The speed of the train was around 200 km/h and it run very quietly. During the trip passengers were offered to buy newspapers, drinks and snacks. Overall the experience was quite pleasant. Along the way I took a few photos of rural China.
At first I was a little puzzled when I didn't see cashiers at the station, only the machines. When I approached to give it a try an old Chinese lady started helping me, she switched the screen to English language and navigated me through the process. I thanked her for her help by leaving some change.
Below is the touch screen where everything is pretty self-explanatory.
I got introduced to the director of the factory who did not speak english and we went into the board room that had all the products they ever produced stacked on the shelves around the room.
We had a chat about what their factory is capable of producing, things like quality control, the output their machinery is able to deliver, timing of delivering the order from the moment of placing it, their connections with logistic companies, legal matters etc. etc. The whole meeting took about an hour, then I asked them to show me the factory and they took me to the manufacturing floor. To be quite honest I was not impressed at all with the cleanliness of the place and with the overall lack of order, the place looked very disorganised. They said they are in the process of moving into this building, but I suspect it was not the case and the company is just poorly organised.
Once I had a good look at the place I was ready to finalise the meeting, we took a group photo and they drove me back to the train station.
For those who likes cheap shopping it is the place to go. There are hundreds of little stores that sell fake brands and a number of big shopping malls.
I had to travel to another city on that same day and meet with the representatives of the 3rd factory .
In seven days I managed to visit a Canton Fair exhibition, meet three potential manufacturers and travel to five cities. Having a translator is convenient but not essential. The cost of travel, communication, hotels and food is cheap. It cost me less than $1000 USD for the whole trip excluding international flights. I could save another couple of hundred dollars booking a cheaper hotel in Guangzhou. Commuting is safe, clean and easy.
It had been an interesting adventure which gave me a good understanding of the country and introduced me to Chinese manufacturing. I was happy I made the trip and was ready to progress with product development from Sydney.
To be continued..