Our last stop on the cruise, Sanya China. On the island of Hainan part of China, it's known as the Hawaii of China, or the East. It's even at the same latitude as Hawaii. And has the second best air quality in the world. It was a nice day, warm but not too hot, and bit of overcast.
Customs to enter the country worked a little differently than the other stops because China has higher security and requires all passengers to go through face-to-face immigration/customs. Normally for ships they keep our passports and officials from each country look at them without us.
They're very strict in a lot of ways, and came across as serious. It wasn't too slow but took about an hour all together. In the building there was a cool device that measures body temperature, so they can tell if you're sick, and then not let you in. Apparently I set off a heat alarm because a uniformed person waved me over, pointed a fever-detecting-gun to my forehead, spoke a lot of Chinese, and then I was released back into the line. See, and no one believes me when I say I'm hot all the time. Just ask the Chinese border security.
As we went through, they gave us back a scanned copy and kept our passports....
I'm personally not sure why someone would choose to escape TO China, but who knows.
Again, I don't know much about Sanya, but we learned it's a vacation place for many Chinese and Russians, and almost zero English-speaking people. ATMs are hard to find, and most places don't recognize credit cards. I wasn't too excited about this port.
We took the bus ride into town (the visa requirements is a long story) we were allowed a few hours to roam around before they picked us back up.
Very quickly, the no-English thing became obvious. Lots of smiles, but not a lick of English. Thankfully, Braeden and my dad have cell service in China! Yay google translate!
This really saved our asses.
We didn't get to see anything cultural or historical in our few hours there, just shopped around and did our best not to get lost. A different experience, but still fun!
Peas and corn ice cream? Uh?
And then it occurred to me--I wanted to find a bookstore! I don't know how I forgot! How else was I to find my Chinese Harry Potter Book?? So we typed "where is a bookstore?" into the translator and showed some people. Another person also had her translator app and answered back..."in the vicinity of the big pineapple" ...
And so begins our big pineapple hunt. This hunt took probably half an hour of asking and pointing and verifying with "where is the big pineapple with the bookstore?" but still thinking it was a weird translation error.
OH. THAT PINEAPPLE.
YAY bookstore! I had some fun. But also I could not make heads or tails of the titles, authors, or even covers due to my zero knowledge of Mandrin. Mostly I wandered around touching the books, but eventually I wanted to figure out how to find Harry Potter. Thankfully I found the new one, Cursed Child, because it had a similar cover and I pointed to the author and counted on my fingers, hopefully conveying my want of the other seven. It worked! They were all on display, not in the children's section. Yay. So I picked one!
And then I looked for a copy of another book for my friend (who might read this). This led to another google-translate adventure with lots of Chinese people talking amongst themselves, an "only youth version" and eventually a book handed to me. Success.
This magic medicine I actually order from China. Cool to see it here at the "аптека" in realtime.
Coconut time again.
And a light show as our ship left that night: