Xiangyang Market – the Shopping Paradise

Want to know the must-visit shopping places in Shanghai? Want to buy the world’s most famous clothing, shoes, and watch brands, but don’t want to pay as high as it is labeled in department stores?Xiang Yang Rd. Market is the right place for you.

shanghai.xiangang-gathering.before.count.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

World Famous Brands

They have North Face, Diesel, Nike, Rolex, Gucci, Prata, etc. Since China has been the manufacture base of world famous brand cloths, the cost of the famous cloths are actaully very low compared to their market price. I believe they are so cheap becaues some of the cloths are knock-offs or factory seconds. Others are just the original goods but got to the market via unknown channel. I guess they should not be allowed to be put on market with the Nike’s brand but with the out-of-factory price.

Anyway, you can get the finest quality with surprising price there. The sweater should be around 100 RMB (12 USD) and a pair of good shoes should be 100-150 RMB (12 – 20 USD). The North Face cloths should be 100-200 RMB.

shanghai.xiangyang-market-bw.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Bargain

Whatever you do, do not pay anything half of the first price.

Often you can get the goods at about 1/3 of the original price if you are good at bargain. They are quoted at least as twice as or higher of the real price. For foreigners, they quote much higher.

shanghai.xiangyang-red.woman.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Fake Goods

Beside the cheap genuine goods (either seconds or knock-offs), they also have fake goods – goods that are labeled as the famous brands but actually not.

One typical example is the fake Rolex watch. Guess how much is a Rolex diamond watch that is 18,000 RMB (2100 USD) in Xiang Yang Market? It sells at 100 RMB (12 USD) only. Of cause they are not real Rolex watch, but it is so similar with the genuine watches. At least the watches are very well made with finest handcraft skills. Fake goods are not displayed in the shops, but almost all stores selling watch will show you their secret box if you ask for them.

Warning

Never follow those who attempt to sell you goods outside the market. Typically, they charges extremely high.

Location of Xiang Yang Market

It is between the Xiang Yang Rd. and the Shan Xi North Rd. The easiest way to get there is by Metro. Turn to the right (where most people will go) at the Parkson Departmenet Store exit at Shan Xi South Rd. Station.

map-xiangyang.market.jpg

Map in courtesy of the original map author and modified by Jian Shuo Wang

Wireless (WiFi) Hot Spots in Shanghai

LeiFeng reported many public hot spots along the way from Xujiahui to Hongkou (A district in north east Shanghai. “So many I couldn’t even believe myself”, said LeiFeng.

Public Hot Spots

I know almost all Starbucks are covered by China Mobile Network (CMC). Users with TianYiTong Account can directly access login. The bad news is, they are charging 0.1 RMB per minutes for all users (including paid Tian Yi Tong users) after Jan 21, 2004.

Pudong Airport offeres wireless access but it is the CNC network.

My Private Hot Spots

Really? I’d like to have Internet access in a park or on the road. I will have a try from Xujiahui to Caobao Road today to see if there is any this way. I have WiFi Hot Spot in my home at 77 Cao Bao Road. It is not public now but I’d like to share it out – there is no harm for me. Others may not be able to use it since I am on the eleventh floor and the signal will be very low down the the ground.

Several days before, XGAO (Chinese site) was very happy to find out wireless network in my home. He just brought out his computer and enjoy the free (for him) Internet access.

More Resources

Struggling for Parking Lot

I rent a car again these two days. I still don’t want to put out around 100,000 RMB to buy a car yet since the expensive to maintain a car in Shanghai is still far too expensive. The recent car plate reached 390,000 39,000 RMB (Thanks The King for finding out the typo) cost already. (Anyway, someone take it as another investment method with the rapid rise of the price)

Today, I moved around the downtown. I went to Xintiandi with my family and found an underground parking. It charges 5 RMB per hour. I was surprised that the price is already very low in that area. Last time, we went to the JC Mandarin hotel on the opposite side of the Shanghai Center. They charges 20 RMB for parking. Nearby underground parking in office buildings charges 10 RMB per hour. Some charges higher. The bigger problem for car owners is, there is not enough parking lots now. It is a big headache for me to find parking today. Drivers pull their car over to the road side and blocks the road. I did the same on South He Nan Road and waited there for several minutes for the arrival of the painting I bought in Yuyuan. It seemed there is no better options – if I go and find a better place to park, it may cost me 15 minutes to longer to get back to where I was. Anyway, the current situation is understandable and I saw the improvement in the last several years.

Beijing is a more friendly city for car owners. There are many free parking area in the city. If it charges, it charges for two RMB per hour or so. No to mention western areas in U.S.

Pudong is a New Shanghai

The situation in Pudong is much better. It is like Beijing. I can find many places to park for free and there is always parking lot available. In big shopping malls like Hymall, Nong Gong Shang and Lotus (both Pudong and Puxi), parking is free. They are very attractive for me. The several kilometers’ drive is well compensated by the free parking for my car. Well. I was so shocked to use the parking on the forth floor of Carrefour in Guibei Area. The slope is more than 30 degrees and I was very nervous as a new driver…

In Pudong, the roads are least as twice wide as in Puxi. The population is still far less than in Puxi so in many roads, there are barely no car (like Jin Xiu Road near the Centaury Park). The two areas are just like to cities with completely different life style.

Bird Flu Hit China

screen-bird.flu-sina.PNG

Screen shot in courtesy of sina.com.cn

I heard the bird flu several weeks ago but wasn’t as worried as today. The Shanghai Morning Post reported the confirmed bird flu case in Guangxi and suspected cases in Hunan and Hubei. Tonight, the CCTV National News Program reported (Real video) the situation at 7:00 – 7:30 PM. All birds, ducks and chicken were killed in a three-km area around the place the cases were found.

Well done! I feel the society has become mature enough after the SARS crisis last April and May. They are skillful enough to handle this kind of situation. The media also responded quick enough to cover it. I am feeling much safer than I was in last Feb. Let’s wait and see the progress. Till now, Shanghai is still free of Bird Flu, according to local media.

Many Activities in the Spring Festival

Hello World!

I just want to update the blog so the world knows I am still alive. :-D I didn’t update my blog in the last two days since there are too many activities in the great Spring Festival. Anyway, I have expected this in my previous entry: Note: Update may not be regular in the Spring Festival (from Jan 22 to Jan 29). :-D Wish you a happy New Year! so I don’t feel too guilty. :-)

On the second day (Jan 23) of the New Year (lunar new year), we visited my good friend’s aunt and Shi Mao Riviera Garden and were very happy to meet his nice family members. We were quite impressed by their old photos of Hong Kong and New Year in the last half century.

On the third day (Jan 24), we hosted my friend couple in my home. They are expecting their bady this Augest. We were very happy to share the good news and saw the great changes after they know of the pregnancy.

On the forth day (Jan 25), I picked up my sister-in-low in Hong Qiao Airport and sent her to the Pudong Airport. There are 55 kms between the two airports. We took taxi there. It costed 157 RMB and less than an hour.

On the fifth day (Jan 26), my good friends visited and we had a wonderful lunch together. The table became a mess with many dishes and wine cups.

shanghai-table-friends.visit.jpg

On the sixth day (today), we hosted the family of my high school classmate and visited another friend of Wendy. The visiting or hosting is a great opportunity for us to keep in touch with our good friends and relatives. That is the benefit of the holiday.

Drama – Forget Me Tonight

Tonight, Wendy and I went to see the drama named Forget Me Tonight. It was adopted from Chengdu, please forget me tonight (Chinese literature). The original noval was exteremely popular in the year of 2002.

shanghai-scene-drama.jpg

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang in courtesy of Shanghai Art Center at Anfu Road.

shanghai-wc-drama.forget.me.jpg

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang in courtesy of staff of Forget Me Tonight. (Shamelessly took this image during the performance)

I will recommend it to my friends since it is real life of the generation about 5 years elder than me. It is on show on Jan 24, 25, 26, 30, 31 and Feb 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 at 288 Anfu Road. The ticket price is 80 RMB per person. It is small theater dramer. There are less than 150 audience there.

Pure Geek Happiness

My article Webcam+Windows Media+GPRS+SmartPhone=? was kindly quoted by Scoble on his Scobleizer. Then the page is quoted at SmartPhoneThoughts. David commented “Pure geek happiness”. Exactly! It is pure geek happiness. I saw someone quote it as “High Tech Mirror”. Haha. Come on. Do you think I took all the trouble, configured all the software and paid for GPRS just to use it as a mirror? LOL. Only geeks understand the happiness to such kind of mirror.

Other sites quoting this “high tech mirror”: MS Mobile News

Actually, Phillip is the real geek (via Scobleizer). What he did is really amazing. He had a geek gym with Xbox Live and Tablet PC (WIFI enabled). He has a wireless orb device that will change colors based on data sources on the web. He took as many as 1066 photos in his 21 days trip to Asia – “while i was traveling in Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo, i decided to take a photo of what i was doing, every 30 minutes, for 24 hours, 7 days a week for 21 days in a row. after 3 weeks, i ended up with over 1,066 photos.” He also took 109 photos of every type of creature in the fish market. When he was in Shanghai, he could use any web browser to control his robot in U.S and bring back pictures (several frames per second). This is what I dreamed about for a long time. I just didn’t found a good solution to convert hits on webpage to electronic signals so I can control toys. He has so many eye attracting pictures on his website. Just go ahead to have a look. The Great Firewall went crazy again and his great site is blocked in China too. I can only visit it using the public proxy.

Happy New Year

screen-monkey.year-google.gif

Image courtesy of Google.com

The Year of Monkey Arrived!

Fireworks Picture of Last Night

shanghai-dot.fireworks-new.year.jpg shanghai-dots-fireworks.jpg shanghai-fireworks-new.year.jpg shanghai-fireworks-on.head.jpg shanghai-money.and.fish-new.year.jpg shanghai-two-new.year.jpg shanghai-up-new.year.jpg shanghai-puple-fireworks.jpg shanghai-flower-new.year.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

The pictures above were taken from the window of my living room. This is the first time I stayed in Shanghai for Spring Festival – before this year, Wendy and I took trains to go back to our hometown. Those were miserable journey since trains are always crowded in this season.

So, it is the first time I took pictures of the fireworks. The fireworks are more splendid than any fireworks I have ever seen. :-D So many families went to the square of the residential garden and fired their own fireworks. Yes. The pictures I took were all fired by local residents. No government fund was involved.

Share Some Interesting Numbers

I’d like to share some amazing numbers with readers outside China. Just guess how many people watched the Spring Festival Celebration Party from CCTV? The statistics came out and the number is 500 million. Although the number decreased a little bit from last year (I remember), this four-hour program should still be the most popular program in the world in terms of number audience.

Also, it is forecasted that 17 billion SMS messages will be sent in China during this Spring Festival alone. The number was 7 billion last year. Think about it. 0.1 RMB for one SMS. It means 1.7 billion RMB income for China Telecom and Unicom alone in several days. I felt the difference since many people who didn’t send New Year greetings last year sent me SMS this year. I got around 40 SMS last night.

Note: Update may not be regular in the Spring Festival (from Jan 22 to Jan 29). :-D Wish you a happy New Year!

P.S. Today, I was interviewed by Jocelyn, from Marketplace.org. The interview is expected to be online tomorrow at http://marketplace.org

New Year Fireworks Broadcasting

The real time video is paused. The video above is recorded from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the night of Jan 21, 2003. It is a pity that the video recorded from 11:30 to 12:10 PM was lost. At that time, fireworks are everywhere from my window.

Happy Chinese New Year! At the night of Chinese New Year, fireworks will be on show all of the city. I have setup a webcam to broadcast the exciting time to the world. :-D The window above is in real time with about 30 seconds delay. Happy New Year!

Real Time Broadcasting Successfully Completed

From 11:00 to 12:30, the real time broadcasting successfully completed. Video clips and pictures will be available soon. Happy New Year!

Webcam+Windows Media+GPRS+SmartPhone=?

What if we combine Webcam, Windows Media Technology, GPRS and a SmartPhone together? Here is the result:

Video of my webcam is displayed on my phone in real time. There is serveral seconds delay between the encoder and the player. © Jian Shuo Wang.

I broadcasted the scene of my cubicle and use a smart phone to view it, in video, at real time. I can pull my mobile phone and see what is going on, no matter where I am, on bus, in Metro, at airport, in Beijing or in Hainan….

Technology Used

The Windows Media Encoder pushes the video stream from inside the firewall onto a Windows Media Server on public network. The SmartPhone Dopod 515 displays video using its Windows Media Player via GPRS.

Specification in This Experiment

Webcam: ICatch (VI) PC Camera (Driver) (Thanks for Yumin)

Windows Median Encoder: Version: 9.00.00.2980 (Download)

Windows Media Server: Included Windows 2003 Server

SmartPhone: Dopod 515

Connection: GPRS via China Telecom

Windows Media on Air

Firstly, read this article Real-Time Stream Broadcasting Cookbook and setup your Real-Time Stream Broadcasting station. The result is, you can view your webcam from any other computer from the public.

Secondly, visit the URL in your smartphone use your Windows Media Player. The Windows Media Play should behaves the same as the desktop Windows.

The steps seem straightforward.

Go Accross the Firewall

The first problem in this experient is, the webcam is within the firewall and I have no permission to configure to the firewall. So I need to let users outside the firewall be able to see the video inside.

The solution is to find a Windows Media Server on the public website. The Windows Media Encoder can PUSH the video to a publishing point at Windows Media Server. The HTTP connection is initiated by the encoder, so it can go out of the proxy. The client can directly access the Windows Media Server.

We are at Digital Age

I am so excited that my heart beat very fast after I see the video on my SmartPhone. It means a big impact to people’s life. This morning, I suddenly found I can turn Wendy’s phone into a radio. Just enter http://www.stv.sh.cn/990.asx and it plays the current East Radio Station’s program. Then enter http://www.stv.sh.cn/finance.asx, the mobile became a TV set – the real time TV program appeared on the mobile…

Really cool! Isn’t it?