I have jetted in and out of the cities of Shanghai and Beijing for major launches and store openings; and was on Hainan Island, where my paternal ancestors hailed from, for the Edipresse regional conference in 2011. But other than these fleeting encounters, I have never quite had the desire to visit the vast country, and have not given much thought as to why.
Of course, fate has a way of playing its surprising hand when you least expect it. For the past year since our last Travel issue where we brought you the beauty of Maldives, we would set our sights on a throbbing metropolis and had been laying the groundwork for bringing the team there. However, many roadblocks later, we were finally faced with a decision of either postponing the plans, or abandoning them altogether.
Just then, the lovely folks at Banyan Tree stepped in with an invitation that lifted our spirits. It required an overnight re-engineering of our storyboard, frantic switching of editorial stories, and our features writer Seow Wei honed her travel agent finesse of rebooking the entire crew’s flights—but within a week, the team was ready to jet to Jiuzhaigou in China’s Sichuan province. We convinced the gracious Georgia Lee, self‑proclaimed “as Chinese as I look”, to frontline our vision into the scenic Jiuzhaigou as she prepares to launch her skincare brand in China in the near future.
(Related: Nature Calls: Georgia Lee In China)
I still did not get my passport stamped in China this time, but like our readers, I am inspired by the stories and pictures that the team has brought back. There is something about seeing beautiful travel pictures that frees the mind and opens the heart to adventure and knowledge, and this is our humble goal when we do our best every year to bring you exotic experiences through our stories. Look, too, to Bhutan where we bring you a jaw-dropping feature of viewing the country by helicopter, while from the capitals of Europe, we throw the spotlight on the latest launches in watches, jewellery and home accessories.
Happy planning for your summer holidays and year-end sojourns!