SO. You guys. I have an absolutely MONSTER post for you today. I promise I tried to narrow things down, but I honestly could not and I can’t be too mad about it because this was a dream job and these photos make up a set of images that I could not be more proud of. Also, it was a trip to CHINA, which is full of interesting things, people, places, and food, and these photos reflect all that hustle and bustle and happiness.
First things first, I headed to China as part of a press trip / photography job with a trifecta of awesome companies.
First of all, I was there with United Airlines, helping them launch their brand new direct route from SFO to Hangzhou, China. It’s their fifth SFO direct flight to China and overall I cannot say enough about the new plane (787!), the first class experience (I’m spoiled for all other travel), and the city of Hangzhou (an excellent spot to visit, both because of the city itself and because of it’s proximity to elsewhere).
Second, I was there was the app Spot. Spot is a new travel and local-finds company started by one of the co-founders of Uber. The app just launched and was featured as a Best New App within its first week in the App Store (rad, right?). It walks the line between Instagram/Pinterest and Yelp/TripAdvisor in that it lets you find, save, and share cool places in your city and around the world. You can also use Spot to create beautiful editorial-style lists and guides, like an insider’s guide to Hangzhou or a round up of all the best places to eat dumplings in Shanghai, for example. ;)
Third, I was there with luxury hotel company Banyan Tree to explore their Hangzhou location and little sister/partner company Angsana. Each Banyan Tree hotel in each location anywhere in the world is focused on that country and city’s specific culture. Each resort looks unique, has elements personal to the city where they are based, and serves food that’s inspired by the city they’re in. They have an in house design team that travels to each new city to help create and design the right Banyan Tree space and on top of that, they have dream experiences available at each location. For Hangzhou, for example, they will host the Chinese version of a gondola for you. A private boat experience on the wetlands, complete with gorgeous scenery, beautiful food, and thoughtful drinks. So good.
After a five day tour with Spot, United, and Banyan Tree, I headed out to spend a day in Hangzhou by myself and then took the bullet train up to Shanghai to spend two and a half days exploring that city. I had an incredible time with my group and my hosts, but (as I always do) I really loved the time I had exploring by myself. The people I met in Hangzhou and Shanghai were all so kind, welcoming, and friendly. I felt like I had the best of luck wandering the streets with my camera and I am SO excited by the images I created while I was there. It feels incredibly lucky to me that I am able to be a young, solo, white girl traveling with a big camera who is welcomed into peoples’ lives, if only for a short while.
Thank you thank you thank you. I just want to shout from the rooftops to say thank you to everybody who helped with this experience and made it such a fantastic trip. I am so excited to have had the opportunity to participate and I am thrilled to share these images with you.