Wenn man an China aus der Sicht eines Touristen denk schießen einem sofort Begriffe wie „Die große Mauer“, „Shanghai“ oder „Die Terrakottaarmee“ in den Kopf.
Natürlich stehen auch all diese „must have seen“ Orte auf meiner Reiseliste aber im Dezember stand mir eher der Sinn nach etwas Natur. Zufällig war ich zu diesem Zeitpunkt gerade in dem Büro in Zhuhai und hatte somit einfacheren Zugang zu Reisezielen in und um die Region Guangdong. Meine Ziele für die kommenden 4 Tage hießen Guilin, Yangshuo und Longji.
Mit einem berüchtigten Schlafbus, ging es innerhalb von 11Stunden von Zhuhai nach Guilin in die Provinz Guangxi. Nach der außergewöhnlichen Anreise war ich froh meinen Tagestrip nach Yangshuo für den kommenden Tag direkt im Hostel buchen zu können.
Mit dem Bus ging es dann direkt vom Hostel ins 2 Stunden entfernte Yangshuo. Die Landschaft war schon auf der Hinfahrt der absolute Wahnsinn! Berge wohin das Auge reicht! Zudem hatte ich auch noch irrsinniges Glück mit dem Wetter- strahlender Sonnenschein, ein blauer Himmel und Temperaturen um die 15-20Grad, und das im Dezember!
Der Bus ließ uns in einem kleinen Dorf raus, von wo wir unsere Reise mit dem Bambusfloß über den berühmten Li-Fluss fortsetzten. In aller Ruhe und Gelassenheit über den Fluss zu fahren und die umliegende Natur zu bewundern wurde umgehend zu einem meiner China-Highlights!
Auch das Städtchen Yangshuo, welches ich im Anschluss mit dem Rad erkundet habe hat mir ausgesprochen gut gefallen. Umringt von eindrucksvollen Bergen und direkt am Fluss, ist Yangshuo wirklich der ideale Ort für jeden Reisenden und Hobbyfotografen- hier gelingt definitiv jedem ein Schnappschuss!
Nachdem ich am Abend wieder nach Guilin zurückgekehrt war, habe ich meine Reise am darauffolgenden Tag zu den Reisterrassen nach Longji fortgesetzt. Die Terrassen befinden sich ca. 23 km von der Stadt Longsheng und 3 Autostunden von Guilin entfernt. Auch diese Tour konnte ich problemlos und sehr bequem über das Hostel buchen. Nach einer Autofahrt durchs Gebirge und auf Serpentinenstraßen erreicht man schließlich ein Tal von welchem man entweder mit der Gondel auf den höchsten Punkt zu einer Aussichtsplattform fahren kann, oder man erklimmt die Terrassen zu Fuß.
Die Aussicht ist in jedem Fall atemberaubend! Obwohl die Becken nicht wie im Sommer bewässert waren, war der Blick ins Tal mit den umliegenden Terrassen auch im Winter ausgesprochen eindrucksvoll!
Für jeden, der die „natürliche“ Seite Chinas erleben möchte und auf der Suche nach dem Ein oder Anderen Fotomotiv ist, wird in Yangshuo und Longji auf jeden Fall fündig!
Ich kann eine Reise nach Guilin, Yangshuo und Longji nur auf´s Wärmste empfehlen!
Doing business in China is probably one of the most interesting and challenging activities in the world. The whole environment is very different to our western standards. Paul Bailey, manager from our Zhuhai office has shared a couple of insights that can help when breaking into the world of Chinese business.
“Being involved in the day to day operations for any business in a foreign country will present its own challenges. However, having already spent almost three years here in China, I find it hard to imagine any country so different from ‘Western’ cultural norms when it comes to conducting business. Of course, ‘norms’ is a word to be used sparingly in any business context as practices inevitably vary between individuals and companies. It is important to remember that even on home soil, depending on the company, we may just as easily choose to seal a deal over a pint of bitter as we would a boardroom table. The same principles can be said for China and business must always be tailored to those with whom you are conducting it with. The following information is to be understood as general rules and will most certainly not apply to every situation but should happen often enough to be worth brushing up on!
When it comes to China the first thing to consider is the massive influence that culture has on how business is conducted in general. Companies in China interact differently to those in the UK and relationships are constructed and maintained in ways that might seem unusual or irrational to us but make perfect sense from their perspective. For instance, when sitting down for a business meeting you may be surprised to find yourself sharing pleasantries, anecdotes, family pictures and ultimately only discussing business ten minutes before the scheduled meeting was due to finish. Rather than spending the preceding minutes working yourself up into a Kung Fu style fury and blowing any chance of a fruitful relationship, simply knowing that the preamble is just as important as the business decisions can help you to achieve your goals and give you the preparation you need to succeed in the Far East.
Never lose an opportunity to give your prospective business partners ‘face’. If you are unsure what it means to gain and lose ‘face’ then find out what it means and learn how to go about acquiring some for yourself during your time in China. The all-important ‘face’ is cumulative in that it will carry forward and like a healthy bank account it should be maintained as it will either act in your favour or be to your detriment when it comes to securing deals and generally getting stuff done. Never forget that most deals in China revolve around ‘guangxi’ which can be interpreted as ‘your connections and the practice of giving and returning favours’. Whilst ‘who you know’ and the common courtesy of returning a favour matters wherever you are in the world, I strongly doubt there is anywhere else where these facets are so integral to the nature of doing business. Oh how hard it can seem to get the most rudimentary things done until you turn over the ‘guangxi’ stone! Just remember, nothing is free and favours are expected to be returned in greater abundance. It therefore pays to know that the past provision of favours and the implication of future back-scratching can carry just as much weight as a generous offer currently on the table.
The final pearl of wisdom I will leave you with is to never forget that the social side of business is very much intertwined with the corporate side. Your business associates may be upset to find you not attempting to lower your glass slightly below theirs as a gesture of respect when you are ‘cheersing’ around the table. That puzzled look you are sharing with your Chinese associate after he has just finished his whole glass of beer in one gulp and you have taken a meagre sip is attributed to the expectation that the better the relationship between you both, the greater amount you will endeavour to consume after each clink of glasses. Don’t forget to show how honoured you are given the seat reserved only for the most distinguished guests when sitting down for dinner. Don’t forget to take note of the guy who gets the seat of honour if it isn’t you!
Of course your Chinese friends may well have done their own homework on your culture and therefore not expect such courtesies from you, but then again perhaps they haven’t. Make sure you do your homework and prepare as much as possible in order to minimise the possibilities of causing offence and ensure that you give yourself every opportunity to conduct business successfully in this wonderful country.”
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Yangshuo, a small town near the city of Guilin in Guangxi Province, is a very famous landmark of China and one of the InternChina Zhuhai office’s favourite travel spots. Philippe, our office manager, has been there all of seven times, and he likes it so much he will probably continue to go many more times.
For most of the 20 people who went on last weekend’s trip though, it was the first time, and we had high expectations. We left on Friday night and took off on an 8-hour bus ride, which we weren’t too fussed about because after Zhangjiajie, eight hours felt like a piece of cake.
We arrived early Saturday morning and stopped to eat traditional Gui Lin Mi Fen (Guilin rice noodles) for breakfast. Though it wasn’t cold, it was raining, so again we donned our ponchos. We were taken to the wharf and got on the boats for a tour along Lijiang River. Even though the rain and fog did not allow us to see much of the mountains around the river, it was still a nice ride and we were having fun trying to see whose boat would make it to the other end first.
One of the most famous features of Yangshuo is the spot on Lijiang River that is printed on the 20 Yuan notes, and of course, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to take some pictures to show we’d been there!
After the boats we took a walk along Xingping Town, a small town with narrow streets full of little shops where all kinds of souvenirs can be bought. Some of the interns bought amazing scroll paintings picturing the beauty of Lijiang River and its mountains.
Then we were taken to the Yinzi Cave, a huge cave full of stalactites and stalagmites in all kinds of shapes and sizes, which are made even more beautiful by the colourful light effects that surround them. Here you can also buy some special local products such as chilli sauce and chunks of solid honey, straight from the honeycomb.
After the cave we had lunch and then, since it wasn’t raining anymore, we decided to head over to Yulong River (also called the ‘Little Li River’), where we got on bamboo rafts again but this time, we had a mission: a water-gun fight! The funny part was that it took a while before all our rafts were assembled and ready to go, so while we were waiting we started shooting water at each other and by the time we actually got on the boats, most of us were already soaking wet. The rides were also a lot of fun, trying to aim at our friends from far away and even engaging in fights with other Chinese tourists who were more than happy to play around with us. Some of us even jumped in the river for a swim, the water was so clear and fresh we could have stayed there all day.
Then it was off to our hotel, where we took quick showers and headed to a local restaurant where we were served a feast of all kinds of dishes, including snails and the traditional Beer Fish. We were also given some of the local bai jiu (rice wine), which some of the interns drank with enthusiasm while others stuck to the safer option: the local Liquan Beer. After dinner we walked over to Xi Jie – bar street – for a night of dancing and bar-hopping.
The next morning, after breakfast, we visited the Butterfly Cave – another cave which goes up the mountain – and the Banyan Tree which is said to be 1000 years old. Afterwards we had a lunch of duck hot pot, and finally we were taken to West Street in Yangshuo Town, where we spent about an hour walking and looking around, eating fresh passion fruit and shopping for cool Chinese clothes and souvenirs. Then it was back on the bus and back to Zhuhai!