We learned so much about Chinese life from the forthright and honest discussion with our guides: extremely valuable. I came away with a completely new and deeper understanding of China that can’t be gleaned from the Western press. I was also very impressed with each guides’ knowledge of their country’s history and its relation to present day life and customs. Finally, each of the guides was excellent English speaker, making it easy for us to learn so much from them. I conversed with a professional Chinese translator on one of the train trips. Her English was not as good as any of our guides.