Written by: Sebastien Hammacher, Stefano Contardi, Beatrice Artadi and Jodi-Ann Sadler (MBA Candidates)
May 6, 2016
We started the day by visiting China North Car Group and Yongji Motor and Electric Ltd, manufacturers of wind mills and semi-conductors. Both these companies imported the technology from France and Japan to make their products , but they market both their products using their own brand in China. The content of the plant tour was very technical and engineering-based but it was still an interesting experience to see how the manufacturing plants operate in China.
For lunch, we got to enjoy some of Xi’an’s specialties including Xi’an beef noodle and hamburger, which were delicious dishes with a spicy flavor. This buffet-style restaurant provided a preview of the Terra Cotta Warriors by selling many figurines of the most famous Xi’an attractions.
The next stop was the actual Terra Cotta Warriors attraction in Xi’an. The Chinese believed that there was death after life and one could bring their possessions on earth as long as they were on the same level as the grave. This is the reason the warriors were built — the Emperor wanted them to protect him in his after-life. It is a site that brings foreigners to enjoy the sight of old Chinese culture. We were particularly flabbergasted by the number of Terra Cotta Warriors built in ancient China with limited technology. Moreover, the site is not just an expo, but an active archeology site.
Stefano, who is originally from Italy, was very happy as he was able to buy some good quality espresso from the coffee shop at the site for the first time since he started the MBA program. He had to go all the way to China to finally get his coffee fix. The other students enjoyed some fresh gelato in the same shop while enjoying the spectacular view of the mountains in the background.
At the end of the day, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner in the Muslim quarters, followed by free time where some students indulged in a healing reflexology therapy at one of the traditional spas in Xi’an and others enjoyed the wellness facilities at the luxury Sofitel. These activities gave us some time to relax before we embarked on our journey to Shanghai the next day.