Back from OOB in Chengdu

Sorry that I didn’t post it earlier. I was out of blogging to Chengdu with the team in the last few days, and just got back to Shanghai. The continuous trip made blog posting hard, especially in a relaxed, and fun city like Chengdu. We had great fun, and return to hotel after 2:00 AM. I will make up some post to tell you more about Chengdu.

Chengdu Impression

PC asked for my impression about Chengdu. I’d be happy to share. Before I write about Chengdu, I want to talk about the other important cities in China.

Three Most Important Cities

If you ask people in China about the top three cities in China, you are very likely to get a list like this: Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in the same order.

Beijing = the capital (with huge economic power) of China

Shanghai = municipality directly under the Central Government, the largest city in China

Guangzhou = capital of Guangzhou Guangdong Province, one of the most energetic area in the economy

The Forth Most Important City is Uncertain

If you ask for the forth most important cities, the answers are not as unified as the first three.

Some say Tianjin, which is another important municipality directly under the Central Government; some nominates Dalian, Wuhan; others say Chongqing. The question is not easy to answer.

When I asked Wendy, Suzhou was her immediate answer (note: I was very surprised). Later she added Chongqing and Hangzhou… Later, I understood why Wendy mentioned Suzhou – the recent development of the city impressed her a lot. Many investor from Taiwan and Singapore chose Suzhou as the top place to do business in China.

If you ask me about the standard of the rank, my standard is the “feeling” you have about their overall power – politics, economy, location… everything

Anyway, no matter what people would say, most people may agree that Chengdu is a strong candidate as the answer of the question. Yes. Chengdu is important and Chengdu is the rising star of the country. Located at the southwest part of the country, it is the capital of Sichuan Province, the province with the second largest population. It is an very important entrance for the west part of the country – Tibet area. It is the first stop of most travelers or hikers. I arrived in Chengdu before we entered the wild vast area of Daocheng.

Here is all the four articles I mentioned Chengdu:

Impression of this Time

Located in the bottom of the Sichuan Basin, there is no Sun light most of the year. It is either cloudy or rainy. When I was in Chengdu last week, on Friday, before we left Chengdu, the Sun came out. It is the breaking news. My friends told me: “Hey. The Sun comes out. It means today is holiday. We don’t need to go to work.” I thouht he was kidding. I was totally wrong. They went to drink tea in the Sun that afternoon. When my car past a large square in Chengdu, I saw the entire square was occupied by chairs and tables. I guess there are at least 200 people there, drinking their teas and chat. The pace of people is slow. Everything indicates it was a holiday. :D

There are very nice mountains and rivers near Chengdu. Check these pictures by my friend Maphis. They were taken at Jiuzaigou near Chengdu. Below are two of my favorite pictures.

Chengdu preserves the Chinese tradition better than most other cities. There are historical buildings and temples there. The paces of people are slow and the life is easy. During my talk, most of them care about the quality of life instead of the money they get. Well. Let me try to explain this. I mean they’d rather sit in the Sun and chat for days instead of rushing to the marketplace and work harder to get more money. The current minute seems to be more important than the future minutes. It seemed to the typical Chinese culture – the passion for the peace of mind is more important than the financial benefits.

What I don’t like Chengdu is, it is far from Shanghai. I can arrive in Beijing from Shanghai for 50 minutes, Guangzhou for one hour and a half, but for Chengdu, it takes 2 and half hours. If it was nearer, I guess I will visit Chengdu very frequently.

Hotels in Chengdu

This is my forth day in Chengdu, the capital of the south-west province of China.

I am very supprised by the poor service quality of a four-star hotel here (Xi Yu Business Hotel). It seems all the people here are very nice, very happy to help, but, there is no process and some of them are not professional. The operators yelling at me on the phone, the laundry fee must be paid in cash, no tea or orange juice for breakfast, and no equipment is completely work…

Based on this experience and those in Wuhan, I believe it is the time for me to set the right expectation for a four star hotel. Five star means perfection or near perfection – the expection is unlimited, but for any non-five-star hotel, the expectation should be set correctly to avoid depress.

BTW, Chengdu Sheraton is very good. It has a grant lobby and the elevator and rooms are very nice. It will be definitely a good choice to stay.

Packing for Chengdu

We are packing for next week’s Software Development Management Training in Cheng Du, where I will deliver three training sessions during the five day training. They are Microsoft Product Cycle Model Overview, Development Process and Tools in Microsoft, and Software Usability. The training will start from Sept 23 to Sept 28.