Day 9: Last day in Chennai

Unfortunately we had to cancel our factory visit of Royal Enfield. A remarkable producer of motorbikes in India, all their bikes are all handmade and are recognized as one of the finest in the nation. Canceling this visit had freed up our schedule, allowing us to do individual sightseeing trips, special massage treatments or simply just to sleep a little bit longer.

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Individual sightseeing tours gave everybody the opportunity to explore the city by themselves.

We all gathered in the hotel lobby at 13:00, fully packed with our entire luggage we were all set to leave this vibrant city of Chennai. But before leaving we decided to have lunch in this City one last time. Honestly, who likes to travel with an empty stomach?
Our guide Kannan lead us to a very popular restaurant called fusion9. It is rumored that reservations have to be taken early in advance in order to get a table in this super fancy restaurant. But thanks to Kannan, who has managed that we would get a table for 20, we were able to experience an exceptional Indian cuisine one more time. After all, time flew by and we headed to the airport for our evening flight to New Dehli.

After arrival at Dehli international airport, a bus drove us to the nearby hotel. We will stay at this hotel for the next 4 days.

Day 12 – Li River cruise & Yangshuo

After one night in Guilin the next day started with a boat cruise on the Li river in order to go to our next destination: the town of Yangshuo.

Lijang River originates from Cat Mountain in Xing’an County in the North of Guilin. It flows 437km down through the towns of Guilin, Yangshou and Wuzhou. The distance between Guilin and Yangshou is about 83km. Along the river banks we travelled through spectacular landscapes composed of hills, towering peaks, cliffs and odd-shapped crags, all reflected in the water of the river.  Continue reading

Day 10 – Yiwu City

We met early in the morning, at 7.15 am in the lobby. Throughout the day we were accompanied by DJ, who is a local Chinese student who studied for one year at the ZHAW. After a two hour drive with the coach we arrived in Yiwu city. Yiwu city is a city that was pushed by the government as a trading area and is nowadays the largest global commodities wholesale market. The business area of “China Yiwu City International Trade Market” is over 4 billion square meters with approximately 130 market halls. We visited two market halls. The first market hall included show rooms selling goods from Chinese suppliers whereas the second hall is offering products from foreign companies. After a delicious traditional Chinese lunch we took the coach to Neoglory Jewelry Co., Ltd. We were warmly welcomed by the CEO of the company. He introduced us to his company who is number one for fashion jewelry in China and presented us his show room. We even had the chance to buy jewelry with a generous discount.

Last but no least we visited Yiwu Industrial & Commercial College (YWICC). We were shown a presentation about the school. After the presentation we had an interesting discussion with two students from the College which offers a degree in Entrepreneurship. Lastly, we were guided through their innovation park on the campus. The innovation park is an exhibition of the innovations of several students. Then, we drove back to the hotel by bus. After the arrival at the Ramada at around 7 pm everybody enjoyed their free evening.

Day 5 – Shanghai: World Financial Center / Yuyuan Garden / Chinese Opera

First day in Shanghai was drawn by many breathtaking impressions. With recharged batteries, we met at 10:30 at the hotel lobby to start our sightseeing day with Dr. Rüttimann. We were walking through urban canyons, crossing the main shopping area but always the tremendous skyscrapers in the field of view. And then the first big highlight of this day: Observation platform of the “bottle opener” (World Financial Center), the newest and tallest skyscraper with a height of 492 meters. At the 100th floor the city was lying below our feet and the view was fabulous. It has to be mentioned that this very modern city is by far comparable to any other big cities of the world.

After receiving a birds eye of view of Shanghai, the tour continued with walking along the Bund Promenade and a nice cruise over the Hangpu River. On the other side, we went to see the Yuyuan Garden which was built in the Ming Dynasty, more than 400 years ago. Yuyuan literally translated means Happy Garden. At the late afternoon the official part came to end. Our big group spread over the whole city.

Some students enjoyed bargaining at the Bazar, purchasing faked watches, bags, t-shirts and so one. Others spent their time in buying tailor made suits and business clothes, visiting the Shanghai Cunfucian temple or taking a ride with the high speed Maglev Train. The evening program started with an old, traditional Chinese Opera, continued with a roof-top bar and ended in a premium club where we enjoyed the Shanghai nightlife.

Day 2 – Bejing: Forbidden City, Swiss Embassy and Beijing duck restaurant

Our first official day in Beijing started with a wake-up call at 7am. After breakfast with sushi and noodle soup we met at the lobby to walk to the Forbidden City. With myriads of Chinese people we walked through the large historic sight. Our kind tour guides gave us interesting information about the Chinese history. The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost five hundred years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government. In ancient times, there were over 8’000 houses within the walls and it would have take about 6 days to see the whole place. After the tour we climbed the “Kohlenberg” which is located right behind the Forbidden City. Everyone was exhausted when we reached the summit, but the view was teriffic. Continue reading

Day 08 – Good Morning Vietnam

At day 8 we dived into the Vietnamese culture. After a long trip from Shenzhen, China, to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, we finally reached the tropical climate. Due to a delayed arrival, we cancelled the first sightseeing part of the city. The day started at ten o’clock with a modest breakfast compared to the impressive one at the Shangri-La in Shenzhen. However, the friendly atmosphere of the city warmly welcomed us right from the beginning and we went to the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of Ho Chi Minh City. The presentation was held in an unusual surrounding as it took place in a display room in between teddy bears and other Vietnamese export products. The woman holding the presentation was talking about the general economic situation as well as the influence of the WTO entrance. Additionally she focused on the emerging sectors and provided a broad outlook into the economic future in the year 2020. One major focus is set on the service sector, accounting now for 38% of the GDP, including the fields of finance, tourism and infrastructure. Continue reading