Chan Brother Europe Tour review Singapore
This is going to be my Chan Brother Europe tour review aka feedback based on my own experience. This is not an advertorial and I am not paid for writing this post.
I was on a 14 days Europe tour with Chan Brothers last December for a white Christmas! The areas we covered were; Rome, Pisa, Florence, Venice, Milan, Switzerland, Paris and Amsterdam.
I was searching high and low for the ideal Europe package tour for 6 months. I’ve even started a new thread in a forum to ask for opinions. Frankly speaking, all of it doesn’t help much when our intuition told us “what the heck, it’s such a long haul journey let’s not sabotage ourselves by signing up cheaper Europe tours.” We thought Chan Brothers was quite established, so we go ahead.
Actually, we were cracking our brains between EU holidays and Chan brothers. But in the end we chose Chan Brothers when EU holidays was ultra rude when I called on their hotline for our second visit.
For this Chan Brother Europe tour review, I won’t be posting much photos. If you’re looking for a true Chan Brother Europe tour review and landed on this post, lucky you! I’m going to speak nothing but the truth. Be sure to get all prepared (mentally and physically) before you even step into Chan Brothers office.
Although I love to travel free & easy, (because I can’t wake up in the morning for a group tour) I’ve been to quite a few local and overseas tour agency tours and I am mentally prepared for my Europe tour to expect some hiccups here and there. Like buying honey and visiting “cut throat” shop more than visiting tourist attractions, 5 hrs of bus ride to reach our destination and only 15 minutes to see see look look, 5 nights of lao ya (bad) hotels and 1 night of 5 stars hotel (to compensate if not we’ll complain like hell), aka refugees hauling our own luggages up and down the stairs changing hotel every single night…wait one hour for our bus to pick us coze bus driver got lost…blab la bbla…
But, such a nice surprise that during our Europe tour with Chan Brothers, our itinerary was smooth, hiccups and errors of tour leader or bus driver were close to the minimum. Of course there some delays and dismay such as riots and heavy snows and we had to delay our rides and stuff but that’s not something the tour leader or tour agency can control. We’ve only been to 2 tourist shops over our 14 days of Europe tour and I’m gladful for that (btw, there ain’t supposed to be a lot of shopping trips during Europe tour). Our tour leader Lucy was such an experience tour leader that everything went smoothly, and none of us got into any losses such as theft. Remember the incident when a SA Tour Bus in Paris got smashed and being driven away with thousands of branded goods? That’s just 2 months after our Europe tour (so scary). Lucy always remind us to be careful and make sure that there’s no branded goods in our bus when we’re away. She is the BEST tour leader I ever had. We (with other tour members) asked her out for dinner after the tour but she’s forever so busy!
Our coach is super comfy. It’s a Mercedes coach. It’s spacious, the seats are good, the curtains were clean, the coach is super clean. There even an attached toilet. To maintain the cleanliest of the coach, the coach driver requested us not to eat and drink soft drinks, and try not to use the toilet. We didn’t think the rules were stringent. In fact we respected the coach driver for being responsible for his coach. He even stocked up his coach with mineral water so that we could buy from him when we need it. We didn’t have to pay for it immediately and nothing was written black and white. It was such a warm service and we weren’t quite used to that. Most of us were pacing up and down the coach asking for change to buy the drinks or trying to make the bus driver to accept the money right away (if not will forgot so paiseh) when he’s busy singing Italian songs and said:” it’s okie you can pay next time (translated by Lucy)”
The rides were smooth, not bumpy at all, and the hours of journey were evenly spread so that we don’t have to travel too long for a single journey (sian!). The longest journey we ever rode was around 6 hours. Really it’s not that bad considering that we were crossing to another country and there are plenty of toilet breaks (Yes, even the toilet breaks were evenly spread!)
These were the hotels we stayed:
Rome – Ardeatina Park
Florence- Hotel West/Novotel
Milan – Holiday Inn
Switzerland – Ameron Flora/Novotel
Paris – Mrcure Porte de Versatilles expo
Amsterdam – Park Plaza
On the average, all hotels were decent. We didn’t stay at any 5 stars hotels but most hotels were rated 4 stars and some 3 stars. All were clean. Our Switzerland hotel is so near to the famous Chapel Bridge, it’s only around 2 minutes’ walk away. But the rest of the hotels are quite far to the cities. And it’s not advisable to travel by ourselves, so none of us went out at night and we just hang out in the hotel. Some of us were quite pissed about the location of the hotel being quite inaccessible and that we cannot travel out alone. I was super pissed when we weren’t allowed to go near the Eiffel Tower as the local guide was unwillingly to let us go there as it’s very dangerous. She said it’s too near and we can’t take photos of the Eiffel tower anyway and the gypsies (often thieves) hanging around there were a lot more then tourists. So why risk our belongings and $$? So majority of our tour members decided not to risk it (families with children), and THERE GOES MY EFFIEL TOWER! NO EFFIEL TOWER GO PARIS FOR WHAT SIA!
By the way, I’m not judging Chan Brothers although I’m super sad, they did allow us to vote and the majority decided not to go to the Eiffel tower. Fair enough. I’M JUST SUAY!! Another young couple was also disappointed so we decided to go Eiffel tower by ourselves during the night. But then the girlfriend got sick and we have to cancel the trip as we’re warned that it’s really dangerous and with the jam traffic, we won’t know when will we get back to the hotel. So with a broken and tired heart I headed for my hotel room and never got out since. I am so depressed I made my hubby swore to let me come back Paris again. Eiffel tower wait for me okie! I’LL BE BACK!! Chan Brother reading this can sponsor my second trip? I’ll write another super nice review FREE OF CHARGE!!
Overall, I’m more than satisfy travelling with Chan Brothers to Europe. I’ve made many good friends and mostly importantly, the wonderful memories I save keep in my mind and refreshing them whenever I need a break or in foul mood. It’s indeed a dream come true when it snows and a dream I thought I could never had…WATCHING FALLINg SNOW!!
Things to take note when travelling with Chan Brothers to Europe.
There will be optional tours. It’s only around Euro300 in total so I’ll say go for it. There won’t be much shopping trips except for Milan and Paris so grab your souvenirs along the way. I grabed my Rome, Florence and Pisa Magnets when I’m supposed to enjoy my Italian gelato (quote as the best by our coach captain) in Italy.
The tips were around 30bucks for the coach captain (bus driver) and tour guide (Lucy) each. We gave more for the driver when he told us about his story and how he’s struggling hard for his family. Apart being believing half-heartedly, we did enjoyed his service and we thought he deserved it. The rest of our tour members did the same. At the end of the day, we just want a happy memory and everyone walking away from this trip with a bright smile and lovely memory. Not a tour that is full of unpleasantness with a sulking tour guide and a bunch of tour members full of anger swearing to complain when they know that nothing can be done.
I’ve paid $4200 per pax for this Europe tour with Chan Brothers. Most of our tour members paid cheaper (ard $3800) as they booked way in advance. So if you’re able to know the dates in advance, make sure you book it to enjoy the discount, most of them secured their seats more than 6 months ago.
There are a lot of unhappy tours recently with deals website such as g_____n and d__l.com.sg. If the price seems ridiculous cheap, it’ll be a ridiculous trip. No company will prepare to make a loss, providing you the “It’s really a steal!” on their own expenses to help on their “marketing” or whatsoever. They WILL get back the money by other means which will create havoc during your tour which you’ll swear you had never been.
Not saying that expensive means good, but at least you’ve a peace of mind knowing that you’ll get a reasonable deal. In fact the Chan Brothers Europe tour is not consider pricey, most fellow tour members feel that it’s a reasonable price for the things we get.
The hotels were quite exclusively located most of the time. I’m not sure if most Europe tours were like this. We are not able to venture out on our own or get our own dinner other than hotel restaurants if meals are not inclusive (2 or 3 meals are not inclusive in our tour package). We can’t go out of the hotel and get a walk (other than our Switzerland hotel, which we headed back after a few steps when there were some unfriendly stares from gypsies) because it’s remote. But most of the time we’ll too tired to go out by the time we reach hotel so we’re not complaining much.
Bring your own electric kettle as most Europe hotels don’t have them. Also bring the universal power adaptor and bring as many as you can so that you can charge your camera, laptop, phone, ipad all in 1 night.
Please remember to bring instant noodles, cookies and tibbits for nibbles on the coach as
- You’ll be very sick of the daily breakfast which consist mostly breads and cheese. There’s no eggs for breakfast except in one the hotels. If you’ll a fan of cereals like me then you’ll be happy most of the time as you’ll get plenty of that but all the same I started to feel puke-y on the 12th day of the Europe tour as I’m so sick of cereal for breakfast. In fact it’s been 5 months now and I’ll still avoiding taking cereals.
- If you’ll late for breakfast, there won’t be any chance for food for at least 1-2 coach ride. So having some snacks with you is a great idea. You don’t have to bring the snacks from Singapore. There’ll be plently of cookies/chocolates when you stop at the rest/toll area. BUT THERE WON’T BE ANY INSTANT NOODLES FOR SALE so bring your own. We were dribbling saliva when some of our tour members happily slurping their cup noodles, and we were staring at our hard, cold breads.
The food was fine. Surprisingly there were quite a number of Chinese cuisines in the itinerary as they know that we’ll be sick of western food if we’re going to take 3 meals a day for 14 days. Don’t expect too much from the Chinese cuisines as they are tuned to cater for the Europeans, but we gobbled it down all the same.
Journeys were evenly spread out and the longest bus ride was around 5-6hours when we cross country from Paris to Brussel. You’ll need to prepare something to entertain yourself. For most of us we just snored all the way and occasionally woke up to take pictures of the snowy sceneries. Sometimes Lucy shared some jokes and we would broke into silly laughters. I say silly because we just wanted to crack into laughter for every single funny thing to stay occupied and enjoy ourselves. We danced Gangnam style on the coach for the last night. It was hilarious and we were blessed to have such a wonderful tour gang!
It’s going to be a tiring tour and you’ll need good stamina for it. For all 14th days in Europe we were waking up at 5.50pm every morning and by the time we got back hotel all we want is to sleep but we still need to pack up for we would be changing hotels. Closer to the end of our Europe tour, most of us are so tired that all we did is to stick close, chill at some bars and chatting with Lucy. The ‘antu’ (enthusiastic) ones were hopping around trying to get their every penny of the tour worthwhile, and always the ones who were late in every single time be it sightseeing or toilet breaks. They were trying to squeeze every penny out of the tour money but were on our expenses WASTING OUR TIME waiting for them. But what to do? Every tour got this type of people. The only thing we did was to stay happy and chat among ourselves while they sucked and complaint at everything, looking for trouble.
Okie back to health, it’s good if you could build up your stamina and have a healthy body before you embark to your Europe tour with Chan brothers. You don’t want to get sick and spoil your mood for your holiday. I got all medications from my GP including antibiotics and strong painkillers. Some travelers prefer to get a flu jab before they go Europe but it’s really up to you. 2 tour members sprained their ankles/legs during the tour and normal panadols/extras did not help. The only thing medicine could not help me was my high altitude sickness at top of Europe, Jungfrau. I thought I was going to drop dead on my way up. The cure was taking plenty of sugar.
If you’ll going Europe during the winter, there’s some pointers which is good to follow eg. put on your jackets, gloves and scarfs on the coach before you alight from the coach. It’s too late if you go down the coach THEN put on jackets as you’ll get the chills very soon. Once you have finish your sightseeing and go back to your coach, quickly take out your jacket or else you’ll start to sweat and you’ll too get the chills. Dust off any snow on your body/jackets and especially scarfs, if not it’ll turn to water and you’ll soon get a cold with a damp outfit.
Lip balm and Moisturizers
ARE VERY IMPORTANT if you’re going Europe during the winter. I used eco-lips organic lip balm mint flavor for my hubbie and I got a burt’s bees Glimmer tinted lip balm for myself. Both of them worked wonders. My hubbie who didn’t suffer from any cracks on his lips throughout his winter Europe trip commented:
“Woa sei!! My lips are now more moisturized than in Singapore man!”
Man generally hates applying lip balm so if you’ll travelling with your man go buy a lip balm with a mint flavor. They’ll forget about the stickiness after application, generating more tolerances towards applying them.
I bought the Burt’s bee body moisturizer and apply on my whole body during the Europe trip. Towards the end of the tour I got lazy, didn’t apply any but still didn’t suffer from dyness or itchiness. My hubbie despite daily application got some dry spots around his waist which was quite itchy. So he just patted more moisturizer on them and it got smoothed out. I must say that the burts bee moisturizer really works well and I recommend to anyone who’s going to cold countries to bring the whole tube with you.
For my face, I did almost nothing as I have a oily skin. I just patted more layers on my cheeks with my Lancome Hydrating moisturizes and it worked fine. But the skin around my eyes got too dry and peeled. Putting and removing eye make up doesn’t help either, so I stop putting make up from the third day, and slapped generous amount of my Lancome eye gel. These healed my peeling eyes.
Starting from the 6-7th day of my Europe tour, I’ve developed super dark and thick eye bags due to lack of sleep and tiredness. SO THE PHOTOS ALL NOT MEI MEI since the 7th day. I looked like a panda. In fact its not only me, so were my fellow tour members. I recommend bringing along any eye gel which is super-efficient in removing water retention and give your tired eyes a lift. I think Lancome Genifique Yeux Light Pearl will be great choice. I got mine from Paris and starting using it when I’m back in Singapore. This is the eye cream that Niu Er from Nu Ren Wo Zhui Dao recommended during one of the episodes. I’ll start writing my review for the Lancome Genifique Yeux so stay tuned!
So that’s the end of my Chan Brother Europe tour review. I might be writing another post if you guys are interest to know more. Drop me a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I’m happy to hear from you!
I’m…dreaming…..for a whiteeee…christMAS (Again)!
P.S: Stay tune for my Chan Brothers Europe Tour Review Part 2.