Shanghai (上海 Shànghǎi) , with a population of more than 23 million (with over 9 million migrants), is the largest and traditionally the most developed metropolis in Mainland China.
Shanghai was the largest and most prosperous city in the Far East during the 1930s. In the past 20 years it has again become an attractive city for tourists from all over the world. The world once again had its eyes on the city when it hosted the 2010 World Expo, recording the greatest number of visitors in the event’s history.
The Bund (外滩 Wàitān)
The colonial riverside of old Shanghai, has dozens of historical buildings lining the Huangpu River, which once housed numerous foreign banks and trading houses. The riverfront walkway has recently undergone a major reconstruction and reopened to the public in March 2010.
Changning (长宁区; Chángníngqū)
Hongqiao International Airport sits here in addition to the Shanghai Zoo. Changning is a very large, residential district but in recent years has seen more commercial and entertainment hubs develop, especially the area around Zhongshan Park.
French Concession (Luwan, Xuhui)
Leafy district once known as the Paris of the East, includes the refurbished shikumen houses of Xintiandi and Shanghai Stadium, one of Shanghai’s most rich and vibrant neighborhoods. The Xujiahui shopping district is home to five large shopping malls.
Hongkou (虹口区; Hóngkǒuqū)
Home of Lu Xun Park as well as a football stadium, once home to Shanghai’s substantial Jewish population in the first half of the 20th century.
Huangpu excluding the Old City (黄浦区; Huángpǔqū)
The traditional hub of Shanghai, home to People’s Square, People’s Park, the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, City Hall, and the city’s largest metro station, underneath a large underground shopping mall. Adjacent to People’s Square is the East Nanjing Road pedestrian mall.
Jing’an District (静安区; Jìngānqū)
Home to Jing’an Temple, this area has been continuously inhabited since the 3rd century AD. The commercial district of West Nanjing Road extends from the middle of Jing’an to People’s Square.
Old City (南市; Nanshi)
Home of Yu Garden, the City God Temple and Huxingting Tea House, this is the historic Chinese area of the city, where much of the old wooden architecture of ancient Shanghai is still preserved.
Putuo (普陀区; Pǔtuóqū)
Yangpu (杨浦区; Yángpǔqū)
Where Fudan University and Tongji University are located. Also contains the excellent and spacious Gongqing Forest Park. For shoppers, Wujiaochang (五角场) is situated here.
Zhabei (闸北区; Zháběiqū)
Zhabei is an older district of Shanghai and the location of the Shanghai Railway Station. There is a large park, Daning-Lingshi, north of the station, as well as the Shanghai Circus.
Chongming (崇明县; Chóngmíngxiàn)
Pudong (浦东 or 浦东新区; Pǔdōng or Pǔdōngxīnqū)
The skyscraper-laden financial and commercial district on the east bank of the river with museums and shopping throughout, and a traveler’s likely first district to experience considering Pudong International Airport rests in the district.
Western Suburbs (Baoshan, Jiading, Qingpu, Northern Songjiang, Western Minhang)
A traditional water town and popular getaway
Southern Suburbs (Jinshan, Fengxian, Southern Songjiang, Eastern Minhang)
There is a saying that goes, “Shanghai is heaven for the rich, hell for the poor,” People from all over China flock to Shanghai — everyone from farmers seeking jobs in manual labour to university graduates seeking to start a career or wanting to live in a cool up-tempo city. Even well-off people, though, complain that buying a home is becoming impossible; prices have skyrocketed in the last few years.
Most of Shanghai’s 6,340.5 square kilometres (2,448.1 sq mi) of land area is billiard table flat, with an average elevation above mean sea level of just 4m (13 ft). The dozens of new skyscrapers that have been built in recent years have had to be built with deep concrete piles to stop them from sinking into the soft ground of this flat alluvial plain.
Shanghai is one of the main industrial hubs of China, playing a key role in China’s heavy industries. A large number of industrial zones are backbones of Shanghai’s secondary industry.
While Shanghai has been around as a village since the Song Dynasty, a thousand years or so ago, it only rose to prominence after China lost the First Opium War in 1842. Shanghai was one of five cities which were opened to trade as treaty Ports. Shanghai grew amazingly after that; until then nearby cities like Hangzhou, Suzhou and Nanjing had been far more important, but today Shanghai is definitely the focus of the region.
Eight nations — Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Austria-Hungary, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom — were granted concessions in Shanghai, areas that they controlled and where Chinese law did not apply. Most of these were jointly administered as the “International Settlement”, but the French ran theirs separately. In all of them, the population was mainly Chinese, of course, but the legal system was foreign and the police included many Sikhs and French gendarmes. They were located North of the Chinese city. Today all these areas are considered parts of downtown Shanghai.
History has shaped Shanghai’s cityscape significantly. British-style buildings can still be seen on The Bund, while French-style buildings are still to be found in the former French Concession. The old racetrack in the British area has given way to what is now People’s Park, with a major subway interchange underneath. Other subway stops include the railway station at the edge of what was once the American area, and Lao Xi Men and Xiao Nan Men, Old West Gate and Small South Gate respectively, named for two of the gates of the old Chinese walled city. The wall is long gone, but that area still has quite a few traditional Chinese-style buildings and Yuyuan Gardens.
Shanghai reached its zenith in 1920’s-1930’s and was at that time the most prosperous city in East Asia. Despite this prosperity, much of the streets of Shanghai were ruled by the triads during that period, with the triads often battling for control over parts of Shanghai. That period has been greatly romanticized in many modern films and television serials, one of the most famous being The Bund, which was produced by Hong Kong’s TVB in 1980. Shanghai also became the main centre of Chinese entertainment during that period, with many films and songs produced in Shanghai.
Shanghai was occupied by the Japanese in 1937 after a bitter battle lasting several months. After the war, the concessions were not re-imposed on China; trade did resume, but not at pre-war levels. After the Communist victory in the civil war in 1949, many of the people involved in the entertainment industry and many business people fled to Hong Kong and Taiwan. Shanghai’s days of glory were — temporarily as it turned out — over.
In the beginning of the 1990s, the Shanghai government launched a series of new strategies to attract foreign investment. The biggest move was to open up Pudong, once a rural area of Shanghai but now a business metropolis countries the world over may envy. The strategies for growth have been extremely successful and now Pudong is home to many financial institutions — which used to be established across the Huangpu river in The Bund — housed in numerous skyscrapers including the World Financial Center, 3rd tallest in the world.
Today, Shanghai’s goal is to develop into a world-class financial and economic centre of China and Asia. In achieving this goal, Shanghai faces competition from Hong Kong, which has the advantage of a stronger legal system and greater banking and service expertise. However, Shanghai has stronger links to the Chinese interior and to the central government in addition to a stronger manufacturing and technology base. Since the return of Hong Kong to China, Shanghai has increased its role in finance, banking, and as a major destination for corporate headquarters, fueling demand for a highly educated and cosmopolitan workforce.
Shanghai is one of the least polluted major cities in China, although the degree of pollution might be more severe when using international comparisons. For this reason, coupled with a lesser degree of focus placed on national politics, visitors will find a much different experience than visiting Beijing
Shanghai’s latitude relative to the equator is about the same as New Orleans, Brisbane, or Cairo; the climate is classified as humid subtropical. Summer temperatures at noontime often hit 35–36°C (95–97°F) with very high humidity, which means that you will perspire a lot and should take lots of changes of clothing. Freak thunderstorms also occur relatively often during the summer, so an umbrella should be brought (or bought after arrival) just in case. There is some risk of typhoons in their July-September season, but they are not common.
In contrast, during winter, temperatures rarely rise above 10°C (50°F) during the day, and often fall below 0°C (32°F) at night. Snowfall is rare, but transportation networks can sometimes be disrupted in the event of a sudden snowstorm. Despite the fact that winter temperatures in Shanghai are not particularly low, the wind chill factor combined with the high humidity can actually make it feel less comfortable than some much colder places which experience frequent snowfalls.
In between, spring can feature lengthy periods of cloudy, often rainy, weather, while Autumn is generally mild to warm and sunny.
Shanghai has two main airports, with Pudong the main international gateway and Hongqiao serving mostly domestic flights, so be sure to check which one your flight is leaving from. Transfer between the two takes about 1 hour by taxi. There are also direct shuttle buses.
You can get between the two airports in nearer two hours by Metro (subway). Both airports are on line two, the main East-West line through downtown Shanghai, but at opposite ends of it. You can reduce the time some by taking the Maglev train (described in the next section) part of the way. A traveller making that transfer with a few hours to spare and a desire to get a quick look at Shanghai (and not too much luggage) might get off at Nanjing Road East and walk a few blocks to the Bund.
Both airports also have direct bus service to major nearby cities such as Hangzhou, Suzhou and Nanjing, though the new fast trains may be preferable, especially from Hongqiao Airport which has Hongqiao Railway Station quite nearby (one subway stop or a fairly long walk).
Domestic airplane tickets are best booked in advance at one of the many travel agencies or online, but can also be bought at the airport on the day of departure. Fares are generally cheap, but vary depending on the season; figure on ¥400-1200 for Beijing-Shanghai. The low-cost airline Spring Airlines is based out of Shanghai with routes to most major Chinese tourist destinations, and frequently offers large discounts for tickets booked through its official website. When backpacking, it may often be cheaper to book a flight along a big traffic line (Shanghai-Beijing, Shanghai-Guangzhou, Shanghai-Shenzhen, etc.) and travel the rest by bus or train.
The city of Hangzhou, about a one-hour high speed train ride away, should also be considered if having a difficult time finding tickets to Pudong or Hongqiao. KLM offer direct flights from Amsterdam to Hangzhou at discount prices from time to time. Also if coming in from South East Asia, since Air Asia has a cheap flight from Kuala Lumpur to Hangzhou. See Discount airlines in Asia.
Pudong International Airport
Pudong (浦东机场) is Shanghai’s main international airport, 40 km (25 mi) to the east of the city. Arrivals are on the first floor, departures on the third, and the airport has all the features you would expect of to find in the major hubs around the world. There are two gigantic terminals (T1 and T2). A free shuttle bus service connects the two in case walking a few minutes (or using the conveyor belts) is too cumbersome.
People’s Square by Maglev
Depending on your final destination, it may be quickest to use the Maglev train (7.5 minutes to Longyang Rd station, then 20 minutes to People’s Square by Metro). Riding the Maglev may be quite a memorable experience if fast trains are of interest. Using magnetic levitation technology, it does not touch the tracks and traverses 30.5 km (19 mi) in as quick as seven minutes, while hitting a maximum speed of 431 km/h (267 mph). During non-peak hours, the train goes to 301 km/h (189 mph). It currently operates from 06:45 to 21:30 daily and costs ¥50 one way (¥40 if you have a flight ticket) or ¥80 for a round-trip ticket (good for up to seven days from date of purchase). You can also opt to pay double for “VIP Class”, which gets you a soft drink, a slightly larger leather chair, and bragging rights, but not much of a really different environment. Trains depart every 15-30 minutes depending on the time of day. The Maglev ticket offices take credit cards, including foreign ones like Visa.
The Maglev has only one stop, Longyang Road Metro Station (龙阳路地铁站) on Metro Lines 2 and 7, still a ways from People’s Square but a good stopping point if Pudong is your final destination. The journey usually requires a combination with walking, public transport or a taxi. You will need the ticket to get out of the station. The Maglev and airport station are not well marked on the city subway/rail map so if in doubt ask so you exit at the right station to make your connection from Maglev to normal subway line.
The Maglev station is between Terminals 1 and 2 along the second floor walkway that connects them. Note that between the baggage claim and the Maglev station, people may tell you the Maglev is “broken” or “shut down because of weather” but they may just be trying to get you into their taxi. Pay them no attention, upon arriving at the station you will see the trains are running.
From Longyang Rd as you exit, the escalator on your right goes down to the Metro Station (Line 2) and another escalator on the opposite end to your left will take you to the taxi queue. A taxi to Puxi city centre will cost you another ¥30-50, while a ride to Pudong’s Lujiazui should only be about ¥20-25. Taxi drivers seldom speak any English so have your destination in writing (or use an airport attendant’s how-to) and fare estimate before agreeing on a driver. Estimates are also posted near the exit doors on the first floors near the pick-up area and bus station area. It is not advisable to use a driver outside the queue unless there are two of you and someone speaks good Shanghainese (Wu Chinese) or standard Mandarin. Use caution and double check the charges as some drivers may try to scam you, but not many. It is against local law to pick up other passengers not affiliated with your party so reject this if attempted by the driver.
If your destination is conveniently located on a subway stop (People’s Square, Jing’an Temple) and your baggage is light, it would be cheaper and maybe even faster to hop onto Line 2 located just parallel to the Maglev station. You will need to go down the escalators on the opposite side of the taxi queue. Subway fare ranges from ¥2-7 all across the city.
People’s Square by Metro Line 2 was extended eastward to the Pudong Airport in 2010. Operating hours are 06:30-21:00 and a train change is required at Guanglan Rd (you basically have to leave the train and switch to the opposite side). Line 2 ventures westward through People’s Square (about 1 hr) to Hongqiao Airport (2 hr, ¥8).
People’s Square by bus
Services take up to 90min (typically only this long if going to the west side of Shanghai and during peak times), cost ¥15-30 and run 24 hours. If arriving during busy commute times, consider taking the Metro to avoid congestion on the road.
People’s Square by taxi
The most convenient but also most expensive way to get to central Shanghai is by taxi, expect ¥160 or even more and about an hour to get to the centre of the city (People’s Square). The rate increases by around 35% during night time, so expect to pay even more after 23:00 and before 05:00. There are taxi queues just outside both Terminals 1 and 2 on the first floor.
You may be approached by a driver on your way to the queue. These drivers tend to be untrustworthy and will either take you to your destination via a longer route, or they have “adjusted” their meters. You can try agreeing on a price beforehand but it’s better to use the formal queue just outside the airport.
One oddity about Shanghai is that despite its huge number of expressways and elevated roads, there is no expressway that provides a direct connection running south or southeast from the city centre towards Pudong International Airport. While it is theoretically possible to drive from the Pudong airport to the Bund without exiting the expressway system, doing so would require a long detour to cross the Huangpu River either to the southwest or north of the city. Thus, the taxi or bus driver will have to exit the expressway and drive through several traffic lights before entering another expressway such as the Inner Ring Elevated Road.
Shanghai’s older airport Hongqiao (虹桥机场) offers domestic flights and few international flights of city shuttle services to Tokyo-Haneda, Seoul-Gimpo, Hong Kong, Macau and Taipei-Songshan. With a complete remodelling, however, “old” is not a way one would ever describe the sleek building. Now Hongqiao Airport is a part of the world’s largest Hongqiao Transportation Hub, which is consist of airport, bus terminal, railway station, maglev station (not yet ready), metro station and taxi stands. There are many Chinese/English/Japanese/Korean signs inside, the mazy Hongqiao Transportation Hub is still too big and complicated for a foreigner, so don’t hesitate to ask the staffs and make sure to reserve enough time to transfer any transportation.
The airport is composed of two terminals, T1 and T2. T2 is new and beside the Hongqiao Railway Station, the small and old T1 is 2km east to T2 and under the reconstruction now. The airlines operating locations are as followings:
The two terminals are linked by terminal shuttle bus (free, 20-min ride, 06:00~22:30, leaves every 30 minutes) or Metro Line 10 (¥3, 3 minutes, T1->T2: 06:18~22:58, T2->T1: 05:56~23:01, interval: every 5~15min). Be sure to determine from which terminal your flight departs before you go to the airport as the English signs are confusing, taxi drivers may not be able to help you, and the shuttle between the terminals leaves on a half-hourly schedule with another twenty minute drive. If you miss your flight at T1 and need a flight out of Pudong, you will have to take a shuttle or metro to T2, then navigate that labyrinthine terminal to find the shuttle to Pudong, costing you another ¥30.
Although Hongqiao airport has fewer airport shuttle bus lines than Pudong, more public local bus lines are linked to Hongqiao.
Hongqiao Airport is served by Metro Lines 2 and 10, Line 2 only serves Terminal 2 and Line 10 serves both T1 and T2. Line 2 goes all the way to Pudong Airport (but have to change train at Guanglan Road station). Metro operates 05:35-22:50 (service to and from Pudong Airport has limited hours).
A taxi can manage the 12 km (8 mi) trip to the city centre in 20~30 minutes on a good day but allow an extra 30 minutes for the taxi queue, especially when arriving after 19:00. The taxi fare from Hongqiao Airport to People’s Square in the city center is approximately ¥60 and it takes about half an hour. A taxi from Hongqiao Airport to Xujiahui runs ¥40-50 and takes 20 minutes.
Taxi at Hongqiao Airport, pick-up point:
Special Notes: Not easy to get a taxi in peak hours.
Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station(虹桥火车站), the high-speed train station of Shanghai locates 500 m west to Hongqiao Airport T2, the Transportation Hub East Center connects between T2 and the railway station. You can walk on the ground floor (1F) through east center to railway station from T2 (or take Metro line 2 or 10 by only one stop and fare ¥3). Walking from T1 is impossible, so take Metro line 10 for two stops and ¥3.
The high-speed trains leave from 06:00 until 22:30 everyday to most almost all the important cities in China : Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Tianjin, Dalian, Shenyang, Harbin, Shjiazhuang, Jinan, Qingdao, Taiyuan, Zhengzhou, Xi’an, Lanzhou, Chengdhu, Guiyang, Wuhan, Changsha, Nanning, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Nanchang, Hefei, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou, etc. Train schedules and online booking are available on China Railway office website “12306” (Chinese-language only).
Long Distance Bus :
Only 50 m west of the railway station, there’s Shanghai Hongqiao Bus Terminal(虹桥客运站). Buses leave for many cities in Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang Province, such as Hangzhou, Nanjing, Ningbo, Suzhou, Wuxi, Zhangjiagang, and more.
Shanghai has a few major train stations including:
Self-serve automated ticket booths are prevalent and would likely be the easiest mode of purchasing tickets and checking train schedules for those without an ability to utilize Chinese as the devices have an English mode. (NOTE: All tickets purchased MUST have a real name and ID number attached to them, and the automated machines do NOT read anything but Chinese ID.) Tickets are also conveniently booked in advance at one of the many travel service agencies, and as a note, tickets originating from other stations within the city can be purchased from a given station except for Hong Kong tickets (Shanghai West is an exception; the ticket office there can only process purchases for same-day departures from that station). There are queues with English speaking staff, although this is not likely outside of Shanghai so it’s best to buy a return ticket at the same time (not only because English won’t be as easy to find outside of the city, but also seats may be sold out if attempting to purchase at a later date). It is advisable to prepare a paper with your destination displayed in Chinese characters if needed or should an itinerary need adjustment. The main ticket office now handles all ticket sales, including tickets to Hong Kong (which can only be bought at the English-speaking counter or the dedicated counter at Shanghai and Shanghai South stations with no sales possible from the machines; in addition, unlike tickets to other parts of China, tickets to Hong Kong start selling 60 days in advance so book early; the Hong Kong-Shanghai segment sells out quickly).
Now tickets of all high-speed trains (prefix “D” or “G”） and normal trains prefix “T” or “Z” can be bought online at 12306(dot)cn. But a English support is still lacked. After purchasing tickets online, passengers who do not have a Chinese ID card still have to get the ticket at the ticket office before departure.
The new fast (200km/h plus) CRH trains go south from Shanghai southwest to Nanchang, Changsha, or north to Beijing, Zhengzhou, Qingdao. These are very comfortable and convenient. Train route codes being with D in this instance. Higher speed trains (300km/h plus) to Nanjing and Hangzhou has G prefix train code.
In recent years many highways have been built, linking Shanghai to other cities in the region, including Nanjing, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Ningbo, etc. It only takes 50 minutes to reach Shanghai from Hangzhou, or 2.5 hours from Ningbo, via the 36km long Hangzhou Bay Bridge, world’s longest sea-crossing bridge.
There are several long-distance bus stations in Shanghai. You should try to get the tickets as early as possible.
There are ferry services from Kobe and Osaka (Japan) weekly and Hong Kong.
Also, this card allows you to transfer lines at Yishan Rd, Shanghai Train Station, and Hongkou Football Stadium stations, as well as discounts for bus<->bus and metro<->bus transfer (the fare is discounted ¥1 each time you transfer).
The fast-growing Shanghai Metro network has 14 lines with another 4 under construction (and expansions to existing lines), with nearly all lines operating underground (Line 3, 5 operates above ground). The Metro is fast, cheap, air conditioned and fairly user-friendly with most signs and station arrival announcements bilingual in Mandarin and English, but the trains can get packed during rush hour. Fares range from ¥3-9 depending on distance.
Transfers between the metro lines can require a long walk, like 300 m in some stations. You can transfer between lines freely with a single ticket, but except at Shanghai Railway Station between lines 3/4 and 1; West Nanjing Road between lines 2, 12 and 13; Longhua Road between 11 and 12, where a One-day Pass/Three-day Pass/Shanghai Public Transportation Card is required for transfer. Be careful, certain stations exist on two different lines with the same name but are located in different places (Pudian Road- lines 4 and 6; no internal exchange tunnel between the two stations, people have go to either Century Ave or Lancun Lu to transfer between these lines).
Move quickly if you want to nab an empty seat. Be mindful of pickpockets who may use this rush to their advantage.
Major usable lines for tourist
Ticketing : There are different types of metro tickets available for passengers.
From Jan 2015, passengers are able to recharge and return the Public Transportation Card on an automatic machine (CVM) on 40 metro stations.
To enter the boarding area, put the ticket card on the inductor of the ticket checking machine. To exit, if you use a single ticket, insert it into the ticket checking machine at the exit gate, if it’s a one-day/three-day/Maglev & Metro Pass or Public Transportation Card, do not insert the card but just swipe on the inductor like while you entering.
The bus system is cheaper and much more extensive than the Metro, and some routes even operate past the closing time of the Metro (route numbers beginning with 3 are the night buses that run past 11PM). It is however slower in general, and all route information at bus stops is in Chinese, but here  is a handy list of bus routes and stops in English. Once inside the bus, there are English announcements. Most buses do not require any conversation with a driver and/or conductor, while others depend on you knowing your destination and the conductor charging you accordingly. For the latter, pay the conductor directly and you’ll get a paper ticket (and change, if any). The former bus types do not have a conductor but instead a driver only; there is a fixed price for the route, usually ¥2 and the buses are air-conditioned (¥1.5 on increasingly rare routes running on old buses without; check the bus itself as some routes have a mix of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buses). Prepare exact change beforehand and drop it into the container next to the driver. It’s best to have exact fare or go to a convenience store if needing change, otherwise you may depend on stating your situation to the driver or other passengers. If you change buses with an SPTC you will get a ¥1 discount on your second bus fare (and all subsequent transfers; there is a 90-minute window to do this on so if you’re not spending too much time at the destination your transfer discount will apply to the start of your return journey too).
Taxi (“出租车” chūzūchē or choo-tzoo-chuh) is a good choice for transportation in the city, especially during off-peak hours. It is affordable (typically starting at ¥14 for the first 3 km (larger cabs start at ¥16 and rural area taxis at ¥12) ¥2.4/km up to 10 km, and ¥3.5/km after; when wheels aren’t rolling, time is also tracked and billed but first 5 min. are free; a ¥1 fuel surcharge is also applied) and saves you time, but try to get your destination in Chinese characters or available on a map as communication can be an issue. Flagfall starts at ¥18 after 23:00. As Shanghai is a huge city, try to get the nearest intersection to your destination as well since even addresses in Chinese are often useless. Most drivers do not speak English or any other foreign languages, so be sure to have the address of your destination written in Chinese to show the taxi driver but should you forget, there is a phone number displayed in the back of the taxi (you’ll need a mobile phone for this). Dial the number and tell the agent where you want to go (English is the only foreign language offered currently). The agent will then, on your behalf, explain where you wish to go. The agent will even find out the address of bars and other spots for you if applicable and this service has very good remarks. (If without a mobile phone, try to get a business card of your destination or of something nearby.)
Driver are genuinely clueless and occasionally out to take you for a ride. Drivers at night may try to avoid using their meter and negotiate a higher fee (150 vs 30 yuan). If they do, go to the closest hotel an request them call you a taxi as the drivers typically will follow the rules and use the meter. It’s also the law to provide a receipt for the rider but if your fare seems out of line, be sure to obtain one as it’s necessary to receive any compensation. If you feel you have been cheated or mistreated by the driver, you (or a Chinese-speaking friend) can use the information on the printed receipt to raise a complaint to the taxi company about that particular driver. The driver will be required to pay 3x the fare if ordered by the taxi company so normally they’re very good about taking the appropriate route. The printed receipt is also useful to contact the driver in case you have forgotten something in the taxi and need to get it back.
If you come across a row of parked taxis and have a choice of which one to get in to, you may wish to check the driver’s taxi ID card that is posted next to or near the meter on the dash in front of the front passenger seat. The higher the number, the newer the driver, thus the likelihood that your driver will not know where he or she is going. Taxi driver ID numbers between 10XXXX and 12XXXX are likely to be the most experienced drivers (just make sure to match the picture on the ID card with that of the driver). A number of 27XXXX to 29XXXX is probably going to get you lost somewhere. Another way is to check the number of stars the driver has. These are displayed below the driver’s photograph on the dashboard in front of the passenger seat. The amount of stars indicates the length of time the driver has been in the taxi business and the level of positive feedback received from customers, and range from zero stars to five. Drivers with one star or more should know all major locations in Shanghai, and those with three stars should be able to recognize even lesser-known addresses. Remember that it takes time to build up these stars, and so don’t panic if you find yourself with a driver who doesn’t have any – just have them assure you that they know where they are going and you should be fine.
If you need to cross from one side of the Huangpu River to the other by taxi, especially from Pudong (浦东) to Puxi (浦西), you may want to make sure your driver will make the trip, and knows where he or she is going. Some drivers only know their side of the town and will be as lost as you are once they leave their side of town. Taxis are notoriously difficult to get on rainy days and during peak traffic hours, so plan your journeys accordingly. As the crossings between Pudong (浦东) and Puxi (浦西) are often jammed with traffic, taking a taxi may be a more expensive and less time-efficient alternative to using the Metro to cross. It may be better to take the Metro between both sides, and then catch a taxi on the side that your final destination is on.
Taxi liveries in Shanghai are strictly controlled and indicate the company the taxi belongs to. Turquoise taxis operated by Dazhong (大众), the largest group, are often judged the best of the bunch. Another good taxi company, Qiangsheng (强生), uses golden taxis. The other large companies include Jinjiang (锦江), which uses white taxis and Bashi (巴士), which uses light green taxis. Watch out for dark red/maroon taxis, since this is the ‘default’ hue of small taxi companies and includes more than its fair share of bad apples. Also private owned taxis (You can recognize them easily as they have an ‘X’ in their number plate and may not be the standard Volkswagen Santana used by most taxi companies) are among them. The dark red/maroon taxis will also go “off the meter” at times and charge rates 4x-5x the normal rate – especially around the tourist areas of the Yuyuan Gardens. Bright red taxis and blue taxis, on the other hand, are unionized and quite OK, furthermore there are more 3-star and above taxi drivers working for these companies. The bright orange taxis cover suburban areas only and are not allowed within the “city” area, but their meters start at ¥12 and count at ¥2.4/km no matter how long the journey so they’re somewhat cheaper if you’re not trying to get downtown (rule of thumb- if you’re trying to go somewhere within the Outer Ring highway, don’t get one, but if your journey ends just within it you may be able to find a driver willing to bend the rules).
Always try to avoid using ¥100-bills to pay for short rides. Taxi drivers are not keen on giving away their change, and it is not uncommon to get counterfeit smaller notes for change. Taxis are very hard to come by during peak hours and when it’s raining so be prepared to wait for a while or walk to a busy pick-up location. Foreign visitors might be surprised at the “lack” of courtesy or lines while waiting for a taxi, so don’t be afraid to “jump in” and get one–it’s first come, first serve. There are some taxi stops where attendants maintain a well-ordered line; this may be the fastest way to get a taxi in a busy part of town, but there are not very many of them, so expect to walk a ways to get to one.
There are several different companies offering sightseeing buses with various routes and packages covering the main sights such as the Shanghai Zoo, Oriental Pearl Tower, and Baoyang Road Harbor. Most of the sightseeing buses leave from the Shanghai Stadium’s east bus station.
Shanghai is a good city for walking, especially in the older parts of the city such as The Bund, but be aware this city is incredibly dynamic and pavements can be obstructed or unpleasant to walk through when near construction areas. If there is a subway entry at a busy street, the station can usually be used as a pedestrian underpass to another subway exit across the way.
As with all of China, right-of-way is effectively proportional to weight: vehicles trump motorbikes, which trump pedestrians. Motorbikes and bicycles rarely use headlights and can come from any direction. They are the main users of curb-cuts for sidewalks, so don’t stand at these. Avoid unpredictable movements while walking and crossing streets: the drivers see you and predict your future location from your speed. Also, distances are huge, so you will need to use other means of transportation at some point.
A useful ferry runs between the Bund (from a ferry pier a few blocks south of Nanjing Road next to the KFC restaurant) and Lujiazui financial district in Pudong (the terminal is about 10 minutes south of the Pearl TV Tower and Lujiazui metro station) and is the cheapest way of crossing the river at ¥2 per person. The ferry is air-conditioned and allows foot-passengers only (bikes are not allowed except for folding models). Buy a token from the ticket kiosk and then insert it into the turnstile to enter the waiting room – the boats run every 10 minutes and take just over 5 minutes to cross the river. This is a great (and much cheaper) alternative to using the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel. However, the ferry stations are not directly connected to the public transport so you need to walk a bit.
For locals, bicycles are slowly being eclipsed by electric scooters but they still remain an easy means of transportation for visitors who may be hesitant to communicate with drivers or board crowded mass transit–or simply to soak up some sunshine. Go to Baoshan Metro station and get a vintage bicycle for approx ¥300; they are also easily found for sale on the street around Suzhou Creek or in the residential part of the old town.
Bicycles and mopeds are not allowed on many major roads (signs designate this), as well as in the tunnels and on the bridges between Pudong and Puxi (the only way to cross is by ferry).
Beware of the driving habits of locals: the biggest vehicles have priority and a red light does not mean you are safe to cross the street. Bicycle theft is very common. Even locked bicycles are regularly stolen. If buying a better than average bicycle, buy a good lock and lock it to something like a post. Helmets are optional.
Driving is definitely not recommended in Shanghai for a variety of reasons, even for those with driving experience in the country. Not only do you have to cope with a very complex road system and seemingly perpetual traffic jams, but also Chinese driving habits and ongoing construction. In addition, parking spaces are rare and almost impossible to find. Bicycles, scooters and pedestrians are also all over the place–a city with a real metropolitan feel. It is also not unheard of for cyclists, motorcyclists or pedestrians to suddenly dash in front of a car without any warning. In short, do not drive if you can help it and make use of Shanghai’s excellent public transportation network instead. See also Driving_in_China.
Whilst motorcycle rental is practically non-existent, for long-term visitors e-bikes and scooters are a cheap, fast, practical way of getting around. E-bikes don’t require a driving license and are cheaper, but only have a short battery range (about 50 km) and a low top speed, and are a frequent target of thieves. A cheap e-bike can be picked up from any major supermarket – expect to pay around ¥1500-2500 for a new model. Small shops also sell converted e-bikes (motor scooters converted to run on electricity) which are more expensive but are faster, more comfortable and have longer battery ranges. 50cc motorcycles require registration but doesn’t require a drivers license, whilst anything bigger will require a driving license. Motorcycles can be bought from used-bike dealers mostly located in residential working class neighbourhoods – a used 50cc moped will be about ¥2000 whilst a 125cc will cost a lot more depending on condition and mileage. If you plan on riding a motorcycle, stick to automatic transmission scooters as they are much easier to ride in dense traffic than a manually-geared bike.
Motorcycles are expected to use the bicycle lane and cross intersections via pedestrian traffic lights, which is often quicker when car traffic reaches a standstill. Be careful, particularly at night, of people riding with their headlights off or riding on the wrong side of the road – remember that e-bikes don’t require any driving license and therefore drivers often flout traffic laws and take creative but dangerous paths through traffic. Parking is easy – most sidewalks serve as bike-parking, although in quiet streets you may risk getting your bike stolen so make sure you have a couple of good locks. At busy places there are attended bike parks that charge around ¥0.5-1 per day.
Vintage motorbikes with sidecars are used by mainly by expats and tourists. Most expatriates and Shanghainese are too embarrassed to use what many consider a particularly “uncool” form of transport. Changjiang sidecars were used by the Chinese army until 1997. There are a few sidecar owners club in Shanghai (Black Bats, People’s Riders Club), shops (Yiqi, Cao, Fan, Jack, Jonson, Leo) and a tour operator (Shanghai Sideways, http://www.shanghaisideways.com ) which are worth checking out.
A bit of a misnomer, as the entire journey is underground and doesn’t reveal any real sights of the city. This is the fastest way of crossing between the Bund in Puxi and the Pearl TV Tower in Pudong but also the most expensive (¥50 one way/¥70 return) and is essentially a tourist trap–but may also be a good bet for the directionally-challenged or those struggling to find a taxi during rush hour. Glass pods running on train tracks take a few minutes to run through a tunnel under the Huangpu River lined with a psychedelic light show and some bizarre commentary in English and Chinese. After arriving you’ll be dropped off in a hall full of tourist-trap shops, which should come as no surprise since the entrance is a few meters from the TV Tower and is by no means a practical mode of transportation for locals. Avoid if possible – it’s a very tacky experience – unless you’re prepared to spend some cash to look at some flashing lights instead of walking 5 min to the south and taking the aforementioned ferry or walking 5 min west to Nanjing East Rd subway station and taking the Metro. On the other hand, it is also significantly less packed than either of those during peak hours.
While you are more likely to encounter an English speaker in Shanghai than in any other mainland Chinese city, they are still not widespread so it would be wise to have your destinations and hotel address written in Chinese so that taxi drivers can take you to your intended destination. Though most younger people will have studied English in school, due to a lack of practice, few are conversant. Likewise, if you are planning to bargain at shops, a calculator would be useful. That being said, staff at the more expensive hotels, major tourist attractions and other establishments catering specifically to foreigners generally speak an acceptable level of English.
To see another side of Shanghai, you can learn cooking in one of the different cooking schools or restaurants offering classes. Some are more high-end , like “The kitchen at…”, offering experienced chefs. Others offer a more local and cultural experience, like “Cook in Shanghai”, with fresh market tours and a relaxed environment.
There are many options available to learn Mandarin Chinese in Shanghai. When looking for a school ensure it is registered by the local government as an educational institution, has accreditation and ask for a trial lesson which is often given for free. Some popular language schools include:
Shanghai urban development is all about the ‘five year plan’. Visit the Urban Planning Museum in People’s Square for a fascinating look into Shanghai’s colourful past, and learn about development strategies for the future. There is a heavy focus on eco-friendly satellite cities with spacious public centres and loads of greenery. The trip is worth it just for the scale model of Shanghai in ten years. All is on the fourth floor, including a virtual tour of up-and-coming large scale public projects, which encompass the World Expo 2010 site. It is located just across from the Shanghai Museum.
For the high end boutiques, go to the west end of Nanjing Road West (南京西路) near Jing’an Temple. Several large shopping malls (Plaza 66 aka Henglong Plaza, Citic Plaza, Meilongzhen Plaza, and others being built) house boutiques bearing the most famous names in fashion. No. 3 on the Bund is another high-end shopping complex featuring Giorgio Armani’s flagship store in China.
For those interested in boutique shopping, head to the French Concession Streets Xinle Lu (新乐路), Changle Lu (长乐路) and Anfu Lu (安福路) starting from east of Shaanxi Lu (陕西路) (nearest Metro station is South Shanxi Rd on line 1). This section of low rise building and tree-lined streets bustles with small boutiques of clothing and accessories, where young Shanghainese looking for the latest fashions shop. The overhauled, cozy alleyways of Tianzifang is also extremely popular and is a bit more elbow-to-elbow than Xintiandi.
Shanghai Foreign Languages Bookstore (Shanghai Book Traders) at 390 Fuzhou Rd (near People’s Square) offers a lot of books in English and other major languages, especially for learning Chinese. Just around the corner at 36 South Shanxi Rd you will also find a small but well-stocked second-hand foreign-language bookshop. If you’re searching for computer or business related books, head to the biggest store in Fuzhou Rd: Shanghai Book Town (上海书城). You’ll find special editions targeted at the Chinese market. The only difference to the original version is the Chinese cover and the heavily reduced price. Fuzhou Road is also a good street to wander around and find stationery and Chinese calligraphy related shops.
Those interested in DVDs of movies and television shows have a wide variety of options. Aside from the people selling DVDs out of boxes on street corners you can also find a good selection of movies at many local DVD shops in most neighborhoods. Perhaps the best way to score a deal with a shop is to be a regular. If you provide them repeat business they are usually quite happy to give you discounts for your loyal patronage. Typically DVDs can cost anywhere from ¥5 for standard disks to ¥10-12 for DVD-9 format disks.
However, if you are short on time in Shanghai and don’t have the means to form a relationship with a shop, many people recommend the Ka De Club. An expat favorite for years, they have two shops: one in 483, Zhenning Rd and the other one in 505, Dagu Rd (a small street between Weihai and Yan’an Rds). While the selection at the Ka De Club isn’t bad the downside of this store’s popularity is that with so many foreigners giving them business, you tend to get somewhat higher prices than at local shops and haggling and repeat customer bargains are pretty much non-existent.
Antiques, jade and communist China memorabilia can be found in Dongtai Road Antiques Market, where you must bargain if you want to get a fair deal. Yuyuan Gardens is another good option for antiques as well as all manner of cheaply made and priced souvenirs (teapots, paintings, “silk” bags, etc.). There are two basement markets. You will have to hunt for them, but they are worth the effort. As with any market in China, don’t be afraid to bargain to get a fair price.
Xujiahui Metro station is the place to go if you’re after game consoles (the Wii is available here in relative abundance), computers, computer accessories and many other electronics, but the mobile phone selection is a bit lacking.
There is a giant electronics mart at the Baoshan Road line 3/4 station, which offers a huge range of miscellaneous electronics and mobile phones, however some are fake. Be sure to bargain hard. If you want to buy a mobile phone here, make sure you have a SIM card before you purchase, and test the SIM card in the phone by making a call, perhaps to the vendor, since some of the phones are non-functional but still turn on. It’s best to negotiate as low as possible first, and then try out your SIM card. Note, some of the phones are stolen..
Metro Line 2 at the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum (上海科技馆) station has vendors selling various wares. The most common name for the market is “A.P. New XinYang Fashion Market.” There are a number of variations, and the name really doesn’t even matter. The market shares the same underground area as the Metro station and there you can purchase all your knock-off products. The place is much more overrun by foreigners than Qipu Lu (below), and as such the prices for clothes is considerably higher. However, there is a wider selection here of other products: software, games, electronics, etc.
The horrendously crowded Qipu Lu (七浦路) clothing market is a mass of stalls jammed into a warehouse sized building which would take the casual stroller most of a day to look through. You’ll find the cheapest clothes in the city here, but even the trendiest styles are clearly Chinese. Bargain hard, in Chinese if you can and make friends with the shop owners. Many of them have secret stashes of knock-offs in hidden rooms behind the stall “walls.” Avoid this place on weekends at all costs. Some of the touts here can be very, very annoying. Be prepared for people following you relentlessly through malls, even up and down escalators – if this gets to a point where it’s uncomfortable, call the police (English speaking PSB line is 6357-6666). You can get the metro to Tiantong Road (天潼路)on line 10 – the stop is right outside. If you want to see some “old Shanghai” style buildings you can also get off at Qufu Road (曲阜路) on line 8 and walk about 10-15 minutes.
Another option is the Pearl Plaza located on Yan’an Xi Lu and Hongmei Lu (Line 10, get off at Longxi Rd stop, go south on Hongmei Lu out of the station past Yan’an elevated road, on right) as well as the unassuming shopping complex located on the corner of Nanjing Xi Lu and Chongqing Lu. Haggling can be fun for those who are accustomed to it, but those sensitive to the pressure might want to steer clear. Not only can it be stressful to haggle, but just walking in to the buildings can bring a horde of people upon you trying to sell you bags, watches, DVDs and all assortment of goods.
But rather than pursuing knock-offs of Western brands, one of the more interesting things to do in Shanghai is to check out the small boutiques in the French Concession area. Some of these are run by individual designers of clothing, jewelry, etc and so the items on sale can truly be said to be unique. Visitors from overseas should expect the usual problem of finding larger sizes.
Major supermarket chains such as Carrefour, Auchan, Tesco and Walmart are scattered around the city and have cheap groceries and household products, and are generally crowded at weekends. The most centrally located ‘big chain’ supermarket is Carrefour, located in floors B1 and B2 of Cloud 9 shopping mall (metro: Zhongshan Park Lines 2, 3 and 4). Tesco has a store in Zhabai district close to the main railway station and there is a huge Lotus supermarket in Top Brands mall in Liujiazui (Metro: Liujiazui, Line 2). Whilst there are many stores around the city selling imported products at fairly high prices, Metro Cash’n’Carry (Metro: Longyang Lu; Lines 2, 7 and Maglev; Puxi store located at intersection of Zhenbei Rd and Meichuan Rd, reachable by bus #827 from Line 2 Beixinjing station, Line 10 Shuicheng Rd station, and Line 10 Jiaotong University station or bus #947 from Line 2 Zhongshan Park station and Line 3/4 Jinshajiang Rd station) in Pudong is by far the cheapest place to buy imported goods. As it caters primarily to businesses, you will either need a Metro membership card or take a temporary guest pass from reception when entering the store (Puxi store offers no guest passes but most members are willing to lend their membership card at the check-out line).
Ubiquitous FamilyMart and Lawson 24-hour convenience stores can be found around the main central districts and inside major metro stations – these stores sell magazines, snacks, drinks and Japanese-style hot bento-boxes. Chinese chains such as Kedi, Quik, All Days and C-Store can be found in residential districts and are marginally cheaper and also stock cigarettes. A bit less common is 7-Eleven.
Shanghai local cuisine, or Shanghainese food is also known as Shanghainese cuisine, and authentic Shanghai cuisine, mainly features freshness, especially the fresh fish and shrimps, bright colours, and original flavours. Boiled eel(锅烧河鳗), three yellow chicken(三黄鸡), fried shrimp (油爆河虾), Shanghai drunk crab(上海醉蟹) etc. are the typical local cuisine.
The name “Shanghai” means “above the sea”, but paradoxically, the local preference for fish often tends toward the freshwater variety due to the city’s location at the mouth of China’s longest river. Seafood, nonetheless, retains great popularity and is often braised (fish), steamed (fish and shellfish), or stir-fried (shellfish). Watch out for any seafood that is fried, as these dishes rely far less on freshness and are often the remains of weeks’ old purchases.
Shanghai’s preference for meat is unquestionably pork. Pork is ubiquitous in the style of Chinese cooking, and in general if a mention refers to something as “meat” (肉) without any modifiers, the safe assumption is that it is pork. Minced pork is used for dumpling and bun fillings, whereas strips and slices of pork are promulgated in a variety of soups and stir-fries. The old standby of Shanghainese cooking is “red-cooked [braised/stewed] pork” (红烧肉), a traditional dish throughout Southern China with the added flair of anise and sweetness provided by the chefs of Shanghai.
Chicken takes the honorable mention in the meat category, and the only way to savour chicken in the Chinese way is to eat it whole (as opposed to smaller pieces in a stir-fry). Shanghai’s chickens were once organic and grass-fed, yielding smaller birds offering more tender and flavourful meat than its hormone-injected Western counterparts. Unfortunately, these hormones have found their way to China, and today most chickens are little different from what can be found elsewhere. Still, the unforgettable preparations (drunken, salt-water, plain-boiled with dipping sauce, etc.) of whole chickens chopped up and brought to the table will serve as a reminder that while the industrialization of agriculture has arrived from the West, the preservation of flavour is still an essential element of the local cooking.
Those looking for less cholesterol-laden options need not fret. Shanghai lies at the heart of a region of China that produces and consumes a disproportionately large amount of soy. Thinking tofu? There’s the stinky version that when deep-fried, permeates entire blocks with its earthy, often offensive aroma. Of course there are also tofu skins, soy milk (both sweet and savory), firm tofu, soft tofu, tofu custard (generally sweet and served from a road-side cart), dried tofu, oiled tofu and every kind of tofu imaginable with the exception of tofurkey. There’s also vegetarian duck, vegetarian chicken and vegetarian goose, each of which looks and tastes nothing like the fowl after which it is named but is rather just a soy-dish where the bean curd is expected to approximate the meat’s texture. Look out also for gluten-based foods at vegetarian restaurants, which unlike tofu, do not come with the phyto-estrogens that have recently made soy controversial in some countries. If you are vegetarian, do be conscious that tofu in China is often regarded not as a substitute for meat (except by the vegetarian Buddhist monks) but rather as an accompaniment to it. As such, take extra care to ensure that your dish isn’t served with peas and shrimp or stuffed with minced pork before you order it.
Some other Shanghainese dishes to look out for:
For local eat outs, see below. Do not be too surprised by the cheap prices for the same dishes you may pay for in restaurants, these are where the local gems reside:
For a more upscale and cleaner market go to Cityshop or Ole.
Shanghai, undoubtedly, has some incredible authentic traditional food available, but sometimes you just want some home comforts. Fortunately, Shanghai also comes with a plethora of options for Western food as well.
Tsingtao, Snow, and Suntory beer are widely available cold in bottles in cans. Major foreign brands are produced domestically and smaller brands are typically imported. There is also a local brew known as REEB (beer spelled backwards). A large bottle (640 ml) of any of these costs anywhere from ¥2-6. 711 and Family Mart will also carry Heineken, and Japanese beers like Kirin and Asahi. Taiwan Beer used to be readily available, but has died off since 2009. Cheers-In and other emerging shops carry a range of delicious imported Belgian ales and American craft beers, but you’re better off going to one of three KAIBA in town to enjoy these in a proper environment with some tasty chow to boot.
Shanghai is filled with amazing nightlife, complete with both affordable bars and nightclubs that pulsate with a city energy. A mix of locals and Westerns can be found in Bar Rouge (http://www.bar-rouge-shanghai.com/) (enter before 22:00 to save app. 200RMB entrance fee) or MINT (http://www.m1ntglobal.com/club-shanghai). However, both clubs are posh, so expect Western prices! For a touch of down to earth drinking & rock’n’roll, head to Danish-owned INFERNO at 480 Yongjia Lu near Yueyang Lu in French Concession 上海市徐汇区永嘉路480号 (021-54666068). Walk down the alleyway once you hit the address, and friendly faces await to take your reasonable requests and serve you tasty booze until 5 or 6 am on the weekends, 2 AM on weekdays.
Warning: Shanghai is a safe place to be, but as in any foreign country, be mindful of drinking to excess and how you will be perceived. The one Chinese guy that you stumble into may not be able to take you down, but his 6 friends might assist. You are a visitor here, and while the feeling of ‘anything is possible’ pervades at night here, remember to behave yourself and you can have a great night out. Recreational drug use in clubs is not uncommon, but don’t think you’re immune to being stung for it if you so choose to participate.
There are many magazines for Expats that can be found at hotels and other expat eateries that list events and the best bars, clubs and restaurants in Shanghai. The most popular ones are Smart Shanghai, That’s Shanghai, City Weekend, and Time Out.
For clean, safe, budget accommodations, three reliable options are the Jin Jiang Star, Motel 168 and Motel 268 chains, all of which have multiple locations in every district of Shanghai.
BEWARE pick-pockets groups on the main shopping streets. These groups are usually two or more gypsy-women carrying babies whose intention is for a couple extra Yuan, but make sure your bags are in view at all times. This sight is extremely common on Nanjing West and East road during rush hours, or late nights outside bars and clubs.
Beware of taxi scams – ride inside illegal taxi to a distant direction. First you agree on price (e.g. ¥300 for a taxi shared with someone else from Hongqiao Airport to Suzhou) then after some short taxi ride they ask to get out and group of people say that you need to pay agreed money right now. Then you get transferred to a shared bus where other people cheated like yourself sitting and waiting when the bus will depart, then the bus finally gets to destination. Although taxi drivers are required to take you to the location mentioned, it’s always better to check with the driver if he/she is ok to take you there, rather than getting in and finding out half way that you’ve been jibbed.
The notorious tea house scams, long practiced in Beijing, is unfortunately spreading to Shanghai as well. Be cautious if over friendly strangers, who probably dress well, speak fluent English, and look innocent like a student, who invite you to a drink, art gallery, tea shop, or karaoke – you’re unlikely to be physically harmed, but they will leave you to foot a large bill. In this case, you should call 110 (emergency hotline). The con artists may tell you that calling the police does not work and claim to have connections with police, but the police in China tend to be helpful in these cases, especially when innocent foreigners are involved. These scams can be found around East Nanjing Rd or People’s Square near the entrances/exits of the museums and art galleries. A similar thing can happen if you go with one of the people advertising massages (or more). Don’t follow them into any house unless you want to meet a bouncer on your way out who threatens you to pay a huge room fee. If you want a legit massage service, ask your hotel or other trustworthy source.
Another trend is a temple scam which is happening in various big cities and also Tibet. Tour guides may ask you to make a wish and burn an incense which ends up costing a hundred to more than a thousand. Another trick is to ask you how much you want to “donate”. After you said ¥10, they will tell you that ¥10 is for 1 day blessing but the monk has already turned an incense to bless you for 1 year, so you need to pay 365 x 10 yuan. This scam has caused significant backlash because of blasphemy. No legitimate temples in China ever charge followers in this way. Most temples will also include small signage of how much joss sticks or offerings are charged.
Male travellers may attract attention from female sex workers at nightspots. Around Old Town and Science Museum in Pudong, hawkers are sometimes also eager to sell. Saying bu4 yao4 le (“don’t want”) may help. Also be cautious of people who approach and offer to polish your shoes. Make sure both of you agree on the price before anything is put on your shoes. The same rule also applies to the commercial photographers at the Bund area. They will offer to take your picture with the scenic background (and sometimes with costumes) for ¥50, but once you have contracted their services, several cohorts will arrive to “assist” the photographer. They may force you to buy all the snapshots and try to gather crowds to increase pressure.
Don’t rush into or out of Shanghai metro trains in the last moment. Despite the safety barriers on the platform, the train doors sometimes close before all passengers have boarded; people squeezed between closing doors is a common sight. Apparently, the fail safe that is supposed to block trains from running with open doors isn’t stone-proof: Only recently (July 2010), a woman died after being smashed against the safety barriers as she was hanging half out of closed doors of a train of line 2 leaving Zhongshan Park Station. However, recently there have been more guards that are making sure that people are not in between the platform and the train. Be sure to lead children away from the edge of the platform, as there are no railings for some trains. Other trains have sliding glass doors that restrict this possibility.
By Chinese law, foreigners are required to show their passports when requested, but this is rarely enforced. Most hotels will help you keep the passport in the safe.
Beware of fake note scams. After paying at a restaurant or shop with a legitimate note, the vendor will bring you back a fake note and claim that you just paid with it. Always note the serial number of the note you pay with, especially with larger notes.
This can also happen at hotels. People will knock on your door and try to sell you something, but once you’ve paid, the seller will tell you that you’ve paid with a fake note.
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Attendees of DigiMarcon Conferences gain membership to an exclusive global Digital Marketing, Media and Advertising Community of over 500,000 worldwide subscribers to our award-winning digital marketing blog and over 100,000 members to the International Association of Digital Marketing Professionals (visit https://iadmp.org). This global community comprises of innovators, senior marketers and branders, entrepreneurs, digital executives and professionals, web & mobile strategists, designers and web project managers, business leaders, business developers, agency executives and their teams and anyone else who operates in the digital community who leverage digital, mobile, and social media marketing. We provide updates to the latest whitepapers and industry reports to keep you updated on trends, innovation and best practice digital marketing.
The events industry has forever changed in a world affected by COVID-19. The health and safety of our guests, staff and community is our highest priority and paramount. The team at DigiMarCon is dedicated to ensuring a great experience at our in-person events, and that includes providing a safe, clean and hygienic environment for our delegates. Some of the key areas we have implemented safe and hygienic measures include;
DigiMarCon has always been industry leaders of the Hybrid Event experience for years (a hybrid event combines a "live" in-person event with a "virtual" online component), no one needs to miss out on attending our events. Each DigiMarCon Conference can be attended in-person (with a Main Conference, All Access or VIP Pass) or online (with a Virtual Pass) giving attendees a choice for the experience they want to have. Attending virtually by viewing a Live Stream or On Demand enables participation by people who might be unable to attend physically due to travel or time zone constraints or through a wish to reduce the carbon footprint of the event. If you would like to meet the speakers, network with fellow marketing professionals at refreshment breaks, luncheons and evening receptions, check out the latest Internet, Mobile, AdTech, MarTech and SaaS technologies providers exhibiting then it is highly recommended to attend DigiMarCon in-person. As the largest Digital Marketing, Media and Advertising Conference series with events in 33 international cities worldwide, across 13 countries, there is bound to be a DigiMarCon Event near you to attend in-person if you can.
DigiMarCon Conference Series is the annual gathering of the most powerful brands and senior agency executives in your region. The Sharpest Minds And The Most Influential Decision Makers - Together for Two Days.
Who Attends Our Conferences
Brands • Agencies • Solution & Service Providers • Media Owners • Publishers • Entrepreneurs • Start-Ups • Investors • Government • Corporates • Institutes of Higher Learning