Friday, 18 January 2008

Largest Shopping Malls in the world

I was looking for some more info on Dream Mall here in Kaoshiung... and found something interesting. According to this site most of the largest malls are in Asia and by 2010 it is said most of the world's largest malls will be in China.

Shopping Mall, Location - Year Opened

1. South China Mall, Dongguan, China - 2005

2. Jin Yuan (Golden Resources), Beijing, China - 2004

3. West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - 1981 (what I believed to be the biggest mall prior to my recent findings)

4. Cevahir Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey - 2005

5. Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - ?

6. Beijing Mall, Beijing, China - 2005

7. Zhengjia Plaza (Grandview Mall), Guangzhou, China - 2005

8. King of Prussia Mall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - 1962

9. South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, California, USA - 1967

10. Central World Plaza, Bangkok, Thailand - 2006

11. Aricanduva Mall, Sao Paulo, Brazil - 1991

12. Chia Tai Square (Super Brand Mall), Shanghai, Jiangsu, China - 2005

13. Dongfan Xintiandi (Oriental Plaza), Foshan, Guangdong, China - ?

14. Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota, USA - 1992

15. Sawgrass Mills, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA - 1990

16. Siam Paragon, Bangkok, Thailand - 2005

17. Panda Mall, Chengdu, Sichuan, China - ?

18. Del Amo Fashion Center, Los Angeles, California, USA - 1975

19. Mall of Emirates, Dubai, UAE - 2005.

My thoughts:
1.I have not even heard of this Chia Tai Square in Shanghai. Where have I been? Apparently it is in Lujiazui.. must check it out some time. (hang on hang on hang on.. did some more investigating.. Chia Tai Square or Chia Tai Lifestyles is actually called SuperBrand Mall - which I have been to several times now!)
2. Looks like 2005 was a big year for building big malls!
3. Panda Mall is a fitting name because the Panda breeding and research centre is in Chengdu!
4. China better get cracking on making more websites!

I actually found this link first. It lists "Amazing Asian mega malls" with pictures.

Another interesting article

Yet another interesting article

In Dongguan, a city located north of Hong Kong – sits the South China Mall – the worlds largest retail shopping space. This mall swallows up 220 acres and boasts 9.6 million square feet of retail shopping space, according to a recent story in Bloomberg. By comparison, the South China Mall is more than twice the size of the largest U.S. shopping center – Minnesota’s Mall of America.

The South China Mall indeed must be a site to behold – reportedly including replicas of seven western tourist destinations including: Venice, Milan, Paris, and Hollywood. There’s even a 1.3 mile artificial river – on which visitors can lazily glide in replica Venetian Gondola rides. In fact, the mall’s marketing consultant’s bill it as “Disneyland and Las Vegas comes to China.”

As you can see I have a fascination with malls! :D

P.S. - I am feeling much better today. Coughing much less and much weaker coughs so no more bloodshot eyes and tearing, and doing stomach muscle 'sit ups' when I am coughing. Also, the sun finally came out today and it became much warmer so all in all it is good and I'm much happier, yay!

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Vomiting air

Someone wake me up from this #@!$@!&%$$ nightmare... I'm sick of this. I feel like my coughing is exactly like I am vomiting with uncontrollable involuntary strong muscle actions in my stomach except nothing actually comes out except air, or a trickle of saliva. The more I cough, the worse I feel and the more my body wants to cough. My back hurts. The cough is supposed to be helpful but it's not. All it does is shut off my airways even more. Couldn't sleep last night due to stupid coughing and tried to prop myself up so I was sitting upright but then my neck really started hurting. Although I slept a good 8-9 hours I feel like I've only slept 2.

Even though I technically don't have asthma right now I feel great relief when I use my puffer. Of course this relief is very short-lasting.

Apparently there is nothing really you can do for bronchitis other than get rest and take fluids, blah blah blah. The usual. I did find this homeopathic site interesting except I don't know what any of the ingredients are LOL.

No iPhone for China / Macbook Air

January 14, 2008

Apple, China Mobile Call Off iPhone Launch Talks


HONG KONG (Reuters) - Apple Inc and China Mobile have called off talks to launch the U.S. firm's popular iPhones in China, dashing speculation the device will hit the country's store shelves soon.

Shares in China Mobile, the world's largest cellular operator, sunk to an intraday low minutes after the news, sliding nearly 3 percent to HK$130.00 in late afternoon trade.

The iPhone, a cellphone that accesses the Internet and plays music, sells for about $500 in the United States -- about double the average monthly salary in China. News that the two telecoms giants were in talks over the device's potential launch in the world's largest telecoms arena helped Apple's stock climb more than 10 percent on November 13.

"Our parent has terminated talks with Apple over the iPhone," a spokeswoman for listed China Mobile said, confirming several unsourced Internet reports. She would not elaborate.

Experts said last year that the iPhone would have to navigate a spate of technical, content and fee issues unique to China, including a standard revenue-sharing agreement that China Mobile would be sure to dislike, before any launch could proceed.

The iPhones -- one of the hottest gadgets to hit U.S. and European stores in 2007 -- might also be incompatible with China because of their "locked" SIM cards. That meant the device would not be able to piggyback another operator's network.

It's unclear what Apple, which has declined to comment on the issue, planned now for China.

China Unicom, the smaller of the country's only two wireless carriers, said in 2007 it had no plans to bring the device into the country but was open to the idea.

Some say it doesn't matter anyway because you can buy an iPhone from the States and get it unlocked for use here, or get a fake iPhone here. Personally it doesn't really interest me that much.

and in other news.. the Macbook Air was released. The ultra slim, ultra light new laptop computer from Apple. It looks nice and all but it doesn't interest me either.

and look! someone is certainly quick off the mark. A manila envelope made of vinyl for your new Macbook Air.

Snowing again in Shanghai...

I have heard from a very reliable source (ie friend) that it is snowing again in Shanghai. It's strange.. every local will tell you it does not snow very often there. Maybe once every 3-4 years. However, when I visited Shanghai for the first time in February 2005 it snowed one night while I was there and now it's snowing again. Maybe it only snows when I am there (or

According to it is 2 degrees C but feels like -2 and there is 'light snow.'

Picture taken 9:40pm 13th January. Picture from

Picture taken 15th January. Road workers use industrial salt to melt ice on Middle Ring Road. Picture from

Taiwan memories and my grandparents

As I sit in front of the internet again, coughing and feeling malaise and crappy... I will write about my memories of Taiwan...

Roughly every 3 years since I was born I have been to Taiwan to visit our extended family. We see aunts, uncles, cousins but we don't always see them all (some of which now don't live in Taiwan anymore) but we always have come to see our grandparents. My father's parents live in Taipei and my mother's live in Kaohsiung (where I am now, still).

There have been so many memories and I was too young to even remember the early ones but I have photos and stories to remind me. My sister and I used to be the darlings on both sides of the family. For a long time we were the only really young children on both sides and were spoilt by our much older cousins, our aunts/uncles, and grandparents. Everyone thought we were cute and adorable. Then we got older and other relatives were born (who were younger than us) and then gradually we got not so cute, and older, and now it seems everyone is old(er) which makes me feel rather sad.

While my sister was here we were reminiscing over old times and how much fun we used to have here. We'd be taken around by our relatives and never have to worry about anything. We'd take taxis or cars, get driven around, taken out to fancy restaurants, get given red packets to spend, get spoilt with clothes and presents, it was awesome. Alas, those days are now over. It seems everyone is not only older but has more problems be it health, financial, relationship or otherwise. Noone seems to care about us anymore :( that is, except our four lovely grandparents. The cousins and aunts who used to spoil us so don't even know we're in town and even if they did we are not to bother them. I guess it is all part of life. People get old, people change, things happen.

Anyway, I have some really fond memories of visiting my maternal grandparents here in Kaoshiung. This house I've been coming to is the exact same one my mother grew up in which is kind of cool. It is a tall, skinny 4 storey building. About 15 or so years ago they did some renovations to it but it has largely remained the same. I remember in 1986 when we came and it was summer (which is intensely hot and humid) and my sister and I were obsessed with these creme caramel pudding things you got from the supermarket. After we ate them, we'd fill the cherry-blossom shaped plastic containers with water and freeze them. Once frozen we'd play with the frozen ice blocks and rub them all over our body and that kept us amused for days. Then there were the times we were taken to the nice department stores and spoilt with imported American toys like Barbies or She-Ras. Also there are mini amusement centres in these department stores and we'd play games and ride rides. We were also novelties to passers-by in these stores when people would stop and ask our parents why these two little Chinese girls (who looked like locals) were speaking fluent English to each other...

I remember the time my grandfather sold his motorbike and bought a car and we were driven everywhere. He even parked the car in the living room (kind of hard to explain) but then as the years went on and he got older he sold the car as he knew it wasn't safe for him to drive anymore so now we have to take the bus. While my sister was here we both agreed it was appalling we sometimes had to wait half an hour for a bus! This is unheard of in Taipei or Shanghai. Geez I felt I was back home in my little suburb in Sydney where public transport is crap and we DO have to wait half an our or more for a bus sometimes. I realised I had been too spoilt in Shanghai by having buses that came very often, or being able to take taxis everywhere.

I remember the time in 1991 when we came back for my uncle's wedding. It's scary to think that his son is now about the same age I was in 1991. I remember coming back in the mid-late 1990's and feeling a tad jealous that my grandmother was now all over this new baby/kid and I was no longer cute anymore. Of course she still loved me but it wasn't the same as before...

I have been back so many times now and each time holds a new and different memory. The house is the same but the people are slightly older and slightly different. My grandfather at age 84 is still going great guns. He is like a big old Santa Claus. He has a big belly and laughs a lot and has grey hair (but no beard). Given that their house is full of stairs he can walk them with ease too. My grandmother is a superwoman though. At more than double my age she is constantly moving, cleaning, cooking, shopping, walking, everything. She is non-stop man!! She is quite hyperactive. She is amazing. I am very lucky to have fallen sick here as she is taking care of me. She doesn't let me do anything. When I offer to she says she has it under control. She is a bit of a control freak too, though, I have to admit.

When I get to Taipei (if I can get onto the internet) I'll write about my paternal grandparents.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Growing numbers of billionaires in India and China

The city with the most billionaires is no longer London, or New York - and even Moscow might not make the top place...

Increasingly, the really big money individuals are in emerging markets. Cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai (pictured) are fast eclipsing their rivals in the West. Moscow has already being doing this for a number of years...

The Chinese billionaires club is growing faster than anywhere else on the planet - remarkable for a country that considered capitalism to be such a dirty word until quite recently.

The list of dollar billionaires in China has grown from a single member in 1999 to 106 this year, a massive increase on last year's figure with just fourteen, according to the Hurun China Rich List released last October.



What should I write about?

Should I write about how HOT it is here? (low 20s in Taipei and 30 in Kaohsiung) not to mention the high humidity.. or...

Should I mention that this trip has been a nightmare for me starting from when I missed my connecting flight in Hong Kong but didn't really (the flight from Shanghai was delayed, I ran like a crazy woman and actually just made the flight but they wouldn't let me on cos my baggage was not on that plane yet)


it taken 12 hours to get there.. left house at 8am, arrived airport 9pm, got to taipei airport around 7:30pm, got to my cousin's house (where i was staying) at 9pm,


having chronic insomnia every day of this trip I can barely function anymore


the best bit - having a good sleep last night (finally) but this morning coughing up thick mucousy yellow phlegm with blood throughout it?!!!

My sister and her bf are in Kaohsiung with me now and I am not spending the day with them cos I can barely walk I'm so tired. It fucken sux. Why am I always sick???!!!

Oh I am having a freakin' wonderful time...


Now, the weather has gone cold and I didn't even bring enough warm clothes with me and left my jacket in Taipei. Went to the doctor twice, second time yesterday who told me I now have bronchitis. Fan-bloody-tastic. My sister and her bf left yesterday and I have absolutely no energy to go out and do anything.

The good thing is I have a clean, queen size bed all to myself in a huge, clean room, this computer with 19" monitor and internet, own bathroom, and a lovely grandmother who provides three meals a day for me. I am not looking forward to going back to Taipei at all where I'll have a tiny crappy mouldy musty room, makeshift what-the-heck-is-this?-bed with gross sheets and blankets, thousands of screaming kids at the school next door (so zero chance of a sleep in), no internet, colder horribler weather, eesh.

Oh and then I get to go back to freezing cold, driest-of-dry-air Shanghai which will do wonders for my bronchitis?!! Isn't life great?!! I'm having a brilliant time... ARGH!

PS when I get back to Shanghai and feel half normal again I will write about the fun and positive aspects of my trip (and put up some photos). I just don't feel like it right now while I'm coughing up a lung and a half!

Shanghai 8th most expensive city to rent an apartment

Five of the top 10 most costly cities to rent globally are in Asia

Hong Kong is the world's most expensive city to rent accommodation and Asia accounts for five of the world's top ten most costly cities, according to a survey conducted by ECA International, the world's leading knowledge and solutions provider for international HR professionals...

Five of the top 10 most expensive locations in the world are in Asia, with Seoul (5th), Mumbai (7th) and Shanghai (8th) joining Hong Kong and Tokyo . New York, Moscow, London, Caracas and Paris make up the 10 most expensive cities globally to rent a three bedroom apartment.

High rental prices in Tokyo, New York, Seoul, Moscow, London and Paris largely reflect high living costs in these locations, while Mumbai, Shanghai and Beijing suffer from a shortage of modern, well equipped properties that meet expatriate standards, pushing prices up for those properties that do.

World’s most expensive locations to rent a three bedroom apartment

Rank Location Country
1 Hong Kong HONG KONG
2 Tokyo JAPAN
3 New York USA
4 Moscow RUSSIA
7 Mumbai INDIA
8 Shanghai CHINA
10 Paris FRANCE
11 Beijing CHINA
12 Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM
13 Istanbul TURKEY
14 Dubai UAE
15 Singapore SINGAPORE

I don't know what they are using for statistics but our apartment (2 bedroom) in Shanghai is just over half the cost of what we were paying in Sydney. Our building is oldish (about 10 years old) and by Australian standards average or even below average but for local standards it is deemed unaffordable, 'huge' and luxurious. Sure if you want an expat apartment with all the mod-cons it does cost a packet in Shanghai. I have seen some of the ads and the prices are astronomical!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

It's snowing in Shanghai?!

Is it snowing? Can somebody tell me? I just looked at some weather websites and it tells me it's snowing there.

Man I miss all the good stuff!!

Meanwhile in other news I'm in Taiwan (Kaohsiung to be precise) and am not having a good time because I am sick :( I coughed up a big fat viscous yellow and bloody phlegm ball this morning, went to the doctor who thought I had TB. WTF?! I said I doubt that I had that. Then he diagnosed me with an upper respiratory tract infection (ie cold/flu type thing) with sinusitis and then told me I needed an operation on my nose. So as you can see it's been a great vacation so far!! Luckily I don't need to have it done straight away but if I don't I'll have major ENT problems for the rest of my life.