Canadian’s worry-free trip to China
I’m pleased to say that I have booked airline tickets so I can visit China in April. I will fly with China Southern Airlines from Toronto to Guangzhou and then I will take a connecting flight to Changchun in Jilin province.
It has been a year since I have seen my friends. We will have a lot to talk about.
Using Changchun as a base, I plan to visit Hunchun, Changbaishan, Qinhuangdao, Harbin, Suifenhe and possibly Manzhouli.
Taking into account my being a Canadian citizen and the current political tensions between our two countries, am I worried about travelling in China during this month-long vacation?
Not in the slightest.
I have worked in China for a full year and since then, several times, I have returned to China as a tourist. I have visited a dozen cities in six provinces and during all of these trips I have never had anyone treat me badly or even rudely. On the contrary, everyone I met has been very kind and helpful.
For example, last spring, when I was in the Wanda Plaza in Harbin, I was having trouble finding the supermarket. A young couple approached me and the lady asked me if she could be of assistance. I told her that I was looking for a supermarket and she told me that it was at the other side of the shopping mall and she gave me directions.
I started walking toward the supermarket. It was a fair distance from where I was. After walking for about 15 minutes, I noticed that the young couple was following me. I thought that was odd. However, when I started walking in the wrong direction, the young lady came up and pointed me in the right direction. The couple left me alone only after I entered the supermarket.
It was so very thoughtful of them to go to so much trouble to help a foreigner.
After experiencing many such acts of kindness from strangers in China, I have no doubt that my visit will be as enjoyable and rewarding as all my past ones have been.
There are 300,000 Canadians living in China and every year 741,000 Canadian citizens visit China; some on business, some as students and most as tourists. The vast majority of them do not get into any trouble with the Chinese authorities.
When I visit China I understand that I am being welcomed as a guest and that it is expected that guests should not cause trouble or embarrass their hosts. I am sure that all visitors to China, who act responsibly, will enjoy their visit.
Holland Marshall lives in Toronto, Canada. He worked in China for a year and he now visits China once or twice a year.
The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.