CHOICE membership

Wendy Wu tours to China


#42

Unfortunately you possibly won’t see fried ice cream in China…it is originally from Japan and has taken off in western Chinese restaurants. The Chinese however do have interesting ice cream ( on a stick) flavours such as green pea, sweet corn, red bean etc. While they sound strange, they are good to try and surprisingly tasty.

Dumplings (Jaio Zi) are very tasty and hopefully when on the tour they will take you to a dumpling restaurant to see how they are made/to try. Wheat noodles (where pasta originated) is also common in China and hopefully you will be able to see them thrown by hand. I recall in Xian going to a restaurant that specialised in hand thrown noodles.

Another common snack food readily available, particularly in between meal times is Baozi. Types of savour fillings is endless. another is tea eggs which are delicious if one likes eggs…I could keep going on and on but am sure you will try many foods yourself.

BTW, if eating fruit, make sure you remove the peel…not a problem for most fruit but something that is often recommended for things like apples etc. Also drink bottled water as tap water is of mixed quality…just check the seal is not broken before purchase (a broken seal possibly means the bottle has been refilled).

Also, the other suggestion is when venturing from the hotel independently, take a business card from the hotel (some hotels have details on their keys) just in case you get lost or don’t feel like the walk back. Taxis are very common in China and relatively cheap to get around. The taxi’s rates are posted on small stickers on the (back) side window.

It is also worth getting a free translator app on your phone before leaving which includes Simplified/Standardised Mandarin. This may be useful when communicating with locals when out and about. Some will also do photoed text translations and speaking.

Wifi is available widely in China (hotels, restaurants, shopping malls etc). I wouldn’t use it to do any private (e.g. online banking) purposes as one has to assume that any Wifi communications in China could be listened to (particularly since most common western encrypted VPNs won’t work).

Take care and have a great trip.


#43

Thank you @phb,
Sorry to hear about the fried ice cream, was looking forward to it ! Also had dumplings filled with egg custard and rolled onto charcoal!
Have no problem with noodles, being used to Spaghettini, and I hope I get to see that amazing skill of making hand thrown noodles!
I managed to get lost in Pisa, but only because after being given time to wander off on our own and seeing I was going around in circles, I asked an Italian policeman for directions to the place our group was to meet again.
Apparently there’s more than one Tourist Tram stop near the Tower of Pisa and he directed me to the wrong one.
Luckily I always carry with me my Guide’s phone number and details, and, after speaking to her, a shop keeper walked me to the right place.


#44

I’m getting nervous about the political unrest in Hong Kong. I’ll be there on the 1st of September to catch my flight to Shanghai. And I will stay there for 5 days before coming back home.

My travel agent says that they, and Wendy Wu tours, are keeping tabs on the booking and it’s too soon to make changes.

I’m registered with smart travellers and will get updates, but I fear the unreast will escalate if a too heavy handed approach is going to be used by the authorities.

My travel insurance covers cancellations for ‘ terrorist event’ , but can this be called as such?

Please, keep your fingers crossed for me🙂


#45

That’s a tricky one but it sounds like you have a good handle on the situation, let us know how you get along. Hopefully things will settle down by the time you travel.


#46

There are many alternatives than flying through Hong Kong to mainland China. Hopefully Wendy Wu looks at other options closer to departure date to minimise disruptions to its clients. We have tavelled on a few of the main carriers, and all are similar in quality of service, reliability and safety. Also we prefer many Asian airlines to Qantas when flying to that neck of the woods’.

Have a great time.


#47

Thank you, @phb.
I’m flying Cathay Pacific, all the bookings and reservations have been paid for and are confirmed.
I do hope they can come up with alternatives if necessary.

But I also have the problem that I’ve booked a short tour of HKG after the China one.
I can only hope that all the unrest will be resolved by then🤞


#48

What is currently happening will be called that by the government in China. “terrorist” is used by governments when it suits them, not so much when it suits us.

Best to look closely at your travel insurance regarding “war”. If a zillion PLA soldiers come storming across the border in order to suppress the unrest (for a time), it would be difficult to describe that as “terrorism”.


#49

@Gaby
Also Civil Unrest or Civil War whether declared or not are usually exclusions from cover. Riots can also be defined in policies as being Civil Unrest. I would be checking with your Travel Agent now if you can make alternative arrangements rather than risk those particular parts of your travel.

Currently on DFAT HK is rated as Reconsider need to Travel with a rating of 3 on the slider (which maxes at 4 which is do not travel).


#50

Thank you, @grahroll, I’m sure that my travel agent and Wendy Wu tours will
find other ways to get to the mainland
rather than cancel my booking.
Also, my HKG short tour can be rescheduled if things have not be resolved by then.
The China tour starts 1st of September and ends about 2 weeks later. Then I’m booked for the HKG tour for 5 days.
A bit of time yet to wait and see, I think.
Although it’s very annoying, there’s
nothing I can do, I booked in May and I don’t think there was anything happening
then.


#51

No, @person, my insurance doesn’t cover
‘war’. Just as a matter of interest, given
that HKG is a Special Administrative Region of China, would sending soldiers in be an Act of War?:thinking:


#52

It could be “civil war”.

Or maybe your travel insurance mentions “civil unrest”, as @grahroll suggests, which is basically the same thing.

At this stage, it is too late to do anything, but at least you can be properly informed about your position so that there are no surprises. People hate it when they go to make a claim on insurance (of any type) and then get knocked back. If your insurance doesn’t cover it, better to know that now.


#53

I doubt any of the community can offer any assurances on this.

While there is some good feedback previously on what may be your circumstance wrt travel insurance, the best reply would be that of the insurer. It may help to ask them if you are covered for losses, or changes due to the current disruption, if it continues as is? The insurers have their own standards/interpretations of events!

If the situation changes the insurer is unlikely to speculate. Cover may be excluded, or the circumstances considered by the insurer insufficient to cause a change. However if on arrival in HK things get worse, you may find you are excluded from cover. Hence DFATs current advisory.

It is worth considering time may be the key strategic weapon for all with the situation in HK.

HK has been a significant tourist destination, hence your proposed visit.

It would seem reasonable to expect Cathay Pacific and WendyWu Tours to organise around the situation, if they value their reputations. It’s their decision, not the customers?

The Hong Kong tour operator if prepaid may feel less immediate pressure, although all the tourism dependent business in HK will be under pressure.

Your comments suggest you can reschedule the HK tour. That is great if it is necessary. Assume there is a minimum notice period to reschedule or cancel?

Hopefully you have a reliably and trust worthy TA. And all is resolved peacefully and you can still look forward to a great trip.


#54

https// edition-m.cnn.com

“The airport is a source of pride, 73 million
passengers going through annually, it
contributes to 5% to Hong Kong GDP. “

“The protesters have viewed the airport as a way to communicate their struggle…
and as a safety space…riot police would
be unlikely to clear them out if travellers
we’re there…”

It probably seemed like a good idea at the time… but, really, using the very people
who are bringing in the wealth, as human shields doesn’t get much sympathy from
those held up for hours or days, missing
their connecting flights and causing all sorts of disruptions.

Wish they’d find another way…


#55

They probably think and are probably right that a protest to be visible needs to impact those whom they wish to make it visible to. If you protest in a spot that no one cares about then it is not likely to be of any impact. They are a small place and the rest of China is a very large and powerful place. To make the World aware of their issues they need to make their protest impactful to the World. Basically good on them for trying to protect their interests.

I’m also am truly sorry that it does impact you, it is something you have most likely spent a great deal of money and time on. Sadly we don’t live always in places were we can safely go about our days with benevolent and helpful authorities and sometimes this does require actions which affect visitors, tourists and even our own people. Bringing in Wealth is not always a concern when your freedoms/rights are being taken away.


#56

I agree, @grahroll, I’m very sympathetic with any struggle for freedom.
But I have never agreed with the method
of using human shields in the fight.
It diminishes the values. I wouldn’t think many of those used that way at the airport
would have much sympathy for the protesters, after having been made their
victims.


#57

I agree but let us not forget Tiananmen Square and the results of those protests that really didn’t have human shields as a protection for the protestors. Does China even allow any discussion of those protests? I think we will end up with China taking very harsh action against the protestors and I think there will be lots of misery as a result for many of those protestors.


#58

The only time we have been to Hong Kong was in 2001, and when we arrived in the airport terminal, we witnessed 4 paramilitary style police armed with sub-machineguns running to a section of the building.

When we departed the harbour on a cruise to Hainan Island and Halong Bay, we were passed at very high speed by 2 speed boats carrying armed uniformed personnel.

I expect that it will appear much more dangerous now due to the recent events.


#59

Having seen a few vox pops with foreign travellers at the airport, some do, some don’t.

You can ask the same question about, say, industrial action in any industry in Australia (whether it’s public transport workers walking off the job or teachers walking off the job or …). They are inconveniencing customers and dragging customers into a fight that the customers aren’t really part of and don’t really want to be part of. Sux to be the customer.

Back on topic: You really need to be talking to your insurer and your travel agent and the tour operator - and doing so on a frequent basis, as the situation could change (deteriorate or resolve) quickly.


#60

Thank you, @person ,
I’m trying not to panick😉
Two day ago, when the airport scene
deteriorated, I started asking question of my TA, but as it is 15 days to go, so much can change in that time that I’m really trying to take it as it comes.
Will keep you all posted, as you have very kindly been interested in this matter. :slightly_smiling_face:


#61

I wouldn’t.

There are media reports that the protesters may have now realised the damage that the airport shutdowns have done to HK. Some have apologised for going too far with the protests at the airport…including the restraining of a Chinese journalist.

There are also reports that the airports are now only restricted to travellers using the airport…passengers need to be able to prove travel to get into the airport precinct.

This is itself should reduce the chances of future airport disruptions.

It however doesn’t potentially change travel advice that may come out in relation to travel to HK should the situation deteriorate further in other parts of the city.

China has been (unsually’?) patient and it could because they do provide their autonomous regions with a considerable amount of automony in relation to day to day activities and function. I expect they will be monitoring the situation and if it goes past the point of no return (that being civil unrest which can’t be managed by HK authorities), then this may trigger their involvement.