When I was sixteen I was fortunate enough to accompany my father on a business trip to China where we spent two amazing weeks together exploring this most mysterious and amazing land. For the first week we stayed in Hong Kong as my father took care of his business obligations. I remember being amazed at how advanced the city was and I marveled at just how congested and crowded the streets and subways seemed. Even though I knew Hong Kong had historic ties with the British I was still slightly taken aback by just how many people spoke English – and spoke it well. What’s more, we enjoyed both the food and the surroundings.
However, despite enjoying our week in Hong Kong, our two weeks spent traveling through the south of China and taking in its amazing natural beauty and wonder was by far the most memorable part of the trip. Along limestone rocks and caverns we marveled as rare lemurs hopped on the seemingly flat surfaces in search of salt deposits and other sources of nutrition. In the forests, we witnessed giant salamanders the size of small crocodiles and we were awed by rare birds the likes of which we had never seen. We also had the opportunity to tour one of South China’s famous caverns. Apparently, these caves have become big business in this region and, aside from tours, we were told that these caves provide the natives with valuable bat guano which they can sell for use as a fuel source.
In addition to our cavernous semi-spelunking adventures we took a river raft ride down a famous Chinese river – the name of which escapes me at the moment – but one that is supposedly famous for its deadly snakes and crocodile attacks (although I think our guide may have been attempting to have a little fun at our expense). While we didn’t spy any dangerous reptiles, we did see some massive sized catfish and some random sub species of carp that resembled a giant goldfish (I know, how cliché).
While I had a great time viewing the country I no doubt really enjoyed the trip the most because of the time I got to spend bonding with my dad. While we never took another trip quite like that one, the memories made over those three weeks will likely last a lifetime and helped bring me closer to my dad than I had ever been.