Helen Wong – Founder and Managing Director of Helen Wong’s Tours
In 1987, Helen Wong opened the doors to Helen Wong’s Tours in a suburban Sydney office. Since then, the business has grown to be the go-to tour company for Australian independent and group travellers wanting to see more of China, with the head office now in the CBD.
The popular businesswoman has approached her work with plenty of passion, dedication and professionalism, adding more tours to showcase China’s diverse landscapes and cultural attractions, as well as adding tours to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Hong Kong and Macau.
Former Australian Test cricket captain Steve Waugh travelled with his wife on a Helen Wong-tailored tour of China and described it as a wonderful holiday, thanking Helen and her staff.
“Our visit to China was one filled with many new and exciting experiences,” he said. “The tour suited our needs and we saw Guilin, Xian and Beijing with every detail, no matter how big or small, being attended to.”
Former Australian Prime Minister, the late Gough Whitlam said of his study program: “The travel arrangements were highly acclaimed by all who took part in the tour.”
Helen Wong’s enthusiasm, professionalism and passion for China and other Asian destinations shines through in all aspects of the business, and she has won many business awards and is highly acclaimed in all travel circles.
How long have you been in the travel industry?
It’s almost 27 years since I founded Helen Wong’s Tours in Australia but I have been in the industry for more than 42 years (hard to believe).
When did you get the travel bug?
When I was 12 years old my mother took me on a holiday from Hong Kong to Taiwan – a one-month adventure which guaranteed the travel bug had bitten.
What inspired you to establish Helen Wong’s Tours?
A love and passion of China . . . the country’s scenery and the people, and the fact that no-one in Australia was promoting the country properly.
What are the top five places that you recommend people see in China?
Beijing, Shanghai, Lijiang (Yunnan province), the Yangtze River and Jiuzhaigou, an alpine valley famous for its crystalline lakes and snowcapped peaks.
What are your top tips for travelling in China?
1. Clearly seek an experience, of meeting the people and admiring the places for what they are and how different everything is to what we know in Australia. You always need an open-minded approach, sense of adventure and tolerance. 2. Never miss out the opportunity to see a performance that is unique to the city or region of China. 3 When shopping at a local market, always bargain, start at around half the asking price and work your way from there. 4. Don’t over pack the luggage as you will need room to bring home the shopping bargains. 5. Do some advance research to get some idea of what to expect.
What are your favourite destinations outside of China?
Italy, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Canada (Rocky Mountaineer journey from Vancouver to Banff), Nepal and Bhutan.
Is there anywhere in the world you haven’t been, but would love to?
Yes, Spain, Monaco and Dubai.
What do you think is the ‘finest thing’ about China?
The scenery and the diverse culture between people of different backgrounds.
Helen Wong’s Tours