Amazing Hangzhou!

Life in China is Wonderful!

Life in China is Wonderful!

The day started at 9 o’clock and we headed to Hangzhou which took us about 3h of bus ride. Compared to Shanghai, which is seen as the business Metropolis, Hangzhou appears more to be the place to live in terms of life quality. This is also to be explained by the small size of Hangzhou with its roughly 7 million citizens.

After checking in in the New Century Hotel we met Mr. Bi and Mrs “Summer”, who took us for a sightseeing tour to the beautiful Lingyin Temple and the breathtaking boat trip on the West Lake of Hangzhou. This day was closed with a delicious dinner offered by Mr. Bi. At this point we would like to express our Continue reading

Back to Work on Monday! :-)

After two exhilarating sight seeing days in Shanghai it was back to business for us on Monday. In the early morning we were invited to Swissnex. The Shanghai office of Swissnex’  main role is that of an initiator, facilitator and coordinator between Chinese and Swiss scholars and Universities.

The ten employees are also supporting projects equally financed by the Swiss and Chinese governments. The vice-president of Swissnex Shanghai, Dr. Lan Zuo Gillet, introduced us to the tasks and hurdles she and her team encounter on a daily business when trying to get Swiss and Chinese Universities and officials on one table. After a very interesting presentation we were shown the beautiful office space Swissnex currently occupies and which will be inaugurated in August by Federal Council Pascal Couchepin.

On the way out of Shanghai we stopped at the Shanghai Museum where we visited the city development exhibition. The most fascinating object was the 300sq meter model resembling downtown Shanghai. Another part showed two pictures taken of Pudong in 1990 and 2004. The former showed grasslands, fields and swampy areas, the later the bustling skyline of Pudong’s financial district. On the second floor the future plans of the city developers were displayed with the focus on a new 500m tall sky scraper and the EXPO 2010 areas. Continue reading

Old Meets New – Tradition Meets Decadent

One of the Many, Many Shortcuts within the Old Part of Shanghai

One of the Many, Many Shortcuts within the Old Part of Shanghai

Despite the fact that it is Sunday today, there is no time to sleep in too long. A sightseeing tour by foot was planned. However, we avoided to visit only the touristy places. Mr. Rüttimann brought us to quarters of the city where tourists are normally not seen. We gained some insight into Chinese’ housing and residential areas.

Besides this, we visited the Confuzian temple and the vast Yuyuan gardens. With their beautiful buildings and quiet alcoves, both spots are just perfect to relax and escape from the busy streets.

In the evening, some of the group met in the fancy Cloud 9 Bar of the Hyatt Hotel in 280 meters height. It goes without saying that the view over the city is fantastic.

Most of us went early to bed because another busy day was waiting. However, some crazy students got up again at 2.30 a.m. to see the final of the EURO. As all bars were already closed, we had to sit in the street and watch through a window into a closed bar, where T.V. was still on… Continue reading

Shanghai = 2.5x the Inhabitants of Switzerland

Maglev - Life on the Fast Track

Maglev - Life on the Fast Track

Today, we had to get up very early in order to catch our flight to Shanghai. After a 2 hours journey we all arrived safely in the modern metropolis and were eager to take the new Maglev train, which runs from the airport to the city and hits top speed at 430 km/h. Our hotel, the Magnificent International Hotel, was soon found and everybody was ready to dive into the fascinating town and meet the 15 million inhabitants of Shanghai. Some of us inspected the various shopping malls, others just strolled around and soaked up the new impressions.

In the evening, Prof Rüttimann took us for a city walk along the waterfront of the Huangpu River. The famous skyline was breathtaking and we felt a little like some Japanese tourist group as we took thousands of pictures. The ferry brought us to Pudong on the other side of the river, where we sat together for a couple of drinks. Since it was Saturday, most of us could not go to bed without enjoying the nightlife of Shanghai, which was loud, vivid and to some extent no different to other big cities. Continue reading

DMD and DSIC – Last day in Dalian

One of the 30'000 Horse Power Enginee

One of the 30'000 Horse Power Enginee

At 9.30 a.m., we were met by Mr Qui Yi in front of our hotel in order to board the bus to go to the Dalian Marine Diesel Co. Mr Yi is the North China Director of of Wärtsilä China Ltd. and he organized the two visits for us today. He enabled us to visit two very interesting companies!

DMD was our first company visit for this day. This company is licensed to produce ship engines for Wärtsilä which bought the ship engine department of Sulzer a few years ago. After a very interesting introduction we enjoyed a tour through their construction halls.

We then were invited by Wärtsilä in a fancy hotel for a typical Dalian style lunch. After we enjoyed the great variety of the buffet we were already on our way again to the next company visit, Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co. DSIC. After a short introduction through the vice president and a brief questions and answer session we found ourselfs in front of a 350 meters long and 300 000 tonnes heavy cargo ship. Continue reading

Trip to the North Korean Border in Dangdong

Prof Ruettimann and the students are standing on the Broken Bridge. In the background, the North Korean riverbank.

Prof Ruettimann and the students are standing on the Broken Bridge. In the background, the North Korean riverbank.

After a short night (some of us have seen the EURO semi final, starting at 3am China time), we all met punctually at 7.30am to board our bus to the North Korean boarder. Even the ride took us a little longer then expected, we arrived in Dangdong around lunch time. Dangdong is known for its railway connection to North Korea. It was somehow impressive to stay on the broken bridge, which was bombed accidentally by the Americans during the Korean War (1950-1953), and have a look to the North Korean shore.

Later in the afternoon we visited Dangdong SLT Garment Industry Company Limited, which is located in the greater area of Dangdong. The company manufactures clothes for different wholesalers as for example the Charles Voegele Group. Ms. Renee Tao, sale director of Dangdong SLT Garment Industry Company Limited was very kind to show us around the factory and answering all our questions. Continue reading

First Impressions of Dalian

Dear All

Students Heading out for Dinner in Dalian

Students Heading out for Dinner in Dalian

After a warm welcome by Mr Hoawen Wu, Director of the International Programs, and the Dalian University of Technology, some first impressions of Dalian were collected by visiting the campus and the downtown area before retreating to our hotel and preparing for the first company visits.

With a group of students from the French Clermont-Ferrand University we visited the Dalian Locomotive & Roll-Stock Co. Ltd (DLoco) production plant in the northwest of the city. The company with over 8’000 employees spans over a vast space and consists of an impressively large array of buildings. One of the key impressions was the profound depth of the value chain from the company own iron-ore mine to the sale of the locomotives. DLoco cooperates with severalwestern companies such as Siemens and GE. Continue reading

Safe Arrival in Dalian!!!

Dear Friends back home!

Everybody arrived safely and happy in Dalian during Monday or Tuesday. Almost!!! Three students arrived without the bags… Some with less energy and one arrived late due to the missed connection in Beijing!

Nevertheless, we had a fantastic start in Dalian and received a very warm welcome by Haowen, Shelly, Eileen and Prof Rüttimann!

We are all looking forward to the field trip in China!

Let’s get started!!!

Dear soon to be China travellers

To come to Shanghai is always special. This city really lives up to its legacy and its tradition. The tradition of Nanjing-Road still has its fascination. This busy road is full of people until late at night and thus reflects the living standard of people living in this town.

Well, to come to China needs some openness. As I often do, I venture off the main tourist tracks and walk through small streets with Hutongs (houses) which are often structured according to the Four-Area-Harmony. It is not unusual that more than one family occupies small houses in the traditional Shikumen, small connected houses bordering the small alleys. When I became hungry, I went to a small restaurant, where no one spoke any English. So I ordered some chicken and rice through isolated words and hand gestures. Please do imagine what than happens when the chicken was served! On the top was the head, the feet and everything else what belongs to a chicken! Well, even with chopsticks, things can be either eaten or pushed aside! I am sure that you will soon have some similar experience here.

As you can see from this experience – taking time and walking is an interesting way to explore a culture. Are you ready to come?

Please do look forward to the trip; I will gladly welcome you in Dalian starting on Tuesday. Have a save trip!

Until soon


Only 7 Days to Go until Start of Field Trip to China!!!

Dear all,

Dalian - Where we start our Field Trip China 2008!

Dalian - Where we start our Field Trip China 2008!

The Swiss guests will be welcomed on the campus of the Dalian University of Technology on Tuesday 24 June, 2008 at 5pm by Mr Haowen Wu, Director of International Programs of the University. His speech to the group represents the official start of the field trip to China in 2008.

In exactly 7 days, Prof. René Rüttimann and 18 students from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences will have arrived in Dalian, China.

The group will start the field trip in Dalian where they will take part of the International Week of the Dalian University of Technology. After that, the group will then head towards the greater area of Shanghai where companies will be visited in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou. The last third of the trip will be spent in Guilin, Guangzhou and finally, Hong Kong where again company visits are scheduled. Continue reading