Originally posted on Caixin Global A few weeks back, I took my daughters back to China to visit their grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins — the usual sprawling Chinese family. Eager to curb the girls’ screen time, I jumped at my aunt’s suggestion to go blueberry picking. Most of my relatives live in Chengjiang, a […]
How Wild is WildChina?
What do we really mean by wild? Here’s what the Oxford English Dictionary says:
(Place) uninhabited; inhospitable
Yes, we go beyond the tourist circuit, but equally we love dining in world-class restaurants and drifting to sleep beneath Egyptian cotton sheets.
(People) not civilized; primitive
We help you see more closely: the monk texting friends between prayers, the Guilin rice farmer selling honey online. You’ll rethink what civilized truly means.
Lacking discipline or restraint
Most travel companies stick to the same itinerary – we build in flexibility for those wild and wonderful moments that make travel in China so special.
Very enthusiastic or excited
Absolutely! The passion of our guides is contagious, whether it’s Lao Wang sharing the secrets of taichi or explorer Jeff Fuchs on his favorite tea.
Take a walk on the Wild side
MEET OUR TEAM
A Hong Kong native and Columbia graduate, WildChina Executive Director Albert Ng worked on sustainability projects across China for McKinsey & Co. before helping Mei Zhang found WildChina in 2000. Albert went on to earn an MBA from INSEAD, served in senior management roles at APL and APL Logistics, and is currently a partner at the global logistics and supply chain brain trust, Ontegos. Albert returned to WildChina as Executive Director in spring 2018 with his sights set on driving innovation in China's travel industry from an experience and technological perspective.
Born in Xinjiang and raised in Beijing, Agnes has a longtime passion for travel. Her wanderlust led her to backpacking throughout university and then saw her road tripping across Australia during her gap year. She later returned to China to open a hot pot restaurant in her hometown before ultimately deciding to turn her love of travel into a career and joining WildChina.
Since entering the industry, Sonam has traveled extensively throughout Tibet, learning more about his home province than he could have hoped. He especially loves the personal interaction with clients, and the fulfilling feeling of knowing his group is completely satisfied with their experience.
Christine has been with WildChina since 2007. She originally hails from Inner Mongolia, where she majored in Foreign Trade English at Inner Mongolia Poly Technic University. Her passion is photography, and she especially loves capturing the ethnic minorities of Yunnan.
Owen is Director of WildChina Education. Originally from Oxford in the UK, Owen has lived in China for over 15 years. Working in education and travel throughout, he has supported tens-of-thousands of travellers to experience the hidden gems of this incredible country. Owen directs company operations including our Academic, Development and Program Management Teams.
Diana Chan Chieng
Diana Chan Chieng is known worldwide as an Architecture Expert, both in traditional and contemporary Chinese architecture. Diana hosted the first Chinese contemporary architecture exhibition in Paris and has served as a consultant for various, prestigious institutions in Beijing.
Huang was born into a Zhuang family in Southeastern Yunnan. However, after living in Lijiang for seven years, he now considers himself part Naxi. With almost a decade of experience, Huang has coordinated and led groups through numerous regions of China, ranging from the ancient town of Lijiang to the wild and untamed region of Tibet.
Mei Zhang is the founder and CEO of WildChina. Under her leadership, WildChina flourished from a small Hutong operation into an award-winning business. Mei's own expertise has led her to win a number of personal awards, including Travel and Leisure "A-List of Top Travel Advisors", Conde Nast Traveler "Top Travel Specialist", and Wendy Perrin's "#WOW List of Travel Experts".
WildChina's Jewish Expert, Dvir Bargal is a long-time Shanghai resident as well as a celebrated journalist and documentary filmmaker. Dedicating much of his life to rediscovering Shanghai's Jewish history, his articles and documentaries depict Judaism from the Silk Road to the Middle East.
We're not afraid to Dream Big
We've earned our Stripes
Our exclusive travel advisor training course and community that will help you to become a China expert - an appellation that is often referred to in Chinese as a "China Hand"
Look like a superstar in front of your clients
Access exclusive rewards
Get a first look at new experiences
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By becoming a China Hand you will:
Our Travelers Say
Pam S., Jul 2019
We traveled in May on a culinary tour with WildChina led by cookbook author, Fuchsia Dunlop. This was an amazing tour. WildChina had every detail well covered allowing us the opportunity to see some amazing highlights of China. This trip of a lifetime opened our minds to a completely different and amazing culture. We learned so much and loved every minute of this great trip with our wonderful group of eleven strangers who parted as friends.
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Paul H. , May 2019
This trip -- our second with WildChina -- took us to Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Guilin, and the Yunnan Province. At each stop, we were greeted by a friendly, informative, English speaking guide who looked after us like we were family.
With little more than a phone number, our Guangzhou guide managed to locate my wife's distant cousins and locate the homes where her grandparents lived 100 years ago -- and arranged a reunion lunch she'll never forget.
The hotels were amazing -- even in the more remote parts of Yunnan -- and the food was delicious. We enjoyed marvelous mountain hikes, visits to incredible temples, and so much more!
P.J., Jan 2019
My family of four traveled to Siem Reap for two days of visiting temples and WildChina laid out an excellent itinerary for us, as well as picking the perfect guide to suit our family. Communication was superb from day one of planning right through to our arrival in Siem Reap, the itinerary was perfectly organized, the local transportation was spot on, as were the local restaurants for lunch each day. They went the extra mile for us in ensuring that these restaurants could suit a few dietary restrictions in the family, which added to the overall sense of comfort that everything was taken care of. We had a fantastic couple of days, and no way it would have been so without the WildChina team.
Read More on TripAdvisor
Experience China Differently
The Road We've Traveled
WildChina was born on the sacred slopes of Mount Kailash in the Himalayas. Founder Mei Zhang, Yunnan native and Harvard MBA, had just completed the arduous kora pilgrimage, a ritual circuit around the base of the Tibetan mountain undertaken by Buddhists and Hindus for millennia.
To put it mildly, her grueling 56km hike was no walk in the park, even for a Mandarin speaker and relative local. On top of having no guide, lodgings or transport, and having to cope with being 4,500 meters above sea level, Mei was forced to fend off wild dogs along the way. Frightened and frustrated with the obstacles that tarnished an otherwise magical and spiritual journey, Mei had a revelation. She would pioneer a travel service to enable visitors to savor China’s stunning, often difficult to reach gems in a comfortable, stylish and stress-free way.
Hello WorldPropped up a sign saying: “WildChina in business.” Our first ever trip? Hiking in Yunnan province. We appear in the Wall Street Journal and CNN and our inbox fills up. Clearly, China is ready for us!
Student InvasionWe take 200 children from the International School of Beijing to discover the cradle of Chinese civilization in Henan province. This sets in motion our commitment to do education travel differently.
Pandas and concubines
Pandas and concubinesWe launch our corporate events with a bang, serving 150 global partners of a major consulting firm. Meticulous planning includes formal meetings in Beijing’s exclusive Diaoyutai State Guesthouse and racing around the capital dressed as pandas and concubines. As you do.
All glamped up
All glamped upWe pioneer eco-friendly glamping (glamorous camping) on the Tibetan plateau during the annual horse festival: solar-powered tents, queen beds, and a private chef! Meanwhile, on the other side of the world we are featured in a Harvard Business School case study.
The red carpet
The red carpetNational Geographic Adventure names us one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”, while founder Mei Zhang is awarded “A-List Travel Agent” by Travel + Leisure. Celebration time!
Calling all explorers
Calling all explorersWe launch our annual WildChina Explorer Grant which now receives hundreds of applications from young adventurers around the world keen to make a difference.
China’s travel expert
China’s travel expertWildChina founder Mei is the only native China expert named by Condé Nast Traveler in their list of world’s top travel specialists. (An accolade she’s maintained every year since.)
The family grows
The family growsOur sister brand 碧山 (Beshan) launches, to help Chinese travelers take on the world in first-class style. Meanwhile, our team of office staff and guides grows to 250 strong.
The “in” crowd
The “in” crowdWe are named one of the “Most Innovative Companies” of 2014 by Fast Company, alongside Google, Netflix, and Twitter! (Founder Mei Zhang has also retained her Travel + Leisure A-List status every year since 2009).
You’re invitedWe turn 15! Cue setting off of firecrackers and burning of incense. (Hopefully this won’t worsen Beijing’s pollution.)
Since WildChina’s first ever trip in the year 2000, we have helped thousands of travelers have life-changing experiences in every corner of this vast and endlessly inspiring nation.
We will never crop out reality or cocoon our customers in a tourist bubble because we believe genuine and profound travel experiences disarm you when you least expect them, whether it’s that first sip of early harvest green tea under a spring sun, or the hushed flicker of yak butter candles in a Tibetan monastery
We believe in the power of travel to transform, to inspire and to bring people closer together, and we work tirelessly to perfect every detail for our customers. It’s this dedication, expertise and passion for travel in China that makes us an award-winning industry leader.
Our journey continues to unfold, Where Will Yours Take You?
Our Journeycontinues to unfold,
Where Will Yours Take You?
WE'VE BEEN IN THE NEWS LATELY
July 31, 2019
June 21, 2019
To celebrate the announcement of another Tea Horse Road journey with Jeff Fuchs this November, we’re sharing one of our favorite posts of WildChina Explorer and Expert Jeff Fuchs musing on the importance of the Ancient Tea Horse Caravan Road, and why we should all bump it up on our travel list. A rugged Jeff Fuchs stares […]
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