Xmas Event Shanghai / Hong Kong 2011

Shanghai / Hong Kong, China, 21 to 25-NOV-2011

From 21 to 25-NOV-2011, the traditional Swatch The Club Xmas event took place in Asia for the first time.  The reason for this was the highly anticipated auction of the Blum collection on 24-NOV in Hong Kong.  More than 4300 watches to be sold in a single lot!  About 80 club members from all over the world participated at the event and gathered on 21-NOV in Shanghai (home of the highly interesting Swatch Art Peace Hotel) where the event started.  Yes, this time, the event included the visit to two cities and also a flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong!

Actually, we arrived one day earlier in Shanghai so that we had a little more time to explore the city (only a tiny fraction of course!) and also a chance to overcome the jet lag...  As a nice surprise, Swatch had organized the transport from the airport to the ***** Hyatt On The Bund hotel for each and every flight with club members arriving in Shanghai.  Some people got a transport in a stretch Mercedes E-Class, we had a small van as 7 club members in total were on our flight.

magnificent view from our hotel room

The (super nice!) hotel was conveniently located on The Bund, within walking distance to the Swatch Art Peace hotel, so we checked this out on the first evening...  Lots of interesting things to discover during our walk (now I know how the chinese / japanese tourists feel in Europe :-).  Here we see the interestingly lit Waibaidu bridge ("The Garden Bridge", the first all-steel bridge in China).  I can assure you that every time we passed that bridge during our visit in Shanghai, we could see a nicely dressed bride (or "soon to be bride") and groom taking pictures for a photo book (chinese tradition, I have been told).

getting close to the Swatch Art Peace Hotel

view from the open air Vue Bar of the hotel (33rd floor)

The Xmas event started in the evening of the next day, so we had a full day for a city tour on our own (together with Michaela and Markus). 

Another bride in the next morning...

Probably due to Expo 2010, there were lots of English / Chinese signs on the street, so Shanghai really feels like "China for beginners".

We visited the "fake market" near the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum, lots of interesting stuff to be found there :-)

"it is not allowed to sell fake Prada, Piaget, Montblanc, ..."

Afterwards, we walked back to Huangpu river, through the new financial district.  Some leftovers from Expo 2010...

It is absolutely stunning to see the following pictures from the last 20 years, showing the view of the river and the buildings being constructed.

The picture below shows the tallest building of Shanghai:  The Shanghai World Financial Center.  The height is 492 meters and it was the second tallest building of the world in 2007 (currently [in 2011], it is ranked at #4).  But at least, it has the world's tallest observation deck, at 474 m.  You can also see the construction of a new skyscraper nearby.  It will be the Shanghai Tower with a planned height of 632 meters, to be finished in 2014.

We did not spend the money for the observation deck but settled for a nice coffee and drink at the bar of the Park Hyatt Shanghai in the 92nd floor.  An overwhelming view of the city and the river.   And free Wifi!

On the other side of the river, you can see "our" Hyatt On The Bund hotel (a little right of the Oriental Pearl Tower (468 meters)).  The hotel really looks tiny.  Yes, I live in a very small city so I am really impressed by so many large buildings :-)

Oriental Pearl Tower

We took the metro to the other side of the river where the buildings looked a little bit more "normal".

very clever: a motorbike with integrated gloves!

And here is a short video with some "touristic" impressions from The Bund / Shanghai (including some scenes at night):

Click here to read page 2 ("Welcome to the Xmas Event / Shanghai city tour") of my Shanghai / Hong Kong Xmas 2011 Event report.

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