It seems slightly wrong to be writing about my impressions of Shanghai whilst flying from LHR to Dubai. However since I’ve been in the air 31 hours in total during the last 6 days it’s rather inevitable.
Shanghai. What to say ? A destination which you feel that you are hanging on to with your fingernails as you are ‘forced’ to leave is always going to be a good one. As I alluded in my last posting the energy levels and general dynamism of the city is reminiscent of NYC. In other words my positive prejudices will apply.
One of the great benefits of business travel is that you are running to a wider agenda. Therefore who, what, where and when are set for you by someone else. This means that you are exposed to the new environment in a much faster fashion. And that’s a good thing.
A high service culture matched with a city inhabited almost entirely with entrepreneurs gives an impression that Shanghai is a world class city which, given the doldrums of the west, is only going to increase.
And this is a party city but with the occasional oasis of calm in-between the towering new build. The Kee Club was a highlight – hip but cultured, luxurious yet homely. An appeal which was hard to resist.
But the highlight of my trip was not the high octane views from Flair or Vue, nor the frenetic dance of Mint nightclub, no it was being driven around Shanghai on a Saturday afternoon in a motorcycle sidecar by a former colleague turned friend and his wife. Another benefit of business travel is you met some amazing people on the journey who, if you are lucky AND careful, are always around to show you a good time.
My first visit to Shanghai and not my last.