Mixing Business and Pleasure in Beijing - An Introduction

2-Air China JFK-PEK in Business Class CA982
3-Peninsula Neijing
4-Dining Highlight
5-The shortest visit by an American to the Great Wall
6-Air China PEK-JFK in Business Class CA981
7-Conclusion and Reader Gift

Is it worth flying to Beijing for a one hour meeting?  It depends on how much money is involved. 

A key rule of any deal is it isn't real (read: isn't going to happen) until the principals have met in person.  Virtual as the world may be, when the deals are of the scale that I deal in, you meet in person at least once (or have previously met in person on a differend deal).  That essential face-to-face meeting was the purpose of this trip.

I arranged a meeting-before-the-meeting with my local colleagues as well as the mid-level staff at the investor's office for the day before the big meeting. This required leaving New York on Tuesday to arrive Wednesday evening to have the pre-meeting on Thursday before the proper meeting on Friday.  While I purportedly deal in high finance, I probably should have dual majored in psychology and protocol, because those are the most critical parts of what I do.   The finance part is easy math.


There are two non-stops between New York and Beijing; I went with the Air China flights out of Kennedy (versus the United flights from Newark).  This proved to be a mixed decision.  We ended up diverting to a different airport near Beijing due to adverse weather on the way out.  I still don't know where I was...nor do the flight data websites that I follow have any information.


Thankfully, whereas my company has extremely stingy hotel policies in London, we have a number of top choices to pick from in Beijing.  For this trip, I elected to stay at the Peninsula.  I've never gone wrong at any of their properties.  While this property was different than other Peninsula properties that I've stayed at, I was pleased.


I've been to China before, but my tourist experience has been limited to the Forbidden City. This time, I was determined to bake in some time to see the Great Wall. Though my tour was cut short (more on this later), I'm very glad that I did included the time.

Plenty of congee was had.


Let's begin...


F July 9, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Never heard about Skype or FaceTime?

@F: Yes - I use them personally often (particularly when traveling abroad). For business at a certain scale, however, in-person time remains an important part of getting things done.

milchap July 15, 2012 at 01:32 pm

I enjoyed the trip report. thanks

@F: can you imagine mafia bosses resorting to Skype when hammering out a deal? ;)

Awesome trip report, always great to follow you around the world through your writing. Thanks for sharing.

John Cordero July 15, 2012 at 06:40 pm

Enjoyed the report

Joseph M July 16, 2012 at 01:14 am

Haven't been to china but I'd really like to go. What is your company's policy on bringing personal assistants along?

bluto July 16, 2012 at 02:55 am

thank you for your trip reports. I like them a lot.

Lia T July 16, 2012 at 07:34 am

Your posts are always interesting and informative. Keep up the great work.

Steve Schwartz July 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Some people fly that much just to retain status! This sounds like one of those times I would complain to my wife about what I have to do, and then enjoy the front of the plane and staying at ANY Peninsula!

Rita July 17, 2012 at 06:09 am

Great intro!. I always loved reading your posts in Milepoint but didn't know you had a blog over on upgrd.com. I'll definitely bookmark to add some variety to my daily boardingarea reading. Thanks!