Aloha Beijing!

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On the Great Wall of China, 1983, clockwise from top left: Carolyn Ige, Nancy (Yamase) Namiki, Wendy (Sato) Bentosino, Carole (Uyehara) Jewik, and me.

On the Great Wall of China, 1983, clockwise from top left: Carolyn Ige, Nancy (Yamase) Namiki, Wendy (Sato) Bentosino, Carole (Uyehara) Jewik, and me.

As you read this, I’m packing for my flight to Beijing on Hawaiian Airlines’ inaugural flight to China. This is huge for the locally-based airline, which has been going through some ebb and flow with their worldwide flights over the last few years. It’s not like anyone can spontaneously hop a flight to China, since you are required to get a visa to enter, and that application process can take a few weeks.

Well, maybe not. My travel partner, as usual, is blogger Catherine Toth, and after months of vacillating and illness and life changes, she decided that she would join this adventure … two weeks ago. The travel agency told her that she probably wouldn’t get her papers in time, but there is a loophole: if you are in the country for less than 72 hours, you don’t need a visa. Supposedly. So be watching for some big trouble in little China in the days to come.

In the Forbidden City, 1983, with Christopher Young and our tour guide.

In the Forbidden City, 1983, with Christopher Young and our tour guide.

We’ll be climbing the Great Wall, visiting the Forbidden City and Tianamen Square, and shopping in Silk Alley. I’m sure we’ll eat Peking duck, and I hope to try a local snack called jidan guanbing, which my nieces rave about. This will be interesting, since I haven’t been to Beijing in about 30 years.

If you have any suggestions, leave them here on this blog — but otherwise, please follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Our hashtag is #AlohaBeijing. I’ve added my last name as a hashtag so you can follow me at #鄭 as I continue my China travels.

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At the Murmuring Wall with Carolynn Yamada in 1983.

After Beijing, I’ll head to Shanghai to again visit my niece Cymri, this time with her younger sister Morgen (who just landed in the motherland). After a week there, Morgen and I will train it back to Beijing, because she says it’s an adventure, and I’ll wrap it up from there.

As usual, I hope to bring you practical content with as many specifics as possible so your trip to Beijing will be smooth.

Mahalo to Hawaiian Airlines for this opportunity! To learn more about Beijing, click here.

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