Joe's Cafe, 24/7 pit stop for ESL learners and teachers | June 2009
Egg's off, bacon's off, bread's off, tea's off. English is on though.
China: Meet our Handlers
We were an “international” group (11 Thais, 1 Japanese and 1 Brit) travelling from Bangkok to Shanghai and its surrounds. And our “handlers” took care of us every step of the way. In coming posts I will tell you something about our experiences during this brief trip to the fascinating country of China - albeit we saw only a tiny fraction of this vast land. Here I wanted simply to introduce and thank the team who looked after us so well. I have never been on an organized tour in my life, and when I was invited by some friends I couldn’t resist the opportunity to see for myself how the English language is faring in China. And I have to say that this tour was quite an experience - well managed, smooth, an easy way to see so many exciting and interesting things and events in a limited time.
Surachai, whom you see above, is a registered Chinese tour guide and Vice Manager of Jiangsu China Travel Service in Nanjing. He is a highly qualified guide, licensed to guide even VIPs such as high-ranking politicians. Full of detailed information and practical advice, Surachai (that’s his Thai name, not his real Chinese name) was always good tempered and helpful. As well as Chinese he speaks fluent Thai and English, and I’d recommend him and his company to anyone visiting China (or to Chinese people travelling abroad for that matter).
Ake, below, was actually the first member of the team that we met. He picked us up in Bangkok and travelled with us all the way, returning us safely to Thailand.
Ake is Thai but also speaks excellent English and Chinese, having studied for a year or so in China. A Tour Leader with Roongsarp Discovery Travel in Bangkok, Ake too was helpful and enterprising, even entertaining us with karaoke at times. Another big thank you to Ake and Roongsarp for a well-planned and well-executed tour all round.
Last but far from least meet our driver on the right, who drove us around comfortably for five days, always courteous despite a rowdy crowd in the cabin!
In my next post we’ll look at some images and stories from the trip itself, starting with a ride in a train with no wheels - the “flying” Maglev train (Maglev is short for Magnetic Levitation) that travels at speeds of over 430kph!
Joe | Thursday, June 18th, 2009 | Filed under Travel
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