Starry Expeditions
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About    Star Guides

Brenda Zhao

Brenda brings her wealth of travel guide experience to her trips, representing the best of responsibility and professionalism of any within the industry.  

Brenda was born in Beijing, and raised in Shanghai, before returning to Beijing for her studies at Beijing College of Tourism (now known as the School of Tourism in Beijing Union University).  Since graduating in 1983, Brenda has been leading trips around China, from major cities to remote nature reserves, from private jet tours to river cruises.  Thanks to her rich guiding and life experience, she has a broad understanding of the needs and expectations of different guests, and can actively handle any emergency. In addition to leisure vacations, Brenda is a perfect guide for scholarly guests who have a deep interest in Chinese history and culture, as well as for corporate clients who need not only a knowledgeable guide but a capable business assistant.  During her free time, Brenda enjoys reading and race-walking.

Bruce Chen

Bruce is an all-around “nice guy,” and the expert guide for Great Wall hiking and trekking trips.  He is enthusiastic about biking, trekking, mountaineering, and rock climbing.

As a professional trekker and tour guide, over the years his trips have covered the top trekking destinations and high mountains in the remote parts of Hebei, Beijing, Sichuan, Tibet and Xinjiang, including Everest Base Camp in Tibet and Muztagh Ata Base Camp in Xinjiang.  He is especially expert at leading Great Wall hikes, including along the “wild” sections of the wall, where travelers still often see the hiking trail markers made by Bruce.  Bruce has also trained many guides in camping and trekking skills. As a passionate traveler, whenever he is not guiding, he will pull on his backpack and run off in search of new adventures.

Crystal Zhao

Crystal’s friends often cite her patient and methodical approach to work and life.

Since her graduation from the School of Tourism at Beijing Union University in 2008, Crystal has led numerous guests on trips in China.  Guests appreciate her deep knowledge, strong sense of responsibility, and her caring manner.  As a native of Beijing, Crystal enjoys sharing local stories about history and culture with guests, and about her understanding of this dynamic city and local life. Exchanging stories with new friends from different walks of life, learning, growing, traveling and tour guiding have all become fundamental parts of her life.  During her spare time, she enjoys reading and keeping updated with changes in the world.

Daisy Zuo

Daisy is liked for her straightforward and charming personality.

As a distinguished and very competent guide, Daisy has been working in travel and tourism for over a decade. Over the years, she has led trips to nearly every part of China, from large cities to remote villages.  During trips, she is conscientious and dedicated; truly, a person who never skimps on time and effort to go the extra mile to make things even better.  She is capable of handling practically any request, and very efficient in addressing guests’ concerns.  Whether they are on family trips, educational trips, business trips or adventure trips, people are always impressed with her extensive knowledge and her professionalism.  Today, as a mother of a young boy, while not guiding Daisy spends her time with him.

Miller Lee

Miller’s dedication to guests’ experiences and knowledge of local history and culture has earned him a strong reputation.

During his first job at a cement plant, where he remained for eight years, Miller sought out every opportunity to educate himself: he earned a degree in Trade and Economics through correspondence, gained fluency in English, and became an official certified English-speaking tour guide.  In 2004, Miller brought his hard-working nature and attention to detail to his new career in tour guiding.  On trips, he is particularly passionate about sharing his extensive knowledge of regional history, religion and architecture.  While not leading trips, Miller enjoys spending time with his son, reading books on Buddhism, and photography.

Alan Zhang

Alan is a very well-respected tour guide based in Shanghai.

After graduating from the Shanghai Institute of Tourism (now known as the School of Tourism at Shanghai Normal University), Alan ventured to Xinjiang in the northwestern reaches of China in 1997 to start his career as a professional English-speaking guide.  A few years later, Alan returned to Shanghai, where he quickly became a popular guide in the region.  On trips, Alan is friendly and attentive, with a strong understanding of the diverse range of guests’ needs and expectations. Guests are also routinely impressed by his excellent English and extensive knowledge.  In addition to guiding in Shanghai, he often leads trips to other parts of China.  During his free time, Alan enjoys photography, reading, cooking, and singing karaoke with his friends.

Askar Kuerban

Once named a “Top Ten Guide” throughout Xinjiang, Askar, who has led trips since 1998, is a veteran travel industry professional.

A native of Kashgar, and graduate of Xinjiang University, Askar has led trips to nearly every part of China. His extensive tour guiding and life experiences have afforded him a strong intuition of the needs of discerning travelers.  Guests regularly note his regional expertise, as well as his friendly and charismatic personality.  With his strong local relationships, Askar is able to provide guests with opportunities to immerse in local life and to share insights that only locals would know.  While not guiding, Askar enjoys playing football, traveling around the world, dancing and making new friends.

Tashi Dorje

Tashi is very knowledgeable about Tibetan history and culture, and an expert in Tibetan Medicine.

A Tibetan from Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Qinghai province, Tashi received his PhD in Cardiology from Fudan University.  Over the years, whether it be while working as an internal medicine resident at Yushu Hospital, bringing medicine to an isolated nunnery in high mountains, working with NGOs on local nomads’ health education projects, or treating Yushu community members in Shanghai, Tashi has maintained a constant connection between Yushu, an isolated corner of China, and the metropolis of Shanghai.  Before his PhD, Tashi once worked as a full-time travel consultant and tour leader for a year.  Nowadays, Tashi regularly leads trips to his hometown, Yushu, helping travelers access the best of this breathtaking land.

Eagle Feng

Having grown up in Gannan Tibetan autonomous prefecture in southwestern Gansu province, Eagle speaks fluent Tibetan, and, although not Tibetan himself, has a combination of characteristics that is considered “typical” Tibetan by some: a frank and direct way of speaking, and brave.

With his deep understanding of Tibetan culture and arts, he has guided trips in the Tibetan areas of Gansu and Qinghai provinces since graduating from Lanzhou University of Arts and Science in 2006. Over the past seven years, Eagle has become a popular guide, leading all kinds of overland expeditions in western China, from hiking, to camping, to 4x4 expeditions.  He is also an avid amateur photographer.


Nyima is known for his cheerful disposition, great sense of humor, and deep understanding of Tibet.

A native of Lhasa, Nyima graduated from Sichuan Tourism University in 1990, where he studied Hotel Management and Tourism.  With over a decade of experience leading trips across Tibet, Nyima is often praised by guests for how approachable, considerate and flexible he is.  Especially knowledgeable in local culture, history and Tibetan Buddhism, and very well connected, Nyima shares with guests an insider’s view of Tibetan life, through meaningful engagement with local villagers, nuns and monks.  Also an entrepreneur, when not leading trips Nyima can be found at the boutique hotel he co-founded with friends.

Huang Huaihai

Huang is known for his friendly personality and expertise in Yunnan ethnic minority culture and history.

Since graduating from Lanzhou University with a degree in Zoology, Huang has distinguished himself as an exceptional guide for travel across Yunnan.  Over the past more than decade since he started leading trips, guests have regularly applauded his rich insights into ethnic minorities, as well as his ability to make people feel instantly at-ease, as if they were already friends.  During his spare time, Huang bring his energy and passion to his volunteer work with local NGOs and to spending quality time with his young daughter.

Emilie Yao

Having recently joined the ranks of Star Guides, Emilie is a talented quick-learner.  She has already exhibited an exceptional ability to adapt to changes in any situation she faces. 

Emilie is ethnically Dong, from the picturesque southeast Guizhou province.  Currently she mainly guides short excursions, and assists with the special events in Guizhou.  During trips, guests appreciate how friendly, considerate, and hard-working she is.  Her studies in foreign history and culture at the Beijing Foreign Studies University serve her well in understanding and communicating with guests from different countries.  During her free time, Emilie actively participates in all kinds of volunteer work, such as training students in English in her hometown.  And, Emilie enjoys traveling (even more!), photography and poetry.