Guangzhou, the cooles businesses are down here

Guangzhou Travel Blog

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4:00 PM


I absolutely love my new hotel. It is my favorite hotel in the whole entire world. It has the most gorgeous lobby in the world. You walk in to one area that is nice and spacious with beautiful flowers, and then you walk into another area where the check-in is. Behind that counter is a huge golden mural depicting the Chinese life of long ago, it looks like it should belong in a museum. There are beautiful large arrangements of real flowers (there are a lot of fake flowers in the other hotels). If you look to the right there is a gigantic escalator, biggest one I have ever seen. To the left of that is a large comfy sitting area which looks like it serves all kinds of drinks. To the right of the escalator are all kinds of shops. It looks like real upscale shopping, but it could still be less expensive than in America. I don’t think I will get anything, but it can’t hurt to look. When you look to the left of the Check-in counter there is a ginormous spiral staircase. It is made out of a beautiful dark wood, I can’t really describe it. I will take pictures and will just never be able to lose them. There is a Grand piano in front of the staircase and a sitting area off to the side. There are more shops all around that area. The building turns to the right. I don’t know what is over there yet but believe me I will find out. Our room is amazing. I have a new roommate now because Kassy stayed in Shanghai with the MAC students. My roommate is now Athena. Back to my wonderful room. It is really big and it has soft beds, no slab of marble for me anymore. The carpet is not stained like the last one and it is thick enough for my feet to sink into it. The bathroom is great with marble countertops and all kinds of amenities. The best part is…It has a blow-dryer!!! That put me in heaven. We have beautiful furniture and a TV that gets American Channels. Not that the TV matters, I have not watched any this whole trip. I am just so happy. The view from the room is awesome. We are on the 13th floor. The hotel is shaped like this [ . We are on one of the ends, so we look out over the entrance. There is a beautiful fountain and we can see the swimming pool.  We look out at the main street. It is fun to watch the cars and people. This is just so great. I am really glad I am with the business students and not the MAC. They are stuck at that crappy hotel for 3 more nights. The weather here kind of sucks thought. It is raining (which normally I love, but it gets annoying when you are touring in it) and it is really humid. I guess this is their rainy season. It could go on for about another month. We were also told that we just missed a huge typhoon. It just blew out 2 days ago. We timed that one. The weather won’t get to me thought. Not when I am this happy.



9:45 AM


Yesterday after we arrived at the hotel we had about 3 hours of free time. Most everyone was really tired though so I think everyone hung out in their rooms. Athena and I laid in bed and talked almost the whole time. We talked about books, movies, TV, food, and all kinds of other things.

Later we all met up for a really great dinner. They served us a whole chicken and the head was still on the plate. I took a picture of that. After dinner when we got back to the hotel some of us explored it for a while. We spent some time in the evening in Kate and Crystal’s room. Then Athena and I went back to our room talked for a while then went to bed.

I love sleeping on a soft bed. We don’t have an early meeting so we slept in until 8:00. It was great. This morning was really great. The breakfast here is done western style, so for breakfast I had scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, a donut, yogurt, and orange juice. It all tasted so good. My stomach is so happy. I am so glad I am here and not in Shanghai with the other group. I can’t wait to brag, but I don’t want it to come fast because seeing them again means we are no longer at the greatest hotel ever



11:35 AM

We have just left the Economic Development District. We had a quick meeting where we learned about what they do, which I am still not very sure about. We learned which countries have their companies established there. America has quite a few, Proctor & Gamble, Amway, Maxwell House, Kraft, Wriggles Gum, Mead Johnson, and many more. After the meeting they took us on a driving tour of the District and we got to see the buildings that the companies are in.

The roads here are really not very good and we are in a smaller bus so we are feeling every single bump. Normally this would not bother me. It would just be a really weird ride, but I have to pee so badly. Every bump makes me ache. I dread going to the bathroom here though because they don’t have toilets, they have a porcline hole in the ground. They are called squatters. It is so uncomfortable.  It takes forever to get into position, and I always find that no matter how bad I have to go, I can’t once I am ready. Then it takes me a long time to go. Most bathrooms don’t have western style toilets, but some have one and it is marked handicapped. If there is not a big line I try and wait for that one, but sometimes most of the girls are in line for that one stall. It is ridicules. There are a few girls on the trip who flat out refuse to use the squatters, and then they complain about having to go to the bathroom. It is annoying. I don’t like using them and if I don’t have to go bad enough I will hold it and wait until we get back to the hotel, but I am not opposed to using them. I think it is all part of the experience. We are here to learn about the Chinese culture. Well, the Chinese squat, so we should squat at least once. That is my way of thinking.



3:30 PM


I feel better. So we went to lunch. I did not think it was that good, but everyone else liked it. After lunch we had an incredible tour. We went to the Honda Manufacturing Plant. The first thing we did was have a meeting where we were shown a power point presentation of the timeline in which every major event for Honda has occurred, what cars they produce, the different facilities and the operations in each, and their production rate. The really fascinating thing I learned was that 1000 cars are produced each day. That is an amazing number. When we walked into the meeting room there was a water bottle at each place along with a baseball cap that says Honda.

After the presentation they took us to their show room. In there they had the City, Fit, Accord, and Odyssey. These were all cars that will not be sold in the U.S. There are different versions in the U.S. We got to take pictures and climb around in the cars. It was fun. Then we went to the assemble area. I actually saw the cars being made. It was so cool. I did not see it from the very beginning because we were not allowed in some areas. We started with the freshly painted shell, or frame. And we watched it to completion. This whole assembly area was a huge assembly line. There were hundreds of workers doing the same job over and over and over again. I wish I could have taken pictures but it was not allowed. They had people building the engines from tiny parts, putting the wheel things together; some were just putting bolts in what seemed to be insignificant places, though I am sure they were not insignificant. The cars are just hooked up to a conveyer belt and moves very slowly along the assembly line. It was just amazing. When the car finally comes off it is driven away to the testing area. I guess after testing only about 5% of the cars have to be destroyed because they are deemed unsafe, or there is some sort of other problem. I can not imagine working there, doing the same thing over and over. They all wear earplugs so they can not listen to music or anything. But what I was told is that these are highly sought after jobs. It pays fairly well and they actually get a 50% discount. Crystal and I noticed that we only saw 4 women working in the assembly area, (there were quite a few in the offices). When we asked Dr. Moore about why there were so few women he could not really answer and told us we should not ask because it might be a very touchy subject. This was all just an incredible thing to see.



9:45 AM


Last night was really nice. The whole late afternoon was very nice. We got back to the hotel at about 3pm. I really like that because we have the option to walk around and explore the area ourselves or rest at the hotel. I decided to stay at the hotel and read. It felt so good to read. I brought a bunch of books with me and just opened one of them. I am going to have to leave a bunch of them here without reading them. It felt good to have a rest and not be constantly on the move. We did not have to meet for dinner until 6:30 so I had a nice short nap and a good read.

We had a really great time at dinner. Only half of our group went to dinner. There are a few girls in our group who refuse to even try the food. They just sit there while we eat and then they complain about their stomachs not being able to handle any more greasy and fried food. I want to ask them “how can your stomach not handle any more…you haven’t eaten anything?” I am so completely sick of their wining and complaining about everything. I really can not stand those girls. I and some other people talk about them all the time. But dinner was really nice; everyone was joking around and laughing. When we got back to the hotel I was able to borrow one girl’s computer so that I could get on the internet. Then I went to bed and slept very well.



11:45 AM


We just visited University City. It was really neat. It is basically one big island that has 10 different universities. It is incredible, there are over 100 buildings and the whole thing was completed in 2 years. I don’t remember the exact number of students but it is way over 100,000. The freshman class alone is 33,000.

So when we got off the bus we were hit with the heat. It is horrible. It has to be close to 95 degrees with 100% humidity. I almost could not breathe. So there was a group of students who wanted to have their pictures taken with us. So we did that then went inside. I did not really know what to expect and when we walked into the classroom all the students stood up and applauded. It was so strange and made us feel kind of cool.

There were about 20 students all are international business majors and they all spoke very good English. Once we were inside we sat down and were shown a presentation about the city. It was very interesting, but I had a hard time hearing some of it because the Chinese students kept talking through the whole thing. After that presentation we showed them a power point of our school and Washington. They kept gasping and making us all laugh. The funniest part was when they found out there are only 1,600 students in our whole school. After our power points they opened the floor to questions. Some of the questions we were asked were about how much time we get to sleep, and how much we study. They were surprised at the amount of free time we have. I guess they spend all their time studying. They don’t do much else. I had so much fun just watching their expressions when we answered their questions.

After we were done we all went back outside into the horrible heat and took pictures. I love meeting the Chinese people because they are so excited about meeting us and they are so friendly.



2:00 PM


I have just found my new favorite food…Pigeon. That’s right Pigeon is my new favorite food. They served a couple of whole birds and I took a section and wiped that sucker clean. I love Pigeon. Yup…That is all I have to say.



3:15 PM


We just went on the most boring and uncomfortable tour ever. They took us on a tour of the University of Foreigners. It was just boring because I don’t care what the school looks like. It was really a tour for the MAC students. I could have sat down and listened to the guide talk about the classes, or the education system, or about the students themselves. The thing that made it so uncomfortable was the heat. It is so hot outside, and the man giving the tour kept wanting to take group pictures.



8:45 AM


Yesterday never really got any better. After we finally left the University place we went back to the hotel to change into comfortable clothes. We were told then that we were going to do some sight seeing and then go shopping. I was really disappointed. The sightseeing was not fun. We went to 3 different places. The first was just a memorial for the man who brought communism to China. It was boring because there was really nothing to see there. Then we went to another place, I have no idea what was so special about it. All it was was a statue of a bunch of goats. The only good thing about that stop was I got a Popsicle. It was really good.

All day the weather kept getting worse. It got to be so humid that I was really having a hard time breathing. The last stop we made was alright. It was to a Buddhist Temple. It was actually very beautiful. The Monks were walking around. One came up to us and talked for a while. He gave us all beaded bracelets. I am assuming they are probably blessed.

After we left there we went shopping. I was really disappointed in that too. I was expecting we would be going to some markets, but we went to an actual shopping center where you buy clothing and things like that. The bright spot there was that some of us went to McDonalds for dinner. I had been restraining myself from eating there because I wanted to stick to Chinese food, but I am really sick of it so I had a cheeseburger and fries. It was so good. I am glad we went.

The evening got better when we got back to the hotel because there was a huge thunder and lightning storm. I loved that. Athena and I had a good evening packing because we found Harriet The Spy on HBO, and we were showing each other all the stuff we have bought. We even stayed up real late talking. It sucked when the alarm clack went off this morning. So we checked out of the hotel, had one last good western breakfast and left.

I am sad to leave our really awesome hotel. We are on the train now heading for Hong Kong. We only have 2 days left. I feel like I have been here forever. At the train station we met this really nice girl. She is Chinese, her English name is Tina. She is studying English so she came over to us to practice her English. She was so sweet. All the Chinese people we have actually met have been so sweet and nice.



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