Asia recommended ~ take your spirit of adventure

When we arrived in Vancouver on Mother’s Day (again) it was sunny and warm.

May 7, our next to last flight left Shanghai in the afternoon for Guang Zhou and soon we were back in the Grand Continental Hotel, our very first hotel in China.

The next day, we awoke with no agenda. We wandered through the pedestrian mall on Beijing Avenue, confident enough to do a little shopping in the Unbook Store. And yes the name was in English! Later we strolled down the walkway that followed the Pearl River and watched men fishing from the bank and seniors doing Tai Chi on the path. It had been quite wonderful to feel comfortable enough to spend nearly the whole afternoon on our own in a country where we couldn’t read the road signs, speak the language or explain ourselves to most passersby.

That evening, we were treated to one last supper by Brother Number 1. We were complimented on our stamina to survive such an adventure and still have a smile on our faces. (I never dared to admit that there were a few days when I thought I would collapse from mental overstimulation and physical exhaustion but I was too proud to admit defeat.)

After this last supper in China, Wen, Sharon, Paul and I strolled through the neighbourhood surrounding the hotel on a mission in search of the famous ginger milk.

Eventually we found an open air restaurant that served the drink. The air was hot and humid and soon we were enjoying a delicious, very, very spicy drink that made us all break out in a sweat. I found myself feeling the camaraderie that comes from sharing an extraordinary experience in a person’s life. I knew at that point that it would take many months to sort out my feelings, insights and thoughts about Southeast Asia.

I was missing Canada very much and I just knew that I would see my country with expanded vision and appreciation. At the same time, I also knew I would carry an affection for the people of China, Vietnam and Cambodia.

They were real to me now and nothing would take that away. I had seen evidence of their history with its suffering, endurance and fortitude as well as the energy infusing their lives.

The next morning, after a surprise dim sum Mother’s Day meal hosted this time by Sharon’s youngest brother, we were on our way by bus to leave mainland China and enter Hong Kong. There we would board our plane for home, taking thirteen hours to cross the Pacific Ocean again and experience another complete sunrise and sunset.

When we arrived in Vancouver on Mother’s Day (again) it was sunny and warm. The sky was clear and it felt as if there was hardly any traffic. It was surreal. I felt as if I had been awakened from the most extraordinary dream. The airport terminal was quiet and even though three hundred people had disembarked with us, the place felt empty. The customs officer wanted to know if I liked China and what I had seen. She sounded as if she would like to travel there. She spoke English! If I hadn’t been afraid to look like an idiot, I would have kissed the green Canadian lawn outside the building.

It took us nearly two weeks to get over jet lag. I kept craving Chinese food. I lost eighteen pounds that summer because I had gotten out of the habit of eating sugar.

Paul came home with a deep appreciation for Canada and our government realizing that we need to exercise our responsibilities as citizens. He formed an enormous admiration for a people who work so hard to make things better for the generations to follow.

Would I recommend travel to Asia? You bet! I realize that we were very blessed and privileged to have seven weeks and wonderful, knowledgeable friends to guide us. A guided tour would be excellent too. Remember to take your spirit of adventure and a willingness to have your mind opened and you will be blessed!


Just Posted

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

Princeton’s Spotlight wins two provincial awards for excellence

Publisher takes first place for investigative reporting

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The COVID-19 cases reported over the week of May 30 to June 5. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees second straight week of 17 new COVID-19 cases

Summerland, Keremeos and Princeton all recorded no new cases

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has hired a new FireSmart coordinator. (Black Press file photo)
FireSmart coordinator named for Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

Kerry Riess will provide assistance to mitigate potential wildfire hazards

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

18-year-old skier Logan Leach follows his guide, Julien Petit, down an alpine track. The Lumby athlete who is visually impaired has been named to Alpine Canada’s Ski Team ahead of the 2022 Paralympic Games in Beijing. (Contributed)
North Okanagan teen named to national Para-Alpine ski team

18-year-old Logan Leach officially joins Canada’s Para-Alpine roster ahead of Beijing 2022

Carina Stokes, bar manager at Enderby’s Small Axe Bistro, was recognized as one of four exceptional B.C. restaurant workers by the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association Tuesday, June 8, 2021. (Contributed)
Okanagan bar manager recognized as ‘stand-up’ B.C. restaurant worker

Small Axe Roadhouse’s Carina Stokes one of four to receive special recognition from the BCRFA

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Most Read