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.
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!
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