BootsnAll Travel Network

Read 10,000 Books, Travel 10,000 Miles - 读万卷书,行万里路

Hello Travelers! Greetings from Shanghai, China. I believe there were two types of travel: real travel and visual/mind travel by reading books. My motto in Chinese: 读万卷书,行万里路 is my way to pursuit happiness. Now, we have the third type: online travel, through surfing and contributing to Internet. And I am lucky to be involving in building a will-be GREAT travel product: Uptake (known as Kango)! This is my personal blog recording all kinds of travel, I blog for sponsorship from time to time.

In search of a Home Security System

January 25th, 2010

Recently, we have a closed friend in California who just bought a lovely house in suburban of Los Angeles and we were chatting about the neighborhood security issue. She wanted to find a burglar alarm system for the new home. Since we have the experience of being broken into our car and stolen a car audio system when we lived in Mountain View, California, we understand the concern and needs. So I do some Googling for her as well as for myself to learn more about this area.

My goal is to find a national company that have branch or support in California, and when searching for “home security system”, I got a system call “ADT” which is an award winning home security system and has a broad range of products & services for home or business. Looks good. So I search more using words like  ADT in California and ADT in CA and found a website call  In this site, I learn that one of the benefit of having a home security system is that the home insurance premier can be reduced up to 20%. It sounds like a win-win solution: reduce cost and get protection.

I shared this information with my friend and she also thinks ADT is a pretty good products. They offer:  24-Hour Alarm Monitoring and money-back, theft protection and movers’ security guarantee.  I like the “movers’ security” guarantee especially as we are not adversed to move if work opportunites are good. ADT has a big service network covering the country. I tried “ADT in Florida“, “ADT in FL” and found quite some results as well.

However, this is just my research online and I don’t have any usage experience of such kind of system. Dear readers, would you recommend this brand?

Tags: , , ,

Lianzhou Underground River – cave exploring

November 18th, 2009

Lianzhou underground riverLast weekend, I took a trip to Lianzhou with Kai of CNReviews with the purpose to attend Chinese Blogger Conferene 2009. Kai wrote about our trip  and the conference here and here.

Lianzhou is located in north board of Guangdong & Hunan province. It is about 400 km away from Guangzhou.  A highway (it is not a freeway, for you have fee to pay.) has been built between Lianzhou and Guangzhou now which shorten the trip from 8+ hours to about 4 hours. In my memory, it is one of the most poverty area in Guangzhou. Reason is that it is surrounded by mountains and transportation has been very unconvinient for century. The newly built freeway is designed to change the poor economy situation.

The most interesting part of the conference is that we were gathering at the entrance of a big cave. The cave is in a park called Lianzhou Underground River. We have the opportuniy to explore the cave in a tour during the conference.  Here is the photo tour:

CnbloggerCon 09 at Lianzhou @ the entrance to Lianzhou Underground River

the entrance to Lianzhou Underground River

Lianzhou underground river

Lianzhou underground river

If you have been to Gulin and been to one of those caves, i bet the experience is quite similar. The big impression on this cave is that it is newly developed, the route design and construction, or even the English translation of signs are very professional. I feel very safe in the cave.  However, it is total different from my other cave adventure in Yangshuo.

Tags: , , ,

Dream Vacation in Myrtle Beach SC

November 17th, 2009

 myrtle beach sc

Myrtle Beach is a coastal resort city in Horry County, South Carolina. It is the heart of the Grand Strand, a 60-mile crescent of beach on South Carolina’s northern coast. So when people talk about “Myrtle Beach”, most likely, they are referring to Grand Strand or even the 60-mile sandy beach which extends to Goegretown.  This hotest tourism spot of SC arised from a getaway for lumber workers from Conway and has been developed into a hot tourism destination in the latter 20th century and 2000s. It is reported that there over 10 million (14.6million) visiting Mrytle Beach every year during Spring break, Summer vacations and Fall according to Wikipedia.  With an average temperature at 16 °C (60 °F) in December, it is a warm home for some “snowbirds” in the east coast in Winter. And that’s one of the special reason that I pick it as the place for my dream vacation when Shanghai is as cold as 5 °C now.

With its long, wide sandy beach, Myrtle Beach is the perfect place to meet Atlantic Ocean, as Big Sur to the Pacific Ocean on the West Coast. It is one of the 2008 Top 10 Places for Families to Visit in the US by Yahoo! Travel. It is also good for a romantic getaway. Here is my plan for the next trip to Myrle Beach.

First of all, I will book a hotel room in an Oceanfront Myrtle Beach Resort in advanced. There are plenty of choices.  For example, one night in one the best ocreanfont Myrtle Beach hotels on cherry grove beach Towers on the Grove is from $70 on Tripadvisor. Pretty affordable! Staying in an oceanfront Myrtle Beach hotel provides the convinient access to the beach for a lazy afternoon or a beautiful sunset.

I will  visit Huntington Beach State Park in the first day to see what ‘s the big difference between Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean.  Then check out loggerhead turtles and other endangered plants at its Environmental Education Center. I will add  Brookgreen Gardens to my list, it is said to be a “aviary and wildlife park showcases a myriad of over 500 19th and 20th century sculptures by such artists as Remington, Daniel Chester French, Henry Clews and Charles Manship”. Charming, right?

I am a seafood lover, vacationing in Myrtle Beach provides a variaty choices: sherry-laced she crab soup, fried lobstery, or even just traditional Southern favorite – shrimp and grits. I don’t need the restaurant environment to be fancy, as long as the seafood is juicy and fresh.

Another fun thing to do: get on one of the legitimated gambling boat for casinos to try out the luck. These Gambling Boats take the passengers on the infamous “cruise to nowhere” a few miles off the coast, into international waters, outside the USA jurisdiction, where it’s legal to gamble.  Many reviews said it is a fun excursion on their trips to Myrtle Beach.  I am sure to try as well.

Tags: , , , ,

Online shopping is more educational than traditional shopping

November 15th, 2009

About three years’ ago, I was a little suspect on the online shopping market in China, especially when most people believe there is a big TRUST issue in  Chinese Internet world. “Are you really wanting to take the risk to pay for something before you actually see it, not to say get it?”

Today,  with the support of fast development of online payment services, online shopping is becoming a common sense. And as a new mom, I think it is indespensible in my daily life., a subsidiary site of Alibaba, is the one leading the C2C/B2C market. Two years’ ago, we were talking about how Taobao defeated eBay in China by winning the sellers. Today,  CNReviews called it “Toxic”(Chinese Web Insights: Taobao Is Toxic)  as it is addictive for shopper like myself. The most recent statistics shows that the estimated sales of is over 200 billion RMB (~ 30 billion USD) in 2009, it is 3 times as big as the total sales of all major supermarkets (Walmart, Carefour, etc.) in whole China.

I used to think online shopping is less of fun because I can’t see, touch and feel the product as the real time matter. However, there are some advantages over mortar-and-brick shopping other than cost.

Education is one of the big advantages.

I become the first-time mom in Feburary this year.  Although I got a lot of help and advice from my mother and mother-in-law, I still want to take advice from outside and buy the best I can find and afford for my baby. At the same time, I knew I have zero knowledge about the baby&mom world. Online shopping sites are perfectly for education for such situation. For example, I found this stroller buying guide is very helpful in understanding what kinds of products for what kinds of needs in the market, and what is avaliable within my budget range.

Living in city like Shanghai means that we needs a light weight stroller with which we will carry around when we go out by taxi. By research on the web, I got to know that Maclaren is very good for light and steady requirements. But I have never heard about it before in China.  Luckily, I later got a Maclaren from my boss as a gift.

When the baby gets old and we were considering feeding him solid food, high chair become another key item in my shopping list.  “Easy to clean” is one of the most important feature I learned and we picked one of  IKEA’s product called ANTILop as the result of research: simply,  easy to clean, save and cheap. A lots of mom said the fancy features are really not necessary in feeding baby. And we are not very happy with it.

Happy shopping!

Tags: , , ,

Shanghai 2010 Expo Boulevard – “Sun Valley” is Completed

September 16th, 2009

The horn-shaped structure is called “Sun Valley” . It is the main structure of Shanghai 2010 World Expo Boulevard which  will be the entrance to the Expo. It will be link four streets, connect five blocks and link three Metro stations. It will also have cafes and restaurants.

It is reported to be completed a few days ago and I found it extremely spectacular looking. This architecture will be a permanent one and kept after the show. There are 6 “sun valleys” all together. In between them are 69 pieces of huge white covers so that raining won’t be a problem during the Expo next year.

Here are more images took on Sept 13, 2009:


The red building behind is China Pavilion.

shanghai world expo

A closer look of “Sun Valley” where workers are cleaning the walls.

shanghai world expo

The “valley” collects sunshine as well as rains.

I am totally exciting about the event and have signup to be a volunteer.  Welcome you to Shanghai and wish to see you there in 2010.

Tags: , , , , ,

Find Cheap Flight Tickets for International Travel

July 29th, 2009

I am planning to a take a vacation, hopeful out of China, sometime in this September. I’ve been hunger for a trip for a long time since we have a lovely baby. Finding cheap international air-ticket is always the most time consuming step in travel planning and it is the major part of the cost structure for a vacation. You can stay at a hostel or motel or even go camping to save money, but you can’t skip the flight by taking alternative transportation, e.g . train or car when you need to cross Pacific Ocean.

So, one option of our vacation destinations is  San Franciscoo. United Airlines and NorthWest both have direct nonstop flight from Shanghai (PVG) to SFO. Domestic arilines include Air China and EastChina are also the choices. In the past, I am mostly using an online agent platform in which I submit my RFQ online and dozens of agents will email me with quotations. The agents serve mainly for trips between China and US. I got pretty good deal from them “offered“ a round trip ticket at the price less than 800 USD while at the same time, you get over 1000 USD quotation from United Airline official site.

A friend at a Los Angeles based company recommended me their services after knowing I am searching for cheap flights. It is a travel search aggregator. Basically, it helps you search the big travel sites (like expedia, kayak)  for tickets, hotels,  car rentals and even vacation package deals. So I give it a try.

After I input the depart and return dates, it asks me to pick 3 ticket engines I want to search. I decided to pick the one that I hardly know thinking the less unknown guy might have something special to offer. Indeed! They return with a one-stop ticket for USD 700.  Isn’t it a nice surprise? It is definitely the best option for students who often look for discount airfair or who don’t mind the extra few hours in transit.  I am happy that I give it a try and would love to check it for future booking.

Tags: , , , ,

Happy International Children’s Day, 儿童节快乐!

June 1st, 2009


You are 16 weeks’ old today on International Children’s Day June 1st. Mommy and Daddy  wish you a happy holiday, your first Chilren’s Day!

We have been so proud of you seeing you learning new things every day. We are so happy every moment with you. You smile, we laugh; you cry, we worry.  We hope you can grow up freely, try out new things bravely and pusuit whatever you are passionated about without hesitation.

Zijin, happy holiday! and kids around the worlds, wish you all a happy holiday!

Tags: ,

Visit Shanghai World Expo Online – 3D Virtual Tour

May 18th, 2009

Shanghai world expo 2010Shanghai World Expo 2010 is the super event that the whole city is expecting the most. Local medias have related report and count down every day.World expo mascot Haibao can be seen everywhere which makes me can’t ignore it anymore. I bought the ticket from local post office already where I got RMB 30/ticket discount. [full price of a regular ticket is 160RMB.] If you happen to be in Shanghai before July 1 2009, these discounted tickets are available from any post offices in Shanghai.


Shanghai World Expo ticket - 3 day pass

A 3-day pass ticket sample for Shanghai World Expo 2010

But if you can’t come to Shanghai from May 1, 2010 to Oct 31 2010, you can visit and enjoy the Expo online. The platform will be accessable the same day as the event opens.

Expo Shanghai Online is a platform for fun alternative Expo experiences and real-time interaction with people and exhibits at World Expo 2010 Shanghai China. It will present virtual pavilions and exhibitions as the online edition of the physical Expo in a bid to make Expo 2010 an everlasting event.

Check out more details from the following video:

Hope to see you in Shanghai next year!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Shanghai World Financial Center has “probably” the best Christmas light in Shanghai

December 24th, 2008

Christmas light

Christmas light 2008

(Photo courtesy:

If you don’t have any specific things to do on Christmas night, take a walk around the Shanghai World Financial Center, the view will be grand!

Tags: , , , ,

Shanghai Oriental Art Center tour

December 21st, 2008

We went to see a ballet show <Swan Lake> last Friday as an activity to celebrate my birthday. The venue is in Shanghai Orienal Art Center (东方艺术中心) in Pudong, Shanghai. This butterfly-shaped architectural artistry is among China’s most important performance venues.(See the brilliant photo below. Photo courtesy to jordipostales.)Shanghai Oriental Art Center

The art center in day light.

It is designed by architect Paul Andreu of Paris who has created a building that is “bright and transparent as if by magic” in the words of the architect. The complex encompasses three venues: a 1,979-seat philharmonic orchestra hall, a 1,054-seat lyric theatre, and a 330-seat chamber music hall. It also features ancillary public facilities such as an exhibition hall, music shops, a restaurant and an arts library, as well as a multimedia and training centre. (source here.)

Here is the photo tour of my night:

Shanghai Oriental Art Center exterior

Shanghai Oriental Art Center front

Swan Lake poster at Shanghai Oriental Art Center

Shanghai Oriental Art Center inside

p1010021.JPG   p1010022.JPG  p1010025.JPG


The performers are from Russian National Ballet Theater. It is my first time to see a formal ballet performance and the performance definitely gave us a delightful and pleasant night. I was amazed by the scene/stage design – so beautiful that I can’t believe my eyes.

How to Get There (by Metro): Line 2 Shanghai Science & Technology Museum  Station

Tags: , , ,