Archive for the ‘London Beijing Travel’ Category

Huangpu River in Shanghai VS River Thames in London

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
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Last May we cruised on River Thames in London. Just like Shanghai Huangpu River cutting through Shanghai, River Thames divides London roughly into north and south parts. River Thames River enters the North Sea at the Thames Estuary while Huangpu river flows into East Sea of China.

The River Thames cruise passes some famous attractins like Houses of Parliament, Tower of London and Tower Bridge. The boats on Huangpu River in Shanghai sail pass Shanghai Bund, the skyline of sky

scrapers, Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center, etc.The enriched history of London is unveiled in front of us cruising on River Thames. The cruise on Huangpu River in Shanghai offers a good opportunity of immersing yourself in the combined sharp contrast of the old and new, the historical Bund and fast developed Pudong area rife with high-rises.

 
No London tour is complete without an amazing cruise on River Thames. No Shanghai Tour is perfect without cruising on Huangpu River.

I realy recommend you visit River Thames and Huangpu River when visiting the two great metropolises. They have been both cultivated by great rivers like other international metropolises.

River Thames seen from a landing plane

 

River Thames seen from a landing plane

Huangpu River viewed from Jinmao Tower

Huangpu River viewed from Jinmao Tower

Half hour Cruising on River Thames from the pier of the Eye of London to the Tower of London

Half hour Cruising on River Thames from the pier of the Eye of London to the Tower of London

One hour cruise on Huangpu River

One hour cruise on Huangpu River

The Eye of London stands brilliantly by River Thames

The Eye of London stands brilliantly by River Thames

Oriental Pear TV Tower stands elegantly on the slyline of Pudong in Shanghai.

Oriental Pear TV Tower stands elegantly on the slyline of Pudong.

 
St. Paul’s Cathedral on the northern bank of River Thames

St. Paul’s Cathedral on the northern bank of River Thames

The buildings by the Bund left over from the colonial period of Shanghai 100 years ago on the west bank of Shanghai Huangpu River.

 

The buildings by the Bund left over from the colonial period of Shanghai 100 years ago

 

 

Tower Bridge on River Thames
Yangpu Bride over Shanghai Huangpu River

 

 

Tower of London by River Thames

 

Tower of London by River Thames

 

The 421 m (1,381 ft) Jinmao Tower, the 494.4 m (1,622.0 ft) Shanghai World Financial Center east bank of Shanghai Huangpu River.

 

The 421 m (1,381 ft) Jinmao Tower, the 494.4 m (1,622.0 ft) Shanghai World Financial Center east bank of Huangpu River

 

At nighfall, the two banks of Shanghai Huangpu River look more brilliantly (1)!

 

At nighfall, the two banks of Huangpu River look more brilliantly (1)!

 

At nighfall, the two banks of Shanghai Huangpu River look more brilliantly (2)!

 

At nighfall, the two banks of Huangpu River look more brilliantly (2)!

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Top 10 Attractions in Shanghai.

Train tickets booking experience in Beijing and London

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
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Though Beijing is well connected to other major cities in China by the most advanced high speed bullet trains in the world, to book a train ticket in Beijing is still a headache for many foreign visitors.
 
Compared with the train ticket booking experience, Beijing Train Tickets Booking is overshadowed in the following aspects:
 
1. No official or authoritative train tickets online booking websites
2. No self-service ticket booking at the train stations
3. Train tickets must be booked 10 or 12 days in advance. In addition, no one can garantee you can get your tickets no matter how long you book your tickets in advance.
4. Manual ticket checking and collecting
 
In London, taking trains has the same experience as those of other tools of transport like subway or public buses, all automatic and self controlled, unlike Beijing where securing a train ticket is simailar to winning a lottery.

Self-service ticket booking at Waterloo Station of London

 

Manual train ticket booking

Automatic ticket checking

 

On the platform of Waterloo Railway Station in London

Rickshaws in Beijing VS Rickshaws in London

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
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Taking a pedicab traveling around the old residential area in Beijing ( Beijing Hutong Tour ) is one of the highlights for the many first time foreign tourists visiting Beijing. The old Beijing residential areas are mostly composed of Beijing Hutongs which form and contain the traditional living houses locally called “Siheyuan”, a kind of vernacular courtyards.

Foreign travelers normally prefer to take a walk or a rickshaw around the Shichahai area north of Beihai Park, where the old hutongs and courtyards have well been kept.

Hutong tours are greatly promoted and incorporated into a complete Beijing sightseeing picture. There are several rickshaw tour tour companies providing pedicab service both in the Shichahai area north of Forbidden City and Qianmen area south of Forbidden City. Most of the rickshaw rides are restricted to the these hutong and courtyard areas.

Through years’ hectic competition, the hutong rickshaw market has been controlled and operated by several huong tour companies which have a clear code of conduct for their pedicab drivers to follow. The code of conduct include the follow:

1) Their pedicabs are painted with their company’s name
2) Their rickshaw drivers wear the uniforms with their company’s brand
3) Their rickshaws are in good shape
4) The rickshaw fares are fairly transparent

Tips for taking a rickshaw in Beijing

1) It is better to book a rickshaw tour through a hutong tour company or a local travel agency
2) Avoid directly negotiating the prices with individual pedicab drivers
3) Keep from using independent rickshaw drivers. There do exist a few illegal pedicab drivers without any company background.

Rickshaw has filled up a hole in the transport market in the hutong areas where normal cabs are found clumsy and useless. The hundreds-year old rickshaw ride in Beijing has become a popular and nostalgic mode of moving around in the fast developing metropolitan Beijing. Rickshaw rides are greatly favored by foreign visitors in Beijing and has also won the full support from the local government.

Beijing Rickshaw 1

Beijing rickshaw 2

Beijing Rickshaw 3

The rickshaws in London don’t have the same luck and privilege as the rickshaws in Beijing have enjoy. The rickshaws in London first appeared around later 1990s with the intention of creating environmentally friendly work for unemployed youngsters.

The pedicab drivers are mostly young foreign students who are going to make some money to help fund their studies. Many of them are independent rickshaw drivers though there are some registered rickshaw operators in London.

From the very beginning, the pedicabs in London have faced the question of existence due to the strong opposition from the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association which has vowed to fight them off the streets.

The pedicab fare is a matter of negotiation between the driver and the passengers. How much you pay is largely dependent on your negotiating skills and how far you are going. It’s daunting physical work.

Pedicabs in London are generally used by visitors for short journeys. Most of the rickshaw drivers look for their business in the West End Londdon, the most commercial and sightseeing area, posing a safety problem.

A few day stay in London gives me an impression that the richshaws in London are not well organized with little management and support from the local government.

London Rickshaw 1

 

London Rickshaw 3

london rickshaw 6

London Rickshaw 4

Any questions, just drop a line.