Cree and Hong Kong Chinese University
Trip Start May 21, 2011
10Trip End Jun 01, 2011
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Hong Kong is interesting, not interesting in the way you say it to be diplomatic when you don't like something but generally interesting. There are 7 million people living on 1,100 km2 of land in high-rise apartment buildings instead of houses because there is not enough space. The people in Hong Kong do not consider themselves to be apart of "mainland China." In fact, there are many differences between the two such as different passport stamps, Hong Kong does not require travel visas while China does, different currency and different dialects (the only difference between Cantonese and Mandarin is the pronunciation). Finally there are different restrictions on the Internet. In China, websites such as Yahoo, Google and Facebook are blocked while Hong Kong they are not
The architecture was so different than any place in the United States. For example, some of the skyscrapers are gold in color, others have odd or harsh angles and no two buildings are alike. There are billboards everywhere: on the sides of buses, on overpasses, along side the water, everywhere and they are HUGE. Even the tops of the skyscrapers have large neon advertising signs. There is a ton of construction everywhere you look; instead of metal scaffolding they used bamboo. When it gets dark, the whole place looks like Time Square on steroids; the amount of neon is amazing, it is defiantly a sensory overload.
The first stop of the day was to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Now I've never been to the New York Stock Exchange, but this was the opposite of what I was expecting. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange was very civilized and quite; only 1% of the trading is done in the actual stock exchange, so there are less than 300 seats. Also, each working member on "the floor" wears a red vest with a four-digit number on the back to represent the company they are trading for. We had a guided tour starting with the history of the stock exchange followed by seeing the trading floor and some pictures.
After the stock exchange we went to the Hi-Tech Park to visit our first company, Cree, the leader in the LED lighting revolution. Our speaker was very informative and explained to us their strategy to maintain their position by offering a wide range of products to their consumer instead of just a few items like their competitors
After our first company visit we went across the street to the Hong Kong Chinese University’s MBA program where we met with a woman from the admission’s office to discuses the university’s MBA program. CU’s management program has a full kitchen where students in hospitality management can learn basic culinary skills as well as a student run café and restaurant for hands on learning. Their building was 15 stories tall (compared to the 5 stores Simmons’ management building has) and over 11,000 students in their undergraduate program
After returning to our hotel, followed by a short nap, it was time to go to the light show. The light show is a tourist attraction run by the government every night at 8oclock. Since the weather was crummy, our other sightseeing activities were pushed to the following day. Just as we were about to leave the hotel I came down with a bad stomach bug. After a quick trip to the ladies room, we walked down toward the lightshow but part way there I had to turn back and return to the hotel room. Who would have thought I would have gotten sick off the first meal I had in China! It was not a pleasant rest of the evening after that. Luckily, everyone said that because it was so foggy, the lightshow was a letdown. I was very happy I didn’t miss out on something exiting.