After seeing all the bogus reviews on this page, I decided to offer a honest review of the entire tour from my experience couple years back. And I got to say, baiting people with fabricated reviews is not cool. Compass Holidays is a subsidiary of Tianbao Travel; their products are practically the same. What I realized when I was at the office was that the same package in English is far more expensive than in Chinese. Even for trips such as cruise whereas guides are not included, the price gap is still HUGE. Go check it out yourself. Ultimately, people wants to know if this tour is genuine. The answer is NO! And I’ll break down the scheme.
It’s really just a click bait. You see a super value tour and would definitely check it out. But in reality, most of these prices are not offered and availability are fake. My cousin made a call 15mins in after the sales started, and the sale price was sold out!? And I realized we’ve been tricked to make this call. We did get a call back telling us this sale price is available at a different date and then we took it. Other tourist told us that they were also rescheduled to be on that day. So I guess to prevent themselves from breaking the law, they do have a small number of tour for the sale price. If you are to book your days off ahead of time then you are screwed! They don’t reschedule until a few months before departure.
They are a mess in this area. And if the availability on their website is half true, then they are serving thousands of guest with only 3 staff!? No wonder calls can never get through. And to make the matter worst, they flat out admitted that they are not TICO licensed staff. In other words, their administrative staff is not even qualified for their job.
Payment is easy, but getting money back is hell. After being overcharged by mistake, which I think occurs frequently, they asked to use the overpayment for excursions. Upon refusal they would try again, very consistent people. Finally, they agreed to make a refund. Just when I thought it was resolved, the refund didn’t make it back for months. Then again the offer for excursion is brought up. I surrendered.
Traveling with Compass Holidays you MUST have travel insurance. The insurance provided by the agency is one of the most expensive insurance I’ve ever seen. I highly recommend calling your credit card company or bank to get a travel insurance quote. Not only are they cheap, but sometimes travel insurance are already included for free.
This is the biggest joke ever. Flight information wasn’t delivered until a couple weeks before departure. Apparently, it is the travelers duty to reserve their own seats. After a long struggle with the wrong reservation number, we got the right number and got to the reservation page. And its fully booked. So the reservation was opened for months… As a result, my partner and I ended up in different section. The flight was delayed and we arrived late around midnight. Barely anyone is at the airport, so same goes for our tour guide. We attempted to get assistance but no one speaks English. Fortunately, someone from the same tour can speak Chinese. Tour bus is gone; hotel doesn’t recognize our names so we won’t be getting a shuttle bus. The next best option are the airport benches. In the morning, someone contacted the guide and we were rescued!
Demanding for the reason for the mix up, the guide gave us insights to their job and got 100% empathy from me. The so called mandatory tip collected doesn’t go to the tour guide, the agency pocket the money. As for the guide, they have to bid to get a group to guide. Their only source of income is commission from retailers. When I asked the office staff about this, they said the tip is for administration staff. Really…!?
Have you ever been to a sales pitch where they promise you a prize after you go into a room where they sell you stuff for hours? This is it, just in a foreign country. How bad could it be!? The tour is 15 hours a day, and if you don’t participate there is a penalty (forgot the amount). There was this teapot factory that we visit, and it was a REAL visit. We were there for 4hours. For every single day, most of the time was be spent either on the bus or in sales pitch. Places like the Great Wall, we spent a little over an hour stop. All these amazing sites can easily burn a day or two to explore, but instead, we are confined to these shopping locations. To make matter worst, the prices of these products are 10 times more expensive then the retailers. Aren’t they factories!? Obviously, tourist gets the special treatment. And if you bought something big and expect it to be mailed home, then good luck with that. The excursion is the only good thing about the tour. These excursions are the real deal with no additional selling. We just go enjoy the ride or show and then head back.
Bring lots of granola bars because you need enough for 8 nights. Dinner is not included in the tour not because it cost them more, but there are no time with all the sales pitch. You get back by 9 and you would be starving. Then you’ll realize the hotel restaurant is about to close. Going to restaurant outside, you would not be able to order because there are no English menu nor English speaking staff. People legit speaks no English. You’ll end up going back to your room eating granola bars or you can do room service. I can’t believe no one rant about this on the forum.
You really do get a lot of awesome views from the bus. The entire trip is about going to these locations and taking snap shots. Do you really get to explore or know these places!? Not really. At the least you can tell your friends you’ve been there. For people who signed up, remember to take all excursions to make it worthwhile; refrain from buying too much overprice stuff and just pay the poor tour guide a tip. As for people who are still considering, I would advise you to explore other options. Even though there might be a slight difference in price, but it would be legit.
Review by Dknet6 months ago
I just returned from a 5 day tour of Toronto, Canada and it was horrible! I booked through a website called Tours4fun, because it was last minute and I thought I was getting a good deal, but BUYER BEWARE! Cheap price really does equal poor quality!! The tour company that conducted the tour was Tian Bao travel aka Compass Holidays. This company should be put out of business!! The bus is equipped with a restroom, but as soon as everyone gets on the bus, the first thing that the tour guide tells us is that the restroom is “for emergency only.” She basically discouraged us from using toilet and shunned anyone who even thought about “going” on the bus. The second bus we were transferred to also had a restroom but the tour guide informed us it was “locked.” He said a the bus would stop for restroom breaks after 2.5 hours of driving. Most of the tourists on the bus were afraid to drink water because of the “locked” toilets. WHY DO YOU HAVE A RESTROOM ON YOUR BUS WHEN NO ONE CAN USE IT?? Also, this tour mostly caters to Mandarin speaking tourists. If you are English speaking, you will feel left out. Their tour buses are outdated and poorly maintained. The USB outlets don’t work. There are no seatbelts. The window was flapping and I could feel the outside air rushing in through the crack. The schedule is very rushed so you just get a snapshot understanding of each attraction. To summarize traveling with Tian Bao and Compass Holidays means you get off the bus, take a quick picture, and get back on so the driver can rush to the next destination. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR ANYONE, especially seniors, children, or people who cannot hold their urge to pee for more than 2 hours. This is a horrible, unethical company that is only interested in ripping you off by employing bait and switch tactics. If you want to get ripped off while being shuttled to attractions in a poorly maintained bus, go ahead and book with this company. For everyone else, stay away!
Review by JeffConsumer Anwie8 months ago
I had a great time in China for such a low price I paid. It was well worth it. It was a shopping trip but they did not pressure me into buying anything. Eventhough it was a shopping trip, we still had time to explore China such as going to The Great Wall, The Summer Palace,
The Three Kingdoms, etc. The trip was very well organized. They were quick with the China Visa process. They were quick with answering any questions I had either by phone or email. (Jamie provided me with excellent services!) They were very organized with the flight tickets, meeting me at the airport, transferring me to the hotel and completing the itinerary as planned. The English tour guides were very friendly and knowledgeable about the history and culture of China. All the hotels they put me in were 4-or 5-stars, very nice and modern. The people in Beijing and Shanghai were very nice even though they didn't speak English.
Review by Watchman Ozkan1 year ago
This was our second trip to China. Once with a different company and this past September with Compass. Overall the trip was good, with one very big complaint being the tour guide in Beijing. Leon was a very poor tour guide. He did not give informative information at all. Example at The Forbidden Palace he walked us down the sides in a rush, did not explain any of the history. He did not wait for the people in wheelchairs or the slower people and just barrelled along. When asked a question, he would reply "later, not now, later". There never was a later, and he did not give any information about China while travelling long hours on the bus. He got angry with people in the group at times for not joining his optional tours, and treated people badly for it, and he even outright lied to us at one point. He was a terrible tour guide. Glad we went to Beijing first and had the rest of the trip with an incredible tour guide who made our trip very fun, informative and memorable. Compass Holidays should not use Leon if they hope to have repeat customers.
Review by Kimley Hale1 year ago
Took my son on the 10 day Compass Holidays tour of Beijing, Shanghai, Wuxi, Suzhou and Hangzhou. First day at the Summer Palace, we were 3 minutes late getting back to the meeting spot (I timed it) but the tour guide, May, left us. We were stranded, alone in this city of 24 million, not knowing where the heck we were. We had no way of contacting her, no money having just arrived less than 12 hours earlier. Only thing saved me was the hotel's card that I had wisely taken with me and we were able to track her down. Very irresponsible, She was only interested in getting to the Chinese pharmacy where, I am told everyone was enticed to spend lots of money. No apology, nothing from her after, I wonder if she realized just how harrowing an experience it was for us? Trip was mostly geared towards shopping, shopping and shopping. All optional tours were way over priced, at least double the cost had I booked it by myself. Most optional tours were also not interesting at all. After wasting 2 hours in the Chinese pharmacy, we were hustled through the Forbidden Palace, in what should have been one of the high points of the trip, in less than an hour. At least we were able to spend enough time at the Great Wall. Optional tour to go to the observation tower in Shanghai was also silly. It was the 3rd highest building, my son and I opted out, instead walked next door and went to the highest building in Shanghai (the tour guide had said it was closed which was nonsense).
Everyday spent at least four hours at a shopping venue, 2 jade shops, silk, pearl and tea places as well. Highlight of the tour was the 5 star hotels we stayed at each night and then our only free time which was at night when we would go out to eat on our own. In retrospect, I would say it would be better to spend more money on a tour that would show us more, take us to more interesting places rather than just the shopping experience, which is what this largely was. In each Shanghai and in Beijing, there was only one tour guide for about 40 people. The tour guide, especially in Beijing, would walk forward seldom looking back seemingly uncaring if anyone would get lost. We quickly started to look out for each other but she couldn't care less. Each day the shop we had visited would feed us a free lunch and that was very mediocre. It would have been much better if we were allowed to buy our own food in a restaurant rather than eat the slop that was served us.
Review by Shax1 year ago
Shi*ty Chinese company... stay away from them!!!
Review by Ilkan1 year ago
I just came back from the 10-days China tour.
I would say it is worth to go to China for just $1200 including air tickets with my wife even through it including shopping sites. I spent about $500 for shopping and $200 for the others like food.....
The total cost for me and my wife was about $2000.
I would say worth. We did't expect too much. Just went to China and Looked around.
Review by Tod1 year ago
We went on a 10 day tour of China in Feb/Mar 2018. There were 6 of us travelling together in a tour group of 31 on the bus. The tour guides were great - easy to understand and very thorough in their information. Friendly and patient. We had a wonderful time. This was a low cost trip ($680 all inclusive) so there were shopping stops at different government factories but, we found them quite interesting. There was some pressure to buy at the shops but we were able to decline. We saw some amazing sites such as the Great Wall of China, Summer Palace etc so it was a great way to get a taste of China without spending a fortune.
Review by Shazil1 year ago
they dont even deserve this one star!
Taketours.com!. they dont even deserve this one star! I took a tour with them for three days from Toronto to Montreal, I paid the fees on the website and as per the policies agreed on mandatory service fees, of $CAD 10 per days. The tour guide, Carmen Xu, forced me to take the optional tours and when I refused made really nasty, racist, derogatory comments on the first day and treated me utter hostility for the three days. The last day after paying for the mandatory fees I asked her to provide me the contact numbers to a complaint she lost her temper and threaten to throw me out of the bus. Use this company to get the taste of the lowest class of humans with no self-respect, abusive and they think it is ok to use a derogatory language with the customer because it offends the tour guide of an individuals choice of not takin the optional tours as its impacts the personal profits of the tour manner. on complain to the company they think this is professional service provided by the tour guide and we provide a feedback so we can receive our money back. they make u feel so cheap in every way, u wouldn't want to go on a holiday ever again. you have to pay mandatory service fees to be humiliated by their staff. wouldn't be unfair to say these tours are not for non-Chinese people.
Review by Blakkk1 year ago
We booked our tour through our travel agent Sally with Goyal Travel and once payment was done, we received our confirmation, process on how to obtain our visa and complete detailed schedule. We were updated frequently ensuring we have obtained our visa and complete details of the tours and what it entailed. So definitely completely impressed with level of professionalism.
Compass Holidays is rated 3.0 based on
Trust Mamma Reviews
Our reviews are aggregated from multiple sources to give you the best overview about compassholidays.net.
West Wilmot Street 60