I love setting personal goals for myself, whether it’s about my everyday life or in terms of future travel experiences. There’s a certain satisfaction not just in the ability to mark an item as “completed,” but the process is usually a lot of fun too. We all have lists, either mentally or written down, of certain places we’d like to visit and experiences we would love to enjoy and for me, visiting mainland China has been near the top of that list for a long time. Tonight though I leave for a trip that will change my list forever when I finally pay my first visit to China.
I am once again working with Cathay Pacific Airways who is sponsoring this trip – a longtime partner of mine and an airline with which I truly enjoy flying. I’m beyond excited to start my journey with them as I board what I already know to be a very comfortable flight from the East Coast to Beijing, via their hub city of Hong Kong. The goal of this trip isn’t just to visit China, but to share what my ideal China experience is like. Since I’m an experiential luxury writer, I’ll be focusing on that aspect of traveling to China, from enjoying the Business Class comforts of Cathay Pacific, to relaxing in their lounges and spending the night at some of the best Ritz-Carlton properties in the world. But it’s also experiential, which means that what I see and do is just as important as the travel process itself, and I’m definitely excited about what I’ve put together for my first introduction to China.
In Beijing I’ll play the role of typical tourist, hopping on an all day Context Travels tour of the Forbidden City before exploring the hutongs of Beijing and learning more about the role of theology in Chinese history with visits to several temples. Also during my time in Beijing, I’ll be getting out and about with a hike on the Great Wall, visits to other important sites and just enjoying the city itself. Where I spend the night is also incredibly important to me, and I’m thrilled to be staying at two amazing Ritz-Carlton hotels while in Beijing, both famous for their service and luxurious amenities. Beijing isn’t my only stop in mainland China though, Chengdu has also been very high on my list for one notable reason – pandas. I have loved pandas dearly for as long as I can remember, and have frequently joked with friends that my ultimate goal in life is hug a baby panda. Well, I booked the tour last week and it looks like my fantastical wish will be coming true as I visit a panda sanctuary and finally get the chance to hug one of those lovable non-bears. Chengdu is about much more than those black and white icons of China though, and I’m looking forward to learning about and exploring the city itself, aided greatly by my stay at the very well located Ritz-Carlton Chengdu. Once again I will enjoy this luxury hotel’s legendary accommodations and I frankly can’t wait.
I also built in some time in a third city, one I’ve visited before and always enjoy spending time in – Hong Kong. I find it hard to believe that anyone doesn’t love this dynamic city, especially if they like to eat. While I don’t have a lot of time there, I plan on making the most of it thanks again to my stay at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong – the tallest hotel in the world – as well as spending time exploring the city. I will be exploring a newish neighborhood, Kennedy Town on a tour of this fun community. Food will also play a major role, and I can’t wait to reconnect with my favorites found around the city.
Flying with Cathay Pacific and Dragonair (soon to be rebranded as Cathay Dragon) to and around China is honestly a big part of the experience for me personally. I have flown with them several times now and although I know what to expert in terms of their amazing service and incredibly comfortable flights, I’m still excited. Excited that boarding the plane means the start of another exciting adventure and knowing that I will be very well taken care of throughout the travel experience.
Please be sure to follow along with me as I discover China for the first time and share what the experience means to me personally. I will be using the hashtags #mychinaexperience and #lifewelltravelled on all social platforms so please be sure to join me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Since it’s my first time, I’d love to hear any ideas or suggestions you have!