What better way to ring in the Year of the Rooster than with our annual WildChina party!
Once a year, our whole team gathers to celebrate our successes as a company, acknowledge employee accomplishments, and kick off the Spring Festival National Holiday in style.
This year, our Beijing Office closed early and the party theme of “Old Beijing” gave us the inspiration for a team-building activity that took place in the afternoon: a scavenger hunt to find people, places, and things related to Old Beijing. From learning the process of making Beijing’s infamous erguotou alcohol to tracking down a train that traveled all the way from Taiwan, we competed to see which team could accomplish the most tasks.
Our wonderful evening meal and annual meeting was hosted by Waldorf Astoria, Beijing who provided us with delicious food, sparkling drinks, and traditional Old Beijing entertainment, right in the heart of the capital. Then, as the night drew to a close, we all set off to do what WildChina does best: Travel!
We thought you might like to see what we got up to, so we’ve picked out some of our favorite Spring Festival stories.
M.J. – Senior Client Manager, WCT Events
I went back to my village in Anyang known as Xizhang and I took Robin (part of WildChina’s Educational travel team) with me. The first day, we had dinner with my school friends and we ate and drank a LOT. The next day we visited all my relatives on my father and mother’s side, and again, there was a lot of drinking and eating. Then, we spent the rest of the week visiting the seven or eight temples that surround my hometown and at each one, we burned special yellow or silver paper that symbolizes money. We also went to my ancestor’s tombs with my whole extended family – around 20 people. We took food to the tombs to show respect. On a funny note, a new 5-star club opened in my little village, and a foreign DJ was invited to play the opening night. Imagine that in a little Chinese village!
Robin – Program Manager, WildChina Education
I’ve lived in China for a while but never had such an authentic experience as going to M.J.’s village. Chinese New Year traditions are even stronger out in the countryside, and everyday there are certain traditions that you have to uphold. The first day we visited all the temples around the village, and at every one we lit firecrackers and incense. In the evening we ate hot pot with his immediate family and watched the big Chinese New Year show, on the television. People would get up from the table to watch a particular part of the show that they particularly liked. That night, the whole village was lighting fireworks in all the courtyards – it was incredible. I learned that each village in China has its own traditions. Going to the family tombs, bowing to the ancestors, and lighting fireworks was a very interesting spiritual moment.
Aki – Marketing Manager, Beshan
I traveled to Hangzhou because it is my husband’s hometown. We had a family lunch with my husband’s relatives near West Lake and had the most beautiful view of the famous lake. The next day we went to Lingyin Temple because his family goes there every year to pray for a good year ahead and thank the Buddha for the good tidings that the previous year held. The temple was super crowded, but luckily we knew a backdoor through the Aman Fayun hotel. During Spring Festival, Hangzhou was quite empty because most people were back home celebrating with their family. It was a nice time visit because usually the city draws a lot of visitors from other cities.
Interested in the stellar views of West Lake that Aki got to see with her family? Let’s plan your trip to Hangzhou!
Kassy – Digital Marketing and Social Media Specialist, WildChina
I went to Vietnam with several of my expat friends from Beijing. We went on a 6-day biking tour where we got to be completely immersed in the history, culture, and natural beauty of the country. Like China, Vietnam celebrates the Lunar New Year which they call Tết Nguyên Đán. Each night in the cities we passed through the streets were filled with people singing raucous karaoke on loud speakers and children playing carnival games. Throughout our bike ride, we’d stop at temples and other sights of Vietnam. On a sobering note, we also visited My Lai Village where one of the worst atrocities of the Vietnam-American War happened. This left a lasting impact on me.
All of us here at WildChina wish you a happy and prosperous Year of the Rooster and we look forward to helping you plan your perfect journey in 2017!
Ready to travel like the travel experts? Let’s get started planning your trip!