For the first time, while on a recent trip to China, we hired a private tour guide to take us to the Longji (Dragon’s Backbone) rice terraces several hours outside Guilin.
We will soon be writing a blog posting about the terraces themselves (which were amazing!) but we wanted to give a shout out to our guide Jack Zhuo, who made the trip absolutely memorable.
Jack is an extremely organized and knowledgeable tour guide, with an extensive knowledge of local history and a sense of adventure. He paced the trip beautifully, with a good sense of when to stop, when to push forward, and the kinds of things we might like to see and do (and avoid some of the tourists traps that we had no interest in visiting).
He regaled us with as much information as we wanted, and we enjoyed engaging in conversations about both past and present-day China, warts and all. We left that day with an excellent sense of what life is like for young adults in a rapidly changing country, how people are living in rural and urban areas, and how economics and politics are affecting the lives of Chinese people today.
All these wonderful conversations happened against the breathtaking backdrop of the rice terraces, which he helped us navigate on our day trip.
Finally, he and our son hit it off and Declan was thrilled with his new friend. We would especially recommend Jack for family travel as he is very patient and caring with children.
We found Jack on his Trip Advisor site and we agree with the stellar reviews he has received. If you want a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide in the Guilin area, you can’t go wrong with Jack.