Wanderlust With: Gerald Hatherly

Posted: 10 October 2018 11:33 am

A photo from Lijiang, one of Gerald's favourite regions in Yunnan province. (Gerald's on the right).

Meet the expert in all things China.

Gerald Hatherly knows a thing or two about travel. He's been in the industry for over 30 years and he currently lives in Hong Kong working as Abercrombie & Kent's China Specialist and Director. With such a traveller in our midst, we sussed out recommendations on what to do in China – as well as the other favourite destinations Gerald has scratched off his travel map.

Q. What's the last holiday you took?

A family holiday to Eastham, Massachusetts which is on Cape Cod. We rented a house with my wife’s sister and her family – this was last August (2017) – and we spent a week bicycling, swimming, whale watching, and hiking. It was a wonderful escape from my usual day-to-day life in Hong Kong.

Q: What about the first holiday you took?

As a child or an adult? As a child through the Canadian Maritime provinces (Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and other parts of Nova Scotia where my family are from). As an adult – student travels in China by train in the early 1980s – riding hard-seat through China and meeting lots of kind Chinese people and exploring a wonderful country.

Q: What's your favourite destination in the world?

Too difficult as there are too many great places but how about my three favourites?

  1. Yunnan province, China: Tremendous natural and human diversity – I travel there frequently and am never disappointed.
  2. Turkey: Rich in history and culture; great food; and some of the most hospitable people that I have met
  3. Hanoi, Vietnam and Kyoto, Japan (a tie!). Two of Asia’s most interesting cities – lovely temples, delicious food, and both have a timeless atmosphere that I have not experienced anywhere else.

Q: What are the top three things you like to do there?

  1. Yunnan: Hiking through the high meadows near Shangri-La; eating delicious Chinese food in Lijiang and visiting friends
  2. Turkey: Taking a local ferry from Istanbul to the Black Sea and having a seafood lunch at a small fishing village, visiting museums to be astounded by the breadth of the history of Turkey and swimming in the Aegean Sea off of Bodrum.
  3. Kyoto: The Philosopher’s Walk, eating in small local restaurants and visiting smaller gardens that are not on the regular tourist circuit and seeing the Zen gardens.
  4. Hanoi: Starting the morning walking around Hoan Kiem Lake, having Pho each morning for breakfast and walking through the old city quarter.

Q: What are the top three items you can’t leave home without?

A book (preferably history), good walking shoes and photos of my wife and children.

Q: Lastly, if you could only pick one – beach, city or mountains which would it be?

So tough but I think mountains – nothing is more moving or majestic than a snow-crowned mountain be it in Tibet or Canada. They are wonderful.

Finder's Wanderlust With is a monthly series featuring travellers and bloggers from around the world. Check back every 10th of the month to be inspired for your next journey.

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