Our Book

2015 China

14 March, Chaozhou to Taxia
Unreadable name 120CNY

China is a big country; the fourth largest in the world, just a smidgen smaller than the United States, though, of course, considerably more populous. We had assumed travelling in China would be cheap, but, for three primary reasons, it is not. Long distances mean even cheaper transport options add up fast; the cheapest hotels will not accommodate foreigners; site fees are high and are to be paid almost everywhere including to stroll an attractive village or pass through particularly noteworthy scenery. We have had to treble our daily budget from what it was in Vietnam – a bit of a shock. Planning our itinerary has been complicated by budgetary constraints (we cannot, for example, afford long distance travel on high speed trains), and by the fact that we were granted only a one-month visa. We have read that this can easily be extended for an additional month, but (a) this is not guaranteed and (b) depending on where you apply for your extension, you may be granted an additional 30 days from the date of your application (in theory seven days prior to your original visa expiration date) or you may be granted an additional 30 days from the end of your original visa. Assuming we are granted an extension, we will have either 53 days (30-7+30) or 60 days (30+30) in which to see China. Eternal optimists we have booked our outward flight for Day 60 and drafted a 60-day itinerary, leaving out western China altogether. Effectively we will travel every second day and sightsee every other day. Today was a travel day requiring three buses and one taxi to get us via Xiamen, Nangjing and Sui (?) to Taxia.

Another shock – Gmail is blocked in China (as is Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube). We are currently unreachable, therefore, and unable to communicate with lawyer, accountant, managing agent, family and friends. 

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