Looking to Guoqing Vacation

The first week of October is a national holiday in China. It’s the “National Founding Day” national holiday, or 国庆节 in Chinese. In order to celebrate the founding of the PRC, everyone in mainland China gets a week of vacation. Ironically, that “everyone” doesn’t include the true proletariat. Workers and service industry people in cities, rather than getting a break, have to work all the harder as the white collar Chinese pour in for their vacations. Oh, and then there’s also the matter of the “week” of vacation not really being a week for most companies.

But back to the point. It’s kind of hard to decide where to travel for this holiday, because most of China’s tourist destinations are just overflowing with Chinese tourists. Add to that the fact that my job takes me to a lot of tourist destinations for free and during non-peak season, and I start to look outside of China for a vacation destination.

I’ve pretty much decided on India. It’s nearby, it’s cheap, and I even know someone there. I know I can’t see much of India in only a week, but to be honest I’m not sure I’d want a real long stay either. But it’s certainly a country I’d like to see a bit of. I’d appreciate any recommendations anyone might have; I’m still in the planning stages and I’m not going to buy the stupid Lonely Planet.

Note: The guy I had lined up to do my job along with me fell through. I’m still looking, and it’s urgent! See the original entry as well as the Sinosplice Jobs description.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. spicygirl Says: August 4, 2004 at 9:06 pm

    It’s not that cheap, at least not the plane ticket. I just booked a ticket back to Chengdu. It’ll cost around $800.

  2. spicygirl Says: August 4, 2004 at 9:08 pm

    maybe you can get good deal from Chinese airlines that fly from Beijing or Shanghai to New Delhi

  3. John: Your comments on ¹úÇì½Ú made me laugh. Haven’t you even realized China is no longer a communist any more after staying in China for so long? If you find it ironic that the proletariat cannot enjoy ¹úÇì½Ú, then there must be a zillion things in China you find more ironic. The proletariat have been doing anything and everything for money for the capitalists. Wake up!

  4. John, Indian streets/hotels should be good places to grab and interview your job candidates. From what I’ve heard from Americans who recentely went to visit, it is not an eye-pleasing country to work or live.

  5. Shamu,

    Oh, I’m awake. I’m just pointing out one of modern China’s many ironies in my blog, if that’s OK with you.

  6. John,

    I think India is an awesome idea. Now that I’m back in the “West” for the next few years I’m starting to regret not having visited a few other countries in Asia besides China. India would have definitely been at the top of my list. I’ve heard amazing things about it. Go for it!

  7. Not to contradict spicygirl, but if you’re willing to take the trains it wouldn’t be that expensive. Depending on your tastes in accomodation and your finickiness regarding food, it could be quite cheap, actually. She’s right about international fares, though domestically those are not too bad now. And like you say, you know people here…

  8. John,

    I got my upgrade so i’ll be over to visit soon. by that I mean some time after December 1.

    🙂 Greg

  9. Don’t miss the Taj Mahal (sp?). I did when I was so close 15 years ago and now still regret it.

  10. I’ve been looking into tickets, and spicygirl’s right; everything I’m finding is around 6000rmb. Kinda steep, kinda more than I wanted to spend. We’ll see what happens.

  11. This won’t be useful to you in the slightest, but have you read Vikram Seth’s “From Heaven Lake”? He does the overland route, mostly hitchhiking. It might be good reading on the plane.

  12. Da Xiangchang Says: August 6, 2004 at 10:34 am

    India sounds okay, but that’s definitely a country that’ll take more than a week to adequately explore (but then again, what country CAN you explore in one week?). Personally, I would go to South Korea myself since you’re so close. Or maybe SE Asia some more. I know you’ve been to Thailand but there’s always Malaysia and Vietnam. I’ll probably hit SE Asia my winter break (late Oct to early January). Originally, I wanted to go to Japan, but I heard it’s cold then so SE Asia would have to do.

  13. Da Xiangchang,

    Korea would be cool, but it’s not so cheap, especially when I have no one to freeload off of… 🙂

  14. john, maybe vietnam is a better and cheaper option.

  15. hey john,
    korea isn’t expensive. the tickets are cheap-i got a r.t. from hangzhou (!) for about $275. being there isn’t that expensive either. i know some people in seoul if you are interested. i spent a month there and loved it. beautiful national parks, yummy food, and a nice break from china without the long flight!

  16. spicygirl Says: August 6, 2004 at 1:07 pm

    Prince is right, travel within India is very cheap. It’ll cost only around $15 to fly from Mumbai to Chennai if you book in advance. I saw some ads. on yahoo Chinese for plane ticket to New Dehli for about 4300 rmb. I know the actual price is always more than the ads. but it won’t hurt to check.

  17. I’ve been to india twice. trains are good way to travel but please get a sleeper car otherwise you’ll sit in a sardine can. bangalore was a great place, modern, hotels are cheap and very clean, food was great but beware of the hot food if you can’t handle it. new delhi was a “trip” and quite an eye opener in many respects. i think you’ll cherish the memories and it’s well worth the visit. one you won’t forget so go man, go!

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