It is with enormous pleasure that we announce that WildChina founder and travel expert Mei Zhang has made it onto the Travel + Leisure A-List yet again, making it the 9th year in a row! But what is the A-List? and what has made Mei such a strong candidate for the last 9 years running? […]
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
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.
A native of Yunnan province, Mei Zhang is WildChina's Founder and the ultimate China expert. Mei has a particular passion for connecting with local people through their cuisine and in 2016 wrote her first book, Travels through Dali: with a leg of ham. The book is a beautifully illustrated chronicle of her return to her roots in search of the region's unique traditions, culture and cuisine.
Joe moved to Beijing from his native province of Heilongjiang in 1999 to attend university. After graduating with a degree in Tourism Management, he began his career as a tour guide in 2003 and enjoys the challenge of helping visitors get intimately acquainted with China.
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.
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".
Neil Schmid is the Scholar-in-Residence at the Dunhuang Academy, and he is one of the world's leading authorities on medieval Buddhism's visual culture. He studied Chinese and East Asian Studies at Georgetown University, Waseda University in Tokyo, L'Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris, and finally earned a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.
Jeff Fuchs is an explorer, mountaineer, writer, and tea expert. He was the first Westerner to trek the entire Yunnan-Tibet Ancient Tea and Horse Road, an expedition spanning nearly 4,000 miles and lasting eight months. The journey resulted in the book The Ancient Tea Horse Road.
A Uighur native of Kashgar, Abdul graduated from Xinjiang University with a degree in Uighur Literature. He began working as a professional tour guide in 1990 and is extremely knowledgeable about the Islamic history of Central Asia.
Emma is WildChina's Product and Marketing Director. A graduate of the University of London, Emma's passion for travel brought her to China. After studying Mandarin and falling in love with the country, Emma joined WildChina's marketing team in 2015.
We're not afraid to Dream Big
We've earned our Stripes
CHINA HANDS SAY
John is an author and former correspondent for the Washington Post.
"I've hiked with WildChina to a Tibetan mountain community that practiced Catholicism not Buddhism. It was an incredible trip - hearing hymns in a hillside church, speaking French with a Tibetan preacher - and just the kind of unique experience that WildChina is famed for. I was so impressed that I married the founder!"
Orville Schell is the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society in New York. He is a former professor and Dean at the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. Schell is the author of fifteen books, ten of them about China, and a contributor to numerous edited volumes.
Ready for your next Adventure?
Our Travelers Say
J.W., Sep 2018
After a previous excursion to X'ian arranged by WildChina, we had the confidence in their services to book a 7-day tour of Kashgar, Turpan and Dunhuang...In each place, WildChina made smooth travel arrangements and engaged local guides who spoke excellent English. Our WildChina representative responded promptly to all requests and questions during the planning phase and was in communication with our guides and with us during the trip. We would highly recommend traveling to this region in the fall, for the weather and all the fresh fruits.
Read more on TripAdvisor.
C.T., Sep 2018
We wanted to finally thank you for arranging for us such a fabulous trip to China. It was truly an adventure of a lifetime. From the bustling cities of Beijing to the bucolic countryside of Guilin, we were taken by China's unique beauty, character and tradition. We enjoyed seeing awe-inspiring sights like Tiananmen Square, the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall, but we also appreciated more intimate experiences like painting, cooking, and home visits with locals that enabled us to experience Chinese culture first-hand. Because of your hard work, organization and focus on every single detail, our trip went seamlessly.
A.B.P., Aug 2018
The guides were a tremendous asset in helping us get the most out of our experience in such a short time. They were each very knowledgeable and handled the logistics of getting around expertly. I have to give a special shout-out to Abraham and our driver in Beijing. They had invaluable connections and negotiating skills that let us circumvent long lines or avoid long walks which was very much appreciated in the heat and humidity!
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
September 17, 2018
August 29, 2018
We’re excited to announce that WildChina’s Founder Mei Zhang has been shortlisted for a 2018 PURE Award – in the category of “Contribution to Experiential Travel.” PURE Life Experiences is a global community of the travel industry’s most innovative high-end travel suppliers (like WildChina), accomplished private travel designers, and internationally renowned media personnel. Each year this community […]
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