Shall I Open a Shanghai BBS

Whenever I meet any tough decision related to this site, I turn to my readers to help me.

I am thinking of open a BBS to offer visitors another place to raise question. Thus if anyone has any question about Shanghai, they can just create a new topic. Currently, they have to select a topic I have created and post it there, or it will be off topic comment.

I have setup a forum at http://home.wangjianshuo.com/bbs, however, I didn’t kick off it yet. I know to start a forum is easy and to maintain is not. More efforts should be put into the forum to maintain it, to reply and to moderate it. So, I still not decided it yet. If I open it one day, it means I have committed it to keep it in the long run. The original PVGBBS (Pudong Airport BBS) was not a success story for me. The volume is not good. After my server migration, I didn’t move the old data to this new site yet. This is a sample of the commitment I have to make to run a BBS. Once a post is posted onto a forum, the post owner and the site owner share the ownership of the post. The site owner is expected (although not required by law) to take care of the post and to keep the URL to the post unchanged – in case there are references on other site to this entry. At least, the site owner should keep the post for reasonable long time. This is the responsibility the owner should have.

blogcn.com did very bad recently – to lose customer’s blogs and comments and shut down the service frequently. I am very careful for the decision to run hosted service (like BBS), since I don’t want to be another example of blogcn.com. Responsibility is yours no matter how big (like a BSP) or how small (like my BBS) you are.

P.S. 1

I am very surprised to see 37 comments on my last entry: Why I Don’t Have an English Name. Wow. A hot topic!

P.S. 2

If you see me going online, offline, online, offline, …. on MSN Messenger these days, don’t be surprised. I am in an environment where the wireless LAN is not stable. It seems to be running on a sin(x) curve. The indicator went from Low, to Very Low, to Limited or no connectivity, to No wireless network detected, and then to Limited or no connectivity, back to Very low, Low…. at a cycle of 3 minutes. So does my MSN Messenger. It automatically logon when network resumes and log off when connection lost.

P.S. 3

After several weeks in a big project, I found my planning skills greatly increased. I wasn’t able to plan things that is 3 days ahead, now I have to think about what I (and the implementation team) are doing the same day half a year later (that is 2005). Great. It is important to see progress everyday.

P.S. 4

Beijing is hot and wet these days, just like the rain season in Shanghai, if not hotter or wetter.

P.S. 5

I will move to Beijing Shangri-la Hotel from tomorrow. Byebye, Ressainanse, my favorite hotel in Beijing.

Jain Suho Wnag @ Bieijng

I changed my display name from “Jian Shuo Wang @ Beijing” to “Jain Suho Wnag @ Bieijng” three days ago and kept the wrong spelling for every word till just now. I received more than 10 queries about why I changed it this way. My friends are nice and they reminded me that I spelled my name wrong or spelled Beijing wrong. Haha. It was an experiment and it was just for fun.

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

Tihs is inteserting. I chnaged my nmae and poeple siltl fnid it esay to recgonize my nmae or the ctiy nmae :-D

Lonely Planet, Lonely Journey

Kissing goodbye Wendy, leaving my home, seeing away my lovely car, I got on a red Falanhong taxi in the darkness of this summer night, heading to Pudong Airport. It was 8:50 PM. If I have choices the next time, I won’t fly at 9:50 PM. It is a good time to go to bed, not the right time to start a new journey ALONE.

Turning right on the Hunan Road, and turning left at the first viaduct, I am on the A20 outer ring road. The taxi ran at more than 100 km/h. The driver was obviously very happy to take me. The 100 RMB taxi fare may mean a nice toy for his kid, or a wonderful meal for his whole family. He became talkative and mentioned his family, the small taxi company he works for, the change of this city. It is nice to end a day with a good business and a polite passenger, isn’t it? But how about ending it with a journey out of home? I became very homesick last week, despite of the exciting projects and the busy life I was longing for.

The air at night is as clear as vacuum. The road lamps hide away quickly with new lamps running into my face. I am not happy to leave home at deep night – the time to go to bed.

Chen had a talk with me this afternoon. He described his dream as the life I am leading – to fly between the two cities frequently and enjoy the best the both cities have to offer. Well. It is nice if I don’t have to leave Wendy.

Believe it or not, the taxi driver managed to send me to the airport within 30 minutes. He was quick to help me to get my luggage out of the back case and handed it to me. I guess he will turn on the CD, increase the volume and conduct a beautiful U-turn back home – his home is just 5 km away from mine – he told me about it.

The airport was empty. Not many people travel as late as 9:20 PM. There are still many airport staff there – busy packing their stuff to get ready to leave. When I checked in at the Eastern Airlines counter, they told me I am the last three passengers for this flight – the plane is already going to taking off. “Be hurry. Everyone is waiting for you to go home.”, said the tired young man. I realized that although the check-in gate closes 30 minutes before the departure of the flight, as the last flight of the day, they have the flexibility to depart as early as they can if there is no bad passenger like me.

I left the counter and ran to the security check – the counter closed behind me. I went down, down, down to the ground floor of the airport to gate 32. At the counter, a lady in uniform was complaining with another girl about missing her last shuttle to go back home. I went through the gate and the counter closed behind me. Lights went off.

I got to the plane that was parked south-most corner of the airport via shuttle bus. I stepped onto the plane, and door closed after me. When I sat down at the back of the plane, it started to move along the taxi way and soon took off.

Now I am at the plane and typing the entry of today. 80% passengers in this flight are foreigners. It seems half of them came from India and others from Russia – I am just guessing. They must have bought a (cheap) tour package.

The light of the plane soon went off and people started to fall asleep. I am among the few persons who are still awake. Along with others on this flight, I am somewhere between the two major cities in China, and 100,000 meters in the middle of the dark sky.

Why I Don’t Have an English Name

Most friends of mine have English names, so do many young people in China. I am often asked about “What is your English name?”. My answer is, Jian Shuo Wang is my English name.

I know this brings much trouble to my foreign friends It is not easy to pronounce it, especially the word “Shuo”. If I choose a name such as Jason Wang or Jackson Wang, it may be easier for others to address me.

However, I didn’t choose one. Why?

Prove it

The most important reason is on the legal side. I am not sure whether others are aware of this, but on the legal aspect, is there any document proving that you are the person you claim to me? My name on passport is Jian Shuo Wang, so does the national ID. If I use English name any where other than private conversation, it will bring big trouble to me to proof it.

I have some friends who used English name to register their MCSE exam. They have their English name printed on the certificate. They spent quite some time to change it to the one of Pinyin.

Branding

Name is a brand. Everyone built credibility and visibility around a name. If you have two names, you have spent double efforts to do the same thing…

Wendy Started to Learn to Drive

Wendy completed her first driving course this morning. Now she is able to put the gear to the first and second shift. During my long business trip to Beijing, Wendy has to go to work by Metro, while the car was parked there for two weeks.

My Experience of Learning Drive

Metro is, any way, the reliable, convinient and cheap transportation. There is news that Shanghai will pause the Metro plans in response to the country wide adjustment of enocnomy. One week later, the speakman of Shanghai government proactively communicated with the citizen that the news was not true and Shanghai will continue to build more Metros in the future and move 40% of the transportation volume to Metro. The other 30% is buses.

TGI Shanghai

If you have visited TGI Friday, you may know what the title of this entry means.

Yes. I am back to Shanghai via MU5122 from Beijing (1800 – 2000 hours). I am so happy to be at home again, see my Wendy, listen to my radio, and lit up the caddles. I also have access to my own home wireless network with network sid “wangjianshuo”. This is my own small world again.

I am in Shanghai again. Wow!

Starbucks in a Day – Beijing Version

I am planning to visit all Starbucks in Beijing in one day. I did in Shanghai and will definitely plan it in Beijing. Due to the high pressure of my project, it seems not feasible to do it soon. Planning is sometimes more interesting in doing. Let me plan for it.

beijing-starbucks-all.png

Hand drawing by Jian Shuo Wang, with the help of Starbucks Map which is available in many Starbucks shops in Beijing.

Each red dot on the map, large or small, represents a Starbucks shop in Beijing. The map was illustrated using a small pen on Tablet PC at the hallway of Microsoft China Technical Center. I work at that floor and often pass by the Tablet PC when I fetch water or coffee. Today, I used it to draw a map. It seems much better than this one since the stroke is more smooth, although I spent much more time on the Shanghai map.

The Starbucks Beijing Map helped me to draw this map.

beijing-starbucks-map.jpg

The Map in courtesy of Starbucks and redBANG, the designer of the map

This small maplet are available in may Starbucks store. Just ask for it at the counter. It is very lovely map with clear mark of Starbucks stores. It will help me to visit them. Eric showed the map to me for the first time.

Why Starbucks?

The reason I wanted to visit every store is, I want to see this city. Starbucks helped me to choose the best place in the city. Their market research is good. If there is a Starbucks store, it at least gives two hints:

  • There are good customer base there (white collar, or tourists)
  • The place has good view

It is not 100% but pretty likely to be true.

By putting all the Starbucks store onto a route and you will find a very good route to see the best the city has to offer. It is the case in Shanghai and I believe it is true in Beijing. Just look at the map and you know it is true.

How Travel Works

Wendy and I share the same travel philosophy. She said in this article: “The most important word in travel is: MY. It is my understanding and feeling of a city that matters, instead of my foot-print.”

I don’t like to take picture of myself when I travel. I especially hate to pose before famous point of scene. I’d like to step into the city as the people in the city do. As Wendy said, it is MY feeling that matters.

Eric also thinks so. He said (Chinese page): “To learn a city, you have to abandon taxi, step out of your hotel. Carry a bag and walk or cycle. You should not see the city like a visitor. You need to set your foot into the city…”

It is the magic words that open a door to a completely new world in a city. This is what we believe travel should be.

Having that said, you may understand the reason behind my plan better. Setting a goal and go to do it. The journey is more important than the destination.

I may rent a bicycle to do it since Beijing is much larger than Shanghai and it is almost important for me to visit all by walk. The International Youth Hotel at GREAT DRAGON HOTEL (兆龙饭店) provides bicycle renting service at 10 RMB per day. Their breakfast is 10 RMB and their rate is 60 RMB per night (7 USD). Many foreigners are there. I like it. Maybe I will join them to climb the Great Wall at weekend. Only 90 RMB for the events.

The World is a Book

The World is a Book and those who do not travel read only one page.” — Saint Augustine.

This sentence on the first page of the room guide is one of the reasons I love to stay at Renaissance Beijing.

Nice Meetup with Hailey and Roddy

I am sure Hailey (old blog), Roddy and Hailey’s friends in CRI (China Radio International) will not be unhappy because I mentioned their names and out meetup tonight. Hailey is a successful blogger and an editor in CRI. Tennessee Ruck has a good review of Hailey’s blog. I just found it when I returned. Roddy runs Chinese Forums, a great place for ex-pats in China with more than 1400 registered users. I managed to get some time to walk out of the office at night for the first time in my 9 working days in Beijing and enjoy the night life in this amazing city.

Topics

We talked about many in our meetup, from real estate in Shanghai (Hailey is a real estate editorial) to the culture shock of a new comer to Shanghai; from the city infrastructure of Shanghai, to the difference between Shanghai and Beijing (the ultimate topic) and finally to blogging stuff. It is quite an interesting night. Roddy was so kind to listen to us talking in Chinese. He came from England and claimed to be able to understand 90% of our conversation. It is amazing. Roddy speaks very good Chinese, much better than my English.

It is nice to talk with people from different perspective, although this time I seemed to dominate the talk because it started with an interview request from CRI :-D

The young generation like Hailey and her kind collogues impressed me a lot – they just graduated from school but has smart ideas and open minds. I observe a deep gap between the two groups of people – those who were born before 1979 and those after. 1979 is the year the one child policy was enforced in China (Birth control is forbidden word here though). It is the only generation that is not directly affected by the Culture Revolution. I attribute the gap to these two major reasons.

Other young generation representatives are XGAO and Claire (mentioning with courtesy)….. Well. I am not saying I am too old, what I mean is, I am happy to see the younger generation become much better in communication, presentation, independence in mind and the change in lifestyles. It is quite promising for China.

Mercy! Tolerance

During the talk, we touched the topic of Shanghai v.s. Beijing. “Which city you like better, Shanghai or Beijing?” Oh. It is an inevitable topic between any two persons from these two cities.

I love Beijing. Beijing is a fabulous city and becomes better and better everyday. I hope I can move to Beijing and settle down here for two years or longer.

I also love Shanghai. I miss Shanghai three days after I left it.

This was my answer.

Mercy! Tolerance!

If there is something the current Chinese society lack of, I guess it is mercy, or tolerance.

The argument of Shanghai is better or Beijing is better reflects the problem. If you check some websites with such topic, you will see how hot the topic is – no matter where you see it, and when it is raised. It seems the answer to this question divides people into two groups – pro-Beijing group and pro-Shanghai group. The size of the later is much smaller, though.

People in Shanghai believe, Shanghai is the best city in China. They believe any place outside Shanghai is bad, unbearable, without orders, uncomfortable, inconvenient…. (I didn’t say all, but I saw many people in Shanghai think so)

People in Beijing are more open-minded. They may not insist Beijing is the best city in China as people in Shanghai do, but they argue that Shanghai is a bad place. Wendy and I all have experiences to listen to Beijing people returning from Shanghai by train complaining everything about Shanghai – the air, the traffic, the roads, the food, the people…..

Why there is no answer in the middle?

Discrimination

I don’t know when this started but it became a trend already. I am worried to see some people in my country started to judge a person by their origin instead of the content of their characters. Discrimination started to spread on this old land.

We have discriminated people from Henan (for so-called un-honesty and lazy). We have hold against people in Shanghai (in many places outside Shanghai) because they cannot fit into the traditional culture. We even hated people from Beijing at the time of SARS (I mean to the extent beyond necessary medical precautions). Who are the next to be discriminated?

Anti-Japanese

I become even more worried about the nationalism (featured with anti-Japanese movement and anti-Japanese good movement) that spreads more quickly than the growth of Chinese economy.

As the poster (scroll to the end of the page) I posted in 2003, the idea that all Japanese are bad set root in people’s mind. Oh. No. Hate started to overtake people’s consciousness.

In Nanjing, it was reported (not confirmed though) that students just like to beat Japanese on the street without any strong reason (well, they have strong reasons in their mind), and policemen just let it be. In Xi’an, taxi drivers tend to refuse to take Japanese passengers. In Chongqing, at the last football match between Japan and another Asian country, football fans almost conflicted with the Japanese fans (even without China team’s presence)

What will Happen on August 7, 2004?

Yesterday night, China beat Iran in the semi-quarter of Asia Cup at 5:4. I am very excited and proud of the breakthrough. I am looking forward to watch the final between China and Japan at the Worker’s Stadium in Beijing.

However, I started to worry that if China lose the game, the tension of anti-Japanese ideological trend may break the bottom line of restraint…. I hope it is my only my own imagination. I hope the history like the Anti-Chinese revolt in Indonesia does repeat itself. The August 7 may be a trigger if not controlled well.

Now the forums are dominated with anti-Japanese articles. This brings a big threat to peace. More voices should be heard. A great nation is a nation with open mind, great tolerance, and wise, not with discrimination or nationalism. Calm down, my people!

Resources

Note: by linking to these site does not I agree with contents of the sites. Just for your reference.

Update Hailey and Roddy are Nice People September 20, 2004

I just found I may mislead people to think it is Haily or Roddy’s point of view on Japanese and discrimination. Actually it is not. We share some common ideas on the world.

250MB from MSN Hotmail

Received this message from Hotmail this morning:

As a valued MSN Hotmail Member, you will receive your storage upgrade automatically in the coming days. Over the month of August we will upgrade the storage capacity of your e-mail account to 250 MB – that’s 125 times your current storage limit! We will also increase your attachment size from 1MB to 10MB. This means you will be able to store and attach more than ever and it’s free!

That is great. I registered my hotmail address in 1997 and sticked to it till today. I almost forget the miracle of hotmail of starting a company with 300,000 USD and sold it to Microsoft at 400 million two years later. The day the founder Sabeer he sold it is exactly his birthday…

Busy Life Started Again

The life as a consultant is interesting. The point is, I need to tell customers how the products and solutions help their organization (this part is easy) and make sure it does happen as I described (this part is not easy at all).

I still need some time to pick up the technical staff. So I stayed late these days and return to hotel later than 2300 at night. It was tough.

I found people have to be pushed.

New products release every week, new documents come out every hour and discussion emails pop up every minute – but if you don’t have a project on hand, you will never pay attention to it.

Sometimes you have to make a decision to open a door. After you step into the door, what you see, what you encounter, what problems you have to solve and what you learn are not dependant on you. You have to follow the new rule.

I chose the busy life over the easy one. This was my own choice, and I have to stick to it.

When I was a freshman in university, I strongly believe in that people cannot change themselves. The environment changes people. So our only choice is to choose an environment.

Just like people cannot commit suicide by stopping breath by mind – people just cannot do it. The only way to make it is to choose an external force to help… The inertia inside people’s minds is just like the life itself – it resists changing of any kind….

Well. I wanted to say, life is busy for me now but I love it. There is one thing I cannot bear, though, is I have to leave my home for terribly long time. I miss Wendy and home a lot.

The current project is big, bigger than I imagined. This is exciting. I am professional enough not to disclose anything related to my customer, so don’t ask. Thanks.

Travel Schedule

I expected it. In the next two months, I will travel a lot – once every week.

August 6 Beijing to Shanghai

August 8 Shanghai to Beijing

August 20 Beijing to Shanghai

August 22 Shanghai to Beijing

August 26 Beijing to Guangzhou

August 27 Guangzhou to Beijing

(if the project status permit, I may visit Hong Kong on the weekend)

September 3 Beijing to Shanghai

September 5 Shanghai to Beijing

September 13 Beijing to Hangzhou, Zhejiang

The plan is very likely to change without notice. It may help if you want to know where I am (Shanghai? Beijiing? Guangzhou? Hangzhou?…)

This is the 693rd Post on my Site

I just find out this is the 693rd post on wangjianshuo’s blog. What does it mean? The secret is, this is also the 693rd day since I started blogging on Sept 11, 2002. It also means, I have kept blogging for about two years with average one post every day. There are some pause (either server issues or personal issue. But the average post/day number finally get back to 1.0 after the Abandon of One Entry Per Day Rule. This is the longest attempt to keep doing something consistantly in my recent years.

Red Wall at Night

beijing-wall-night.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. Taken at Fu You Street.

beijing-wall-night.tree.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. Taken at Fu You Street

These pictures are the red wall of the Zhong Nan Hai (where the national government is located) and the pedestrian outside. They look nice at night.

P.S. The National Theater designed by Paul Andrew made great progress. The glass cover is finished.

beijing-national.thearter-ready.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. Take on August 1, 2004 from the West Chang An Street.

People in Beijing is More Expressive

People in Beijing seem to take advantage of the built in language skills to express their feelings in characters. I see more signs on Beijing streets than any other city that directly communicate with people passing by.

Remember this photo I posted before? I posted it in my Beijing Impression.

© Jian Shuo Wang. Taken on the opposite side of the China World Trade Center

It reads: I am not a public telephone; I am not a ATM either.

It is actually a information kiosk.

Here are more such signs.

Don’t Knock

beijing-donnot.knock-sign.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. Taken at 798 Factory

Just before I wanted to pull the door of a restaurant, I noticed this sign: “Don’t Knock!!! Pleasae use the side door to enter the restaurant”. Haha. What a conversation. It just like some young guy talking with you, using the typical Beijing accent.

Wait for Me

Look at this one: it is at a workshop of a artist at 798 factory.

beijing-wait.me-stairs.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. Taken at 798 Factory

Therer are three-story stairs besides the door bell – yes, well match the architecture of the building – and a man (or woman) walking down from the top. The characters besides are:

The stairs are tall.

I walk slowly.

Please wait me for a while!!

I smiled when I see it and became quite interested in the owner of the workshop.

Pictures on the Wall

Besides characters, there are pictures.

beijing-head-on.wall.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. Image in courtesy of artiest Zhang Da Li

I was shocked when I see this picture at Factory 798. I see about 10 of this kind of drawing there. It is the famous art of Zhang Da Li, named AK-47. (more pictures) He draw the same picturer everywhere in the city (or in the country). Art is closer to people in Beijing.

That is the reason I love Beijing.

Train from Beijing to Shanghai

Schedule

Train From Shanghai to Beijing

Z14 19:00 6:58 with Dinner

Z22 19:07 7:05 without Dinner

Z6 19:14 7:12 with Dinner

Z2 19:21 7:19 without Dinner

Z8 19:28 7:26 with dinner

Train From Beijing to Shanghai

Z13 19:07 7:05 with dinner

Z21 19:00 6:58 without dinner

Z5 19:14 7:12 with dinner

Z1 19:21 7:19 without dinner

Z7 19:28 7:26 without dinner

Above information is in format of

Train code, Departure time, Arrival time (of the next day), Whether dinner is provided

A Picture is Better than Thousands of Words

Today, Wendy took the train (Z5) to go back to Shanghai. I take some pictures of the fabulous train.

Inside the train

The hall way of the new train. Look at the carpet and the nice curtain. You must be wondering whether it is a five star hotel. I did when I stepped into the train.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Wendy lying on her soft sleeper, expecting the wonderful trip with the luxurious trip. The sleeper is quite comfortable and clean.

© Jian Shuo Wang

A label can tell the quality of the room inside. Check what the silver plate of the WC implies inside.

© Jian Shuo Wang

The upper sleeper. There are four sleepers in cabinet. There are as much space as lower sleeper and it is easy to get onto the upper sleeper. It is about 20 RMB less expensive than lower sleeper.

© Jian Shuo Wang

I was surprise to see they also serve new slippers for passengers, similar to hotels.

© Jian Shuo Wang

The decent water pot appeared on the snow white table.

© Jian Shuo Wang

On the back of the door of the cabinet is a oval glass, reflecting the whole cabinet.

© Jian Shuo Wang

The label of the sleepers. Each sleeper is numbered with a unique number.

© Jian Shuo Wang

You can control the strength of the lights, the temperature, the wind of air condition, and the volume of the speaker (or turn the train background music off). There is also an red emergency call button.

© Jian Shuo Wang

There are about 10 such cabinet on a train cart

© Jian Shuo Wang

A fresh flower is placed on the table, making the trip more enjoyable.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Display board showing train status, your cart number and the availability of washroom.

© Jian Shuo Wang

The door of the train cart. After this door is closed in Beijing, the next time it is opened, it will be opened in Shanghai. There is no stops between the two cities.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Hot water is supplied at the end of each train cart.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Z5, leaving from Beijing at 19:14 and will arrive in Shanghai at 7:00 AM the next day.

© Jian Shuo Wang

The Train and the Station

Caution: The view outside remains dirty and crowded as before.

The Beijing station. The trains with code starting of “Z” arrive and depart in this station. If you are interested, there is a bigger station in Beijing – the Beijing West Station.

beijing.train-beijng.station.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

The train waited on the platform and passengers get there by a viaduct and then go down to the platform.

beijing.train-train-at.platform.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

The head of the new train. It seems every details of the train changed.

beijing.train-head.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

The sign outside the train, saying “Shanghai to Beijing”.

beijing.train-label.of.train.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

The windows of the train look just those windows of high office buildings of Shanghai. You cannot open the windows.

beijing.train-outside.cart.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

This picture was taken when I meet Wendy at the station at around 7:00 AM Saturday morning. It was very exciting scene – it looked so beautiful to see the train coming from the fogs of morning.

beijing.train-z6-coming.in.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

More about the Train

The price for Z5 from Beijing to Shanghai, lower sleeper is 499 RMB. The price should be something less than 500 RMB (but near 500 RMB) for most trains.

5 Reasons this New Train is Better than Plane

  1. Cheap.

    Compare the 500 RMB (clean-cut) and the 1130 RMB full price of a flight ticket! Although you can get discounted flight tickets at as low as 650 RMB, it is still higher. There is no airport construction fee for train (50 RMB), you usually don’t need to take taxi to take train. Both Shanghai and Beijing train station are accessible via Metro. To go Shanghai Airport, you have to pay at least 30 RMB (average. For me, I have to pay 76 RMB). To leave Beijing Airport, when you see the first exit of the Airport Express Way, the meter of the taxi already charged you 50 RMB. So, it is another 200 RMB difference in price.

  2. Save Day Time.

    You go to train station after work at 6:00 PM, sleep on the comfortable sleeper and when you open your eyes again, it is 7:00 AM the next day, exactly the time to go to office of another city. Wonderful! Many business man take train to travel between Shanghai and Beijing not because it is cheap, it is because it saves day time.

  3. On Time.

    Trains are not always on time, but they are much better than planes. I never expect plane to be on time in China. Did you know that the last time I came to Beijing on delayed flight of 4 hours? The reputation of flights is terrible. Trains are much more reliable.

  4. Save Hotel Fee.

    If you put the one hotel price into consideration, you save a lot. Often, I wonder, why I have to be so rush to airport, take the fastest vehicle (civil vehicle) and rush to a taxi, just to go to bed of the hotel. :-D

  5. More Private Time.

    On plane, you cannot use laptop (freely) and it is too short to read a novel. The 12 hours on train give passenger right time to think, to read or simply to sleep.

This entry is posted in Beijing.

Update September 23, 2007

Three years after I posted this entry, let me refresh some information. The following information was extracted from Nick Sung‘s comment made on September 23, 2007.

Ticket price for bottom sleeper (adult): 499 RMB

Ticket price for upper sleeper (adult): 479 RMB

Ticket price for upper sleeper (children): 337 RMB

On Z-train (shown in picture of this article), there are only 4 bed room, and there are no 2-person rooms. 2-person rooms are available only on T-train (another type of train connecting Beijing and Shanghai), and the price is 900 RMB per person.

What Nick heard about Z-train is cleaner should be true since Z-train is newer launched, and should have higher standard.

Toilets? Please refer to Nick’s comment, which I think is very true.

The train is generally clean and comfortable. All of the pictures and comments above are accurate. However, the bathrooms become a challenge. Each car has a small washroom at the front with 2 small sinks. Also, each car has 2 toilet rooms at the rear. The right room has a standard toilet while the left room has one of those “kneeling” units which is basically a hole in the floor. The bathrooms all start out clean, but as the trip wears on, the men tend to cover the toilets and floors with urine and spit. Even so, these are still 100X better than the train station bathrooms as they were complete disasters. Remember, China is still a developing country with many uneducated peasants. Cleanliness is no consideration for most locals. But i’m sure this is the best train you can get in this country.

Nick also described the meal and hot water:

There is plenty of hot water available but you need your own cups and napkins. Almost everyone brought a bowl of instant noodles with them. They did sell little “lunch box” meals for dinner and breakfast you could eat in your cabins. They were surprisingly good. Car #9 is the dining car with a little bar area. We had dinner one night and the food was very good. However, it was crowded and you have to share your table with other people, also, they ran out of several dishes early. They served dinner from boarding until 9:30pm when “midnight snack” time started. I think breakfast started at 6am. Overall, an enjoyable experience much cheaper than flying and saving a hotel stay each night.

Thanks Nick for sharing the first hand information with us, and helped me to make this page more helpful for travelers in China.

Where is my Sense of Safty Today?

Got an email like this in my email box. I hosted my server (not this blog) at this ISP before.

screen-no.porn-hichina.JPG

Name of ISP is removed

They told me (in case you cannot read Chinese) that I have to shut down my BBS immediately because it is not licensed.

If I do not do it, their policy is:

“If found, ban the IP first, then locate the owner. Absolutely no exception”.

I support the cracking down of porn website, but I do worry about how they approach it.

The current rule is, if you are not in the NOT evil database, you are evil.

My site has been illegal in China since 2002 and is still illegal. Check this story: My Site Remains Illegal in China learn how hard it is to get contact with the right person to get ICP.

I have to pay to proove I am NOT evil. The yearly cost is higher than the cost domain name + hosting service together.

I got similiar from every ISP I have account with this week.

Well. I am happy that I have moved my site out of ISP in Shanghai and to iPowerWeb. Otherwise, I have to worry about my site everyday.

According to law, my site is illegal and subject to be deleted without notification.

According to ISP’s practice, they will not inform their customer before they ban their sites and will proactively report whatever they know about you to police.

According to how virtual hosting works, if any of the more than 100 sites hosting on the same server is found porn content, the whole machine is take away from the Internet…..

So, where is my sense of safty today?

Welcome Eric and Claire

blogcn.com resumed (down) and this gave bloggers using its service a good choice to escape and look for alternatives. I am happy to welcome Eric and Claire to move their blogs to my site. I am like a fine blog collactor to move the blogs I really like to my site. The best part of this move is, I am more confident to check their blogs in the future because they are not likely to go down as blogcn. (Well. This site did have problems and go down. The service level has been improved a lot after iPowerWeb).

I am not a BSP, but Eric’s and Claire’s blogs, along with Wendy’s blog, are my three favorite blogs. I am most interested in blogs of my friends in real life and their blogs were telling stories.

http://home.wangjianshuo.com/fanfan

http://home.wangjianshuo.com/mvm

http://home.wangjianshuo.com/claire

Recommended Reading

Eric: 突然来临的爱情 A perfect love story, especially if you read about these entries of three months before: 每次醒来都看到你的短信 我心里的四个女孩 一段感情就此结束 牛魔王说: “感情破裂了”

Wendy: 后成长时代 卖房谈判记 新鲜的北京

Claire: 会有这样的周末,我一个人 熟悉的路

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