COB Study Abroad Program China
Today our travels continued as we began to explore the history of Beijing, the nation’s Capital. Early in the morning we loaded up and began our journey. Our destination was the infamous Summer Palace. Cindy is our guide for China, and Lot is our guide for Beijing. During the bus ride, Lot filled us in on the history behind the building of the Summer Palace. Summer Palace is situated in the North West suburbs of Beijing, covering an area of over 290 hectares. We have continued our study of Feng Shui, and how this philosophy has been engrained in Chinese culture. When Emperor Quinlong began construction in 1750, his architects used the Feng Shui model to construct the lavish Summer Palace. They believed in the harmonization of human existence with the surrounding environment. They used elements such as Mountains and Water constructing the Summer Palace.
The Summer Palace sits at the base of Kunming Lake. Entering the palace you stand face to face with two majestic bronze lions, a male and a female. At the base of the Males mighty paw sits a globe, under the females paw is a young cub. These two symbolize Feng Shui, in the balance of earth and family, yin-yang. Coming into the gates we gazed up at a gigantic stone. This stone goes along with the Feng Shui motto of keeping evil spirits outside and keeping good ones inside the palace gates. From the entrance we continued our route through many temples to the passage of the long corridor, which runs along the lake at the foot of the mountain. The long corridor, measuring approximately 728 meters, lavishly boasts nearly 14,000 pictures painted on its ceiling. This corridor was a masterpiece in itself. The corridor led us to the base of Tower of Fragrance of the Buddha, which proudly displays three stories of four layered eaves which paints the classic picture of China’s; history, wealth, and power. From here we took a boat back across the river leaving the Summer Palace and headed back to the bus.
Our journey continued with lunch, which was on the seventh floor of a sky scraper in downtown Beijing. As we dined on classic Chinese cuisine, we overlooked China’s “silicon valley”. The wonderful food hardly took away from the breathtaking view which featured a blue sky. This was the first time the smog let up this week, and revealed an impressive skyline. After lunch we ventured around an uptown market which consisted of, what many would imagine in the heart of Silicon Valley, electronics. Six floors full of any gadget or electronic device any human could imagine. After an hour the group was overwhelmed and we continued our day back to the bus heading towards Lenovo.
Lenovo which has recently been dubbed the king in the sale of desktop platforms globally has their home base here in Beijing. Our group was honored to tour their facility. We were told our group was the first private group ever allowed into testing facilities. Our visit began with a tour of the facility, which who would have guessed was designed using Feng Shui principles. After a walk through the compound we ventured to the third floor of one of the buildings on the compound which is home of the testing of the machines. We observed heat and pressure testing, followed by electromagnetic tests. Lastly our group was led into what seemed like a foam room, as the door was closed all noise vanished. The final tests conducted on their platforms are done is a complete sound proof room, which is comparable to a giant foam room that’s literally absorbs sound. After the completion of our product testing we were graciously presented Lenovo’s history and their plans to become the worldwide leader on all fronts, laptops, tablets, smart phones, and towers. Overall the group very much enjoyed our trip to Lenovo and were very impressed with what they offer and the extent to which they test their platforms.
The days have begun to race by, our group has close to collectively decided that on the extremely long plane ride back we will start going through the thousands of pictures we are taking and the life changing memories will rush over us again like they happened yesterday.
Thanks so much for following along as the College of Business at East Carolina University explores China, we are very fortunate to be a part of a school that promotes these programs. I can speak for the group in saying that we have all experienced life changing events at some point or another on the trip and are looking forward to the last few days we have ahead of us here is Beijing.