Hi Heather! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What brought you out to Shanghai?
Hi! I am originally from Canada, and call Whistler, a small ski town in the province of British Columbia, home. My partner and I have an almost 1.5 year old daughter with another arriving in 6.5 weeks time. Like many others, my spouse got a job here and off we went. It was a fast transition, he’d applied for the job, interviewed on Skype and two weeks later – on a plane to Shanghai! I didn’t know a thing about China and had no idea what to expect, but was happy for an adventure. I found the first few months difficult while trying to get my bearings, find work and make friends. I was lucky to find a job in sales with a company that was a mix of young expats and locals. It was a super social office and really helped to get to know the city. So four years and two babies later, here we are! I didn’t go back to work since having my daughter and have been discovering a whole other side to the city, which to my surprise, is fairly baby friendly!
Traveling around Asia from Shanghai is one of our favorite things to do. What was your favorite place you’ve been since you moved here? Can you tell us a little more about why you chose to go there?
Whew – tough one : ) I’ve tried to see as much as we can, but even so have barely scratched the surface! And trips are slowing down now with little babes! While Vietnam is a BIG favorite (3 visits) I will have to go for the Philippines. It was a really special trip as four of our closest friends from Canada met us there making it tough to beat. Between the 6 of us there are golfers, divers, snorkelers and suntanners so we wanted to find a place which had good options for all four. Boracay had plenty – and while I was excited for the trip, a lot of people in Shanghai hadn’t given it great reviews (too busy, too touristy, etc) I wasn’t sure what to expect… I was totally blown away by the sheer beauty of the island. We stayed on a quieter side which kept us away from the crowds but an easy 20 minute walk along the beach if we wanted more action. The water, sky, scenery, setting, and fresh fruit was absolutely pristine and a definite 10/10.
What hotel did you stay at? Did you like it?
We stayed in a rental house – stunning. Ocean views, short walk to a quiet beach which had a couple of places to eat on it and they will stock your fridge with groceries, mangos, San Miguel’s and limes daily. It was perfect for cooking meals together, having beers on the deck and catching up.
What sort of activities did you do? What was your favorite?
Golf, parasailing, snorkelling were all awesome. The golfing was great and really beautiful to be playing alongside the ocean. Sunset watching is probably a tie for the top though – the evenings were peaceful and special.
Was this place easy to get to? How long would you recommend making a trip for?
Look – it’s a trek. A full day to get there includes two flights, a chaotic transfer in Manilla, 2 hour bus ride, 20 minute ferry, 15 minute tuktuk and a 45 minute walk in the pitch black trying to find it (no road signs or street addresses making it particularly tricky.) we chose to go to the airport further away and opted out of the pick up the house offered to save some cash, so there were options to make it slightly easier. In any case, at least a week stay is necessary!
What was your favorite part of your trip?
You can’t beat the setting. It was just the most beautiful backdrop to have a reunion with amazing people.