June 21 marks the beginning of summer 2014 as per the US calender. What better weekend than this to spend time admiring thundering water beauty.
Driving to Niagara falls would take approximately 14 hrs round trip. Spending those hours driving on a weekend seemed tiring. Hence we opted to try the China tour bus.China tours is not the name, Sunshine travels is the name of the travel organization that runs these tours. SunshineBoston.com is the website you can use to book tickets online. There are many other websites connected to the same travel agency.There are connected and collectively organize these tours. It is all run and organized by Chinese. Hence the name china tours. They have their office at Chinatown, Boston. They begin their tours from Chinatown.
This was my first trip in a China tour bus. These tours are mostly for international travelers. One does not have to worry about parking,food and accommodation during travel. Hence you can see only international travelers in these buses.
The total expenses by the china tour bus per person will be $250.$150 is for bus travel and accommodation. $100 include the ticket expenses for local attractions. The additional expenses on you will be the food expenses.
That is all about china tour buses. You need to know more, Ask me :).
We started off from Chinatown Boston at 7.30 am on a Saturday morning. There were 3 buses with 60 seats each running that day to Niagara falls. One can imagine number of tourists to Niagara from all around. Buses were neat and fresh. It felt like mini Asia.:). One of the best things to mention about these tours is their timings. We started at 7.30 am. We were told we reach destination by 4 pm. We were on time as mentioned at the destination. This included breaks of every 2 hours for 15 to 20 mins each and 45 mins for lunch. Departure from hotel to attractions were perfect timings.
We reached Niagara at 4.30 pm. The first attraction was old fort Niagara . Tickets were taken care .Costs $12. This place is of historic importance. This fort was used as a training camp for soldiers. French , Britain and finally United states have owned this place at their war times. Kitchen, dining,meeting hall, prayer room, sleeping place for the soldiers is all you can see here. This fort is located on the bank of river. Makes it a scenic place.
After about an hour at this place we headed to Niagara falls. Around 5.30 pm we were in the queue for tickets to Maid of mist. Tickets to the maid of mist boat ride is $17.Tickets were taken care. But the queue to get to the boats is always longer. While waiting in the queue,on the right side is the beautiful view of the rainbow bridge that connect US and Canada.To the left is the view of the Niagara Falls. It looks amazingly beautiful from the waiting queue near observatory. To get to the boat, there is an elevator that takes you down by 2 floors.Long queues are a torture in hot sun. Don’t forget your hats,sunglasses and sunscreen lotion.
After settling on the boat, We ride towards the American and Bridal veil falls. Because of the force at which the water falls down on stones, there is lot of mist. Mist in combination with sun rays forms the rainbow. One can see a rainbow always at this place. This is where the heaven of mist beings showering at us on boats. Further ahead is the wider part of the waterfall called Horseshoe waterfall. Water falls at an enormous force here. The Mist literally engulfs the boat. If you do not have a raincoat one will be completely drenched in the mist water.
How often does one get to stand under such mist of forceful water. It feels awesome to be there.Probably safest way of enjoying such thunderous water mist. It just feels amazing to stand still and feel the mist all over the face. I wish we didn’t have rain coats. The moment boat moves out of that place, All the heat of sun and wait in the queue feels worth it. Maid of Mist is the best thing to experience in the Niagara falls.No wonder it is such a popular international tourist destination.
Here is the link for some facts about the Niagara falls
At around 7.30 pm we exited the water fall area for dinner at the mall across the road. This mall has a food court with Indian, Chinese, Mexican and Italian cuisine. We had best Indian dinner at India kitchen.Food was just amazing. I had not eaten such tasty Indian food in any restaurants around here in a long time. Naan, Paneer mutter, Dal Makhani and Chawal. Veg thali. Just loved it.All places here don’t take credit cards. Cash is a must if you want to eat and drink in this food court.
The 2nd floor of the same mall had the native american dance performance in the theater. $20 per person. The show is named ‘Spirit of the Mist’. Here is the glimpse.
And finally after sun down we headed to the Goat Island to see the illumination on the falls. Different colored lights are projected onto the water fall from the Canada side of the fall. The illumination on water fall is best viewed from the Canada side. From Goat Island it was difficult to catch the view of colorful lights on the waterfall.
We then headed back to hotel and settled in at 11.30 pm in the night. Hotel accommodation is taken care. Just make sure you mention if you need a smoking or non smoking room. We ended up is smoking room and it stinked.
We had an early start on day 2. You cannot expect much for breakfast at such places. 7.30 am we started to 1000 islands. It was about 3 hrs drive from the hotel we stayed.
Alexandria bay is the place where you have boat rides to see these mini islands.Uncle Sam boat ride is the one we were on. Cost for the boat tour is $27. 1000 islands is a place where you can see million dollar homes on small islands.They look beautiful and fascinating. Million dollar homes because they are on these tiny islands.Its all beautiful around there. But there is nothing much you can do at this place.
Drive back to Boston was 7 hrs. They got us back on time by 8.30 pm. My first china tour travel experience was a good one.It is a time bound travel experience. There wont be any leisure relaxing time in such tours. Probably there is more you can choose to do in Niagara falls when not on tour bus.