After completing graduate school in the late 1990s
Englishman Nic Linton made a lone bicycle trip from Sydney Australia overland
back to the U.K. peddling across the outback, South East Asian jungles, the
Himalaya and vast Central Asian deserts. Twenty-five thousand miles later, he
peddled off the Dover ferry and into a small U.K. based travel agency organizing
and leading exclusive groups throughout Asia. Zhang Mei Jun spent her formative
years in a village in Putian. When she began school in the early 1980s she
couldn’t speak Mandarin Chinese. At 18 she became the youngest tour guide in
her province and several years later she made her way to Beijing and enrolled
herself into Beijing Foreign Languages University. On learning English, she
dropped out to pursue a career in tourism. In September 2001 Nic met Mei on a
Beijing bus, and decided to stay. For the next few years they worked for some
of the most exclusive tour companies in Asia, and then in 2008 joined forces to
establish their own boutique brand.
Many tour companies, whether based in U.S. or Europe
still rely on the archaic government run organizations churning out a formulaic
product. Our aim is to present a more satisfactory package for both travel
agencies and clients alike. Whether travelers are taking the well trodden path,
or more remote approaches, we can provide the most accurate perspective of
contemporary China. We wish our clients to experience as many of China’s
varying faces as possible. The fact that we are based in China means that we
are aware of the continual change. From the metamorphosis of China’s industrial
powerhouses to the minority regions, our aim is to take guests on a journey of
understanding and enlightenment. We pride ourselves in making the traveler feel
as though they are not simply part of the mainstream tourist circuit.
Our network of guides are all generally native to the region
and specialist experts most of whom are westerners can provide a level of
information that the majority of visitors to China will never experience.
Similarly each of the tours we run is personally researched. We are constantly
monitoring the region to ensure that it is both safe, and that we are up to
date with the most interesting sites. We choose the best hotels available in
each city, a decision influenced by client feedback. Special attention is given
to more popular tourist sites by offering exclusive access or alternative perspectives.
We select the highest quality restaurants in China however if people prefer a
more authentic local flavor, we know where to go.
Through our U.S. and U.K. based partners China Less
Travelled has helped devise itineraries for Museums, Alumni Programs, Food, Art
and other Specialist groups. We have also hosted Corporate Events for boards of
publically listed companies as well as Private Tours for families and higher
profile Private Jet groups.
The owners of China Less Travelled have a direct involvement
with every tour.