Trip Plan Case Study – Shanghai – Hangzhou

This is a case study of a typical trip, along with my suggestions. (The questions were edited a little bit – just some editorial changes).

I read your blog. It’s very interesting, especially because I’ll visit Shanghai in next 10 days. Well, I’m Indonesian Chinese overseas, not fluetly Pu Tong Hua speaking, so will be though back to mainland :)

I have free time before my course, I’ll come to Shanghai at 2nd Jun morning. I plan to go Hangzhou, to visit Xi Hu and Long Jing, then the next day go to Suzhou, do you have any recommened place to visit in here?

and 4 Jun will back to Shanghai, i’ll stay at cypress garden hotel, is it good hotel?

At 4 I plan to visit Shanghai museum and have dinner in Bund area, any recommended place?

After all, is it a “make sense” plan? because actually I don’t know exact distance between the place :)

Need you advise

Thanks in advance

First of all, let me tell you how far Shanghai and Suzhou and Hangzhou is.

Hangzhou is 2 hour to 2.5 hour’s drive from Shanghai, or more than 200 km. Suzhou is about 100 km away from Shanghai and takes about 1.5 hours from Shanghai.

Hangzhou is at southwest of Shanghai, and Suzhou at west. Look at the map below.

So it makes sense to visit Hangzhou, and then go directly from Hangzhou to Suzhou, and then back to Shanghai. It is not a perfect triangle, but very similiar.

I would say, if you arrive in Shanghai, and then go to Hangzhou the same day, it can be too rush. Why not spend the rest of the day in Shanghai and have some rest and then go to Hangzhou the second day? Typically Hangzhou needs one day or two days, and if you go directly there, at least half day is wasted on the road.

The other way to do it is to arrive in Hangzhou in the early afternoon (depending when your flight arrives in Shanghai), and spend after at Xihu (or West Lake). Spend as much time as possible at West Lake. It is really good.

For Suzhou, definitely go to Hupao (or the Tiger Spring?) That is my favorite place.

Cypress is a good hotel. I would recommend it.

On the Bund, my favorite place is the Three on the Bund. It is expensive though.

The M on the Bund on the opposite side of the street is also good.

There are not so many restraunts along the Bund. If you want, the Shanghai Uncle restraurant under the Bund Center is good.

So have a good trip – it seems you have put a lot of places into your tight 3 day schedule. It seems to me that there are too much – you may think about extending for at least one day for better experience.

Happy traveling!

Jinjiang Inn at Pudong Airport – Part II

This is the second part of my first part on Jinjiang Inn at Pudong Airport.

There are basically only two hotels near the Pudong Airport – within walking distance – one is a little bit more expensive – the Ramada Pudong Airport Hotel, and the other is cheaper, the Jinjiang Inn.

Here are the questions about the hotel:

We have some questions about the Jin Jiang Inn and we hope you will be so kind to give some information.

1) Will that hotel still be there January 16th, 2008?

2) Is there a possibility to make reservations via internet in English?

3) Is there a shuttlebus from the airport to the hotel or is it really on walking distance?

Of course we have time enough to arrange but nevertheless we hope to hear soon from you.

Here are my answers.

1) I don’t know exactly whether they have room on the specific date. Check their website (English) for more information and make reservation accordingly.

2) Yes. Use the website I provided. They provide hotlines and an email address.

3) It is REALLY within walking distance, but it is not a very short distance – depending on how far you think is acceptable for walk.

Check this map below to see the satilite image of the hotel: You can see on the map, there is a rectangle building with parking lots – that’s it.

On this map, I put the small image of the hotel just near the middle of the upper edge of the map (left of the map button), and show you the Pudong Airport at the bottom – the big square lake is the entrance to the airport and you can see planes there.

Judge whether it is OK for you to walk – depending on many luagge you take. Anyway, just as I suggested, don’t take the taxi since they have been waiting there for hours and don’t want to take you for that short distance.

Pudong Airport to Ramada Plaza Hotel

Today, I want to help a visit to Shanghai to find out his/her hotel – Ramada Plaza at 700 Jiujiang Road.

It is obviously impossible for me to answer all the questions related to a hotel, and it is boring for my reader, but the motivation behind every entry like this (I mean post answers for a very specific question) is, I believe details in trip planning helps more than just overall introduction. MAYBE in the details, you can find some good information about this city. Let me try this one:

Your website and blog will be a big help for my trip to Shanghai next week. However, I need to ask you if it is possible to take Maglev train from PVG to Longyang Road, then Metro Line 2 and stop at Henan Road Station? From the station can I take a cab to my hotel, Ramada Plaza Hotel in 700 Jiujiang Road? How much is the total fare? Hope you can enlighten me. Thank you so much.

Bingo! Your planned trip was wonderful one. Let me walk you through the trip.

Take Maglev from PVG to Long Yang Road Station?

Exactly. This is my recommendation. Maglev is not just a train to get to you, it is also a good experience that you won’t want to miss in Shanghai.

Then Metro #2 to Henan Road Station

Yes. The transition at the Long Yang Road Station is very easy, just 20 meters away, and the two builds are so close that you won’t get wet even when it rains.

One thing to pay attention. The Middle Henan Road has been renamed to East Nanjing Road. Don’t miss it. If you do miss this station, you can also exit at the People’s Square Station. Both station can get you to Ramada – it is just in the middle.

Taxi to Ramada

Well. I may not suggest so. It is not far from the station, and if you have a map and you don’t have too big luaggage, you can just go by walk. It should be within 5 minutes.

The other major reason is, it is even more confusing to get a taxi than walking in that area. The Nanjing Road is the pedstrain road, and there are no cars on it. You have to walk to nearby Road. Jiujiang Road (where the hotel is) is a single direction road, that your way is the opposite direction. If you take a taxi, the driver has to you to the other single direction road heading west, and then get back to Jiujiang Road – at least twice the distance than walking.

Ask your hotel to get more details…

Visited Bund Again Today

People may guess people in Paris will visit the Eiffel Tower everyday, right? I guess the truth is not, just as people in New York don’t visit the Time Square or the Empire State Tower everyday.

It is the same for me – a normal resident in Shanghai. If there is only one place you should visit during your trip to Shanghai, it is the Bund. It is the standard portrait photo for Shanghai, as appears in all postcard, or travel guides.

So, what I want to say is, I am also excited to visit Bund again after many months, although it is now far away from where I live or where I work.

Here I came!

Changes on the Bund

The #1 change is, the Bund is extending to the north. I don’t know why it was named after a word that is not so popular, and more interestingly, “The Bund” seems to be just referring to this place in English worldwide (is it true?). It is just the west bank of the Huang Pu River. In the last 10 years, the Bund extended from the west bank to the east bank, and recently, the area at the north part of the Bund (north of the Waibaidu Bridge) are lit up, and it looks much wider.

The second change is the Peace Hotel – the third most significant building on the Bund (this is my personal ranking – Wangjianshuo List). If you are curious about the first two, I would say, it is the Custom Building, and the Shanghai Pudong Development Building (the former HSBC building). Back to the Peace Hotel. There are interior re-building going on, and the outside lights were turned out. It looks really weird when all the surrounding building are light – it reminds of the old Shanghai…

The third change is the tallest building on the south end of the Bund – the 20+ stories tower. I would say it may be a mistake in city planning to put such a tall building out there along the historical Bund, but the current re-modeling has changed it from the building of ICBC (Industry and Commercial Bank of China) into a 5 star hotel, which means better sense for that location.

Outside the Bund

There are two major changes outside the Bund.

#1 is the progress of the Shanghai International Financial Center – it is significantly higher than the Jin Mao tower now. After finished, Jin Mao tower, once the tallest, will look shorter in comparison of its nearly added neighbour.

The second change is, there are many new shops along the Huangpu River on the Pudong side – for example, there is a bar called Bindview – good location, good name, and seems has good business there.

I didn’t bring a camera with me, so I was not able to take pictures. Hopefully, I will bring some updates with pictures the next time.

Find out Bigger Images on this Site

I often get request to republish my article. Normally, I will give the permission for reprint. However, to send out the original image is a big headache to me.

Since most of my images are hosted on flickr, and I stored my original image on the server. You can get it on the server.

This is the method to find out the original location.

  • View the page containing the image you are interested.

  • Copy the locaiton the image. (In IE, right click on the image, and click Properities, and then you can find out the URL of the image. In Firefox, just right click, and click Copy Image Location).
  • Paste the URL into the box below, and typically, you can get all different sizes of the image.

URL of image:

Take Taxi or Buy a Car?

There are still many people debating about which is more cost-effective, taking taxi or buying a car.

There are many people claim that taking taxi is cheaper, since you don’t have to buy the car, and don’t need to pay all the related fees, including but not limited to: road construction fee, annual checking fee, gas, fine (if you drive violately), parking fee, and repair/maintance fee.

There are other people claiming that buying a car is cheaper in Shanghai, since taxi fair is way too expensive compared to the gas cost – 2.1 rmb/km, and no one will take a taxi to go camping or outting.

My answer? I would say, to buy a car is definitely more expensive than taking taxi. Why?

Take my car as an example. In the last 3 years, the decrease in price is around 80,000 RMB (or 10K USD), and my car went about 40,000 km. That is almost the same as 2.0 RMB/km – the same as the taxi rate.

This is just for the car itself. I didn’t count on the much more expensive cost as I listed above.

The answer is clear – to buy a car is much more expensive than taking taxi.

However, buying a car has much more than taking taxi – it is something called freedom.

What do you think?

Chinese Stock Market is More Crazy

Just 4 months after I posted my last comments (Chinese Stock Market is Crazy), the Shanghai Stock Index raised from 3000 points to 4000 points, and keep increasing.

That means, the stock index increased from 998.23 in June 2005 to 4040 in May 2007 – 4 times increase!

What a crazy market.

Shanghai is an economic center for China, and everyone is involved. I am back from a wedding dinner tonight, and on the table, the major topic was “stock”!

I have no idea about stock – I was not in stock in the last round of bull or bear market in 2001 – 2004, and not in this round of stock change. I didn’t pay too much attention about it. Today, when Wendy told me that the stock index has been above 4000 for some time, I was really surprised. What is the next?

There are people claiming that the stock will be 6000 shortly… Who knows?

Back to Technical World

I am trying to get back to the technical world a little bit.

With a technical background, I left the technical world for many years (maybe 4 years?). Recently, during the code review, I found I should be more involved in architecture and developing the team. So I am back.

In the last week, I wrote many PHP sample code myself, and finally, I tried to write a basic classified application from scratch up, in 1 hour – I repeated several times, and continously find new ways to do old things. I am happy about that.

Sometimes I wonder, if I am back to the stage of TechEd or other technical forum, I still can contribute a lot.

Good. Good.

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