About a year and a half ago (after an extended length of unemployment) I took a job in product development at a company that designs and produces accessories for a variety of brands. I jumped from marketing into an entirely different career because an old co-worker of mine was willing to give me a chance. It's the best career move I have ever made and I have been enjoying the challenge of this new job every day since.
This job took me on my first trip to China. This blog post will be a bit different than my other travel posts because I did not have much time for sight seeing or beach time but I still had an incredible experience and a wonderful time.
First of all China requires an advance travel visa and I've never had to deal with that before, luckily work takes care of that part...and the plane ticket. The Visa is also good for a year from the date of issue. I traveled with 3 other co-workers, many of whom travel to China 4 times a year. The trip was long and we just beat a tropical storm hitting Taiwan. Lucky, with the exception of takeoff and landing, long flights don't bother me too much. So 13 hours to Taiwan, another 2 to Hong Kong and then a car to the border of China where we had to walk across. Then another hour or two to Dongguan because our driver kept getting lost. At least we got to see a lot.
We ended up at The Hyatt Regency in Dongguan on Song Shan Lake, quite possibly one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed in and for a VERY reasonable (for what you get) price of about $160/night. Song Shan Lake is not a jump in the water while you're on vacation sort of like, it's purely ornamental. There are signs around the lake saying don't get in the water or fish in it. Dongguan (in the GuangDong province of China, northeast of Hong Kong) is known for it's manufacturing so most of the travelers are there on business as we were. I would not come here for vacation, but I would highly recommend the hotel if you do happen to be in the area. It has every amenity you can imagine and beautiful rooms with views of the lake as well as a nice jogging path around the lake. It was a great and relaxing place to come back too after a long day at factories.
|View from my room at the Hyatt over Songshan Lake|
|Path around and on Songshan Lake|
|Breakfast at the hotel|
|High Rise near our office in Dongguan|
Because we were working the whole time most of my experience in Dongguan was inside factories. We had one factory take us to an amazing lunch where they found vegetarian dim sum for me. Vegetarian food is, surprisingly, not an easy thing to find in China. They don't have tofu on every corner like you would expect. This experience with local factory workers gave me a deep appreciation for the hard work of the Chinese people. My company has an office in Dongguan and I know how hard that staff works but seeing it on a factory level is different. It also gave me a deeper appreciation of just how lucky I am, and for the freedoms we have as Americans. And it also broke my heart a little, I have a bit of a bleeding one but I won't get into that, I'll just post more pictures
|Streets of Dongguan|
|Veggie dumplings at a traditional Chinese lunch!|
|Rice steamed inside bamboo|
After 5 days at work we headed to Hong Kong for the "weekend." Post coming soon.
|Crossing the border into Hong Kong|