Monday 28 October 2013

Trip to China - Nanjing, YiWu, Shanghai

Hong Kong is extremely close to China. Since ODM Asia works closely with many factories in China, business trips to China are inevitable. In this trip, I went to several places, Nanjing, Yangzhou, Yi Wu and Shanghai.


I took a plane from Hong Kong International airport to Nanjing Airport directly. As the factory was not near the airport, I took a bus to the middle of the town. It was a 2.5h ride on the airport bus that costs 70RMB. There, I met the contact person from the factory and went directly to the factory. It took another 30-40min.

It was autumn, thus, the sun sets rather early. After visiting the factory, it got extremely dark. Perhaps it was not the usual big city that I came from, where street lights are inevitable. Thus, we headed to a restaurant for dinner.

From this post,  China Factory Visit - Buyer Diary #1 Culture & Customs, it is a custom for the factories or hosts to treat the client to a meal. It is to show respect as well as to build relationship. As most of you know, relationship is the most important thing in the Chinese culture. It is also a culture for the Chinese to drink the Chinese wine. However, I am fortunately that they did not order any alcohol. Instead, we drank yoghurt drinks. The dinner included lots of their local dishes. And by local, I am talking about their locally grown agriculture and local catch! Their river prawn and river scallop is one of the few popular dishes. 

During the dinner, we talked about our lives, hobbies and the difference in culture. International friendship is truly amazing. It is through such chatting and bonding where you really learn about the difference in culture and customs. It was also a great platform to observe the difference in culture. I always thought that in the Chinese culture, the host would always order a lot of food and you are not suppose to finish them. This is to show that the host has prepared more and enough food and they are treating you well. Although they claimed that they do not follow this tradition anymore, they ordered too much food! There was too much food to eat. 

The second day, I took a 10h train to Yi Wu. There was a train for 4 hours, however one has to go to the train station at 1am. Thus, to be safe, I decided to take the train that is longer but a safer timing. 

Yi Wu

I checked in immediately after arrival in Yi Wu. The day after, I visited 2 factories. I had to visit a trade fair and visit one of the factories again, and I stayed for another night. The 4th day was yet another packed day, of visiting factories and more. 


The last stop - Shanghai! Hangzhou is nearer to Yi Wu however both of the cities have no flight/seats to Hong Kong. Thus, I have to go to Shanghai to take a plane back. Shanghai is a beautiful city and the chilly weather made everything even more perfect! I met some interns in Shanghai and we had a great time chatting about internship and difference in culture!

Internship is something you will definitely not forget.  A time where you learn and experience many new things. Always keep your mind open and have a blast during your internship! 

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Getting to Shenzhen from Wanchai, Hong Kong

Going to Shenzhen from Hong Kong is extremely easy, fast and simple. This time, I went to Shenzhen from Wan Chai. Read one more to find out my journey! I used a different route when returning, and this method is the fastest. 

I left the office at 2:30pm.

Firstly, you have to take the train from Wan Chai. This is because you will be taking the train all the way to Shenzhen!
Wan Chai Station
This is the stop where I took the train. Wan Chai. 
Red Line
I took it towards Tseun Wan. 
Admiralty Station
Alighted at the next stop, Admiralty.
Tsim Sha Tsui Station
I changed the MTR line and alighted at Tsim Sha Tsui.

This part is quite tricky. This is because you will be leaving the station and walking to the next station! No worries, just follow my images and you will get there!

Leaving Tsim Sha Tsui
Take the escalator up
Exiting the TST Station
Exit the station
East TST Sign
Walk towards the sign that is pink in color
Directional Sign
It says: East Tsim Sha Tsui
Left turn
Just follow the sign
Walk ahead
You will reach this left turn. It is actually a 5min walk, so all you have to do is walk.
5min walkway
5 min walkway
5 min walkway
5 min walkway
It is indeed, quite a long walk.
End of 5 min walkway
At the end, you will see the pink sign, pointing right. Turn right and keep walking. 
Walkway to East TST Station
It looks like this. Another stretch of walkway. 
East TST Gantry
Finally, at the end, you will see this gantry. Tap your octopus card and enter!  
Hung Hom Station
Take towards Hong Hom station
East Tsim Sha Tsui
Towards Lo Wu Station
The destination: Lo Wu Station
Taking towards Hung Hom Station
Take towards Hung Hom Station. It is only 1 stop.
In the train towards Hung Hom Station
Hung Hom Station
After reaching, just take the train opposite. You will take the train all the way to the end. 

Lo Wu Station
Arriving in Lo Wu
Going towards Shenzhen
You can either follow the crowd or find the sign that says "Shenzhen" 
Walking towards Hong Kong Customs
Nearing Hong Kong Customs
At the Hong Kong Customs
Queuing at the Hong Kong Customs
Queue under the Visitor side. All international passport holders should queue in this lane while the Hong Kongers and Chinese Nationals will queue another place.
Waiting in line at the Hong Kong Customs
At the Hong Kong Customs
Leaving the Hong Kong Customs, going towards China
After clearing the Hong Kong Customs, you will walk another stretch of road.  
Walking towards China Customs
There, you will reach the China customs. Before you queue, remember to grab the arrival form!
Arrival card at China Customs
Fill it up, wait in line and then you will clear the customs! Honestly, the queue in the China side can take some time. Remember to wear comfortable footwear! Also, the arrival card has a departure card attached. Keep the departure card because you will need it to leave China.
Reached China: 3:45pm
Total cost: about HKD$50
Total time: 1h 15min

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Getting a Visa for China.

Getting a Visa for China can be quite a complex process.   A permit issued to every foreigner by the China visa authorities for entry into, exit from or transit through China.

China visa authorities may issue a Diplomatic, Courtesy, Service or Ordinary Visa to a foreigner according to his identity, purpose of visit to China and passport type. Whilst it is possible to get some visas at borders or upon landing getting day or weekend passes, do not rely on this.

The Ordinary Visa consists of eight sub-categories, which are respectively marked with China phonetic letters F, L, X, C, J-1, J-2, G, and D.

  • F Visa: Issued to an applicant who is invited to China for visit, research, lecture, business, scientific-technological and culture exchanges or short-term advanced studies or intern practice for a period of no more than six months.   This is the one interns will apply for.
  • L Visa: Issued to an applicant who comes to China for tourist purposes, family visiting or other personal affairs.
  • Z Visa: Issued to an applicant who is to take up a post or employment in China, and their accompanying family members.
  • X Visa: Issued to an applicant who comes to China for the purpose of study, advanced studies or intern practice for a period of six months or above.
  • C Visa: Issued to crewmembers on international aviation, navigation and land transportation missions and family members accompanying them.
  • J-1 Visa: Issued to foreign resident correspondents in China.
  • J-2 Visa: Issued to foreign correspondents on temporary interview mission in China.
  • G Visa: Issued to those who transit through China.
  • D Visa: Issued to applicant who is to reside permanently in China.

The China visa authorities overseas include China embassies, consulates, visa offices, and the consular department of the office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. If a foreigner intends to enter into, exit from or transit through the China territory, he shall apply to the above-mentioned China visa authorities for a China visa. 

Monday 26 August 2013

A Must-Visit Place in Hong Kong – Lantau Island

I’m sure most of you would have heard of the Big Buddha that’s very famous in Hong Kong! But how do we get there? And what’s interesting over there? Read on to find out more about my adventure!

In the Cable Car to Lantau Island

The Big Buddha statue is located at the peak of Lantau Island in the Ngong Ping Village. Simply take the MTR down to the Tung Chung Station and make your way to the cable car station. A 5-minute walk is more than sufficient to bring you to the mouth of the cable car station. To avoid the large crowd during the weekends, it’s best to go during the weekdays. Unless you want to experience the vibe.

Ngong Ping Village

Queue to get your entrance tickets to Ngong Ping and also for the cable car. There’s only two ways to get to the Lantau Island. One, is to ride on the cable car. And two, is to trek your way up to the top, which would require 4 to 6 hours depending on your speed. I would strongly suggest you to pay for the cable car ride, unless you are adventurous enough. What’s special about the cable car is that, they have this Crystal Cabin that allows you to view the scenery from below your feet! Sounds pretty interesting huh…

Take a look at the magnificent crystal cabin and be sure to not miss out on this ride!

Once you have alighted from the cable car, you would find yourself in a really vintage built village. Pretty interesting to experience being in an ancient village up in the clouds. Walk down to hitch a bus ride to the Tai O Village or you can choose to walk over as well. At the Tai O Village, you would be able to get a boat ride into the middle of the sea to catch the pink dolphins! Be astonished as you watch the pink dolphins “dancing” gracefully in the sea and jumping out of the water.

After watching the dolphins, remember to try out their luscious cuttlefish finger food! Sink your teeth into the thick and juicy flesh of the cuttlefish and you would not regret paying for it. Check out the gigantic cuttlefish the villagers are selling at their store:

Thick, Juicy, Luscious and Tender Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish in a Cup

Summing up the Tai O Fishing Village, there’s also a beach and some small souvenir shops around. Take a walk around the village to experience the life of the villagers. Remember to get some souvenirs before you leave the fishing village!

Fishing Houses at Tai O Village

Moving on, head back to Ngong Ping Village to visit the magnificent Big Buddha that everyone is talking about. This attraction is a must-visit place when you come to Hong Kong, especially when you are at the Lantau Island. However, the cons is that, you would have to climb up a long flight of stairs before you are able to get close to the statue.

Magnificent Big Buddha Statue

Stroll around the top amidst the clouds and snap more pictures. You wouldn’t want to be climbing up and down the flight of stairs, I assure you. After taking enough pictures, you might want to try out their famous soya beancurd at the stalls around there. Soft, silky beancurd sold at reasonable prices. If you’re lucky, you might also find some cows walking around the streets there. Do not agitate them if you don’t want to get hurt. Get some memento pictures with the cows to sum up your trip to Ngong Ping Village and you can be on your way back.

Cows Roaming the Ngong Ping Village

The last cable car ride ends at around 6pm, and make sure you do not miss it if you don’t want to spend your night there. Hitch on the cable car ride back down to the city and you can find a Citygate Outlet Mall. A great mall with many branded outlets selling their merchandise at cheap prices. Take a walk around and have your dinner before you head back home.

Having your internship does not mean that you should only focus on your work life. Take a break and visit some attractions during the weekends! You will find yourself loving the country and enjoying work even more! 

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