Business Tours — Sample 3 Day ItineraryAll of these 3 day options can be arranged for you before or after you visit factories with SRI. Just let us know where you want to go and how much help you'll want to have and we'll make all the arrangements.
Other than all of the new architecture, of which there is plenty (amazing stuff, too!), there is exactly one thing to see in Shanghai: the Bund and the accompanying Riverfront walkway.
- The Bund. The former foreign concessions area is now a major walking park is great for photos. Here you can get shots of old and new Shanghai. The old foreign buildings provide character and history on one side of the river and the Pudong New Area provides a glass and metal future on the other side. The telecom tower and the Pudong bridge are actually very photogenic. Under-the-river walkways connect the two sides and are faster than a taxi.
- Dinner cruises. A site-seeing dinner cruise is actually peaceful way to spend an evening in Shanghai (maybe the only way). They can last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours and can run you $20 to $100 per person. You can buy tickets for the boats on the walkway across the street from the Peace hotels or in your hotel.
- Hangzhou. With the rest of your time head out of town about 2 hours southwest to Hangzhou and West Lake. The temples, gardens and bridges around the lake make for great "traditional" pictures. The myriad stone canals and houses along the water ways are also a completely different view of China than downtown Shanghai. A word of warning, weekends are filled with local Chinese tourists from Shanghai.
- Nanjing. A little farther out of Shanghai, in the opposite direction from Hangzhou, is Nanjing, the ancient capital of China. It's a relatively quiet city complete with ancient city walls and a fantastic national museum. Outside of town is the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Memorial as well as a number of temples, pagodas, and hiking and biking trails. You can easily spend your whole three days here and still not see all of the historical sites.
If you're working further south in China and feeling a little less adventurous, Hong Kong is still the Pearl of the Orient. While the turn-over to the Mainland has sapped some of the spirit (and economy) out of Honk Kong, it's still the busiest port in China and home to much more money and a higher international standard of living than any other place in China. Three days here will be just about enough—just make sure you have enough cash on hand as Hong Kong is no longer the "budget shopper's paradise" that it was 20 years ago.
Also, if you've been in China for a while Hong Kong is a nice break from all things Chinese. You can fill you stomach with you favorite western foods, catch the latest movies and shop for all the brands you have at home—all with a certain unique Hong Kong flair. Things you won't want to miss in Hong Kong include:
- Victoria Peak. The top provides a grand view of HK and the harbor. When the weather is nice you can see far into the new territories. But at night, it's even better! The train ride up the peak and the Ripley's Believe it or Not are entertaining as well. The Peak Train is across the street from the US Embassy in Wancai.
- Star Ferry. the famous ferry across the bay is still one of the best ways to see the city from ground level (or water level, in this case). Get on at Wancai and cross over to Tsim Sha Tsui (or vise versa).
- Lantau Island. The Buddha and the new Peak Tram are definitely worth an afternoon, if for no other reason than to see a (quite) side of Honk Kong that you may never imagined existed before. You can take the train out to the island or bus our from the airport.
- Stanley Market and the beaches along the southeast side of Hong Kong island. Some good bargain shopping still exists, but the products sold here are seconds (real, rejected name brands) and not the knock offs that you'll find in China. The beaches are in the same general area as Stanly Market. They are clean, if not big, and are typically not crowded in the middle of the day. It's about an hours ride out of the downtown area.
- Macau. The Church of St. Paul (probably the only picture you've ever seen of Macau) and the casinos give this island a unique feel; more of a Las Vegas type atmosphere. It's really quite different from Hong Kong and the surrounding Guangdong province. There is also a style of Portuguese/Chinese cuisine here that is not available anywhere else.
- Disneyland Hong Kong is smaller, more crowded and more expensive than the one in LA – unless you've promised the kids they can go, skip it.
The capital of China is really a hit or miss with tourists—you either love the history and the Chineseness and touring some of the most famous sites in the world, or you hate the smog, the traffic and the sterility of being in the middle of the world's biggest and oldest bureaucracy. But love it or hate it, there is TONS to do here. Three days is not enough, but two days in the city and one at the Great Wall and you'll at least be able to say you've "really been in China."
- Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, Mao's Mausoleum and the National Museum. All located in the center of the city you can spend an entire day (and more) without going very far.
- Temple of Heaven. Just a few blocks south of Tiananmen Square. Check out the echo wall.
- Summer Palace. More Chinese rooftops, gates and doors than you can shake a chopstick at! Quite pretty, and the lake's cool too.
- The Great Wall. On this point I have to agree with Mao when he said "you're not a real man until you've see The Wall." It's absolutely amazing! Badaling is the most popular site (closest to the city, longest open) but if you have the time, head out a bit farther to Huanghua or Simatai—fewer people, less reconstruction, but more travel time.
The most adventurous option, and the one that will require the most travel is a trip to the "most beautiful site in under heaven." The limestone cliffs and rural villages of Guilin are certainly world class. If you dare, catch a boat, rent a motorcycle, skip the guided tours and see it yourself.
- A dinner cruise down the Li river. The cliffs, crags, caves and unnatural natural landscape that you pass by on the boat is just one unbelievable view after another.
- The Guilin Countryside. Get a motorcycle, take a bus, hitch-hike, do whatever you need to, but get out of the "city" and into the villages for some really wonderful photos and new friends. The incredible poverty, the wonderful people and the amazing beauty of the area are truly unforgettable.
- Long Ji Village. The terraced rice fields of the minority peoples worth the very scary two hour bus ride from Guilin. These people, still dressed in traditional garb and living (and hosting tourists) in traditional wooden homes, have a different culture and attitude than the Han Chinese who are the majority in the rest of China.
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