One of the fringe benefits of working for a multinational is the fact that, there is the international trip that happens once in a while. Although it was purely for business purposes, it would have been unlikely of me if I didn't make an adventure of it.
So here I was all alone, as I nervously stepped out on foggy afternoon at Pudong International Airport braving an 18 degree chill. Got into one of the snazzy Volkswagen taxis which were to be my conveyance of choice for the next week & headed off to the Wyndham Grand. As the name suggests it was a grand place with all that came with any other standard 5 star hotel.
The week there involved shuttling between Shanghai & the city of Suzhou where our factory is located. Suzhou is exceptionally beautiful considering that it is what we call a Tier 2 city. Jinji Lake at night can be quite spectacular with a colour changing ferris wheel at the distance. I plan to visit the Lingering Garden on my next visit there
Shanghai is a walker's delight. I would like to thank Tony Luo, Lingling Gao & Takeshi Kitamura for hanging out with me on the first night out on the town. I did all that could be done on foot.
The magnificent Bund, on the Huangpu river with the skyline of the Liu Jia Zui Financial District that could give any skyline a run for its money. The brilliant imperial buildings now converted in headquarters of banks or showrooms for luxury brands. Keep an eye out for almost every luxury brand that you might have heard of to have a showroom in Shanghai.Other significant things more to my liking were the Peace Hotel, legend has it this hotel was used for espionage during the World War II era.
You will also find a single statue of Mao & a few hundred metres the financial bull that one can find on Wall Street and now even on Dalal Street. It truly is a place of contradictions where ideology does not necessarily impede growth. Then a short walk from there will take you to Nanjing Road, a pedestrian area mainly for shopping. The bright lights will dazzle your senses, but beware of the hawkers who peddle everything from fake iphones to "ladyfuck".
Xin Tian Di, an area exclusively for bars and restaurants, is also the site of the first ever congress of the Communist party of China. It has everything from outdoor coffee shops to German brewhouses to Italian pizzerias. A great place to walk around, and it also boasts of a great shopping experience in the neighbourhoods nearby. Other notable places for shopping are the AP plaza near the Science and Technology Museum & Huahui Road.
Another fantastic experience is the Maglev train. I had the chance to get on one of them to go to the airport. It touches speeds of over 300 kmph and gets you to the airport in 8 mins which is around 50 kms away.
Food is an issue if you're a strict vegetarian like me, but only good can come after eating a few meals with boiled vegetables and rice. Thankfully there are a few dishes that will come to one's rescue namely - OU(藕）、DOUMIAO(豆苗）、RUOBO(萝卜).
(Spelling & Pronounciation Courtesy - Lingling)
The honesty and the work ethic of the Chinese is clearly something that is commendable and that is responsible for their present position in the international business scene.The sights and sounds of a modern fast growing China will always be afresh in my memories for a long time to come.
My only regret is that I didn't get to experience much of the traditional China, but that will be dealt with on my next trip, I hope.
Will probably Phlog or Picasa most of the photographs. So ping me or leave a comment with your email id incase you are interested.