I think it’s been around a month and a half since we last left China to have a wonderful getaway in western Europe. The time has just flown by and I can’t believe it’s already time for our next international trip. In fact not only do we have the international trip, but also two domestic trips over the months of December and January.
During these trips you can follow us in real time on Snapchat or subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch our travel diaries once they come out. We’ll add the specific dates below for each destination.
1st: A Whirlwind Tour of Japan
Firstly on December 11th we will leave China to experience a whirlwind tour of Japan as a gift from our boss. We’ll be traveling with most of the employees in our company as part of our first Chinese tour group. To be honest we’re not entirely sure what to expect but since our boss is covering the bill we’re more than happy to go with the flow. I think if nothing else it will be an interesting cultural experience – we’ve never traveled with our Chinese co-workers before or been to Japan.
Most of all I’m really excited to have a trip where I’m not the one doing most of the planning. For those of you who don’t know I am the one who does 99% of the planning for our trips and quite frankly it gets exhausting. I know that must sound like a cop out but we go on atleast 10 trips (from weekend to month long) a year so the time spent planning and pitching adds up. I’m excited to arrive in Japan knowing everything except my meals are planned out for me. We can just show up, take some photos and wander around aimlessly (as aimless as one can be in a tour group scenario).
2nd Trip: The Yellow Mountains
Our second winter trip is a quick break just after Christmas (26th December) to explore the Yellow Mountains for four days. For those who don’t know the Yellow Mountains are a wildly popular holiday spot for the Chinese but they aren’t overly well known internationally.
While December isn’t the best time to visit weather-wise, it is one of the quietest times and I’ll happily settle for that. Unbeknownst to us it’s also the best time of year to see the mysterious Sea of Clouds. This is when the clouds envelope most of the peaks mimicking the effect of an oceans with rocks jutting out of it. A sighting isn’t guaranteed however so we may just get to experience some great views and beautiful sunsets (boohoo, right?).
We’ll also be exploring one of the nearby ancient towns called Hongcun which is known as a town of lakes. We’ll use this trip to celebrate our tenth anniversary (which happened back on November 26th) as we haven’t had a proper break just to the two of ourselves before then.
3rd Trip: Harbin, Snow Town & Beijing
For some reason we decided to spend one of the coldest winters in China in one of the coldest places in China – up near the Russian border. During our spring festival break we’ll be visiting the famous (in China) Harbin Ice Festival, visiting a beautiful snow town and returning to Beijing to see what it looks like in the snow.
Since temperatures will be between -15 and -30 degrees celcius we’re a little worried about how this will go and have been stocking up on some serious winter gear through the advice of our American friends. Watch out for this trip on Snapchat from the 25th of January.
So those are our holiday plans for winter in China and abroad. Remember to join us on Snapchat for real time travel videos and pictures.
CC: Cover photo by Brian Jeffery Beggerly