It is with many thanks that I write to you and thank you for arranging our trip to Tibet and mainland China. To travel to Everest Base Camp was our long-standing dream, and we are so greateful to you and our guide , Samdup Gyal and driver Choeden for making it come true!
We can not say enough good things about the Tibet portion of our 19-day adventure. From the moment we were met at Chengdu International Airport by Mr. Fu, we knew we were in good hands. We would like to compliment this gentleman most highly. On the drive to our hotel, he gave a great overview of the city ( which we had never heard of except in connection with pandas) and recommended we visit a famous temple (Wen Shu) within walking distance of our hotel. He even wrote the name (in Chiense) on a business card so we could "ask" directions en route ! It turned out to be a perfect afternoon outing to combat jetlag! He picked up promptly next morning with portable breakfasts, and made sure we were in the right line for the fligh to Lhasa. A great introduction to our trip; please thank him.
On arriving in Lhasa, we were met by SAm and Choeden. We have nothing but the highest praise for this guide ( and excellent safe driver). Sam was always punctual, unflappable in the face of daunting permit / checkpoint procedures and a great source of knowledge about the facinating place that is Tibet. He even introducted us to Mr. Thup Ten one morning at the Shangbala Hotel. This added a great deal to our confidence about our response to the altitude and the rigors of the trip.
Sam recommended great local places to eat in Lhasa, and we enjoyed every one. He also suggested we walk to the park across from the Potala Palace at dusk, and see how it is illuminated. The sight of this vast edifice, perfectly lit, against an indigo velvet sky is one we will never forget ! Also , my successful hike from the Everest Base Camp gueshouse to the 5200 meter marker owes so much to Sam's efforts and encouragements. I had no doubt my husband would do it; i was definitely the weaker link ! But Sam got us both there and back in time for a late lunch and departure ! We can not thank him enough for the success of our Tibetan journey. Please convey our gratitude for eveything. ( We especially enjoyed an impromptu visit with a jolly tsampa miller).
The Glimpse of China tour was well-organized. We were impressed with how the guids managed airport pickups and dropoffs so flawlessly ! And the thrill of sites such as the Great Wall, Terra Cotta Soldiers, Forbidden City, etc. was simply awesome. Each guide did his or her best to place sites in historical context for us without being overwhelming.
If our travels take us again to Asia, we will certainly keep Third Eye in mind. I am in the process of writing to ITN magazine about our trip and will be mentioning your service. Thank you for a fascinating and well organized trip !