Emily Wu is a white-collar professional from Tianjin who works in Beijing. She visited Europe on a multi-country group tour in 2013.
When did you visit Europe?
September, 2013, but I had been to Thailand, Japan and New Zealand before.
How long did you spend in Europe?
Nine days in total for three countries – it’s around two days for each country.
Why did you decide to go to Europe, and why did you decide to visit the countries that you did?
I chose to go to Europe as there are lots of romantic stories, arts places and historical places that are quite famous and attracted me a lot. I went to France, Italy and Switzerland, as these three countries are the iconic countries in Europe. Of course Germany and England are also popular, but as my holiday was limited and because of visa reasons, I chose to visit these three countries first.
Why did you decide to travel with a tour group?
I went there by myself, and had no friends or relatives there. So based on my personal security and convenience, I chose go with a group. I normally do this when I go to places I have never been before.
Would you want to travel with a tour group again?
Next time I go to a new country, I might, but to get a deep feeling for a country I would choose to travel independently with friends.
Was it easy to get a visa?
I went with a travel agency, which made things easier, but I needed to provide some financial statements that took time to handle. I hope this can be cancelled in the future – that would be more convenient.
What was the group like?
There were 20 people, and they were of similar age or older than me. They were almost all from Beijing, with some from Tianjin and Dongbei [the north-east of China].
Were there any parts of your trip with which you weren’t satisfied?
The time was too short – we had to rush from one stop to another. It was very tiring, and I couldn’t find the time to really feel the cities.
Was shopping an important part of your trip?
Yes, as Europe is famous for some brands that are much cheaper than in China. Shopping was also a part of our tour itinerary.
What kinds of things did you buy in Europe?
Some special souvenirs and unique products that can make you remember the cities. Of course some luxury brands for myself and my family, and souvenirs for my friends and me as well.
Would you go back to Europe again, based on your last trip? Would you recommend it to friends?
Of course. Very much. I would definitely recommend it to my friends, and I also want to take my parents there another time. As I wished at a famous fountain in Italy, I will be back.
Where would you like to visit next and why?
There are many places I would like to go, like Russia, America, South Africa, Egypt, other countries of Europe, like Spain, Portugal, Greece, the Czech Republic, England, Germany, etc. I think the next stop may be Russia, as it’s closer to China and it also has historical places that are worth seeing. Then after that, if I have enough holiday time and money, I will go far again, like to Europe.