Dan (Chongqing)

DANIEL DEAKIN

Winter Holiday- Thailand & Vietnam

So one of the great perks of this job, is that fact that due to the Chinese education system we are all entitled to about a month holiday half way through the year. Not only do we get holiday but it’s fully paid and the fact that China is the heart of Asia, means this is a cracking opportunity to travel. Some of my friends/ colleagues decided they wanted to see more of this weird and wonderful country, but for me I wanted sunshine.

The beauty of China and especially Chongqing is that we are situated right in the heart of China, so access to anywhere is really on a 2/3 hour flight and a very cheap one at that. So I’ve always wanted to visit Hong Kong (my mum lived there for over 10 years), so I decided that I would fly to Bangkok via HK. It worked out a third of the price to fly to Shenzhen (the city on the coast nearest HK island) and take a bus from there to the island. Where I spent 2 days. Amazing city, a bizarre combination of Britishness and Chinese. British road marking and red postboxes for example but a very expensive city.

From HK I flew to Bangkok it’s the heart of the winter in China I decided to would fly south and explore SE Asia, for month of sun, sand, sea…….. And what a decision it turned out to be. I had a few groups of friends from various places that happened to be in Thailand the same two weeks that I was. So this turned out to be 2 weeks of carnage. Too much partying and day time drinking meant that, sightseeing was at a minimum whilst in Thailand but was great to catch up with some of my closest friends in paradise. We spent most of time there on Koh Tao, which means I still have a lot of Thailand to do in the future, but after two weeks of partying I was ready for some culture and a change of scenery.

So, at this point it was myself and 3 of my friends. I had maybe 17 days before I had to be back in Chongqing, so it was an easy decision to take the free 15 day visa, but in hindsight I wished I’d of spent my whole holiday travelling around Vietnam. The country was amazing so many different terrains, from Sand dunes to mountains, from ocean to Cities this country had endless things to explore. The food was fantastic, the people were lovely and even the transportation was pretty good. I started in Saigon and in 15 days travelled to Hanoi, via Mui ne, De Lat, Hoi An, Hue, Halong Bay. So having done this distance in such a short space of time naturally, I missed some things I would love to do, but what a fantastic country.

Had an awesome month, or just over as it turned out and the fact it was fully paid made it all the more satisfying. Now back to reality (or as close you can get living in China) and back to work. for the second semester.