Rainy Friday Night, 2006

Friday night, it rains in Shanghai again. Wendy went to off-site in a remote place in Zhejiang. Their bus should left Xujiahui soon. I bet she will be back on Sunday night.

Just left my office and go to the Raffles City to look for some food – whenever I look for food, I think I am not too much difference with a dog. Hungry? So start wandering on street and hope to get something interesting to eat. Well. Delicious is not the term I use as my object. Nothing is delicious after you have eaten it twenty times.

The big shopping mall is at the heart of Shanghai – just at the People’s Square. But there is not good foods anywhere – expensive foods are typically not good, as in many places.

I walked to the direction of the Ajisen Ramen. There are 30 people lining up at the gate. It seems if I wait there, it may easily kill half an hour. It reminded me of Jan 21, 2005. It was also a rainy Friday night. Everywhere is fully booked, or enough people lining up. So I get back to the first floor, thinking about what to eat. Finally, I made a decision that I will laugh at myself – I went to KFC to get some fast food. There are also many people there, but I can get my food within 5 minutes.

KFC meets my expectation very well – not good food. Don’t feel satisfied as all. But anyway, I am not hungry.

Wang Xiaohui

I read Wang Xiaohui’s second book. I fall in deep interest to this photographer. I appreciate a lot of sentences and ideas she expressed in her interview. Today, I read something about her life. She treat her whole life as a behavior art show, and document everything with her camera, and her diary. She said, if I can only take two things with me on my journey, I will take camera and diary.

She records her 15+ years with camera and diary, and published the details with a book. I like the attitude, and have the feeling I am doing the same thing. I may want to be more sensible and thoughtful when I record MY life, so it is valuable for me after 10 years.


Recently, everyday after work, I feel very tired. To sit there just think hard consumes more brain power, I believe. This is a weekend. Don’t know what to do yet. My guess will be, keep thinking hard… :-D

Keep Doing, and Its Meaning

I believe keep doing, doing and doing for some meaningful thing is important. I don’t think anyone would argue about this. However, what is meaningful will bring a lot of argument.

Why You Blog?

In a Kijiji event in Shanghai University tonight, students asked why I kept blogging for more than three years. “What makes you keep doing that?”

I think it is a great question to ask me, or ask anyone who kept doing.

Does Consistency Helps

Many people started blog but quit after three weeks. Someone decided to recite all the words in an English directory, but quit when they encounter “B”. More people make up minds to start running, but stop after five morning exercise.

People believe the reason they cannot keep doing something is due to lack of consistency – consistency means the firmness a of people’s mind.

I don’t think so. I don’t think I am a person of consistency, and have the ability to do anything longer than a week. It has nothing to do with consistency.

It must be Meaningful

I believe you have to find out a reason to do something. As long as the reason is still valid, and you can feel it is valid, you keep doing. If you don’t think it is still meaningful, you may quit. I do.

Most Confusion Time

For this blog, it has millions of page views every month. If you know more than one thousands people are waiting to see your article today, do you see the value of keep blogging today? Maybe you do. I do.

However, when there is no one visiting your site, do you still think it is meaningful to do that?

Back to the end of 2002, I was confused sometime. At that time, the server is still in my reading room in my home (the reason I didn’t remove the home part from my blog URL http://home.wangjianshuo.com). When I blog everyday, and see the access log, there are only 20 to 100 page view that day. At the first month, out of excitement of trying new stuff, you may want to keep the server up everyday. However, after the excitement went away, I start to think, does it make sense to keep the server up 24 hours day, consuming electricity and making big noises in my home?

That is the hardest time in my 3 years of blogging. I can keep doing something for a long period of time, as long as I still believe it is meaningful. In my blogging case, what is the meaning to still keep blogging once everyday?

Finally, I thought of the reason – to keep accumulating my thoughts on daily bases. It may be a big boook one day.

As soon as I realize to have visitors or not is not the meaning of my blogging, I feel happier. Only after I realized to write for myself, instead of for visitors, and page view is more meaningful to me, I found the reason to keep blogging. So I kept doing that.

In the last three years, I always keep the belief, that at first, I write for myself, to accumulate my life experience. Secondly, if it can help someone out there (maybe after one year or two), that is better. As long as these two points still make sense for me, I will keep blog. If one day, I found it is not meaningful for me to blog, I will also quit (hope there is always reasons to keep blogging).

Why People Quit

Some people start out of curiosity, and don’t find any reason why he/she start to blog. Well. Good. Just quit. Good for him/her.

Some people admire others’ high page view and blog for page view. They quote all interesting articles others wrote, and think hard about what attracts users most. If they can keep doing that, it is good. But the problem is, it is too long for them to see the result. For me, it takes two – three years. If there is no other reason to keep doing that, they will quit. They quit not because they are lack of consistency, they quit because they didn’t feel any sense of connection between what they are doing (blogging) and what they think is meaningful (page view).

It is the same for running. If someone just enjoys running very much, they keep doing that. If someone hate running, but only do that to improve health, they quit because they cannot observe the difference after running for three days, and start to doubt whether it is meaningful to run. The same as reciting a directory (which I never think meaningful as a way to learn English).

Passion for Contribution, and Confident for Return

The other day, I read an article about Contribution and Return. The article said: visionary, and successful people in history are so passionate about their contribution, meanwhile be confident for the return they can get. The unsuccessful people are doing the other way. They care too much about return (in terms of $$$), and have no interest in contribution. Just like a good writer only cares about writing good article (contribution), while don’t want to pay attention to manuscript fee. Bad writers only cares about how much they can make, and don’t care about how good he/she writes. That is the difference between good writers (who becomes better and better) and bad writers.

So Bill Gates do care about its contribution, so does Edison, the two founds of Google, and lots of successful business owners. They do care about what they can do to help. Although they are confident about return, they don’t do business just for the return. (Of cause, things changes after a company goes public).

If the reason to do something is to contribute, and you are satisfied with your contribution, you can keep doing that.

If the reason to keep doing something is to get return, chances are, you cannot get return as you expected, and you stop.

That is my thoughts about reason to keep doing something or stop.

Hotmail Blocked in China

It is brought to my attention that Hotmail is presently blocked in China. I can access it everyday (I don’t know why, but it just works for me.), but I saw a lot of complains on my old post: Does Hotmail Work in China?. There are 52 comments so far. Why? Because it is the first result for Hotmail China in both MSN Search and Google search.

Well. It seems I need to do a little bit homework to find ways to help people out. Here is my analysis.

The Problem

When you type http://hotmail.com or http://www.hotmail.com, you will receive DNS error, as if the site never existed. You may experience long waiting time, before it reports the error.

When you type in http://hotmail.com, it reports DNS error, like the screen capture. Created at 21:40 May 10, 2006 at China Telecom FTTB+LAN in Pudong, China

When you type in http://www.hotmail.com, it also return error, but this time, it return the default error page from China Telecom: advertisement from Yahoo! China, including Yahoo! MP3 search, Baidu.com and Sina.com.cn. Created at 21:40 May 10, 2006 at China Telecom FTTB+LAN in Pudong, China

It seems the domain name DNS service is blocked.

The same problem happens with the Windows Live services, http://live.com.

When you type in http://live.com, it returns this error. Created at 21:40 May 10, 2006 at China Telecom FTTB+LAN in Pudong, China

Other Impact

Since recently, MSN transformed its passport services (the familiar hotmail logon page) to live.com. When live.com is blocked, as shown above, all Microsoft services related to authentication dies. For example, the popular MSN Spaces, a blogging service, becomes instable because it requires authentication. Other services, like http://download.microsoft.com is also reported to be impacted.

I chatted with my friends who may know the situation. None of them really have any suggestions, except asking me to use a proxy server.


Let me try to give several workarounds I collected. It may work now, but no garrentee it works in near future. Just let me know if any method works or stop working. At least at the time I write this article, I personally tested all the methods. They work at least for me on China Telecom FTTB+LAN home broadband in Shanghai.

Option 1: Use Mobile Version

Only the domain names are blocked. The server is live. If you have ways to access the servers without using the hotmail.com or live.com domain, you have a chance. Here is a backdoor:

Visit http://mobile.msn.com/hm/folder.aspx

MSN Mobile logon interface

This interface is designed exclusively for Windows Mobile cellphones. You can login to check your emails. The interface is very simple and small – to fit into mobile – but it is better than nothing if you urgently need to check your Hotmail messages.

The reason it works is because, the link I provide will redirect you to this URL:







It does not use the hotmail.com or live.com domain

Thanks for this article to share this methods with me.

Option 2: Using MSN Messenger 7.0

If you have MSN Messenger 7.0 or 7.5 (I am using 7.5) on your computer, you can simply click on the Mail icon to enter Hotmail. It is still using the old passport service, not live.com. Please make sure you are using these versions, not MSN Messenger 8.0.

Option 3: Logon to Passport First

If you feel the mobile version is not acceptable, try this.

Visit https://login.live.com/login.srf


Passport logon page

Also live.com is not accessible, https://login.live.com is OK. Please note the URL is https:// instead of http://.

After you enter your Hotmail username and password, you will see the MSN Account Services page. Click the hotmail link on the left top of the page, and you should be able to access hotmail.

Option 4: Direct URL

This URL works for me. But I have no idea about whether it works for you. Let me know your feedback.



Option 5: Use Outlook Express

Just configure Outlook Express to check emails from hotmail.

If you haven’t done it before, here are the steps:

Go to Start -> All Programs -> Outlook Express.

Tools -> Accounts -> Add… -> Mail

Display Name: Your real name, click Next.

Email address: yourname@hotmail.com, click Next.

Accept defult HTTP as server, Hotmail as provider, and click Next.

Enter your user name and password, click Next.

Click Finsih. Then click Close to close the account tab.

Then you will have all your mails in your hotmail in your mailbox.

I’d like to hear your feedback about what option worked and what didn’t. If it didn’t work, please post comments and let people know what you have tried, where are you, and which provider you use.

Good luck!

It is not Impossible, But Difficult

I enjoyed chatting with George from New York the other day in my garden. We discussed about doing business in China.

George said, when he consulted his friends about anything in China, he often got the answer: “It is not impossible, but difficult”.

“It is really frustrating to me”, George said, “basically they didn’t answer my question at all.” George added, “What on earth does it mean by Not impossible but Difficult?”

That is the Way it Works

I laughed out load. I rest assured George that it is very common answer, and is absolutely the right answer to many questions he asked. If he asks me a lot of questions, I would answer the same way, “it is not impossible, but difficult”. Let me tell you why.

In China, the culture is not based on philosophy, reasoning or mathematics.

Mathematics and most science has predictable and certain answers.

If you ask

What is the result of 1+1?

The answer is 2.

But human being is not that predictable.

If you ask

What happens if I show this picture to this person?

The human interaction is not that predicable.

He may smile;

he may turn away;

he may be angry;

he may also run into tears.

It depends on all kinds of factor including what the picture is about, what the relationship you have with the person, what time do you show the picture in his life. When there are too many factors, we call it something like an ART.

U.S. rules works more like mathmatics; China rules more works like human being.

In U.S., rules works like science and mathematics. If you ask:

“Can I do this?”

Typically, you get a Yes or No answer.

In China, it’s more like an art, instead of an equation.

“Can I do this?”

“Well. It depends.

Typically, you CANNOT do that.

BUT if you know the person who is in charge of this, MAYBE you can do that.

BUT if it is the time that the law is enforced these days, even your friend MAY NOT be able to help you these days.

BUT if you wait for several days, your friends can help you with that….

The scenario is on show everyday.

Here are some examples.


The new law system in China is just developed within 50 years, with 20 years of interruption (when basically no law at all). So it is not mature, and people didn’t get used to laws and regulations yet.

For example, if you ask “Can foreign Internet companies run business in China?” Well. It is a tough question. If you expect YES or NO answer, it is your problem that you don’t under the country at all.

The right answer MAY be “NO”, because there are regulations and laws explicitly says foreign Internet companies cannot operate in China.

But don’t stop here. Otherwise, you are assuming no one in China ever realized the existence of Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, or any NASDAQ listed Chinese Internet company, like Sina, Sohu…

It seems the answer is “YES” despite of the laws, but you cannot say that. It is very complicated to hand the situation in China, that requires skills not available from someone who never lived in China.

It is Not Impossible, But it’s Difficult

You will experience these type of answer all the way.

Something I feel very strange with I discuss topics with my foreign friends is, they try to think stuff in a logic way.

People keeps asking questions to me. It sounds like “What is the difference between the two markets, China and U.S.?” “Why does people do this?” “Did they do this because of this…?”

Well. For me, I tried very hard to answer the questions, but to be honest, I felt I am not telling the truth. It is not accurate to answer with either “YES”, or “NO”. There are not directly reasoning between cause and results. For me, I do be able to answer many questions in the western thinking model, but many times, if I do care to help people to under the local market, I would stop and say: “The reasoning and logic people use here is different from the one you use.” “Let’s start again by analyzes it in this way….”

That is the reflection of Asian culture “Harmony” + “Ambiguity”

When the West Meets the East

When the West culture meets the East in Shanghai, there are a lot of conflict.

I see people from the States come to China to make money. They just come and go. Some makes huge money, and some just keep losing money. The difference relies on the way people think. I am quite amazed to see how difference the gap is.

It does not work that well to believe rules, science, mathematics, western logic and all these stuff to be the ONLY and Universal way. There are countries in Asia that human factors play more important rules. It does hurt efficiency, I agree, but it is the reason why the culture lasted thousands of years – no single way to run smoothly in this country, but no single force can destroy this country. It’s like how the nature works.

If you don’t understand what “It is not impossible, but it is difficult” means, you don’t really understand China yet.

P.S. I have a special category called westmeetseast in this blog, and put all observations about this culture conflicts under this category. As you may noticed, I finally decided to remove Google Adsense from my individual entry page, and use the precious place to place a navigational box of “related entries”. Hope you will find the small box helpful to find related articles.

Traffic in Shanghai

Today, the last day of my May holiday, I received an email from a friend asking me about my opinion on traffic in Shanghai. He is very smart and sensitive to small details. He shared a lot of great observation he had in Shanghai. To answer the emails, let me post my thinking in a blog.

Traffic Rules

Many foreigners observed the traffic rules do not work as it would in Shanghai. It is true.

Any country and city need to learn to get used to modern traffic, and must have the right hardware (lights, lines on roads) to support that. Most importantly, people need time to be educated about the rules.

Shanghai definitely does not perform well in terms of traffic rules, but I think it is the natural steps to get used to a car-centric world. Most pedestrians do not drive, and don’t know how it feels to sit at the driver’s seat. I believe my walking behavior changes before and after I learnt to drive – I start to really understand how dangerous to cross the road randomly or walk on the road at night (when lightening condition is not good).

Also, I would say, Shanghai is one of the best cities in terms of traffic rule enforcement. This may be surprising for many people, but for me, it is true. In many cities I visited myself, there are even astonishing things. For example, on the expressway of Xi’an to Tongchuan, or from Luoyang to Zhengzhou, buses stop on the lane to pickup passengers waiting on the road. Cow and horse carts run on the same expressway, while cars passing by at 120 km/hour or faster. In Xianyang, car drivers like to drive above the double-solid yellow lines, or most of the time, on the road to another direction. Right light is never respected. Cars come and go as if red light never exist. I would say, when the society is not transformed from bicycle-centric to car-centric, all these are acceptable. I am optimistic to say, the traffic rules will be better in the future or with the new generation growing up.

Traffic Assistants Help or Not

In Shanghai, at major cross streets, there are traffic assistant helping to keep the order in Shanghai. It works. As I discussed in my previous articles, people in China traditionally respect human-to-human relationship instead of human-to-rule relationship. Some people standing there helps to keep away from the red light.

Advice to New Drivers?

For people new to Shanghai, I don’t suggest him/her to drive at all. Shanghai’s public transportation is good enough, and you don’t need to waste time on the downtown road. To live in Pudong is another story – it is something like west U.S., where roads are wide, and traffic is less.

Radio Stations on Traffic Report

There is dedicate radio station on real time traffic report in Shanghai. It is Shanghai Traffic Radio, at AM 648. As a matter of fact, the advertisement price for traffic radio is among the highest in all radio stations in Shanghai, because the target audience are thought to be richer. There is no traffic helicopters or anything like that in Shanghai.

Road Guides at City Entrance

There are many road guides at the major entrance to the city from expressway. They just wait at the toll station, and show a big plate saying “Road Guide 带路”. They are picked up to give directions. It is the same in Hangzhou.

In the recent years, many people living in Shanghai visit Hangzhou by car, and people from other regions visit Shanghai. They have no idea about road at all. The road system in Shanghai is too complicated with so many single-direction roads, and new roads. Map does not help at all, since the road is changing all the time. First time drivers may try to drive to the destination by themselves, but for the second time, many will choose the road guide, because it is cheaper than the fine ticket policeman gave, and save one or two hours. It is the same for people entering Hangzhou. I didn’t used one yet.

They are called “Zhiye Dailu” 职业带路人 or professional road guides. According to this report, they charge 20 – 30 RMB per guide, and sometimes in good seasons, they can provide service to 7-8 cars.

However, it is explicitly illegal for them to provide the service.

In Shanghai toll gates, free road guide service is provided to drivers, that people can ask for directions there. However, I doubt without a real person on board, it is too easily to get lost in Shanghai.

Small Incidents

In Shanghai, when small incidents happens, many people will argue and attract many passengers to gather and watch.

In the recent two years, there are regulations and guidelines issued to help solve this problem. When it is clear who is responsible to the accident, the regulation requires both parties to leave the street, especially elevated highways, as quick as possible, and call policeman. Policeman is required to arrive within 5 minutes in downtown, 8 minutes outside outer ring, and deal with the incident within the next 15 minutes. That means, from small incidents to both parties can go, it should be within 20 to 23 minutes.

I never heard of the insurance cards in LAX.

Who is Responsible?

The regulations changes from year to year. Once, there are rules in other cities that when car hit pedestrian, if it is pedestrian’s fault, the car drivers don’t need to be responsible for that. Recently, the rules changed back to the original version: If cars hit people, no matter whose fault it is, car drivers will be punished. The difference is, if it is the car driver’s fault, the punishment is more severe.

Drivers are required to stop or slow down before pedestrians. I applause for this new enforcement of laws.

Exhibition in a Box

In May holiday, I gave myself enough time to clean my home. The photos and frames from the exhibition of last year occupied much spaces. Finally, I put them all into two big DELL boxes, like this:

Broadband is really narrow band

In my home, the FTTB+LAN broad band continue to be worse. 50% or more package got lost when I ping many sites, including my blog and Yahoo!. It is slower than my CDMA now.

Renting a Car in U.S.

This is part of a series article: From Shanghai to US – A Handbook. These articles are to help my friends (obviously in Shanghai) to plan their first time visit to U.S. To be concise, I only outline information that I think helpful for this group of people. So don’t be surprised if it left some important information outside the scope.

I will cover about grand transportation about people from China arrives in U.S. later, but this time, I will talk about renting a car in U.S. with Chinese Driver’s License.

Motivation to Learn to Drive

The matter of fact in China is, most people don’t have a car, like I did in my first 5 years after graduate.

And most people don’t even plan for that, since there are just enough dreams to be filled before a car. Also, the great public transportation system in every city in China makes it possible to live wonderful life without a car. In Shanghai, for example, Metro, buses, and taxis are easily accessible.

But believe me, everything people go back from the States, there is strong desire to learn to drive, since people found it is so convenient to have a car and drive around in the vast west of the country, and the life is so hard without a car. In Seattle, for example, although the Homestead is just several blocks away from Microsoft campus, it still takes much time to walk, not to mention the nearest shopping center. Taxi works different in U.S., it is cheaper to rent a car than taxi, and you have to call and wait for 15 minutes for a taxi.

So every time I got back from the State, I promised I will learn to drive and get a driver’s license.

If you are going to U.S., or plan to do so, I suggest you get a driver’s license ASAP. It will save you much time and money in U.S.

How the Driver’s License from Chinese works in the States

Basically, driver’s license in China works well in U.S. I didn’t find any documents, but it worked for me at least in both AVIS in Seattle Airport, WA, or San Francisco Airport, CA.

The Chinese driver’s license only have Chinese characters, not any English words there. I believe they can only tell it is your document from the photo. It seems when the inspector feels you are confident enough to tell them it is the government issue valid license, they accept it.

It worked out once in AVIS at SFO airport, when I forgot to bring an English copy.

If you want to be safe, and show respect to car rental companies, you can bring an English translation of the driver’s license with you.

Here is the sample created by Edward Wang

Driving License of The People’s Republic of China (Original)

License No. : 3521011977xxxx08xx

Name: Wang Qingsheng Gender: Male Birth Date: xxxx, 1977

Address: Rm 415, No. 230, Jiujiang Road , Huangpu district

Stamp of Issuing Authority

Date of Issue: June 8, 2004

Vehicle Type : C

Effective Period : From June 8, 2004 to June 8, 2010

Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau , Public Security and Traffic Administration Bureau , Vehicle Administration Office

I used the template and print it out with my printer. It works like a charm in U.S. You also can get an official translation from the government agencies and pay for that. For me, I don’t think it is necessary.

Other Tips

Do reserve before you go.

Logon to either AVIS, or HERTZ. Don’t expect cars available for you at airport. Last time, I went there, and found there is no cars available. It is good that I have reserved one. How disappointing it is when you plan to travel by car but find out they don’t have one for you.

Also, almost all cars are automatic shift cars. In China, many people drive manual shift cars. The change is not challenging at all. It is much easier to drive auto-shift car even though you never touch it before. Put the shift to “D”, and everything works well.

There are two gas plan – one is getting the car at full gas, and fill it to full. The other option is to let the rental company do it for you, but the gas is a little bit more expensive.

I would suggest to have the rental company to fill the gas for you. You may not be familiar with the location of gas station; what type of gas you should fill, and even how to operate the the machine. So leave the challenging work to the next time.

Last but absolutely not least, drive safely. I know people who killed themselves at highway in U.S. If you are not sure, do not drive at all. Also, do not drive if it is your first time to visit the States. You should sit in a car to watch how cars and roads work before you actually drive.

Good luck!

Flight From Shanghai to U.S.

This is part of a series article: From Shanghai to US – A Handbook. These articles are to help my friends (obviously in Shanghai) to plan their first time visit to U.S. To be concise, I only outline information that I think helpful for this group of people. So don’t be surprised if it left some important information outside the scope.

To go to U.S. from Shanghai, there are not too much choices of flight. If you visit San Francisco, there is actually only one flight: UA858 (status) you may take. Most U.S. company including Microsoft and eBay choose this flight. Here is the schedule:

United Airlines

12:45 pm Depart Shanghai (PVG)

Arrive San Francisco (SFO) 8:53 am (next day)

Duration: 10hr 47mn


According to the PVG (Pudong Airport Policy), the international check-in opens 2 hours before the flight (that is 10:45 AM), and closes 45 minutes before the scheduled departure time (that is 12:00)

According to my experience, before 10:45 AM, many people already lined up at the check-in counter, with big baggages. The line should already wind around the counter, with at least 100+ people. Most of the passengers are either first time visitors (like parents visiting children in U.S.) or returning residence with big luggage.

If you are the first time visitor, I suggest you to get to the airport as early as possible. The excitement of travel well compensate the 1 hour of waiting. If you arrive on time, you will be surprised, and worried whether you will be late to your flight (actually, you will never be late…)

If you have visited many times, and just have a small bag with you, you can go there as late as 11:30 AM, when the line is short, and all the other passengers completed their checkin process.

The custom inspection may take time too. Pudong Airport has already been a busy port. The 10 – 20 inspection counter still cannot handle the passengers in rush hours.


If you go earlier enough or you call United Airlines one day before, you can choose your seat. I would recommend you to take a window seat, since the scene outside flight window attracts me most.

UA858 is a Boeing 747-400 plane. If you can, choose the seat numbered with A, like 41A, 42A… Never choose row 32 to 40 – they are just above the wings of the aircraft, and you can see almost nothing. 46A to 46K have extra spaces (they are the emergency exit). The view is bad, but you can relax your legs.

The reason I suggests the left side window against the right side is, you will be able to see Mount Fujisan in Japan (35.36 N 138.73 E) within one hour. There are a lot of mountains and ports to see when the flight is about Japan.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang, Nov 10, 2002

UA858 does not stop at NRT (Tokyo Narita Airport), but it flys by.

What to Do on the Flight

The flight is long, but it is still OK – just 10 hours and 47 minute. The flight sometimes arrives several minutes to 20 minutes earlier than scheduled.

I suggest you after the flight leaves Japan, try to fall asleep ASAP. Scene outside window will be completely the same – the pacific ocean, clouds or darkness. You won’t miss anything. Don’t watch the on-flight movie, or browse on-flight magazine for too long. You will experience serious jet lag in SFO if you don’t sleep well. The eyes cover helps me a lot.

The screen will help you to figure out where you are

At around morning the next day (or the same day according to your calendar), you will arrive at San Francisco Airport


Here are some reports I accumulated in the previous years of travelling between SFO and PVG.


UA858 Photo Galary

SFO – San Francisco Airport

When UA858 arrives, there are English, Chinese and Japanese language welcoming you, and it is easy to get to the lugage claim area, like this:

My Boat Sunk in Dishui Lake

I bought a boat two months ago. I sailed the remote control boat in all the lakes in my residential areas – the big one in the south, the smaller on in the east and the long one in the west. I even sailed the boat in the Century Park. So I happily brought my boat and batteries to the Dishu Lake 滴水湖 near the Dong Hai Bridge. Unfortunately, it sunk into the middle of the lake. Thanks Linda to take the whole process.

Boat with Jack Gu on the left, and I am on the right

Photography by Linda Liu

Boat Started its Journey

Photography by Linda Liu

Boat in the Water

Photography by Linda Liu

After the boat went about 10 meters away into the middle of the lake, I felt the control is not working so well. Shortly, water went into the boat, and the boat lean and start to sink. The water broke the motor, and my remote control completely stopped working. We have to see the rear of the boat went into the water with only the head pointing to the sky. 1 minutes later, the boat completely disappeared under the surface of the water.

I only have the remote control now

Photography by Linda Liu

I have plan to buy a better and stronger boat to replace my first electronic boat.

Exciting Donghai Bridge and New Habor City

What is my favorite suburb place to go in Shanghai (with the context that I have a car)? It changes along with time. Here are some places on my previous favorite list:

  • Sheshan 佘山, the only mountains in Shanghai. Don’t laugh if you know it is only 99 meters high – 1/2 of the building I work everyday, and 1/4 of the tallest building in this city. They just built a wonderful lake nearby.
  • Fengxian 奉贤 Sea Shore. It is south of Shanghai. You can see the sea there – the sea is yellow, and there is no way that you can swim there. Recently, the local government spent huge to bring sands from Dalian 大连 and created a artifical sand land there. Hope the water will be better.

Now my list added a new one – Dong Hai Bridge and nearby Habor City. Let me tell you how to get there, and what you can expect in this new land in Shanghai. I recommend you to go there and experience.


By Car: use A20, and turn A2. It is the end of A2. There is a large conjunction at southeast corner of A20 ring road. It has two branches, one is A1, going to Pudong Airport, the other is A2, going to Donghai bridge.

From Pudong Airport: They just opened a new shuttle bus, Pudong Airport Shuttle Bus No. 8, connecting Pudong Airport (PVG) to Dong Hai Bridge.

From downtown: Take Metro #2, and transit to Longgang Express 龙港快线.


More photos

Update May 3, 2006

Here are more pictures taken by Run Liu or Linda.

Photograph by Linda or Run Liu

Cheap Budget Hotel in Shanghai


I know many people will like this post. It is about cheap hotels in Shanghai. I talked about fancy 5-star hotels before, but of cause, people who stay there may not bother to check out articles on this website.

As I said, I haven’t stay in any hotel in Shanghai, so I don’t have hand-on experience. Today, I found a good page B14 of April 26, 2006 on Shanghai Times 申江服务导报 on cheap hotels in Shanghai. Let me quote some data there.

Jin Jiang Inn 锦江之星

It is one of the oldest cheap hotels in Shanghai. They have 26 hotels in Shanghai so far.

Price: 178 – 238 RMB

Reservation: +86-40082099999 (24 hours)

Website: http://www.jj-inn.com/

They provide Internet access, 0.3 RMB/minute, 30 RMB/day

Breakfast: 15 RMB/person.

Jian Shuo’s Personal Comment:

There is a Jin Jiang Inn at Pudong Airport, and one at Pudong (Huamu Road 花木路). They are very good – nice from outside. It is very similar to the next two hotels I will introduce. I didn’t see too much difference between them.

Motel 168 莫泰168

It has the best decoration among the three (Jin Jing Inn, Motel 168, and Rujia).

Breakfast: 25RMB / person

Price: 168 RMB – 298 RMB

Website: http://www.motel168.com/

Jian Shuo’s Personal Comments:

Motel is very modern, with nice decoration and colorful rooms. They have the walls painted in light green, light blue, and sometimes red.

Reservation: 800-820-7168

Rujia Hotel (Homeinn) 如家快捷酒店

This is a simple, but very widely distributed hotel. They are started by the same group of people who started CTRIP.com (NASDAQ: CTRP)

Highlight: They provide free Internet access.

Breakfast: 10 RMB

Room Price: 178 – 238 RMB

Reservation: 800-820-7822

Website: http://www.homeinns.com/

Jian Shuo Wang’s comment:

I have many friends, who only stay at Rujia. The guys in Daqi.com always stay in this hotel, no matter it is one person, or a group of 20 people. It is their default choice of hotel. So I believe it may be better than other two (Disclaimer again, I never stayed in any of them).

The only problem is, it is very hard to reserve. It seems to me that their occupation rate of rooms must be more than 95%. So do book ealier.

Good Luck

These three hotels are all clean, safe, and convenient. Most and more people are staying in these hotels. If you don’t have enough budget to stay in a fancy hotel, I highly recommend these three to you.

Other articles on Shanghai Hotels: