I’m gearing up for my first trip to China for a project there. I believe I have the important stuff all done and ready: my shots for tetanus, typhoid fever & diphtheria, passport with China visa, Visa card, wallet, business-casual clothes, computer, mouse, cord & China outlet adapter, medicines, multivitamins, Starbucks coffee, South African tea, iPod, Blackberry, camera, batteries & chargers, extra business cards.
I leave Seattle on Monday Jan 4 at 7.30 am .. so that is going to make for getting up very early. There will be plenty of time to snooze on the aircraft, though! I am scheduled to arrive at 6 pm on Tuesday Jan 5 at Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok airport. A driver with a van will collect all of us arriving from the States, and drive us across the border into the Shenzhen area in mainland China.
Seattle to San Francisco is 679 miles as the crow (airplane, that is) flies, and will take 2 hours. San Francisco to Hong Kong is 6,927 miles and will take 15 hours.
En route, the plane will cross the International Date Line on the globe.
Crossing the International Dateline traveling west (the way I will do), results in the additional of a full day (24 hours) to the time on the traveler’s clock.
Crossing it while traveling east, a full day is subtracted from the traveler’s clock! So the traveler starts over with the 24-hour period he/ she had departed from.
The number of hours for one’s final clock adjustment depends on the departure and arrival time zones. China time is 15 hours ahead of Seattle. Amazingly, the entirety of mainland China’s designated time of day squats in one single time zone, even though its territories cover some 60° of longitude. (Standard time zones are 15° of longitude wide).