First day in Guangzhou

Very early in the morning, 7 am to be exact, we met each other in the lobby of the Lido hotel in Guangzhou. Topic number one was our first impression of the city and the hotel. The tenor was not very positive at first. At the arrival on the previous day at around 00:25 all the streets were empty and the city looked like a ghost town in a certain way. Our hotel did not really change the opinion.

At 9 am we arrived at Lonza and were introduced to several managers of Lonza by Mr Lim, the general manager. Lonza is one of the worlds leading suppliers to the pharmaceutical, healthcare and life science industries. Lonza is the global leader in the production and support of active pharmaceutical ingredients both chemically as well as biotechnologically. Mr Lim gave us a brief introduction of the company. Lonza was founded in 1897, as Lonza AG Electricity works in Gampel, Valais (Switzerland). The joint venture in Guangzhou was signed by Lonza in 1996 to build up a plant to satisfy the regional market needs in China. Further he gave us a short impression of China and the business of the company in China. After asking a few questions we enjoyed a coffee break with dragon eggs and litchi’s followed by a tour through the facilities. Generally the machines offer the same standard and quality as the ones in Switzerland because they used exactly the same technology. They, however, did not think of the temperature differences between Switzerland and South China. This made the management of the machines more difficult.We also gained an insight in the monitoring-system of the facilities which has the same security standards as in Switzerland.

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WATER, WATER, WATER… AND FLOOD

Flood along the Li River - same scenery as on the 20 Yuan note

Flood along the Li River - same scenery as on the 20 Yuan note

Sunday started the same as Saturday ended; everybody had some free time to enjoy the town Yangshuo. Even though it was still raining, most of us walked along the famous West Street through the town and bargained with the Chinese shop owners over Souvenirs, clothes and jewellery, hoping to get a good price. Others went to the market and had the saying confirmed that the Chinese eat dogs, as they saw dead dogs hanging from the ceiling.

At noon, we all went to Xingping and had the chance to look at the scenery which is on the 20 Yuan note. Unfortunately, part of the scenery was covered by trees as we could not walk to the viewing point because of the floods. Nevertheless, the passionate photographers among us waded through the water to have a perfect view on the mountains. Afterwards we headed to the Moon Hill restaurant, where we enjoyed a late lunch or an early dinner, having a great view on the Moon Hill, a mountain with a huge hole in it.

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