A travel agent signed me up for a tour group. You should think twice
before joining one of those groups as you probably could do it both cheaper and better yourself.
Tourist agents are used to
arrange Chinese tourist groups and it's not certain that they have the
same interests as the westerners.
On the other hand, if you sign up with a tour group, they arrange
hotel, food and transports, saving you a lot of trouble. Especial as you
are not familiar with the language. And in Zangjiajie no one spoke English
also didn't understand my Chinese. Sweden... they had never heard about. So
for me maybe a tour group was the easiest way to get around.
Anyway, I got into a really small group, just three people. Two Chinese guys and me. we
walked for 10 hours that day. Up the stairs, down the stairs, around the
cliffs. We were all totally exhausted at the end of the first day. My
legs were hurting for several day after this tour.