Guests at the Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre turn to concierge Michael Feng for advice on how to get the most out of their trip to this fascinating city. Feng, a concierge for seven years, offers some expert tips for business travelers.
Q: What's the best option for outdoor exercise in your city?
A: Cycling. China is the kingdom of bicycles. If you explore the city by bicycle you will see the unique blend of the old and modern that makes Shanghai so special.
Q: If business travelers only have a few hours for leisure, what must they see in your city?
A: While in Shanghai, you must visit Yu Garden, in the old town. You also must see the waterfront area called The Bund because it offers such a variety of international architecture from Shanghai’s colonial times. Also, in the basement of the Oriental Pearl TV tower, you’ll find a wax museum that features different scenes of Old Shanghai history. You can visit all of these sights in about four hours.
Q: What's something that surprises guests about your hotel?
A: How easily they can get to Shanghai destinations from our hotel by walking or taking the bus or subway. Many major Shanghai attractions can be reached by taxi in 10 minutes.
Q: What is the most important thing for business travelers to bring to Shanghai?
A: A good appetite! Shanghai offers a wide variety of Chinese cuisine, Shanghainese cuisine and global cuisine.
Tip 1: When you’re meeting clients or associates in China, don’t get straight to business. Take time for small talk. Especially with a new contact or partnership, it’s important to get to know each other a bit before starting to talk business. If you ask some questions about family and hobbies before diving straight into a work-related conversation, you will find that your business relationship will be much smoother.
Tip 2: Be patient. It’s common in China for schedules to be flexible and meetings to start late. Allow plenty of time for meetings, and don’t get impatient if things take longer than planned. A morning meeting will often turn into a lunch, and an afternoon meeting will turn into a dinner. Don’t miss out on opportunities to eat with your business contacts. The lines between friendship and business are blurred here, and you may find that the most rewarding business deals are made over a meal or in a relaxed environment.
Tip 3: If you’re buying the meal, order more than enough food. A good host makes sure there’s always some food left over. Similarly, if you’re a guest, don’t feel the need to finish all of the food placed in front of you. Leaving some uneaten compliments your host by showing that he or she has provided more than enough food.
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