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We have been to China several times. In the beginning, we had joined Chinese guided tours as they were remarkably inexpensive and because my wife speaks Mandarin and Cantonese, we were allowed to join those tours. The problem with these tours is that the tour guides typically bring their groups on extended shopping tours so that they can earn some extra commission. In many cases, the time spent at the main destination was often only 1 or 2 hours.
That's why we decided to not join those tours anymore but to hire a local driver who is fully paid by us. We make it clear that we do not wish to be brought to any shopping destinations unless we tell them to do that. So far, this has worked remarkably well.
If you are going to China for the first time, then the following article may be for you: "Misconceptions about food in China"
BaDiLing Great Wall
JinShanLing Great Wall