View Full Version : visiting asia w/ parents vs. friends
02-13-2008, 10:52 PM
i'm contemplating going to hong kong and china either this year or next, but the question is whether i should go with friends or with my family.
it may sound bizarre but i'd actually prefer to go with my family. the trip would be so much more meaningful - and the restaurants we visit authentic. my parents would actually be able to show me different hole-in-the-wall places, where they lived, went to school, hung out. they could also arrange gatherings with different family friends and distant family members. we'd go to more places where locals frequent as opposed to just lan kwai fong and shopping malls.
on the flip side, my bf and i would be with my parents. haha.
what do you guys think? pros and cons of visiting asia with family vs. friends?
02-14-2008, 10:53 AM
My parents haven't lived in Taiwan for so long that they didn't know where anything was anymore because Asia changes rapidly unlike here, so when they visited me I was actually taking them around. I have relatives there, but they're mostly older, so I discovered the local on my own. Anything meaningful to them was long gone. They consider me a lot more local than themselves at this point in their lives because nothing is the same anymore.
Just a thought, I think this is a way for a lot of people our parent's age that their former home is barely recognizable, I don't know if they could really show what they had before, although visiting relatives is always good.
I visited HK a lot of times, but have friends who live there so they could show me around and recommend me places. Even then though, I think HK is pretty easy to get around and find things off the beaten LGF path, especially looking at some Chinese travel guides.
China is kind of overwhelming though, if not only on the shadiness factor. That's someplace I'd rather go with my family.
02-14-2008, 06:35 PM
Ok, here goes...my family is Viet-Chinese (well to be precise, ethnic Chinese from Vietnam...). Been back 3 times and all with them...
- Telling you a bit of history about the place and what it use to be like....something the tour guides may not necessarily know about.
- As the folks get older and we get more distant, doing these things as a family are invaluble....the memories and family fun.
- Less burdens I guess, just like living at home, mum and dad would take care of a few things...
- Cheaper in some instances...family tickets etc ahahhahaha OK, not so much a real "advantage"...
- Restrictive, there are certain things which are no-nos in front of folks/family..e.g. in your case if you're going with ur bf, I'd assume most Asian parents would enforce a seperate rooms/beds rule unless of course, you're parents are open enough to let you guys sleep together.
- There are just some activties my folks wouldnt do....whenever we went back, they would never get out of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) or my mum's home city near the Cambodian border. Going swimming just isn't there thing, but back then I was 15 and had no choice...I guess since you're of adult age, this isn't so much a "con".
As AngryABCgirl pointed out, their knowledge of the old places may be outdated and hold a less relevance these days.
Personally, it depends on what the purpose of the holiday is and how many times you're frequented the place. For a first visit, I'd say being with family may be beneficial...but if it's more an exploration.longer stint visit, then I'd go by myself/with the gf etc...
02-15-2008, 06:40 AM
I'd say that there are benefits to both.
I agree with ABCgirl when she says that China is overwhelming. I'm lucky in that I went to China both with my girlfriend and a separate time with my father and sister once. Let me tell you..it was WAY easier with my family. My father is "old school" Chinese and the touts wouldn't even try to rip him off. Everyone was respectful to him and even in relatively difficult circumstances it was easy with him around. Both my sister and my father could read Chinese so it was easier to get things done as well. Although the reading part isn't terribly important unless you don't have a guidebook at all.
Now when I went with my girlfriend it was another story. She's not Chinese at all and even though my Mandarin is OK the locals tried every trick in the book to take me for a ride. I got scammed by a taxi driver with a rigged meter which was retarded on my part but still.. they just didn't have much respect for young overseas people travelling on their own. Then again we could run around everywhere we wanted to on a whim without being burdened by parental concerns.
I'd say for more complicated places like China going with your family can be a bonus. For safer destinations like parts of SE Asia and the developed asian nations then by yourself or with your significant other is better.
VV o n g B a
02-15-2008, 10:12 AM
i traveled w/ a friend but he had relatives and friends where we were staying. any time we needed to buy something or catch a ride, his relatives/friends took care of it. very easy.
i'm sure it would have been overwhelming if i'd gone there w/ no local connections.
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