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Work It Like Marco Polo - 21st Century Style 2018-10-11
There is no job in the world that provides 100% satisfaction however if you ask Liam Bates, Hangzhou’s 21st century Marco Polo, I think he would disagree. Receiving 40,000 euros for his memoirs of a stay in Hangzhou must surely be regarded, like this city, as heavenly.

In March 2013 the Hangzhou Tourism Commission initiated on social media “The Modern Marco Polo Program” - a competition that advertised to find through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest, the 21st century Marco Polo. The selected traveller, crowned Hangzhou Ambassador, would be entitled to the most beautiful trip in the world. The prize included a 15-day complimentary tour of Hangzhou, the opportunity to experience China’s lifestyle and culture and a wealthy sum of 40,000 euros. In return, all the winner had to do was share with the world his or her memoirs of an unforgettable stay in Hangzhou.

On 20 May 2014 out of thousands of candidates, Liam Bates, a Swiss national was chosen as the lucky winner. As Hangzhou’s new ambassador he posted pictures daily on social media and through his experiences wrote about Hangzhou’s life, its scenery and culture.  Within five months, followers of Liam Bates Facebook account reached 4,500. (www.facebook.com/MMPLiamBates)

Liam Bates has travelled to China many times but he first visited the country ten years ago where he initially came to study Mandarin and master the art of Kung Fu. A television host and keen adventurist, in 2009 he also rode a motorbike from Lhasa in Tibet to Shanghai. 

In October this year the 26 year old and his fiancée, an overseas Chinese based in Beijing, began to plan their wedding photography.   Through Hangzhou’s magnificent lens they were taken on a romantic journey which captured the city’s most famous landmarks: West Lake, Xixi Wetland, the Grand Canal, the Qiantang River and the Dragon Well Tea Garden. “Hangzhou is one of the most romantic places in the world,” Bates said and continued to cite the charming and serene tea garden and the lake’s tranquil sunset as his favourites.

Following in ancient foot -steps, I think you would agree that Liam Bates has worked this ‘Modern Marco Polo’ programme rather well.

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