Today I embark on the longest journey of my life by aeroplane. Twelve and a half hours of flight from Toronto to Beijing on AC31. Interestingly we will be flying West to reach the far East. Bejiing is exactly 12 hours or 12 time zones ahead of Toronto. Our flight leaves today at 15:00 hours and arrives the next day at about 16:00 hours local time. Admittedly getting my head around this time zone stuff is somewhat of an achievement for someone like me who has never been a numbers guy. But getting the concept that there is a half a clock difference between our two countries does simplify this brain puzzle for an old dude like me.
So why China and why now?
The answer is quite simple. Travelling to China from Canada has never been so affordable. When we booked our “post retirement trip” the Canadian dollar was severely slumping. Originally our focus had been on a European river cruise. But my wife’s colleague had recently returned from her second trip to China and raved about the quality and the affordability of a China trip. So we did a little research on both the trip and tour company Sinorama. It was difficult to find any negative reviews. In fact we didn’t so we booked.
So here are the economics of travelling to China now. For less than the cost of a seven day European river cruise we got a 19 day tour of China that includes return flight from Toronto, four domestic flights while we are there with 4 or 5 star accommodation and most meals throughout. Also included is a four day cruise of the Yangtzee River. So you can see the value here, especially now that we have the time.
Although China was not the first choice, I have always had an interest in Asian culture. So given current economic realities and this country’s significance in the world along with it’s rich cultural history, it was not a hard choice to make.