Another Trip to China

Yes, we will be travelling to China this year again. We haven’t been there since 2016, the year my father joined us there and we had the awesome City Tour Extreme . We did not visit China last year as Nathalie was just born in summer and we did not feel like travelling anywhere by plane with her (afterall she is the Thundergoat). This holiday in April/ May  is something we have been planning ever since last year. Not only because my father will be once again with us and additionally we will have two kids to entertain but we will be also travelling to Japan!

Soon again at the airport

Okay, Japan is like 90% certain as we are still waiting to get the visa for my wife. Turns out the whole process is a bit annoying for Chinese when travelling not with a tour group. Thankfully we had a wonderful person giving us advice at the embassy on what to do in order to make the application much easier for us. Japan is a country we wanted to visit for so many years as even nearly did so on few occasion. We did not manage to do so as each time something got in the way such as unfriendly embassy staff telling us in Finland it is impossible for Chinese to enter their country without a tour group  in 2014 to being just not healthy enough back in 2015. So right now the only thing stopping us is not to get a visa for my wife (or she just gets too lazy again to travel once we arrive in China).

How much luggage we will have this time?

My wife has been planning the entire trip for the past two months now and has a small folder with all the details! We will be flying from Xi’an to Tokyo spend few days there and then travel to Osaka for another few days before flying from there directly back to Xi’an. Within Tokyo we have not really planned anything yet as we just don’t know what to do there. However while there we will visit the nearby Studio Ghibli Museum and Thomas Land (that idea I got from Eleventh Monkey as little Babel is also a huge Thomas fan as Nathan). We hope that my wife’s cousin will have a bit time to show us around Tokyo as she has been living there for nearly ten years. In Osaka we will be doing standard sightseeing as that city is a must see in Japan according to basically everyone I know. I would have loved to visit the Nature Aquarium as I am a huge fan of the late Takashi Amano and his work but Niigata is just too far away from our two destinations.

No Nature Aquarium for me this time 😦

Except the trip to Japan we do not plan anything big in China itself. We definitely will have a photoshoot for the kids, similar to the one we had 2015 for Nathan. I guess we will be doing our standard sightseeing around Xi’an with my dad and I plan on eating as much different food as possible there! Besides those little things I hope we will have another trip to the Qin Mountains or some other countryside visitation just to get out of the city and all the pollution. I do wonder how well my father will manage this trip as he will turn 77 this year. One thing he told me already, he wants to go to gym during the holidays in China in order to stay in shape for his bicycle competitions during the summer time in Finland. Guess he is the most active person from all of us.

One of the dishes I need to eat!!!

Have you planned your holidays for this year already?

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30 thoughts on “Another Trip to China”

  1. Wow, sounds great hope you get to Japan.
    My eldest daughter is currently in South Korea and got to go to Toyko for New Year. She loved it . I hope to visit her later in the year. Who knows maybe I’ll get to Japan too!

    1. Haha, I’ve been jealous of other people’s Japan trips for the past years! Now we got the call that my wife’s visa has been approved so there shouldnt be any problem anymore for us 🙂

  2. I hope you will be able to enjoy you holidays in China and also go to Japan.
    Remember to let your wife’s cousin buy the tickets for Studio Ghibli in advance, otherwise you might not be able to get in.
    Before moving to Osaka I hadn’t really been to the city, but now I love it. Different than Tokyo but very vibrant and a great port to discover Kansai.
    Let me know if you’d like to have some company for an outing 🙂

    1. My wife has already the pre purchase of the tickets planned. She really did her research for the entire trip 🙂
      I don’t really know much about Osaka but my wife insists it is a must see location so I believe her.
      When we have a more “definite plan” for Osaka I shall tell you! It is always the best to discover a city under the guidance of a person who knows their way around 🙂

  3. China and Tokyo sound like so much fun for you this year. Going by yourself and fam to Japan and not with a tour group might be better – less rush and you can take your time. Photoshoot – MIL might like that a lot… 😁

    So far I have no holidays lined up. Pretty keen on working on my book this year with my spare time. But there are some annoying body aches and pains that also need attention lol 😂

    1. MIL won’t be allowed at the photoshoot!! She always ruins it somehow.

      You should try at least a little holiday, some long weekend getaway from all the stress! In China I will take the opportunity to get some good massages once again as my back is acting up again due to all kinds of injuries 😦

      1. If MIL was in the photoshoot, she will be running to be in every single shot!

        For many years I had long holidays because I did contract work. A holiday also sounds nice now so I can rest my shoulder problems. Hope you get good massages that don’t hurt…some massages can be so wrong and you feel worse after.

  4. The visa process for Japan is indeed a pain in the ass but it is doable, my husband got it and we went in February 2016. Buy non refundable tickets as soon as she gets the visa so there will be no turning back!! Kyoto is very close to Osaka and there are many things to see there (many more than in Osaka!) and Nara too, in case you want the kids to play with the deer, haha.

    1. We just got the call that her visa has been approved. At first the list we had to hand in was rather huge but the staff helped us a lot 🙂

      Now that I look at the Kyoto pictures I really want to go there…ah damn so little time for so many places! We have been thinking about Nara as my wife loves those little deers but at the same time she is scared of them when they get too close (dont ask me what is wrong with her)

  5. What a great big trip is coming up for your family. Sounds like it will be so much fun. I am sure you will enjoy Japan. I am confused why the Japanese embassy expected Chinese people to always travel in a tour group? Ugh that is so ridiculous because of course not everybody will travel in a group through a travel agency.. Hope you wife gets the visa soon. I hate applying for tourist visas, it’s just the worst but also a necessity considering my passport.
    Your dad sounds really active for his age! Wish I had half the motivation he has. I do admire his spirit for wanting to travel so far.
    I have already been on a long vacation this year (in February) to India and a bit of Doha during transit. The trips that are coming up for me: Bulgaria, Mallorca and Thessaloniki. After June, I think I’ll just relax in Poland and enjoy the good weather.

    1. Japan is pretty much just an a**hole against Chinese citizens… for tour groups it is really easy to get a group visa but when you want to go alone…oh dear you have to do so much work. We had to present a list with the plane we want to take, when and where we will be each day, which hotels we will be staying, their contact information and how to reach us at all time. Besides that we had to present our bank statement that we can afford that trip and have enough money for emergencies

      You certainly had already rather interesting holidays this year 😀 We will be going to Finland this summer and I really really hope for a long weekend to Poland in early autumn!°

  6. Sounds like an awesome trip! We need to take my son back to China sometime soon, since my extended family hasn’t met him yet and my grandparents are getting old. But we’re not sure what the best age for such a big trip is. Waiting until he can walk? He’s currently 9 months old.

    When my husband and I went to China in 2016, I literally didn’t know if I would be able to get my Visa until the day before we were supposed to leave for the trip. It was so stressful. It was all because I changed my name when I became a U.S. citizen and we were not able to find proper documentation for it.

    Japan sounds amazing too! That’s definitely on my list of places to go, as well as Southeast Asia.

    1. I think it depends all what you preferences are. When we go to China our Nathalie will turn 1 year (18th May) and I bet she will be able to walk a little already by then. Anyhow we will be taking a baby stroller with us which is included in a childs flight ticket besides the normal lugagge.
      Oh yeah those name changes are something the Chinese are not fond of, it really messes up everything in their system. My wife decided to have here in Europe a combination of our two family names and for her Chinese documents she keeps her Chinese name/ she will keep her Chinese citizenship.

  7. Tokyo is awesome! Especially if you are visiting for the first time…I miss travelling through Japan sometimes so this brings back memories for me…:)

      1. Oh yes, I will definitely consider another trip to Japan..I’m excited for you too so I hope the end of April comes soon for you 😁

  8. I hope you’re able to visit Japan. If you’re going to Osaka, you may also want to go to Kyoto. It’s very beautiful.

    Having spent so many years living in Asia, I haven’t seen every part of the United States. This May, my three daughters and I are going to Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico. I’m really looking forward to it. I haven’t seen much of our South West.

  9. By sheer coincidence, we will be going to Japan, then Seoul Korea in a few months. Kinda short. Then he will spend a few days in Shanghai. He’s never been and what is the pollution level like there in early July???

    We will be Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara. I’ve never been to Asia. I just hope no strange global politics!
    That’s good your wife wants to be organized for family trip. Important when having 2 young children now. 🙂

    1. Hard to say how the pollution levels will be as it all depends on how active the coal plants are running and of course the wind! I realized that there have been some improvements in the past two years when it comes to smog but I will know more when we will be in China next month.

      Nara is perhaps also on our list but we have to see whether we can squeeze in another city or not within such short time in Japan. I guess when it comes to the strange global politics these days there won’t any real safe country left in worst case. Just have to hope that nothing too crazy happens

  10. Wow, super exciting! I know travelling with kids can be exhausting, but hey, they are also the most unforgettable.This is Nathalie’s first flight?Can’t wait to hear the stories you will bring back home in DE!

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