Traveling to China During COVID-19
Part 3: 10 Reasons China’s Hotel Quarantine Isn’t that Bad
WildChina founder, Mei Zhang, recently departed her home in the US on a flight for Shanghai. With China’s borders still largely shut, and extensive quarantine requirements still in place, Mei has been experiencing first-hand the many steps and regulations required to enter China at the moment.
She’s chronicling the details of her experience along the way to provide some clarity into what it’s like traveling to China right now. This is Part 3: 10 Reasons China’s Hotel Quarantine Isn’t that Bad
I am writing this note from Shanghai, China.
I have to tell you, after living in California for two years without visiting China once (I used to travel to China 10 times a year), this trip started as a complete shock to the system. I was greeted by people in hazmat suits immediately off the plane, and then funneled through more than a dozen check points (including a deep nasal probing covid test) to get on a bus that took me to a quarantine hotel. We drove for 90 minutes, and no one told us where we were going, or when we would get there. I asked myself, “Can I survive this trip? Can someone put me back on United business class back to the USA, PLEASE???”.
I begged and bamboozled, and the quarantine hotel capitulated! I couldn’t believe it when they upgraded me to a suite, at the same price! (They must know that I am a China travel expert, haha).
Life instantly became better. In fact, I enjoyed my quarantine life so much that I made a video listing the 10 reasons why the 2-week quarantine is enjoyable. You can check it out above.
Now that I am out, living large at the Portman Ritz Carlton (thank you for the upgrade Ritz!), I am reflecting on this experience more. I think the main reason is that we are so busy with our everyday lives, whether it’s the kids’ doctor appointments, or the irrigation system in the garden, or the pet food running low, we are always so pre-occupied with living that we forget to take a breather ourselves. This forced 2-week quarantine, with no social life or kids duties, was a gift, forcing me to live with myself with complete consciousness.
Do I want to work out today?
Well, no one will see me working out or care, really. So I worked out for myself, every day for 14 days.
Do I want to work on this piece of writing?
Well, there’s nothing else to do, writing actually makes me feel productive. So I wrote.
Do I want to read or watch TV?
Well, there’s no Netflix, I’d feel more fulfilled with a book. So I read.
In the end, I think I found the key to enjoying this two-week quarantine – rediscover the fundamental human desire to live a purposeful life, a productive life. I am glad that I had this once in a lifetime, unique experience.
That said, I have no immediate desire to head back in there. Shanghai remains as vibrant and exciting as ever, and I intend to fully enjoy my time out and about, seeing family and friends. My colleagues in China have done a remarkable job surviving the pandemic, and I want to give every one of them a hug, and thank Albert Ng, my partner, for steering the ship through the storm. We are not completely docked yet, but I think we are almost there. And if you want to help us see the shore more clearly, book now for 2023! You won’t regret it, you need to visit China, with us, WildChina.
I hope you can also carve out some quiet time for yourself during this busy holiday season.
P.S. If you feel the strong urge to travel to China immediately, let us know. We can definitely customize a WildChina special two-week China quarantine staycation! (as long as you have a Chinese passport – all other passport holders are still on hold for leisure travel to China).