Hard to Buy a House in Shanghai

The temperature of Shanghai finally goes down to below 30 degree C. This is the ending of the two week exteremly high temperature – the Autumn Tiger. The number of empty taxi on the road dramatically increased today.

I went to see the newly opened house of Vanke City Garden. It is outside the outer ring road of Shanghai, which is very far from the city. To my surprise, the price has raised to 5800 RMB per sq. meter. The 127 sq. meters apartment will be about 740K RMB.

Nearby is the new houses which is about 1 to 2 million RMB. See the pictures below:

vanke-house-near.river.jpg

I am really shocked to see the rapid price raise in real estate. When I bought my aparment in 2001, it is only 530K in total. Now, it is raised to about 900K. It is not among the highest raise. Some house in Xinzhuang was 4000 RMB/sq.meter laster year and are not 7000 RMB/sq.meter this year. It is keep increasing every DAY.

It is so strange that the sales representitives and the customers seems to be in the swapped position. Customers are begging for help from the sales representives to do them a favor to get a house. It is also a common practice to offer several thousand fee to hire the representives to get an apartment. Houses will be booked immediately after they are offered to market. I found the new real estate project from Vanke – the Four Seasons City at Bao Shan (which is very very far from the downtown Shanghai) opened for sale yesterday (Aug 30, 2003). When I call them this morning, the sales lady on the other side of the line told me that all the apartments had already been sold on yesterday. It is unbelievable, but it is true…

PVG: From Pudong Airport to Hangzhou

Dear Jian shuo

My husband and I will be visiting China next month together with a group tour. We are planning to stay back in China for another 10 days visiting Hangzhou and Shanghai. Our first stop is from Shanghai to Hangzhou, besides taking the train and plane, are there other transportation like tour buses?.

We want to go to Wuangshan (Yellow mountain), if we want to go on our own, how should we go?

In Hangzhou, we both love food. Where should we go for seafood?

I hope you can help us. Thank you

Veronica

Credit: Veronica. Note: I will publish your email on information inquiry like this with my answers to help more people. Tell me if you don’t want to publish your email if you write to me at jianshuo AT hotmail DOT com

Currently, the most convinient transportation from PVG to Hangzhou is, I believe, by bus.

Bus

New routes from Shanghai Pudong Airport to nearby cities just put into operation. This is the schedule:

Updated September 22, 2004

    From: Pudong Airport

    To: Hangzhou

    Departs at

    10:30

    12:00

    13:30

    15:30

    17:30

    19:30

    Price: 100 RMB

    Time: About 2 and half hours

    Bus stop location: The Bus Center at the opposite side of Gate 19 of Arrival Hall

The above information is verfied to be accurate as of September 22, 2004. End of Update.

If you are interested in buses from PVG directly to Nanjing or Suzhou, see the appendix at the end of this article.

Train

I don’t suggest you to go by train since it is quite confusing for first time visitors to go from PVG to the South Shanghai Railway Station. There is no direct bus route and the South Shanghai Railway Station is under construction now and therefore is confusing even for local people.

Appendix: Direct Bus from PVG to Nanjing and Suzhou

    From: Pudong Airport

    To: Suzhou

    Departs at

    10:50

    11:50

    12:50

    13:50

    14:50

    15:50

    16:50

    17:50

    Price: 82 RMB

    Time: About 3 hours

    Bus stop location: The Bus Center at the opposite side of Gate 19 of Arrival Hall

    Note: It will stop at the Hong Qiao Airport to pick up more passengers before they continue the journey to Suzhou

    From: Pudong Airport

    To: Nanjing

    Departs at

    12:40

    14:40

    16:10

    18:00

    Price: 122 RMB

    Time: About 5 hours

    Bus stop location: The Bus Center at the opposite side of Gate 19 of Arrival Hall

    Note: It will stop at the Hong Qiao Airport to pick up more passengers before they continue the journey to Nanjing

Thanks for Mr. Zhao at Pudong Airport Nearby Area Bus Services at Tel +86-21-68346671 to provide the information.

Updated Latest Bus Information September 22, 2004

Here is the updated information of the bus to nearby cities.

Hangzhou 100 RMB 1030 1200 1330 1530 1730 1930

Qing Tian 青田 192 RMB 1310

Kun Shan 76RMB 1130 1230 1330 1430 1530 1630 1730 1830 1930

Suzhou 82RMB 1050 1150 1250 1350 1440 1520 1610 1650 1750 1850

Wuxi 100 RMB 1120 1220 1320 1420 1520 1620 1720 1820

Zhangjiagang 110 RMB 1140 1250 1440 1540 1740

Nanjing 122 RMB 1120 1320 1510 1640 1840

If there is any conflict between this table to other time table, this one should be more accurate since I recorded the time table from the poster of the ticket office at Pudong Airport for my visitors.

Updated Latest Bus Information Feburary 12, 2008

This is the latest update about the Pudong Airport to Hangzhou Bus.

Q: Where to find this bus?

A: It is just inside the Shanghai Pudong Airport. It is outside the gate 18 at the International arrival hall. Go directly forward after you exit the gate, and you will see directions. The station itself is pretty hard to find, since you cannot direct see it. It is on the top of the garage. Ask if you need help.

Q: What is the price?

Price: 100 RMB per person.

Q: Where does the bus go?

A: It stops at the Huanglong Stadium in Hangzhou.

Q: What is the departure time?

A: Departure time: 10:30, 12:00, 13:30, 15:30, 17:30, 19:30

Q: What is the traval time?

A: 3 hours.

PVG: Ramada Hotel Opens at Pudong Airport

RAMADA – The four star standard international hotel at Pudong International Airport opens today. It offers 370 rooms and is the first international brand hotel near Pudong Airport.

I have many inquiries from my Pudong Airport webpage that is there any hotel near Pudong Airport? My answer was always, there is one, the Jin Jiang Inn. It is cheap but not good. I suggest you to stay in downtown Shanghai if you not only transit from the airport.

They posted a half-page ugly advertisement on the Shanghai Morning Post.

screen-ramada-newspaper.ad.jpg

Application to Driver’s License

When I come to the stage to get the application form for the driver’s license, I find it is almost as difficult as application for the passport. I don’t see any reason why they require the approval letter from my employer again and the photocopy of the business license of my employer. Why? “If my company doesn’t agree, I cannot get my driver’s license?” I asked. “Sure.” The officer on the other end of the phone line answered.

I will Get My Passport Soon

As I wrote weeks ago, I will be able to replace my passport from today. I am going to go to Entry & Exit Administration next Monday to get my passport reissued. Thank God. The three months are just too long for me to wait…

Map from Satellite

You can zoom out (clicking the “-” sign) to find out how close it is to the Pudong Airport.

What Can I Do With My Own Mountain

I heard that I can buy a mountain in my home town of Luoyang at very cheap price. It is located in Luoyang, Hen Nan provide. It is 15 km away for the city. When I was young, I used to play on the mountains. I never thought of the possibility to own the mountai myself.

The only question, or the major question I face is, what can I do with my own mountain.

Disadvantages

According to the agreement, I cannot build permenant house on the mountain. It is far from Shanghai – 12 hours train plus 1 hour bus. It also not suitable for planting trees. The scene of the mountain is good, but not that kind of scene that can attract tourist.

My Idea

The only thing I can think of is to take a lot of digital pictures for the mountain and put it online. Then I announce I am the owner of a mountain, maybe put it under my signiture. Is it cool? That is all I can think of to do with the mountain…

TOEIC Score = 915

I got my TOEIC score today, after two weeks after I took the exam. The score is 915 out of 990. Well. It is a good score since I took the first place of all the 50+ participants for this exam – actually the only one with 900+ score. I feel good since I didn’t prepare for it, actually, I learnt there were grammer and corretion types of questions the morning before the exam. Meanwhile, I also feel very bad since if I prepare well for it, maybe I can get a higher score. Anyway, it will pass almost all the requirements for a TOEIC score – the five star hotels ask TOEIC of 890 for outlet managers.

My Listening Score was 480

and my Reading Score was 435

Certificate Fun

I found I became a Certificate and Exam fun recently. I just passed MSF Practitioner Exam yesterday, passed TOEIC just now and will get a driver’s license in the next half month after I pass the final real road exam. The feeling of accomplishment is good, although I am not sure when and how I can use the certificate, especially for the MSF Practitioner Exam. Maybe the benefit is the permission to teach the three-day MSF course 1846A: MSF Essentials. It can be of useful in the future, I think.

SARS, Autumn Tiger, and MSF…

I was frightened that there become rumors that SARS cases emerge again in west part of China. Is it true? I hope not.

Shanghai is still hot, exteremely hot. I started to be completely wet even when at 7:30 AM in the morning – we call it “Autumn Tiger” for this kind of hot weather after the begining of fall season. I heard that it is called “Indian Summer” in English. True?

Thank God that I passed MSF Practitioner Exam today. I didn’t prepared well for it, just like previous TOEIC test, but thank God, I passed it. About 2000 people in the world passed this exam now and about 5 of them is in China. Thanks for my friend Fang for take the initiative to pass it first and inspired me to give it a try.

Late Payment for My Gas Bill

I have to show the expression of :-( Sadly Smiley when I became aware that I have to pay 196 RMB as late payment fine for the 280 RMB gas fee for December 2002. That is the bill of half year ago. I was amazed by myself that I can delay paying a bill for over half a year. How bad memory do I have.

I am a very careless person in my pesonal life. I often forget to pay the bills. To be honest, I don’t care most of the bills like water, electricity, gas since the amounts are small. The only bill I care very much is the telephone bill, which was always higher than I expected. Especially the ADSL monthly fee of 150 RMB (combined with Tian Yi Tong – the wireless service) drove me crazy. It is one of the most expensive household fee I have to pay.

I have never paid bill or heard of bill before I come to Shanghai. Yes. It is true. In a lot of cities in China before, the household fee was deducted from the salary directly, as my parents’ company did. It sounds strange but it was true before. People live in the house assigned by the company (or unit, in Chinglish). Serveral family share the same electricity meter and people don’t have bill, since the company will pay the electricity department of the city and deduce the distributed amont the families from their salary….

On Late Payment will Doom You

The headline of MSN.com frightened me.

screen-late.payment-bill.jpg

Image coutersy of MSN.com

It claimed that

One late payment can doom you

Credit-card companies and insurers are combing your records for any reason to justify a rate increase. Just a single late payment or over-limit charge could ripple through all your unrelated accounts.

Reading the article made me get aware of the importance of paying bill in time. Will a late payment doom me? If so, how about a 8-month late payment? Will it doom me twice?

Actually, it is the fact of the credit system. Just as I never heard of bill before, I seldom hear about credit in last year. However, from the begining of this year, the city of Shanghai are working on the credit system. They begin to gather bank account information, late payment into the central credit system, just as that in other countries. This is a very big step forward for the city. Poor me. How about my credit now? Will it be of value zero? :-( again.

A Car Plate = 38500 RMB in Shanghai

The result of the last car plate bidding excercise revealed on the Morning Post. The latest record for a plate is 38500 RMB (4,600 USD). There is a special report on this on the Morning Post. Shanghai is famous for bad traffic condition. It is such a large city on so small area. The price of July is 36900. The raising of price for a car license (or number plate) is reasonable.

The Bid

From about one year ago (not sure though), Shanghai issue the plate using the open bidding system. It is said the first bidding result price was only 1000 RMB. It was a miracle. Now the price has been too high already.

The bid excercise on every third Saturday of every week. That means, the date for the bidding will be:

July 19

Augest 23

September 20

October 18

….

To enter the bid, the bidder need to

1) Buy a bidding form at 100 RMB before the Friday morning of bid.

2) Deposit 2000 RMB – to make sure you attend the bidding. It is returned if you don’t get the plate.

3) Call into the system or go to the bidding hall to enter the bidding.

Interesting Game

Since this auction is the bidding without base price. That means, by theory, if everyone only offer 100 RMB for the plate, then the final price for the plate should be only 100 RMB. The success bidders are determined by price (from higher to lower) and by time (from ealier to later).

This time, 4500 plates were issued, which is obviously much less than the number of participants. The city can control the number of cars by limiting the number of plate sent to market. The less the plate they send to the market, the higher the price will be.

My Choice

I am considering buying a car – not very seriously, just begin to get interested to checkthe model and price. Meanwhile, I am learning to drive. Hopefully, I can get the license in two weeks. So I have to take the plate issue into consideration.

Shanghai Plate or Hangzhou/Suzhou Plate

Considering the high price of Shanghai car plate, the plate outside Shanghai is an attrative option. For example, a plate in Zhangzhou is only 200 RMB (others said it is 2000 RMB, not confirmed yet). The limitation is

  • Cars without Shanghai local plate canont use the elvated highway, bridges like Lupu Bridge, and some tunnels in rush hours.

  • The annual car checking is held in the place where the plate is issued

For the second limitation, it is not a big problem. Hangzhou is only 2 hours’ ride from Shanghai. I heard the rumor that this can be done in Shanghai too now – Not confirmed too.

For the first limitation, I am not sure. On one hand, I believe I will not likely to use the car to go to work – the traffic on the elevated highway is terrible (the normal roads are even worse). On the other hand, if there is something urgent, it will be very troublesome if the time falls to the rush hours.

Well. My personal oppion is that a Shanghai plate is still the best choice. Although it is so expensive now, but you can always see the trends for raising in the long run…. Is it a method of investment?

I just checked the price for a plate in Singapore – or COE (Certificate of Entitlement). The latest price is about 30,000 Singapore Dollars, according to the One.Motoring

Adding Rank Bar to MovableType Entry

Recently, I added Rank Bars to all the recent entries, as you may have noticed.

screen-rankbar.PNG

The Rank Bars are the green bars attached to each of the entry titles. It reveals the popularity of the entry by the number of comments under that entry. The longer, the more comments it has. When you move your mouse on to the bar, the number of comments is shown as tool tip. Actually, every 10 pixel in width of the comment system means 1 comment.

The problem I met when I was designing this feature is, that the number of comments are not balanced among the entries. Although most entries have 2 to 5 comments, some entries have more than 100 comments. For example, this one in spam category has 234 comments already. If I use the 10 pixel per 1 comment algrithm, it will be 2340 pixel in width and will turn the pages into big mass.

Finally, I put another <span> tag with width of 100 pixel and set the overflow style to hidden, which means that all the extra part outside the span is hide, so the longest possible width is 100 pixel. (I may change this width limitation without update this article in the future).

Here is the code to implement this feature.

<div class=”comments-head”>Related Entries:</div>

<ul><MTRelatedEntries>

<MTEntries lastn=”6″>

<li><a href=”<MTEntryLink>”><MTEntryTitle></a> – <i><$MTEntryDate format=”%b %d, %Y”$></i> <span style=”width:100;overflow:hidden;”><img height=”4″ alt=”<$MTEntryCommentCount$> comment(s)” width=”<$MTEntryCommentCount$>0″ align=”absMiddle” border=”0″ src=”http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/2003/08/20/screen-rank.bar.gif”></span>

</MTEntries>

</MTRelatedEntries>

What do you think of this feature? Like it? You can try it on your own blog (if you own a blog and it is powered by MovableType). Paste your link in the comment system to let us know.

Shutdown DefeatMessenger And FightPopups Spam

Before you complain and leave any bad words with my comment system, read this disclaim first:

This page provides simple steps to stop the EndAds.com, DefeatMessenger.com and FightPopups.com spam. It also call for action to shutdown the servers of these spammers together. Read before post…

I hope with the disclaimer at the very beginning, I will not sufer that much as on my entry of EndAds and BlockMessenger where people thought it was this site sending out the net send spam and just throw out all the dirty words they can think of. I hope…

Let me repeat the steps again in case people didn’t see my previous entry:

Simple steps to turn it off

The easist way to stop receiving this kind of message is to turn off Windows Messenger service. If you are running Windows XP or Windows 2000, following these steps:

  • Click Start button on your Windows taskbar.

  • Click Run…
  • Enter “Services.msc” (without quotation marks) and click OK.
  • Browse the list till you find “Messenger” in Name column.
  • Double click it. The Messenger Properties (Local Computer) dialog box comes out.
  • Choose “Disable” in “Startup type” drop down box.
  • Click OK.

It will definitely work. If you don’t believe that so simple steps can stop the annoying pop-ups, see the comments of about 100 people on this page.

Note: These steps will NOT affect your usage of MSN Messenger, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger or ICQ.

Huge Success to Shutdown EndAds.com

On July 30, 2003, Chris Mikeson suggested to not only shutdown the Messenger Services on our own computer, but to send out complain to the ISP hosting the service.

Later, many people including Joseph, AP, Cory, Jennifer, aaron, Don, Tom, Scott Hawkins, KS, Krozar and machinetodd (not a complete list) send complain email either to abuse@level3.net or FCC.

Yesterday, Aug 21, 2003, Chris, who initialized the Complain Campaign, noticed us that EndAds.com is no longer accessable. It was also confirmed by Jeremy.

So, let’s keep this going people. Let us know the new domain name they come up with and we will get that thing shut down quicker than a skittish jackrabbit can lick a carrot stick.

Bravo people! Well done! Power to the Internet community fighting these SCUM! Let’s keep this going…

- chris m.

If it is really because the ISP shutdown the service (not the technical difficulties of this spammer), it is really good news. People felt the power to fight back, instead of just pay for the so called Anti-spam software from these spammers.

Call For Actions: Shutdown other Spammer Website TOGETHER

DefeatMessenger.com and FightPopups.com are owned by the same person as EndAds.com. Here is the detailed information that may be useful to file a complain. IMPORTANT: The information comes from the WHOIS database on the Internet and may NOT be accurate.

Contact:

Administrative Contact:

SpamSlammers

Admin

PO BOX 927142

San Diego, CA 92129-7142

US

800-453-3422

msgaway2003@yahoo.com

IP address: 216.251.43.11. Here is the information for the hosting company:

OrgName: InternetNamesForBusiness.com

OrgID: INFB

Address: 500 East Broward Boulevard

Address: Suite 1700

City: Fort Lauderdale

StateProv: FL

PostalCode: 33394

Country: US

NetRange: 216.251.32.0 – 216.251.47.255

CIDR: 216.251.32.0/20

NetName: MEGA-1

NetHandle: NET-216-251-32-0-1

Parent: NET-216-0-0-0-0

NetType: Direct Allocation

NameServer: NS1.MEGANAMESERVERS.COM

NameServer: NS2.MEGANAMESERVERS.COM

NameServer: NS3.MEGANAMESERVERS.COM

Comment:

RegDate:

Updated: 2001-04-09

TechHandle: ZI51-ARIN

TechName: InternetNamesForBusiness.com

TechPhone: +1-954-463-3080

TechEmail: admin@internetnamesforbusiness.com

OrgTechHandle: ZI51-ARIN

OrgTechName: InternetNamesForBusiness.com

OrgTechPhone: +1-954-463-3080

OrgTechEmail: admin@internetnamesforbusiness.com

Update Augest 23, 2003

Chris suggested to send complain to abuse@peer1.net and abuse@sbcglobal.net. Please read his comment blow to for the method to find out this email alias from any domain name.

It is appreciated if you can point out a better way to shutdown these sites or correct me if I was wrong at any point. I believe when the voice of people surfering from these spam heard, the Internet will become peace again. Good luck!

Updated EndAds.com Spammers Caught Nov 06, 2003

Good news! The EndAds.com, actually D Square LLC was caught by FTC and was sued. I believe it is the final ending of this nightmare. Read more: EndAds.com Caught by FTC