I’ve heard this from a number of American businessmen over the years. Then when you start sharing “China stories” they are as shocked as the folks around the table who’ve never left the USA.
“What do you mean you’ve never eaten pig’s stomach noodle soup at a road side stand in the pouring rain? How in all those trips to China did you miss the duck’s blood? And you’ve never experienced the intestinal torture of trying to hold in last night’s Sichuan hotpot while stuck behind a smoke-belching Dong Feng truck in 100 F heat in bumper-to-bumper traffic for hours on end? Where in China did you go?”, I ask.
“Oh, I always stay at the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong and have all my meetings there”, they say.
Then, my friends, you have not been to China.
Look, the Peninsula Hotel is one of the finest in the world, and I don’t begrudge anyone the experience of staying there. You should. It’s awesome. But I am too blue-collar to spoil myself that way. I want to be in the Chinese neighborhoods where the yang rou chaun’r is served on the street at 3 AM and having a beer with the clerk at the all-night convenience store is the cure for jet lag.
Come to China, but if you are going to make the effort, come to China. Leave the hotel once in a while and experience the culture. All the foreign managers of PassageMaker have lived in China for years and they will make sure you get a taste of China with a proper guide. We enjoy entertaining our customers, and you’ll have a 5-star amount of fun while getting out into the exhilarating swirl that is modern urban China. We hope to see you soon.