Shanghai Dreaming

Markus and Marinda Hauser have just returned from visiting their son, Niki, in Shangai – taking the opportunity to order yet another one of their delectable Gluehweins it was great to catch up with them and get their first impressions of a city which quite literally took their breath away. St Moritz may be slick and polished but to hear them talk Shanghai has refined the art of slick and is scintillating rather than merely polished.

According to Markus, the train system was the best he has ever been on – clean, organised and fast (300 kms an hour) – as for the metro it was similarly impressive.

The hotels are stunning, surpassing anything they have experienced in Europe – save for the fact that Europe has the edge on heritage.  Shanghai is a visual feast – just take a look at the Hotel they stayed at which was just as stunning as the one Niki has been working at for the last three months….

 Of course the really obvious fact is that the new breed of Chinese travellers who is starting to come over to Europe have exceptionally high expectations and we need to be prepared to welcome them on their own terms. Having Niki on the ground means he is not just brushing up on his spoken Mandarin, he is picking up on all the interesting little quirks the Chinese have – no doubt they too feel we have our own share! From the way they consume their wine (toasting each time they pick up their glass and draining it in a shot) to their seeming inability to pick up their own luggage, these new wealthy Chinese often or not shun a cold meal (you can keep your paninis) and are less inclined towards testing out new cuisines, preferring instead to stick to what they know.

As such the Hauser’s Shanghai experience has been far more focused on learning about an emerging new breed of travellers – I think it may be inspiring them in ways which we will see throughout the following year!

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