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“The great difference between voyages rests not with the ships, but with the people you meet on them”

– Amelia E. Barr, British novelist

We know it’s important to be in good company when exploring a country. At Beiwei 55º, we believe that nobody is better equipped to show you around the real Britain, than the British themselves, and that’s why all of our Mandarin-speaking guides are native Brits.

Our local British guides make up the very fabric of the country you are visiting (they may even have grown up in the regions you are touring), they know the ropes and they understand the way things work.

Most importantly of all, each of our British guides speaks a very high standard of Mandarin Chinese. They have studied the language to degree level at acclaimed British universities and have also spent time living, travelling and working in China, making many Chinese friends in the process!

If you require a word-perfect guide from your own country, then please consult other tour operators that offer native Chinese guides here in Britain. However, if you want to experience Britain with a friendly British guide that speaks high levels of Chinese, and will show you the real Britain from a local’s perspective, then look no further.

Click here to see videos of our native British Mandarin-speaking guides on Youku!

JAY
史杰

JAYJay is from County Durham in the North East of England and studied Chinese and Spanish at the University of Leeds. As well as a first class degree with a distinction in both spoken languages, he has nearly two and a half years’ experience working, travelling, living and studying in China. He has worked as a Tour Guide and Tour Operations Manager in Shanghai and Beijing, appeared on Chinese national television and also worked for NGOs in China.

Jay is passionate about languages, travelling, Chinese and Chuanr (lamb kebabs to all those who haven’t yet visited China) as well as enjoying socialising with friends of all nationalities, often accompanied with a good bottle of Chinese liqueur or baijiu.

As well as travelling as much as possible, Jay very much enjoys hiking, and has done so all over the world; Britain, South America, Spain and China to name but a few. Within China he has worked on farms in Sichuan and Hunan, climbed three of China’s greatest mountains, and hopes to climb a lot more in the future!

His previous academic work has focused on the overall effect of social reform in China since 1979, the impact of growing Chinese international tourism worldwide and the growing pressure on China’s social security system.

EVE
白一冰

Growing up in the south of England near Royal Windsor, then moving north to Yorkshire for her studies (and her love of Yorkshire tea), before finally settling in London, Eve has first-hand knowledge of life at both ends of the country.

Eve has been lucky enough to travel all over the world but she is still amazed at the hidden beauty of Britain, and one of her favourite places on the planet is still the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

Before Eve discovered the joys of travel, her passions lay in sport and she competed for her country in swimming events at a young age. Her dream has always been to swim the English Channel but other adventure challenges keep distracting her, including the Great Wall of China half marathon, in which she was the first female to cross the finish. Of course, she wouldn’t be truly English were she not mad about football, and she has supported Manchester United (and fancied David Beckham) from the age of about 5.

Eve has spent over three years working, living and studying in China. She obtained a first class honours degree in Chinese from the University of Leeds and was awarded the prestigious Confucius Institute prize for her language skills.

HARRY
欧瀚瑞

Harry grew up in Surrey in the South East of England, but spent a lot of time staying with his Grandparents in London as a child. He has had an interest in British history from a very early age, and was introduced to Chinese history and culture after picking up a copy of Romance of the Three Kingdoms in his early teens.

Harry has been enthusiastic about Chinese history ever since and set off to China to follow his passion and explore China’s hidden gems. He got to know China through going out with local friends and discovering his love of hot pot and KTV. Already a big cinema fan, he gained an appreciation for Chinese films, particularly those starring Jiang Wen. It was during his time there that he decided to learn Chinese to bridge the gap between these two vastly different cultures.

Having spent most of his life in the South East of England, Harry headed North to study Chinese Studies at the University of Sheffield, where he began to realise that his home country also had a great deal to offer.

Harry has since spent a lot of time living and working in China, from Henan to Nanjing, and has most recently returned from Taiwan after two and a half years there. Harry is a city lad at heart, and most enjoys navigating and exploring the sights of new cities. He is keen to show visitors his native London and beyond!

ANDREW
朱海林

Andrew grew up in Gloucester in the West of England, before moving to Manchester to study Chinese Studies. Prior to learning Mandarin, he had already studied European languages in school, but the challenge of learning Chinese is one he has stuck with until today.

Since 2007 he has spent nearly seven years in China. This has included four years working for the UK government in Chongqing and Beijing, in which he supported the visits of David Cameron and Prince William to China. Andrew’s highlight from this period was working with Chinese charities on issues including gender equality, mental health and left-behind children.

Andrew’s favourite part of China is the south-west, not in any small part due to his love of Sichuan and Yunnan food. He also has brilliant memories of the rice-fields, gorges and mountains of Yunnan and Guizhou where he made his first solo backpacker trip in 2007.

Now back in the UK, Andrew is excited to be living in multicultural London, a city which helps him to feel connected to the rest of the world. In his spare time, he likes to mix sports with reading, meditating, learning piano and closely following the Premier League and UK politics.

SARAH
智颖

Sarah moved to Cambridge in 2015, when she started her degree in Chinese Studies at the University of Cambridge. She has also lived in Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Qingdao, and travelled extensively across China. She is at her happiest when she has local friends to introduce her to sites off the tourist track, and restaurants capturing the local way of living. Accordingly, she is always excited to share her insights into Cambridge life, and enjoys how her own perspective of the town changes every time she experiences it through the eyes of a visitor. You can usually find her in one of Cambridge’s Chinese restaurants, or practising her punting skills on the Cam.

SIENNA
巴欣晏

Sienna is our Bath guide. She was born in Bath and loves to show off her beautiful home city to visitors from the UK and around the world. She became passionate about Chinese history, culture and language when she was 12 years old, and started studying Mandarin as a teenager. After finishing university in 2006 Sienna moved to Beijing, where she studied Chinese language at Qinghua University and stayed in the city until the Beijing Olympics. She then spent nine months in London getting her MA in Chinese Studies before returning to Beijing for another five years. She returned to Bath in 2014 but has kept a strong connection with China, editing and co-writing a book on Chinese tourism, as well as running social media accounts for Bath’s Museum of East Asian Art.

SINEAD
欧希宁

Born and raised in London, it was at school that Sinead realised her passion for languages and travel. Wanting to combine both of these interests in a university degree she went on to study Chinese Studies at the University of Cambridge, where she took advantage of study abroad opportunities to travel across the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Highlights of her time abroad include almost freezing to death at the Harbin Ice Festival, learning how to eat spicy hotpot in Chongqing and visiting the National Tea Museum in Hangzhou. She is already planning a future trip back to China where she would love to visit the lake she shares a name with (Xining Lake in Qinghai) and climb the Five Great Mountains.

JAMES
金战威

James is a keen history geek, and loves nothing more than a few hours spent discussing interesting historical stories with foreign guests. He studied History and Politics at Oxford University, and followed this with two years spent living and studying in Beijing, including a stint at Beijing Language and Culture University. James guides our tours around the British Museum.

RICHARD
理查

Richard was born in Berkshire in the South East of the UK. After completing a degree in Psychology at the University of Leicester he undertook a 6 month backpacking trip which included a month in China. This time sparked an interest in China’s history, language and culture and upon returning to the UK he began studying Mandarin and moved to Beijing in 2011 where he lived until December 2018.

During his time in China he ran a school during the day and worked as musician at night playing, over 500 shows. Alongside these ventures he worked a freelance tour guide, writer and interpreter, and passed the HSK 5 test (6 is on the horizon). After 7 years in Beijing some say that he speaks with a slight Beijing twang to accompany his craving for zhajiangmian.

Having lived in China for over 7 years Richard has travelled extensively throughout the middle kingdom and beyond. Culminating in a year long trip that took him from Japan’s frozen north, across China and onto the far reaches of the former Soviet Union.  

Now living in London, Richard is excited to show people what this incredible city has to offer.

KATE
贝凯依

Kate is from a sleepy little town in Dorset, the rural south of England. Desperate to escape to somewhere a bit more lively, at the age of eighteen she spent a month travelling around China and fell in love with the language, the people and of course the food! She returned to the UK to study French and Chinese at Leeds University, in the north of England. After an amazing four years that took her to Beijing, Paris and the south of France, she graduated with a first class degree with distinctions in both spoken French and spoken Chinese. She then returned to China to study for an MA in Intercultural Communications from Shanghai Theatre Academy, where she specialised in Bilingual Theatre Subtitling, particularly using English, French, Chinese and Italian. Kate then returned to the UK and worked in London for a year before realising that the only place she really wanted to be was Paris – so she’s been there ever since! She is passionate about languages, theatre, and cake – her dream is to open a Parisian cake shop. Kate loves using her Chinese to help new visitors make the most of the city she loves, as well as meeting new people from all around the world.

JOE
孔兆森

Joe is from Beverley, a historic market town in East Yorkshire, in the northeast of England. After discovering a love of languages at a young age, he went on to study Chinese and French at the University of Edinburgh, graduating with a first class degree and distinction in both spoken languages.

After graduating, Joe travelled to Taiwan on a British government scholarship, where he spent six months studying traditional Chinese at National Cheng Kung University in sunny Tainan. Before long, however, the aromatic allure of China’s southwestern Sichuan province was too strong, and he soon found himself in the region’s capital, Chengdu. There he worked for several months bringing European and North American students to the city to participate in internships, with an aim to promote business links between China and Europe. It was also during this time that he fell in love with the numbing taste of Sichuan peppercorn, and he hasn’t looked back since.

Joe has now returned to Edinburgh, and in his spare time enjoys walking Edinburgh’s many hills, kickboxing, reading about Daoism and cooking Chinese food for his friends (in particular, dandan noodles!).

ALEXANDRA
贝安莉

Alexandra is a final-year undergraduate in Chinese at Christ’s College, Cambridge. She has just returned from a year abroad at Peking University, where she lived with a Chinese host family and drank a lot of tea. When in Beijing, she loves taking photographs and exploring the city with Chinese friends. She also spent a lot of time travelling in China, from Harbin to Hainan. Her home is in London but her family also come from Turkey and the US, and she enjoys travelling to see them. However, her favourite city might well be picturesque Cambridge and she is looking forward to showing you its sights. When she’s not studying in Cambridge, she enjoys watching films, drinking tea, learning Chinese internet slang, and reading fiction. Her academic research includes Chinese luxury shopping in London, so she can also give tips about having fun in the capital!

Videos

Click here to see videos of our native British Mandarin-speaking guides on Youku!

Our China Operations Manager

MIN
周敏

Our Chinese Sales and Marketing Manager, Min, worked in the travel industry in China for many years before settling in London. She obtained master’s degrees in International Tourism Management in the Netherlands and the UK, researching the travel expectations of Chinese tourists to Britain in her thesis.

She is a keen photographer, practices yoga and loves to travel. When travelling, she enjoys hiking, chatting with locals and sampling the local cuisine! She is also interested in fine art museums and learning about the history of a place. In her view, travel should be in depth and travellers should take the time to stop and explore a place, not simply rush through it.

At Beiwei 55º she hopes to open up a new way of travel to more Chinese tourists, giving them access to unique and unforgettable travel experiences.