Filled with excitement and anxiety, the moment to visit the mythically symbolized country of dragon finally arrived. The lectures we had about Asia business relation gave us a bit of insight about the dragon nation. And MIB department was kind enough to provide us with practical experiences through this trip. After few selfies at the Fraport, we made our long journey to the far east where the dragon awaits our arrival.
The center of the world
Upon arrival, we were greeted by our kind driver who drove us around the city where we had a chance to get a glimpse of Beijing. We couldn’t help notice the pollution but our excitement overwhelmed the invisible particles that overshadowed the sun of Beijing. Formerly known as Peking, Beijing is the world’s third highest populous city filled with historical, colorful architectures, museums, and palaces. Life in Beijing usually starts as early as 05:00 in the morning. It is no surprise to see the enormous amount of people making their way in the fast-lane to make ends meet.
Our short days in Beijing were filled with interesting experiences of climbing the endless stairs of the Great Wall of China, company visits of the Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Corporation (AMECO), and Beijing Normal University, walking through the Forbidden City, shopping at the infamous fake market as well as out and about. Of course, some of us couldn’t master the chopsticks as perfect as the locals. However, we manage to pick those delicious dumplings and peeking ducks during our dining experiences in some local restaurants.
The Paris of the Orient
Irrespective of China’s geographical distance from the city to city, the high-speed train made it possible to reach the 1240 kilometer in just four hours during our journey from Beijing to Shanghai. Locally known as ”Shen”, Shanghai resides various international and local banks and firms. It’s common to hear and read English everywhere. Many locals are also able to speak enough amount of English. Most of us also felt a bit relieved to be able to make a conversation with the locals. One can also observe many of the foreigners who reside in the so-called global financial hub.
Besides our company tour in Karl Mayer, Huf, and a brief visit to Deutsch Bank, we had a chance to walk around in Pudong districts located across the Huangpu River. This district resides various high rising towers such as the glamorous Shanghai Tower and the famous Oriental Pearl TV Tower. We didn’t just see it from distance, but we even had a chance to have a bird’s eye view of this alluring district from the 84th floor of the Financial Tower observatory. In the middle of those high risers lies the beautiful Yu Garden with its Chinese architects decorated with traditional sculptures and carvings. The garden has various pathways, bridges, rocks, lakes and gazebo building. Walking through this garden while listening to the water drops and the ancient Chinese melody that comes out of speakers installed under the rocks truly puts one into a peaceful set of mind . The fact that it’s perfectly located in the center of the city help visitors to experience the customary bargaining tradition of shopping while going through the different souvenir shops that surrounds the garden.
What it felt like a long two weeks had to come to an end. Nothing but great experiences and memory remains. At times when it looked frustrating due to a language barrier, we enjoyed the humorous conversation we had while we bargain in different markets we visited. They made our shopping experiences the most unforgeable one. The lowest bidder is respectfully treated with humor and laughter. While the dragon bids farewell to us, we get to cross out China from our bucket list.