My other half has been spending a lot of his time in China lately. He’s obsessed with international trade and even tries to sneak business talk into pillow talk (smh). So we decided that it would be a splendid idea for me and the kids to fly to China and see what this craze was all about. As I anticipated our trip, my emotions where a mixture of excitement and apprehension – I knew it would be a neat adventure but I didn’t quite know what my own experience would be.
I needn’t have worried. I mostly loved China – I was pleasantly surprised; I was immersed in a rich culture; I was surrounded by Mandarin, Cantonese and broken English; I tried new toilets I never knew existed and I indulged in authentic Chinese & Hong Kong cuisine that I now crave daily. My husband was thrilled that we embraced China because the country seems to be very much in his future and most likely in our future too.
I’d like to share a few pictures that captured some of the delightful moments I was priviledged to enjoy during my visit to China.
Anyone close to me knows that I don’t muck about with my breakfast. Even on my busiests days, I make time to sit down to a knife & fork brekkie of one egg, a slice of homemade toast, the occasional avocado & a mug of coffee. Therefore, I felt incredibly blessed that my husband made the effort to book accomodation with western & eastern brekkie options – I certainly enjoyed including the chinese roasted sweet potatoes and steamed eggs to my breakfast plate.
Taste of Winter Fashion
We arrived at the beginning of Spring but at 6 degrees it certainly felt like Winter. I loved the Hong Kong & Chinese Winter fashion – yes I did some shopping and can’t wait to unleash my wardrobe in the upcoming Brisbane cold season.
Believe or not, my city boy darling hadn’t visited any cultural attractions in all the months he’d been in China. We’re different personalities – he more interested in the city centre with the high rises, lighting and buzz – I more interested in the cultural heritage, the museums, temples and villages. So he took us to the city centre, and I took us to the temples!
The City Centres
Yes, my city boy enjoyed taking us to 100th floors and to see all the absolutely amazing lighting in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Guangzhou & Nanjing.
Metro (Train) Station Art
I loved loved loved the art in all the train ( or metro as they call it) stations. Absolutely gorgeous and I didn’t capture most of them because we were always hurrying through security and bag checks. Yes. Bag checks in all the train stations is a thing in China. I could feel that there was a lot of control in the governance of the cities.
Shop & Restaurant Art & Decor
You can only imagine how thrilled the kids and I were to constantly find these beauties in every shopping centre and restaurant. I was impressed with the decor in the each shop, shopping centre and restaurant. Each shop had a theme – Parisian, Italian, Thai, Japanese, Disney and I was in heaven. LOL
There were flowers on the streets, the shopping centres, the neighbourhood, everywhere and I soaked it all in!
Shopping centres surrounded by high rise estates become the heart of the community, therefore, shop owners get creative on how to keep customers in their shops – this includes gaming shops where you pay, collect tokens and play different games. The popular games where the karaoke and dance stations! For your information, my daughter whopped my backside in the car race game! I couldn’t believe it!
I LOVE CHINESE CUISINE. THAT IS ALL. Oh and the kids said this, “Dad, we prefer chinese food to McDonalds” – because my husband kept trying to buy them McDonalds much to my horror – we have enough in Brisbane! We loved using (or attempting to use) chopsticks and we brought some home to practice. Suffice it to say that meals were a very unhurried affair with chopsticks.
Brief brush with fame
Milk chocolate skin & golden braids or dreadlocks results in a lot of unsolicited pictures of you in every stranger’s phone. At the train station. In the lift. In the shops. In restaurants. At airports. Worst of all, in crowded places like the above. I tried to soak it in and decided that I wouldn’t want to be famous. I didn’t like the commotion – and the crowd following us around! Oh well, it’s good to be celebrated for once for being darker than everyone else – that’s quite an annomaly.
I got gorgeous gel nail manicure for RMB 50 i.e. AUD 9.50 and I kept thinking of the AUD $40 or $50 I need to cough up to make it in Brisbane. Sigh. Shopping was definitely pleasant when we converted back to Brisbane prices – interestingly though, local Chinese brands were quite expensive compared to western brands like Zara.
Now Minnie needs to come for my smallest daughter’s birthday! It was surreal to meet the disney characters and I love how the kids believed they were the exact characters from their screens. Disney was a treat!
Most important of all – this Man
If I didn’t go anywhere or eat any chinese food, I would have still had an amazing time being holed up with this man in a room in China! I am impressed by what he has achieved in the little time he has been there and is your go to man if you’re considering trade, product sourcing or manufacturing in Asia.
Goodbyes that make you sure to go back
It was hard to say goodbye to China & my heart-throb, but that’s the more reason a piece of my heart remains on Chinese soil! Despite the cons i.e. the squat toilets, spitting and smoking culture, smog and pollution, I can honestly say that I’d go back in a heartbeat.
So there you have it, if you’re looking for where to go for your next holiday, go to China!