The Nanfang / Blog

Beijing Taxi Fares Among the Cheapest in the World

Posted: 09/24/2014 3:25 pm

beijing taxi gridlock traffic jamBeijing, once famous for its garlic-smelling cabs, has the cheapest taxi fares in the world among major international metropolitan cities, according to Focus, a German publication. Beijing taxis only charge 3.87 Euros (RMB 29.8, around $4.97) for a 10 kilometre trip.

At the other end is Tokyo, where taking a cab is downright prohibitive. A 10 kilometre ride in the world’s largest city is 25.39 Euros (RMB 200.1, approximately $32.64), 6.7 times more than Beijing.

The taxi services of other world cities fall in between. A ten kilometer taxi trip in London costs 22.5 Euros (around $28.93); in New York City, it costs the equivalent of 13.98 Euros (approximately $17.97); and in Paris, such a trip will set you back 12.20 Euros (about $15.68).

Wang Limei, secretary of the Chinese National Raod Transportation association, explained that these European and American cities have higher taxi fares because “foreigners have higher salaries”.

Traffic expert Zhang Haitao said Beijing fares couldn’t ever get as high as those overseas:

From downtown Washington to the airport, it will cost about $100. This is too expensive for locals, and removes the effectiveness of (the taxi) by its price.

Caijing explained that taxis in these other countries are used as an emergency measure, and not regularly used for commuting like in Beijing. Residents of the USA and Europe also take fewer taxis because they have a convenient and effective public transportation system. (The fact that many Europeans and North Americans also own cars wasn’t mentioned).

Caijing went on to say each of these world-class cities have subway stations within a 100 to 200 meter walk, and that it is even convenient to take luggage on the subway .

At the end of it all, you get what you pay for. You get cheap fares in Beijing, only to sit in the worst traffic in the country.


Photo: roll.msn


China Marks International Car Free Day With Massive Traffic Jams

Posted: 09/23/2014 5:07 pm

car free day international China cities traffic jam

China has a strange way of celebrating Car Free Day.

Yesterday was the day people were supposed to ride public transit or bicycle to their destination, but instead major cities in China saw huge traffic jams. The worst were in Beijing, Xi’an, Hangzhou, and Zhengzhou, reports CCTV.

These photographs show traffic around China yesterday during Car Free Day. Organizers of the annual event say the slogan is “our streets, our choice”. It looks like Chinese city dwellers have definitely made theirs.

car free day international China cities traffic jamcar free day international China cities traffic jamcar free day international China cities traffic jamcar free day international China cities traffic jamcar free day international China cities traffic jamcar free day international China cities traffic jamcar free day international China cities traffic jam

It’s not all bad, though. In a sign of development, Chinese people have finally realized the dream of complaining about traffic while sitting idle behind the wheel. 

Photos: CCTV,


Hebei Shoots Pollution Right Out Of The Sky

Posted: 07/9/2014 9:00 am

multi-function dust suppressor hebei anti pollution cannonHebei has found a unique way to blast pollution right out of the sky.

A gigantic “cannon” mounted on the top of a truck has been seen making its way around the city of Zhangjiakou. While the device looks set to shoot down something huge, its targets are actually very small.

READ: Beijing Says New Wind Corridors May Finally Solve
the City’s Notorious Air Pollution

Officially unveiled on July 7, the “multi-function dust suppressor” shoots out a mist of water that helps reduce smog in urban areas by reducing the amount of dust particles, reports People‘s Daily Online.

It uses 10 tons of water in one hour, and can cover a total area of over 30,000 square meters. When it sprays the mist, it clears the air within 100 meters in diameter.multi-function dust suppressor hebei anti pollution cannonmulti-function dust suppressor hebei anti pollution cannon


Photos: People’s Daily Online


Beijing Says New Wind Corridors May Finally Solve The City’s Notorious Pollution Problem

Posted: 07/2/2014 2:23 pm

smoggy tiananmen squareBeijing wants to alleviate its poor air quality – and provide relief to its long-suffering residents –  by developing special new “wind corridors”, reports MSN.

Liu Chunlan, the head of the Beijing Municipal Environment and Ecology Institute and the Research Institute for the City Environment, said her team is researching wind routes in the capital and is looking to make changes to Beijing’s overall master plan.

The wind corridors will provide room for the wind to circulate by altering the heights of buildings and preventing groups of buildings from being built close together. The objective is to utilize wind from outlying districts and direct it to the city on days when smog accumulates.

The idea of harnessing the wind to alleviate smog conditions first reached the public’s attention last year, and has been steadily gaining acceptance since. A mini-circuit of Chinese cities looking to use wind corridors include Hangzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, Shaoxing and Fuzhou. As well, Wuhan wants to employ wind corridors to lower summer temperatures in the city.


wind corridor

Pictured: science.

Beijing’s ultimate goal is to reach a tolerable PM 2.5 standard of 35 milligrams per square meter by 2030, according to Pan Tao, the director of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Research Academy.

Pan said that Beijing had an average annual level of PM 2.5 at 89.5 milligrams per square meter in 2013.

Despite the optimism, Yang Baojun, chief planner of the China National City Planning Design Research Center doubts if the plan will be able to do much:

At present, the urban area of Beijing has grown out to five and six ring roads. Designing a wind corridor will prove to be difficult.

Yang said that Beijing’s bad air is due to surrounding factories and the ineffectual use of coal. Complicating matters is that Beijing is located in a valley, one that is ringed by mountains that can only be seen on days with clear visibility.

Photo: ndb,


Shenzhen is China’s Healthiest City, Other PRD Cities in Top Ten

Posted: 06/27/2014 8:51 pm

healthy cityThe Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) certainly likes to make lists, and last we heard, Guangdong did not fare very well for being called the province with the worst public image throughout all of China.

But don’t go hatin’, playa. If you’ve been paying attention to the many lists CASS releases, you’ll see that Guangdong actually scores very highly as a great place to live in China, and this latest list is no different.

The “green paper” released by the Research Center for Social Development of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has named Shenzhen the healthiest city in all of China in 2014, particularly in regards to its citizens’ way of life, according to the official Weibo account for Shenzhen.

Fellow Pearl River Delta city Guangzhou was awarded the second spot, and neighboring Zhuhai was given seventh spot.

Beijing was listed in tenth position. Its citizens are apparently only able to live healthily into their 50s.

Alas, perhaps because it is the only city in China with 50 billionaires, Shenzhen is also named one of the highest consumers of electricity in the country. It has the highest energy consumption per unit of GDP, second only to Huangshan, in Anhui Province.



Nanfang TV: Shenzhen from the sky

Posted: 09/2/2013 2:53 pm

We recently came across the video below which shows multiple angles of downtown Shenzhen from a helicopter.

A lot of the city videos we’ve seen are time lapses, so this is a completely different take.The helicopter simply ascends into the sky and stays in place, while text on the screen identifies some of the major buildings and landmarks.  It’s a neat little video, especially if you haven’t been fortunate enough to see the city from high above.

We don’t know too much about who did the video, other than it’s by a Ukranian who speaks Russian.

Check it out.


An American photographer takes Shenzheners down memory lane

Posted: 05/10/2012 2:42 pm

Shenzhen in 1980

An American photographer has inspired nostalgia among Shenzheners after publishing photographs of the city that he took in 1980. Leroy W. Demery Jr, who was born in 1954, travelled through China between 1980 and 1983, and his first stop after entering the mainland from Hong Kong was Shenzhen, then a fishing village.

The photos were taken with a Canon TX SLR camera, using Kodachrome color slide film, ISO 64 or 25 which Demery bought in 1976 and still uses today. After being uploaded to Sina Weibo by a user named Xiao Chen, microbloggers remarked on the vast differences to the Shenzhen of today. User Dafeng Haishang remarked, “The last one seems to be of Luohu, but the others are all unrecognisable.”

User Hou Junmou added that the images bring him back to a time so distant it might have been a century ago. Another user named Cengjing de Xiaolu Hai Zai commented on how blue the sky was, how clean the water was, and how things have changed.

You can view a selection of Demery’s photos in the latest Nanfang Studio album.

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