For the past 3 weeks it’s been winter holiday. Time for my yearly conundrum: what to do for spring festival?
China during Spring Festival (aka Chinese New Years) is hell. Known as humans largest migration all 1.3 billion Chinese people take trains, planes and automobiles to get back home. All hotels are booked and twice as much, all tickets on any transportation is sold out, and every store, restaurant and shop closes for at least a week, often longer.
It’s also cold. Last year I went to Color’s hometown and had an amazing time. But truth is I was freezing my ass off. The first thing you do when you get out of bed is put on your long johns, thick socks, sweaters, jeans, down jacket, hat and gloves. And you wear them all day (everyone keeps their doors and windows open and few houses have heat) only taking them off to get into bed which is heated with some hot water bottles and a thick blanket.
Truth is, even at my school I’m freezing. Temps are hovering around 30’s-40’s and yet no classroom, store or restaurants use heaters. My apartment is also unheated except for heaters I’ve bought. I have a little space heater and radiator to keep my bedroom toasty but the rest of my house is co-o-o-o-o-ld.
So I’m tired of being cold, tired of the dreary pollution weather and tired of the crowds making simple things impossible.
The solution? Go to Thailand.
Yep, I’m finally leaving China! Aside from a few trips home this is the first time I am going to a territory not claimed by the Chinese government since I first arrived.
Truth be told, I was a little hesitant to go to Thailand as, well, the backpackers in China tend to be kinda douchey. They laze on the beach, do drugs and get drunk every night which is not my scene.
But last winter my Chinese friend went there. He doesn’t drink much, isn’t into hooking up or being lazy and he had an amazing time. Also, he couldn’t stop talking about how cheap it was. (And he makes less than me.)
So Thailand it is! I got a guide book and was happy to discover there was much more to do than boozing and partying. There are wild jungles, ancient ruins, amazing temples. I’m gonna hit them all up and even spend a few days decompressing on the beaches before I go back.
I know Thailand is having some political disputes, and protesters have taken to the streets in thousands to oust their current leader. But this is a national dispute and I’ll stay far away from the protesting crowds so I should be okay. (Also, the protesters have promised not to shut down the airport or public transportation, just government buildings and schools. Travelers currently there say it is no problem.)
Anyway, I’m glad to be going somewhere warm for a little bit, and I’m also happy to begin to explore this corner of the world besides China. Thailand is known as a far-away exotic destination. But for me it’s close and easily accessible and cheap. So why not?