No ming pian – no networking in China. Your ming pian is you business card. It usually has two printed sites: One in Chinese and one in English. So everybody will be able to understand your personal information. The information is basically the same as on Western business cards: company name, your position in the company, mobile number, email address and of course your name. If you stay in China for a longer time you should get a Chinese name which will be on your business card as well.
My German name is Mosche, my Chinese name is 摩西 (Mo Xi)
Since Chengdu is rapidly growing (13% growth rate – you can see it every day on the streets) a lot of companies chose Chengdu for their Western China headquarter. Therefore, there is a lot of business going around in Chengdu. With a lot of businesses in town, there are a lot of networking events as well. As I am responsible for the Chengdu Business Development for InternChina, I already went to several networking events.
Most of the events are organized by different Chambers of Commerce. The British Chamber, the American Chamber, the European Chamber and the German Chamber are holding networking events. Personally, I am really looking forward to the German Oktoberfest next weekend in Chengdu.
Generally these networking events are located in really nice hotels because it is a good opportunity to advertise their hotel to the local businesses. Hence, you always meet in a nice environment which makes networking quite convenient.
While attending these events you meet a lot of interesting people from different industries, especially in Chengdu. A networking event is not only great for finding superb partner companies for InternChina, but also a fantastic opportunity to create your own network in one of China´s fastest growing cities.
Therefore, we always make sure that our interns in Chengdu can attend these events as well. Hence, they may not only spend a very interesting time in Chengdu by doing an internship but also make some lasting connections for their future.
All in all, I can only recommend you to come to this fascinating city, which is a hub of growth in Western China. You won´t regret it!
This Saturday I visited the biggest building in the world, Chengdu’s New Century Global Center. This thing is really huge. It contains a shopping mall, plenty of restaurants, bars, cafes, offices, theatres, two 5 star hotels, a skating ring (which is quite comfortable in Chengdu’s tropical summer) and much much more…
This huge building has even made it possible for us to have a beach in Chengdu! Why settle for the coastal cities of Zhuhai and Qingdao with their natural beaches, when the economic hub of Western China now has a splendid artificial beach indoors! This beach will always be clean and you don’t need to be afraid of any sharks.
Moreover, “The Paradise Island Waterpark” offers a 24 hour artificial sun. This will be a great asset during cloudy winter days, which means that you will be able to enjoy a beautiful beach all year long!
There is so much to see and do in the shopping mall. The Center has so much to offer that it feels like a small town. It would be possible to live in the Global Center and never have to leave!
The size of the building is just astonishing. When I walked out of the metro station and saw the Global Center for the first time, I instantly felt really, really small. You will not see many buildings on this planet that will give you this impression.
I actually wanted to walk around the New Century Global Center. Since there are still some construction sites I couldn’t finish the lap. The final completion will be in August. Therefore, the InternChina team will definitely come back to discover every corner of this architectural phenomenon.
Chinese opera is a popular form of drama and musical theatre in China with roots going back to as far as the third century CE. There are numerous regional branches of Chinese opera, of which the Sichuanese opera is one of the most famous types. Regionally Chengdu remains to be the main home of Sichuanese opera. Being right in the middle of an Ancient Chinese art source, we just could not miss the opportunity to see a play.
Luckily, on the same weekend when Chengdu office branch organized this activity for the interns our dear fellow colleagues from the Zhuhai office were in town too and joined us. We met at the Lazy Bones Hostel (highly recommended!), where our two office branches met for the first time and had a very nice dinner together after introducing ourselves.
All of us already heard of Chinese opera before, some having saw it on TV, but to actually be in the theatre in person was a lot more exciting. A wide variety of artistic talents were presented by the opera troupe, from historical drama and love stories to comedy and acrobatics. Some of us really enjoyed the puppet play, though the shadow play was also very interesting, especially when it spit fire.
But still, the most famous and exciting stunt is the face-changing. Fortunately, our event-organizer Chris got us seats in the very front rows. Even though we still couldn’t figure out the secret of this old traditional performance, it made it all the more exciting.
Of course we could not call it a night yet and went out for couple drinks after the show. After the traditional Ancient Chinese opera we went straight to Shamrock, Chengdu’s local expat watering hole, which gave the night the perfect touch and culture balance.
Hot pot, one of China’s signature dishes, has been a mainstay of Sichuan province for centuries, the dish style having over a thousand years of history behind it. In China, one of the most famous styles is Chongqing’s má là (麻辣), a mix of numbing flavours and hot spices. The sensations bring about an eating experience unfamiliar to most traditional western dishes, the cooling numbing flavour of the Hua jaio (花椒) balanced by the fiery hotness of the chili peppers. Inherently social, hot pot is rarely eaten alone, generally involving family and friends waiting in eager anticipation for the spice soaked pieces to be cooked in the communal pot.
With Chengdu having its own native style, we decided to try chuanchuan hot pot. Different from the more common Chongqing variety, chuanchuan can be identified through the use of skewers to cook the meat, the skewers resting along the edge of the pot as the meats and vegetables soak in the broth. For a couple of students, this was their first time eating hot pot. A few tepid skewers in to the meal, the pace picked up leaving a mound of wood in our wake, filling out hungry stomachs with an assortment of pork ribs, shrimps, tofu wraps, and a wide variety of vegetables. Eaten with a couple of cool beers, it was the perfect way to cap off a warm Chengdu evening!
Sichuan food is famous all over the world and also takes an important position in China.
If you’ve been to Chengdu, or any other part of Sichuan province, you probably will have heard a lot about Sichuan food, especially that it’s really spicy. This is not entirely true! We have a variety of food styles so there are options for all pallets, but if you are brave enough you can come with me and I will challenge you to try the real spicy dishes.
In ancient China, people called Sichuan “Kingdom of Paradise”, not only because of the food but also the culture. You may have heard of Beijing Opera… well, we also have Sichuan Opera.
Life in Chengdu is easy; we like to say that we really know how to enjoy life. You can just go to your local tea house, drink some tea, talk with your friends, and afterwards have a delicious Sichuan dinner. Let me recommend some dishes for you here which are definitely worth a try:
1. Kung Pao chicken（宫保鸡丁）
Very famous not only in China but throughout the world. Chicken in Shaoxing wine marinade, Sichuan peppercorns, and of course peanuts! A classic.
2. Pork lung in chilli sauce (夫妻肺片)
This is one of my favorites but it’s a little bit spicy, so tread carefully!
3. Steamed chicken with chilli sauce (口水鸡)
Local people call it “saliva chicken”, I have no idea why… I guess it must be so delicious that people can’t help but salivate at the mere thought of it.
If you want to try real Sichuan food, I can be your culinary guide! Come to Chengdu and I promise your pallet will never be the same… In the meantime, check out our Instagram feed where we regularly post photos of all the scrumptious dishes that only China can offer.
At the end of last month, I went to Chengdu for our Intern China team get-together. After three days of meetings, enjoying lots of nice local food and checking out some of Chengdu’s most famous places, I paid a visit to Jiuzhai Gou National Park.
Jiuzhai Gou is one of the most famous scenic spots in China; I have many friends who have been there before and they’ve all told me how beautiful it is. So I decided to go by myself even though I know right now is not the best season for it. Jiuzhai Gou National Park is also called Nine-Village Valley, and the name Jiuzhai Gou refers to the 9 Tibetan villages that are situated in the valley. The fantastic beauty of Jiuzhai Gou lies in its 108 natural green lakes. The entire reserve covers an area of natural beauty which is 35 kilometers long. Historically, Jiuzhai Gou has been home to a small population of Tibetan and Qing people, and provides a good opportunity to get to know more about the locals’ unique life and culture.
It was really cold that morning, I could still see the snow on my way there and the temperature was below 5°C, but I really wanted to take a photo wearing our sexy Intern China T-shirt.
These days most visitors transfer at Chengdu onto long-distance busses or flights going to Jiuzhai Gou. I chose to go by bus, got up at 6 am on April 1st, and took the subway to Chadianzi (茶店子) bus station. I paid 138 Yuan for my ticket (around 17€), took off at 8 am and arrived at Jiuzhai Gou at 4pm. It’s an 8-hour trip, but I can say it’s really worth doing! On the way, I saw the 2008 Sichuan earthquake relics and lots of Qiang-style towns and buildings. The last 4 hours of the way, I saw lots of great snowy mountains and beautiful Tibetan-style houses.
I didn’t book a hotel in advance, but luckily I found a very nice one on arrival and it only cost me 60 Yuan per night (7€). I shared a room with an Indonesian girl I met on the bus, so I ended up paying only 60 Yuan for 2 nights. On top of it, it was only a 10-minute walk from the hotel to the gate of Jiuzhai Gou.
After walking around the villages, we found some local food to eat and then went to sleep very early that night to be ready for the next day.
The second day we also got up at 6 am and after an early breakfast, we went down to the tickets center and bought our tickets, which cost 310 Yuan (38€) but included an all-day bus inside the national park. We spent the whole day in the park, it is unbelievably beautiful! It was also not very busy that day, so we got to enjoy it even more.
On the third day, I took the bus back to Chengdu, and then set off directly to Chongqing in time for my next adventures!
My trip to Jiuzhai Gou National Park in total cost me about 700 Yuan (87€), so if you come to Chengdu for an internship, you will have the chance to enjoy this awesome place for a weekend!
Intern China recently opened its third office in the city of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province. The Intern China team is now spread out between Qingdao, Zhuhai, Chengdu and England. But this past weekend, the management teams from Qingdao, Zhuhai and England converged onto Chengdu to celebrate the opening of the new office, take care of business and experience some of the city’s highlights.
First, Yours Truly and the Zhuhai Team were flabbergasted at the stunning amount of taxis waiting to whisk of us out from the airport into the city. A sea of green taxis with welcoming red lights reading “空车“ or “empty car”.
While waiting for the Qingdao team to arrive, the Zhuhai, Chengdu and England teams went out to catch up over a meal. Running into long time friend of Intern China- Rudi!
Saturday with all offices fully represented, a morning full of face-to-face about business talk (and Peter’s Tex-Mex) was put aside and Intern China hit the streets of Chengdu.
Renmin Gong Yuan (人民公园 People’s Park) in the heart of Chengdu was the place to be. One of the most famous places in Chengdu to watch people and drink tea, families were out in full force to take advantage of the lovely weather. There was candy, pineapple on a stick and ear cleaners. The IC team put local ear cleaners to the test. For 20 kuai, could they really clear the wax and help you hear better? Chengdu Intern Till tested. While Leo and Zhuhai Office Manager Phil remained skeptical.
Sichuan province is famous for its spicy food and Saturday night, the team was taken to a classic hot pot restaurant. In addition to testing everyone’s tolerance for 辣椒 – spice, everyone was tested in proper business dinner etiquette. The main points of the evening included: identifying the most senior person at the table, proper gestures of respect and how to make a toast.
Chengdu is home to the Giant Panda Research Base and one simply cannot go to Chengdu without stocking up on panda gear. Panda-themed souvenir shops are everywhere. While the IC team failed to see the giant pandas in person, IC General Manager Jamie did his best to lessen our disappointment.
As much fun as we had, all good things must come to an end. Come Monday, with a renewed sense of camaraderie and a slew of wonderful group photos, the teams returned to offices from whence they came. GM Jamie lingered to support the Chengdu team before heading over to Qindao.
New year. New Job. New Country. New Culture.
I am welcoming 2013 from sunny Zhuhai, Guangdong as the new office manager in training at InternChina.
Born and raised in the wilds of North America’s Pacific Northwest Coast.
I have spent the past decade learning languages and exploring the world.
During 2010, I studied abroad in Chengdu, Sichuan and it seems China has called me back. But for someone who majored in the study of people and culture – the most populous country on Earth is not want for material.
China is everything people says it is and it isn’t. In addition to learning the ropes of the Zhuhai office and helping interns have an enriching experience, I look forward to exploring the vast Middle Kingdom and its waves of change.
Ciao i miei tesorini!
So this weekend, despite the fact that I did not go to Bangkok, I managed to have a ball in Chengdu!
Getting there was a bit rough, my flight was supposed to leave Guangzhou at 20.30 on Friday so I left work a bit early but by the time I had gone through security and waited a bit, the status of the flight was changed to delayed. Jamie had forewarned me about domestic Chinese flights being infamous for delays so I couldn’t say that I was too surprised. A delay of about 5 hours, however, was not expected. The mixture of frustration along with the propensity to complain by Chinese people was something to see – the poor airline employee was surrounded by an angry mob of flyers yelling at him. Don’t kill the messenger, guys! But never fear! McDonalds and bottled water quickly arrived and placated most of the crowd, although a few of the angrier ones went over to the Air China counter and demanded that we fly out on time, only to no avail. For me, it was a good 5 hours actually, I made the acquaintance of three Hong Kongers who were going to Tibet via Chengdu and we changed contact info and I plan to meet up with them in August when I am in HK!
I arrived in Chengdu and got to my hostel at about 5.00, much later than I was expecting! I slept for about 4 hours and then woke up and headed over to the “People’s Garden” which is a massive park in Chengdu with many tea houses where you can just sip on some longjing tea and read/chat/play mah-jong for hours. I opted for reading and thoroughly enjoyed Italo Calvino’s Eremita a Parigi.
The rest of the first day I wandered quite a bit – saw some nice temples, a science museum, the main shopping area/pedestrian street where I people-watched for quite a bit but actually found that people were often so interested in me that they’d ask for some photos and make small talk, often limited by a combination of my bad Putonghua and their limited command of English.
A note about the food: AMAZING. SPICES AND PEPPERS GALORE. I can truly only hope to hire my own personal chef from Sichuan when I am older 😉
Saturday night was a bit crazy and I met up with some people in the Couch Surfing community – thanks for the suggestion, Jamie! Went to a chill Jamaican-esque bar called “Hemp House” and played the illustrious dice-game and then went to the most ridiculous club I have ever been in my life! The only option was table service with either brandy or cognac – luckily one of my new acquaintances knew people and we didn’t have to pay! 😉 – The night went into morning and I didn’t get to sleep until 5.30, which normally isn’t a problem, but I had to wake up at 7 to go see the famous PANDAS. I managed and although I was suffering – the visit to the panda centre was well worth it. The pandas are so lively and playful – even watching them munch on bamboo is interesting!!
The rest of Sunday is a mix of eating, napping, wandering and reading.
Had to wake up at 5 this morning to catch my flight back to Guangzhou and then a bus back to Zhuhai and here I am.
I ADORED Chengdu and plan to go back there ASAP – the dichotomy of the “most relaxed city” in China along with the energy of the people leads to such a chill yet happening place.
This upcoming weekend, white water river rafting with my host mother and her colleagues is on the agenda so expect another good blog post then!!