- What does 'hias' in hias gourmet mean?
Hias is a Malay word that means to decorate, to complement, to accent, to beautify. Hias proudly honors the place that food takes in Asian culture.
- What is the minimum booking number?
Individuals of course can book into our tours, however, for join-in tours we require a minimum of two guests before we will open a tour. If you are a solo traveller and we have no other guests already booked, we can offer you the "solo booking rate". This is slightly higher than the standard price for the join-in tour. If another guest books in prior to the tour, your rate will drop back to the standard rate - which we will adjust with your balance to be paid on the day. If no other guest books, you will enjoy a private one-to-one tour with our guide.
- Should I tip my guide?
Of course guides always love to be tipped, but it is entirely up to you! If you believe your guide has given you an awesome experience, tips are warmly appreciated. As a general guideline, a common amount for tipping in China is RMB 100 per day for a guide and RMB 50 for a driver.
- Do the vendors or shops you visit receive commission?
Absolutely not. All the places we visit are part of the program simply because we would love you to see them. We have no commercial contracts with any vendor. You should feel no pressure to buy anything.
- What if I have an allergy, am vegetarian or have a dietary restriction?
Please know that awareness of and education about allergies in China is very different from in the West, and many people do not understand the potential seriousness of allergic reactions. Many ingredients, such as dried shrimp, peanut oil, peanuts, spring onions and MSG, are routinely used as flavourings. Additionally, woks are rarely washed with detergent between dishes (to preserve the coating), so there may be trace elements of a given ingredient. You should come prepared with translated instructions for your allergy.
If you need an Epipen, please bring these with you to China as they are NOT available in pharmacies.
We will do our best to avoid the food you can not have, but we can NOT guarantee that it will not be in any dish. We will discuss your dietary restrictions with you personally and do our best to help, but, ultimately each guest is responsible for their own dietary issues.
- What if I have gluten intolerance?
Northern Chinese cuisine overflows with ingredients containing gluten, and it is extremely difficult to avoid. Unlike Cantonese and other southern Chinese cuisines, the staples up here are predominantly wheat based. Added to that soy sauce is used in a vast majority of dishes.
- What currency can I use to pay my guide?
For any payments to the guide, it must be in RMB/CNY only. We do not accept US$ or any other currency. Our guides do not have a credit card facility, so only cash is acceptable. When you pay online with us, we can accept US$ or HK$. We can also accept RMB/CNY for bank transfers.
- Can I pay by credit card?
You can pay online by credit card using our PayPal account. You DO NOT need to have a PayPal account to do this.
- Can you meet me at my hotel?
We do not meet guests at their hotels for join-in tours. For private tours we can meet you at your hotel if it is located within the inner city (CBD) area.
- Where do I meet my guide?
You will find details for your meeting point attached to your booking emails. Each route we do has its own meeting point. You will be given your guide's mobile number, so if you have difficulty finding your guide on the day, feel free to call him or her for directions.
- What languages are the tours conducted in?
Our standard language is English, however, Chinese is also readily available if needed. If you do need another language, feel free to ask us about arranging a translator. Additional fees may be necessary.
- What are your cancellation policies?
Cancellations must be received in writing. Refunds will be given according to the following schedule:
- 14 days or more prior to tour date: Full refund with CNY 150 processing
- 5–13 days prior to tour date: 70% refund with CNY 150 processing fee
- 1–4 days prior to tour date: No refund
The payment will not be refunded for any other reason (i.e. weather, change of travel plans, illness, missed flights etc.) within 3 days of the scheduled tour.
For full terms and conditions, please see the terms and conditions page on this website.
- What if it's raining?
The tour is held rain or shine, please dress suitably according to the weather.