Group Drive to Yang Cheng Lake

I drove my car to Yang Cheng lake today with my friends. We have four cars today.

The Yang Chen Lake is the darker lake on the top to the characters Suzhou in the map below.

First Time on Highway

Thanks to the new transportaation regulation, I, as a intern driver, can drive onto the expressway now. In contrast, the old law requires driver to hold a driver’s license for at least one year before he/she can use the expressway.

The Route

From the Yan An Elevated Road, driving westward, and I arrived at the A9 entrance.

  • Go alone the A9
  • Turn right to A30 – the ring outside the outter ring.
  • Turn left to A11 (the Shanghai to Nanjing highway)
  • Turn right at the Kunshan Exit.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Above is the hand drawn map of Shanghai Basic Highway Infrustructure.


I am clearning the wind screen when I waited for others.


© Jian Shuo Wang. Photographed by Wendy Fan

Factories in Kunshan. Kunshan is a rising star in China’s econimic zones. It is reported majority of Taiwan factories gather in Kunshan.


The Yang Cheng Lake. It is famous for the Big Crabs.

Below is the A11 from Nanjing to Shanghai direction. There are two lanes for single direction now. As you can see from the picture, contruction is unertaken to expand two more lanes.


Turning to the A11.


The other three cars in the same group to Yan Cheng Lake.


Turning to A9. It is good choice to name the Highways with numbers. It is much easier to remember A9 than the origional name – Huqingping Highway. The benifit is more obvious for foreigners who cannot read Chinese.


Drove to Songjiang University City


I heard about the University city in Songjiang. Driving along the Caobao Rd., Husong Rd, I get there after one and half hour – actually, it should only take 50 minutes, but the terrible traffic jam at the Zhongchun Rd. intersection held us there for about 40 minutes. The new campus is very beautiful – we were so impressed to see the completely new buildings there. At least four universities has moved or expanded there from their campus in downtown.


© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

Me and the car.

My First Ticket

I got my first ticket today at the Chongqing South Road. The roads in Shanghai is so confusing – there are so many single pass roads along with time-based pass roads. Taking Chongqing Road S. as an example, only cars with odd plate numbers can pass on Mon, Wed, Fri and those with even numbers can only pass on Tues, Thur, Sat. :-( I learnt this when I entered the road and saw the notice, under the notice was the policeman.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Travel Tips to Hui Zhou

People are interested in my photos and travel experience in Hui Zhou. JL wrote to ask for the details of the trip (transportation, accommodation, main attractions ect.). Well. Not surprisingly, I am willing to share with you about the trip.

Hui Zhou 徽州 is in the An Hui Province – west to Jiang Su Province (where Nanjing, Suzhou and Wuxi are located) and Shanghai.


I took train K818/K819 from Shanghai to Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain) Station. The train left Shanghai at 20:05 and arrived around 7:00 AM. It is very nice arrangement since you can sleep on the train and begin your tour to the amazing county immediately after you get off the train. One tip you need to remember is, the train numbers K818 and K819 are referring to the same train. According to the train numbering convention, all trains leaving Beijing are numbered with odd number and trains going to the direction of Beijing are numbered with even number. However, the train from Shanghai to Huang Shan will first goes northwest, making it moving close to Beijing (it is numbered K818 at that range). After it passes Nanjing, it will move southwest toward the direction away from Beijing. So on that range of railway, it is called K819.

The returning train is numbered with the same rule – K820/K817. It leaves Huang Shan around 20:00 and arrives Shanghai at 7:00 AM next day. If you are curious about the meaning of K, I can tell you it means Kuai in Chinese or Express Train in English.


If you go to the villages I visited, please don’t expect any modern hotels there. However, it is a great experience to stay for one night or two in the accident houses that were built carefully 300-400 years ago.

Remember this door I showed yesterday?

It is the door of the bedroom we stayed. The name is Shu Ren Tang 树仁堂. It is located in Hongcun. We were so excited to get a room in the accident house. The bed and the cabinet are exactly those used hundreds of years ago. They are still solid and look nice. This house is also famous and printed in many brochures. We were wakened up by the tour guides who use their big speaker to introduce the history of the house to groups of tourist. They were so amazed to see us opening the door and came out. Some of them asked: “Do you live here?” I replied with proud: “Sure….”, “for one night.” :-) I paid 40 RMB (5 USD) for the night. It was such a great experience for me. Their phone is 0599-5541009.


In the last two dynasty, namely Ming and Qing, the Hui Zhou area were super rich and powerful. The businessmen came out from the area enjoyed largest share of the China’s market and bring money back to their hometown.


西递 Xidi – the World Heritage

宏村 Hongcun – the World Heritage

卢村 – There is a large wood-carving house. Very impressive

木坑 – The bamboo where Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon were taken

屯溪 – the transportation hub for all the other spot of scenes.

歙县 – for the Pai Fang

棠樾 – for a lot of large Memorial Archway (Paifang)

呈坎 – for Bao Lun Ge and the village

Returned from Huizhou (Huang Shan) Trip

We finally returned to Shanghai today after the four day trip to Hui Zhou. We planned to go to Huang Shan (the Yellow Mountain) but changed our route to visit the villages near Huang Shan instead. The places I visited include a lot of villages with strange names. I cannot read some of the characters in the names. They are (in Chinese and Pinyin)

黟县 西递 宏村 卢村 木坑 屯溪 歙县 棠樾 呈坎

Yixian Xidi Hongcun Lucun Mukeng Tunxi Shexian Tangyue Chengkan


At Hongcun. The village before the Moon Pool, which is the place that on the post stamp with value of 0.08 RMB – the most popular post stamp in China for more than one decade.


Hongcun – before the moon pool.


Hongcun before the Nan Hu (the South Lake)

The village in the bamboo sea… It is called Mu Keng.


Poster saying “We will kill our pig on the Moon Festival. Those who want to buy meat, please come to my house to buy. – Sept 1, 2003”


Xidi. Seen from the hill nearby.


The wood building of Xidi.


Locks on the Lian Hua Peak of Huang Shan. People will buy pairs of the lock, carve their names on it and lock them together in Huang Shan. After that, people will through the keys off the cliff – it is said that by looking the door together, the two will be together for the whole life. I believe it is true since Wendy and I put our lock there serveral years ago…

Bao Lun Ge – the largest memorial temple in Cheng Kan.


Shops at night in Hong Cun.

This is the door of my room in the “hotel”. It was an incrediable experience to have stayed for one night there.


The No. 1 Restaurant at Lao Jie in Tun Xi. It is a very nice restaurant with 30 RMB per person average. We had our dinner everyday there. Highly recommend.


This is the brick-carving on the top of the door of each house. You can find this kind of carving anywhere in the area.

Interested in Degree Confluence Project

Today, I found very interesting stuff – the Degree Confluence Project via this thread (Chinese) of

The goal of the project is to visit each of the latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world, and to take pictures at each location. The pictures and stories will then be posted here


What an interesting project it. It reminded us there is only one earth. This is a very good reference for students to learn geography – I hope I had a teacher who knew about this project when I was at school. The pictures and the practice greatly help to learn the planet earth.

My Plan to Reach 40°N 116°E #1

There are 965 confluence points in China. 68 points were visited, making 7% of all the points. There is only one point in Shanghai at 31°N 121°E. The point was visited by Frank Yu and Sam Chang at the end of the year before last year. It seems relatively simple.

I am drafting my plan to visit the only point in Beijing at 40°N 116°E

Image courtesy of

Keith Ketterer and his family has attempted to go there but was not successful due to the unfavorable location of the point. Maybe I can have the second attempt to go there. It is near the downtown Beijing. I am planning to go there by bike so the trip is more flexible. This plan may be completed by the end of this year. The point may need some climbing work and may need ropes.

Other Possible Points

For other points, I am most likely to visit the eastmost two points on the 30°N line:

30°N 121°E and 30°N 122°E


Image courtesy of

Below is the points visited in the world map.

Image credit:

At least the practice let me remember the latitude and longtitude of Shanghai is near 31°N 121°E.

Tongli – Beauty at Night

The most impressive spot on my journey from Shanghai to Taihu is the small town of Tongli 同里. The accient town, Tongli, may seems quite boring at day time if you have visited lots of similiar town like Zhouzhuang, Luzhi….. However, if you experience the town at night, you will definitely be as impressed as I did – Tongli is definitely the beauty at night.


Tongli Street Near Arch Bridge © Jian Shuo Wang

Above: The night of Tongli. There is no passengers on the street. The whole town is completely empty and let you forget it is a town with 10K residents. Look at the arch bridge on the right side of the picture and the perfect reflection in the water.


Tongli Blue Sky © Jian Shuo Wang

Above: The dawn of Tongli. The blue skys appeared behind the trees and the houses in Tongli. Taken at about 4:00 AM.

Tongli River in the morning © Jian Shuo Wang

Above: Houses and river in dawn. I am so glad that I got up early that day to capture the beauty of the town of Tongli with my Sony P8 in the morning.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Above: Houses and it reflection on the water. It looks like a piece of Chinese painting.

Tongli Tongxinnong © Jian Shuo Wang

Above: Tongli Street – a typical narrow and long street in Tongli.


Tongli, old walls © Jian Shuo Wang

Above: Look at the walls! Time have left so much marks on the accient walls.


Tongli Covered Bridge © Jian Shuo Wang

Above: The bridge at the entrance of Tongli.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Above: The tri-bridge area. Rivers are flowing in the town and bridges connects the seperated part.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Above: Me, lying on the Reading Bridge (Dushu Qiao) in Tongli. The stone surface was very smooth after so many years.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Fanrong Inn where I stayed. It has very nice equipment (in the context of such an accient town) and reasonable price (less than 70 RMB). The owner of the inn Mr. Xu Fanrong is a very nice guy. He showed me around in the town for one hour. He grows up in the town and knows the town so well. He even brought me to the dark streets – streets covered by roofs and are 100 meters long – so it is completely dark. You can move forward use you foots and hands, not your eyes. Keeping your eyes open or closed makes no difference in the “dark streets” Xu showed me. The pictures of the street and the place I sit and drunk teas are just before his inn. Call him at 0512-63337665 for reservation – I will be very happy to advertise for him.

More pictures

Some of the pictures on this page was shown in my previous blog: Back from Taihu by Bike. A complete set of the pictures are stored on ImageStation.

Top Commenter of the Month

As always, I am going to announce the Top Commenters of the Month award for this website. The Top Commenter of the Month Award for June goes to:

Nick 6

cuanyu 5

Xu 4

andrea 4

Top 10 list

Jian Shuo Wang 65

Nick 6

cuanyu 5

Xu 4

andrea 4

Vivian 3

samuel 3

Jan 3

Euthenics 3

David 3


In June, 117 visitors contributed 216 comments to this website.

In May 2003, 175 visitors contributed 453 comments to this website.

In April 2003, 157 persons (distinguished by display name) posted 437 comments.

In the first 5 months of this blog (Sept 11, 2002 to March 31, 2003), 216 persons (distinguished by display name) posted 478 comments.