He'll be returning to La Chine next year for his third round. Meanwhile, this year's term is complete. His travelling agenda starts July 1:
- Depart Beijing to Hanoi. I've booked a hotel in Hanoi since we arrive late, they'll also pick us up at the airport.
- From Hanoi we'll visit Ha Long Bay, then we'll either bus or train south to Hue and Hoi An.
- From there we'll go to HoChiMinh City. We're planning around 2 weeks in Vietnam but it might run longer since there's 5 places of interest.
- From HoChiMinh we'll take a bus to Cambodia, Phenom Penh.
- From there to Siem Reap (Angkor Wat). We shouldn't be in Cambodia for more than a week.
- From Siem Reap we'll fly to Laos, Vientaine. We don't have this flight booked as most of these airlines don't run websites. This makes Lauren uneasy, as she doesn't want to be in a 50 year old Russian propeller plane, but that's the way SE Asia goes I suppose. hehe.
- Once in Laos, we'll travel north to Luangprabang. If we still have time we'll visit the Plain of Jars and somewhere else in northern Laos.
- But otherwise we're planning on taking a bus from Luangprabang to China, Kunming. This is a day long bus hehe.
- We'll have a couple days in Kunming, which I don't think is enough unfortunately because I also want to see Dali. Shangrila is also in Yunnan province, but these are just some things I guess I'll have to miss for now.
- We have a flight from Kunming to Nanjing, August 3
- Then we'll come back here to the school, finish moving our stuff.
- We'll go to Shanghai and our flight from there is August 5 Arrive Toronto
A map of where they were:
1. January 25 fly Shanghai to Bangkok Thailand
We arrive in Bangkok around 1am
2. January 26 Bangkok to Vientiane Laos
We're going to take a 3am bus from Bangkok to Vientiane (capital of Laos) we'll get in around 5pm on the 26th
3. January 28 Vientiane to Vang Vien
We'll take a bus to Vang Vien. This is a jungle village in the middle of nowhere Laos.
4. February 1 Vang Vien to Lomphrabang
on the 1st or so we'll take a bus to Lomphrabang (ancient capital of Laos) and be there for another day or two.
5. February 3 (about) Lomphrabang to Phenomphen Cambodia
We fly from Lomphrabang to Phenomphen (capital of Cambodia). We'll be here for 2 days or so.
6. Phenomphen to SiemReap
We'll take a bus to SiemReap. we'll be here roughly from the 5th-8th.
7. SiemReap to Bangkok
From SiemReap we'll either fly, or take a bus back to Bangkok depending on how much money we have left. We're going to stay in Bangkok for a couple days and on the 11th I fly out to Hong Kong.
Our son, Will, has posted pictures from his recent travels to the Yellow Mountains, just south West of Shanghai. I note a tendency to take pictures of rocks and water falls. On the surface this may seem quite natural; these two things often come packaged together. But I've seen these symptoms before, a fixation on these as photographic subjects to the exclusion of all else. I hope there is no deeper significance :)
Will has started the above blog: http://whertha.blog.com/. Apparently he can post to the blog, but due to the Great firewall of China is he unable to access it.
Will has also posted some more pictures, including one of his Foreign Experts Certificate. Seems he is proud of being considered an expert, and enough to be granted a certificate to prove it.
Will started teaching this week. He has three classes: a grade 10 international class which he sees nine time per week and two grade 11 regular classes which he see twice a week.
The students in the international class are destined to study abroad; the students in the regular classes will likely continue with university, albeit locally. The former are the more enthusiastic students.
The school is known to use singing as a learning tool; Will was asked during his interview if he was comfortable singing. He admitted to a less than operatic voice but with little pride, at least in these matters, he was willing to accept the responsibility. Now, as it turns out, the singing is only for those student in the lower grades. Much to Will's disappointment.
With the three classes, Will has about 10 hours of teaching, 5 hours of preparation and some free time. He has bought himself a pair of roller blades to get in / out of town and he is in training, preparing for the city marathon to be held in April.
The school is suppose to provide him with Mandarin lessons, but the responsible teacher has recently left the school so these lessons have yet to start. So, in the mean time, Will has started to play basketball with his grade 10 class after school. He teaches them English during the day; they teach him Chinese after.
The food provided by the school is "hit-or-miss." But for a $1.10 he can get a bowl of noodles in town, and "you get to watch the guys make the noodles fresh and then dump em into the pot."
Will has posted some more pictures from Yangzhou:
Among other things, this week he got his working visa. That involved a medical and police check. As a result of making it through this hurdle, he changed his return flight to July 10, 2008. He also received his "expert certificate" [ expert in teaching English].
Apparently there is a need.