Update on March 22, 2020
All Lost Plate tours are now suspended through at least April 14th.
China is slowly getting back to normal, but travel restrictions are in place for ALL international arrivals. If you are already in China, limited operations may be possible within the next couple weeks. Shoot us an email if you’re interested.
The Cambodia government has imposed a travel ban for many Western countries, which has effectively ended tourism in the country. If you are in Cambodia already, limited food tour operations are available on a private basis. Let us know if you’re interested.
Local government in Portland Oregon have asked all restaurants to close for dine-in guests. This restriction is in place until April 30th for now.
Until then, we encourage you to support local businesses that you love! Purchase a Lost Plate gift card (they never expire) and help your local restaurants that are open by ordering takeout or delivery.
Stay safe and flatten the curve!
Read below for further updates…
Update on March 13, 2020
As the virus spreads into the USA and now impacts us globally, none of this is a stranger to Lost Plate. Our teams in China and Cambodia have been putting extreme precautions in place in our daily lives for over 8 weeks. In Cambodia and Portland, where tours are still operating daily, we are doing the following to make our guides and guests as safe as possible:
– We aren’t greeting our guests with a handshake, just a nice big smile and a positive attitude. Our guides will also not lead a tour if they aren’t feeling 1000%.
– Whenever possible, we provide hand sanitizer throughout the tour, and will highlight all hand washing facilities during the tour.
– We never share food or utensils, and we’ll take extra precaution to make sure that no one touches your utensils or food other than you and our vendors.
– If any of our customers are not feeling well, they should not attend. If they do arrive and are in any way under the weather, we will ask them to leave.
Our cancellation policy is and always has been the best in the industry! We are proud to offer full refunds for all cancellations made within 48 hours of your tour start time, no questions asked. If you have a situation where an exception is needed, we are happy to take it on a case-by-case basis.
Of course the health and safety of our guides, vendors, and customers will always be a priority, along with regulations provided by local government officials. If at any time we are unable to operate tours due to any of these reasons, we will provide full refunds to our customers.
What does this all mean? We want you to be comfortable and safe. If you feel like you no longer want to join a tour you have booked, simply let us know up to 48 hours before your tour and we’ll be happy to provide a full refund. As long as we’re operating tours, you are more than welcome to join us! Now is a great time to support local businesses, which is what we highlight on all of our tours. We appreciate your support!
Update on February 21, 2020
The general situation in China hasn’t changed very much since our original post below. We’re getting used to our life indoors, only going outside when absolutely essential, and working remotely. Tourist attractions are still closed to the public, transportation in/out of China is very limited, and 14 day quarantines for all domestic and international arrivals into any Chinese city is the reality. One of our team members arrived back in Beijing this week (from her hometown in China) and she is under a forced 14-day self-quarantine in her home. The good news is that we’re starting to see more positive news. People are leaving hospitals after fully recovering from the virus, and new daily virus counts are decreasing.
From a travel perspective, there is still a lot unknown about when things will be back to normal. To be honest, it doesn’t feel like it will be anytime in the immediate future.
At this point, we have decided to cancel our tour schedule through March 15 2020 (China tours only), and again expect that it will be pushed forward further over the next couple weeks.
Our tours in Cambodia and Portland are still running daily. Daily life in Cambodia is completely unaffected and now is still a great (and safe) time to visit.
What can you do to help? There’s not a lot anyone can do directly, so our advice is to keep positive thoughts about China and make sure you reschedule any planned travel later. We know that things will get back to normal, and the entire country will need you to visit when that happens!
February 3, 2020 – Written by the Lost Plate Team in Beijing
We’ve received a lot of questions about the current coronavirus situation in China. Travel advisories & restrictions are in place, there is extensive global news coverage, and millions of people are in quarantine to stop the spread of the virus. News without context or information can be scary, so our team members in Beijing wanted to show you a glimpse of what life is like on the ground.
This is not meant to be a news source for the virus or travel details. If you are considering travel to China, we recommend for you to follow your local government recommendations.
What life is really like on the ground
Life is quiet. The timing of this epidemic hit during our Chinese New Year holiday period which usually lasts for 7 days. This means that people travel home to spend time with their families and most shops and restaurants are closed for at least a week. This already means that streets are unusually quiet in major cities all over China. Since traveling means that the virus can spread rapidly, the government has extended the public holiday period from Jan 30th to Feb 3rd 2020 (and in some cities even longer).
Many companies, including Lost Plate, are not forcing their employees to come to the office. This means many people are deciding to stay put in their hometown instead of traveling back to the city where they live and work. Wherever you are, community officials visit each apartment to check everyone’s temperature and to see if you have any visitors. In some communities this happens daily, other places it is weekly.
In general, a lot of people are scared. They are scared to travel: they are scared to go outside; they are scared to spend time around strangers. That doesn’t mean everything in China is dangerous or unsafe, it just means that people are taking a high level of precaution to stay safe. We’ve noticed a lot of these precautions in our communities lately, take a look:
While they may seem a bit extreme, the precautions that have been put in place by individuals and the government are there to stop the spread of the virus. The key thing to remember is that they are precautions to slow and stop the spread. It doesn’t mean it has already spread and that we are all sick. The vast majority of people, like us, are safe and healthy.
Tour Schedules (China Only)
Lost Plate has canceled our food tours in China through February. That may be extended based on global travel limitations and foreign government recommendations. As soon as people are ready to start traveling to China again, we’ll be ready!
Regarding general travel, all tourist attractions and destinations remain closed indefinitely. Many hotels are not accepting guests. Many family-run restaurants (like those that we visit on our tour) and shops are not open because the owners are either still at home or don’t want to risk being in contact with a lot of people. Big businesses like Starbucks and Apple have closed many of their stores. It’s a bit too soon to tell how long this will last and what the full impact will be.
What we do know is that now is not a good time to visit. Not because it means you will get sick, but because everything for tourists is closed and most international carriers have suspended or cut back their services to China.
So when should you consider traveling to China again? The answer is actually quite easy; as soon as there are things to do! When flights are flying, tourist attractions are open, and Lost Plate Food Tours are running then you’re good to go.
There are a lot of news and resources available, and we don’t want to contribute more to the noise. However, these informative sites are interesting and helpful:
This real-time dashboard shows how many people around the world are infected and where they are located.
This Chinese site allows you to enter your train or flight number to see if you have traveled with someone infected with the virus. Although it’s all in Chinese it’s very intuitive to use.
Want to see more?
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We’ll continue to keep you hungry by sharing what we always do…authentic local food in China! Check us out on Instagram.