The excursion started on the 2nd of September. It was the first time, the entire group met.
Via Frankfurt we flew to Nanjing where we landed at 11 o´clock and were welcomed by Jasmin from Becker Marine Systems, our guide here in Nanjing. Even everbody was a little tired from the night in the plane, we started after a short break with a chinese culture and sightseeing program. This included a typical chinese lunch with noodle soup and different small chinese dishes. After lunch we visited the Presidential Palace. A guide told us a lot about the newer Chinese history in Nanjing, especially the time in the early 20th century, when China was democratic.
The dinner was typical chinese again. We enjoyed many different chinese dishes most of us have never tried before. All dishes were placed on a rotatable plate in the middle of the table and shared by alle participants. While eating we listend to some traditional chinese life music shown in the restaurant.
We had some more program after dinner. The confucius temple and Qinhuai river we visited were nicely illuminated. We learned something about Confucius and rituals in the temple and also experienced the atmosphere created by the lightning and inscent sticks. Part of the chinese culture program was a boat trip on Quinhuai river. By boat you can see most parts of the old city center. Additionaly there were actors and dancers on differnt places along the way showing different traditional dances for the tourists on the small boats.
On our second day in China we visited two companys, both of them in Nanjing. In the morning we visited Jingling Shipyard. The Shipyard is located at the Yangtse river, where they can build ships up to a length of 200m. After watching a short movie about the company we walked around the shipyard. Especially interessting was to see the diffences between shipyards in China and Germany.
Even Jingling Shipyard is a "smaller" shipyard in China, it is big compared to what we know from back home. Up to eight ships can be build at the same time. They are all build next to each other on an outside area, not in big halls. We heard about the different states in the process of shipbuilding up to the way they launch their ships.
At noon we left Jingling shipyard and went to Luzhou factory, where they produce for different companys from overseas including Becker Marine Systems.
After a "short" chinese Lunch in the canteen, we visited the office of Becker Marine Systems before walking around on the factory ground. In Luzhou they produce for example rudders for Becker Marine Systems or winches for Hatlapa. Also interessting was the testing of a winch we could see from nearby. The visit to the Luzhou factory included the visit of their new hall a few minutes away from their main area. This is where they are mainly producing parts for cranes and seismic vessels.
In the late afternoon we went on to Zhenjiang which was about one and a half hour by bus. Zhenjiang is the second stop on this excursion.
We arrived there by about half past 5 pm. This gave us the chance to have a short break before dinner. Again we had a traditional dinner with a lot of different dishes to share. In the evening there was no official programme, so everybody could do what he or she wanted to do.
Our day started early with a visit to CSSC located in the High-Tech zone of Zhenjiang, where they build ship engines, for example for MAN.
The facilities are very big and equipped with modern CNC machines. Especially the final assembly where we were able to see a complete engine was very impressive. Offices and production facilities of the Norwegian company Kongsberg are located just across the street from CSSC. After a short presentation about the company, we visited the production of cabinets and switchboards. Our last company visit for this day led us to Becker Marine Systems, which is also located in the High-Tech zone. At this site, Mewis ducts are produced. We got an insight into the whole production process starting with a steel plate and ending with the final product.
Before having lunch, we were welcomed by the municipal government of Zhenjiang at the city hall. The formal meeting consisted of speeches held by Yang Xingshi, the head of the governmentof Zhenjiang, Iwer Asmussen from the STG as well as professor Wirz from the University of Technology in Hamburg. The meeting was an interesting and remarkable experience for us. It was accompanied by a Chinese film team and we even appeared in the Zhenjiang late news on Chinese TV.
We were all very excited about our next stop at the School of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering at the Jiangsu Science an technology University. When we arrived, we realized that the Chinese professors and students were equally excited to meet us. There was a get-together in a friendly atmosphere, where we were provided with a lot of information on the university itself and past and current research topics.
After that, the Chinese students showed us around the facilities, which include a towing and a maneouvering tank. It was very nice to get in touch with the Chinese students and to exchange experiences.
The last item on the agenda of the day was another formal meeting and dinner, this time with representatives of the Gouvernment of Runzhou. Runzhou is the part of Zhenjiang, where the new industrial park we visited in the morning is located. For this, we were invited into the Grand Hotel Zhenjiang, a place for meetings with important guests of the government.
In a luxurious conference room, again speeches were held. The day ended with a fabulous 12-course dinner, during which we also got to know the custom of drinking "Chinese water" together.
This day was full of new and remarkable experiences in many different ways and will surely be remembered.
On saturday morning some partipiciants were a bit tired, caused by the previous night.
We traveled with a little barge with an attached engine and like a pagode looking housing to a small island. On the island was a buddistic temple with 999 golden Buddha-statues (made from plastic) on a hill. There was also a small lake with waterbikes and electro-boats, but sadly we had no time for a ride. We started to explore the island wich had an beautiful garden and many tiny buildings. Afterwards we started to climb to the top of the hill. The way up at over 30°C and nearly 90% humility was very exhausting.
The temple itself was very high, but caused by the smog the view was not as good as we expected.
After lunch in the hotel we went to the central-station. First we were confused by the procedure in the station. After you baught a ticket you wait in the entrance-hall because the platforms were closed. Shortly before the train arrives, the platform was opened only for designated passengers. These passengers stand in lines at signs on the platform and wait for the train. After the train arrives, the passengers enter the train and those who leave the train uses the other door of the waggon. Talking about waggons: The order of the waggons was perfectly correctly and every waggon stopped at its correct place.
The ride itself was not very spectacular. The train was an ICE3 and traveled with over 300km/h heading our next destination. The interieur was very luxury and every passenger has much space. After 1,5h and the spotting of our first rice-field we arrived at the next station of our journey: Shanghai!
The day started with a bus ride through the chaotic morning traffic of Shanghai. The first stop of the day was the waterfront of Huangpu river, called "The Bund". This beautiful area is located in the opposite to the modern Shanghai with its impressive skyline.
Unfortunally, the stop there was really short due to the tight schedule of our guide Nancy. She organized every minute of the day with a great engagement.
At The Bund random Asians took pictures of our group of students.
The next stop was the Old Town of Shanghai, the old basis of the city, located about 60 km outside the new city center. At this place we got a impression of the "old" China. The Old Town was a location with narrow streets, canals throughout the entire area and small Chinese houses.
Due to the water, the heat and the crowds of people, the climatic situation was really humid.
We took lunch at a old place located directly at a canal. The food was a little less fancy than earlier times, but nevertheless quite nice. After the lunch our guide took us on a tour through the city.
Here we had an experiecnce of another China. The unused smells, dished and meals of the various street kitchens with friing bowls built up a unforgettable memory. Adiitionally to this, the ancient bridges with their nice view at the city and the Buddistic temples gave a further view inside Chinese architecture and culture. But this time in the city was quite exhausting due to the masses of people and the heat and without our guide we would have been lost. Here we greately appreciated the flag in shape of a fish our guide was wielding, otherwise we would have lost her.
On the way back we took the gondola drive at the (dirty) canals. It was a good oppurtunity to look at the places we have seen from another perspective.
After a bus ride of 1 hour (for 60 km) we had a nice dinner with basic meals such as rice and noodles. After this, the highlight of the day followed. We had the possibility to have a harbour tour in front of the skyline of Shanghai at night.
An opportunity no one should miss. Here, again, it was really good to have a local tourist guide. Caused by the popularity of the harbour tour, there was a large cue, but we got a VIP-treatment and got first at the line. The harbour boat was a copy of a Mississippi-Boat. But in comparison with the extremely delighted other boats, it was a bit "normal". But for the nightly view, the countless lamps at the buildings were breath taking.
The huge sky crapers at the new, modern Shanghai and the older buildings of the colonial time on the other side were beautiful composition of the opposites of old and new, conected by the river. The 1-hour ride was so a impressive show of maybe the best side of Shanghai.
This day was so the tour to the soul of Shanghai, the Old town with its small, stone houses and the epic Shanghai with lights and steel towers.
The 8th september started with a visit of the oriental pearl tower, which is the landmark of shanghai. Its architecture resembles eastern jewelery, since it is constructed of several spheric parts like pearls on a string. The moon festival was on that day, which is the most popular come-together of chinese families and many visitors were expected. Thus we started our day very early and successfully avoided the queues. We enjoyed the really adorable view over the unique skyline, also through a floor made of glass. It was noticed by the noise level that some chinese are obviously afraid of heights...
At the ground level of the tower, the shanghai history museum is located, which was really worth a visit. Our guide Nancy told us about the history and development of Shanghai from the beginning of settlement over the emperor period to the european concessions.
By bus we drove to the next location, where we first had a dim sum lunch. For the first time, we were not the only western group of people in the restaurant.
Afterwards, we visitied the yu garden, a typical chinese city house park, where we also learned about the four elements of chinese gardening: stones, trees, water and buildings. We really cherished the visit to this former private garden, which is now open to the interested public.
Later on, we walked to a nearby tea house, where we enjoyed a traditional chinese tea testing cermeony. The different sorts of tea refreshed our vitality, so we were fit again for excessive tea and market shopping in the bazaar around the yu garden.
We returned to the hotel, had dinner and some free time for sending postcards.
The unexpected highlight of that day was a chinese acrobatic circus with the show 'era - intersection of time'. This visit, which our tour guide Nancy organized very spontanously, was so amazing and left us completely stunned and breathless. The show had a lot of variation, which included acrobatics, bicycle and motorcycle performances, gymnastics and so on.
We finished this very pleasant day with a chinese beer at the hotel together.
After the long exciting sightseeing weekend we started with another company visit this morning. Thanks to Rickmers we had the chance to visit the Hudong Shipyard. The Hudong Shipyard in shanghai is one of the largest shipyards in the world, located on three different areas along the yangtse river in Shanghai. First we saw a short movie about the company, that is completly owned by the state of China and belongs to the CSSC.
Unortunally there are a lot of military vessels build at the yard so we just saw few parts of the production area. But this was still enough to get an idea of the huge size of the shipyard. There have been plenty of places for buildings sections, we had a glance at from the bus. Also a second part of the shipyard could be seen just across the river. The main area we visited has several docks and launchiong ways. Luckily we went up to one of them and saw a front section to be added to a ship from Rickmers, that is to be launched in about a month. We could not realy believe this.
We went back to the hotel to have a short lunch before we left for visiting the Jiao Tong University outside of the town. The size of the campus was realy impressing. It looked like a little town itself with student housing, shops and all the different faculty buildings. A Professor and a group of students welcomed us, explained a little about their projects. Afterwards they showed us their different experimental facilities, for example a big deep water tank. All in all they have about 20 different testing facilities for ship and ocean engineering.
In the evening we went to the Hyatt Hotel, where they have a bar in the 91st floor. We enjoyed a few drinks and the bombastic view at a hight of about 400m.
All in all this was day with different interesting impressions.
After two hours of bus ride we reached Schottel in Souzhou. The visit started with a short video about the main products of Schottel. On of the few Germans working at Schottel in Souzhou gave a short presentation about the company. Schottel moved to China in 1998 first, but the Joint Venture with a chinese company failed. In 2007 they finally started the production in Souzhou. The product range mostly includes small Rudderpropellers and Bow Thrusters. There is also the capacity for maintenace of bigger Rudderpropeller.
After a walk through the production facilities we enjoyed a western style lunch prepared by Schottel. On our way back to Shanghai we had the opportunity to get to know SDARI which is a design and research institution.
Belonging to CSSC SDARI provides basic designs for the state owned chinese shipyards. Furthermore the company is involved in research projects concerning efficiency, improvements and so on. After a short presentation and following discussion in a meeting room we all received a little present which contains a brochure and a tie.
Impressed but tired we went back to the hotel where we had our last dinner in Shanghai. Afterwards we all enjoyed our last evening in China.
This was a day just for travelling. Our flight was at 2:20 pm, but we left already around half past 9 to take the magnetic train to the airport. The fast one only goes until 10:45. We all enjoyed the short but with 430 km/h fast ride.
After arriving in Busan we went to the Hotel. From there we went to have traditional korean barbecue with some local students. This was the start of the korean part of our trip.
On our first day in Korea we left the hotel at 7:45 heading to the island Geoje to visit the shipyards Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).
After a two-hour bus-ride we got a first view at the DSME bay with lots of ships and offshore platforms. At the headquarter the staff showed us an exhibition about the yard and outstanding vessels they built and will build. Following a video about Daewoo we had a short bus-trip around the shipyard which is seperated into a commercial and an offshore part. Sponsored by DNV GL we ate lunch in one of the 34 canteens at DSME, probably the only one with Western food.
The second part of the day started with a short stop at a nearby beach. The visitor's program at Samsung Heavy Industries was almost like the one at Daewoo. The main difference is that Samsung's yard is 25% smaller than DSME's and that they invest more money in R & D resulting in innovative welding procedures e.g.
In the evening we got invitited by DNV GL to have burgers and a few pints at an Irish pub next to our hotel at Haeundae Beach.
The day startet with a visit of the Pusan National University (PNU). After a short introduction video of the universitys facilities and study programms we did a campus tour, which was guided by a PNU student. She showed us the universitys museum, liberaries etc. After this tour we went to IMPACT, a research institute for materialscience, where they introduced us to some of there testing machines by showing some experiments.
The second stop of the day was a concert of traditional, korean arts. It consists of dancing, singing and a lot of instrumental music. Especially drums are often used in korean folkmusic. The kind of art and folkmusic was quite suprising, espically in loudness.
In the evening we went to a typical, korean karaokebar. But that's another story ...
We started the 2nd last day of the excursion by visiting the National Maritime Museum in Busan.
There we got to see interesting exhibitions about the history of maritime research an seamanship. Another special topic concerened the future developement of korean maritime industry.
After lunch we took a walk to the old street market in Busan city. The market was very crowded and busy. We got the impression that it was an authentic everyday market for the native citizens of Busan and not some kind of tourist attraction.
Just before our return to the hotel we enjoyed a nice view on Busan from the top of Busan tower at a height of around 100 metres. In the evening we had dinner at the same restaurant as on our first night in Korea. Again we enjoyed the great hospitality of the cooks and waitresses. We had a lot of fun although neither we nor the restaurant's staff understood a word of the other's language.
Afterwards we spent another great night at the beach with its beautiful view at the pacific ocean.
On our almost last official excursion day, we had a quite good mixture of expiriencing korean culture and getting a look into the maritimie industrie of this country.
In the morning we started with a visit at Hyundai Heavy Indusries, where we went with our bus and our student accompagnies. There, we visited the Asan memorial hall at first, it's a mueseum of the life from Asan, the grounder of Hyundai Industries.
Also the giant concern is being presented and after a short tour in this hall, we get an invitation for looking a presentation video which was, surprisely for us, in german language. Then we got a look into the shipyard by a bustour around the docks and workshops. It was really immense and giant for us and quite interesting to be inside the biggest shipyard of the world.
After that, we were invited to have lunch in the canteen and in the afternoon, we finished our visit with a small talk in the DNV GL department. There, we learned how a supervisior's life is in Korea far from home.
After Hyundai, we started the tourist sightseeing part of the day with a short stay at a coast village. It was beautiful and a good chance for some regeneration and beside that, it's the point with the earliest sunrise in Asia (excluding the islands).
Next on our tourplan was visiting an old buddhism temple in the mountains. Although ist was very hot in this place, we looked around and tried to understand a little piece of this religion which seems so different and bizarre compared to our religion.