Extra Budget Items for VIPKid Field Trip

While the tour price of the VIPKid is actually quite reasonable, it is only a portion of the budget you need for this trip.  First, you must book your own flights.  Also, my son and I added a few days in Shanghai as well as a quick jaunt to Hong Kong so that I could […]

Spending Money in China

One of the questions I have been asked several times is how did I pay for things in China?  For the most part, I paid in cash.  This meant I had to order Chinese currency at my bank.  If you are going to order currency, you will more than likely need to give your bank […]

Should I use WeChat?

WeChat is an app available for your phone that is more or less a Chinese government allowed combination of Facebook, Facebook Messenger, YouTube, Instagram, and Whatsapp all rolled up in one.  You can message people as well as call or video chat with them. This is the one service that we found words very well […]

Traveling in a Group

The VIPKid Field Trip was basically a group tour with some VIPKid activities mixed in.  The travel agency we used was great and our tour guide was amazing.  However, if you have never traveled in a group tour setting, there are some things that you may need to consider.  I do recommend that the first […]

The Realities of Jet Lag

I had always heard of jet lag and had experienced it when I traveled to Europe, but the jet lag I experienced on this trip to China was extreme.  I’m not sure if this had to do with my age, the shorter travel stay while I was away, or the different direction I was flying, […]

Extreme Bargaining in China

Bargaining in China is an expected part of your shopping experience.  While I have visited other cultures, they did not seem as extreme as what I experienced in China.  So be prepared for a very unique experience.  We had a few minutes at the famous Pearl Market in Beijing to do some shopping.  There were […]

Restrooms in China

One of the major concerns I had before the VIPKid Field Trip was the restroom situation.  First, in case you haven’t heard, the majority of the toilets in China are what we lovingly deemed “squatty potties”.  In actuality, they are more like urinal type holes in the ground.  Some can be quite fancy, but most […]

The Great Firewall of China – Using Your Phone in China

Since China’s government is very careful about what information the citizens can access, internet usage is censored and monitored.  Sometimes, this is jokingly referred to as “the Great Firewall of China”.  Many sites and apps that we take for granted here in the United States are either severely limited or completely blocked.  I will list […]

Tipping in China

For the most part, gratuity is not accepted in China.  Our tour guide explained to us that she had seen Americans leave a tip at the lunch table, and the waiter chased them down the street to give back their money.  It is not culturally acceptable to give a tip for service.  If you had […]

Is something happening in China? What is wrong with my bookings?

Today I have seen these questions repeatedly on the ESL groups I am in.  I will say, last night/this morning was the worst booking frenzy I have experienced so far.  I had only 3 bookings and 9 cancellations!  What is happening in China? Well, this week is the beginning of the “winter holiday” for Spring […]