Saturday, June 2, 2012

Trip to Shenzhen, China

I recently went on a trip to Shenzhen, China. I guess, Shenzhen doesn’t need any introduction- It’s the unofficial head quarters of the Chinese electronics industry, and is a major city in Guangdong province, located just to the north of Hong Kong on the Chinese mainland.

 I landed at Hongkong; and took a beautiful oversea road trip to reach #Shenzhen. Shenzhen is well connected; there are multiple ways of getting from Hong Kong to Shenzhen which include the train, ferry and bus. With the two regions being close together, many people move daily between the two.

The HKG-China border is not far from the HK airport. The Shenzhen Bay Crossing is much easier; both Hong Kong and China immigration officers are located in the same building. There they checked the passport & Chinese visa to enter into China. But was totally surprised that I did not even get down from the taxi to go to the immigration; our driver collected all our passport and handed over to the immigration counter (He also didn’t get down from the car). They stamped all the passport and gave back to us.

Soon after crossing the border, we saw the most beautiful view and enjoyed an awesome ride. It was about 20-30minutes of ride above the sea waters., and was just enjoying (as well learning) the China-HKG cross border traffic and the amount of carriage ships on water. These water seemed to be one of the busiest, would have seen millions of carriage ships in the 30 minutes. No wonder China is the manufacturing house of the world !

Well, in about another 15-20 minutes, I reached my hotel which was almost at the centre of the city. Though the travel was short, I was dead tired, just unpacked my luggage, had a good bathe and wrapped down myself in to the bed. Done for the day :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

About Shenzhen...

Shenzhen doesn’t have any longer history; it was just a small fishing village 30 years ago. After China’s reform and open policy in 1980s , it has over grown so fast, to reach the level to the 4th largest city of china , in terms of it’s economy/revenue.  

The whole city was well planned and newly built (keeping as an alternate to the nearby Hongkong ? :).So you won’t get a feel of a native China town, like Beijing or Shanghai!.

Electronics trade and manufacturing is the major business – If the phrase "made in China" seems very familiar to all of us, Yes!!, this city has contributed a lot for that :). I should write a separate post on their electronic industry.

It also features a few tourist places to attract the foreign visitors. Most of them are like theme parks, shopping and eating resources, coastal villa area, etc. Among It’s attractions, the most famous are the Window of World, Splendid China, Chinese Folk Cultural Village, and Happy Valley.

Local people also recommended to go for #Dameisha, #Xiaomeisha, the Ocean World and Dapeng Peninsula are also the main travel spots. Especially, the #DapengPeninsula is elected as one of the 8 most beautiful coastlines in China by China National Geography. But, I didn’t get a chance to visit them as my stay was short :(

Will write more about the places I visited and the stay over there in the coming posts.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tour to Shenzhen Electronic Markets

For me personally, this is the most exciting part of this trip!!. I spent a good amount of time in visiting and learning about the huge electronic ecosystem of Shenzhen. 
Shenzen is the base of thousands of electronics manufacturers and traders. The shops are ranging from small petty ones to big OEM partners, trading in every malls to streets.

I heard that the #Futian commercial complex is the biggest of the Shenzhen city. And I guess the #SEG market is another very big area. I took a chance to visit both of them; they are so huge than that I ever imagined earlier. Most of them are multi-story buildings – each floor is specialized for each part/component.

SEG Plaza’s first 2 floors were mostly discrete electronic components (SMD and leaded resistors, capacitors, Coils,…) and mechanical items (connectors, switches, screws, nuts, bolts..etc). Next two floors were full of transistors/FETs, a lot of circuit boards and semiconductors. 

Above that are all mostly of finished electronics, start from Desktop/laptop/mobile phones/ tablets…etc.  There were many small repair and rework shops in between them scattered everywhere!!
I was totally stunned!!!. As an electronic engineer, this is one of the most interesting things I’ve seen in a long time. No wonder why Shenzhen is the leader of the world’s electronics manufacturing Industry!!.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sea World, Shenzhen

On a Friday evening, my Chinese friends took me out for a dinner to the place called “Sea World”, which is located at Shekou near the coast border of the city.

When he mentioned the word “Sea World”, I thought it’s sort of a Water park or some underwater attraction. But later I discovered an entirely different thing. There was a huge old iconic ship (but not floating; it’s on land), turned into restaurant cum hotel? Heard that it’s is the ship of Republic’s President - Charles De Gaulle (not sure, how true it is!). What boggles my mind was not the origin of the ship but rather that someone hauled it inland and has docked it in a man-made lake at a shopping center.

It’s a very modern, safe and clean park with many bars, coffee outlets, and restaurants located at the seafront in Shekou, Shenzhen. Foods from all over the world are available, ranging Chinese, Italian, American, Mexican, Brazilian, Indian… etc. The prices here are very cheap by Chinese standard. There was also a beautiful show at the pool of water with fire, smoke and lasers.

But somehow, I personally did not find this place quite exciting as my idea of China is that “it must be and look like China :) “. This place is no way look like China.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Shenzhen Window of the World

Shenzhen Window of the World is something that you will not miss when you come to Shenzhen. It’s a very large park. I don’t know the area exactly; but it’s very well within the city.

The Window of the World contains about 130 replicas of globally renowned tourist spots and global wonders; to name a few...the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids of Egypt, Niagara Falls and the Taj Mahal of India., all with in a same park !

The whole park itself is divided into the World Square, Asia Area, Oceania Area, Europe Area, North America Area, World Sculpture Park and International Street, each with it’s popular spots/wonders.

The sizes of the replicas are created with exact proportion to their real ones. (usually they are 1:1, 1:5 and 1:15 of the actual structure) and placed in respective squares - geographically.

It is a kind of cultural exhibition, including historic relics, key points of interests, natural sceneries, world wonders and art, ..etc.
Originally, it was created as an introduction to international cultures for the local tourists. Even though it may not serve the same purpose for overseas travelers, it is still a fun and interesting day out.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Luohu Commercial City - "Temple of Fakes" :)

I visited the Luohu commercial city  (also called as Lo Wu Shopping Plaza) on a weekend. It is a shopping mall located on the banks of the Shenzhen River, right outside the entrance/exit to Luohu Immigration Control Point.

The mall is about five stories tall;  has heaps of shops although most of them sell similar stuff. I think two or three hours is plenty of time at this place.
You can find and buy almost everything… like shoes, watch, belt, wallet, bags, toys, clothes, jewellery, Phones, Tablet PCs ...of all leading brands, at their half price. The reason is most of them are fake !!

If you really want buy something start negotiate by dividing given price by 10!.; they will accept for at least 5 or 7 times lower the price initially said. As I already said, most of them are fake, but still some are worth to buy for the price we pay.

Just by looking at you they know exactly what you need... some people speak enough English. Another thing to be careful is the “pick pocketing”. Friends warned me about bag snatchers and pick pockets. So, I was on my toes the whole time when I was there.

This place was fun but after two hours I was exhausted. I only wish they displayed prices, bargaining to avoid being ripped off; it is tiring, man!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Got an opportunity to read Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". Stephen speaks about the basic principles and habits that will make you effective and help you achieve your goal.

Just trying to scribble the essence of the great book....

1. Be proactive

The first habit, being proactive is perhaps deeply embedded into the management psyche. It is important to focus on the long-term goals and think about the long-term consequences of our actions. Having a proactive attitude is a state of mind which makes a positive difference to almost every situation.

2. Begin with the end

For many, being successful at their chosen career does not bring any sense of real satisfaction. According to Covey, this comes because they do not begin with the end. Beginning with the end means to define the purpose of life. Only when you are clear about what you want (as your ultimate goal) you can be happy. Otherwise, you may spend your life in the pursuit of happiness.

3. First things first

‘First things first’ is nothing but time management. To get on with this, it is essential to first define what is important. Your work can be divided into the four categories – urgent and important, important but not urgent, not important but urgent and finally not important and not urgent. Completing your work according to your priority list will automatically help you manage your time.

4. Think win-win

‘Think win-win’ is again an attitude of the mind. This trains your mind to always find solutions that will truly benefit both sides of a deal/argument. The more you practice this habit, the more committed you will become to find solutions which would benefit both the parties. Stephen Covey has slightly amended the wording as Think Win-Win or No Deal. This attitude works well because it liberates people from the effort of trying to persuade the opposite party or compromise. Rather, it helps to strike a deal that will benefit both the parties.

5. Seek first to understand

‘Seek first to understand’ is not just about letting the other person speak first; it actually is the effort to understand what is being said by others. We often tend to misunderstand and misinterpret what others say. Therefore, it is important to carefully listen to and apprehend what is said in a meeting or a discussion to work on the right path.

6. Synergize

The word synergy means joint work and cooperative action. Therefore, the sixth habit talks about joint meetings and discussions between the heads of each of the parties in order to creatively brainstorm on a problem. Finding a synergistic solution means finding a solution which is better than what an individual party would have proposed. A synergistic solution can only be found if both the parties commit to the idea of working out a solution that would benefit all parties involved. In such a scenario, investing time and effort to come up with a joint solution proves fruitful.

7. Sharpen the saw

According to the seventh and the last habit, you are the saw. To ‘sharpen the saw’ is to become better, keener and more effective. Highly effective people always take time to ‘sharpen the saw’ that is to engage in activities that would enhance the different human conditions - the mind, the body and the soul.

Great book - Another must have in your library.