Visiting China and Our Trip So Far


Neon Tokyo at Night
Greetings from China! By the time you read this, Brooke and I should have landed in Guangzhou and are likely out exploring the wonders of a brand necountry – our third on the trip after Japan and New Zealand. However, since the powers that be in China have decided to block internet access to WordPress (among other websites), we’ve written and scheduled this post in advance of arriving. We may be offline for a couple of days until we hit Vietnam, but that just gives us more time to get knee deep into unraveling the mysteries a new country.

On the way to the summit of FujiThis third leg, which we’ve dubbed our Southeast Asia section, is among the shortest portions of our Round The World trip. We landed on August 24th, so we’ll have about ten days to visit a small corner of China (which includes the Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Maccau), Vietnam and Singapore. For our Southeast Asia itinerary, we’re back to just playing it by ear with our stops and activities. We’re more than open to suggestions on anything that’s worth doing in the area. If you have any thoughts, please let us know in the comments section below!

That is one huge ass Japanese Lantern!We know, we know – ten days is nowhere near enough time to truly soak up the region, but we’re determined to make that time work for us. So far in both Japan and New Zealand, Brooke and I have had some long, full days where we’ve managed to pack in a ton. More often than not, we’re up and out of our hotel/hostel/guest house/yurt by early morning and then only returning late in the evening as a pair of spent but fulfilled travelers. Luckily, most of our beds and rooms so far have been uber-comfortable (notable exception – Reino Inn in Hiroshima. Blegh). We’ve been hitting the streets armed with city maps, transportation schedules and perhaps a travel guide to steer us to our next interesting discovery. Racking up the miles on our shoes, we’ve stumbled across wonders ranging from a magnificent a hot-spring geyser to the most stunning temple gate imaginable. And, yeah, sometimes a walk takes longer than anticipated or preferred, but that’s all part of the fun of not knowing precisely where you might be headed eighteen hours prior. At the end of the day, we tend to find ourselves exhausted but, if we’re lucky, just a pinch more worldly than we were that morning. The next day, we’re ready to get up and do it all again. To be fair, we’ve also had a handful of days where we’ve done relatively little. Thankfully, those are the days that help keep us sane and from burning out.

What is this strange yogurt?At this point, Brooke and I have been on this ole once-and-a-lifetime trip for a little under a month. In short, the trip has been going insanely well. This (temporary) lifestyle of being abroad and absorbing the culture, locations, landmarks, attractions and food has fit like a glove. The days are exciting, eye-opening and thought provoking. We’re constantly discovering locations that we didn’t even know existed a few days before – Miyajima in Japan is a great example. We’re learning a little bit more about how things work in parts of the world that are thousands of miles away from home. Which is incredibly important because that was one of our original primary goals in taking this voyage. Little things like learning that the Japanese tend to shun tattoos because most water parks and osens (spas) won’t let you in if you have one. Or the basic ins and outs of a Rugby game. Or even walking through the largest pedestrian cross walk in the world at Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo! We’re chalking up more memories than we can conceivably cram into our blog posts.

This map will direct me to the old sailing ship! Where could it be?So, what’s next? Come early September, we’ll be on a flight from Singapore to Copenhagen for three days in frighteningly expesnive Denmark followed by our Baltic Capitols cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines. We’re ecstatic for our cruise – in no small part because it will be nine whole nights in the same room and bed. A break from constantly searching for and checking into new hotel rooms. No need to schlep luggage around because our boat will be taking us from country to country! Also, we anticipate that it will be a nice change of pace from our time in Asia matched with a slice of easy cruise-ship living. But for now, let’s see what China has in store for us.

-Phil

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Categories: China, Hotels, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized, Unusual Experiences | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Visiting China and Our Trip So Far

  1. Lauren

    Still enjoying all the posts!! I am living vicariously through your trip and plan to use the information to decide where we would like to visit once we grow up! Thank you for all of the updates and don’t forget, we LOVE the pictures too!

    • Hey Lauren,

      Speaking of photos, we’re going to make an effort to add a bunch of photos over the next week. We take so many a day and it’s hard to share more than just a few to the blog!

      We’ve got a (currently empty) Flickr account set up and just need to take the time to upload a boatload of pictures. Only the good ones of course. Happy Labor Day Weekend! Hope all is well in Cincinnati….

      -Phil

  2. Phil's Mom

    Love following the blog. When you get to Shanghai, you might want to ask about buildings designed by John Portman. He has built four there, and is said to be better known in China than the U.S.

  3. Claire Lambert

    Hey Guys! I talked to my cousin who visited Vietnam and here were her thoughts on areas to visit: “Ho Chi Min which had Vietnam war sites in the surrounding areas, Hue in the middle of the country which is a UNESCO heritage site with lots of old sites to visit, and Hanoi in the north. I also spent time in Ha Long bay on a boat trip which is also in the north of the country. From my recollection there were a few types of things to do in Vietnam — tour Vietnam war sites (in the South), visit historic cities (Hue in the center and probably other places too) or do more outdoor activities (Ha Long bay in the North). Depending on what is most interesting I think they could find a few days of cool activities.” Hope China is treating you well and look forward to hearing about your excursions!! Claire 🙂

    • Excellent! That’s so great. Thanks for the suggestions. Given our limited time, we were torn on which section of Vietnam to visit. We had narrowed it down to Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. In the end (mostly for reasons for cost and convenience) we’re going with Hanoi! Landing there tomorrow and hope to take up some of these suggestions. Thanks so much, Claire!

    • Hey Claire,

      Thanks again to your cousin! We made good use of the suggestions. Ha Long bay was breath taking (and we’ve already seen some breath taking sites for which to compare) and we wish we could spend another four days in Hanoi. Great suggestions. Onward to Copenhagen. Say, you don’t happen to have a Danish cousin, do you?

      -Phil

      • Claire Lambert

        So glad to hear the suggestions were helpful!!! Actually that same cousin’s husband lived in China for two years but by the time I made the connection you were already mostly through your trip there. But no, sorry to disappoint, no Danish relatives. German, perhaps… My aunt, uncle & two cousins are, however, seasoned world travelers (now I get to be jealous of you *and* them!!) so I’ll take a look at your itinerary again to see if any of your stops are places they have been. If so, I’ll see if I can get some more good tips for you!!

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