellent as they arrived on time and met us in our hotel lobby. The tour guide spoke wonderful English and was very knowledgeable. The cruise was a small cruise on a simple open air larger boat that seats many people. The region is beautiful and surprisingly so green! We went during late May and it was very quiet and not crowded at all. Our tour guide mentioned this is not a very well known tour so it isn't very busy - yet. The cave dwellings were interesting as they are small homes carved out of the side of rocks. You can enter the dwellings and experience the nice cool indoor temperatures. The tour is strenuous but well worth the sweat and huffing and puffing to walk up the hills. If you live at a higher elevation it shouldn't be any trouble for you, but for us sea-level dwellers it was a little bit of a struggle. The tour as a whole is good for active to very active people who don't require a wheelchair or walker. The paths are wide but the elevation is a challenge. I don't want to discourage anyone but just trying to let people be aware. If I went back to China I would pay for the tour again. It is pricey considering most Chinese tours are inexpensive, but having a private driver and tour guide was well worth the money. From Beijing it takes about an hour or so to reach the destination but on the way you catch your first glimpses of the great wall. Don't do the Great Wall and this tour in the same day, you won't have time. They also provided a GREAT lunch at a local restaurant. They will also give you tips on where to shop in Beijing. Give them a try, it was a great experience for us.
I just arrived back from a trip to Beijing and this was definitely the highlight of the holiday - a must see for anyone visiting Beijing!
Longqingxia Gorge is a place of incredible beauty and due to it being relatively unkown to tourists is very peaceful unlike many of the heavily visited areas. The boat ride was great and the scenery all around you from both the boat and whilst on foot is truly stunning.
The Guyaju caves are also very intersting to see and are one of only a very few places around that you can see such an example of these type of ancient dwellings.
My tour guide Lily from Lily's Beijing Tour Guide and Car Service was really fantastic. She was very friendly, knowledgable and extremely helpful, both in terms of providing suggestions on other locations to visit depending upon your particular interests and also recommending places to go for food or just to grab a drink. She also spoke fluent English which is by no means Always the case when doing tours in Beijing.