.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }
.flickr-yourcomment { }
.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }
.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }

Me and Paul, CITS Agent, originally uploaded by espeedy123.

Texas Mike here, checking in.

The entrepreneurial spirit of the chinese is here to stay, and I must say we’ve embraced it along our journey. A recent example. Arrived into Guilin airport around 11pm from Chengdu. We had no accomodations or no plans set for our journey south to Yangshuo along the Li River. Decided to throw caution to the wind and wing it – for those of you that work with me, you understand this is a bit out of my comfort zone. It was raining and pitch dark – perfect scenario for hitting the streets of Guilin bargaining for late night hotel rates with about 15 kilos on your back, right?! We got in a taxi for our long ride into the city. Simply picked a hotel from the guidebook at random as a starting point to let the negotiations begin. Pointed at the word in Mandarin, and away we went. Suddenly the driver thrusted a cell phone toward me saying “English.” You don’t have to tell me twice in China when I hear that word. On the other end was “Jerry,” (I love the english names here), a local Chinese CITS travel agent. Working a late shift for a cold call – now that’s dedication to your craft.

Next thing we know, we’ve negotiated potential hotel options and a river cruise before even hitting the airport toll booth. And it was awesome.

It’s interesting to experience the Chinese approach to business. Real opportunity is a pretty new thing here in the midst of the movement to “market communism.” Some people have commented that China’s stage of development is like the US 30 or 40 years ago. The timing is ripe for starting up new businesses here for the betterment of your network. Tourism seems to be a rich area to explore, and they are really figuring it out. And we’re supporting it every step of the way – as our most original and authentic experiences have been courtesy of entrepreneurial guides and hostels throughout China.

In Chengdu, we dined with local farmers still stuck in an antiquated system. Given a plot of land from the government and told to make it work with the “choice” between growing wheat and rice by the season. It’s a fixed equation – can’t get more land, while the market
sets the price for produce. This middle class community can hardly afford to send children to school. So their older children found other
opportunities to support their farming parents. Sam opened two hostels in town and employs his siblings and extended family members. He organizes excursions to the country for so his farming community can get an additional revenue stream. Everything is locally linked. Thrilling for us; great for them.

Jerry from Guilin has 70% of taxis under instruction to call him night or day when westerners get in the car at Guilin airport. He speaks perfect english, and under this set-up, he gets first crack at tourism
business. He sells the tours and services, and he is the catalyst that benefits his network. His brother drove us to the river the next day. His cousin welcomed us to Yangshuo, and set us up for our trip to Xiamen. I’m sure it was her brother that drove us back to Guilin. I don’t even need to ask anymore.

The people here are hungry for opportunities, and it’s all linked. The capitalistic spirit is even more developed and evident here in Hong Kong, but that’s a whole different beast (and blog) all together.

Happy business pursuits!