Lots of juicy news items in yesterday’s Morning Post:
The official government vacation schedule (that is growing less and less relevant as private enterprise expands) for the Western and Chinese New Year has been made public:
WW = work days (on weekends) HH = official holiday VV = make-up vacation Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Dec 24 25 26 27 28 29 WW Jan WW HH VV VV 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Feb 28 29 30 31 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WW HH HH HH VV VV VV 24 WW 26 27 28
The article mentions that a lot of tourist agencies were caught by surprise: they had anticipated the Western New Year vacation being Dec 30-Jan 1 (Sat-Mon), and had booked facilities according to those dates. They are now rescheduling to match the official dates of Jan 1-Jan 3. Many businesses are choosing to ignore the official dates and stay with the original plan, which has the possibility of creating a double-wave of tourism, an unprecedented—and we predict, pleasing to everybody—effect.
(Our school, for example, after a bitter and drawn-out discussion last year, decided to take two days off for Christmas, work the next Saturday, and then take another single day off for the Western New Year. An e-mail this morning informed us that we will be sticking to this plan, despite the government’s “directive”.)
A new fiber-optic cable will link China and the US by 2008, thanks to a group of six private investors and USD 500 million. This will mean more phone connectivity and higher internet speeds. One of the terminals of the cable will be at Shanghai’s Chongming Island.
Pedicabs, a blast from the city’s past, are getting noticed hauling tourists around the Bund and the Yu Gardens. The city has declined to regulate them, saying that they don’t have much room for development and don’t fit in with the city’s expansion plans and image. Officially, pedicabs are illegal and can be fined anywhere from RMB 1,000 to 5000; but like our friend Fons says, 50% of Shanghai is illegal anyway.
Heard about the the Line 3 northern extension? It opened two days ago, on December 18, extending north from Jiangwanzheng to N Jiangyang Rd for a total length of over 40 kilometers making 29 stops, with a total travel time of 70 minutes. The morning paper reports that there is confusion about which trains take the extension and which ones stop at the old terminal station. Also, trains that start at the new terminal tend to be full by the time they reach Hongkou Football Stadium which means that some passengers are not able to board; commuters should allow for this in their morning schedule.
Remember, the Line 2 extension past Zhongshan Park opens on December 28th!
- KTV prices will rise RMB 100 or more for the New Year weekend.
- The last group of residents to be relocated from the World Expo site have been handed the keys to their new homes.
- Shanghai white-collar workers have a new hobby: urban exploration. (us too!)
Cross-posted at the Shanghai Public Transportation blog.