|

“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.

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.

DAVINA
山娜

As a lover of languages and travel, meeting new people and sharing stories has always been a passion of Davina’s. She was born in London but grew up in Winchester, in Hampshire, before moving to Edinburgh to study Chinese and French. Her time there was hugely rewarding and she graduated with a first class degree. One of the most invaluable opportunities Davina had while studying was spending a year abroad at Tsinghua University in Beijing, where she made the most of every chance to get on the road and explore China. She also worked part time for a Chinese independent travel company specialising in city tours of Beijing. Davina moved back to London in 2015 to pursue a career in travel & tourism. She loves putting her Mandarin to good use when guiding for us, as well as getting to meet new people and sharing her love of the city and the epic sights it has to offer!

ALICE
爱丽丝

Alice is our Oxford guide, and as a final-year undergraduate majoring in Chinese at Pembroke College, is well placed to introduce you to this beautiful city and its quirky history. She first took up Chinese in secondary school, in equal parts for her interest in Mandarin and China itself. Since then, she has continued to grow more excited by the stories behind the chengyu as well as her studies into the effects of the growth of the internet on modern society. She studied at Peking University for a year. During this period, not only did Alice attend class and join the karate society, but more importantly she made sure to take all opportunities to try every single Chinese dish she came across. For now, the favourite is mapo doufu, but any and all recommendations of new dishes are always welcome. This aside, she is an avid train-traveller, as well as a Roger Federer fan and regular runner.

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.

ABIGAIL
宋芸萱

Abigail is from a small village in Aberdeenshire, in the Northeast of Scotland. She studied her undergraduate degree in Chinese and French at the University of Edinburgh, during which time she spent a year studying in Hangzhou, in China’s Zhejiang Province.

After completing her degree, Abigail jumped on the first opportunity that came around to travel back to China, taking on a British Council scholarship to study for 5 months in Fuzhou, in China’s eastern Fujian Province. Lured in by the adorable, dopey pandas of China’s Sichuan Province, Abigail then moved to Chengdu to complete a 5-month-long internship in an international hotel. During her recent adventures in China, she made use of her language skills, organising and interpreting at events for hotel guests from all over the world.

Abigail has now returned to her favourite Scottish city, Edinburgh, to pursue a Master’s degree in Interpreting and Translating at Heriot Watt University. Taking a brief pause from her much-loved hobby of spontaneous global travels, Abigail also enjoys playing rugby and trampolining. As a true Scottish lass, she loves introducing visitors from far and wide to the Scottish delights that Edinburgh 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.

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!

JOHNNY
何哲龙

Johnny comes from a wee town in the Highlands of Scotland called Tain. After a youth of golf, whisky and Highland dancing, he spent four years studying at the University of Edinburgh where he obtained a first class degree in Political Philosophy.

Upon graduation, he obtained a scholarship to learn Chinese in Taiwan, and subsequently spent the next two years learning Chinese at National Taiwan University’s ICLP division.

When Johnny is not thinking about Chinese philosophy and history, he enjoys yoga, KTV, Brazilian Jujitsu and drinking Oolong tea with friends.

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.