Monthly Archives: October 2003

It is Personal Website Age

My Friends Goes .COM, .NET, .Biz…

I found more and more of my friend begin to register their own domain names and begin to host personal website. I owe a “friendly link” to every one of them. It is becoming popular to host personal websites now. I know I have ignored a section of links on my homepage, which can be found in most blogs. Here are some of websites by my friends – listed by order of time I became aware of the existence of their websites. Criteria to be listed in this page are

  • The owner is my good friends in real life
  • I know the owner for at least one year before I know his/her web presence
  • The person has personal website with top level domain name
  • The website is still live and accessible

Most of the sites are in Chinese.

  • Wangchen.com Check out the good pictures of Daocheng and Yading. He just came back from the fantastic place.
  • Pgao2003.com
  • Lijia.biz It is a FTP based website. However, I love the simple interface – it is not a bad idea to design a website like this: Simple, easy to navigate. :-)
  • 9718.net Eddie’s site
  • Run2me.com Run’s website. Just started but with good potential. ;-)

Maybe I have lost many others. I hope I can add more later. Please remind me if you know I have missed anybody meeting the criteria.

My Sites of Two Year Ago

When I registered my domain name three years ago – more preciously, on Sept 6, 2003 (my WHOIS record), I didn’t expect what it will look like three years later. I checked my archive and can still find out my old homepage at the end of year 2000.

screen-wangjianshuo.com-2001.01.07.jpg

I just found the old home page still looks good. I even noticed I begin the practice similar to weblog using the limited functions from FrontPage since 2000. It was the new headlines marked with date.

Archive of the Previous Pages

Internet Archive provides great service for anyone to go back to the history of a website. It brings people to see what microsoft.com looks like in 1996 and what Yahoo! looks like in 1997.

Of cause, it also allow me to go back to the history of my site. At the date this entry is created, 1143 pages were archived by archive.org for wangjianshuo.com. 14 snapshot of the home page were archived in 2002 and 4 versions in 2003.

So one of the advantages and disadvantages to create a page accessible on Internet is, it will be kept in the history archive – for ever….

Update about Traffic Rules

The new traffic rule in China was approved today. I found I begin to be extremely interested in such kind of news after I got the driver’s license.

According to the new rule, the following big changes happened:

New Driver can Use the Express Ways

New driver can use the express way immediately after they get the driver’s license. The old rule was that new drivers have to wait for one year before they are permitted to enter the express way. This is good news for me since I can use the express way. However, I will be conservative and will not drive onto the highway before I am 100% confident.

The Highest Speed of Expressway is Set to 120 km/hour

It seems driving faster than 120 km/hour in China is forbidden – then why bother make the good cars with highest speed of 200+km/hour?

Human Not Permitted on Express Way

It is obvious. However, the explanation for this rule made me LOL. The reason to keep human out of express way is: “All vehicles with designed highest speed less than 70 km/hour are not permitted on express way, such as human, …..” Haha. Then what is my designed highest speed?

Houses in Shanghai

It is approaching the three year anniversary of my purchase of my current house at Vanke Waltz Garden. I have been paying the mortgage of the house for three years and have lived in the house for two years. During the three years, the real estate market in Shanghai changed dramatically and affected millions of people. The current status of the market is still confusing – the house price is still rising like a rocket, while the voice of the bubble theory is becoming stronger day by day. It is a good time to take a look at the houses in Shanghai by reviewing the three years we went along.

Why I bought this House

Many people commented on the house and asked why I bought this house. “I am interested in why you chose to move to Vanke’s Waltz Garden: what attracted you to the place?”

Well. I chose the house by a simple reason – I love the Real Estate Developer – Vanke. The Vanke group is the largest real estate developer in China. Vanke is a magic word for me. It has turned many county areas into beautiful town house.

At the time I bought the house in early 1999, the average price per sq. meter is about 3000 RMB. Typical apartment is from 90 – 120 sq. meters in Shanghai. That made the total price to be 300,000 RMB or 36,000 USD. It was a huge number already. However, the Vanke house was priced higher. The 5000 RMB per sq. m is even higher than the adjacent properties.

Good Deal

Looking back, it turned out to be a good deal. The price for the houses has almost doubled in three years. Now it is almost impossible to buy any house within the inner ring less than 7000 RMB per sq. m.

Xiao Qu

“I understand that Vanke’s Waltz Garden is also called a new “xiao qu” or “she qu”? Are these very popular housing options in Shanghai now?” – Mr. Pow from Singapore.

Yes. It is called Xiao Qu or Community in English. It is almost the only option in Shanghai. Currently, the real estate market works this way in Shanghai:

  • The government offer lands to the public. Typically, the land will be a very large area.
  • The Real Estate Company Buy the Land from the government.
  • The Real Estate Company build houses on the land and sell them. Typically, they are either high buildings (with 20 – 30 stories) in downtown or 10 – 11 stories in farther areas.
  • The customers buy the houses and get the certificate of ownership.

So there is no separated house. Actually houses (one building with only one family living in it) are no longer allowed to be built within the outer ring road of Shanghai. The new apartment buildings have to be either 7-stories without elevator or higher with elevator.

So, several buildings will make up a community. The community is typically maintained by a Property Management Company. The Property Management Company charges people living in the community for their service (say, 1.95 RMB per sq. m per month)

It is the Seller’s Market

As I described in my previous blog Hard to Buy a House in Shanghai, it is absolutely a seller’s market. To be more precious, it is the investor’s market.

There is a very strange phenomena in Shanghai that people with money cannot get a chance to buy an apartment. This is out of everyone’s imagination – so wired.

When a real estate project is completed and open to market, buyers with cash in hand only find out that all the apartments have been sold out. After looking for bigger houses for some days, I am disappointed myself. If you hear about a place that sounds good, you don’t even need to bother to call their sales hotline. The answer will be: “Sorry. All the apartments have been sold out”.

What? All apartments have been sold out? It is astonishing to see the newly opened houses with at least 1000 apartments were sold out in two hours. Am I dreaming? Unfortunately, it is the reality of the market in Shanghai.

Currently, Medias in Shanghai begin to notice the phenomena. I have seen new apartments in Xuhui that they following the N-N-N policy: “No Price. No Reception. No Apartment.” They even don’t bother to talk to the end customers.

When I steps in to the sales office of a property in Yuanshen Rd. and Pudian Rd., I saw the even stranger notice. “Our apartment price is confidential. If you want to get noticed of the price, please pay 2000 RMB first.” Well. Well. Well. They asked me to pay 2000 RMB to know the price of their houses? Is this robbery?

When my friend said “The service I received to buy a house is worse than that I received to buy a cloth”, we all laughed out laud. True. Very True.

Where are the Houses

The big question in everyone’s brain is, WHERE ARE THE HOUSES?

The recently three years witness the blooming of the real estate industry. The price of houses in Shanghai doubled. The market strategy for real estate companies made the price for the house keep raising. For example, the property at Jinxiu Rd. rose from 6000 RMB per sq. m to 7200 RMB per sq. m in the last month (from Sept to Oct, 2003). So it is a good investment option to buy one or two apartments and sell it in one or two months. Now the magic Chinese “Relationship” or Guanxi come into play. If there are new houses, buyers will typically buy the houses using internal channels before they are released to the market. This is proved by the phenomena that second-hand new houses are available on Real Estate Agencies while the first hand new houses are not available from the Real Estate Developers.

Bubble!!

I believe this is the typical economy bubble in the real estate industry. People buying the houses not for use, they just buy it for investment. When the majority of the buyers become investors, it is for sure the price will drop after they find out there are not enough buyers.

However, I do believe with more and more people moving to Shanghai – from worldwide or from country-wide, the demands for houses are still high. The prices will continue to rise after it drops for about one or two years.

JW Marriott in Tomorrow Square Opens

When I am talking about JW Marriott Hotel in Shanghai, most of my friends has never heard of the name. Not to mention the new JW Marriott Hotel in the Tomorrow Square, the name of Marriott is not that famous like Shangri-la or Hilton. Although Marriott is the largest hotel group in the world, the brands are not widely recongnized. Maybe it is because of the translation. Either Hilton and Shangri-la are directly translated as they are pronounced, but Marriott is translated as Wanhao in Chinese. There is absolutely no directly relationships between the English name and the Chinese name.

Anyway, not well-known does not prevent the hotel to be a great hotel. It is at the heart of Shanghai – the People’s Square.

Great View

I happen to visit this hotel days ago and took the following pictures:

shanghai-cafe.38-marriott.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

The Cafeteria of JW Marriott is located on the 38th floor with fantastic view. The four directions of the hotels are all wonderful since it is located exactly at the center of Shanghai.

shanghai-buildings.view-marriot.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Looking southward, you can see the high buildings are raising all across the city. The building in the middle is the famous Hongkong Plaza.

Confusing Elevators

Since the building was not designed to be a hotel at the very begining, the elevators and the grand halls on the grand floor were not designed to accommodate a hotel. When I entered the lobby of Tomorrow Square for the first time, I doubt – is this a hotel? There is only about 50 sq. meters in the lobby – the smallest lobby I have ever seen. There is no logo for the hotels either. I asked the bell boy – yes. Only the presence of a bell boy secured me to believe this is a hotel.

From one of the two elevators adjustance to the building entrance, we arrived at the 38th floor, the real lobby of the hotel. To be honest, this lobby is not large also. The elevators are equiped with door lock that only a guest with the room IC card can use the elevators to room levels.

Location

399 Nanjing West Road Shanghai, 200003 China

Phone: 86 21-53594969 Fax: 86 21-63755988

Map

Google Map

Invalid Login on My MovableType

As some of you may have noticed, my site experienced technical difficulties yersterday. The comment system didn’t work. You will see Entry with ID “xx” does not exisit or page not found or other error messages. This lasted for about 20 hours.

For me, when I try to logon using my user name and password into MovableType, I got the following error:

“Invalid Login”

It seemed I have typed the wrong username and password, which I was very sure to be correct.

I tried the recover password in MovableType function but was told the user “Jian Shuo Wang” does not exist.

Wired

I was really scared and backed up everything immediately. I tried a lot of methods, including restore my previous backups to the server. These does not work. After that, I know something wrong with the server software, instead of my database files.

Answers have been Given

I should search with Google for “Invide Login” and MovableType earlier. Actually, this problem is descrbied in user mannual of MovableType already. According to the troubleshooting secton:

I changed hosts, and now I can’t log in to Movable Type

When you change hosting providers (or just move to a different server at the same provider), it is possible that the two servers have different versions of the Berkeley DB library; this is the library that Movable Type uses to store your data. When you copy the DB files from one host to another, if the two hosts have different versions of Berkeley DB, the new host will not be able to read the files from the old host.

This can be fixed by converting the DB files over to the format used by the new library version; this is accomplished in several different ways, depending on the Berkeley DB versions involved. The files that need to be converted are all of the files in your db directory whose filenames end in either .db or .idx (the .lock files do not need to be converted).

The Server Administrator Upgraded the Dataase Driver

It turned out that the server administrator has upgraded the database driver on the server. I checked the system with mt-check.cgi and got the following result:

Movable Type [mt-check.cgi]

SYSTEM INFORMATION:

Current working directory: E:/customer/wangjianshuo

Operating system: MSWin32

Perl version: 5.6.0

(Probably) Running under cgiwrap or suexec

CHECKING FOR REQUIRED MODULES:

HTML::Template (version >= 2)…

Your server has HTML::Template installed (version 2.6).

Image::Size…

Your server has Image::Size installed (version 2.992).

File::Spec (version >= 0.8)…

Your server has File::Spec installed (version 0.8).

CGI::Cookie…

Your server has CGI::Cookie installed (version 1.16).

CHECKING FOR DATA STORAGE MODULES:

The following modules are used by the different data storage options in

Movable Type. In order run the system, your server needs to have at least

one of these modules installed.

DB_File…

Your server has DB_File installed (version 1.806).

DBD::mysql…

Your server does not have DBD::mysql installed. DBI and

DBD::mysql are required if you want to use the MySQL database

backend. Please consult the installation instructions for help

in installing DBD::mysql.

DBD::Pg…

Your server does not have DBD::Pg installed. DBI and DBD::Pg

are required if you want to use the PostgreSQL database

backend. Please consult the installation instructions for help

in installing DBD::Pg.

DBD::SQLite…

Your server does not have DBD::SQLite installed. DBI and

DBD::SQLite are required if you want to use the SQLite database

backend. Please consult the installation instructions for help

in installing DBD::SQLite.

CHECKING FOR OPTIONAL MODULES:

The following modules are optional; if your server does not have these

modules installed, you only need to install them if you require the

functionality that the module provides.

LWP::UserAgent…

Your server has LWP::UserAgent installed (version 1.73).

SOAP::Lite (version >= 0.5)…

Either your server does not have SOAP::Lite installed, or the

version that is installed is too old. SOAP::Lite is optional;

it is needed if you wish to use the MT XML-RPC server

implementation. Please consult the installation instructions

for help in installing SOAP::Lite.

File::Temp…

Your server does not have File::Temp installed. File::Temp is

optional; it is needed if you would like to be able to

overwrite existing files when you upload. Please consult the

installation instructions for help in installing File::Temp.

Image::Magick…

Your server has Image::Magick installed (version 5.26).

Your server has all of the required modules installed; you do not need to

perform any additional module installations. Continue with the installation

instructions.

I cannot remember the previous version number, but it was obviously not 1.806 – this string seems so strange to me.

The Fix

The fix was easy – to run db_upgrade command on all *.db and *.idx.

“Run db_upgrade?” It is easy to say! The db_upgrade can be easily get on a Linux or Unix server. Where can I get db_upgrade command from a Windows system?

I searched the Internet and didn’t got an answer. The final fix was, not surprisingly, I asked for help from my friend Eric. He opened an account on his Linux server for me. I was not skilled enough to transfer data from Windows to Linux yet. So I opened FTP service on another Windows 2003 server, transfered all my *.db and *.idx files to that server, download it from the Linux server – thank God that the TCP/IP is working on the Linux. Run the db_upgrade *.db *.idx command at the folder containing the database files. Then transfer the new files back via the FTP server. It worked like a charm. The nightmare of the dabase problem ended.

Importance of Backup

Many articles are avaiable on Installation of MovableType. However, I didn’t see anyone talking about backup of MovableType. I suggest the following backup approach.

1. Export the Entries. On the MovableType console, click Import/Export from the left navigation bar and click Export Entries From <your blog name> and you see the HTML code. Do not directly click File -> Save as…. to save it. Instead, click View -> Source Code. After the codes are loaded in notepad, click Save on File menu to save it. I am using the naming convension of yyyymmdd-blogname-weekly.backup.txt to save the files.

Special note: Please check the exported files to make sure there is no lines with more than seven dashes “-“. Dashes from the begining of the line has sepecial meanings. So replace any seperator in comments or entry bodies like “”

2. Save all the .db and .idx files in your database folders. There should be 53 files of them. The .lock files always has 0 bytes in it and don’t need backup.

Traffic Control in Shanghai

To continue my story about the traffic ticket I got yesterday; I am going to tell the story of traffic control in Shanghai. There are obviously many interesting ways to keep the traffic, making the roads in the city a maze land for drivers.

The Expensive Plate

Raising the expense to get a car number plate is one of the most significant ways. Although there is hot debate in China around the policy that controls the number of cars by raising the cost of ownership, the car plate price is still going high. A car plate costs at least 38500 RMB in August. The price went down for a while in Sept at lowest success bid of 2800 RMB. I don’t know the lowest successful bid price of this month – the bid was held yesterday.

The Single Passes

Many roads in downtown Shanghai is single pass only. For example, the Tian Yao Qiao Rd. near where I work is a single pass road – cars can only goes from north to south. I bet the number of single pass road is almost the same as the two way roads in downtown Shanghai.

Unfortunately, the maps widely available do not mark these roads. Even the maps specially designed for drivers cannot effectively mark these roads. The rapid change in the road infrastructure force the tourism map to publish a new copy every three month to reflect the road changes, not to mention the driver’s map. The road, for example, the Nandan Road, opening for one direction only will be changed to open to the opposite direction without notice. I felt it so hard to survive in the city.

Restricted cards

There are four types of cars that are restricted in the city.

  • Cars driven by new drivers (after get the driver’s license within one year) – I am in this category.
  • Cars with plates issued outside Shanghai. (It can be tell from the number on the plate)
  • Empty taxi
  • Cars with 1200cc or smaller engines

These cars cannot use the elevated highway in the rush hours (maybe from 7:30 – 9:30, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM). So it is impossible to use the newly built Lupu bridge. I can only use the Dapu Road Tunnel, the Nanpu Bridge and the Yanan East Rd. Tunnel. (see the map)

Left Turn Forbidden

At many intersections, left turn is forbidden. At the intersection between Cao Bao Road and Long Wu Road, for example, there is even a rule that cars can only turn left or right at the intersection, but cannot go straight forward. Many car drivers get the tickets at this place – I think not many people, especially for new drivers, can understand this strange rule.

Thank God that that there are not many “right turn” forbidden roads yet. :-)

The Placement of the Signs

How can I get to know all these rules? I like to talk with taxi drivers and ask their suggestions. Guess what? They told me, “You have to keep several hundreds RMB in your pocket for one year when you drive. When a policeman stops you and give you a ticket, you know that you have done something wrong. Remember it and avoid the mistake.” “You have to go through this painful time in Shanghai. There is no shortcut.”

Poor me. What they suggested is very reasonable. There IS a sign saying the rule of “Odd weekday for odd numbers and even weekday for even numbers” at the Chongqing North Road, but if I don’t drive onto the road, I cannot see the sign. After I see the sign, I also see the policemen standing below the sign. When I see the policeman, I already see him pointing his finger to me and asked me to stop. :-( Learn from mistake is an inevitable way to drive in Shanghai.

The traffic sign forbidding the new car drivers are placed at the entrance of the elevated highways. I bet when drivers see the plate, it is already to late to change the lane to the other one leading to the surface road.

The Roads Are not Straight

The road map of Shanghai is already a big maze – even for people reading the maps. The roads are designed to be curve. It is hard to say the direction of a road. For example, the Hua Shan Road goes north from Xujiahui, and then goes directly eastward, then goes to north again. So in Shanghai, turning right twice does not mean you are returning to the original direction. Many times, I am confused to see the two roads has more than one interactions. Haha. It is so interesting.

New Job – Road Guide!

At the entrance of all major express ways to Shanghai, such as the A8 (from Hangzhou) and A11 (from Nanjing), you will see a lot of people with a new occupation – Road Guide. They hold a big advertisement plate saying: Road Guide – 10 RMB or 20 RMB.

Guess what service they offer? They can get onto your car and help you to get through the big maze of the city. Many drivers from outside Shanghai will hire a guide to go with them. The service fee for the guide certainly is compensated by eliminating the traffic tickets and the time spend on the wrong way.

Drove to Songjiang University City

Songjiang

I heard about the University city in Songjiang. Driving along the Caobao Rd., Husong Rd, I get there after one and half hour – actually, it should only take 50 minutes, but the terrible traffic jam at the Zhongchun Rd. intersection held us there for about 40 minutes. The new campus is very beautiful – we were so impressed to see the completely new buildings there. At least four universities has moved or expanded there from their campus in downtown.

shanghai.songjiang-donghua.univ-cover.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.songjiang-dustbin-univ.city.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.songjiang-exp.building-before.lake.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.songjiang-exp.building-front.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.songjiang-steps-univ.city.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.songjiang-jianshuo-w.car.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Me and the car.

My First Ticket

I got my first ticket today at the Chongqing South Road. The roads in Shanghai is so confusing – there are so many single pass roads along with time-based pass roads. Taking Chongqing Road S. as an example, only cars with odd plate numbers can pass on Mon, Wed, Fri and those with even numbers can only pass on Tues, Thur, Sat. :-( I learnt this when I entered the road and saw the notice, under the notice was the policeman.

shanghai-ticket-odd.even.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Cold Shanghai and Hot Hotmail

Cold Shanghai

Shanghai became cold from yesterday. Compared to the hot weather this September, it is hard to believe it is the same city. I wore T-shirt for the whole summer and just changed to shirt yersterday. However, the sudden drop in temperature gave me a big surprise. It was really cold last night. I was almost frozen before I found a taxi and escaped into the warm cab. So I withdraw my suggestions to those coming to Shanghai – at night, you need to wear coat instead of shirt. :-)

Hotmail inaccessible in China

According my a lot of my friend, they cannot access hotmail.com via China Telecom – the major ISP in China. People get very confused. They still can access MSN Messenger, just to see the number in mail box keeps increasing but cannot read it, or delete it. This has been lasted for quite a while. Along Hotmail is the Yahoo!Messenger. Lots of my friends encountered technical difficulties to connect to that service. Is there any relationship between this and the Google Ban?

Hand-Made Map of Pudong Area

Pudong Map

The result of last Saturday’s driving experience raises my interest in the Pudong Area. After I get off the Dapuqiao Tunnel, which is one of the 10 tunnel/bridges connecting the Pudong and Puxi, the roads become wider and the car speed raised dramatically. The road infrastructure has been well established. I practices a lot of time to get the most important roads out of the Pudong Area. To learn the roads in Pudong is just the same experience as I learnt the roads in Puxi when I first came here in 1995. I still remember the excitement when I realized Huaihai road and Nanjing road are paralle. This should be the most basic knowledge for any people living in Shanghai.

However, the situation for roads in Pudong is totally different. I bet 9 out of 10 people around me cannot tell the relationship between Yang Gao Road and Dong Fang Road, or the Zhang Yang Road – are they parallel, or intersecting? At least I didn’t know before. Now, I have successful drew the following map from my memory. After I can draw a map of a place without reference another map, I can declare that I know that place.

map-main.road-pudong.PNG

© Jian Shuo Wang

Here is the real map, showing the Jinxiu Road near the Century Park. I am personally interested in the houses there.

map-jinxiu.rd-inc.centary.park.jpg

Credit: Smi.stn.sh.cn

Updated: Interactive Map June 4, 2004

What to scroll the Shanghai map? Try the map below. Click on the arrows to navigate the map.

Why I Added Google Adsense to My Blog

You may discover that from today (Oct 22, 2003), the Google Adsense begin to appear on my website. It is typically a banner like the one shown under the Ad section on this page.

Experiment

I am just doing experiment to see if the Google’s newest technology works on my site. So far, the result is satisfactary. The advertisement served is pretty relavent to the content of my page and is not that annoying.

Ad Placement

Actually, I hate to bring the advertisement into this site, since I am passionate to provide more information about Shanghai and life here just because I love to do it. I am just conducting the experiment to see how it works and how much revenue it will bring. :-) I’d like to keep the banner to the second half of my content – after the article I created, so it should still be acceptable. What do you feel?

I tried to use all the layout of Google Adsense:

  • 468 x 60 Banner
  • 120 x 600 Skyscraper
  • 728 x 90 Leaderboard
  • 300 x 250 Inline rectangle

Finally, I choosed the smallest one – the 468 x 60 banner which serve only up to two sites. It looks more decent and fits into the design of my pages.

Andersj mentioned the idea to show the advertisement only on certain pages older than one month, so frequently readers always get fresh and ad-free content, and people from search engine will be served with content relative ads.

Still Expect Some USD for the hosting

To be honest, I still expecting to see money coming in from Google Adsense. At least, it may pay off for the domain names, the disk space. I always feel lack of disk space when I what to share something, like the Alcatel OT715 Mobile Software Suite. It does not make such sense for me to pay everything just to help others. :-)

PVG: Location of Maglev Station

Maglev is really hot recently. I can tell from the number of emails I received asking about the operation of Maglev. There is no such kind of good information on the web yet.

In the last few months, I have collected some and shared in the following articles:

More articles can be found at PVG Category page (PVG is the international air code for Pudong Airport)

Recent Operation

Now the Maglev has started to take passengers at Pudong Airport and drop them off at Long Yang Road Station. The price for single trip is 75 RMB.

Location of Maglev Station

Steve asked:

Is the way to the maglev train from the arrivals area clearly marked? Are there signs in English as well as other languages.

Well. It may not be easy for people to find the station. Since there is not sign for the Maglev yet at the International Arrival Hall. You will get very confused when you get there. It is another proof of the poor usability of Pudong Airport. I feel it is my responsibility to post some pictures about how to get to the Maglev station.

After you get out of the International Arrivals Exit (shown below), find the sign pointing to Parking. It is on the second floor of the airport. You can arrive there either by using the escalator on the right or the elevator in front of the gate.

After you arrive on the second floor of the airport, follow the sign to the parking lot. Then you will see a long bridge from the airport to the parking lots. It is shown in the picture below:

shanghai-maglev-bridge.to.maglev.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

After you enter the long hallway, you will see the first sign on the top pointing to Maglev. You can see the sign of Maglev Entrance with both English and Chinese name. The icon screen-maglev-sign.JPG is interesting.

shanghai-maglev-entrance-sign.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

After you arrive the end of this hallway, you have entered the building of Maglev Station. There is even a KFC restraunant there. It may be good choice if you are really hungry after the long trip.

shanghai-maglev-kfc.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below is the innovative roof of the Maglev Station.

shanghai-maglev-roof.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Relationship between the Maglev Station and the Pudong Airport

Actually, the two buildings are seperate, but connected with a bridge. See my diagram below:

screen-pvg.and.maglev-map.PNG

I happen to find out another picture I took after the plane just departed on my trip to Xiamen.

shanghai.pudongairport-birdeye-with.names.PNG

It is highly appreciated if someone can share with others about your REAL experience to take the Maglev train – I haven’t get a chance to give it a try yet.

screen-maglev-schedule.png

Kecak.com – (No Longer a) Comment Spammer

Update October 24, 2006

Waking up this morning, I saw Yunata’s comment about the changes in Kecak.com. I applause for the change in management, and Yunata’s commitment to create a good company.

As you may noticed, this entry was posted 3 years ago, when Kecak.com sent comment spam to this blog (and many others). 3 years later, it seems to me that Kecak.com turned to be a good company. I felt it from Yunata’s comment.

I believe nothing can be a better evidence of a good company than showing people that they are correcting mistakes, and committed to make changes.

My fellow readers, if you are search for Kecak.com in Google and reached this page, AND if you have the time to read through what happened three years ago and today, I believe you will feel more confidence in dealing with this company, because they made progress!

I didn’t remove this entry (as stated in my reply), since this can make positive impact on Kecak.com.

Good luck to Kecak.com. We have some shared experience three years ago, and I will be more than happy to see a great company there.

Jian Shuo

End of update

My site is attacked by the Comment Spam – the advertisement posted on my blog entry.

Here are examples:

Good Job …Well done

Please also visit my Bali site at http://www.kecak.com

Posted by: Elizabet-Bali Resorts and Bali Resort on October 20, 2003 10:09 PM

Source: http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/20030302_guestbook.htm#1009

The Next Version of Email Spam and Net Send Spam

Actually, it is the next wave of spam after Email spam and Net send spam. Becaues of the wide adoption of the same system – the MovableType or other simliar system, and the anonymous nature of these system, it is very easy for the bad guys to send the spam to millions of blogs in serveral hours.

Not only links

The comment spam not only bring more visitors to their website. More importantly, it add much value for its Google PageRank. From Google, we can see that there are 1560 pages/sites link to this site, so their PageRank is already PR6. It is a good number that help them list high in Google search result. Just a simple test: Type Bali in Google and you will find out it is listed as the 7th website.

Google judges the importance of a website by the link pointing to them. A link to a site stands as a vote to that website. Actually, the spammer has stealed the vote right from my website. It is bad.

The Trick Behind

The spam happens two weeks ago. It seems that the spammer thought of the idea in one night. Just after I wake up one morning, I found a lots of entries with the same name and content on many of my pages. It was really a hard job to delete them one by one and put their IP address into the block list.

Regarding this Spammer from Bali, they are creating very bad reputation for the beautiful island of Bali. I receive serveral spam from this guy every day. I know the name of this guy – John or William. It is for sure that they are fake names. Look at the two comments below (originally posted here)

Great site !!!

Please also visit my Bali site at http://www.baliforyou.com/bali/

Posted by: John- Bali Hotels Travel on October 20, 2003 10:15 PM

Good Job …Well done

Please also visit my Bali site at http://www.kecak.com

Posted by: Elizabet-Bali Resorts and Bali Resort on October 20, 2003 10:17 PM

It seems that the two comments are pointing to two different website. They seem to compete with each other. However, they are exactly the same site. Here are the details of the post.

Entry: Emails and Privacy Policies

IP Address 202.146.236.4

Author: Elizabet-Bali Resorts and Bali Resort

Email Address: william@kecak.com

Comment

Good Job …Well done

Please also visit my Bali site at http://www.kecak.com

Entry: Emails and Privacy Policies

IP Address 202.146.236.4

Author: John- Bali Hotels Travel

Email Address: john@baliforyou.com

Comment

Great site !!!

Please also visit my Bali site at http://www.baliforyou.com/bali/

You see, these two comments came in with only two minutes in interval and came from the same IP address.

Moreover, by using the Google search, you clearly discover that this spammer has successfully spamed 653 pages using the term Great site !!! Please also visit my Bali site at and 286 pages with the pattern of “Good Job …Well done Please also visit my Bali site at” by 12:37 AM 10/21/2003

Please note that the number is only the pages indexed by Google at the time of last crawl. My victim page is not on the list yet. So the pages infected by this spammer should be at least serveral thousand.

Moreover, http://www.putritour.com are also a alias for this big spammer.

Disaster for Bali Island Website

If this company continue to conduct this kind of criminal on the web, the websites of Bali Island will face big problem. I am seeking for blacklist for MovableType spam and found MT-Blacklist (via MovableType.org). Websites containing the term of Bali has already been listed in the 400 spammer list by default. I believe more and more website will implement this kind of blacklist. At least I am going to filter all comments with the term Bali in content.

The Solution

Just as we have worked together to shut down EndAds.com before, we will finally find out the way to stop them from doing this. Before the spammers stop by themself, I am going to implement the anti-spam MT plugin in the next few days.

Good luck, the spammers.

Appendix

Automatic Email Response from their Contact Page.

===========================

Dear Jianshuo Wang,

We received your message today. We would like to offer our sincere thanks to

you for for Inquirying

Our staff responds to Inquiries during regular business hours, although we

also attempt to answer Inquiries in the evenings and weekends whenever possible!

Inquiries are normally answered within 4-8 hours on week days and 8-10 on

weekends. You should be receiving a personal response by e-mail from one of our staff

shortly.

Best Regards,

Ngurah Narendra

========================

PT.Kecak DotCom

Jl.Raya Kuta 88R

Kuta – 80361 – Bali – Indonesia

Ph:+62 361 766880/766881/66882

Fax:+62 361 766810

Email:reservation@kecak.com

Website:www.kecak.com

See, they still dare to publish their phone nubmer while Net Send Spammer EndAds.com did dare to do it.

Update Baliforyou.com Appologized Oct 11, 2003

Here is the story.

Went to Shanghai Community Church

Believe it or not, this is only the second time I visit a Christian church in my life. 5 years ago, I have been to the church at the Chendu road. It was a Christmas and we rushed to a church just to feel what a Christian evening for Christmas is. It was silly to be there without knowing anything about Christian.

I know in western, most people believe in Christian. That is a major culture shock when people visit China, since the majority of people in China do not believe in God. Actually, people believe in nothing currently. There is a major problem in the current Chinese society because there is no common belief. People did have common believe before 1970’s – the Party. The party was described as more powerful than the God – if you believe in party and show your believe in it, you will get peace. The theory sounds silly recently. However, the rule still lasts that people have religious belief are not permitted to join the Party.

The Shanghai Community Church is located at #53 Henshang Road. It is called Gui Ji Li Bai Tang in Chinese, which can be directly translated into English as International Church. It is one of my most favorite old houses in Shanghai. It was built in 1924.

I went there because my Mom went there this morning. She is a Christian. I drove them to the church before I returned the car to the Car Rental Club. After that, I found I don’t have the key to my door. So I walked 40 minutes along my favorite Hua Shan Road, Huai Hai Rd. West and Heng Shan Rd. to the church. It was a very good experience to walk along these streets in the weekend morning – the Sun was so warm and the streets are clear with less traffic. If it were not to return the car, I will not get up that early since I will typically stay late – so I missed so many wonderful Shanghai morning already.

The Church

I heard there is religious service every Sunday at the church. According to other Christian’s explaination, I went there today is not because of my own decision. It is because the God have chose me and guided me there. Wow. Seems reasonable.

The service starts on 7:30 for the first round and 10:00 AM for the second round. I believe it is a trade-off of traditional time-table and the demands of people. There are not many churches in Shanghai and there are so many Christian.

The church is a very nice one. It is the largest church in Shanghai. With the anthem, people pray before the God. It was a nice experience for me. I am very careful to comment anything related to religion. Although I claim not be believe in any religion, I do respect people who have their religious belief.

The Facial Mask

I notices a old woman sitting near me wore facial mask to come to church today. Later, I saw the second person wearing masks today. Does it mean that fear to SARS come back to the city again? Hope not.

Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Birthday to myself. It is my 26th birthday. There is no special programs today, just rent a car and drove the family around the Pudong Area to look for new apartments. After 8:00 PM, I even drove to Sheshan and returned at around 10:00 PM. The places become so near after I got a car. It was such a great accomplishment to cycle to Sheshan before. :-D

First Day Driving Experience

After started to learn to drive for 3 months (counting from my first entry on this topic on June 28), I finally rent a car and drove it onto the road, by myself.

The car is so so – a Volkswagen GLi. The good thing is, the discounted price for this one day rent is only 80 RMB. Not bad deal, isn’t it?

map-drive.route-first.day.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Above picture shows the route I drove on the first day – the blue line is the route of the day time and the orange line is the route of the night. :-) The conclusion is, the traffic situation in Shanghai is not that bad.

Taxi, Currency, Credit Card and More…

Got an email with questions about Shanghai. I am going to answer the mail in public. Also, I removed all the personal information from the mail before I get confirmation from the sender that he wants his name appear.

The Letter

Dear Jian Shuo,

You have the most informative site I have found about Shanghai in the whole Internet. I really like it very much. Thank for spending so much time and effort for it. We as visitors really appreciate it. I am a little bit sad that the Maglev will only operate on particular days, because when I read your news yesterday I thought from today on it would be running permanently. We will be arriving on the 13th October, so we will not have a chance to use it to get into town, right? Just some questions, if you have the time:

  • We will have to get to the Sheraton Grand Tai Ping Yang Hotel, Zunyi Nan Road. Would you recommend to take a taxi to get there? How much will it cost approximately? Will it be okay if I show the taxi driver the reservation confirmation of the hotel which shows the name of the hotel (but not the road!) in Chinese and Latin letters. I am asking because I had some kind of trouble in Beijing once and drove trough the town with the taxi for about 3 hours because the driver did not know (or want to know) where my hotel was ;-) …
  • More questions: Is it correct that temperatures for the next 10 days will be around 18 degrees daytime and around 10 degrees night time?
  • Can I also change Euros into Yuan in the Airport? Or only U.S. Dollars?
  • Are there places to change money inside the town?
  • Can I usually pay by credit cards in restaurants and shops?

Oooops – quite a lot of questions, hope I don’t bother you too much.

The Answers

I receive increasing number of this kind of information inquery email everyday. To help more people, I tend to answer them and publish the answer on this site in case others has the same quesitons.

Get to Sheraton Grand Tai Ping Yang Hotel

I highly recommend you to take the Airport No. 3 to the hotel since the terminal stop of the route is exactly at the Sheraton Hotel. It costs only 20 RMB and 90 minutes. To take taxi there, it will costs about 150 – 200 RMB to ge there. However, it should be a little bit faster since the taxi will go via the outter ring road and the elevated highway. So you will not see a single red light on the road. For people going to other places, I will recommend taxi if the cost is not a problem.

Taxi Drivers

During the time of APEC, most taxi drivers were trained to speak at least one hundred sentences of English. However, don’t expect your taxi driver to be able to communicate with you. I believe most taxi drivers know the hotel well and your receipt with the Chinese name will work. If it does not work, be sure to tell the driver the word of “Hong Qiao”, since that area is the most famous area and the area is not large.

Current temperature

Yes. It is true. 10 – 18 degree C. I am still wearing my T-Shirt today, but felt a little bit cold. I believe a shirt will do today. However, it is forecasted that the temperature will goes down – many places in north China has snowed already these days.

Currency Exchange

You can change from many foreign currencies to Renminbi at the Bank of China counter located at the Arrival Hall. I even have a picture for you.

Also, if you check their website at http://www.bank-of-china.com, you can find the current exchange rate as below:

USD 826.46 821.49 828.94

HKD 106.63 105.99 106.95

JPY 7.4509 7.3948 7.4882

EUR 959.31 951.15 962.19

GBP 1377.29 1344.88 1381.43

You can easily exchange your EURO to RMB at any Bank of China branch office. There are some others banks that can exchange currency for you, but the Bank of China is easiest one to find. Look for this logo:

screen-bank.of.china-logo.gif

Credit Card

Most large shopping malls and department stores accept credit card. By large, I mean the store that seems clean and has at least two floors. This is only a rule of thumb. Check with the store or restaurant before you shop or eat there. It is very embarressing if the card does not work.

Also, keep in mind to bring some RMB cash with you since 1) the credit card, especially international credit card may not always work at local machines 2) not all operating staff can operate the international credit card correctly.

I hope I have answered all your questions. I’d also like to repeat there, that by writing to me, you agree that I publish the content of the email to the website. Also understand I am not able to answer all the questions.

China is Sending Man to Space

The news of the launch of manned space vehicle was sealed so good that it was announced within two week before the launch. Today, I saw the news report on TV confirming that the first manned space vehicle will be launched between Oct 15 to Oct 17, 2003. Shenzhou V will orbit the earth 14 times on a 21-hour mission.

It is just too good news to be true. I thought it will be a 10 year project just like the Manhattan Project, instead of such a late notice to me. Maybe the project has went on for two or three decade – I was just shocked and cannot believe the first astronaut of China will go to the space immediately.

Good luck to the first astronaut and the space vehicle.

PVG: Maglev Started Carry Passengers

Breaking news! Maglev will begin real transportation from tomorrow. It is still the trail operation, but the difference is, from tomorrow, the train will open its door to drop passengers for the first time at Pudong Airport. Before, the Maglev is purely operating for tourist. Passengers has to get on board the train and leave the train at the same station. It will directly return from Pudong Airport back to Long Yang Road after it arrives.

From tomorrow, it will drop passengers at Pudong Airport. This trail operation only opens for six days, namely, Oct 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26. The price is 75 RMB and the interval is 20 minutes, starting from 9:20 to 17:20.

Updated Oct 20, 2003

Oh. I forgot to let you know that MagLev begin to PICKUP passengers at Pudong Airport and Drop them off at Luoyang Road. So you can directly go to the Maglev station after you get off your flight. According to Shanghai Morning Post, 90% of the passengers getting on board the Maglev are foreigners. It seems the news goes faster to the ears of the foreigners than to local people.

screen-maglev-schedule.png

Joined A Club to Rent a Car

I joined a car club named Coco today. I did got some email asking me about the car club I mentioned in my previous article Eager to Drive Soon. The price of 160 RMB per day for a Volkswagen is definitely a very good price comparing to 300 RMB or more from Avis.

Here is more information about the company if you are interested in:

Location: 601, #27, 1520 Hua Shan Rd., Shanghai

Phone: 021-62805959 Miss Zhang or Li

The rule is, you reserve a car in advance – maybe 5 days before, and get the car between 9:00 – 10:00 AM at their company. Then fill it up with the oil, drive it and return it to the company between 8:30 AM and 9:00 AM. This plan works perfect for me since after I return the car, I can take bus 44 for two stops directly to where I work in the morning.

Of course, I gave them 3800 RMB + 30 RMB (card fee) membership fee. The money will be returned at the end of the year.

Something interesting is, they offer 5 days of on-sale price. You can choose five days within the year to rent a car for 80 RMB only (the Volkswagen). I got an additional coupon when I told her that I was referred by an existing member. She gave me two coupon – one for me and the other is for the referer. :-)