> Our Explorers | Arguably our most valuable assets, they are the embodiment of our core values and spirit. No impersonal guides, who repeat memorised lines and 'just do their job' but instead we present engaging hosts, who excel at telling China's story, who adapt to your expectations and make sure your every comfort is taken care of.
> Our Organisation | With the exception of hotels, all included services are arranged by and in direct control of Explore Beyond. Unlike most other providers, we do not outsource any of our ground operations to third parties or local agencies so we remain firmly in control and we can guarantee top quality service yet remain flexible for a continuous customization of your adventure.
> Our Approach | We are specialised in 'the next step' of China discovery. We prefer to skip classic style sightseeing and show you experience lesser known destinations and highlights. We leave reciting dull statistics and group touring to others, and instead focus on helping you better understand the Chinese perspective by connecting you to our local networks for a more natural and authentic introduction to China.
Maxime grew up recreating the adventures of the great explorers in the Belgian countryside. He studied journalism but got bored with theories and hit the road instead, eventually settling in Shanghai back in 2010. Since then, he spent the majority of his time researching on location or guiding guests for premium and specialized tour operators, while refining his understanding of China, its people, history and culture. With Explore Beyond, Maxime aims to provide a platform to introduce conscious travellers to the China he got hooked on, the one beyond the guidebooks and stereotypes.
Ying is a Shanghai native but has lived in both Europe and the US for several years before returning home. She has been active in the online travel industry for over a decade and has travelled to pretty much every corner of China. Ying is passionate about the beauty of her country and believes a different approach is needed to show the world. That's why she co-founded Explore Beyond with Maxime. As a tourism management expert, Ying's experience and insider know-how are priceless.
Originally from France, Robin first arrived in China in 2010. As a self-employed photographer based in Shanghai, his works focus on depicting stories and witnessing the discovery of cultures and places. However, looking to escape big city life, he grabbed his camera and crossed China in an old jeep before relocating to Yunnan. Here he enjoys the outdoor lifestyle while keeping himself busy with restoring his traditional Bai home and by being the only person in China to market Pu'er tea infused sparkling wine.
Born in the USA but growing up in the Netherlands, Maarten made his way to China in 2012. To better understand Chinese culture and to hone his language skills, he decided to move into a small village near Guilin for two years. Impressed by the traditional way of life and by the welcoming local community, he wanted to share his countryside experiences with similarly minded travellers. So when Maarten isn't looking after our guests, he can be found sipping tea (or something stronger) at one of the rural home stays he set up for our partner Laojia.