(From our trip in April 2018)
Here is our China 2018 Trip Itinerary in it’s basic form. Many of you will laugh and think ummmm is this the basic form. Yes bitches….. in ‘Lisa Trip Planny World’ this is absolutely the basics. I would never ever amen dare share the real detailed itinerary publicly. So read it and shut up ok.
P.S. it’s important to know that if it wasn’t something prebooked and paid for we probably just threw that plan out the window and went to a bar because mildly inappropriate alcohol consumption doesn’t actually count on holiday right, especially since 3 days in Husband announces from his throne that he is ‘all templed out’ eeeeeek, that’s gonna put a few holes in the days (look at me being all loosey goosey and flexible and rolling with the punches…..that’s of course if he survived this comment and if I actually listened to him upsetting my plans, which you’ll have to read on through the blog updates to see)
Monday 9 April – Fly to Nanjing, arrive at 9.30pm, stay for 5 nights relaxing and eating and seeing a few things
Sidenote – boy was I wrong about this whole relaxing and seeing a few things comment and you’ll soon see how wrong I actually was
Saturday 14th April –
Day – train to Shanghai spend day wandering The Bund, Nanjing Road, People’s Square, Marriage Market, Pudong
Night – Huangpu River Cruise
Sunday 15th April –
Day – Jade Buddha Temple, French Concession Area, Fuxing Park
Night – Food Tour with Untour Food Tours
Monday 16th April –
Day – Private Tour to Zujiajiao Water Town, then in the afternoon private guide through YuYuan Gardens and Confucius Temple for a tea ceremony
Night – Front row seats for Shanghai Circus
Tuesday 17th April –
Day – Sleep in, shopping, easy going morning. Could visit Lama Temple then catch cab at around 2.30pm over to Disney Hotel in the afternoon
Night – Explore Disney Town and eat dinner at Cheesecake Factory
Wednesday 18th April –
Day – Early early start at Shanghai Disneyland, see folder for daily activities
Night – Fireworks
Thursday 19th April –
Day – Early early start at Shanghai Disneyland, see folder for daily activities
Night – perhaps Disney Town again, early night
Friday 20th April –
Day – head to airport for morning flight to Xian, check into hotel and then if enough time visit City Wall
Night – Food Tour with Lost Plate Food Tours
Saturday 21st April –
Day – Private Full Day Tour to Terracotta Warriors, Banpo Village and Wild Goose Pagoda
Night – explore and eat at Muslim Night Market, see Water Fountain show and visit City Wall at night
Sunday 22nd April –
Day – Fast Train to Beijing, 5ish hours, check into hotel and wander around local area
Night – Peking Duck Dinner
Monday 23rd April –
Day – Private Full Day Tour to Mutianyu – The Great Wall, then Summer Palace, then past Olympic Stadium
Night – Hot Pot Banquet
Tuesday 24th April –
Day – Private Full Day Beijing City Tour to visit Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Bell & Drum Tower, see Drum performance
Night – dinner along Wangfujing Night Market
Wednesday 25th April –
Day – Beijing Zoo to see Panda’s – early as only active in the early morning, then shopping at Pearl Market arvo
Night – Red Theatre Kung Fu Show
Thursday 26th April – last day
Day – sleep in then shopping at Pearl Market for the day (if shopped out go to Yonghe Lama Temple)
Night – 7pm private transfer to airport for 11.45pm flight home
Bloody hell – so much of that changed along the way because that’s what happens on a trip. You plan the shit out of it and then you throw stuff out the window due to tiredness, not enough time, new adventures and ideas or sickness hits. So much unexpected stuff comes into play and as much as people tease me for my obsessive trip planning, the reality is I do change things up as we go along if it’s needed. After so many overseas trips I always leave things in the trip planning that can be moved, changed or completely thrown to the junk yard.
Anyway, on with the show…..
MORNING OF TRIP – As with the eve of any trip I completely couldn’t sleep ~so bloody pumped~ and was awake from 2am so not looking quite as fresh as a daisy as one would like…..grrrrrr. We arrived at the airport nice and early to check in. The check in guy seemed nice, was even kinda cute tbh and it was all going well until he mentioned we would have to collect our bags in Hong Kong and recheck them for our onward flight to Nanjing.
What I said “ummmm but usually our bags get checked all the way through even when we have several flights to get to our destination”.
What he said “because you are changing airlines at HK on to Nanjing this was how it had to be”.
What I said “oh ok then”.
:: this is were the potty mouth wordage and ranting begins I’m afraid. I was very annoyed from here on so apologies if you are sensitive to the swears, and honestly, if you are sensitive, why the hell are you even reading this blog, move it along ::
Upon reflection, this is where my tiredness totally kicked me in the butt because I just smiled and nodded at the fuck knuckle like he was actually right and I was wrong.
What I should’ve said was “saywhatnowmotherforka” as I grabbed his throat. Sigh….
Trust your instincts folks – I knew this wasn’t right because all the flights were booked on the 1 ticket but instead of saying, hey dickwad, I call bullshit on that…..I just smiled pathetically and skipped into the Qantas Club Lounge. Alas the more time I had to digest this new development the more I knew this was an issue. We only had 1hr 20mins in HK and I felt sure there was no way jose that we would have time to get to baggage claim, recheck our bags and get onto our flight. It really started eating away at me and almost ruined my free breakky buffet at Qantas club….I said ALMOST. We were flying to Melbourne first so husband said, hey let’s just ask the QC staff when we are there. I so wish we had asked the staff in Canberra but hey, let’s not be all proactive and smart and stuff at 6am shall we.
A quick bathroom selfie is tradition
Quick flight and through customs in a mere jiffy and into the International Qantas Club. The lady-dragon at the desk was very busy doing her nails and plucking chin whiskers but she finally rolled her saggy eyes in my direction and I used my best sing songy ‘I’m a sweet little orphan girl’ voice and explained the baggage barstage situation. Yep as predicted even though it’s her job to actually service me, she was a complete selfish mole-sister and shrugged and said that sounded pretty right to her, we’d have to collect the luggage and recheck it. I was going to vag punch her because she couldn’t give a rats ass-itude and this is exactly why I hate flying with Qantas in the first place but Husband said best not to be arrested before the holiday so sigh……I stupidly listened but that chick better watch her back because Ima be back one day!!!!
(please note….if Qantas are reading this and would like to make up for the heartache and silver hair highlights suffering they gave me then I would be open to a roundtable discussion that includes free first class flights to 6 countries of my choice ::per year:: and I may then reconsider what I’ve written above. Qantas, my affections can be bought, I repeat, my love can be bought…..just ask my husband!!!)
I have to say this made for a slightly stressful flight to Hong Kong. Husband and I resigned ourselves to the fact that we may miss our connecting flight and worst case scenario we would just spend a night in Hong Kong (boohoo I hear you say, poor baby having to spend the night in an extra wonderful city, sucks to be you Lisa). I know, I’m ridiculous but anyhoo. Ultimately not really a big deal because the first few days of our trip were being spent with dear friends of ours and so arriving a day late wasn’t a deal breaker but you all know how I hate things to put a knot into my knickers and a wrinkle in my obsessive compulsive travel plans so it was gnawing at me. I had already given my friend in Nanjing a heads up at what was happening and she suggested speaking with a flight attendant on the plane. Good idea babe….so I spent the first few hours of the flight scoping out who I thought would be the “good samaritan save my travel butt” person. I settled on a lovely flambouyant gent because well I could just feel we were BFFs already and he was an absolute superstar. He said nearer to landing he would move us closer to the front of the plane so we could get off quickly to give ourselves a fighting chance of collecting luggage and making the flight. He also suggested racing to the customer service desk of the new airline and seeing if they could help us out. Qantas maybe earned back a few brownie points with this guy.
I did manage to relax after that and enjoy a little new release movie BINGE fest and you all know how much I adore plane food and being waited on (I was definitely born to be a princess) – it’s the bestest.
The shame of it all really at this point is that strangely I never drink on a plane which may send some of you into shock…..so I just settled in for the ride. A smooth flight that went super quickly and as promised my BFF moved us up the front and we ran off the plane, I was like the quarterback and husband was like the big guy in Blindside knocking everyone out of the way ~lies, all lies because hubby would never do that, I of course wouldn’t hesitate lol~ , found the correct service desk and a very helpful CS person, let’s call him BFF 2.0, said he would see if he could get someone behind the scenes to grab our bags, relabel them to the correct destination and avert all drama. He did say we needed to wait 30 minutes for all of this to transpire though to see if it was actually possible.
I would rather give birth than wait through that excruciatingly long 30 minutes again that’s probably a lie and I could feel myself ready to release some bitchcraft on someone’s arse soon cause mumma was losing her patience……but true to his word BFF 2.0 had our bags re-tagged (this god of a person shall now forever be called Super Suitcase Hero and will get a street named after him) and we were able to just go to our boarding lounge for the last leg of the trip and it was only then that I let out a sigh of relief and relaxed.
Swearing rant is now over….back to regular programming, with only mild swearing!
Whew…..we made it, make mine a double!!!! Nothing like a bit of drama to get the blood racing.
Huge shoutout to this incredible staff member and Cathay Dragon Airlines in general. I am very impressed with them and would fly with them again in a heartbeat. Oh and did I mention the leg room on the flight…..my gawd folks, it was incredible. After the cramped conditions of the Qantas plane we were stunned at how spacious this plane was. Another big tick for Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon. I highly recommend them!
Anyhoo, we arrived into Nanjing, of course ended up literally being the last 2 people through immigration from our flight (god I wish I was joking). Don’t you hate it when those mofo officials open up a new line and send everyone across to that line from right behind you, and new line has 4 customs officers processing people and this ends up pushing you technically to the end of your line with only 1 customs officer. I swear I was throwing some serious side eye at every man and his dog because FFS…!!!!
We eventually made it through and as we came out to the greeting area, before we could even look around for our friends we were visually assaulted with WELCOME TO CHINA AWESOMENESS!!! Our friends were dressed in faux “TOUR GUIDE” attire with matching tees, hats, lanyards, a flag and a welcome sign with our name.
AHMAHGAHD……THEY WERE BEING SO EXTRA!!!!
I of course was loving it, I adore a good old fashioned dress up/embarrassing/hilarious welcome meets amazing parade moment. First Husband, hmmmm well he is not quite in the same camp as me on this one and was quietly horrified (which our friends knew he would be) but was a good sport for him. (well played friends, well played indeed)
Background on the friends in Nanjing (using initials to protect their famous selves anonymity):-
K.Y. (as in jelly) she and I met in Yr 7 at high school and we have been friends ever since. She’s a great friend and if she had a dollar for every time she held my hair back while I vomited well, let’s just say she would be Oprah Wealthy!!!!. We were each others bridesmaids and have been through everything….births, deaths, marriages, in sickness and in health and I guess we will part at death. She’s a zany lady and always has the craziest ideas and she cracks me up and I’m so happy to be able to come and see her life here in China.
M.Y. (as in ‘he’s mine’, I met him first and she stole him). Seriously I met him when I was 19 at the Melbourne Cup through mutual friends and thought he was a bit of alright. Told her about him, when I introduced them she chatted to him trying to get info for me ‘eyeroll’ and apparently the asswipes discovered they were soul mates blah blah blah and the rest is history and they’ve been together for more than 25 yrs (gag me). At their wedding one of the speeches was like a scene out of When Harry Met Sally….you know the one, if the groom had’ve found Lisa remotely attractive we wouldn’t be here today…….grrrrrr (it was a hard knock to my self-of-steam I tells ya friends, not good times lol)
Sooooo, lucky for them I forgave their backstabbing treachery and we’ve all remained good friends (they don’t deserve me I know). They have two wonderful kids, similar ages to mine, only 1 at home now and it’s going to be great to catch up on all of their news. They moved to Nanjing for work 5 years ago and they have loved China so much. Watching their adventures while here and following along with their stories and drooling over their photos is what started to creep into my “hmmm should we go to China” travel planning mind and here we are!!!
Enough about them…..back to ME!!!!
We were of course whisked out of the airport and their driver (yes they have a driver and I kind of hate them but now I want one waaaahhhhh) loaded us up and off we raced through the streets of Nanjing. Since it was quite late at night it was a fairly quick trip and soon we were arriving at the boom gate with the guard house to their lovely gated community life. It’s all a bit fancy pants for a couple from good old Geelong with a guy who start working life as an apprentice mechanic at Ford but they have worked hard for all of their successes and deserve their lovely life and I couldn’t be more proud of them. The house is beautiful, I think it was like 4 or 5 floors of gorgeousness but the big drawback for me was the stairs. I mean, surely whoever built this place is taking the piss. The house was so spacious but those damn stairs killed me. Unfortunately my loves, stairs were to be a recurring nightmare throughout the whole trip. Has noone in China heard of lifts/escalators/hot scantily clad men to carry me. No wonder the bloody emperors had their minions carry them everywhere. After several days of this climbing crap and knees that hurt like a barstard, I’m not proud to say this but I would’ve pee’d in my pants or gone out sightseeing braless if it meant public humiliation or climbing those stairs one more time to pee/bra up. No wonder my girlfriend doesn’t need to exercise. She lives in constant workout stair climbing hell.
SHOW BAGS – we were very fortunate to be given special little “welcome to China” packs on our arrival that contained everything we would need to survive our trip. Some of the contents were Fish Slippers (because of course), packets of tissues, face masks (disney ones obvs), wet wipes, easy to use chopsticks, some funky flavoured food and just lots of other randomness. It was a fun sweet gesture and so typical of these lovely friends.
The point of the hats and lanyards was to help us high jump the shit out of the language barrier throughout our trip and the fact that our friends had these items specially made for us was just the sweetest thing ever. Check out the awesome detail below. Of course it crushed KY’s soul that we refused to wear either throughout our days with her but she doesn’t understand….The Kelly’s have a reputation of high fash.i.on the likes of Paris Fashion Week so we declined to pop these loves on in public (that doesn’t mean we didn’t appreciate the effort hon lol)
I was however pleasantly surprised to see western toilets in the house.
Can I get an AMEN!!!!
Now before I could break out into a bootscooting happy dance we were informed that there were however some ‘toileting house rules’.
Sidenote – now remember earlier in the day my tiredness and lack of concentration caused me a whole hella trouble re stupid Qantas staffer/luggage not being checked through, well my friends get ready to again be amazed by my tired stupidity.
House Rules –
What I heard………..do not flush paper down the toilet EVER, it goes in the bin at the side.
What they said………if you do number 2, flush poo first, then the paper on a second flush.
You see the difference there. Yep, one is easy and makes perfect sense. The other is unnecessarily hardcore for my mind to process on very little sleep and made for a stressful first few days. Alas, I did not discover my misinterpretation until 5 days later. This was met with much hilarity once they realised….yep they didn’t give a minute of sympathy when they were clutching their sides crying with laughter.
So let us recap shall we……someone left the bag of idoits open and I ate them all!!!!
After lots of laughs and catching up and crawling up and down stairs till my thighs squealed and I cried with exhaustion……I was so tired so we slid into our very comfy King Size Bed and drifted off to the land of magical dreams.
That’s it for Day 1, we kind of didn’t actually do anything but go on a plane but somehow I’ve managed to babble on about nothing for over 2500 words. Just so not like me to rabbit on about Ridiculous Magical Bullshit.
Thanks for reading Day 1 of this epic adventure. I promise there is actually some great trip photos and stuff to come hahaha. Nanjing was an unexpected delight and surprise so stay tuned my loves…..xxx