City in China = County in U.S.

What? San Jose is bigger than San Francisco in terms of population? It may be a well known fact, but I just find it out. I keep reading “San Jose is the third largest city in California after Los Angles and San Diego”. I was wondering whether San Francisco is not included in California, or have some kind of San Francisco, D.C. arrangement… It turned out San Francisco is really smaller in population than San Jose.

According to Wikipedia:

Rank / City / Population / Land Area (in sq. miles) / Population Density (per sq. miles) / County

1 Los Angeles 3,976,071 469.1 7,876.8 Los Angeles

2 San Diego 1,305,736 324.3 3,771.9 San Diego

3 San Jose 945,000 174.9 5,117.9 Santa Clara

4 San Francisco 799,263 46.7 16,634.4 San Francisco

I am also amazed by how many cities California has – 478 cities. So the term of city in U.S. and China is quite different. City in China is more like county in U.S.

For example the Henan Province in China has 17 Cities, and under cities, there are 159 counties. Counties are under cities. It seems just the opposite of U.S.

The average size of counties is similiar with Henan province, because CA is 410,000 sq. km in area, and Henan is 167,000 sq. km in area. Just FYI, Henan’s population is 97,170,000 and CA is 33,871,648.

It is an interesting discovery for me. I realized it years ago when I got to know Redmond is part of the King County, but didn’t check it carefully until today.

San Jose Impression

It is the third time in San Jose in the last 12 months. My impression are not the first-impression, just some more deeper understanding.

1. Mountains are Great.

There are mountains whenever you drive. The mountains are just there, far at the horizon. No wonder at all, because the Silicon Valley is a valley anyway. There are mountains on both side. This time, I am closers to the mountain on the east side, because I move around places along the US-101 expressway. Mountains on the left reminds me of the saying “Old Wide West”, since there are not many trees on the mountains – just yellow surfaces.

2. Efficiency of Expressway.

It is not the first time I drive on highways like US-101, CA-17, I-280, CA-85… The efficiency of the expressway still impress me a lot. It is due to the very good order – one lane on which cars moves slowly does not prevent cars on the other lane to run up to 60 miles/hour. That is very impressive. Also, what I enjoy (and feel a little bit scary) is to drive the car very fast on the via-duct, especially those left or right turning via-duct. Its like drive a race car to have the slight leaning turning roads on viaduct.

The highway network connects places, and the difference of remote, urban are not clear. I live in the Double Tree near the San Jose airport, and there are many choices to go to the other place – I can take US-101 which is just beside the hotel or take CA-87, which is two blocks away. The choices are great. In rush hours, however, we may be in a position in which we regret not to take the other no matter which one we take.

3. Noise is not that big a problem.

I am amazing how noises work in San Jose. I stayed in places I would avoid before. For example, the Double Tree Hotel is just at the edge of the San Jose airport. Driving out of the hotel, I can see aircraft taking off or landing – very big one overhead. I can hear the landing or taking off, and see it from the window. However, for some reason, I didn’t feel it too annoying. On the other side of the hotel is the highly loaded US-101. The trees separate the highway and the hotel, and it helps a lot.

During the daytime, we had meeting in a conference with window facing the North First Street of San Jose. The trolley went outside the window. Inside, it sounds like a silent movie – we are not disturbed at all.

That is the benefit of having many trees, and the buildings are very distributed, so the noise (I think the cars and planes make a lot of noises) was well absorbed. In Shanghai, on the contrary, noises got bounced back and forth between the buildings and make situation worse.

P.S. Part of the impression may be out of curiosity. Things will change if you stay in one place for long enough – good things may be bad. Of cause, the other consistent feeling, as a person from Shanghai, is boring. The consistency of business simply drives me mad. You have Macy everywhere. You have all those stores everywhere sailing exactly the same thing… It is the same with supplies – just the Nortel phones, 3M stationary, Starbucks in-house coffee, and same brand of Kimberly-Clark napkin… Everything is just the same. You can imagine if the whole nation is using the same brand of product, the efficiency of producing them will be very low. However, the only problem is, higher efficiency causes a boring life. How painful…

Arrived at San Jose

Arrived at San Jose. California is always sunny – the three trips to CA were 100% sunny. I doubt whether CA rains or not.

With the United Mileage Plus membership, I got 44A seat – the United Economy Plus seat with larger space. :-)

Had lunch at Wing’s Chinese Restaurant. You have to be in the States to really understand why applications like Google Maps are so important. Of cause, it is the same. When you are in China, and you may find online shopping (B2C) and local services not that important. At least as important as in the States because: 1) People don’t move as frequently. 2) Most restaurants are at working distance. Business model in China and U.S. should be very different depending on the environments.

(Forget about the date of the blog in the next few days. The time and date are totally a mess now for me).

Water Mellon for Summer

There are trunks outside the residential area to sell Water Mellons.

I bought one yesterday and one today. They are so sweet. I like it a lot.

Although it is obviously illegal to sell by directly parking a car at the entrance of a residential area, I like this kind of “direct sell”. Although they don’t have a business license to operate, they have really nice goods.

This may be the forth time I buy water mellon this year. The previous few times, I bought it at super market. Really expensive and more importantly, tasted bad.

When the farmers were forced to sell their product to super market, they have lower margin than direct sell, and those who offer lowest price, instead of better quality have more chances to enter super market. That may be the reason I cannot find good water mellon there.

How I love those old good days when there is no super market and there are cars full of water mellons on the street!

P.S. I visited the first Wal-mart in Shanghai for the first time. It is a very American-style shopping center. I don’t like it. People didn’t react well with the opening of the shopping center. Something must go wrong. I still didn’t finger out what is going wrong, but I just feel it is not right. When I was in Wal-Mart, the only thing I can think of was, get out of here ASAP. It seems even not competitive than the Hymall 500 meters from my home.

I hope Wal-Mart will not be another failure case of “successful Amercian company getting trouble in China”.

Suzhou Taihu Mercury Club & Marina

I am happy to be invited my my friends at Suzhou Taihu Mercury Club to join them for one day of boating and BBQ. After sailing with BV guys in San Francisco, I deeply fall in love with boat, although currently, I can only afford “model boat”. I sank in the Dishui Lake one month ago.

The Suzhou Mercury Boat Club is the most professional boat club in China – the only one in its grade in the entire country. It is based at the West Hill area of Taihu, with very nice facilities. Let me show you the pictures of my day.

Boat is still a luxrious entertainment in China. Even in the Rich People club, boat is not mentioned. On one hand, when a golf club membership raises to about 80,000 USD, the boat membership relatively reasonable (130,000 RMB), but the boat is much more expensive than outside China. For example, Sea Ray Sundancer 2xx costs more than 2 million RMB, while it is jus around 1 million in U.S. (Based on what I HEARD, without research).

Get to there

It is close to my home in Shanghai, in term of distance. It is about 120 KM away, exactly from the parking lot to their parking lot. I turned on the meter when I am back.

I can get to A9, turn right at A30, and exit immediately at Daying 大盈 exit. The Suzhou-Shanghai Express way is completely, but not connected to A30 yet. So I have to go around 10 km west and get to the Suzhou-Shanghao Express. Not many people knows that experess, and there is definitely no cars running on it.

Then the West Hill 西山 exit is 63 km away. It takes less than 2 hours to get there.


I like the style of boat owners. They put everything in order, including ropes. I enjoy to see all the ends of ropes were well arranged like this.

Another interesting part of boating is to be able to get to an island that not many people go, and see those untouched grass land.

People practice to get ready for the Dragon Boat Champaignship the next week.

I intentionally changed the focus of this picture so it came out with blured image of the large trees above us.

The dock of the boats – clean and nice.

Wendy took this picture during her course to learn to take photos. She demostrated the effect of a wide angle shot – the method to produce gaint-like picture. She obviously succeeded.

Enjoying the Sun and clean white table cloth and the good view of boat.

Look at this Labrador Retriever! It is one of the very few type of dogs I can tell, and I do love it after watching the Japanese movie “Little Q”…

There are some motor boat as well.

Some types of Sea Ray Sundancer. I suspect it may be 315…

The whole view of the dock at the boat club.

Boat returning home…

Going under the West Hill Bridge, which connects the land and the West Hill Island.

Another section of the bridge.

Something bad about the Taihu Lake is, it is not deep enough. Boats need to park at the middle of the lake, and take shuttle boat to the land. The boat is just too big to go near the small dock at East Hill.

It was me, before leaving for the BBQ.

The boat started to “fly”.

People leaving the habor on Sundancer 275.

Three boats ahead.

The habor, sweet habor. When I am getting back from one day of sailing, the bridge and lamp of the habor were more nice too me.


To be honest, I still enjoy quieter boat, like those sailing boat. I just don’t feel too excited on boat powered with huge engines and can run 90 km/hour on the surface of water. For me, there is not big difference than another car.

Also, Taihu is not the same after I went out boating for one day. It is not a big lake for me. Instead, there are routes on it that is deep enough and safe enough for boats. You just cannot sail around as you wish – you have to keep the predefined routes on the wide surface of the lake. To be short, to have a boat on Taihu does not bring the kind of freedom I expected. Mmm….

Jian Shuo Wang Flying to San Jose

Jian Shuo Wang is heading to San Jose on June 5, and will return on June 11, 20006.

Ticket information:

I am a big fan of technical details, abbr. and the secret codes used on the airline ticket. Here are all printed information on my ticket. I enjoy dig into details to find out meaning behind these characters.









08306115/04 /0





CNY 6950 SHA UA SFO 329.37TKXSPCNS UA SHA 534.46HKW6MS NUC863.83END ROE8.04546 XT 20AY304US41XA47XY41YC1206YQ37XF SFO4.5


CNY 1636XT




FORM 9415


CK 4

What does it Mean?

Curiousity is very important part of my life. I keep being courious to many things around me, including this ticket. Hope one day, I get some idea of all the information of the ticket.

Looking forward to Sunny California

I love travel but I hate jet lag. Hope this trip I will be fine.

United Airlines Telephone in Shanghai




Monday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Saturday: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM


Mondy – Friday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Saturday: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Note: The old number, as published in the and almost all the publications of United +86-21-62798009 does not work in Nov 2004.

The telephone system suggest travellers to arrive at the airport 3 hours before departure.

P.S. My mileage number: 01531062422