Travelling to China & Cancun Mexico

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My son is highly allergic to Peanuts and tree nuts. Has anyone travelled to any of the above destinations? I am interested in Medical care and any advice you could share. We are extremely cautious and we plan to stay in American hotels. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

On Jan 2, 2007

Hi,

If you do a search you will find my previous repkies to people about China and allergy. I have lived and travel extensively throughout China without a problem. I am allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. I do speak Mandarin though and am married to someone who speaks Cantonese which does help when ordering at restaurants, etc. I usually eat out about 90 percent of the time when in China. Peanut oil is not used as frequently as many people would think. While you should always ask I was very rarely told that an establishment used peanut oil. It is rather expensive so you are more likely to see it in Hong Kong or in upscale restaurants. Just like in any other country, some bars have bowls of peanuts on the tables, other than that peanuts and tree nuts are not something you see everywhere. Also, there are a number of places in major cities like Shanghai,Beijing,Hong Kong where you can eat american all day long if you want as well as grocery stores stocked with food imported from America/England. You and your family will have a great time! Just have someone make up a chef card with simplified characters for mainland china. If you have any questions just post here and I will be sure to check in the next few days so I can answer.

On Jan 2, 2007

I haven't been to China yet but we are vacationing right now in Thailand with our PA son. We are staying in Bangkok at a serviced apartment. It is a small apartment perfect for a family, two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen. We usually try to stay at service apts when travelling, since that way we can buy groceries and cook for ourselves. If we eat out, we can bring our son's food with us. Good luck and have fun!

On Jan 3, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Sandra Y: [b]I haven't been to China yet but we are vacationing right now in Thailand with our PA son. We are staying in Bangkok at a serviced apartment. It is a small apartment perfect for a family, two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen. We usually try to stay at service apts when travelling, since that way we can buy groceries and cook for ourselves. If we eat out, we can bring our son's food with us. Good luck and have fun![/b]

Wow. I (bad mommy) told my son that he should not go to Thailand--ever.

What a limited and negative thinker I'm feeling like now. It's really good to read your post. But I would still be quite scared if I can't read labels. Perhaps you just buy veggies and rice?

On Jan 3, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by maggie4: [b]My son is highly allergic to Peanuts and tree nuts. Has anyone travelled to any of the above destinations? I am interested in Medical care and any advice you could share. We are extremely cautious and we plan to stay in American hotels. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.[/b]

We've been to Cozumel (across the pond from Cancun) twice with PA DS. We stayed at all inclusives and just asked a lot of questions. And DS would eat basic food--steamed veggies, etc. We kept to our same rules we have when eating out in the US, but amplified, if you will. DS did enjoy parts of the breakfast buffet. And we took snack food for him (Nutrigrain bars, etc).

I will raise a thread about Qs in Spanish. We laminated these Qs in card form (our version is color coded) and took several with us. I use this card here in Texas, too, and now DS knows how to ask about peanuts in Spanish. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

We stayed at the Occidental our last go around. We took lots and lots of Epis and benadryl. And lomotil and D&E Cream (I think that's what it is) just in case . . . (not for FA).

[This message has been edited by McCobbre (edited January 04, 2007).]

On Jan 4, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by McCobbre: [b] Wow. I (bad mommy) told my son that he should not go to Thailand--ever.

What a limited and negative thinker I'm feeling like now. It's really good to read your post. But I would still be quite scared if I can't read labels. Perhaps you just buy veggies and rice?[/b]

He eats at the hotel's (Marriott) breakfast buffet every morning. He has also eaten at McDonald's, KFC, an Italian restaurant and a pizza place. When we eat at Asian restaurants he eats white rice only, along with whatever snacks we have on hand for him. There are plenty of imported foods from the U.S. available and there's even a local grocery store chain, Villa Market, that specializes in imported foods. We bought Cheez Its, Pepperidge Farm cookies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Campbell's soup, Prego spag sauce and all kinds of safe, familiar foods there. We also bought some fresh chicken and ground beef, as well as tortilla bread, lunch meat, cheese, rice, and other basics to make some meals in the apartment. We've had a great time and very sad to be leaving tomorrow.

On Jan 4, 2007

I travelled to Beijing, Singapore and Hong Kong. I had no problems finding safe food in Hong Kong or Singapore.

Due to the fact few people speak English in Beijing, I mainly ate at the Crowne Plaza Hotel restauarnt and at McDonalds.

On Jan 12, 2007

Does anyone know where I can order or obtain a card that would say in Chinese "allergic to peanuts and tree nuts". I remember reading on these boards about restaurant cards in different languages, but after a search on the boards, can't seem to come up with it. Looks like we MIGHT be taking the kids to Singapore.....

Shandra (mom to Madeline 8 1/2 pn/tn/soy and Grant 4)

On Jan 12, 2007

I don't think you'd need it unless you go completely off the beaten track. Most Singaporeans speak English--it's taught in the school system and Singapore is one of those places where business and trade is essentially all conducted in English.

If you really really want one, you could just ask at your hotel and I'm sure someone there could write it for you

On Jan 12, 2007

DH has been offered a 2 year job in Singapore and we are weighing the good/bads right now.

Our main concern is the safety of DD (8 1/2) and pn/tn/soy allergy.

We would have a good company "package" and we wouldn't be eating out a lot---if I can find SAFE foods....

Do you think we are crazy?? Will we be able to keep her safe?

I appreciate your advice. Thanks!

On Jan 12, 2007

Of course you can keep her safe! We are Americans living in Korea with our PA and sesame allergic kid and when we were visiting friends in Thailand recently, they told us there are a few PA kids at their international school.

If you've never been an expat before, my best advice would be to do some serious research on living expenses in the area where you are moving. A lot of people think their expat pkg is generous, until they get to the new place and realize all the extra expenses they have. A large percentage of expats take an economic hit (even with the increase in salary) because of all the extra unanticipated expenses. By the time you return to the U.S., you can still face some lingering tax problems and it can be an expensive mess. I was a frugal bargain hunter in the U.S., but as an expat I don't have the knowledge base to hunt for the best deal, so we pay top dollar for everything we buy. Also, buying imported food costs 2 or 3 times as much as what you'd pay in the U.S.

On Jan 12, 2007

Thank you for your advice--it means a lot. We have had the opprotunity to live overseas for DH's work until now. We are currently looking at his package they will give (housing, transportation, education, etc) and we are trying to figure out if it will work for us.

Will we be able to send packaged food over before we arrive? Is that allowed? I know they don't allow you to bring/send meat, fruits, veggies, etc, but I wonder if I stock up and send a huge box over if that would be allowed.

It is so great that you and your family are able to make it work. We think giving the kids this experience will be great-DH lived abroad as a kid.

Any and ALL of advice you can give me is greatly appreciated.

On Jan 13, 2007

I really think that in Singapore you will not need to send over food. Have you been to Singapore yet? It is truly international. I was in Bangkok recently and about every other person on the street was a foreigner. There are so many western restaurants and even an entire grocery store chain that is all imported foods. Singapore is even more international than Bangkok--S'pore has a huge tourist industry and the business community is truly internat'l. I'm 100% sure you will have no problem finding foreign products there. They might tend to have better availability of British products than American, but that's fine, there will be labels you can read, etc.

In Korea there are hardly any foreigners. But even here, I manage to find enough imports to keep my son going. I do stock up in the summer when visiting the U.S., and this Christmas when we went to Thailand, I filled a suitcase with American products. My sister can also mail things to me that I absolutely need and my husband picks up American products whenever he goes on a business trip.

But really, I think you'll have no problem in Singapore. And it will be really fun. Korea drives me crazy sometimes, but it's a great experience overall.

On Jan 13, 2007

This should help you. Wish we had one for Korea.

[url="http://www.singaporeexpats.com/forum"]http://www.singaporeexpats.com/forum]

On Jan 13, 2007

I have not ever been to Singapore but the company is allowing us a 2 week visit over (just hubby and I) to look at available housing and the area before he accepts the job. Hubby is over in China and Japan every other month-so he has tried to explain the area as much as he can. He has never had to worry about grocery shopping or allergies while he is there-since he is not the one who suffers from them, so he is really concerned about the food situation for DD.

Thank goodness for the interent-I have found many sites about living abroad and living in Singapore, including the link you sent. Thank you!!!! You have certainly calmed a lot of my fears and hesitations, but I am still excited about this possibility for us.

How long are you living in Korea? Do you have any advice on the house hunting when you are being transfered overseas?

Thank you thank you thank you! Shandra

On Jan 13, 2007

Maddiesmom,

The allergy cards in other languages can be ordered from [url="http://www.selectwisely.com."]www.selectwisely.com.[/url] They have two kinds of Chinese ones and/or will also do special orders if there standard ones are not exactly what you are looking for.

On Jan 13, 2007

Thank you for giving me the link-this is what I was looking for! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Would like to have this in case we do some exploring off the beaten path-just in case.

Thanks again.

On Jan 17, 2007

i travelled to china (Beijing and Xiamen, in the south east) last summer for 3 weeks. I have a severe peanut allergy, but loved it there nevertheless! You've got to be very careful with food - don't trust market stalls and definitely get some cards printed in Mandarin with emergency phrases and ones you can use in restaurants. If anything, exaggerate the problem so they really take notice of it. Ideally, you should also take some safe snacks just in case you have problems. Also, if you're carrying adrenaline, make sure you have some cool bags to protect them from the heat out there.

in all i got along fine with my allergy, although i did have a fluent Mandarin speaker with me which was very useful!

I hope this helps you, and hope that you have a brilliant time in such an awesome country.

:-)

On Jan 17, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by maddiesmom: [b]Does anyone know where I can order or obtain a card that would say in Chinese "allergic to peanuts and tree nuts". I remember reading on these boards about restaurant cards in different languages, but after a search on the boards, can't seem to come up with it. Looks like we MIGHT be taking the kids to Singapore.....

when I went to china last july/august, i ordered some very useful phrases from an organisation called allergyuk (not sure how much use this'll be if you live in the us, but you could try!) - their site is [url="http://www.allergyuk.org."]www.allergyuk.org.[/url]

Shandra (mom to Madeline 8 1/2 pn/tn/soy and Grant 4)[/b]

On Feb 3, 2007

I just wanted to thank everyone for all of the information. I recently recieved my selectwisely cards translated into Spanish and Mandarin. We will definetely not eat in any outside eateries. We are planning on mainly eating at our hotel. I will bring some peanutfree snacks for our son from the US. I will also try to buy some local fruits to carry around with us. I know I will be nervous, but having heard from so many people who travel around the world I am sure we will be fine. Once again thank you and happy travels.

On Feb 3, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Sandra Y: [b]I don't think you'd need it unless you go completely off the beaten track. Most Singaporeans speak English--it's taught in the school system and Singapore is one of those places where business and trade is essentially all conducted in English. [/b]

Yes, we spent a week in Singapore in October 2004. Everyone speaks English.

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