Day 16 – Franke’s Kitchen

After meeting in front of the Lido Hotel at 8 o’clock, we were boarding the bus to drive out of the city to visit Franke, where Peter Spirig and his team welcomed us. Firstly, we were allowed to independently walk around the office building, to see the office workers’ working environment. After meeting again at the conference room, we listened to an interesting presentation about “Franke kitchen supply” business model and general tips of how to do business in Asia. We were furthermore able to get an idea about their products, which involves kitchen facilities, mainly sold to McDonalds, Yam Food and Burger King. The division’s responsibility includes also other countries in Asia and the Middle East. Franke is not only selling whole kitchen units to those clients, but furthermore assists them throughout the whole lifecycle of a fast-food kitchen. This involves supplying the clients with spare parts, hard goods and increasingly with energy management solutions. After this insight, with lots of interaction, by asking questions, we were splitting into two groups and went to the workshop, where the kitchen units are being produced. We were shown the production steps from the initial step of cutting the parts out of the steel, to the bending of the parts and later on the assembly stage, where the parts are being put together to the final product.  After doing so, it was lunchtime at the company’s own canteen, where we were able to talk with the workers. After lunch, we were given some questions to answer and later on presented our solutions to the plenum. After taking group pictures and thanking Peter Spirig for his interesting insight, we drove to the Haihui temple, which was first built in the Ming Dynasty. It was later on destroyed and rebuilt in 1994 to develop Buddhistical cultural tourism. The temple is situated on the Dayan Hill and gave us a nice view over the valley. Far too early, it was again time to board the coach and drive back to the Lido Hotel, where we started to have a reflection on our trip.

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