Hello there, dear reader!
If you’ve stumbled upon this blog, it is likely because I begged you to visit, or you want to make sure I haven’t fallen into a black hole. Either way, I have made it into China, and am happy to report on my first business trip.
My first official day of work at CAUPD Beijing was on Monday, July 8th. After a whirlwind of meeting my boss and co-workers, I was informed that we would be leaving for a trip to Dalian at 5am the next morning (!). There would be time to get over my jet-lag later… There were adventures to be had!
We arrived into Dalian on a cool, foggy morning. The air was already noticeably cleaner than in Beijing, and the ocean wind was constantly bringing in fresh air. I also noticed that the architecture in Dalian was somewhat distinct. In addition to the ultra-modern skyscrapers and the more traditional Chinese design, there seemed to be a great deal of European/Western architecture. Case in point, the picture below shows a hotel that is being developed in the style of Quebec’s Hotel Frontenac. According to some CAUPD staff, the rapid growth in Dalian leaves little time to develop its own, distinct style. As such, they have borrowed heavily from previous designs.
Perhaps what was most striking about Dalian was its incredible growth. From the moment we landed, there were towering skyscrapers at every glance and each building being erected seemed to be no less than 30 stories. According to my supervisor, Dalian is pegged to be the next great Chinese city. The goal is to take advantage of the clean air and market the city as a great tourist destination and ec0-city. They hope to bring hi-tech (and hi-paying) jobs to the area as well. While recent reports show China’s economic growth is slowing, it will be interesting to see where Dalian winds up in the future. For now, there seem to be no signs for slowing down the incredible growth that is taking place in Dalian.