Day 7 – Heading to Shanghai


Day seven was a transfer day from Lanzhou to Shanghai. We got up early to check out before 8 am when we boarded the bus to the airport. As a little detour we visited a scenic spot, from which we were able to see the Huang He (yellow river) in his name-giving yellow colour as well as the skyline of Lanzhou at dawn.

Huang He and Lanzhou at Dawn

Back on the parking field we officially said farewell to Mr. Stephen Zhu, our governmental tour-guide and his assistant. We honoured his good organisation that enabled us to gain more knowledge about the cultures of some Chinese minorities (the Tibetans and the Hui) as well as the opportunity to visit a steel plant and a factory that produces patches after the rules of traditional Tibetan medicine. To express our gratitude we handed over a book to Mr. Stephen Zhu about cultural differences between Asians and Europeans, which was signed by all students.


At the airport we checked in with China’s super-lowcost airline ‘Spring Air’. It is a “no-frills”-airline, meaning that all convenient extras are dropped in order to be cost-effective, as Edelweiss, Ryanair or Easyjet in Europe and Virgin America or Southwest in America. The airline has a 15kg-luggage policy, other hand-luggage rules as proposed by the IATA. Nevertheless the airline remitted the amount for the overweight luggage for the hole group which was a nice gesture of them.

Sping Airlines Logo


Finally arrived in Shanghai Pudong Airport, Professor Rüttimann and the org-team led the whole team to the Maglev with a well organised plan , as usually only known in the world’s best army. After every five minute walk the travel group waited in order that the team leaders could successfully report the presence of their team to the leader of the org-team. The Maglev train is the only one of his kind, as the train does not roll on the tracks but floats on them (so called magnetic levitation). The vessel is designed by two German engineering companies (Siemens and ThyssenKrupp) and built by Chinese. It reaches a speed of up to 430 km/h for commercial purposes and more than 500 km/h as potential high-speed. According to Professor Rüttimann this system is not used in other cities, due to the high energy consumption.

Maglev reaching top-speed


After a short ride with the subway we finally arrived at the Bund Riverside Hotel which is very central located and offered an incredible breakfast.

In the evening we walked with Professor Rüttimann around Lujiazui, the new financial hub east of Nanjing Street. We saw the impressing skyline of Shanghai from multiple spots. As the German Beergarden was busy, we went into an Italian restaurant to enjoy the view on the Huangpu River and the skyscrapers of Shanghai.

Chang Jiang and the Bund at night

Group 4 – Iris Hettich, Florian Maier, Benjamin Fischer, Lukas Bühler, Christian Röthlin

Day 6 – Back in Lanzhou

Day number seven on our trip in Lanzhou started with a bus ride to the university of Management of Lanzhou, where the group met international students from different postgraduate. After a very warm welcome, the faculty has been introduced to us briefly, until Dr. Prof. Rüttimann hold his lecture about innovation. In small groups we have worked together on different question according to the hold lecture. It was a great experience to learn more about their own perspectives. Then the students also showed us the campus and buildings belonging to the university.

Surprisingly the morning went by very fast and the group headed towards the restaurant. Directly after lunch we went towards the two company visits set up for today.


The first company is a tibetan pharmaceutical producer (Cheezheng Tibetan Medicine Co. Ltd.) that just produces products after traditional methods. Like it is usually in Tibet they welcomed us with a white scarf. The company staff showed us some of the company’s products and we got a short insight to the production and the package department.

The second company we have visited today is a steel and iron producer called JISCO. It is one of the biggest steel producing companies in China and has a ultra-modern infrastructure. The whole production complex is probably as large as the city of Winterthur! It is seldom to gain an insight directly to a steel producing company. We had the opportunity to look inside the production sections and in addition the representatives were open to any of our questions about the company and the production processes. We were impressed about the employees’ friendliness, the size of the company and we will never forget the massive radiated heat of the steel melting ovens and steel rollers inside the production sections.



After the visit of the company we went to the hotel and had individual dinner.

Day 5 – Getting in touch with the Tibetan culture part 2

Our second day in Xiahe started officially at 11:30 am, however some of us went up very early to do different kind of activities. A few of us met at 5 am to go back to the Labrang Tibetan Monastery to attend a praying ritual by sunrise, which was an unique experience for all of them. Others went for a challenging running session due to the high altitude (approx. 3000 meters above sea level).

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Day 4 – Getting in touch with the Tibetan culture

After a short night in Lanzhou we checked out in the early morning. Prepared with a small bag for one night, we got on our way to Xiahe. After a two hours long bus ride we stopped by at the Hezheng Ancient Animal Fossil Museum where we got an attractive tour with our professional tour guide Mr. Stephen Zhu. The fossils were all a couple million years old and some of them impressed us with their amount of daily food intake of one ton of grass.

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Day 3 – Lanzhou

The day started earlier than expected in Lanzhou. Our group went by bus to the Waterwheel Park, where Lanzhou’s history of waterwheels has been shown. In 1556, various wheels were invented by Mr. Duan. Steadily improvements allow to establish a system that raises water with skip buckets up to the canal and therby uses the flow of the yellow river for propelling the watherweel (The river is named after the sand which colours the river yellow).


Shortly after we went to the park, the group headed towords the second appointment this morning where our second company visit started and the institution of UNIDO-ISEC has been briefly introduced. Their goal is to support research and help to implement sustainable energy resources.

All together went after this interesting and inspiring morning for lunch to the best noodle place in town. It was a unique experiance to try different chinese dishes with and without noodles. Also the short presentation on how to make chinese noodles including the variety have been an enhancing experiance to all of us.


With a belly full of noodles and energy, we started to the second part of the day. Recent graduates students of school of Fine Art exposed their work and we were privileged to look at their creations.

Furthermore we had the opportunity to meet students of the Lanzhou Jiaotong University and to exchange experiences of our student’s lives. The discussion was time limited but we exchanged personal information to keep in touch and we took a group picture in front of the university.



From the university we went to our last visit for today, which was the Mogao Chateau. It’s a company that import graphes from the mongolians and produces wine mainly for the national market. Then a wine degustation took place inside an impressive building and we tested a few local wines, which were sometimes quite surprising. Tomorrow we are leaving Lanzhou for a night and we will do many activities.

Day 2 – After seeing the Mausoleum and Forbidden City in Beijing we arrived in Lanzhou

After an early check-out we took the subway to the Mao Tse-Tung Mausoleum. A short briefing respectively a presentation by Prof. Dr. Rüttimann and Florian Gitzelmann about the specific building itsself enlighted our minds. Leaving our luggage and especially cameras behind, we started queing in front of the Mausoleum. Luckily, there weren’t too many people standing in line yet, so most of us got in quickly. The security staff was very strict about the regulations and the dresscode, therefore a couple of students were not allowed to enter the Mausoleum. Nevertheless, the lucky ones who got in, were able to catch an eyefull of the former 1st Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China – named Mao Tse-Tung. After a quick walk we passed by the National People’s Congress and the National Centre for  Performing Arts to end up in front of the Heavenly Gate of the Forbidden City.

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Day 1 – Olympic Village / Swiss Bread / Great Wall of China

After having arrived in Beijing the evening before the official program of the study trip started on Wednesday, June 26 2013.


A quick bus ride brought us to the Olympic Village where we visited the famous Birds Nest designed by the Swiss Architects Herzog & De Meuron for the 2008 Olympic Games. After some bargaining with the ticket vendors we managed to negotiate a student fee for a tour inside the Birds Nest, which offered us an amazing insight into the Stadium. The Olympic Village is usually crowded on weekends but

the Birds Nest itself is nowadays rarely used for sports events.

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Field Trip to China 2013

This year’s field trip of ZHAW’s School of Management and Law has officially started last Tuesday, 26th of May 2013, at the Chinese Consulate in Zurich. The classes “Doing Business in Emerging Markets” as well as the “China Field Trip” participants were warmly welcomed to a speech by the Chinese Consul General, Mister J. Liang.

The field trip class, which is led by Prof. Dr. René Rüttimann, is going to start its journey in the north of China, and will continuously travel on a given route southwards to Hong Kong. The aim of this field trip is to visit companies, listen to speeches, exploring historical sides of China and do general activities to get an insight into the economical, business, social and cultural world of this amazing and fascinating country.


In the name of Prof. Dr. René Rüttimann and the organization team (P. Kern, P. Soukal, L. Vesti and F. Gitzelmann) feel free to join our blog. During the trip (25th of June to the 13th of July) the participants will update daily news about activities and impressions which are visualized by some impressive pictures which will be linked directly to the SML’s Facebook account.