Having just come back from nearly a month in China this week, I’ve given myself a serious case of RSI from wading through the 20GB of pictures and videos from my beloved Nikon (which by the way celebrates 5 faithful years by my traveling side this year). From our busy travels around Hainan Island and Shanghai, we’ve had some incredible experiences, and I’m positive I could write a book about everything we’ve seen and heard and tasted from my notes in my journal. However, I’m exhausted, I’ve DOMS from returning to weights after a month off lifting (bar serendipitous discovery of heavy items in Haikou, the documentation of which you’ll see in a later post), and I’m one of those people who think travel entries are best done with pictures rather than lots of words. And so these posts will mostly be picture dumps.
We began our visit with my dad’s side of the family, which comes from the Qionghai and Boao area of Hainan Island. I spent the greatest part of my year in China at my grandparents’ house in Qionghai; and although I obviously can’t remember much as I was 2 years old, I can nevertheless tell that the city has grown immensely in the 22 years since then. Pristine, green, and vibrant, Qionghai and Boao are packed full of colours, fresh food, friendly people and clean air. The beach was walked, the best food of the entire trip was consumed at a spartan seafood restaurant by the water, our ancestors were paid respects to, my uncle’s chicken farm was visited, as was my grand-aunt (one of the few people who still calls me by my original Chinese name) who did the money gift-giving ritual with both me and my other half despite us being in our 20s.