What you need for China

In September, I’m going to China with a group of women mostly from the San Francisco Zen Center.  My good friend, Kathy Beal
is going to be my travel companion and roommate so I"m really looking forward to the trip.  Our
plan is to photograph and blog about this exotic adventure.

I’ve done a fair amount of international travel, but have never had
to be concerned with special visas or shots.  To visit China, you need
a visa that has to be obtained from a Chinese Embassy.
I was surprised that Hawaii doesn’t have an office.  After a lot of
research…phone calls and web reading, I found that Kathy could get my
visa from the San Francisco office.  You need to give them a passport that is good for at least six months, a visa application,
a current passport photo, and $50.  There are agencies that provide
this services, but I was leary about sending my passport to someone I
don’t know.  If you ever go, try to travel with a group that will do
this for you. 

For shots, I went to an immunization specialist – Dr. Steven
Berman.  My internist doesn’t do this and referred me to Dr. Berman.
Several people mentioned him and he was great.  I’m terrified of
shots… main lining was never an option for me.  The tech that gave me the shots said I wouldn’t feel a
thing and I barely felt anything but a sting.  The shots needed
are tetanus and hepatitis.  You go to China armed with a ‘script for a
general antibiotic.  I usually carry one with me for travel anyway.

Kris has given me a "take no risks" lecture as I am known to eat food from
questionable street carts in third world countries.  (I asked for a napkin
at one and the friend I was travelling with was bent over in
hysterics.)  He’s also worried because China frowns on religious groups
in the country.  This journey has more of a historical bent than
religious (I think).  I guess I don’t think of zen as a religion.  That
sounds crazy, but it’s true.

I’m so excited about this trip.  The imagery should be amazing!

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1 comment
  1. Callvin Yim said:

    As you know, I’ll be leaving for China Nov 1st. I will be in Beijing by myself on the first day, my friends will arrive a day later. When you return, maybe you can give me ideas of what to do that first day.

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