The day started in the morning at 6:45 a.m., when we had to catch the bus to the airport of Guilin to fly to Guangzhou. Due to time pressure caused by the delay of the plane we had to rush to the bus and eat lunch on the way to the Sun Yat sen University. There we were welcomed by Ms C. Yan, officer of international affairs. She gave us a brief introduction in to the different departments and programmes they offer. The University offers programmes in Arts, Sciences, Law, Engineering, Agriculture, Medicine and Education. Sun Yat Sen, the man who dethroned the emperor at the beginning of the 19th century, founded the university in 1924. It has four campuses covering a total area of 6.170 square kilometers and is located on both sides of the pearl river. Currently there are 90 000 students enrolled, thereof around 70 are internationals.
Consecutively Prof. Steven X. Shi held a speech about the outsourcing industry in the province of Guangdong. He gave us some insights into the present situation and the near future of the chinese outsourcing industry. The region is facing the problem of rising salaries and therefore higher production costs. Because of this many labor-intensive industries moved to western provinces to benefit still from lower salaries. The region is trying to change from labor-intensive factories to more service-oriented companies. To achieve this goal they firstly need to overcome the lack of education facilities and English skills of the local population.
After a short visit to the library we drove to the East campus where we met a group of local students. We all went for a stroll around the campus and chatted with each other. It was interesting to hear about their daily life at Sun Yat sen University. Then we met Prof. Dr. Christian Stähelin who did a lecture about his work as a biolocical researcher in Guangzhou. At the end of the day we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant with Mr Stähelin, his wife Ping and some of his students in an outdoor restaurant. For dessert we had local lychees, which were very sweet.
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 →
After having a few hours of sleep, our trip continued in the early morning. We met a 7.00am and were directly driven to the airport where we took a plane and flew to Guilin. The first stop there was Subachi, a company that manufactures straps for luxury Swiss watches. The insights into this industry we got there were very interesting since nobody couldn’t imagine how the procedure of this strap necking is. In order to produce a leader strap there are around 30 steps to go through. A normal employee in this company is working around 10 hours a day, is not allowed to talk and earns on average 200 Swiss Francs a month.
After this interesting tour we checked in at our hotel in Guilin and got introduced to local students. It was a clash of two different worlds while the Chinese students were very nervous and excited, we were very aware to avoid any cultural mistakes. Together we went to visit a tea plantage where we got introduced to the deepest secrets of tea and even walked through the tea fields. Already having a lot impressions in mind, the day got even better. In our individual groups, joined by designated Chinese students, we went for dinner. So again – round table. Actually it was very delicious and of course very amusing. Although it was already late and the students were supposed to be back at their dormitory, we decided to go for karaoke. The group of two different cultures formed to a very successful coverband and had fun together until the early morning.
This year, the ZHAW School of Management and Law again organizes a field trip to China. The class led by Prof. Dr. René Ruettimann will visit between the 28th of June and the 16th of July interesting places with valuable contributions to understand better the “Kingdom of the middle”. This year’s trip focuses on the cities Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Yiwu City, Guilin, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hongkong. Basically, the trip focuses on four main areas:
The main attractions will be large and midsize Chinese companies, Swiss subsidiaries in China, historical and cultural attractions as well as speeches and lectures at two universities. The organization team exists of M. Lehmann. J. Brzezek, A. Naeff, S. Haelg and M. Colle. For all interested in the progress of our trip, please read our daily addition to the blog 2011 and receive more details about our activities.
The day started early because we had to catch the 10 am plane to our next destination Guilin – the countryside of China. Once more travelled safely and landed on time, we arrived at probably the most beautiful place in China. The area is so popular due to the wonderful sceneries of hills separated by rivers. Continue reading →
ZHAW School of Management and Law under the lead of Prof. Dr. René Ruettimann is again organising a field trip to China. This year, the trip will start on Tuesday 29th June with a dinner at a Beijing Duck restaurant in Beijing. In the following weeks, 34 Bachelor Business as well as Business Law students will visit companies, a university, meet with Chinese students and representatives of Swiss delegations in China. Apart from Beijing, the group will visit Handan, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guilin, Yangshuo, Guangzhou and finally, Hong Kong! The trip will end in Hong Kong on Saturday 17th July.
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.
Organization Team incl Chinese Students during the Tea Plantage visit
The beautiful and poetic landscape of Guilin welcomed us with its limestone hills rising out of the fog. In the Hotel a group of Chinese students from Guilin University of Tourism were already awaiting us. Each of our groups was assigned a group of two to three Chinese students. After some military exercises (Swiss army style) we went to have lunch with our group. As you might have read in the news currently heavy rainfall is challenging the southern part of China. Some of us could not get back from lunch on time due to flooding of the main road of Guilin.
In the afternoon we went to see the company Subachi with heavy delay. Subachi produces leatherwear for the luxury segment. Its main markets are leather wristbands for the Swiss and Hong Kong based luxury watch market. We were introduced to Mr Liu Yun und Mr Bernay, the CEO of Subachi. After a short introduction to Subachi we were split in two groups to see the various steps of production. The leather stock with