Discover MaAnShan City in Anhui Province

A fast trip

Remark: I normally use “MaAnShan” instead of “Maanshan” as it is more clear for the pronunciation
It was my second chance to discover MaAnShan City in Anhui Province.
On 10 November after lunch we went by High-Speed Train from Beijing to Nanjing South Railway Station, some 4 hours for some 1000 Km. We were picked up by car and we arrived in our hotel in MaAnShan after 45 minutes. It is the fastest way. The trains are very comfortable, especially in business class. With a cruising speed of 303 Km/h they are very quiet and extra stable. We came back on 11 November in the afternoon and were home around 9 pm. The Beijing South Station is gigantic and modern, looks like an airport. Taxi service to leave there is a disaster so we took the subway instead. The Nanjing South Station is also modern, see the pics.
Shows how efficient it can be to travel in China.
The hotel was also impressive, the suite just a bit oversized, see the pics of the Wanda Realm.

Discover MaAnShan City in Anhui

See the website of the People’s Government of MaAnShan (English):

Main Listed Companies
Maanshan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd, Anhui Xingma Automobile Co., Ltd, Anhui Shanying Paper Industry Co., Ltd, Sino Anhui Tianyuan Technology Co., Ltd, Maanshan Fangyuan Slewing Ring Co., Ltd, Anhui Taier Heavy Industry Co., Ltd and Maanshan Dingtai Rare Earth & New Material Co., Ltd

Main Outside Enterprises with Investment in Maanshan:
French Saint Gobain, Carrefour, Auchan, Wal-Mart, British BOC, Japanese Marubeni, Taiwan-based China Rubber and Hong Kong-based China Gas, Tsingtao Brewery, Anhui BBCA Bio-chemical, Zhuhai Gree Electric Appliances, Mengniu Diary, Yurun Group, Liby Group, Dali Group and Keda Industrial.

The city has a population of 2.3 million and covers an area of over 4,000 sq. Km. It is built along the Yangtze River, lakes and mountains.
MaAnShan is the most developed city in Anhui Province and it is ranked third in Anhui for economic strength.
It is famous for the Caishi Scenic Area, where great poet Li Bai died.
It is 40 Km from Nanjing downtown area, 300 Km from Shanghai and 270 Km from Hangzhou.
It takes about 40 minutes to drive to Nanjing Lukou International Airport.
MaAnShan Harbor, one of the ten major harbors on the Yangtze River, is the State first-class harbor opening to foreign ships.

Modern Industrial Park of Zhengpu Port New District

We first had a dinner with the Secretary of MaAnShan Municipal Committee of the CPC. The next day we visited the MaAnShan Urban Planning Exhibition Hall. Then we toured the Modern Industrial Park of Zhengpu Port New District, with its new harbor and several industrial zones and facilities. The whole region is newly built, four years ago it was just farmland, hard to realize as so much has been developed. We also visited the industrial zone and the company “MaAnShan Air Handling Green Building Environmental Science and Technology”. It installs large air conditioning units, a cooperation with Israel.

Website of the new zone (Chinese only):

We are currently under discussion to cooperate to promote the new zone and the city.

Yiwu where all what you fancy comes from

On 25 May 2016 I had a quick tour of Yiwu City (Zhejiang). There are direct flights between Beijing and Yiwu (just over two hours).
In regions like Africa and the Middle East people may know nothing about China but most know the magic word YIWU CITY. To see the pictures:
We stayed in the Crown Plaza Yiwu Expo. Next to it are the Yiwu Expo Hall, the Yiwu Library and Yiwu Archives.
The city is still expanding. See the enormous group of buildings under construction, also seen during the night. The pics are now on my new China Pictures website:
Yiwu City (Zhejiang) May 2016

Due to the enormous commodity trade the city has a lot of foreigners, many who decided to settle. We visited the Muslim neighborhood in the evening. There is also a Korean one, among others.
But the real and main attraction is the Yiwu International Trade Mart, a gigantic shopping center for exporters – no single pieces are sold. It covers 4.7 million sqm with 70,000 booths and over 200,000 daily visitors. It is said to be “the largest mall commodity wholesale market in the world”.
Visiting the mall you never want to buy that cute souvenir in Madrid, Amsterdam, Malaga, wherever. Or that exquisite doll in Japan or that magnificent Buddha statue in Thailand. Or that cute dog in porcelain in a high-end store. Or those bells and bracelets in a Chinese temple on a remote mountain (the monks come to buy here!).

Indeed, whatever you fancy, it come from Yiwu.
To see the pictures of the Mart:
Yiwu where all what you fancy comes from

When I had brought some souvenirs from Belgium to Beijing I was shown by my Chinese friends you could simply buy it (cheaply!!!) online on Taobao.
Kills the fun of looking for souvenirs!
The mall is indeed just as magical as the Cave of Alibaba (not to be confused by the Chinese Alibaba!).

Talking to University of New Hampshire (USA)

On 12 March, in the Beijing Novotel Peace, other seminar:
“A(nother) view on China – The Challenges it is facing in 2014”

A very interactive session with the small group of EMBA students. And lots of things to discuss in two hours!
See also two shots from the Novotel Executive floor: for once, a clear view on the west side of the city – low pollution!

The Gongti Strip seen from a vintage point

Being in Julong Garden, our views are limited to rather ugly Julong versions of apartments and when there is not that much pollution, WTC3 somewhere next to Guangcai.
My neighbor Michelle has a real vintage position, overlooking the Gongti Strip as well as the whole Worker’s Stadium area. Makes me kinda jealous…

See here some of her pics, shot at different times but all very recently. Including this morning, with the snow.
Thanks, my friendly neighbor!

China Travel agencies – Reisagentschappen in China

I am often asked the question “Who can help me for a trip in China?”
Ik krijg regelmatig de vraag “Wie kan ons helpen voor een reis vanuit België naar China? Welk agentschap is aan te bevelen?”
Volgt hier een kort en persoonlijk overzicht, op basis van persoonlijke ervaringen en feedback. Het is niet noodzakelijk volledig.
Met wie naar China reist vanuit België of Nederland kijkt best uit naar een betrouwbaar reisagentschap (erkend door de ABTO) en aangesloten bij het Garantiefonds Reizen (SGR in Nederland) waardoor bij onvermogen van de Tour Operator of onderleverancier (incoming) de klant altijd zijn reis zal kunnen doorzetten.
The China Guide is a wholly foreign owned Beijing based travel agency run by American Peter Danford, a long-term friend and a fellow Rotarian. They specialize in western standard service (no mandatory shopping stops) and guides trained to a high level; the agency aims for quality at a fair price. English speaking travel agents help develop custom private tour itineraries throughout China. Peter’s team has well served several Belgian people for individual arrangements and with a personal service.
The China Guide’s web site features 360-degree virtual tours, professional photography and information to help people select the destinations for their tour. Itineraries for Beijing can be customized and quoted immediately from the web site’s database.
Tours have no hidden costs, meals include unlimited drinks and free bottled water in the vehicle. At local restaurants the guides order according to the taste of the clients.
The China Guide also specializes in organizing educational trips for overseas universities bringing students to China.
Email: book[at] (emails in English)
Christoph Mueller is a Swiss friend, an avid skier and fellow Rotarian. He manages the agency in Beijing.
They organize tailor-made tours for individuals, small groups and incentives all over China under Swiss Quality criteria. The major focus is on serving any client from 3-4 star level up to VVIP.
Some of the special offerings:
– Itinerary absolutely tailored to the needs of the traveler, no matter if individual, small group with special interest or company event/incentive.
– Special interest such as: golfing, skiing, contemporary arts, history, culture, Jewish history, mountaineering / trekking, 4WD, motor biking and Chang Jiang 750 sidecars. They can also provide all necessary licenses and permits for world travelers to pass through China with their own vehicle.
– Special tours which most major companies cannot do: visit in the most important places areas which are not open to the public, world-wide recognized experts (Great Wall, architecture, journalists, medicine, the most famous contemporary Chinese artists), art galleries and much more.
Website with all details:
Contact: cmueller[at]
Easy Tours is een Tour Operator en dusdanig aan het Garantiefonds aangesloten en erkend door de ABTO.
Een paar referenties: Acer Latin America, Janssen Pharmaceutica, een hele reeks regionale Voka delegaties, Prova, CD&V fraktie Vlaamsparlement, VKW, Unizo, Bouwunie, Confederatie Bouw, enz.
Contact: Antoine Noens, Product Director, Easy Tours Belgium, Beijing Office
Email antoine[at]
Antoine werkte 18 jaar voor Best Tours en ontfermde zich ook over Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Senegal, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina en Brazil.
KUONI Destination Management (Beijing) Ltd.
Kuoni Destination Management, part of the Swiss-based Kuoni Travel Group. The office in Beijing is a wholly owned foreign enterprise with a license to operate inbound business into China. A team of 35, headed by Mrs. Veronique Ducassy (MD, French) and Mr. Kris Van Goethem (GM, Belgian), provides services and arrangements not only for leisure individual and group travelers, but also for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events. Clients are from all over the world, with a focus on the European markets. As the group has recently acquired the Best Tours brand from Belgium, Kuoni Destination Management is now also handling their business in China.
Website :
Email : kris.vangoethem[at]
TUI China Travel Co. Ltd.
TUI is well known worldwide and has a large presence in China. For those who are used to their services, a good alternative. An affiliate of TUI AG, the world’s leading tourism group, TUI China was established in late 2003 as the first joint venture with foreign majority share in the Chinese tourism industry. I know the top people in Beijing and they are very professional.
Email: private-tours[at]
China Oriental Dream
Niet volledig duidelijk maar er zou een relatie zijn met Uniglobe – Robins Travel – Wereldwijzer.
Het Beijing kantoor is in the handen van Olivier Sieuw die ook Nederlands spreekt.
Persoonlijke mening: kan ik niet aanraden.
Our consultancy was deeply involved in setting up one foreign travel office in Beijing and advising a major international travel agency on strategies to enter the Chinese market for inbound/outbound travel, which included linking them up with major Chinese tourist companies. (sorry, our clients’ names are kept confidential)
The above entries replace a previous posting after additions and changes. The personal observations are based on personal contacts and feedback. It is not meant to be complete.
Last update: 27 April 2011