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My China Trip Announcement!!!

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My China Trip Announcement!!!

Postby DiscoPro_Joe » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:54 am

Well everyone, I've decided that now is the time, and the time is now...to take the next major step in my life. After recovering mostly from the burnout of my last job (working at an insurance call center), I explored my options. Considering that I'm currently not tied down with a job and have ample savings, and with my longing throughout the last 15 months to explore some of China's large cities mounting immensely inside of me, now is the time for me to roll the dice and take the big chance.

Last week I researched and received trip quotes from a couple of reputable Chinese travel agencies, along with international flight quotes. And then, early Thursday morning (June 26) in the wee hours, I began placing orders for a 12-day trip. I depart from Oklahoma City on the evening of Sunday, July 13th (arriving at my final destination on the morning of the 15th), then return on Friday, July 25th.

Yesterday, I completed all of the paperwork, and mailed to Houston (via overnight FedEx) my Chinese visa application. I should receive the visa by early next week at the latest. I also visited my natural health practitioner, who gave me a "pH Cleanse" formula to help rid my body of any strange bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc., that I may encounter while in China.

I'll probably ask some people in those cities about available jobs for native-English speakers. Apparently, teaching English is a great way to get one's foot in the door professionally in China. I'd also have a chance to practice and continue learning Mandarin while teaching English.

Anyway, this is *extremely* exciting, and could turn out to be the next major turning point in my life. Only time will tell!

(Below you will find a detailed trip itinerary, and beneath that are some good videos I found that feature the cities.)

With huge enthusiasm,
Joe



------------------------------------
"There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, And we must take the current when it serves, Or lose our ventures."

-- Brutus in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar



------------------------------------
Here's the itinerary from the travel agency:


Flora Cu/ Eileen Wang
Travel Counsellors
TravelChinaGuide(TCG)
US and Canada: 1-800-806-5198 Ext. 319
1-800-892-6988 Ext. 319
Universal(except USA): + 800-666-88666 Ext. 319
China Mainland: 800-840-9555 Ext. 319
International: (86-29) 8523 6688 Ext. 319
Fax: (86-29) 85258897; 85265801
Email: tours@travelchinaguide.com
travelchinaguide@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.travelchinaguide.com
http://www.warriortours.com


11- Day Standard tour of Shenzhen - Guangzhou - Chongqing -
Shanghai


July 15(Tue):Arrival in Shenzhen
Upon your arrival in Shenzhen, our guide will pick you up
from the airport by the flight CA1337 at 10:30, and transfer
you to the hotel for three nights stay. The rest day is free for
you to explore the city by yourself.

Hotel: Novotel Watergate Hotel (4 star)


July 16(Wed): Shenzhen
Explore the Splendid China that has scaled down replicas
of China's historical buildings, wonderful scenes and folk
customs. There you may taste the distinctive flavors from
a variety of parts of China and also you will find an excellent
selection of souvenirs in the World's Largest Miniature Scenic
Spot.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: Novotel Watergate Hotel (4 star)


July 17(Thu): Shenzhen
The whole day is free for you to explore the city by yourself.
We only arrange the hotel accommodations with breakfast
for you.

Meals: Breakfast
Hotel: Novotel Watergate Hotel (4 star)


July 18(Fri): Shenzhen - Guangzhou
Our guide will transfer you to the railway station and help you
to take the soft seat train to Guangzhou. Upon your arrival,
our guide will pick you up from the railway station and transfer
you to the hotel. The rest day is free for you to explore the city
by your own.

Meals: Breakfast
Hotel: Baiyun Hotel (4 star)


July 19(Sat): Guangzhou - Chongqing
Visit the Five-Ram Statue in Yuexiu Park, the Temple of Six
Banyan Trees, the Qingping Market and the Shamian Island.
Take a flight to Chongqing. Our guide in Chongqing will pick
you up and transfer you to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel : Harbor Plaza (5 star)


July 20(Sun): Chongqing
Visit the Ciqikou Old Town and transfer to the Chongqing
Zoo to see lovely pandas in the morning. The afternoon is
free for you to explore the urban area by your own.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel : Harbor Plaza (5 star)


July 21(Mon): Chongqing
The whole day is free for you to arrange on your own. We
only arrange the hotel accommodations with breakfast for
you.

Meals: Breakfast
Hotel : Harbor Plaza (5 star)

July 22(Tue): Chongqing - Shanghai
Take a flight to Shanghai. Our guide in Shanghai will pick
you up from the PVG airport and transfer you to the hotel.
The rest day is free for you to explore the city on your own.

Meals: Breakfast
Hotel: Holiday Inn Downdown Shanghai (4 star)


July 23(Wed): Shanghai
Visit the A whole day excursion covers the Shanghai Museum,
the Yuyuan Garden and a local family visit.

Specials: Portman Acrobatic Show and a farewell dinner at
Wangbaohe restaurant
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Holiday Inn Downdown Shanghai (4 star)


July 24(Thu): Shanghai
The whole day is free for you to explore the city by yourself.
We only arrange the hotel accommodations with breakfast
for you.

Meals: Breakfast
Hotel: Holiday Inn Downdown Shanghai (4 star)


July 25(Fri): Departure from Shanghai
Transfer you to the airport and see off by your international flight
MU583 at 14:55. Our service ends here.

Meals: Breakfast


Quotation for the single occupancy:

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

(The above price is applied for one person as a private group)

(Paid the full payment by Cable transfer. No balance remaining)


GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Quotation Includes
1. The economy class airfare of Guangzhou/ Chongqing/
Shanghai and the soft seat train charge of Shenzhen/
Guangzhou in the itinerary.
2. One hotel standard single room with private facilities in all
relevant locations.
3. For the land tour in each city, daily American breakfast is
served in the hotel, and Chinese lunch and/or dinner will
be served with two cups of soft drink outside the hotel. All
meal arrangements are served as the itinerary specifies.
4. Private transfers for you and your party as a group between
airports, train stations, hotels and all sightseeing spots.
Separate arrivals and departures will incur extra charges
5. One private English-speaking guide and private driver will
accompany you on all normal sightseeing tours in each city.
6. Admission fees applicable are included.
7. Should your tour include a cruise, then the shore excursion
in groups and activities will be subject to the arrangements
made by the cruise company.
8. Chinese government taxes and the city construction fees
applicable to your travel are included.
9. Travel Agencies' Liability insurance with the tour inside
China is included.
10. Please be sure July & August belong to Olympic periods in 2008.

Quotation Excludes
1. The air charge of arrival in Shenzhen and departure from
Shanghai.
2. Expenses of a personal nature such as laundry, telex, tele-
phone calls, postal and fax services, bar, massage expenses
or overweight baggage charges.
3. The tips for the guides and drivers.



------------------------------------
Here's some videos of the cities I'll be visiting:


Shenzhen (July 15-18)

"City View" (day)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy1gKen1usM

"Impression" (night)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ia0hw3sOVcU


Guangzhou (July 18-19)

"Welcome"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJYbp0lipAw


Chongqing (July 19-22)

"Part 1" (day)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94z3ZIbKPhk

"Part 2" (night)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5Ei0pI11B0


Shanghai (July 22-25)

"The Metropolis 2008"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0CGA9iLCwM

"Most Beautiful City"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmr1KvBHlwE



-----------------------------------------------
Here's where I'll be sleeping...


Hotel in Shenzhen (3 nights)
http://hotel.travelchinaguide.com/hotel ... sp?pid=896

Hotel in Guangzhou (1 night)
http://book.bestwestern.com/bestwestern ... Code=78615

Hotel in Chongqing (3 nights)
http://hotel.travelchinaguide.com/Showp ... 1913570857

Hotel in Shanghai (3 nights)
http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/hi/1/e ... tid=956490



-----------------------------
And here's the official invitation letter from the travel agency, which was one of the many papers I attached to the visa application paperwork:

http://download.travelchinaguide.net/ut ... acmei6t08i
DiscoPro_Joe
Freshman Poster
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:29 am
Location: Chongqing, China







Postby momopi » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:00 pm

In addition to your regular luggage, bring a backpack with you as a carry-on. Put some necessities in the backpack (change of underwear, medicine, etc) in case if your luggage is delayed.

Bring tissue packets with you, as many public restrooms don't have toilet paper. In more developed Asian cities they'd have a vending machine selling tissue paper outside the public restrooms, but many in China don't. Use the bathroom in your hotel room before your outing, it's likely to be the cleanest restroom you'd see all day.

Most personal care products can be found easily in stores there but for some odd reason, deodorants aren't popular. So bring your own deodorant stick.

Buy & drink bottled water in China. Tap water is not always safe to drink. Street food is often superior in price and taste to restaurants. Look for grilled lamb and squid/cuttlefish on a stick covered in spices. Also, small noodle places run by Muslims wearing topi (skullcaps). Usually there's someone near the front making fresh noodles, they're called Lanzhou La Mien (Lanzhou pulled noodles).

There's convenience stores, supermarkets, hyper-marts, and department stores everywhere in Chinese cities. If you've never been to a hyper-mart, make sure you visit a Jusco or Carrefour. I prefer Jusco personally. I think they have some stores in Shenzhen.

If you're a single male traveling and staying in your own hotel room, pimps may ring or knock your room to see if you want a hooker. Be warned that Chinese hookers and customers don't always use protection, so safety is iffy at best.
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Postby Winston » Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:00 pm

Damn you are a detail oriented fellow.

Did the travel agency do that itinerary for you? Are you on some package tour? If so, I would have advised against it. Those things are not usually worth it. They usually book you at expensive hotels that you could have gotten cheaper on your own. And they take away your freedom to control your schedule too. It's not worth it. Better to go on your own with a Lonely Planet Guide and just find accommodations on your own, or by asking others, friends, tourists, etc. That way you have more control over your own schedule.

Why are you going for only 12 days? That's not enough. Since you are not working anymore, why not go longer? Maybe 3 months? It takes time to get used to a country and immerse yourself with it and to develop relationships too.

So how are you going to meet women? By chatting them up in public or using a dating agency? There are some marriage agencies you can use there. Their addresses are on the web.

If you chat them up in public, then do it subtlely. Ask them an innocent question like "What time is it?" or "Where is a good hotel around here?" or "Where is a good restaurant?" or "Where is the park?" Then ask them open questions like "What are you doing today?" and try to carry the conversation from there. If she's in a rush, then just ask her phone number and text her later. If she's interested, she will stick around and talk a bit. Then you can ask her if she'd like to hang out with you. And ask her if she has a boyfriend or if she's alone since sometimes girls in public are waiting for their boyfriend somewhere. If her boyfriend shows up, just say you were asking for directions and act innocent. If she is alone or with another girl, then offer to have them join you for coffee or something.

But be selective. Only chat up those you are attracted to and show an interest in you too. Don't stick around if they aren't interested and just want to practice their English.

Just look for clues and signs.

Some guys on my list went to China too. I'll ask them if they can give you any advice here.

Also, you can try asking questions on the forum of www.orientexpat.com in the China section since some there already live in China.

If you want to teach English there, you can go to www.eslcafe.com to research opportunities and experiences before you go.

Good luck.
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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Postby DiscoPro_Joe » Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:31 pm

I appreciate the advice, Winston & Momopi.

This is not a full "package tour." I tweaked & tuned the itinerary to allow me extra time to explore the cities on my own. There will be parts of days and full days when I'm totally on my own. I also wanted to stay at some nice hotels in the middle of the downtown areas to make the initial experience better.

Why only 12 days? Because I want to get a quick feel for it prior to accepting any job offers there. If (and hopefully...when) I go there to work, I'll meet a potential girlfriend in the usual ways, I guess: chatting with female strangers in public, being introduced through colleagues and friends, online dating sites, etc.

I'll keep y'all posted on how it all goes.
DiscoPro_Joe
Freshman Poster
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:29 am
Location: Chongqing, China

Postby Winston » Sat Jul 05, 2008 12:49 am

Your welcome, but why 12 days? That's not enough to explore cities or make inquiries at English schools in such a big country! You aren't employed so why not stay longer? Can you extend your ticket?
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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Postby DiscoPro_Joe » Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:31 am

Why only 12 days? Because it's my first time to do something like this, that's why. I just want to get my feet wet and see what it's like.

I also want to get a quick feel for China and see which city I like the best. Then I'll take it from there. I can always go back to China again, you know! Especially since my tourist visa is for multiple entries, valid for a year, with a 60-day visitation limit per entry.

Keep in mind, Winston, that I'm very different from you (and most other guys, for that matter). Therefore, my overseas ventures will probably involve me doing things quite differently than you would. But I'm always open to expert advice, though.
DiscoPro_Joe
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Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:29 am
Location: Chongqing, China

Postby Jackal » Tue Jul 08, 2008 6:59 am

I'm happy for you, DiscoJoe. I'm glad to see that you still post here. I think going for a short trip before you commit to a long stay in China is smart. However, 12 days is short enough that you won't notice some things which might annoy you over the long term in China.

When I went to the Czech Republic, it took me two weeks to get over the "honeymoon" phase of culture shock when everything seemed so cool and exotic and I was just walking on clouds. By the third week many things began to irritate me about the country. But anyway, if you really enjoy your 12 days that's still significant.

At least the Chinese I've met have been really friendly and encouraging to people who bother to speak their language (no matter how badly!).

Some TEFL certificate courses are run abroad and there might be some in China as well. If you get your TEFL certificate there, your TEFL school probably would have local connections in China to help find you a job. You might not even need a TEFL certificate in China. If you just start talking to and emailing English language schools in China, you might be able to talk your way into a job.
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