Note: Below we copied one of the letters written by our former American tourist, Captain Brian Bottitt. Its translation was published in the highest national official news paper, the People’s Daily in 2003 as the spark of Sino-American friendship.
We copied it here as an ever lasting encouragement to our work, also it was a pretty prose full of beautiful syntax and sweet smells of friendship deserved memory .
Our Trip In China
February 22, 2010
April 1, 2003
Captain Brian L. Bobbitt
1065 N Ocean Blvd (A1A)
Jupiter, Florida, 33477
China National Tourism Administration
No. 9A, Jianguomennei Avenue
To: He Guangwei, Director General
Regarding: My recent tour of China and Tibet
Dear Director General Guangwei,
It is my distinct pleasure to write this letter to you. My wife, Helen, and I recently completed a 5 week tour of your country, including the Tibetan region.
We had expected much from this well planned adventure. We tried to pack 10,000 years of known history, millions of square miles of land area, and many cultures into 5 weeks.
We got much more than we had hoped for. We watched the wonders of your land, your people, culture, and history un-fold in front of us at a dizzying tempo.
We saw your country and people from Beijing, to Xian, to Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi, Chengdu, Tibet(from Lhasa to Base Camp Mt.Everest, (Qomolangma)), Chengdu, and then an educational and fantastic tour of your most amazing Yangtze River (Cheng Chang), and the incredible Cheng Chang San Xia. (Three Gorges of the Yangtze)
(Three Gorges Hydroelectric Project). Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, and the Pudong areas were enlightening to say the least.
However, many countries have amazing geography, architecture, and wonders to behold. It was your people that impressed me the most. Never before have I been treated such as we were by every individual. We felt like we were the king and queen. Royal treatment is what we received. We also got the feeling from everyone that we were most welcome and honored guests, not just tourists, would be more to the point.
My wife and I have been very fortunate to be able to travel extensively now throughout the world and hope to continue. But we have never before felt so at home, protected, safe, welcome, and at ease while we were away from home. Your citizens did everything they could to assure we felt wanted and important.
Never once did we say hello, (ni hao) without getting an instant smile and wave in response. Anytime we had need of help with food, directions, medical, or anything else, your people stopped what they were doing and made sure we were on our way correctly.
The food was superb and nicely presented at all times. We stayed in two star establishments and there was no reason for paying more. Again we felt like we owned the hotels.
I will say your local food (chuancai) in the south west of China is hot enough to melt lead, but all we had to say was “Bu La” (no spice) when ordering and it was fine. In the northwest, Urumqi, had spices that we at first did not like and were actually repugnant to us, but we tried everything and began to develop a taste for most spices. Some of the smoldering concoctions were just too hot. Some would make me have tears and sweat a lot. But we tried them and saw how folks there enjoyed their meals.
We tried all foods put in front of us and I found it healthier than the fatty foods we eat in the USA. We ate all our meals with chopsticks and did fine and it was fun. The people in the restaurants laughed at the westerners struggling with the chopsticks. It gave us a bond which will never be broken. We wish we could repeat the trip and go back and see all the people we now consider our friends.
As guests in several homes around your country we ate with and made jaozhi (chatted with) and learned how exciting and caring your people are.
Now I saved for last the most important thing.
OUR GUIDE SERVICE.
We had guides and drivers all of the time. This letter is to let you know that we met a lot of Chinese who helped us learn your language, find our way, eat right, and have fun and know about China.
From the conductor on the train from Dunhuang to Turpan, to the taxi drivers in Shanghai and other cities, including waiters and waitresses, restaurant and hotel managers, police and many government officials, all of them showed they cared. They are your vanguard. These people are how visitors gauge what Chinese people and China is “REALLY” like.
Many individuals made our epic journey a memory of major proportions. They taught us about your China and made us understand and appreciate your country. We will speak very favorably of your country for a long time.
As owner of a small travel agency here in Florida (SunTan Tours), I can assure you that every effort will be made to see to it that our clients visit your China if at all possible.
I cannot think of one instance in 33 days where we wished we had not come, were scared, unhappy, nor made to feel like outsiders or unwelcome. We knew we are different from you, that is why we came and what makes our world so wonderful. What a tragedy it would be if we were all the same.
I learned to speak a good amount of Chinese, (Only Mandarin) before we came, and it was a lot of fun and your people loved the fact I spoke a little.
I want to travel all over the globe. With our limited time and funds, going to the same place twice is usually not in our planning. However, if at all possible, we certainly would like to return to China to see three things at least. One is how you are doing on your amazing progression of industry and foreign trade facilities on the east coast. What we saw was very impressive to say the least. But mostly we want to again see a few of the people we met and bonded with so strongly. lastly we want to see how the Three Gorges Hydroelectric project is going.
If there is anything my agency or I can to for ANY Chinese guest arriving on our shores, I would be honored with a call from your office or the traveler themselves. My ability to speak Chinese will slowly increase over time as I am investing more time in the learning of your language.
Now, lastly, and I feel most important scope of this letter is to let you know our feelings for the gentleman who set all this up for us.
He is Huang Jintao ( Jason Huang ) , with Sichuan China Youth Travel Service in Chengdu.
This man invested countless hours and perhaps over one hundred e-mails to make sure my every wish was done correctly. Mr.Huang arranged visits with families, so we could get to know your people, not just pass them on the street. We met families in nearly every city we were in. Even in Tibet we were able to chat with them and learn a little bit about their lives.
We did not want to go to just the “tourist places”. When I found out of the way places to visit that are not on the regular stops for the tour busses, he arranged everything perfectly. Huang Jintao paid close attention to what we wanted. When he did not understand, or it changed the price of our trip, he was quick to inform us so no bad surprises awaited us. He made sure of the quality of our guides (they were top notch and perhaps even hand picked) and drivers. We had drivers that followed all safety rules, and never once was there an incident. We felt safe at all times in the capable hands of our drivers. Mr. Huang checked to be sure that our foods were as we discussed and all the accommodations. We required little, but what we wanted Mr. Huang assured us all would be ready. It was perfect.
We were warned by others here at home about security. I made great plans to include security as a daily awareness. It was totally unnecessary. We of course took precautions we would take anywhere, even at home.
So to sum up this long letter, I would like to extend to you Mr. Guangwei, my personal thanks for a job well done by the C.N.T.A. and all others under your directions. It is rare these days to find a people like the Chinese. We met too many of them for them to hide their true hearts. Wonderful! Good job China and we hope America and China can continue to have as good as a feeling about each other as the Chinese people and I do about each other.
Our sincerest and warmest thanks,
Hope to visit again soon.
Captain Brian L Bobbitt & Helen E Bobbitt
Cc: Huang Jintao, Sichuan China Youth Travel Service
China General Consulate, Huston, Texas
United States Department of State, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA)
SunTan Tours / Manatee Queen
1065 N Ocean Bl., (A1A)
Jupiter, Florida, 33469
U S A