Guangzhou… hallelujah!

Tired. Worn out. See Andrea’s website for the gory details… it was quite a travel day to remember forget. But maybe God had something to tell me. Anyway, onto brighter subjects. I considered, in light of my brush with death, to skip tonight’s tip. But, I just couldn’t leave you hanging. You, being that singular person who is interested in my nightly traveling-to-China tips. That’s how much I love you.

So without further ado:
Tip #4: For communicating with loved ones back home, there are several options. We have used Skype in the past with great success, the only drawbacks are: that you have to bring your own computer from home, I don’t think you can download Skype onto a hotel computer. And you need to have webcams on both computers. Or you need to be okay talking with but not seeing each other. There is a bit of a delay with Skype, but the fact that it’s free more than makes up for it.

Another option is the panda phone, and until this time, I have used one on each trip. I just liked having a way to be contacted in case of emergency. The cost is about $60 US for the entire 2 weeks and you can have the phone delivered to your provincial hotel to pick up when you arrive. When you are done, just drop it off with the concierge of your hotel and you’ll be billed once you’re home. Note: pay attention to your minutes, last time I used it, the minutes just kept adding up, unlike the time before when I’d prepaid. Just so you know. I kept thinking, “Wow! I can’t believe we still have minutes left!” and when I got the bill it was closer to $100 than my projected $60. Bummer. If you decide to use a Panda Phone, use this link and use the coupon code: OCDF.

The other option is just a plain, ol’ fashioned calling card. Before you stop reading, because calling cards are so, well, passe, this ain’t no regular calling card. is about 2 cents/minute. To China. We have had one on every trip to China. On this trip so far, we’ve each been talking to our families at least once, if not more times per day. And talking to that many little ones can take a while. We haven’t yet spent the initial $20 we put on it. The clarity is excellent, no delay, and you can check your balance online and ‘recharge’ as necessary.

Alrighty then! Hope you learned something new!

Nighty night!



  1. Oh, I read your sisters page, I can’t imagine your thoughts. Praise God that you are all safe and on the ground. Love following your sisters journey, how wonderful for you to experience it with her!
    prayers are with you

  2. You’re tips are awesome. So glad you three are safe and sound now.

  3. We used a calling card on our first adoption trip in 2004 and our hotel in Wuhan had limited outside lines so we would try to call the kids back home and not be able to get out– NOT GOOD! Or they would call and no one at the front desk understood who they were calling. My next 2 trips (Vietnam and China) I used Skype– LOVED IT! and also brought a calling card as a back up in case I couldn’t get internet connection for some odd reason. It actually came in handy in one hotel in Hanoi.

  4. hummm,
    packmates… check
    diapers…. check
    underwear…. check
    flat iron… check
    parachute…. OOOPS!!

    glad all is ok!

  5. you crack me up!

  6. heddiluella says:


    Thanks so much for the great tips. I am writing down every word and keeping it handy for our trip to China! You’re awesome!! As my 5 year would say with enthusiasm. So glad you are safe and sound ou the ground!

  7. mom 2 many says:

    I have been on Skype for the past 2 hours with my hubby and NO delay!! I’ve been very pleased this time! Maybe their service is improving?!?!? OR, maybe it is cuz he’s in Vietnam!! LOL Hang in there!

    I bet your babies are missin’ ya!!!!


  8. Oh wow, I’m behind here! Congrats..everything is so beautiful there!

    Happy New Year and safe travels home!

    The Marks Family

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