Last week China Travel talked to Chinese folk about their October Holiday travel plans. Today, we took to the streets once more to see what was in store for some of the city's foreign population. I was expecting that for many, a trip back home would be in the offing given the extra-long vacation, but it seems that pesky old thing called "work" keeps getting in the way. Either that, or they were already on their holidays. By the way, if you're reading this and still undecided on your holiday plans, there's still time! Our friends at Ctrip have a number of October holiday deals, including international flights and hotels, top China destinations and flight + hotel deals in Southeast Asia's most exciting cities.
"Actually we're just here visiting an old friend from college," said the first two guys I approached, Nick and Josh from California. "We've only got another seven days in Shanghai."
So what do you plan to do with the rest of your trip?
"Well another reason for us being here was to deliver these wheelchairs." Wheelchairs?
"Yeah, back in California we raised money for the Wheelchair Foundation and managed to buy 200 wheelchairs. The president of the foundation is arriving tomorrow to do the donation so we'll be spending some time with him and doing some sightseeing."
Aw, how cool is that? They're combining holidays and seeing old friends with some altruistic action—their next stop is ten days in Bangladesh where they are coordinating the same with another buddy who is based over there. You go guys!
Next up was father and son,: Alex and Mark from New York. Once again, they were tourists and on the tail end of their visit to China, so no national holidays for them... but what would they do if they were to have another week here?
"We absolutely love Shanghai." says Alex. "We went to Beijing already and Xi'an... my favorite part of Xi'an was riding around the city wall on a two-seater bike, that was great. If we were to go somewhere else, maybe Guilin could be nice, or that other place..." he says, looking to their guide for a reminder,
"Hangzhou," replies Lisa Zhu who has been helping them find their way around the city.
Lisa herself will be headed to Chongqing. "A friend from the US adopted a baby girl from there. Her and her husband are in China at the moment for work and so they want to go and see where their daughter comes from before they leave. It'll be my first time to go to Chongqing. I'm not sure what we'll see as we only have four days and it's a small village outside of the city."
Elin from Sweden and Arthur from France have been living in Shanghai for one year and are most likely sticking around for the October break.
"Usually we travel in the holidays. We've been to Beijing, Macau, Hong Kong, Nanjing, but he only just came back after one month away in France."
They both finished their Chinese studies in January this year and have been working on various hospitality-related projects ever since. In fact Arthur is working with French ski resorts to market them to the Chinese. Who knows, next year when we ask the same questions, maybe Val d'Isère and Morzine will be the destinations du jour.
David from the UK is the COO of Tesco supermarkets here and he'll be working over the October holiday.
"We cater to the local market so we expect the holidays to be very busy."
Sounds like you might need a break after that! Any idea where you might head?
Like many other expats looking to recharge, it's off to the beach for some sun, sea and sand!
"Langkawi" he replied without a second's hesitation.
"I'm headed back home to Canada," says Roy.
How long for?
"Who knows, a month maybe then we'll see what happens."
Turns out Roy has been in Asia on and off for several years with stints in both Taiwan and the Philippines. He's just coming to the end of his contract up in Tianjin but could well be back for more.
So what part of China would you like to see on your return?
"I'd like to go more to the west, where there are mountains. I'm from British Columbia so I like to be in the mountains."
There aren't many mountains in Shanghai, that's for sure.
French couple Eric and Regine Loustau also plan to remain in Shanghai.
I caught them wandering down Maoming Lu. Snapping away with their camera, I was expecting them to say they were also on vacation here but no:
"We only arrived one month ago and our things are only arriving now, so we are going to get settled in. We'll explore Shanghai and probably go to the Expo."
And how about in the future, any ideas of what parts of China you'd like to check out?
"Xi'an and the terracotta warriors," volunteers Eric. And for Regina? "I'd like to see the Great Wall, and also Inner Mongolia."
How about Francesca, Ezio and Steven, the trio of giggling Italians behind the delicious gelato joint Le Creme Milano on Shaanxi Lu?
"Oh, that's easy for us, we'll be here, working. The shop will be open and we'll be here." says Francesca.
With another Creme Milano shop in the final stages of renovation and due to open on Fumin Lu in the next few weeks, this crew will have plenty to keep them occupied through the holidays.
How about your next trip? Do you plan to take a break after the holiday rush and the new opening?
"Well, my husband, he would like to go Tibet and Mongolia but I think its already too cold... maybe next year, when it's warmer again!"
How about you Steven, where would you go?
"Japan. Or home. If I don't go home my mum might kill me..."
Ha, that's true for many of us. While China and Asia hold out temptation at every turn, choosing a life abroad has its share of demands on your holiday time and regular trips home area must for most.
Kindergarten manager Julie is no exception and in fact her trip home to France in October will be her second this year.
"That's definitely not usual though," she hastens to add. "Usually I prefer to go to Thailand."
Her friend Sandrine, also from France is not heading back home. Instead, she's off to Japan.
"I'm visiting a friend there. I've been once before and loved it, but there was no time to see everything so I'm going back again in October."