Two weeks ago, we came back from our 23-days long trip in China, and are still mesmerized by everything we saw and did! We had contacted a dozen travel agencies, but chose to go with China Highlights, because of Leo Weng’s high reactivity and availability. Not only did Leo plan our trip very well (despite our various requests for changes in the itinerary and hotels), but his service was also impeccable from the start to the very end of our almost 1-month trip!
We first flew to Beijing, where we visited for 3 days, then traveled to Xian with high-speed train. From there, we moved towards western China along the ancient Silk Road. We stopped in Lanzhou and Linxia where we visited the wonderful Bingling Grottoes and the Tibetan Labrang Monastery in Xiahe, wandered around the breathtaking Rainbow Mountains in Zhangye, hiked up the “Suspended Great Wall” in Jiayuguan, and rode a camel in the desert of Dunhuang. We then spent a few days in Turpan and Ürümqi in Xinjiang Province, home of the Uyghurs. After our Silk road trip we flew to Kunming in Yunnan, where we traveled along the ancient Tea Horse Road. We loved all the charming small towns of the Bai and Naxi ethnic minorities, as well Shangri-La where we learned a lot about Buddhism thanks to our local guide Tenzin. One day before we left Shangri-La for Beijing via Kunming, we’ve been told that we’ll have to check out our luggages in Kunming before taking the connecting flight. When we told Leo that we might not have enough time, he immediately changed our flights so that we have more layover time. This as well as many other things that Leo and all our local guides had arranged for us during our trip show how excellent China Highlights’ service really is!
We had already appreciated their service when we visited Guilin in 2015. But after this trip, we’re now convinced that we’ll never explore China with another travel agency but China Highlights!
Review by Wongoz2 months ago
The service was excellent. Pick up at time. Good organization. Driver was good. The best was all the help than we received for Leo, you are a professional person, enthusiast, kindly. Thank you so much Leo, We appreciate all your help and customer service.
Review by Matthys2 months ago
Like my China trip 2 years ago my trip to Vietnam was just as good. Never knowing what to expect this trip exceeded all we hoped for
Top of the line hotels,food and tour guider.would highly recommend asis highlights to anyone who wants a bang ford a buck.went beyond for my meals which i asked for no fish
Five very happy women
Who survived the heat.Planning next trip
Review by EmmaVase Ravnsbæk3 months ago
Mine and my family's first time in Mongolia, Asia Highlights arranged an amazing itinerary for us. The guides and drivers we had were superb.
Review by Odeni4 months ago
My 12-day private trip to Vietnam was a very rewarding experience, and every day was fantastic, and well above expectations. My trip was perfectly well prepared and organized by Lissy Syoo from Asia Highlights, who connected me with Leo Weng, who selected my private guides and drivers. The only arrangements that I made on my own were the international and domestic flights, all with Vietnam Airlines, which is a very dependable airline.
My Vietnam trip was divided into 3 parts: Southern Vietnam, Central Vietnam and Northern Vietnam (4 days in each region). It will be hard to summarize in one review such a wonderful and extraordinary trip, but I will try to be as brief as possible.
In Southern Vietnam my private guide was Giang, who met me on arrival at Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) airport. On day 1 he gave me a good idea of what to expect in HCMC and during my 4 day visit to Southern Vietnam. On day 2 we went to Tay Ninh and visited the Cao Dai Temple where I was able to see the prayer ceremony at noon (which is incredibly beautiful), and during the afternoon a city tour of HCMC including the Jade Emperor Pagoda. On day 3 we spent more than 1 hour in Cholon (or Chinatown) in HCMC, with the open street markets and multiple pagodas, where we visited the extraordinary Thien Hau Temple. The we went to Vinh Long including a boat trip in the Mekong Delta and visited the Vinh Long market which is the most picturesque in Southern Vietnam. Then we went to Can Tho and I visited the Tay Do Night Market, which was also very colorful. On day 4 we took a boat to visit the famous Cai Rang floating market, probably the best floating market that I have seen so far in Asia. In Cai Rang we also went by foot to the An Binh market, which is also very colorful. As a bonus, Giang took me to visit the Binh Thuy ancient house near Can Tho, which is a gem to see. A famous French movie directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud called L’amant (“The lover”) was filmed here. Then we returned to HCMC.
In Central Vietnam my private guide was Tony. He was waiting for me at the airport in Da Nang when I arrived on day 5. From there we went to the Linh Ung Pagoda (Lady Buddha) which was recently built but still very impressive statues and architecture. We then went on a city tour of Da Nang. On day 6 we visited the Imperial City of Hue. A UNESCO World Heritage Site. Truly beautiful and worth seeing during a trip to Vietnam. On day 7 we visited the ancient ruins of My Son Sanctuary, and then went to the Thanh Ha pottery village and took a boat trip in Thu Bon River to Hoi An. In Hoi An we went on a walking tour of the ancient town and visited several old houses and Chinese Assembly halls. Then I took a boat trip in the Thu Bon River to watch the fishermen at sunset. Although Hoi An is very touristy, it is still extremely charming and worth the visit. It was a real pleasure to walk at night in the old town and enjoy an excellent Cao Lau for dinner, the typical dish of Hoi An. On day 8 we returned to Da Nang airport.
In Northern Vietnam my guide was Quang. The driver’s name was also Quang. On day 8 they were waiting for me on arrival at the airport in Hanoi. On day 9 we visited the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex, Ho Chi Minh’s humble stilt house and the fabulous One Pillar Pagoda, Then we went to the extraordinary Temple of Literature, also worth a visit, and then went on a walking tour in the fascinating Hanoi Old Quarter and around the Hoan Kiem Lake. On day 10 trip Quang and Quang took me to Halong Bay for a 2D1N cruise, which was marvelous, specially the floating fishermen’s village and an unforgettable sunset. On day 11 we returned to Hanoi and returned to Hanoi Old Quarter to visit the unique and famous Bach Ma Temple, the oldest in Hanoi. On day 12 we returned to Hanoi airport.
In summary, every day, every hour, every moment that I spent in Vietnam was so beautiful and extraordinary. It was also a great educational experience for me. I was very fortunate to have all the guides I had, and I am very thankful to Giang in HCMC and Southern Vietnam, Tony in Central Vietnam, and Quang in Hanoi, who were all very friendly and knowledgeable, they spoke fluently in English, and they easily accommodated to my preferences. I am also very grateful to all my drivers who were very courteous and very safe, and always very punctual.
To make my Vietnam experience even more pleasant I must mention that in Vietnam it is safe to walk any time during the day or night, and the people are very friendly and polite. Many of them understand English, and they always have a beautiful smile in their faces. Also, every time that I took a picture on one of their kids they were happy and they even said thank you, for taking their picture! The hotels are superb, restaurants are plentiful and Vietnamese food is delicious. And all the airports are modern, and very clean and efficient.
Vietnam is a must visit destination. It would love to return to Vietnam some day soon. There are so many interesting places to see in addition to those that I have already visited. I am very grateful to Lissy Syoo and Leo Weng from Asia Highlights for making this dream possible.
Review by CustomerRhian4 months ago
Traveling with Asia Highlights is a guaranteed wonderful experience in Asia! I super recommend them!
Review by Requal Bonhagen4 months ago
China Highlights have made our trip to Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai just perfect!! We have just 8 days to visit those three must visit cities in China; however, Leo Weng, our agent, made all the arrangements possible to fit our schedule and made our visit very confortable and memorable. Guides Vivi (Beijing), Sarah (Xi’an), and Johnny (Shanghai) with each drivers were all very kind and attended all our needs. We will definitely contact again China highlights for our next adventure in China.
Review by Oyuki4 months ago
In May 2019 Asia Highlights organised for my wife and me a 4 week study tour around China. IT was excellent, better than expected. Leo Weng did all the planning, and he also was available during the tour if need be.
We started in Beijing, then flew to Xi’an, then went by train to Chengdu, then by plane to Hanghzhou, after that flew to Guilin, took a boat to Yangshuo, and finally went by train to Hongkong.
Every day was fantastic, with amazing highlights to see. As I am a filmer, the guides took care of that and showed us the best spots for the film footage. All guides were very good, in particular the one in Chengdu and in Guilin. They were very knowledgeable and spoke good English.
If there was a problem, for example a guide in Beijing who did not meet our expectations, Leo replaced her from one day to the next. Very good service. Also when a camera was stolen in Guilin, the guide took a lot of effort to get the camera back.
All in all a remarkable tour. We highly recommend Asia Highlights.
After our tour, I will load all my China films on vimeo (user6882899)
Review by Gethin4 months ago
Having used Asia Highlights sister company China Highlights for my China adventure, I thought I would use them again for my trip to Taiwan as they provided exceptional service and tours on my previous trip. I certainly was not left disappointed and was met with the same excellent standards and service for my 2 say Taroko Gorge experience. From working with Ruby on the planning and booking process through to being welcomed by my Taiwan guide Henry, the whole process was awesome and met with ease. Henry had such a vast knowledge of Taroko and Taiwan in general. His hospitality and 'nothing is too much trouble' attitude made for a real unforgettable experience. I certainly recommend Asia Highlights to anyone interested in having a lasting quality experience and will be sure to use them again for my next Asian tour experience.
Review by Elden5 months ago
The company organised tailor made trip to me and my daughter to Vietnam and Laos. Everything was perfect - nothing to complain about. Every location - airport pickup, driver, air conditioned car, excursions well organised, English speaking guide - ready to discuss our wishes, telling interesting stuff about country.
10 out of 10.
Review by Piched5 months ago
Asia Highlights and particularly our Tokyo guide, Ms. Kanae Chida, were the best. When Kanae met us, she asked for details of what we wished to see and she constructed an outstanding combination of visits for the day. In addition to the temples and the old historic streets, she discovered that I loved azelia flowers. So she added a visit to a temple which today had a special azelia day which was one of the highlights for me. When walking through the market street, I spotted a shop selling Bento box food. Both of us love Bento boxes. Kanae helped us each chose a box of our favourite foods and then purchased them, together with bottles of green tea. Kanae suggested that it would be nice to sit in the main Tokyo park and eat them while admiring the peacefulness of the park and watching local people wander by. The Sun was bright and the temperature was warm so it was a very special occasion for both of us. Her initiative and courtesy was outstanding.
Review by Grasso5 months ago
My wife and I had a private tour in Vietnam organized by Asia Highlights. Our impressions are mixed and here is why.
First the good things. The stuff of Asia Highlights tried to do their best to make our trip enjoyable. Everything was strictly on schedule, hotels were very good, breakfasts were excellect, drivers were great, buses were comfortable (A/C, unlimited bottled water, etc).
However, all these things, although very important, are not sufficient to make a trip great. Inded, why do we love to travel to remote countries in the first place? To stay in good hotels, eat great breakfasts, and travel in comfortable buses? If it were the case, I would rather stay at home, because my house is more comforatable than any hotel room, my wife is a great cook and my car is better than any bus.
Now not so good things. The first is about the guides. During our trip we had 6 guides in total. Two of them were good, one very good, one mediocre and two simply DREADFUL. And this is not our personal opinion but the OPINION OF ASIA HIGHLIGHTS ITSELF. Fortunately for us, most of the trip we were accompanied by two of their representatives, and after observing these bad guides, they
immediately intervened and were able to find a much better replacement.
The second issue is about the itinerary. When you go to a PRIVATE tour, you somehow expect to see something different from what typical tour group do. Not in our case - most of the time we were surrounded by zillion of other tour groups, big and small, were taken to the same touristy attractions and entertainments (often specifically created for tourists), were eating in the restaurants serving tour groups only, etc. In other words, it was a standard cookie-cutter itinerary, which you can find in any travel book. Parts of it were quite interesting, but the feeling of discovery, of seeing something original and authentic was rarely present.
Conclusion: if I had to rate this trip on the scale from 1 to 10, I would give it 6.
Review by Kpatikomai Joukhadar6 months ago
My husband and I just returned from an 8 week trip thoughout IndoChina- Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and also Singapore and Phuket at either end. I worked with Ruby of Asia Highlights for months designing my dream independant private trip.
I have travelled for years personally and professionally and I have to say that Ruby and Asia Highlights are one of the best operators I have ever encountered. Ruby was thoughtful, creative, open, fun and so so knowledgeable. Any problems that came up were handled right away prior to travel and figured out. During the trip everything exceeded our expectations. Each transfer, flight, guide, hotel, tour, vehicle/driver was executed flawlessly...along the way I kept in touch with Ruby and her Customer Service team. Each question or change I made on site was handled with perfection. I changed a duration in a city,had a flight time change, altered itineraries and everyone worked together to make it all happen. No questions asked.
Our guides were all exceptional and fun and fabulous. Jonny in Laos, Mr Huu in Hoi An, Mr Dien in Saigon, Miss Charity in Siem Reap, Mr Nguyen in Hanoi and all the day guides that were so great. I could write a page on each of them. They made the experience what it was. The ultimate professionals each and every one of them....and always smiling and positive.
Highlights of our trip: Tubing and caving in Vang Vieng, gorgeous UNESCO Luang Prabang and Hoi An, diving with Cham Island Divers, seeing China Beach in Danang, full 8 hour driving days through the counrtryside, Cu Chi Tunnels, Saigon history, the Jahan Cruise along the Mekong (exceptional), Siem Reap and all the extrordinary Temples by bike, Tonle Sap Lake day, seeing the Landmine Museum, Hanoi Old Quarter and Halong Bay were the ultimate experiences. Paradise Peak in Halong Bay was fabulous.
Too many details to print but all was incredible.
Would recommend Asia Highlights hands down to anyone !
Review by Buziranti Morfett7 months ago
My wife and I just returned from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. We used Asia Highlights (Leo Weng) and had a flawless trip. I had also used this company last year for our China trip. I will definitely be using China/Asia Highlights again. Thanks Leo!!
Review by MelissaMyers7 months ago
After previously using China and Asia Highlights in China and Japan, it was a no brainer to sign up for a Christmas tour in Thailand with Asia Highlights! Once again they did not disappoint. Albee and her team crafted a plan exactly the way we needed it. We used our own hotels (since we had points) and that was no problem. Every day, guides and drivers showed up to take my wife and I to all the great sights. They helped us add an extra cooking class and a beautiful cruise on days that were light. We were accidentally overcharged at one event but Asia Highlights promptly refunded us the small amount no problem. Our next trip with them will definitely be India or Nepal. If you want a care-free trip... consider a personal tour! Thanks so much.
Review by Supak8 months ago
Everything went better that we've expected!
Our guides were local people who knows about the city, the people, know how to solve problems, really punctual and with the best attitude!
Our tour Planner, Leo, we couldnt asked for a better person he is so amazing, first we helped us to change the flights 1 month before our vacations, due to my job, when we were in Guilin (the city where Leo lives) he invited us to dinner to a very special place in his city, there are no words to explain how grateful we are with this travel company, all thanks to Leo and the Guides
Review by Ysef8 months ago
7-Day Vietnam Tour - Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Danang/Hoi An
Asia Highlights did a great job planning and executing our family’s trip around Vietnam. We have two young girls and wanted to have a balance of sightseeing and activities so nobody got bored. They were able to identify things to do in all the cities to meet this goal. The local guides were both very knowledgeable and flexible for changes we made along the way. Hotels recommended were all well-located and unique in style. I’d plan another trip again with them for sure.
Review by Viajayananthan8 months ago
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our five day visit in the Da Nang - Hoi An region of Vietnam. This was all due to the excellent hosting skills of the ASIA Highlights’ Host and his friendly and skilful Driver. They met us at Da Nang’s first class airport on day one, drove us to our hotel in charming Hoi An, then explained the plan for day two. The 3 days of sightseeing covered all major historic sites in the area, a private Vietnam cooking class and plenty of background & local history information; explained eloquently. Day 5 we were safely deposited at the airport for our flight home.
Review by Tavado9 months ago
We traveled with Asia Highlights 14 days through Cambodia and Myanmar. Leo from Asia Highlights made the itinerary and organized everything perfect ! We really enjoyed the tour, the hotel selection was great ! The guides at each place were very professional, friendly and well knowledge, specially the guide Mya Mor from Bagan he was outstanding as a guide, as a budhist and as a person, we learned a lot from him. All guides make us feel like traveling with friends!
Review by Ahminne9 months ago
We would like to thank Asia Highlights for a wonderful trip. Lissy was a joy to work with, in planning a vacation that took into account all our interests and was able to give us so much more than we expected. Our trip was 33 days that included 3 weeks in China, a week in Thailand and a few days in Siam Reap and Singapore. Because of the reasonable cost we, traveled alone. We are a 60 year old couple and tend to enjoy smaller cities and learning the how the locals live. We wanted to experience some of the rural life, that’s off the path of most tourists. Thanks to Lissy, we able to enjoy some experiences we will never forget, by visiting some small villages where we were honored to be the first westerners some of the residents had ever met. I won’t talk a lot about the sights, as you can get those from many other travel sites, but will focus on the experience of using Asia / China Highlights.
Upon our arrival at airports and train stations, we were met by our guide, driven to our accommodations and even helped with check-in. The hotels were nicer than we usually book ourselves. Each day we were met in the lobby (at a prearranged time), driven to sites and dropped off at the entrance (not where busses drop off) and given interesting details about what we were experiencing. The guides would call the drivers, so they were there to pick us up and take us to the next place, with impeccable efficiency. In some places, we were able to avoid long lines. They knew the busy times and tried to take us places outside those times, if possible and were flexible with the amount of time spent at each site. The guides even helped with check-in at airports and train stations, when departing to the next city, which could have been difficult with the language barrier. One thing we would’ve missed, if we’d done this trip on our own, is the great historical and cultural information provided by the guides. Rico, in Beijing, gave us great background on the Great Wall and the other historical sites, that we couldn’t have gotten any other way. Another help was in giving us useful information on where to buy items, or better what to avoid and what price range would be reasonable. There are times where you need to haggle and times you don’t.
In general, our guides in China gave us a more personal feeling. By the end of our time with them, it felt like we were just spending time with friends, rather than being a client. This was especially true with Lele in Guilin, David in Zhangjiajie and Candy in Shanghai and Suzhou. We really missed them after we left and kept in touch over WeChat. We really got the sense that they were there to make sure our needs and safety were met, even in the evenings. In some of the locations, we had them book evening shows and they were more than willing to make sure we got to the venue and if need be, would even wait until after the show to make sure we could get back to our hotel. Since we are somewhat experienced travelers, we tended to do some exploring on our own at night and they made sure we knew our way around, whether it be using the subways or wandering the night markets. During the day, it was so nice to be able to give them the worries we usually have when we travel on our own. Just being able to get into your waiting car outside of a location or having them show you areas out of reach of the tour busses. Some of the walks that David took us to in Zhangjiajie (the Avatar Mountains) were gorgeous and not another person in sight. One very memorable evening was with Candy in Suzhou, where she asked if we wanted to “hang out tonight”. We went to a night market and had some snacks at some of her favorite places, while we just talked about daily life (like missing our pets when we travel). Some of the unique experiences was visiting some of the small villages and seeing the daily life of the farmers and meeting kids that are excited to see a foreigner. Or a woman sharing her lunch with us, as we were the first westerners she and her mother had met.
We did notice a difference outside of China. The tours had a more pre-arranged feel. We still had the flexibility of spending more time at any of the stops, but if was more like lunch was pre-arranged with a set location and menu. The guides also wanted their down time at lunch and would just give you a time to be ready to go. In China, if we saw an open air market and wanted to make that our lunch stop, no problem. I remember seeing a bunch of food stalls looking down from our bike ride on the city wall in Xian. We looked it up on Google Maps (yes it works, more on that later) and found it was called Yongxingfang. We asked our guide, Jacob, about it and he asked if we wanted to go there for lunch. Since it's the kind of place we would normally go, we said yes. It was a great experience, better than another restaurant.
One thing that has changed in China is the use of social media for everything. I set up WeChat before we left the States. I used a Bank of America credit card to verify the account and activate WeChat wallet. Then had Lissy send me a token amount of CYN to my new account, to make sure it was able to accept and pay out funds. I then used Swapsy (theswapsy.com). After setting up an account with them, I was basically able to trade US dollars from my bank account to CYN into my WeChat account. With money in the account I was able to purchase items like a local. It was very easy and convenient and we needed very little cash from ATMs, if at all. Lissy would make sure I had the WeChat friend request available for all our China guides a few days before hand, so we could easily communicate and be able to send money back and forth for things like show tickets and tips. Unfortunately this convenience was not available outside China. The one other thing that makes this all work, is to make sure you have a good mobile phone plan with data. I use Google FI and with it, I can use data at the same rate as I do at home $10/gig. Phone calls to the US were $.20 a minute and the best thing, you don’t need to do anything to make it work. Just show up in one of the over 170 countries it covers and turn on the phone. Local calls aren’t charged and data is routed around the Great China Firewall, as long as you are not on WiFi. If you log into local WiFi, say at a hotel, then you still need a VPN for unrestricted web access.
So, if you want something special in a personalized vacation in Asia and especially in China We would give China / Asia Highlights our highest recommendation.
Review by Colleenm Shuminas9 months ago
My wife and I were very pleased with Asia Highlights' planning and presentation of our 16-day trip to China.
Albee Niang was our trip planner and she booked excellent guides, wonderful and interesting sites and great hotels.
We enjoyed all of the guides - Eby, Ken, Candy, Sophie and Lily in our each of our stops in Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Guilin and Hong Kong. They were very knowledgeable and made our tour very exciting, easy and enjoyable.
Albee also arranged very helpful travel aides with guides, drivers and transfers from airports and train stations.
I highly recommend Asia Highlights for travel planning and management!!!
Review by Itziebitz10 months ago
My experience working with Leo at Asia Highlights was very pleasant. He was quick to respond, knowledgeable, and accommodating. The only reason I am leaving 4 stars instead of 5 is because we didn’t end up booking the tour, but the planning experience was seamless. I will definitely utilize them in the future for any Asia trips I want to plan.
Review by Scindile10 months ago
We spent 20 days in China and we've had a great experience with Asia Highlights, ever since the beginning of our negotiation. They were flexible to adjust our wishes and everything went perfectly fine. We only had an issue with one guide in Xian, but they tried to make it up for us in the end. Our guides Jason in Chengdu, Lele in Guilin & Sofia in Zhangjiajie were the best! We'll keep gret memories of our trip to China.
Review by Jimbett Kebabian11 months ago
We traveled with China Highlights in 2015 and were completely satisfied, so when they emailed that they now were arranging trips to SE Asia we didn't even consider looking at other tour companies. We spent three weeks in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. We were a group of six and had absolutely no issues whatsoever. It would be impossible to list everything we liked about our tour. In filling out individual reviews for guides in our various stops, we were unanimous in deciding to give excellent ratings in all areas. There were a couple of schedule changes during our trip, but we were immediately notified and offered apologies and solutions. The communication during planning and from customer service while traveling were outstanding. If we have the opportunity to travel to China or SE Asia again, I would not even consider other tour companies we would go straight to China or Asia Highlights.
Review by Wrenna1 year ago
Asia Highlights (Albee Ning) arranged a meangful and interesting tour of Cambodia, Vietnam and Hong Kong. The guides explained the historical significance of the sights and were personable, knowledagable and flexible. We totally recommend Asia Highlights and we completely recommend the journey. Experiencing these places has resulted in me continuing to study the history and current events so my interest has continued to increase