Travelling in a big group is exhausting. I travelled to Hainan and stayed there for 5 days with my mum, grandma and young cousin with a tour group. I now know to never travel with a tour group again if possible. Or a cheeky energetic 6-year-old cousin.
Hainan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in China and can be known as the ‘Hawaii of China’ given its abundance of coconut trees, beaches and warm temperature all year round. Before arriving, I had anticipated staying in 5 star hotels with a sea view while sipping on coconut juice. Lying on a hammock while watching the sunset. Chilling by the beach while indulging in a good read. Yes, my perception of holidaying in Hainan was really generic. In reality travel with a tour group meant travelling on a tight budget (average hotels and even more average food) with a tight schedule and thus having 6am wake up calls and a rushed itinerary.
Here are some observations and thoughts during my time in Hainan.
-Chinese people love to take photographs at every single tourist attraction. But its not like they just take a few at the main picturesque spots. Many tourists feel the need to take a photo of every single artefact at an exhibition or of themselves by the sign of an attraction regardless of whether they have an interest in the place/thing. Are you seriously going to look back in a few years time at these photos of yourself in front of some antiquated vase that some native group used in the Hainan region a century ago?
-Selfies selfies selfies. #Imreadyformycloseup. One particular memorable moment happened when we were catching the boat to get to a small resort island. There was a chubby 20 something year old male sitting in front of me dressed in a matching Hawaiian shirt and shorts. Within seconds of getting seated he pulled out a gopro to take several selfies. Those ones where you hold the camera above your head to make your face seem slimmer and more attractive..
-Travelling at the end of February is not travel peak season. Yet, at every attraction we visited there were countless tourists packed at each location. This is China. It was impossible to take a decent photo of the picturesque landscape without having a plethora of people in the background all with their cameras out trying to capture the same thing.
-This leads to another thought that kept crossing my mind. I wonder how many photos of strangers will have me in the background. Accidental photo bombing LOL. Looking at some of my photographs from this trip I assume a lot.
-That moment when the bus starts moving and I haven’t sat down yet.
-The moment when you want to yell out of frustration at your naughty 6-year-old cousin but there are too many people in close vicinity so you just grin and bear it.
-That awkward moment when you try to get a stranger to take a group photo but your DSL camera is supposedly too complicated for an amateur to take a decent photo with everyone in the frame and in focus… even though its set on auto…
Next week (3rd) I will be travelling to the beautiful Gulin! (NOT with a tour group Thank goodness)
I will be uploading photos of my China trip once I get back to Auckland!