Who is Chinabounder

From today, a new name appeared in my search engine referrer log: ChinaBounder. This seems to be a hot term on the Internet today. I didn’t take close look at what the blog is about. Very briefly, I know this is a misbehaved British person in Shanghai, and made people angry by showing off his sex experience with Shanghai girls. A professor in China called for a “Hunt for ChinaBounder” and the goal of the mission is to find out this guy and get him out of China.

Recently, how foreigners should behave in China is a raising issue. During my conversation with people coming to Shanghai from other countries, I found many of them are very nice, wise, smart, and respectful, but I did meet some guys who behaves really bad in the “new land” (in their term). ChinaBounder is an English teacher in Shanghai. The debate put the role of “Foreigners as a English Teacher in China” into the center of the controversy. I don’t want to comment specifically on the ChinaBounder’s issue before I really have time to read about it. But I believe it is a very meaningful subject to explorer later.

Related resources:

The Hunt for Chinabounder | Sinosplice: Life in China

Chinese Internet users hunt author of

ChinaBounder left two comments on my blog, and that is the reason I know people are searching for this keywords these days.

7 Tips to Travel to China This Quarter

My friend MT is visiting Shanghai by the end of Sept. He is very excited about it. It is his first trip to China! He asked what is my suggestion for him to prepare the trip. I do have some tips.

Tip #1: Avoid Travel from Oct 1 to Oct 7.

October 1 to October 7 is the national holiday in China. It is also called Golden Week, because the continous 7 day holiday and good weather bring millions of people to scenaric places, hotels, also trains, airlines, and buses. In short, it is crowded everywhere. People visiting China typically don’t have the constraint of travel only in the 7 days, so avoid it. Also, if possible, avoid the two days before and after the holiday.

Tip #2: Visiting Shanghai? Strongly Suggest to Visit Beijing

For many business travellers to Shanghai, I would suggest to take a weekend to visit Beijing. Shanghai is the largest commercial city in China, but it is not a typical city that represent China. If you want to claim you’ve really been to China, plan a short trip to Beijing, and visit the Forbidden city, visit the Great Wall, and visit some Royal Gardens in Beijing. Even you don’t go to these famous places, to experience the wide streets and the narrow Hutong is a good idea. Just FYI, Beijing is 1400 KM north of Shanghai, and takes 1 and half hours to fly there. Full price ticket is 1130 RMB, and you typically can get ticket at 20% off price. (8 RMB = 1 USD)

Tip #3: Take Taxi!

Don’t bother to look at the transportation options unless you are really travelling with small budget. My point is, taxi is not as expensive as people think. From Pudong Airport to downtown is about 100 – 150 RMB (12 – 20 USD). There are much cheaper options like airport bus (18 RMB), but compared to the 100-150 USD taxi fare from SFO to Silicon Valley, it is not too high. To travel inside the city, taxi is also a handy choice, unless you want to experience Metro. (Disclaimer: I gave tips according to real situations. In this case, it is my friend Martin. You may find it not suitable for you).

Tip #4: Places to See?

Top places in Shanghai you should go are

  • The Bund. Leave it as the last place you go. Bund is much more beautiful and interesting at night (after 7:00 PM when the lights are lit).

  • Yu Garden. I don’t really enjoy Yu Garden, but my friends who visit China for the first time always enjoy themselves so much in the Yu Garden.
  • Cruise on the Huang Pu River. It worth the time and money to have a cruise on the Huang Pu River, especially at night. Typical cruise is about 1 hour.
  • Xuhui District. Spend an afternoon in the small roads in the Xuhui Area – near Hengshan Road, or Hua Shan Road, and relax yourself.

Tip #5: Learn Some Chinese

Although it is not absolutely necessary to know Chinese to visit Shanghai, if you know some very simple Chinese words, it will make you look better and more friendly to local people, so make your trip more enjoyable. My friends who visited China did survive very well without any knowledge of Chinese. I tried to teach them at least these terms:

  • Xie Xie – Thank you

  • Zai Jian – Bye Bye
  • Ni Hao – Hello

Tip #6: Bring the Right Power Adapter

The electricity in Shanghai is 220 V. You may have 110 V adapter. Most laptop, shaver, and mobile have adapter that works from 100 V to 230 V. It won’t be a problem, but the plug specification does present a problem. For example, the plug that works in U.S. typically don’t work in China. Bring a converter that works for China before your trip. I faced the challenge many times when I visit U.S.

Tip #7: Relax and Enjoy the Difference

There are many difference between cities in China and the western cities. You may find the traffic rule different (at least the way people follow the rules), the language is different, and many aspects of everyday life are different. Don’t worry. Just relax. It is not necessary to always figure out which way is right and which way is wrong. Just relax, and enjoy the difference. It is just because of the difference that you travel, isn’t it?

Bonus Tip #8: There is no Direct Flight from Taipei to Shanghai

This is obvious for many people, or useless tip for most people, but it does helped. Keep in mind, don’t expect to fly from Taipei to Shanghai directly after your visit to Taipei. You need to transit at Hong Kong, and it takes up to 5 hours to get to Shanghai. Plan according to it.

Happy travel, and share what you see in Shanghai with the community here.

Update August 31, 2006

Additional tips from my readers.

Tip #9: Ask a friend to buy you a prepaid mobile phone card from China Mobile/China Unicom. Bring your own GSM tri-band mobile phone (you may have to have it “unlocked” before you come), and pop the SIM chip into your phone. I find it incredibly important to have a mobile phone so you can schedule meetings, make dinner plans, etc. Everything is last-minute and fast-paced in China, you want to be reachable on your trip. (Also, if you have a Blackberry, I have found GPRS Blackberry support GREAT in China, just sign up for an international plan before you leave).

Tip #10: Ask a friend to buy a IP Phone Card. International calls are very expensive in China. It seems like IP Phone Card is the cheapest way to go. (Maybe WJS has some more tips).

Tip #11: Bring ATM cards, ideally on multiple networks. My main US bank account is on STAR/PLUS network but not on MAESTRO/CIRRUS network. I was stuck at the Hangzhou airport once with no cash and a useless ATM card…lucky I could get cash advance from my MasterCard! In my experience, Bank of China is on MAESTRO (the symbol that looks like MasterCard). Maybe someone can survey the big ATM networks and tell us travellers which ATM networks are most useful…

Tip #12: Carry more cash than you are used to. In the US, I carry very little cash because I use credit cards all the time. In China, everyone carries a ton of cash and there is a good reason for it. So get a money belt, don’t let yourself be pickpocketed, but also don’t run out of money because you assume that ATMs are everywhere and credit cards are accepted everywhere. (from elliott5)

Tip #13: Check whether the toilet paper is avialable before sit down onto a toilet. It will be very imbarrasing calling for help with your pants down. (from xge)

Why I Keep Losing Stuff

I kept losing stuff. It is wired.

One week ago, I even lost a shoe. I got onto the back seat of my car. Wendy drove the car to Xujiahui. When I left the car, I just couldn’t find one of my shoe. Till now, I have no idea about where my shoe went.

In Qingdao, I lost my glasses. I didn’t wear contact lens this time, and wore my normal glasses. The tide was strong. After one strong tide, I felt strange, and realized I didn’t have my glasses any more. It is not easy to find a glass in the sea. I gave up in 10 seconds.

I also lost some stuff, like t-shirts, grooves. That is the only explanation for why I have less and less t-shirts. I even didn’t realize when I lost them.

How strange. Is everyone the same, or just me too stupid? It is annoying.

Rujia Qingdao, Fuzhou Road

These are pictures of Rujia (Home Inn), the cheap business hotel chain in Qingao. The pictures are the Fuzhou Road hotel in Qingdao.

Rujia is one of the best cheap hotel inns in China. It provide free wireless network and cheap by clean rooms to stay. Their locations are not the best in every city, but reasonablely good. It is a hotel I turst. So recommend it to everyone – the price for a standard room is between 200 RMB to 300 RMB.

They have free Internet access.

Instruction on the network cable.

The two beds in a standard room

The pictures above are real pictures. Judge whether the hotel is the right one for you by yourself.

Qingdao (Tsingtao) Pictures

Want to take a look at what Qingdao looks like? Here are plenty of pictures.

I love Qingdao and have been there twice. I didn’t really remember what we did in Qingdao for the first time, but Qingdao gave me very good first impression.

Qingtao is at the south tip of the Shandong Peninsula. It is a famous costal tourism city. It is near Shanghai – less than a hour’s flight there (or 750 RMB’s expense)

Qingdao is also spelled as Tsingtao (postal pinyin system), and is famous for Tsingtao Beer around the world

Enough for text introduction. Check out these pictures.

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Reading/Writing Chinese in Windows XP

This an FAQ: How to read and write Chinese (Simplified or Traditional Chinese) in English Windows XP. Many people thought people can do it only in Chinese Windows XP/2000. It is wrong. Since I reinstalled my English Windows XP, let me show you how to enable Chinese on English Windows.

Please note: This article assumes readers have only basic knowledge about the language of Chinese

By Default, You Cannot Read Chinese

This is how http://news.sina.com.cn looks like on English Windows Xp, before Chinese language package was installed.

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Steps

  • Click Start on the task bar, and click Run…

  • Enter “intl.cpl” and click OK. This brings up the Region and Language Options.
  • Click on the Language tab.
  • Check “Install files for East Asia Languages”. Click OK when a promote box appears.
  • Click OK. You may need to put your Windows XP installation CD in your CD ROM, or locate the source in your computer.
  • Wait for several minutes until the files are installed.

Now You can Read

Going back to http://news.sina.com.cn, and it works now.

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Steps to be able to Write in Chinese

The steps above only enable people to read Chinese. These are the steps to setup Chinese IME (Input Method Editor).

  • Click Start on Windows task bar, and click Run…

  • Enter “intl.cpl” and click OK.
  • Switch to Language Tab (these are the same as the steps above).
  • Click “Details…” in Text Services and Input Language area.
  • Click “Add…”. The “Add Input Language” dialog box appears.
  • Choose “Chinese (PRC)” in the Input Language drop down.
  • Keep “Chinese (Simplified) – Microsoft Pinyin IME” in the Keyboard layout/IME field.
  • Click OK twice.

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Now you can input Chinese now. Here is a test.

Entering Chinese

  • Open a text editor, like Notepad.

  • Click on the IME icon on the right side of the taskbar of Windows. It is a [EN] icon.

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  • Choose [CH] Chinese (PRC)
  • Enter “shanghai” and a space, Chinese character 上海 will apear in the notepad.

This is the simplest usage of IME. Really input Chinese is much more harder.

Put Google Search into Inside My Site

Google is innovaite. They allow my to put Google result inside my own page. This feature was released early August, so I can take advantage of this offer.

Let me write down the parameters of this configuration. Please note: This entry is archived under “backstage ” and is intended to be read only by me and people who are interested in how this site works.

Search Type: Google WebSearch + SiteSearch

Enter up to three URLs for SiteSearch: home.wangjianshuo.com

Length of text box: 20 characters

Customize the type of search results I get to my site content: Yes

Choose a profile: articles

Site Language: English

Opening of search results page: Open results within my own site

Enter URL where search results will be displayed: http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/20060120_search_this_site.htm

Your site encoding: ISO-8859-1

Search Results Style: Seaside

Use SafeSearch: Yes

Custom Channel: Search

Search Code:

<!– SiteSearch Google –>

<form method=”get” action=”http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/20060120_search_this_site.htm” target=”_top”>

<table border=”0″ bgcolor=”#ffffff”>

<tr><td nowrap=”nowrap” valign=”top” align=”left” height=”32″>

<a href=”http://www.google.com/”>

<img src=”http://www.google.com/logos/Logo_25wht.gif” border=”0″ alt=”Google” align=”middle”></img></a>

</td>

<td nowrap=”nowrap”>

<input type=”hidden” name=”domains” value=”home.wangjianshuo.com”></input>

<input type=”text” name=”q” size=”20″ maxlength=”255″ value=”"></input>

<input type=”submit” name=”sa” value=”Search”></input>

</td></tr>

<tr>

<td> </td>

<td nowrap=”nowrap”>

<table>

<tr>

<td>

<input type=”radio” name=”sitesearch” value=”" checked=”checked”></input>

<font size=”-1″ color=”#000000″>Web</font>

</td>

<td>

<input type=”radio” name=”sitesearch” value=”home.wangjianshuo.com”></input>

<font size=”-1″ color=”#000000″>home.wangjianshuo.com</font>

</td>

</tr>

</table>

<input type=”hidden” name=”client” value=”pub-8513779941474461″></input>

<input type=”hidden” name=”forid” value=”1″></input>

<input type=”hidden” name=”channel” value=”6801625507″></input>

<input type=”hidden” name=”ie” value=”ISO-8859-1″></input>

<input type=”hidden” name=”oe” value=”ISO-8859-1″></input>

<input type=”hidden” name=”safe” value=”active”></input>

<input type=”hidden” name=”flav” value=”0000″></input>

<input type=”hidden” name=”sig” value=”NdyQdGFpJnNH_B3d”></input>

<input type=”hidden” name=”cof” value=”GALT:#008000;GL:1;DIV:#336699;VLC:663399;AH:center;BGC:FFFFFF;LBGC:336699;ALC:0000FF;LC:0000FF;T:000000;GFNT:0000FF;GIMP:0000FF;FORID:11″></input>

<input type=”hidden” name=”hl” value=”en”></input>

</td></tr></table>

</form>

<!– SiteSearch Google –>

Search Result Code

<!– Google Search Result Snippet Begins –>

<div id=”googleSearchUnitIframe”></div>

<script type=”text/javascript”>

var googleSearchIframeName = ‘googleSearchUnitIframe’;

var googleSearchFrameWidth = 650;

var googleSearchFrameHeight = 1300;

var googleSearchFrameborder = 0 ;

</script>

<script type=”text/javascript”

src=”http://www.google.com/afsonline/show_afs_search.js”>

</script>

<!– Google Search Result Snippet Ends –>

I pasted the code into a new entry: http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/20060120_search_this_site.htm

Three Meetups in a Day

Chen Yun

In the morning, went to Xujiahui and met Chenyun. His IT Union has been running for a long time. We met each other in early 1998, when I was still in SJTU, and was involved in the start up Hotsales.net. Time flies, and when we meet again, 8 years past. (BTW, when we are used to time in years, does it mean we are getting older?) I offered my help if I can. Old friends are always best friends.

5G Review (Shanghai)

5G Review is an event by Donews.com. I wanted to help to ramp up the event to help people in the IT field to get together. Of cause, Lao Hwa helped most, and I am not a not-so-active participant. The topic for this afternoon is “The Future of Media”. The most impressive talk is from Yang Hui. I totally agree with her point that importance of content generator is more and more important in the Internet age.

Hengge, Michael, and Elaine

Immediately after 5G, Hengge called, and I drove back home to meet them. We had wonderful dinner at the India restaurant and chatted for a long time. :-) Well. It is just impossible to record all (or even any of) the learning. Nice to know Elaine works for IKEA, my former favorite funiture store.

It is late. Go to bed.

Zzzz…