Well, our agency told us today that we will not be able to travel next week because they were not able to get our Consulate Appointment. I am majorly disappointed. Here are our 2 options:
Option 1: The US Consulate assigned us an appointment date of Oct. 17. Working backwards from this date, we would then be leaving on October 5. We would have 3 days of touring in Beijing, followed by a week in Henan, where we will get Hannah Min, and then some time in Guangzhou, in the South of China, where the US Consulate is located.
PROBLEMS WITH OPTION 1: a)We will have to wait 4 weeks to travel. b) October 1-7 is a major holiday in China, so we will be trying to visit the Great Wall and other sites in Beijing during peak tourist times. In a country as populated as China, this is not a small detail. c)The tail end of the trip will be during a major trade fare in Guangzhou. Hotels are at least triple the price. Many agencies don’t even let people travel during this time because it can be so crowded.
Option 2: The Consulate is open 1 day during the holidays, on October 6. They will let us travel, leaving September 21, and returning October 8. The good news is, we could meet Hannah 2 weeks earlier.
PROBLEMS WITH OPTION 2: a) The trip would have to be 3 to 4 days longer. We are leaving D and K at home, so this is a major detail to me. b) We would essentially be ON OUR OWN from Oct. 1-6, without the benefit of our guide and planned excursions and activities. I’m not sure that I am that brave. c) We will still have to pay hugely expensive hotel prices due to being in China during the holiday.
ARG!! This is a bit difficult to swallow. I am planning to call the Consulate myself and BEG for a late September appointment, but that is definitely a long shot.
If anyone reading this has traveled to China during China’s National Holiday, or during Guangzhou’s Canton Trade Fare, I would love to hear your input!!