Taobao product recommendation – USB-C to HDMI cable

I have tried AnyCast and Chromecast for projecting video onto a large screen. AnyCast is basically unreliable. Chromecast works very well for YouTube, but less so when doing screen mirroring. I wanted a reliable way for using the phone as a media player, since all the media you would ever want to cast/display is on your phone. This led me to the Hagibis USB-C to HDMI cable. Wired always wins.

At 85 Yuan (S$17), i would say it is quite cheap. Cheaper than most wireless solutions anyway. One caveat though, not all phones support the Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) required for this to work.

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Taobao product recommendation – Dashboard phone holder

Previously, i have used those phone holder with a suction pad that is attached to the windscreen. They tend to fall off when going across rough terrain (like a train track), which brings about much inconvenience and would be a safety concern.

Other phone holders have their pluses and minuses. The aircond vent type is probably the simplest in design, and maybe quite sturdy too. But, depending on the location of the aircond vent, to look at the phone, you may have to look down, which can be a safety concern. Also, i simply don’t like having the aircond vent blocked.

There is the type that is sticks onto the dashboard (with super strong sticker at the base). Obviously you can’t use them in rental cars, and i would worry about damage to the dashboard when you have to remove it. The type that hangs from the rear view mirror is a good idea, since it would be natural glancing at the rear view mirror. However, i discovered another type that seems even better – it clips onto the dashboard. You would be looking more or less straight ahead, and the contraption is very simple.

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Taobao product recommendation – Cordless handheld vacuum cleaner

I have previously recommended this Korean cordless vacuum cleaner, but now that i have tried a Chinese one powered by Lithium battery, i’d say the Chinese one wins hands down.

I bought the HanFuRen, which is obviously a Dyson knock-off. I managed to get it while it was on sale, at an amazing price of 199 Yuan (S$40). It is currently selling for 299 Yuan – the singles day sale doesn’t always give you the best deal.

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Travel Bucket List – Russia

“How to get a Russia Tourist Visa in Singapore” is one of the more popular posts on my blog. Obviously, by now, i have already been to Russia. More than a year ago in fact. This is a long over due post on how the trip turned out. In a gist, I’m certain I want to go again!

Russian people are among the most friendly I have encountered! I also appreciate their artistic ingenuity as manifested in the architecture and interior design. The motifs employed are out of the world, and i love their use of bold yet harmonious colours.

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Taobao product recommendation – Kitchen deep-frying oil filter

One of the reasons i don’t like to cook deep-fried food, besides health considerations, is having to deal with of the leftover oil. The Japanese have a solution to this – a filtration oil storage pot.

As pictured above, there is a wire mesh to filter away the sediments in the  oil after frying stuff. The mesh size is probably just nice. If it is any more fine, it becomes clogged up easily the oil won’t be able to pass through. I find it useful for filtering soup as well, which can often have lots of sediments also. At 1.4 litres for the small sized pot, it can hold quite a bit of liquid.

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Taobao product recommendation – Amplifier

Let me say on the onset that i am no audiophile nor expert in sound reproduction, but i am somewhat a perfectionist, and a perfectionist won’t make do with a normal off-the-shelf audio system.

More than a decade ago, i invested in a pair of Monitor Audio speakers plus a Wharfedale subwoofer. I’m happy to report that both are still working flawlessly. Now, back then, Taobao did not yet exist, so there was not much options in buying a cheap amplifier. Today, Taobao has you covered. Cheap amplifier? You bet. An amplifier is called a 功放机 in Chinese by the way.

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Taobao product recommendation – USB-C OTG Cable

Having upgraded my phone, i needed a replacement OTG cable, a USB-C one instead of micro USB (specifically a USB-C to USB-A female). There are plenty of similar products on Taobao as expected.

I prefer one that comes with a cable, rather than a thumb-drive-like one. If you prefer the latter, then it would be this UGreen branded one that has the highest sales volume currently. For the cable type, i chose, at random, a high-sales volume one, the Pisen branded one (as pictured in the feature photo). This Jingston branded one is similar. The cable type is definitely more flexible and preferable to the thumb-drive type, IMHO.

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Venture to Northeastern China – Harbin, Changchun and Shenyang

Autumn turns out to be a good time to be in Northeastern China. The weather is cool, and the colour of leaves in shades of red, orange and yellow are breathtaking.

Harbin was especially mind blowing. They are obsessed about cleanliness! There is an army of cleaners tending the streets endlessly. Owing to Russian influence, the architecture is quite a bit more interesting than the generally drab ones built all over China during the 70s through 2000s.

Shenyang, in Liaoning province, is where people queue up to board transportation vehicles (and I have witnessed the same in Dalian a decade ago), something not emulated in other provinces. Their driving habits are horrendous though.

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Ezbuy ship-for-me is down again

Ezbuy has been trying to get back onto shipping Taobao goods again, and the strategy they employed of late is to change the forwarding address frequently, plus, using funny looking addresses. The most recent forwarding address is 阳光海鲜大排档转凤岗韵达网点转xxx (where xxx is your user id). That’s the name of a restaurant if you’re not well versed in Chinese.

Anyway, Taobao caught up with the game and managed to block Ezbuy from stealing business again. When i tried to check-out, i was led to the following screen, which is pretty much the same as what was prompted to Ezbuy users a year ago when Taobao first launched the move to block users from using Ezbuy forwarding.

I did manage to use Ezbuy ship-for-me twice in recent times though. Oh well.

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Review of Youtrip card

So i did my maiden test drive of the Youtrip card, and i’m happy to report that it works as advertised. Continue reading Review of Youtrip card

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