Our Story

Back in the late 1990s Englishman Nic Linton, after completing graduate school embarked on an epic cycle ride from Sydney Australia all the way back to the U.K. The lone adventure, took him across the Australian outback, through South East Asian jungles to the Himalaya and vast Central Asian deserts beyond. Two years, and twenty-five thousand miles later, he peddled off the Dover ferry and into a small U.K. based travel agency where he set about organizing and leading exclusive groups throughout Asia. Zhang Mei Jun spent her formative years in a Putian village. It was a humble start to life and when she began school in the early 1980s she couldn’t even speak Mandarin Chinese. As a girl in male dominated Fujian province it was sink or swim.  At 18 she became the youngest tour guide in her province, and several years later made her way to Beijing to enroll herself at the Beijing Foreign Languages University. On learning English, she dropped out to pursue a career in tourism. In September 2001 after leading a tour over the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan 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 individuals. Whether you are looking to taste the ultimate in luxury, or venture into more remote regions, our aim is to provide the most accurate perspectives on contemporary China. We wish our clients to experience as many of China’s varying faces as possible. The fact that we are based in Beijing 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 differ from many that simply tout the party line. Our 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.