For most of the participants, going to Shanghai was a long, long journey. As usual, in addition to the business programme, a very enjoyable and entertaining social programme was designed specially for our members so that they can get the most of the city in a short time.
It all started on Wednesday with the optional New shanghai city tour featuring the highest building – 'Shanghai World Financial Center', Pudong commercial area, bustling shopping street – 'Nanjing Road', and the Bund, the famous promenade along the Huangpu River.
The Shanghai World Financial Center is a supertall skyscraper located in the Pudong district of Shanghai. It is a mixed-use skyscraper, consisting of offices, hotels, conference rooms, observation decks, and ground-floor shopping malls. On 14 September 2007, the skyscraper was topped out at 492.0 meters (1,614.2 ft), making it, at the time, the second-tallest building in the world and the tallest structure in Mainland China. It also had the highest occupied floor and the highest height to roof. The observation deck of the Tower, the world's tallest at the time of its completion, offers views from 474 m (1,555 ft) above ground level.
The Bund (Waitan) is a waterfront area in central Shanghai. It usually refers to the buildings and wharves on this section of the road, as well as some adjacent areas. The bund is one of the most famous architectural symbols of Shanghai, and has been called the museum of international architecture. All of them were built with western and European styles such as Gothic, classical, Romanesque, and Renaissance. It was here that the international banks, businesses, hotels, exclusive clubs were located. It is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Shanghai.
The day ended with a delicious Barbecue Party at the XTDElevated bar of the Langham Xintiandi Hotel. Good food, nice people, excellent weather. All the ingredients for an unforgettable evening were gathered.
On Thursday morning, the guests visited the interesting Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Located at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in Pudong New Area, the Museum opened in 2004. Its three-story exhibition halls occupy about 4,000 square meters. It is based on the original TCM museum founded in 1938 and boasts more than 14,000 exhibits and almost 10,000 TCM documents. It is also reputed as the largest professional TCM museum in the world with the most exhibits. The Museum offers an insight into the historical facts and major.
After an intense business session in the morning, the delegates joined the guests for a memorable afternoon shopping in the Tianzifang area!
Tianzifang is a famous leisure lane in Shanghai, lined with art studios, craft shops, galleries, boutiques and exotic bars and cafes. Originally a typical factory area from the1950s and an open-air market a decade ago, this area was reconstructed by the government in 1998 and since then has attracted more and more painters, artists and owners of arts and crafts stores, making it popular with locals and visitors from abroad. Renovated factories and warehouses in Tianzifang accommodate over 40 arts and crafts stores and about 20 design and work studios, which are set up by Chinese and foreigners from different countries and regions. The most well known studio is Er Dongqiang Studio whose monthly opera performances wow many audience. The studio, set up by American ceramic artist Jimmy, is also a highlight of the art zone that attracts foreigners who are keen to learn the art of ceramic making.
Apart from seeing contemporary works in the studios or galleries, the area teems with unique Old Shanghai architecture, as many of the buildings here were reconstructed in the traditional Shikumen (stone-framed-door) architectural structure. Over 20 varieties of these brick houses are still intact, preserving the authentic features of the unique lanes of Shanghai. The majority of the buildingsare still occupied by locals.
Divided in small teams, the participants were asked to come back with a list of typical products from China. The winning team was the one who came back first, with the all the goods and who spent less money than the others! This team building revealed some very good negotiation skills from some of our members!
On Friday, while the delegates had some some intense discussions, the guests went on a full day traditional culture tour. This tour featured the Jade Buddha Temple, Duolun Culture Road and Zhujiajiao Water town.
Jade Buddha Temple The Jade Buddha Temple is a Buddhist temple in Shanghai. It was founded in 1882 with two jade Buddha statues imported to Shanghai from Burma by sea. These were a sitting Buddha (1.95 meters tall, 3 tonnes), and a smaller reclining Buddha representing Buddha's death.
Zhujiajiao is a water town on the outskirts of Shanghai, and was established about 1,700 years ago. Archaeological findings dating back 5,000 years have also been found. 36 stone bridges and numerous rivers line Zhujiajiao, and many ancient buildings still line the riverbanks today. The village prospered through clothing and rice businesses. Today, old historical buildings such as rice shops, banks, spice stores and even a Qing dynasty post office can still be found. Zhujiajiao has many sights of historic interest, such as Fangsheng Bridge, Kezhi Garden and the Yuanjin Buddhist Temple.
More pictures available here.