Watching all of the happy, engaged tech folks this week on the Geeks on a Plane tour of Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai has me fondly reminiscing about my time in Shanghai and Beijing on the fall 2008 China 2.0 Tour.
We were an international bunch of bloggers/geeks meeting a bunch of China-based tech people, on their turf….probably sounds a little nerdy to some of you, but fond memories of the experience cause me to sit around sighing a lot.
We did have to eat, sleep and do the tourist thing a bit in between tech presentations, so here are some resources I can recommend:
- Lodging. I stayed in the basic but affordable Orange Hotel (Beijing Jingsong Bridge East) in Beijing, with a nice room and screaming-fast WiFi. The considerably more opulent Marriott Beijing City Wall was several steps up in amenities and price – I was on a strict budget so admired it from afar, but my friends staying there liked it a lot. In Shanghai, take a look at locally-owned Quintet in the French Concession (here’s a review of Quintet from my China 2.0 colleague Elliott Ng.) For China as a whole, there’s the ebullient Winser Zhao’s Sino Hotel Reservation, a China-based hotel and travel search and reservation site.
- Eats. I’ve already blogged about dining Xinjiang (Uighur) style in Shanghai and the joys of the rbt chain’s boba tea. In Beijing, we had a variety of spicy but delectable Yunnan Chinese cuisine at The Middle-8th Restaurant (here’s an interview with its chef) and duck to die for at Gold Mountain City (recommended by Beijing expat business expert David Wolf.) In Shanghai I lucked into an amazing (and pricey, but what a view) lunch at M on the Bund, and more laid-back fare at Kabb in the well-designed but occasionally over-the-top Xintiandi section of town.
- Shopping and Entertainment. In Beijing, we didn’t have much time for frivolity, but a foot massage was perfect for attacking jet lag. In Shanghai, I met and was impressed by Toffler Niemuth; in addition to her “day job” at language learning company italki, she runs ShopMyShanghai guided shopping tours. After touring Yuyuan Gardens with an experienced friend, Christine Lu of the China Business Network, I can highly recommend hitting the stores with someone who can speak the language and knows what he/she is doing.
- Getting Around. I spent a lot of time in cabs and on a bus with our China 2.0 group, but for subway info (particularly Beijing) it’s tough to beat David Feng’s Civitology for detailed information.
I’ve tried to provide the most updated links I can find, after pulling all of those well-traveled but crumpled business cards out from their rubber banded stack. Please let us know in the comments if I’ve missed any good places or if there are better links.