Monday 31 October 2011

Interns at Canton Fair- how to get there

Last week we went to the Canton Fair- one of the largest trade shows in the world!! It was safe to say it was very, very busy!

Getting there:
  1. Zhuhai- 
  • Get a bus from Gongbei Bus Station (buses run every half an hour from 6.30 am) to Guangzhou 
  • This journey will take around 2 hours, it is very scenic:

This journey should cost you around 75 RMB and is a very nice journey, you can see the sharp contrast between the countryside and the capital of Guangdong- with 10 million people it is the same size as London.

  • When on the bus the last stop should be Guangzhou East Railway station. If you are not sure ask when you book the ticket. I relied on the very few English signs dotted around in Guangzhou to tell me if I was going the right way. I have been told all buses end in this station, but you never know when this will change.
  • Once at the train station you need to find your way to the Metro (subway/underground). You will have to leave the station, but there are plenty of English signs to the Metro.
  • Once on the metro it is relatively easy to work out, you need to go to Pazhou- You go down the orange line 5 stops, change on to the blue line, and go 4 stops. 
  • When you get at Pazhou one of the exits is the convention center, exit and go into the convention.
Note: you will need your passport, 1 photo, and 100 RMB to get into the site.

See how the rest of the team got on over on our sister blog, The ODM Group:


Friday 28 October 2011

A trip to Tai O fishing village..

Last month I made a trip out to Lantau Island. Instead of visiting the famous Buddha at Ngong Ping 360, I went to Tai O Fishing Village! It's really easy to navigate your way there. You can either take the MTR to Tung Chung and change to a bus OR take the ferry from Central to Mui Wo and take bus no. 1 to Tai O.

A suggested route if you want to avoid the long queue at Tung Chung! 

Let me take you on a tour on their local snacks. Pardon me for blogging about food all the time, it just happens to be the best part of the trip as always!

Cha Guo(also known as Ang Ku Kueh in Singapore)
I tried their local snack, which is also known as Cha Guo in Chinese. It is basically flour made into a chewy texture which consist of peanut fillings. Tasted a bit different from the ones I have in Singapore, definitely less oily and a had a tea taste to it.

BBQ Honey Glazed Chicken...

BBQ Scallop with Garlic 
If you happen to go there, you definitely got to try one of the BBQ stalls! The honey glazed drum stick was simply awesome, never tasted something like that back in Singapore. Of course the scallop with garlic which cost 30 minutes of my time! Not to mention they are relatively cheap as well, around HKD20.

Stilt Houses
Moving on to the cultural area, you can hardly find any Stilt Houses now! Went on a short tour by the river and I can't imagine myself living in this condition. Not to mention Singapore was once a fishing village!! Lucky to be born after world war 2 now!

There are definitely more to Tai O than this! Lots of street market and food, like an entirely different place compared to Hong Kong. Be sure to check it out if you happen to intern at ODMasia (:

Thursday 27 October 2011

Cruise with Star Pisces for a mini getaway (Part 3)

Here it is, the last and best (interchangeable with food) way to end this topic. After the eating and exercising, lets get back to enjoying once again!

Interesting huh..
Weird to see a pool table on a ship huh? This is the place for karaoke or a glass of beer, and a game of pool to decide who gets the bill!! Truth to be told, it was the most challenging game ever. With the ship sailing on China seas, I could barely balance on the ground, not to mention the balls on the table!!! 

Oh look, they even celebrate Oktoberfest as well. Being a typical tourist, I just had to check it out....

Venue-Galaxy of the stars..
We have the Avenue of Stars over at Tsim Sha Tsui, but there's Galaxy of Stars on board the ship! Basically a venue for all activities organized by the crew, which includes the Oktoberfest. Since its the month of sausages and beer, they had a drinking and eating competition. What a great combination! 

Perfect view...
Objection to "Avenue of stars is where you get the best view of the harbour"! Check this out, you're on a deck, on the highest level, beats everything hands down! This was perhaps the best photo I've taken throughout the 2 day trip. 

Do ignore my chinese name...
Every passenger on board gets an access card like the one shown above. It's basically a room card and credit card as well. No cash transactions are involved when you're on the ship, it charges to the card and one settles the bill on the day of disembarkation. 

Overall a great experience and I wouldn't mind going for another trip. I'm not very sure of the fees as my parents booked it in Singapore, however port taxes and fuel surcharge excluding room charges is around HKD 360. Star Pisces is only available in Hong Kong. Thinking of working and enjoying at the same time? ODMasia is the right place for an internship! 

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Exhibiting at the Mega Show!

Just last weekend, I had my first experience of exhibiting at a trade fair. Mega Show Part 1 was crazy, with lots of booths and people, it can take you 2 hrs(speed walking) to scan through 1 hall (there were 3 halls)!

Setting up the booth was pretty interesting, we turned a empty white booth into something like........

Basically we had to advertise our products and block the path to get buyers stopping at our booth. The trade show starts at 9am-6pm, and we had to start for 9hours! I'm just kidding, of course you can take a seat inside.

You get to see booths from USA, Taiwan, India etc etc and there are so many interesting products that you can never think of. Count yourself lucky if the exhibitors are willing to give you a sample of it!

ODM staff looking good! Without the boss...
happy people doing some advertising...
Of course there's the fun part...SNACKS! Our dear boss made these cookies for us ^^ we cleared it within 2 days, that should answer the question of whether it tasted good! 

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
24" Paisano's Special..
Awesome huh! 
Overall an enriching experience where you get to meet buyers from all over the world. Check out the link here for more information on Hong Kong/China trade shows for the month of October!

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Mt Banzhang Forest Park Zhuhai

In central Zhuhai, sits the Mt Banzhang Forest Park, a beautiful park which houses the Zhuhai's mountain. In addition to this it has a lot of beautiful sights and a very large lake!

The beautiful lake at Mt Banzhang Forest Park, Zhuhai

It is definitely the place to go to get away from the city for a little while, however you are never too far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, as seen here at feeding time!

Feeding time in Zhuhai!!

Monday 24 October 2011

Setting up a Chinese Bank Account

This weekend I set up a Chinese bank account. it may seem very daunting to any interns when they first get here, but actually its relatively simple. Go to the biggest bank you can find, as I went to a small one and it was a little bit of a struggle. The big banks almost always have a English speaking, and its almost always a very attractive young woman. Makes things a lot more interesting.

So I went to the Postal bank, however I know many other foreigners who got accounts at different banks, and I think they all follow the same process. The only Chinese you need for this is ying hang hu kou which means bank account.

The people at the desk will pretty much walk you through the documentation- all you have to do is input your address, your full name and a passport so they can check your visa. It will probably take around half an hour, but afterwards you will get your card on the same day!!

Interns in China Bank Cards

Cruise with Star Pisces for a mini getaway(Part 2)

Cruising is all about relaxing and enjoying the life you can't get on land! After all the guilty pleasures, I believe it's time to take a break and work those fats off!!!

Outdoor Pool...

The Outdoor Pool is relatively small, but with the jacuzzi, everything felt perfect! Chilling never got better with a view of Hong Kong'ss harbour. "Avenue of Stars" is probably where you can get the best view of the harbour...but hey, you're literally much higher than it now! You're on the deck of the ship!!! 

Sailing out of Hong Kong Island...

Hockey with a mini goal post!

Who would had thought hockey can actually be played on a ship. Well, a picture means a thousand words. Caught some crew playing hockey and I was told to join in the game, too bad I didn't bring my sports attire.

To all girls out there who thinks doing an internship in Hong Kong would result in a severe change on the weighing scale...don't worry about it now! 

How can I end this topic without some "night" activities(well you guys know what I'm talking about) So..STAY TUNED! 

Friday 21 October 2011

The ultimate Roller coaster for any interns in China!

When I went to the top of mount Jin Shan, I saw maybe the most scariest roller coaster in the world:

Interns on the scariest roller coaster in China!!

Basically from what I could see you are pretty much going down a mountain on a badly made toboggan, with only a seat belt and what looks like a chicken wire around you for protection! But it useful to remember that when in China, you have to seize the day!

We went on it, and it definitely was one of the scariest things I have done in my life, but well  worth it!!!

Thursday 20 October 2011

Cruise with Star Pisces for a mini getaway(part 1)

Looking for a 1 day getaway out of Hong Kong but not the usual  Shen Zhen/Macau? My suggestion would be...sail the weekend away! 

Star Pisces

Just last week, I went for a 2 day 1 night trip on board Superstar Pisces. It's a pretty small ship compared to the rest of its fleet, but if you're a buffet person, you must be in heaven!

With pretty much chinese food all over in Hong Kong, and literally "Chinese", let me bring you on a tour on some of the food served in a Cha Chan Ting (A typical Chinese Restaurant).

Macaroni, Chinese style

Pineapple bun, usually served with butter

Gong zai mee, which is basically instant noodles 

Living in Hong Kong for about 2 months now, I was looking forward to having some "real" western cuisine. Speaking about potato wedges, cheese fries, pork chop with seasoning.You will definitely be able to find these in HK, but bear in mind the hefty price tag you would have to pay as well!

& now...let me bring you on board Star Pisces to my so called "Heaven".

Chocolate Cream Puffs
Assorted Bread
Fluffy Hotcakes

The buffet includes some of the food shown above and the taste as good as it looks! Feeling hungry after all the pictures? This is the kind of Western that I love to have everyday!! (maybe because I love European cuisine) Others say Hong Kong is a food haven, but I definitely beg to differ.

With Western/Chinese cuisine available on the ship, you may choose to dine at your preferred restaurant! This sums up the topic on food...stay tune for part 2 and 3! 

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Advantages of Asian Interns: Part 1

While Joe covers some of the extrinsic rewards of internships in Asia, such as travelling and cultural exchanges, let me give a little insight into one of the intrinsic rewards of Asian internships.

Asia is where most of the world depends on now. Look at the things around you, how many of them are Made in Asia? Many of Westerners (Americas and Europe) are coming into Asia to source for goods and to have business dealings with. Compared to the past where people are going into the West for further studies and expand their business, the opposite is happening.

Not only is Asia the most populous and the largest continent in the world, but it also has one of the most spoken language in the world, Mandarin Chinese. Imagine if you don't know any Mandarin, how are you going to survive in Mandarin-speaking countries? Many Westerners went into China for exactly the same reason, to learn and master Mandarin, some to the extent of majoring in Chinese studies. (Met some Westerner friends in Shanghai who did so..)

I am not implying that the Chinese language is more superior than the other languages, but given that we are all being more exposed to globalization, learning to communicate in another language is essential. Even the taxi drivers in Beijing had to learn basic sentences of English to support its host event Beijing Olympics 2008. (refer to above Beijing taxi driver..)

All in all, given that Asia is a mixture of many different cultures and languages, visitors and interns are bound to bring home some very useful lessons..

Apart from learning a new language, interns will also learn the way of doing business in Asia. Let's take China for example. Many sales are closed through what the Chinese call 'guanxi', literally relationships and we will give an insight on this topic next time.. Subscribe to us and receive updates on Part 2 of Advantages of Asian Interns!

If you're looking for some internship availability, try considering the ODM Group! They offer wonderful experience and training programmes!

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Westerner Supermarkets in Zhuhai

There are two main western supermarkets in Zhuhai; Jusco and Carrefour-Both are equally as good. However Carrefour is closer to me so I get to it more often!

CarreFour Zhuhai

Carrefour is situated in Jida opposite Haibin Park, whereas Jusco is situated in Xiangzhou next to the Zhuhai Department Store. Both have western food, however be prepared to buy western goods at a price!!
Jusco Zhuhai

I saw mayonnaise the other day in Carrefour for 34 RMB, that like £3.40- so watch out- no cheap stuff here!


Be warned, if you are from Europe (especially England) you will need to acclimatize yourself.
On my first day in Hong Kong I almost passed out walking 20 minutes to work. With an average of 82F in August this year you will feel it. See the weather for Southern China and Kong Hong for proof!
The best way to counteract this is when you turn on your air con at your hotel/home keep it on around 25/6 degrees at night this allows you to get used to the heat a little better!

My friend told me that when he first came to China he constantly had his air conditioning on the lowest setting. He said the next week he spent the next week with it on full heat, as had caught the flu.
Don’t let this happen to you!

Monday 17 October 2011

Interns in China- Jin Shan Mountain Zhuhai

Yesterday me and a friend decided that we were going to climb the mountain in the center of Zhuhai- Jin Shan. It was a very steep climb:

The long walk to the top of Jin Shan!
However the views at the top are beautiful:

Zhuhai from the peak!

I have now decided that I am going to hike the mountain once a week, in a bid to stop myself from getting an expat stomach- we will see how that goes!!

Friday 14 October 2011

An interns In Asia's Bible

We are not one for promoting companies here at Interns in Asia, however I feel anyone who is thinking about travelling or working in China should definitely buy a Lonely Planet phrasebook.

An interns in China's Bible!
This book has everything an intern could ever need including food, social, business, and even (cough) romance. This book has already helped me out it many situations, and I am sure it will continue to do so!

Thursday 13 October 2011

New Office for Interns

As part of The ODM Group expansion strategy, we have recently acquired an office in my home city of Zhuhai. It is a very beautiful place, to my right I can see some beautiful forestry:

Interns in Asias Office View!

And straight ahead of me I can see a breathtaking view of the sea and Gongbei's skyline:

Intern in Asia coastal view!

I think you are hard pushed to find an office that has views like this!!!

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Hong Kong Identity Card

I just went to Immigration Tower in Hong Kong to apply for a Hong Kong Identity Card (like the picture below). Before applying, making an appointment either online or phone is recommended. This prevents long queues at the reception. Surprisingly though, there wasn't any queue for the walk-ins just now. The reception officer will verify your appointment and give you a queue number.
Hong Kong Identity card
I waited about 20 minutes before I was called in to submit my application. The officer at the booth verified my details on the form and asked for both my thumbprints. Upon confirmation, she scanned both the application form and the vital details of my passport onto her computer. (Scanner like something below, looks professional doesn't it?) The last step was to take a photo of me, in the booth itself. (Very different from Singapore's procedures, where they allowed photographs to be submitted).Almost every booth on that floor had a camera to facilitate applications for identity cards, which I believe is a security measure. The one in the picture of the identity card is the one who physically applied. They even let you have a few tries for photo-taking and let you take your pick! (Singapore had instant photo-taking booths though.. To ease long queues)

At around 1.30pm, I had to wait again for an interview by immigration officers in their respective booths. During the wait, there were a few internal announcements by the immigration staff and one of it was included my queue number, by extension, me! I initially thought there was something wrong with my application, but look what I've got in the end!

Hong Kong Identity Papers
This was a similar form I got from the immigration officer I've seen! When it was my turn to see him, he requested for both my thumbprints, for verification purposes. (Proves how careful HK Immigration is..)

Overall it took about 1.5 hours, rather fast I must say! I can now bring my HKID instead of my passport along the streets and enjoy faster immigration clearance across HK borders!

For more information, visit the HK Immigration website!

Tuesday 11 October 2011

VPNs a must for interns in China!!

When you get to China most websites like Facebook and Youtube will be unavailable for you as it is blocked.

To get around this you can pay around £60 for a years subscription to Astrill (recommended), a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that is pretty much guaranteed to work anywhere, anytime.

An Intern need in China
Or you do not need censored websites so much, you should try Freegate, it does the same job as Astrill except free. Note: it can be temperamental as it battles against being shutdown most days.

A must in China!!

Getting a VPN is especially useful if you are working from your own computer as often websites used for work can be blocked, leading to hours getting stressed at your computer!

Monday 10 October 2011

Business Cards

Today I received my very own business cards, I did some internships before, however they were not client/factory facing. The process of accepting and receiving business cards in China is a little different to the rest of the world:

  1. When presented with a business card, you should always accept it with two hands shaped like you are praying.
  2. Secondly you need to thank the person for the card
  3. Study the card in a very obvious way- make sure you look at every detail on both sides of the card.
  4. NEVER just put a card directly into your wallet. You need to read it as a sign of respect.
  5. NEVER write on a business card, you might as well slap the person who gave it to you- there is no difference between the two in China
  6. Once you have studied the card carefully put it into your wallet and present yours to the businessperson
  7. They will now follow these previous steps
The ODM Groups Business Card

And that is everything you need to know on business cards in China- Good luck!

Sunday 9 October 2011

Typhoon Nesat delays shipping and interns!

Last week I tried to get a ferry from Zhuhai to Hong Kong, unfortunately it was in the mist of typhoon season, a very tricky journey. After arriving at the ferry port it took me around half an hour to realize that they were not running due to the level 8 typhoon warning in Hong Kong. So instead I decided to get a bus to Shenzhen and go to Hong Kong by land.

It did make the trip a lot longer, but I did get to see some very interesting places. As we pulled out of the ferry port we drove along the coastal road, and outside it literally looked like something out of a disaster movie:

Hong Kong was pretty much closed down once we finally got there- always be careful of traveling in China when there is a typhoon warning as public transport is often delayed and full.

Friday 7 October 2011

China- A Country Running at a Thousand Miles an Hour

I have now been in China for a month, and feel that it is time to do a kind of review on the Chinese lifestyle etc. There is one main point to this- explaining the speed of China.
GDP Growth has grown year on year at an average at 10.5%, this can be seen through the whole culture in China, primarily through the language. Unlike us English speakers, there is no messing around with the Chinese language, everything is direct, everything is logical. There is no room for ‘likes’ or ‘maybes’- or either are or you are not.
Secondly the speed can be seen through production- when I first got my place in China there was a petrol station being built- at that time it barely had the roof on, and my friend said that production was started 2 weeks before. Today when I walked past it, it is almost finished with only final finishing touches to be done. If we were in England that would takes months of planning. When you look around Zhuhai you realize this- that 25 years ago there was nothing- and now look at it:
Zhuhai- Pearl of the Ocean
Finally this can be seen through the eating habits- some people may think that the Chinese people have bad eating habits- I do not believe this- it is just another illustration of the extreme time efficiency in China.

Thursday 6 October 2011

National Day (Golden Week)

This year the Chinese National Day holiday was on the 1st October until the 7th October. This holiday can be confusing to foreigners as the holiday is one day- National Day, however most of China has holiday until Friday the 7th.

The holiday itself is only 3 days long, but the government decided that it would be better to have the full week off than 3 days. This means that everyone goes back to work on Saturday the 8th and works the weekend.

The holiday used to be about speeches and military demonstrations, but after the Chinese economy expanded, it is now used for people to go see their relatives.

National Day exercises

Note that in holiday week travel is near on impossible. Every bus that you see will be packed to its brim and there are virtually no taxis. I had to walk for around 40 minutes until I found an unlicensed taxi, and they charged me around 5 times the usual amount and we got lost 5 times. This was going 3 miles up the road.

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An internship with a company is an important and valuable learning experience for any tertiary student out there. I had been looking forward...