Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Corporate Outing: Qiandaohu

In China, it is very common for large corporations to hold group outings to promote team unity.  My husband’s company is no exception.  Once a year Chris and his colleagues trek into the woods for a weekend of hiking, boating, eating, chest beating, and bonding.  This year I got to join the corporate outing, a family affair at Qiandaohu (Thousand Island Lake). 
The fresh air and clean water at Qiandaohu was a welcome break from Shanghai.

Nongfu Springs sources their water directly from Qiandaohu Lake. 
After a 4.5 hour road trip and a dinner that included fishhead soup, we arrived at the Qiandaohu Hilton.

I was excited to finally see a Chinese Truck Stop.  They are very similar to American stops, but have lots of street food. 
Life at the Hilton wasn't too rough.  
I enjoyed the soup, but avoided eating the fish head.

The first day’s paper itinerary stated we would be taking a cruise around the lake.  When I heard the word cruise, I thought I would be taking a nice boat ride.  I had no idea we would be in for so much more!

Our first cruise stop was Longshan Island. 

Longshan Island had many anti-corruption sculptures.  In this sculpture, the hand of justice is arm wrestling with the hand of corruption.

The kids had a great time monkeying around with the statues.
At our second stop, we had a chance to feed some koi.
We also had a chance to hold a python.  Don't worry Mom, it's mouth was rubber banded shut.
We had a great time cruising the lake in comfort.
When going on corporate outings, make sure to wear sturdy, comfortable shoes.  Chris climbed 3000 steps at the third island to take this shot.
The second day we went to the Vertical Cloud Tongtian River.  Again, I was expecting a quiet boat ride down a river.  Instead we went spelunking.

The cave I saw in China was much different than the caves I visited as a 5th grader in the States.  All of the walkways were well lit and paved.
I never saw such colorful stalactites and stalagmites!

Nonetheless, the formations were quite breath taking. 

We cruised around the cave in small boats. Midway through our trip, an elevator lowered our boat to a different part of the cave.  I felt like I was on a slow amusement park ride.

Some of the kiddos paddled their families' boat.

Even though the trip wasn’t what I expected, Qiandaohu was a great mini-vacation.  I highly recommend it for folks who want a quiet, family-friendly get away.  I’d return for some fresh air and clean water.

No corporate outing is complete without the traditional group picture.  I had a great time getting to know Chris' colleagues!