Who: The whole gang
What: Took the slow boat to china... For real, on my first cruise.
When: Labor day weekend
Why: Tried something different for a long weekend usually spent doing American style BBQs, beer, and last dip in the pool.
- Go shopping in the underground markets
- Eat real Chinese food
- Pre-arrange tour if taking cruise. All the tours were either Korean or Japanese. No English tours.
Slow boat to China
I was looking for a unique trip over the long holiday weekend. Busan is a large port city located south of Daegu. I started to look for cruise options out of Busan and to my surprise, I found the perfect weekend get away.
I booked our cruise on Royal Caribbean. It was roughly a 4 day / 3 night cruise departing Busan, heading to China, then Japan and back to Busan.
One downside of taking a cruise to China, was the Visas were very expensive for a one day entry. I knew we were not going to plan a long trip to China, so we decided it was worth it even if it was just for one visit.
The boat had plenty of options for both the adults and kids to have fun during our days at sea. The staff was mostly Filipino and super wonderful as they spoke perfect English. They enjoyed having the kids in the kids program because as they were able to communicate with no problems!
What is not to love about a cruise? The food was amazing and plentiful. This was our first cruise and can't wait to go on another one!
Arriving in Tianjin was a little disappointing. All the tours were in other languages besides English. We were going to stay on the boat and save our visas for another visit. We were regretfully informed that we were not authorized to stay on the ship. As I looked at the window, I could see why. Armed guards wearing all black including black berets were awaiting to board the boat.
The manager helped us get a taxi driver to take us around the city on an unofficial tour.
Another reason I love to travel. Our taxi lady was super kind. As we were driving away from the port, she asked me "Are all those your daughters?" While there are days I wonder if they are mine, my answer was yes.
She started to tear up, and her reply was "I only have one daughter... you are very lucky." It was then I looked at my girls, squeezed them a little extra and was left speechless. While China may have changed the birth rules, for this older lady, it was not an option for her at the time.