Went to Asia for 3 weeks!!!

21 replies [Last post]
By erik on Thu, 10-28-04, 07:36

I have not posted much this past month as we went on a 3 week trip to Asia. Hong Kong, Beijing, and Singapore! It was fun and exciting.

With regards to my PA.. in Beijing, I only ate at McDonalds or at the Crowne Plaza Hotel restaurant, as English was not widely spoken in Beijing so it was too much of a risk to eat elsewhere.

In Hong Kong and Singapore we have friends (and Nancy has cousins) which made it much easier. I ate at Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Italian restaurants. In Singapore, everyone speaks English so it was even easier than HK (although peanuts are more prevelant in Singapore than they are in HK).

I didn't eat much chocolate as most of it was 'may contains', but I could eat some as I often came across Nestle UK Kit Kats and Nestle UK fruitip candies. Even Hershey USA kisses were available.

Anyway, I had a 3 week trip to Asia with no problems. Thought I'd post about that, so you'll know that one day in the future, your PA children may be able to travel and see the world as long as they are knowledgable about their allergy.

I will post more about the trip later [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Now you know where I've been [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

(note- I didn't post about it earlier, as I did not think it wise to post on a public web site that my home would be empty for 3 weeks)

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By Sandra Y on Thu, 10-28-04, 12:15

Hi Erik! I'm glad you had a fun trip. We've been thinking of taking a trip to China or Japan, and my husband just got back from Singapore and added that one to our list, so your post was very timely for me. I'm glad to hear everything went well. I think if our son eats at the big hotel restaurants we should be fine.

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Sandra

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By Beth on Thu, 10-28-04, 14:08

Erik,
I appreciate your post about travel. My PA daughter keeps saying how she wants to travel to Japan. I have thought, "oh sure, that's one place you probably wouldn't want to go with PA". We are going to Cancun next month, so that will be our first major test for going out of the country. Glad your trip went well!

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By cooper on Thu, 10-28-04, 14:23

Welcome home! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

------------------
<>Peanut Crusher<>

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By on Thu, 10-28-04, 15:06

You didn't get married while you were over there did you?????

My friend's nephew went over with his fiance, to meet her extended family and they got married over there, then had a second reception when they got back to Canada.

I'm pretty sure she would have mentioned if her nephew was pa....but....you never know.

(OK, I'm actually pretty sure it's not you - I think her nephew is mid-to-late twenties. But, it would be funny, wouldn't it.)

************

OK, Glad to hear you had a safe trip. Was Nancy born in Canada? Has she been *home* to visit family often?

Hope you both had a great time. Kind of sounds like a *trip of a lifetime* to me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Welcome back.

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By California Mom on Thu, 10-28-04, 15:24

Erik, how wonderful!!! I am so glad to hear that you had such a great trip, and relieved and thrilled to know that you were able to safely travel in Asia for three weeks.

Welcome "home",

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

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By erik on Thu, 10-28-04, 17:33

Quote:Originally posted by Sandra Y:
[b]We've been thinking of taking a trip to China or Japan, and my husband just got back from Singapore and added that one to our list[/b]

Hi Sandra,

Yes... that's what we did in Beijing. Limited meals to McDonalds and at our hotel restaurant. I would highly recommend the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza in Beijing. An excellent hotel. I had pizza from their restaurant many times.

In Singapore, you have to be a bit extra careful. Satay chicken (peanut sauce) is quite common, but if you are careful it should be no problem, as I had no problems finding places to eat (and as I mentioned, it is easy to communicate as everyone speaks English).

One important note about McDonalds in Singapore - I ate there too, but always read the ingredient labels on the dipping sauces for the chicken nuggets.. there is one dipping sauce that has "peanuts" in the ingredients - it is a sauce we don't have here but I forgot the name.. curry something? I stuck to the Big Macs, Double Cheeseburgers, and fries (although I only had McD once in Singapore - had Japanese, Singaporean, and Korean food the other nights)

Have a good trip.. I am sure you will manage well [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By erik on Thu, 10-28-04, 17:36

Quote:Originally posted by Beth:
[b]My PA daughter keeps saying how she wants to travel to Japan. I have thought, "oh sure, that's one place you probably wouldn't want to go with PA". [/b]

Hi Beth,

I think Japan is one of the safest Asian countries to go to, as peanut use in Japanese food is not common (although sesame is very common). The main problem you would have in Japan is the language barrier asmany Japanese citizens do not speak English.

As Sandra mentioned, a good idea would be to eat in the hotel restaurants (ie: Hilton, Holiday Inn, Marriot, etc) as the staff would usually speak English, or if you are in "touristy" parts of Japan you may find staff who speak English, or Western restaurants (ie: Pizza Hut, etc).
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By erik on Thu, 10-28-04, 17:38

Quote:Originally posted by cooper:
[b]Welcome home! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
[/b]

Thanks [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By erik on Thu, 10-28-04, 17:42

Quote:Originally posted by AnnaMarie:
[b]You didn't get married while you were over there did you?????

************

OK, Glad to hear you had a safe trip. Was Nancy born in Canada? Has she been *home* to visit family often?

Hope you both had a great time. Kind of sounds like a *trip of a lifetime* to me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] [/b]

Hi Anna Marie..

Nope.. wasn't us! hehe But it would have been funny if it was. We are having our wedding receptions in June 2005.

Nancy was born here in Toronto. She had never been to Asia before this trip, and neither had I. It was a trip of a lifetime. We even walked along the Great Wall of China.

We really enjoyed it. And I am glad my PA was easy enough to manage that it did not provide an obstacle. Although we got a bit sick of McD in Beijing! haha Lucky we could eat local food in Sihngapore and HK [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

p.s. we never had any problems carrying the epi-pen .. airport officers in China, HK, and Singapore just made a note of it but no problems at all

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By erik on Thu, 10-28-04, 17:43

Quote:Originally posted by California Mom:
[b]Erik, how wonderful!!! I am so glad to hear that you had such a great trip, and relieved and thrilled to know that you were able to safely travel in Asia for three weeks.

Welcome "home"[/b]

Thanks Miriam. I thought it would be good to let everyone know that travelling is an option when you have PA. As long as you are careful, ask questions, and are prepared. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

My trip was a lot easier too, as we have family and friends in Singapore and HK which makes it a lot easier than if we had been alone.

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By jeancbpugh on Thu, 10-28-04, 18:19

Quote:Originally posted by erik:
[b] I thought it would be good to let everyone know that travelling is an option when you have PA. [/b]

Thank you! I have assumed travelling out of the country was out of the question. Thank you for putting things in perspective again for me.

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Jean

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Jean
DS allergic to peanuts & watermelon (9/2005 neg RAST peanut & watermelon; 9/2005 skin test neg peanut, positive watermelon; 12/2005 peanut food challenge=anaphylaxis)
other DS with pollen, animal, dust allergies

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By MimiM on Thu, 10-28-04, 18:46

Hi Erik,
Congrates on a safe and fun trip. I was just wondering, what dishes DID you order when you ate in the asian restaurants? How were you assured that they would be safe?
Mimi

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By happycat on Thu, 10-28-04, 19:00

Quote:Originally posted by erik:
[b]I had a 3 week trip to Asia with no problems. Thought I'd post about that, so you'll know that one day in the future, your PA children may be able to travel and see the world as long as they are knowledgable about their allergy.[/b]

Thank you, thank you for your post! I always love reading about successful trips. We've always thought that world travel would not be an option for our son (especially in Asian countries), and it makes me smile to think that one day, if he wants to, that this would be posible for him.

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By Going Nuts on Thu, 10-28-04, 19:56

Hi Erik,

So glad to hear you had a wonderful, safe trip. I spent 3 weeks in China in 1986 (before flush toilets were widely available - but that's another post entirely [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) and it was indeed an awesome trip.

I don't know if the Holiday Inn in Beijing you ate at was the same one we did, but it was the one place we all got sick from the food - not having anything to do with PA.

Is the Great Wall something else, or what?

Welcome home!

Amy

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By on Thu, 10-28-04, 21:12

erik, this is just super news! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] It is really important for us PA parents to know that our children will be able to travel safely one day, especially to places where we might think peanuts are more common in the cuisine.

Strange thing, one of my long time friends and his wife also went on a similar journey, leaving Labour Day week-end and returning on October 18th. You're not him, are you? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Did you have any difficulties with the airline? What airline(s) did you use? I mean as far as them serving peanuts?

Just wonderful stuff!

(And he and Nancy probably did get married there because they know there was going to be a congregation in Toronto this summer and that one member even moved back to Toronto so that she could be there [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ).

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By erik on Fri, 10-29-04, 00:20

Quote:Originally posted by MimiM:
[b] I was just wondering, what dishes DID you order when you ate in the asian restaurants? How were you assured that they would be safe?
Mimi[/b]

Hi Mimi,

In HK, I had dishes such as:

lemon chicken, sweet and sour pork, steamed fish, etc.

We never ordered alone. Nancy's cousin or friends were always with us, and since they speak Cantonese fluently, they were able to emphasize the importance of no peanut contact. Nancy's cousin said if I eat a trace of a peanut, I would die. This got the message across. The staff said they would ensure there was no peanut contact.

Of course, if I was alone and did not have any family/friends who spoke Cantonese, I probably would have had to skip Chinese restaurants (just as I had to do in Beijing)

In HK, there are many expatriates in the Central district - Americans, Canadians, British, etc, especially in the SOHO area... many restaurants here have English speaking staff. There was a big Octoberfest celebration going on whenw e were there, and this is a good area to go if you need to eat safe food as there are many western restaurants here (Italian, American, etc)

We also ate at several Italian restaurants where they spoke English and did not use peanuts.

In Singapore, we ate "chicken with rice", "fish cake", "kaya toast" (toast with a coconut jam). Everyone speaks English in Singapore so we made certain there was no chance of peanut contamination. Any restaurant we were iffy about, we just continued on to find a new place. In Singapore, I also at Japanese food (they did not use peanuts) and Korean BBQ (they did not use peanuts) and Italian. Beware of chicken satay in Singapore as it is common. We just skipped a place if we thought it was too risky.

In Beijing, we couldn't read anything and almost no one spoke English, so it was McDonalds and our hotel restaurant. In the hotel restaurant, they said they could easily make a peanut-free pizza, so that's what I ordered (vegetarian). [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By erik on Fri, 10-29-04, 00:23

Quote:Originally posted by Going Nuts:
[b]So glad to hear you had a wonderful, safe trip. I spent 3 weeks in China in 1986 (before flush toilets were widely available - but that's another post entirely [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) and it was indeed an awesome trip.

Is the Great Wall something else, or what?
[/b]

Hi Amy,

Thanks. I think our Holiday Inn was different, as it is branded as "Crowne Plaza" (even though it is owned by Holiday Inn). Flush toilets are still not everywhere, so when we were wandering around Beijing, we would head into a McDonalds any time we wanted a reliable toilet.

The Great Wall was incredible. We walked along it and watched the sunset. Very scenic with the mountains. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By erik on Fri, 10-29-04, 00:49

Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]erik, this is just super news! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] It is really important for us PA parents to know that our children will be able to travel safely one day[/b]

Yes... I am determined to be able to do things even with my PA. I didn't consider the trip much of a risk, as we were staying with Nancy's cousin in HK and our friend in Singapore, so if we couldn't find anywhere to eat, we could always "home cook" meals.

Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]Strange thing, one of my long time friends and his wife also went on a similar journey, leaving Labour Day week-end and returning on October 18th. You're not him, are you? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img][/b]

Not me... but travel to Asia is becoming very common these days... it seems many people are exploring the world these days.

Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]Did you have any difficulties with the airline? What airline(s) did you use? I mean as far as them serving peanuts?
[/b]

I used Cathay Pacific. The reason for this is that they have an All Asia pass which allows unlimited travel to Asia for $1499 CAN ($999 US). A really good price. They also have individual televisions for each passenger, so my 20 hour flight wen t by more quickly since I could watch movies and tv shows.

They did inform me that they could not guarantee a peanut-free flight and they could not guarantee a peanut-free meal. They said I would need to order the "fruit platter" (fresh fruit) as it was the only meal that would be peanut-free, so this is what I did (Nancy got to eat my Haaagen Das ice cream dessert.. she was happy to get 2!). They also told me I could bring along my own food on the plane, which I also did. They served lots of juice, soft drinks, etc.

There was no problem carrying the epi-pen either. I had a "doctor's letter" with me. They just wrote about it in their files and that was it. I carried 3 epi-pens on board with me.

Cathay Pacific states that the passenger should check with their family doctor to determine whether they should take the flight.

Cindy - I would personally recommend that if you did take Jesse on a flight, take Air Canada rather than Cathay. There would be less of a language barrier, plus peanut allergies are more common in Canada than they are in Asia so I think you may have an easier time. Due to the language barrier, etc, I would recommend flying on a Canadian airline. (the Cathay attendents did speak English, but not as well as an Air Canada attendent, plus they were not as familiar with PA as an Air Canada attendent would be).

Here is the Cathay Pacific peanut policy:

[i]Peanut Allergy
Cathay Pacific Airways recognizes that some passengers may have allergic reactions to peanuts which can be life threatening. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee a peanut-free environment if these passengers choose to fly with us and or visit our lounge prior to your journey.

Peanut-free meals
We cannot guarantee against accidental cross-contamination of peanut products within the network flight kitchens during catering production, as peanut-based ingredients, peanut oil and non-specified peanut containing trace element are widely used throughout Asia Pacific.

Peanut-free cabin
We cannot guarantee a peanut free aircraft cabin as we cannot stop all passengers from bringing their own peanut products onboard or insist that they do not open or eat them. Further, residual peanut products may be left in aisles, common areas or on seats from one flight to the next.

For practical reasons Cathay Pacific regrets that it is unable to provide completely peanut-free meals or give an absolute guarantee to provide a peanut free environment onboard our aircraft. We are also unable to modify the cabin environment due to individual passenger request. We encourage passengers to consider the possibility of exposure when flying especially if they accept in-flight snack or meal services.

Therefore, we strongly advise passengers to check with their own physicians on their fitness to fly given this situation. Further, due to the heightened security environment, please obtain a letter from your physician to certify that you have a medical need to carry a syringe on your carry-on luggage.

Passengers with peanut allergies should take steps to minimize their potential exposure and to take all necessary precaution to prepare for the possibility of exposure

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By e-mom on Fri, 10-29-04, 01:00

What a coincidence! I was just wondering where you have been, Erik. I also was going to re-raise the "engagement" thread, too. Too funny [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Very glad that you had a wonderful trip. I've pretty much always thought that as long as you are careful you could go anywhere with regards to PA.

As we have similar comfort zones, this will give us more choices as we are trying to figure out where to go for spring break with the kids.

Welcome back! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By momma2boys on Fri, 10-29-04, 02:50

erik, very cool! Glad you guys had a fun and safe trip!

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By xcell on Sun, 11-18-12, 01:28

hi i know this is an old post but im heading out the hkg and singapore with my daughter (9 years old) that has a PA.

ive read some post about denying boarding for PA passangers, so i am so glad to have read your post.

since its old...do you by any chance know if the fresh fruit platter had kiwi???

any other advice???

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