Lunch on Tour
We consider experiencing good Chinese cuisine to be an important part of the tour experience. When on a tour, lunch is generally Chinese style and normally included in the price. Our guides will help you order according to your taste. Mild, spicy, meat, vegetables, rice and/or noodles. Dishes are served family style and shared by the guests. The driver may eat on his own but the guide will join you if you like.
Food in Beijing is quite good quality and we take our guests to genuine local restaurants, not tourist traps. We consider it distasteful to ask you for small amounts of money during the tour, so we offer unlimited standard drinks including Coke, Sprite, bottled water, Chinese tea and local beers. You also won't leave the table hungry, if you need more to eat just let your guide know.
We don't have fixed restaurants we must use, it depends on where you are at the time you are hungry. When traveling around China we normally have the same arrangements outside Beijing but this may vary depending on your exact itinerary.
Unless there is a special activity planned or you prefer to have all your meals catered, guests often prefer to relax after a day tour and arrange their own dinner. This gives you flexibility in time and cuisine. Handling your own dinner allows you to have some control and also the chance to strike
out on you own. Your guide can give you restaurant suggestions and in big cities you can find lots of options for both Western and Chinese fine dining and fast food. Most 4 and 5 star hotels will have their own restaurants, but the hotel front desk can also make restaurant recommendations.
While Chinese food has a lot of variety, you may find yourself craving pizza, pasta, or something more familiar from back home. Luckily, most of the major tourist destinations like Beijing, Shanghai, and Yangshuo offer many Western dining options from small cafes to international fast food chains where you can get reasonably priced food.
Most hotels come with breakfast, or if not it can be added at a cost. Four and five star hotels will generally offer a good western and Chinese buffet breakfast. Three star hotels may only have a Chinese breakfast, or a Chinese interpretation of a western breakfast. Anyway a Chinese breakfast is not bad - rice porridge, eggs, Chinese style breads and vegetables.
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If your children are hankering to stop at McDonald's or KFC, your guide can do this on the go.
Chinese cuisine can be great for vegetarians, but very difficult for vegans. If meat or fish is not used in a dish, usually eggs are. Beijing and Shanghai have a greater number of specifically vegetarian restaurants where it is easier for vegetarians and vegans to order what they like.
As China has a number of Muslim ethnic groups, there are many halal options in almost every city in China. If you require halal food, we can easily accommodate. Kosher eating is more limited, but Beijing and Shanghai offer some options.