Times flies faster on the east

Originally written 16th of May

We go round and round
We go round and round

Hello there and hello from the eastern parts of the world. Currently we’re in Xiamen City and we’re about to move onward with our journey. Yes, we’re 6 hours ahead of you, so at the time I’m writing this post it should be 2 AM and you’re probably sleeping tight in your warm and cozy beds.

Ah, we’re at half of our journey and so far it’s been quite interesting but most of all busy and fruitful. It was only until yesterday we had some time off, for the rest it’s been visits to partners here and there, lots of traveling in between and lots of meetings to conduct.

Did you know we had quite an adventurous journey to China? The beginning from Ljubljana to Frankfurt airport was OK, but right before boarding the plane to Frankfurt we got notification that the flight from Frankfurt to Shanghai was delayed by 9 hours, yes 9 hours! Instead at 22:05 our flight would be taking off at 7:00. This means sleeping in some hotel, waking up really early to check-in and then a really, really long flight.

Well luckily Simon is with us and he knows how to move around – he’s been in China for quite some times, so he immediately started checking for alternatives. And there was a flight to Hong Kong leaving at around 8 PM. We went to the information desk and found out that there were some serious issues with the plane and it got delayed due to maintenance, khm (!!!) … So we went onward to the office and rescheduled our flight to Hong Kong. You can arrange for everything, luggage to be transported on the right plane etc.. So finally we were taking off for China and all was well. We encountered some traffic before landing at Hong Kong, so we had to fly for additional 45 minutes making 4 circles above the sea, funny feeling I must say, especially when watching lines at the travel monitor.

Ah, if you’re then moving inland into China through Hong Kong and you like to travel by ferry try checking in your luggage straight at the check-in. Hong Kong has internal ferry terminals, but only for transfers. As we didn’t know this we had to claim our luggage, take a taxi to Hong Kong city (approx. 1 hour drive), buy tickets for the ferry, check-in, go through customs and then board it, so quite some procedures …

Needless to say that we almost remained without our luggage as it didn’t came with the first batch from the plane. We were waiting for more than 1 hour to get it, but it was not coming and then the sign lit – “All bags arrived” – hah, what now?! To the baggage reclaim office, explaining what happened to stuff that speaks some form of English, filling in papers and in HK airport not getting any first aid kit! Yep, they don’t refund or help you, you have to buy for yourself toothbrush etc. and then claim refund at Lufthansa. Luckily, we were just about to leave when they notified us that they found some luggage that matches our description and yes, there our bags were!

From then on it went smooth, you can go inland by train of ferry, but by ferry it takes less time and it is pretty comfortable. We met some Slovenian guys there that were actually traveling same route as we were from Ljubljana, quite some laughs there … And finally we were in China, doing again all of the procedure through customs.
A driver came to pick us up and drove us straight to the hotel, to finally take some sleep.

Few words of advice if you’re traveling to China:

Forget Google services, yep there’s no Gmail, no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. they don’t work here. I somehow managed to check-in with Swarm but that’s all … Even our company emails don’t work so well here, which can be a problem sometimes.

Always have your travel document with you, first of all you’ll need it to book every transport ticket and if you somehow loose it – good luck traveling to Beijing to the nearest embassy.

For the rest the hospitality here is in short unbelievable … But come prepared, as not everyone here speaks English and we’re lucky to have with us Tony and these days also Yanan to help us move around.

OK, that’s it for now. I leave you with some images and until the next time – Ni hao!

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