Friday, March 02, 2007

The Sanya Vacation Report

Greetings, I have returned from Sanya. For those of you who don't know where that is, it is China's largest island and smallest province, located in the South China sea. As you can see from the dates of my posting, I was not able to post during the vacation. Mostly by choice and not due to the availability of internet connections. I will be posting over the next few days. One thing you need to know is that going to an airlines web page and booking flight is not the way to go. You will pay up to twice as much for your tickets. This is one big difference here in China, they don't quite get it in that regard. So if you are here in China ask a friend to recommend an agent. That being said, I got tickets for 1310 rmb, from Harbin to Sanya, via Beijing. My other choice was to go through Chong Qing which was quite a bit longer, so I opted for an overnight in Beijing. If you have to do that I would recommend the Capital Airport Hotel. You can book a room there online and the hotel is just minutes away from the airport. Rooms are clean, not too big and the price is right, 368 rmb a night. There are places to eat in the hotel and the prices are reasonable there too.

I have spoken before about how friends will really be helpful to get you a good deal. Here is a good example. One of my student's grandparents winter in Sanya. They knew a woman who rents out a small apartment. The price is 450 rmb for one day or one month or anything in between. During the Spring Festival hotel prices are triple the normal price, so that means you will pay about 1000 or more per night which is pretty much out of reach for most people here, including me. So after arriving, we went to the address provided and paid our host plus 2oo rmb deposit for utilities, which ended up being only 30 rmb for the entire time. Our friends brought us a wok, a couple tables and stools and we had our base set up. Now mind you, there was not any hot water but there was a shower and with the heat the water is not too cold and with a hot plate you can clean up fine. Assuming you have a bit of the Spartan spirit in you. I have never liked spending too much on hotels but if you can afford 15k on a hotel be my guest.

I hope this gives you a little insight into how to navigate your travel in China. Rely on your friends, students and the people they know and you will save big time. I will be detailing more of the vacation very soon as time allows as classes begin again today.

Worldtour aka Larry Rhoe

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