Flying to Guangzhou on A Rainy Day

I packed my Dell Latitude X200 into a very small bag and got out of the Metro Tower. The trip destination this time is the metropolitain of Guangzhou. It was very cold outside and rained a little bit. To warn other travelers to Shanghai, I just hang up a weather meter onto my homepage. I only wore a shirt and a suite, expecting the temperature in Guangzhou should be much higher. So I was freezen there.

It was about 12:45 at noon when I was looking for a taxi. There are two red taxis waiting before the Metro Tower. I didn’t take them. Remember the advice from a senior taxi driver? “Avoid taking red taxi in Shanghai.” I partly agree. Although I have some very good experiences to take the red taxis, most of my the unpleasant experiences also happens in those taxis. So to be safe, I follow the rule of avoid-taking-red-taxi strickly now.

Background Information: Why Bad Shanghai Taxis are All Red.

Do you know why they are all red? 10 years ago, there is no standard color for taxis. Later, Da Zhong taxi changed their ID color from many to one color – red. It is very effetive at that time. People knows the color and would like to take red taxis. But things changes rapidly, all the taxis begin to draw themself as red since Da Zhong cannot prevent other company to draw their taxi red. About 4 years ago (not sure though), Da Zhong decided to use only one model of car from Volkswagen. They also reserve the right to use Turquoise. So now, if it is a Volxwagen Santana, and the color is Turquoise, it will be a Da Zhong taxi. No one can buy Turquoise Santana any more.

Now, most big taxi companies in Shanghai have choosed their visual identification color other than red, like Yellow for Qiangshen, White for Jinjiang, the smaller taxi companies are left with the tradition color – red.

Source: Shanghai’s Taxi

I quickly walked into the rain and waited for a slow guy to get out of a white taxi. Then I rushed into the warm cabine. “Does a good brand mean so much for a customer?” I believe managers at Jin Jiang taxi will be happy to know a customer even wanted to wait in the rain to take their taxis. Of cause, they will be unhappy if they know that I choosed white taxi because another turquoise taxi was just occupied so I have to choose them.

To Pudong Airport

Well. Enough odds and edds on Shanghai’s taxi. I love to talk about taxi, tickets and taxi driver since no other industries in a city react to news/events/emergencies as quickly as taxi does. Just take a look at the SARS period. Taxi drivers are telling the most vivid stories of the event. BTW, a taxi driver complained about drop of money made by 30% percent because the government has just closed all the entertainment venues (KTV, Massage) for investigation for 20 days. Taxi drivers, again, felt the pressure first.

Whenever it rains, the traffic of Shanghai is a mess. Cars, buses, rain-coat covered bicylers are craweded and fighting with each other to get the right to occupy the narrow roads. Fortunately enough, the taxi finally got onto the evelvated highway (the inner ring road) and then turned right to the Lupu Bridge. After that, I was quite asured that there will be no traffic jams on the road ahead. There wasn’t a single red light from the point to the Pudong Airport.

Running along the A20, I suddenly felt as if I were in U.S. The road infrusture has been well estabished with international standard ramps and signs. Even the name of the road was changed from Chinese names to numbers and alphabetics for easy of use for foreigners. The car was running at 100 km/hour…. The difference is, the field along the roads was still empty. When more and more families have cars, these areas should be developed very quickly and lower houses (not apartment) will grow to wherever roads extend – live virus….

The rail of Maglev road runs side by side with A20 and then along the A1, which connects the A20 (the outter ring road) to the Pudong Airport. I didn’t see a train running on the rail since it operates only on weekends now.

KFC at Pudong Airport

It took me 140 RMB for single trip from Xujiahui to Pudong Airport – it should be only 130-135 RMB in sunny days. The waiting on the jammed Tian Yao Qiao Rd. cost me 5 RMB at least. There is a nice KFC at the Maglev station, . I had my lunch there. The growth of KFC is much stronger than that of McDonalds in Shanghai, maybe also in China. They opens a lot of shops in places that has good potential. There was one in Minghang by the SJTU already. Maglev hasn’t started operation yet. The business was not that bad. Almost all the tables were occupied. Most of the customers were young professionals serving the airport or airlines.

I didn’t have much time for me to wander in the airport. Otherwise, I would have gone to see the Long Distance Bus Station and take some pictures to answer the questions like “Where can I take bus from Pudong Airport to Ningbo?….”


I used my China Eastern Airlines(MU) Frequent Flyer Program card to check-in. MU has a very nice notification system. About 20 minutes later, I got a SMS to inform me that the credit for this flight had been added to my account. Very cool. It is some of the very few good experiences SMS brought to me.

I had a nice seat at 3A on the plane, which is the first row of ecomonic class. There was large room before the seats so my legs can relax. I will ask for such seats in my future trip. On the plane, I read an interesting book Business the Yahoo! Way: Secrets of the Worlds’s Most Popular Internet Company. Nice book. I didn’t know, or at least I didn’t realized, that Yahoo!’s success highly depends on the success of partnership. Most of the content and some of the technologies are provide by its partners. It is something like Google now. By seaching the book title at Amzon, I found the Google AdWords has been seamlessly integrated with Amazon already under the Customer Interested in (book name) also Interested in section.

I found a rule of thumb to choose good books for me. Books cheaper than 15 RMB (2 USD) in China are typically interesting books. The more expensive, or thicker the book is, the useless it will be, because I will never find time to read the whole of them.

The reason I read this book is that I am thinking of the following questions recently:

  • Should go onto a path that will lead to commercial operation? Anyone think so?
  • Should I accept more authors to contribute to this site?
  • Should I be more focused on the topic of Shanghai?

Thanks Cyril for giving me many advices but I’d like to hear more feedbacks on that. I am just a little confused and don’t know what is the next step. At least, I enjoy writing about the city and the life. I also enjoy reading my pass posts – each single piece of them reminds me of the “old happy times”….


Thank God. Guangzhou is much warmer. It is at 23N 113E. 19 degree south of Shanghai. I have heard enough terrible stories about bad security in Guangzhou, so I kept my bag as closely to my body as possible and paid enough attention to people around me. There is a joke to compare the security level of Guangzhou and Shenzhen. “Your wallet is not safe in either Guangzhou or Shenzhen. But the difference is, it will be stolen in Shenzhen but be robbed in Guangzhou.”

Wendy’s Blog

Wendy has setup her blog. It is in Chinese.


Wendy loves to describe the lovely and good things in life. This is the advertisement for her to show my support. Now, all members in my small family (two persons) have blogs.

Wendy hosted her blog at It is powered by Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server. I did complain that she didn’t host her blog on my site, but she has her choice. :-)

Anyone unaware of who Wendy is? She is my wife.

Christmas is Coming

There is only about two weeks to Christmas. I have decorated my blog a little bit to reflect the happy seasons. You may have seen the little golden bell on the right-top corner, the small snow field icon at the footer. I promise on the day of Christmas, the homepage of this website will begin to snow. Yes. Wait for to see it. I just cannot wait till Dec 25 to put the lovely little decors on. The Christmas in America and Europe must be splendid – Wendy told me that shops in Munich have been decorated for the holiday already. So does the oriental city Shanghai. Big Christmas trees appeared before our office building and the silver flowers are shining on the top of the elevators.

Update Wendy’s blog Moved December 28, 2003

I am happy that Wendy finally moved her blog to my server. Her new blog is at It happened after I managed to fix the Chinese display problem of MovableType. Wendy started her first part of a short novel today. I doubt whether she will complete the whole novel though. :-D

PVG: 2nd Runway Under Construction

Shanghai is sunny today, but the temperature drops by 8 degrees C. The winter is coming! The cold, freezing Shanghai winter is coming!

I send Wendy to the airport and she will begin her happy journey to Europe. She will have a meeting at Munich, Germany and visit Italy, Austria and France…

After I saw the China Airlines flight disappeared in the sky at 12:30, I had a walk outside the Pudong Airport. I bet not many passengers ever tried to walk out of the airport – it is by the sea and there is barely no buildings around.

The Second Runway

Heading to the east of Pudong Airport, you can walk to the sea shore by theory – if there were not the trench. I will talk about it later. (East is the direction you face when you step out of the gates of the Departure Hall.)


Passing the Maglev station, and pass the highways, and a wood bridge, I reached an area behind the trees – the massive ground area with no trees and no buildings. This is the report about the second runway and the second terminal building of Pudong Airport.

The authority is now working on the preliminary work for the second runway which is expected to be finished by the end of next year and has started to collect designs for the second terminal from firms worldwide. Xinhua, Nov 22, 2003

The Preliminary Work

The vast empty land should be the Preliminary work. It is almost the same size of the current airport terminal. The land is about 1 meter below the land of the current airport. The “footprint” of the bulldozers are clear on the ground. I was surprised to see such a huge project base there. (Wendy said I maybe happier to be a construction worker – she always said so when I show my interest to the construction bases.)

I marched about 10 minutes toward the harsh winter strong wind and almost reached the sea shore, but a deep trench lied before me. It was about 2 meters deep and 2 meters wide and there are water inside. I have to turn left, hoping to get around the trench since I saw the left end of the trench. 15 minutes later, I said “shit” when I found out that the trench is a square, defining the area of the second runway and the terminal building. I have to walk along the trench and found the wooden gate through which I entered the construction base.

The Shopping Malls

The shopping mall mentioned in the Xinhua report is also under construction. The building should have been completed, if I didn’t make mistakes.

Updated Got the GPS from Sebastian

I went to the SJTU Minhang Campus to meet Sebastian and got his GPS. It is a very nice GERMIN eTrex Venture. I entered to waypoints into the GPS:

KFC CAOBO N31.17026 E121.42917

JSW HOME N31.17053 E121.42356

Credit: Garmin’s website

Nice. :-)


Wiki is a good idea. The idea is particularly useful in Wikipedia. I love the feature that you can create a link (the definition of a word) using the syntax of [[Shanghai]]. Shanghai will be a hyperlink to

If the term is defined, the link will bring up the page. If the term is not defined, it will bring up the edit page to define it. This is the best idea among all the ideas in Wiki.

If it is applied to [[Blog]], I will like to create sentences like this – to use [[ and ]] to note the names I want to explain in other [[articles]]. Thus I have a good way to describe the [[world I am in]] in a extended way – create the link first and put the description later.

Typical Taxi Fares in Shanghai

I talked with a taxi driver from Qiangsheng Taxi Company on may way back home. He is a experienced driver. I consulted him about the typical taxi fares from Pudong Airport to downtown Shanghai. He said he is very confident that the fare he estimated will not differ from the real charge by 10 RMB.

From Shanghai Pudong Airport to

People’s Square – 130 RMB

Pudong Shangri-la Hotel – 115 – 130 RMB

Xujiahui – 140 RMB

Hongqiao Airport – 150 – 160 RMB

Hong Qiao Area (ShanghaiMart, Ressaniance Hotel, Sheraton Hotel) – 140-150 RMB

Fudan University – 125 – 130 RMB

Shanghai Railway Station – 135 RMB (via Lupu Bridge)

Metro Longyang Station (End of the Maglev) – 90 RMB

To any place within the Outter Ring Road (A20) – less than 200 RMB

To any place within the Inner Ring (The Elevated Highway) – less than 150 RMB

From Pudong Airport to Nearby Cities

Ningbo – 600 KM, 1800 RMB (+150 RMB Toll Fee)

Hangzhou – 200 KM 500 RMB (+60 RMB Toll Fee)

Suzhou – 100KM 300 RMB (+30 RMB Toll Fee)

How to Use the Number

The number the driver gave is a very good reference for people new to Shanghai. If there is traffic jam, the fare will be higher (5 minutes of waiting = 1 km. Waiting means speed lower than 12 km/hour).

So you know if the taxi driver over charges you.

Watch Out Bad Shanghai Taxi Drivers

For many foreign visitors to Shanghai, taxi is a convenient transportation tool that is not expensive. However, do watch out those bad taxi drivers!

This morning, I got an complain mail from my reader who asked me about the taxi fee from Pudong Airport to his hotel.

I have arrived to Shanghai, but i think i was victim of a couple of bad taxi men, they charge me with 480 RMB to bring me from the airport to the new Renaissance Hotel in Pudong, I read that the usual rate was around no more than 130 RMB. The taxi metter was working and suddenly they told me that it brokes. It was difficult to argue that the rate was high that I expected but they did not want to down my luggage until they (are) paid, as in fact they leve me across the street in front of the hotel, like pretending that nobody else saw the situation.

I do not want to post this at the web, because I do not want to create a bad concept on people. I am sure that this is no the usual stuff, just please make some comments by yourself so nobody else falls in this situation, assuming that they charge me wrong, in case that the rate is correct forgive my comments.

What? I shotted out to see there are such bad taxi in Shanghai that charges 480 RMB for a trip from Pudong Airport to a hotel in Pudong. Yeah. The rate should no more than 130 RMB for the trip. I think the service of Shanghai’s taxi is outstanding. This case is definitely not the common case. But I feel the responsibility to warn travellers to Shanghai about the bad guys.

How Much Does it Cost from Shanghai Pudong Airport to….

From email or my BBS, I’d say estimated taxi fare questions are among the top of the FAQ list. Give you some rules of thumb.

  1. Typically, you should not pay over 200 RMB for a trip in Shanghai
  2. You has the right to refuse to pay if you are not given a computer printed receipt.
  3. Call Shanghai Transportation Administration Bureau telephone 63232150 to complain

110 is the emergency number in the city just like 911 in U.S. Give it a try if you feel not safe in the taxi.

The Rule Behind the Fare

If you are interested, you can study the way Shanghai taxi charges. In simple words, the rule is 10 RMB for the first 3 km and 2 RMB per km and 3 RMB per km after 10 km.

A km trip in Shanghai will RMB

Note: This is only estimated taxi fare. Waiting time and night fare (50% up) not considered. Check here for more precise rules

Sample Fare

From Pudong Airport to

People's Square - 30 km and should cost about 100 RMB

Xujiahui - 40 km, about 130 RMB

Hong Qiao Airport - 40 KM, 150 RMB

Look at my Shanghai Hand-Made Map, you get an idea that Hong Qiao Airport is almost the west-most part of the city and Pudong Airport is the east-most point (Pudong Airport is at the sea shore. You can see the East China Sea from this bird view picture of Pudong Airport). If the taxi fee between these two points does not exceed 200 RMB, why the taxi driver charges you more than that?

Again, get a receipt

All taxi in Shanghai should use a meter to count the distance and the waiting time. Never let any taxi drivers turn off the meter during your trip. Pay only according to the meter. Here is what you may expect at Pudong or Hong Qiao Airport and my suggestions:

  1. Some will tell you that they offer you a better price than the meter.

    Don't believe in that. Insist to use the meter.

  2. What if they said their meter is broken?

    It is not possible. Most passengers in Shanghai ask for receipt and know the rule - no receipt, no money. So he must be cheatting. Warn him/her that you will complain.

  3. What if I think the taxi charge me higher than they should?

    Keep the receipt and ask your hotel to call the taxi administration to complain.

The Taxi Administration has gain my trust that they always follow up to find out the taxi driver for an explaination. For some bigger companies, they even provide "run it again" service. They send another driver to run the way again to check out the actually price.

Choose the Better Taxi Company

I suggest you to take the taxis from bigger company if there is any choice. I have a guide on the ranking of Shanghai taxi companies.

Dazhong Taxi, the best in Shanghai

Qiangsheng Taxi, also very good

Good luck and don't get cheated by a bad taxi driver.

World AIDS Day

Today is the World AIDS Day. I have put the Link and Think Project logo onto my website.

This is the second time I joined the project and help to spread the information of AIDS.

1 Million AIDS-Affected People

There are already 1 Million AIDS-Affected People in China. People around me are still not well informed of the prevential measures for this disease. Many people still think if they don’t have drug and don’t have many sex partner, they will be 100% free of AIDS. It is wrong!


Everytime I open the discussion forum of, I feel sad and cold. This time is no exception.

When I clicked the discussion link related to the report of 1 Million Affected by AIDS in China, I found majority of the comments look like:

  1. Anyone affected by AIDS should be kill immediately!
  2. Kill those who affected AIDS by sex and drugs
  3. Seperate them!

It is astonishing! It is so astonish!!

I clearly see the word of “KILL THEM” in the comments repeatly on may comments. What a nation! In my definition, this is called discrimination.

If 1 out of 100 people are posting this kind of comment, it is not a big deal, is it? But what if 9 out of 10 posters are saying so? It is a big socialty problem. This is just like the thread about Japan Spy Satellites Fail to Reach Orbit – it was so-called “The Sea of Happiness”. People from all of the country posted “congratulations” posts and shared their “happiness” with each other. How naive it is.

AIDS Resources


AIDS Directory

The Body

The NAMES Project

AIDS 101

United Nations AIDS Project

National AIDS Trust

Site Note

Suggested by Isaac, I have put more content into my MovableType RSS feed. The template directly comes from Ben’s article. Now you can use SharpReader to read my blog now. The RSS 1.0 source is at