The Friday of our fifth weekend here in Beijing, our class and teachers set out an our weekly excursion to the headquarters of XiaoMi, one of the leading tech and smartphone companies in China. XiaoMi was created only six years ago, and since then, has grown significantly in the selling of smartphones, tablets, and other “smart” technology in China, India, and other parts of Asia. While there, we were given an introduction to the company, its history, and its business strategy by one of its founders and engineers, and then were given the opportunity to visit their one and only retail store. This was definitely a unique and interesting experience.
The next day was our first free Saturday since arriving, so we decided to make good use of it. In the morning, we set out early to see the Summer Palace, one of the most famous palaces and historical landmarks in China. Though the day was the hottest since we’ve arrived and the park was extremely crowded, the Summer Palace was definitely one of the greatest things I’ve seen so far. The Palace itself was incredible, but it also included a scenic lake, a huge Buddhist temple, a gallery of ancient Chinese art, artifacts, and clothing, and the theater and stage that the Emperor of China used to attend.
After seeing the Summer Palace, three of us set out to visit the Beijing Olympic Village, and while there, we were able to see the inside of the Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube, something that I thought was definitely worth a visit. The next day, a few friends and I returned to the Beijing 798 Art District to see more of the art exhibits and shops, and it was great to have the opportunity to see more of this area.