Tag Archives: china

Shanghai – Slow Trains, Fast Cars.

Ni hao, all!

Shanghai – what a place. It’s really quite something. I mean in terms of its size (massive), the quantity of skyscrapers (plenty), the size of two of its airports (huge), and the number of stack interchanges and double-decker highways that crisscross the city (it contains probably several hundred miles of eight-lane roads – incredible). Blade Runner-esque Tokyo – move over! But I’m never lucky with the weather when I visit. This time Shanghai was once again covered with a haze so thick I could only see a few miles into the distance.

Tokyo

More: Maglev experience and F1 Shanghai-style

Pearl Races.

Hi everyone,

I’m back again, this time delivering you an experience from Zhuhai, China (literally “Pearl Sea”, 珠海) – one of the seven tracks of the recently launched Intercontinental La Mans Cup series. As luck would have it I was invited to the race on my way to a business meeting (and didn’t regret it one bit!).

Although the Zhuhai race carries the proud Le Mans 24 name, it is more of a cover version of the real thing. It’s not that much of an endurance race – it runs for just six hours – but it still has the same teams, drivers, cars, rules etc. But not quite the same crowds of enthusiastic spectators…yet. Numbers were low, compared with both Le Mans events and with Chinese motorsports in general, but I think it’s only a matter of time before China, as it already has in many other fields, overtakes the established leaders. And this particular event has something else going for it: in Chinese there are plenty of hieroglyphs for “Le Mans” :)

Zhuhai race

More > 6 hours in 7 pictures (and a link)

High-Sea Pu-East

Here we are continuing the world airport theme.

I’d heard a lot of good things about the new Pudong airport in Shanghai (Shanghai Pudong is written 上海浦东, and is translated, probably, as “High-Sea Pu-East”; the Han character “pu” – 浦 – I’m told has no meaning on its own).

Anyway, like I was saying, I’d heard a lot of good things about it. Now, after experiencing it, I’m ready to join in chorus of praise.

The building is huge – no, it’s ein Koloss! (since I’m writing this in Frankfurt Airport, I couldn’t resist getting a little bit of Deutsch in here!). Tons of space and air… The only thing that spoils it all is the grey sky outside the stained-glass windows… Ground services move about between the planes on a four-lane route painted on the apron. Now there’s a first.

In short: brand spanking new, big, convenient and quick (by the time you’ve walked from the arrival gate to baggage retrieval, your luggage is already on the conveyor). Do you remember my tale about JFK airport here? Well, in Pudong, it’s the exact opposite! It seems to me that China is preparing for becoming the most flown to and from country in the world (or has it made it already?).

Here’s a rather unusual but nice and shiny sculpture in the arrivals hall. Though you can’t quite see it in the pic, behind it water runs down the walls.

Sculpture in Pudong Airport

See more > VIP lounges, kids area and a beautiful sky …

Ni Hao Compulsory Internet IDs.

Innovations at Beijing airport (Terminal 2)

1. To get a log-in and password for Wi-Fi, you need to put your passport (or Chinese ID if you have one) into a special machine, which scans the main page, determines the full name of the owner and document number, and then prints out a user name and password. Looks like a forerunner to compulsory Internet IDs.

Here is a photo of the Wi-Fi vending machine

Wi-Fi vending machine in Beijing

Wi-Fi permission and two more innovations >

台风

I get to dash around the globe quite a lot, and there are always lots of interesting things in different parts of the world worth looking at. Since I’ve always got my camera with me, I naturally tend to take some snaps…

After a series of busy events – SAS 2011, Kozmodemyansk and the Macau conference – I decided to take some time out and chill on a beach for a while near Macao. And it turns out we got the timing just perfect for a bit of excitement – at exactly the time when the Nock-ten hurricane hit (a quick lesson in Chinese: 台风 – hurricane, (literally – strong wind)). I say the timing was ideal as thankfully we were able to observe the typhoon from the safety of the hotel room balcony – how the wind became stronger and stronger, the sea whiter and whiter, and how the coconuts only just managed to stay attached to the palm trees.

Nock-ten hurricane

More photos >

Las Macau

Hi everyone! Here we are with a where, what, and why.

Macau. One of the two pretty much autonomous Special Administrative Regions of China, the other being Hong Kong.

Here they have their own laws and rules and their own currency, but in casinos it seems they only accept Hong Kong dollars. Talking of casinos… Macau really is the Chinese Las Vegas. It even looks like Vegas – skyscraper luxury hotels, countless garish casinos, where nothing ever closes. Put another way, a concentration of depravity!

To get there, first you need to get to Hong Kong. From there it’s straight from the airport with no passport check 45 minutes on the ferry. Once in Macau it’s 100 yuan ($15) for your visa, and off you go…

Since I got to see nothing there apart from the hotel (we were having a partner conference there), I was able to only take a few photos.

Read more > Macau by night