Saint Augustine reportedly said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel…
Traveling throughout China is a study in contrasts, as you’ll have the opportunity to visit new, ultra-modern cities filled with advanced technologies along with ancient historic sites that first became known to the rest of the world more than 700 years ago. Not to mention a myriad of natural wonders along the way.
China is a very large country, nearly as large as the contiguous United States, which means you’ll want to plan your itinerary carefully to get the most out of your trip—or contact us to do the planning for you! In the interest of finding something for everyone, we’ve put together a brief tasting menu of a number of things to do in China during your trip.
The Great Wall of China
Stretching for more than 6,000 kilometers from Shanhaiguan in the east to Jiayuguan in the west, the Great Wall of China was built as a strategic military stronghold. The wall averages between six and eight meters along its length, with some sections as high as 16 meters, and features watchtowers and battlements where ancient soldiers were posted to preserve the emperor’s control of the empire against would-be invaders.
The width of the Great Wall varies similarly to its height, with some parts of the wall so narrow that they have to be walked single file and other parts wide enough for 10 men to stand shoulder to shoulder across. The oldest sections of the wall date back to the 7th century BCE, with more recent areas added around 210 BCE to join the other sections together.
The best-preserved and most-visited sections of the Great Wall are located 70 to 130 kilometers from Beijing, depending on where you start, and these sections can be reached either by public transport or by participating in an organized tour.
The Yangtze River
While the Great Wall is the longest structure in China, the longest river in China is the Yangtze, flowing through eight provinces from Tibet in the west to Shanghai in the east. The river covers about one-fifth of the total area of the country, flowing through a quarter of the country’s agricultural land, so it’s no wonder that the Yangtze has been China’s main transportation route for more than 2,000 years.
To get the most out of your trip to the Yangtze, you’ll want to visit an area called the Three Gorges. This 200-kilometer stretch features churning torrents and treacherous shallows as the river winds through the gorges Qutang, Wu, and Xiling.
You’ll find sightseeing options for every taste—ranging from rugged adventure tours along dramatic sections of the river to luxurious riverboat cruises detailing the region’s historic beauty. Any tour you choose will doubtless include some gorgeous views of the Three Gorges’ jagged cliffs and soaring mountain peaks.
The Zhongshan Lu, Shanghai’s riverside promenade (commonly known to locals as the Bund, or Wàitan) is a marvel of city planning. This wide pedestrian zone along the river has a distinctly European feel because of the location’s history as Shanghai’s International Settlement. The variety of architectural influences on display includes Gothic, Renaissance, and Art Deco buildings.
This almost distracts from the fact that it’s located in the middle of China’s largest city, with a population of over 25 million. This oasis of European village life is the result of efforts to preserve the dozens of English- and French-influenced buildings that have now become cafés, bistros, art galleries, and stores—all offering unique souvenir opportunities to bring back to the office.
See the Hong Kong Skyline
One of the world’s most dramatic city skylines due to the high concentration of skyscrapers and the tall hills that dwarf them, Hong Kong is the city center for finance and commerce in this part of the Pacific islands.
Whether you decide to take your team vacation photos from Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island or from one of Hong Kong’s ferries boarded at Victoria Harbor, you should take advantage of the nightly laser light shows that use the harbor’s skyscrapers as a backdrop for a 360-degree spectacular of colors, shapes, light, and movement. It’s such an amazing sight close up that you might even forget to take those pictures!
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
Can you really say you went to China if you didn’t see pandas? If you think so, please keep it to yourself because we don’t want to know about it!
When it comes to pandas in China, you’ll have options: the country has many zoos devoted to these chubby, klutzy, blobs of black and white, but if you want to see them in something a little closer to their natural habitat, you’ll want to visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, located in the Sichuan province.
Home to as many as 80 pandas and devoted to their conservation, the Chengdu Research Base is filled with exhibits and displays where your team can learn all about pandas and how to help keep their species safe in our changing world. Book an English-language tour and give your top performers the chance to see pandas up close, foraging and playing throughout the facility’s vast and sprawling park setting.
MTI Events Can Plan Your Best Corporate Retreat
Whether you’re looking for an individual incentive, a team incentive, or both, MTI Events can brainstorm with you to coordinate a corporate trip to China that includes one or more of these unique locations or anywhere else! The best part is that you don’t have to set aside time to build, establish, and manage the logistics of these programs—we’ll take care of all of that for you, leaving you free to manage your people and your business.