Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 6 Good Bye Xiamen, Hello Guangzhou

The day starts out grey and I want to wash out my eyes. It’s a combination of cloudy skies hampered further with fog. These are views from my hotel, before I’m picked up for my meetings. I’m meeting with only one company, but the morning meetings took place in another hotel! Leave it to the sales guys to plan a meeting in a hotel!

This is a view of Xiamen during lunch, I’m not sure with the driving around we did if I’m still on the island or not.

Xiamen is very green and humid. It’s known as one of the prettier cities in China. I start seeing palm trees!

I didn’t take a lot of pictures just because it wasn’t a good looking day and didn’t seem to translate very well to photography.

I don’t have too much to say since most of today was just nothing but meetings and more meetings. Today was contract work, going over contracts, engineering plans, etc.

After lunch we went out to the factory where I walked around with a group of engineers who bravely tried, but didn’t speak a lot of English. Luckily, with certain things like engineering, you can put down the pen, take something apart and show them what you need, asking your question by pointing at something. I’m glad I’ve got a very expressive face; some things don’t require a single spoken word when a look and a single raised eyebrow can work.

My flight was on time, whew. I got a window seat & snuck in some photos. To the left, do you see how crowded they are? No single family homes, only apartment buildings.

These air shots are over Xiamen, it was dark when I landed in Guangzhou so couldn't take pix :-[

When I landed, it felt like the sun just dropped out of the sky because I certainly didn’t notice the sun setting. But then it’s always so sad when you fly in China, the smog chokes the air and you really can’t see much of the landscape.

When I landed, the hotel driver picked me up and unfortunately, the hotel was a good hour or so away from the airport. Well, I couldn’t really tell, because I was getting tired and sort of dozed off.

A little history, Guangzhou was where it all began, all the factories that imported cheap clothes. The phenomenon began here. You can tell that Guangzhou is a lot grittier than the chrome and glamour of Shanghai. At one point, I nodded off to sleep and when I woke up, there was a split second when I thought I was in Pittsburgh and honestly said to myself “What the hell am I doing in Pittsburgh?” That’s when I knew I really had to get some sleep.

The White Swan Hotel has a storied past as one of the premiere hotels for all the top ranking communist officials. Richard Nixon stayed here when he visited in 1985. But what amazed me what the shopping arcade.

This stone sculpture of horses is worth 168,000RMB ~ $25.5K, I was so scared to even stand next to it because if I knock it down, I might spend time in a Chinese jail! See this pix on the left? See how you can just walk up to a $25k sculpture and risk breaking it? The $25K horse carving is right on the side there.

The hotel is situated in the historical Shamian Island and faces the Pearl River, the view from my room looks like more old colonial buildings, I think I saw something or heard something that it’s embassy row in Guangzhou.

Night shots. I'll take day shots tomorrow before I leave. I’m only staying here one night again, my schedule really stinks this week, back to back one night stands in Hangzhou, Ningbo, Xiamen and Guangzhou. At least tomorrow I get to spend 2 days in Dongguan and I can do my laundry!

Old fashioned hand held shower head in my room

This is my little room:

View of the Pearl River

They do boat tours on the river too!

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