My trip to China (March 24-April 9) was amazing. I visited 5 cities in 18 days, and along the way met business contacts and friends.
The cities I visited were:
- Guangzhou – food, casual clothes, humidity, and a down-to-earth personality
- Shenzhen – money, technology, fashion, and not many people (I was there on a public holiday!)
- Beijing – cold, crowded streets, monolithic apartment buildings, impenetrable accents
- Shanghai – fashion, fun, buzz, friends, food, cosmopolitan
- Suzhou – “small” (2x NZ’s population), beautiful, silk, entrepreneurial
- Hangzhou – legendary, rainy (on the day I was there), magical, entrepreneurial, crowded (at the train station)
Some of my personal highlights:
- My first experience drinking baijiu. Most people first try this highly alcoholic beverage in a business setting – not a good idea. Instead I had baijiu with a friend and her family, while eating a most delicious hot pot meal.
- An impromptu karaoke evening organised by my friends in Guangzhou – none of whom knew each other two weeks earlier. Never knew Westlife were so good. It’s amazing what becomes a common language.
- The crazy cool artwork at one of Beijing’s luxury shopping malls. The artwork originally came from 798. Everything about this mall was luxurious, from the elevator to the public toilet with a complete control panel that … I have no idea what it does.
- The friends’ dinners I had in each city (including 2 in Shanghai). I am privileged to know so many nice people, and really happy that “net friends” are just “real friends” that haven’t met in person yet.
- The moment of quietness in a street-side garden in Hangzhou roughly halfway through my trip. I really enjoy being with people, and I also appreciated this moment of silence and solitude.
Those are a few highlights. I’m sure there are more to come.