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Shanghai

Photo © Utrecht

Travel Guide Asia China Shanghai

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Introduction

laundry boulevard

laundry boulevard

© All Rights Reserved nobdynowhr

Shanghai (上海) is a colossal city with over 18 million (official) inhabitants in the core city, making it China's largest city and the world's eighth largest urban area with around 23 million inhabitants. It's the biggest city proper in the world. Not surprisingly, it is at the forefront of China's economy and symbolises the rapid modernisation and urbanisation of Chinese society.

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History

Shanghai was only a small fishing village in the mid 19th century but after the first and second opium wars it exploded into a massive trading port. In the 19th century it began to symbolize all the bad and good aspects of colonialism. It was one of the first places to fight foot binding but was also the center of the opium trade and prostitution. As its wealth grew so did its insanity by being known as the pearl and as the whore of the Orient at the same time.

Heavily damaged during the revolution, being the center of the communist and the nationalist campaigns during the 1920s and 1930s it was even more destroyed during the Japanese occupation. Although many Jews and White Russians found sanctuary in Shanghai fleeing Stalin and Hitler. After the war life seemed to turn back to normal until the communist took over. The bankers in Shanghai welcomed the communist at first because the nationalist just kept taking their money and not paying them back.

The city grew during the first few years of communist rule but mellowed out during the heavy years of communism during the 1960s and early 1970s. When Deng Xiao Ping started his campaign to open up and modernize China, the Shanghainese took to the forefront and made their city back into an economic power house. Today Shanghai has exploded as the economic, fashion and pop culture center of mainland China. Not quite a Tokyo or Singapore yet, Shanghai will be at the same level as those Asian Tigers in only a matter of decades.

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Districts and suburbs

Shanghai is a city of districts, although many of the larger districts are broken up in smaller units. Some districts are tiny, especially the ones in the city. The districts towards the edge of the SEZ are larger like Jading or Pudong. Although these areas tend to be very rural the population is growing them and is changing the make up of the city.

Jiading(嘉定)is the largest suburb and district in Shanghai. Although mainly an industrial area there are some nice local temples, gardens, old town, and a museum to Wellington Koo that few tourists go to. Jiading is also home to China's Formula Racing One racing track.

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Sights and Activities

The busy Bund

The busy Bund

© All Rights Reserved loubylou

  • The Bund (Wàitān 外摊) was the center of colonial Shanghai. This long stretch of colonial buildings along Suzhou Creek is one of the strongest icons in all of Shanghai. It also has some of the best views of the Pudong.
  • Yu Gardens and Bazaar (Yùyuán 豫园) is a nice traditional garden and tourist market. Also the area around the gardens are nice and worth the time to explore, especially the more traditional parts that most tourists never see.
  • Xintiandi (Xīntiāndì 新天地) is an area with many traditional Shikumen buildings, which have been restored. Shikumen houses had a stone supported front door, and the homes were made of brick, there is a museum which shows the history of these houses. There are many restaurants and luxury shops in this area.
  • Jing'an temple (Jingan Si 静安寺) is an interesting temple. On the eastern outer wall of the temple there is a vegetarian noodle restaurant. The restaurant is only open till 2:00pm. The temple is located on line 2 at the Jing'an Temple stop.
  • Jinmao Tower (Jīnmào Dàshà 金茂大厦) is home to the world's tallest hotel. Remember the bar, Cloud 9, has a strict dress code and a 150RMB per person spend requirement.
  • Jade Buddha Temple (Yùfó Sì 玉佛寺) is a nice traditional temple with the amazing Jade Buddha Statue.
  • East Nanjing Road (南京东路) is the shopping 'hub' of Shanghai. At night it's a light with neon and a spectacular sight. Touts on this road can be particularly annoying and watch out for the little 'train' cars which can almost run you over if you aren't paying attention!
  • West Nanjing Road (南京西路) is also another shopping street more geared to higher end mails and boutiques. If your looking for the latest Gucci, Prada or any other high end designer this were to go. It is also the location of many nice hotels and the side streets are the home to many bars.
  • Duolun Lu Cultural Street (Dūolún Lù Míngrén Jiē 多伦路名人街).
East Nanjing Road at night

East Nanjing Road at night

© All Rights Reserved loubylou

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Events and Festivals

The Shanghai Jazz Music Festival

The Shanghai Jazz Music Festival (爵士上海音乐节) is usually held during the third week of October and features numerous national and international performancers. Check the website for the latest news, artists, prices and where it is exactly held.

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Weather

Shanghai has four definite seasons, with the most pleasant to travel in being spring and autumn. It is hot and humid in summer, and cold and humid in winter. May and October are the nicest times of year to be in Shanghai, with clear blue skies, warm days, and little rain. Unfortunately, these months also coincide with two of China's "Golden Week" vacations. Generally, however, roughly the same number of Shanghairen (Shanghainese) evacuate the city for these holidays as outsiders come to visit, so avoid tourist sights such as Nanjing Dong Lu and the Yu Gardens and the crowds will be tolerable.

Spring still tends to be cool until May, when average daily temperatures are around 23 °C. A lot of rain also tends to fall around April.

Average temperatures for summer are around 31 °C, with the hottest month generally being July. It is not uncommon to have days around 36 °C, and the heat is compounded by air-conditioners pumping hot air into the streets, traffic, and rank smells that worsen with the heat. If you are in Shanghai for summer, do as the locals do: carry an umbrella and paper fan with you everywhere - an umbrella drops the temperature by a few degrees, and a fan will help keep the sweat at bay.

Autumn is generally warm up until November, with averages of 27 °C and 22 °C in September and October respectively.

Winter temperatures in Shanghai average 7 to 11 °C during the day. Since Mao's time, anywhere south of the Yangtze River was considered "warm", so there is no central heating anywhere in Shanghai. Double-glazed windows are also rare, so it is not uncommon to still require jumpers, long-johns, hats and gloves while sitting inside in front of a highly ineffectual reverse-cycle air-conditioner. The air is humid, so will chill you to the bone, and wind will cut through any number of layers. Global warming seems to be doing its job, however, as the 2006-2007 winter was unseasonably warm. If you are in Shanghai during the winter, again, do as the locals do: wear long-johns and every item of clothing you own and shed them as required.

Source: Weather.com

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max7.7 °C8.6 °C12.7 °C18.6 °C23.5 °C27.2 °C31.6 °C31.5 °C27.2 °C22.3 °C16.7 °C10.6 °C
Avg Min0.5 °C1.5 °C5.1 °C10.6 °C15.7 °C20.3 °C24.8 °C24.7 °C20.5 °C14.7 °C8.6 °C2.4 °C
Rainfall39 mm59 mm81 mm102 mm115 mm152 mm128 mm133 mm156 mm61 mm51 mm35 mm
Rain Days91013131314121012987

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Getting There

By Plane

Arriving by plane into Shanghai can be a little confusing. If coming in from an international flight you will arrive at the new Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG) which is far away from the city centre. If leaving on most domestic flights, but not all domestic flights, you will leave from the older Hongqiao Airport (SHA) which is close to the city centre. Although it might soon get more complicated as both airports are starting to serve more domestic and international flights.

  • Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) is located 20 minutes west of the city making it very easy to get to by taxi and the cost is usually between RMB30 and 40. There are also several reasonably priced buses that go to and from the airport from many different areas of the city including the North Train Station, South Train station and Jing'an Temple. Be warned that late at night the taxi line can be quite long. The Hongqiao Airport is now connected to the city's metro network. A stop on Line 2 was opened at the new Terminal 2 of the airport on March 16, 2010. In October 2010, Shanghai Metro Line 10 will connect to the airport as well, with stations at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Hongqiao Airport mostly has domestic flights, with international destinations being Tokyo , Taipei and Seoul.
  • Shanghai Pudong International Airport is located about an hour away south and west of the city and making the taxi ride cost around RMB200. Although if you take the Maglev the trip can be shorter though the downside is the Maglev is at the last subway stop on the green line making for an additional long subway journey into the city centre. There are also several reasonably priced buses that go back and forth from several stops in the city including the North Train Station, South Train Station and Jing'an Temple. The metro (Line 2) to Pudong airport operates until about 10pm, however you need to change trains about 15 mins before the end of the line. Some of the main destinations include Moscow, London, Istanbul, Paris, Delhi, Toronto, Sydney, Bangkok, Chicago, Hong Kong, Beijing, Vancouver, New York City, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Taipei, Manila, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Jakarta and Hanoi.

By Train

Shanghai - Maglev train

Shanghai - Maglev train

© All Rights Reserved Gelli

Shanghai is now home to one of the world's fastest trains, the Maglev. The train runs from Longyang Road Station to a stop nearby the Pudong international airport.

  • Shanghai Train Station (上海火车站) is also known as the Shanghai North Train Station is located slightly north of the city center in Zhabei District. Shanghai Train Station can be accessed by metro lines 1, 3 and 4. This train station has trains to almost every city in China and many direct high speed trains (T trains) to several major cities.
  • Shanghai South Train Station (上海南站) is the new and gorgeous train station located in the Xuhui District and can be accessed easily by metro line 1 or 3. This train station mainly services areas south of Shanghai but also has trains going everywhere in China.

Purchasing Train Tickets:
There are several locations to buy tickets in the city other then the train station itself such as at the corner of Wanghang Lu and Beijing Xilu just north of Jing'an Temple.

By Car

Few people drive their own cars or rent cars in China, as its almost impossible to arrange all the permits and it is not recommended to drive yourself either. Certainly not to big cities like Shanghai.

By Bus

Bus stations are attached to both of the train stations. Buses serve all the major cities in the neighboring provinces and towns in the Shanghai region (S.E.Z.).

By Boat

From the international ferry port you can get ferries to Japan and South Korea. There are weekly ferries crossing the sea between Shanghai and Kobe and Osaka in Japan. The ferry's destination alternates each week between Osaka and Kobe and the journey takes two days. Another line travels weekly as well between Shanghai and Osaka only. And everyday Thursday, there are ferries between Shanghai and Nagasaki.
Ferries also serve several domestic destinations including islands as far south as off the coast of Zhejiang.

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Getting Around

By Car

It is possible to hire a car (usually with a driver) in Shanghai, but because it is such a high-density city, other forms of transport will usually suffice. International driver's licences are not valid in China, and the traffic is a bit crazy so you probably would not want to drive anyway. If you are taking trips outside of Shanghai, trains are usually faster and cheaper.

By Public Transport

The Shanghai transport card acts like a credit card for buses, metros, taxis and even McDonald's purchases. You can buy them and add credit to them at metro stations and convenience stores. You pay a 30 RMB deposit, and then you can add credit as required. There is a picture of a lightning strike at metro turnstiles, taxi dashboards, and at bus doors. Simply swipe your card on the picture and it debits the correct amount. Personalise your card to prevent sneaky switching by dishonest taxi drivers.

The metro system is clean, fast, cheap and user-friendly. Most tourist sights are close to a metro line, so it is probably the most convenient method for sight-seeing. Line 1 and 2 are the best lines to be near. The metro also lets you avoid the traffic, which is particularly horrendous at peak hour, though the metro is invariably crowded at these times. Trips range from 3-5 RMB, and you can buy single trip tickets at vending machines or ticket booths in the stations.

Taxis are also relatively cheap and clean, though drivers rarely speak English (it's wise to carry a bilingual map with you so you can point, or download Shanghai Taxi App if you have a smartphone). Flag fall is 14 RMB, and goes up 2.3 RMB for each kilometre after the first 3 kilometres. A trip from Pudong International Airport to inner Puxi will cost about 150 RMB. If you are staying in Puxi, most places of interest can be reached in less than a 30 RMB taxi ride. It can be almost impossible to find a taxi in peak hour, and once you do you will just get stuck in traffic. Taxis are also scarce when it rains.

Buses can be daunting to the new-comer as all signage is in Chinese. Once on the bus, however, announcements are made in Chinese and English. They are cheap, mostly air-conditioned, and go to places the metro does not reach. Air-conditioned buses are usually 2 RMB per trip (maybe one or 2 RMB more for longer routes), while non-air-conditioned buses are 1 RMB (less comfortable and no English announcements). Some useful routes include the 911, which goes all the way along Huaihai Lu from Huangpi Lu, and out along Hongqiao Lu. The 925 leaves from People Square and goes to the Hongqiao Airport (Note: the 925B does not go to the airport).

Ferries are available to cross the Huangpu from the Bund to Lujiazui. If you get the passenger only ferry it costs 2 RMB, but if you go on the ferry that also takes bikes (including pedal, electric, motor and some small tuk tuks) it is only 1 RMB, but you end up a bit further away from the Bund.

By Foot

Shanghai is a great city to walk in. See all the knick-knack shops up close, watch people slurping their lunchtime noodles, dodge the vegetable vendors on the sidewalk, and peer down quaint laneways. Walking through the leafy French Concession allows you to appreciate the European architecture and how it has been incorporated into Chinese life. The Old Town (south and west of the Bund near the Yu Gardens) also has fascinating narrow streets filled with vendors, food stalls and interesting shops. Shanghai isn't a destination for "sights" as such, but walk just one street a day and you are guaranteed to see a hundred things you have never seen before.

By Bike

Shanghai Pickup

Shanghai Pickup

© All Rights Reserved bobrk607

At first it may seem that riding a bike in Shanghai is equivalent to suicide, but it is actually another great way to see the city. Cars, pedestrians and bikes all move slower in Shanghai, cars usually give a wide berth to cyclists and there are often bike lanes, so it is quite a safe way to get around. Some hostels will offer bike hire. You can also buy a new bike for just 300 RMB from most supermarkets, so it may even be worthwhile to buy one and then donate it to one of the many bike thieves in the city at the end of your trip. Few people wear helmets (even on motor scooters). Keep your eyes wide open, obey the road rules, and ride slowly and you'll have a great time.

Bohdi Bikes offers excellent mountain biking trips in the greater Shanghai area at a very good prices. They also rent and sell bikes for personal use. Bodhi Bikes is located at Suite 2308, Building 2, 2918 North Zhong Shan Road, Shanghai 200063 (上海市中山北路2918号2号楼2308室), Phone: 021- 5266 - 9013, Mobile: 139 - 1875 - 3119.

Trek stores also offer bike hire at both daily and weekly rental ras. Stores are located in Jinqiao, Pudong and also in Puxi.

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Eat

Local food is usually quite cheap, and readily available. Street food is usually pretty safe, as it is usually cooked at a high temperature, and right in front of you. Look for places or stalls with a queue and it usually guarantees quality.

Almost every cuisine is available in Shanghai - especially in the expat-dense areas, such as Jinqiao in Pudong or the French Concession in Puxi.

Some favourites include:

  • Din Tai Fung - number of locations, dumpling chain, speciality Xiaolongbao
  • Di Shui Dong - Maoming Road, French Concession - Hunan cuisine, quite spicy, but cheap, cheerful and delicious!!
  • Lost Heaven on the Bund - Yanan Road, near the corner of Zhongshan Road - Yunnan cuisine. Exquisite food and delightful combinations. Pricy.
  • Element Fresh- number of locations, Western Salads, Sandwiches and Pastas, small choice of Asian sets. Midrange price
  • Wagas and Baker&Spice - number of locations, Western cuisine, Salads, Sandwiches and Pastas - finally we get great bread in Shanghai!

Fantastic service in Shanghai called Sherpas, which home (or hotel) delivers from an extensive list of restaurants, priced the same as going to the restaurant plus a 15 RMB delivery charge. Brochures are found in most restaurants.

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Drink

In Shanghai any booze hound can find fun. From swanky clubs and discos to drinking beer on the street while eating meat on the stick, there is something for everyone in Shanghai. Although places come and go very quickly (or change English names) in Shanghai there are some classics that never seem to go away. For more information and up to date information on bars check out Smart Shanghai.

Bar Streets

  • Tongren Lu is one of the main bar streets and is just south of the Nanjing Xi lu and Tongren lu intersection. Be careful because many of these bars are fronts for prostitution or talk-talk bars.
  • Maoming Lu is a truncated version of Tongren lu and is located in the French Concession. This bar street is full of dance clubs and talk-talk bars.

Bars

  • The Hut bar is located at 385 Yongjia Lu and is a nice chill bar that is good for grabbing an early night drink or late night cap after clubbing. A big glass of Carlsberg only costs 20 RMB and there are several week day specials.
  • Jwow Wine Bar is a swanky wine bar located in Xuhui district. This wine bar has an excellent selection of wines and a nice outdoor area in the back. There is a good happy hour between 5pm and 7pm. The address for Jwow bar is 515 Jianguo West Rd (建国西515号).
  • Windows Scoreboard is a member of the windows family of bars, meaning watered down drinks and loud music, but with a sports bar twist. This is a good place to go if you just want to get loud and rowdy during a sports match, but not to be able to hear the people next to you. The bar is located on the second floor of 681 Huaihai Zhong Lu 3/F(淮海中路681号).
  • Windows Tembo is a member of the windows family and is a cross between a chill bar and dance club. By far the best of the windows bar, attracting the least annoying people. This place can get pretty loud, but if you get tables near the front or upstairs you're ok. Windows Tembo attracts a slightly older crowd then compared to Windows Too. As with all windows locations drinks are all around 10-20 RMB. Windows Tembo is located at 66 Shanxi North Rd (陕西北路66号).
  • Atanu Bar - No1 Zhongshan Dong Rd, for excellent evening views of the Bund and river.

Dance Club

  • Windows Too is the dance club of the windows family. If you are looking for the constant university party this is the bar to go to. Most of its clients are around young 20 somethings studying abroad looking for cheap drinks and load pop music. 104, Jing'an si (静安寺104号).
  • Zapatas is Mexican restaurant by day and crazy dance bar by night. This place has a reputation for being a place were people meet for a one night stand. The drinks start at about 30 RMB for a big beer and 40 RMB for a mix drink, which means a late 20 something/early 30 something crowd. Zapatas is located in the French Concession at 5 Hengshan Rd, (衡山路5号).

Night Club

  • Attica is an expensive night club on the Bund with techno and R&B rooms. The main feature of this bar is the excellent outdoor lounge between the two main dance areas with a great view of the Pudong District across the river. The major downside is that drinks here cost more then they do in bars in the west, with most mix drinks over a 100 RMB and small bottles of beer costing 75 RMB on top of the 100 RMB cover charge. The majority of clients are foreign expats that like to live the big life style. Attica is located on the Bund at 11F, 15 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu (中山东二路15号,靠近金陵东路).

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Sleep

ShangHai

ShangHai

© All Rights Reserved Tangying

Budget

  • Captain International Youth Hostel is located in an art deco building on the Bund with a great roof top bar looking at the Pudong, No. 37 Fuzhou Road. (福州路37).
  • Etour Youth Hostel is located at No 55 Jiangyin rd, email: mingtown@vip.163.com (江阴路55).
  • Hiker Youth Hostel is located at No 450 Middle Jiangxi Rd, email: mingtown@vip.163.com (江西中路450).
  • Le Tour Shanghai Youth Hostel is located at 136 Bailin Road, Putuo District, (普陀白兰路1447).
  • Shanghai Koala International Youth Hostel is located at 1447 Xikang Rd, Putuo District, email yhashanghai@126.com, (普陀西康路1447).
  • Backpacker Homestay is located at Jiangning Rd and Haifang Rd, Jing'an District, just 3 minutes walk to Jade Buddha Temple.

These accommodations and others including travellers ratings are:

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Asset Hotel590, Wanping South RoadHotel-
Beehome International Youth Hostel490 Dongchang RoadHostel75
Blue Mountain Youth Hostel2F Building No1 1072 Nong QuXi LuHostel82
Captain International Youth HostelNo. 37 Fuzhou RoadHostel79
City Hotel ShanghaiNo.5-7 Shanxi Rd. (S)Hotel-
Koala International Youth HostelNo. 1447, Xikang Road, Shanghai, ChinaHostel-
Le Tour Shanghai Youth Hostel136 Bailan Road, Putuo District, Shanghai, ChinaHostel80
Le Tour Traveler's Rest Youth HostelBldg. 36, 319 Jiaozhou Road JingAn DistrictHostel80
MINGTOWN Etour International Youth HostelNo.55, Jiangyin Road, Huangpu DistrictHostel82
MINGTOWN Hiker International Youth HostelNo. 450 Middle Jiangxi Rd. Shanghai. P.R.ChinaHostel79
Naza International Youth HostelNo. 318 Baoding RdHostel76
Shanghai City Central International HostelNo.300 Wuning Road Putuo DistrictHostel81
Shanghai Hai Gang HotelNo.89 Tai Xing Road Jing'an DistrictHotel-
Shanghai Hidden Garden Youth HostelNo. 840A, Lane 834, Pudong Avenue Lujiazui DistrictHostel67
Shanghai Koala Garden House240 DuoLun Road Hongkou DistrictHostel68
Shanghai Y35 HostelNo.35 Yong Shou Road Huangpu DistrictHostel72
Shijia Inn (By the Bund)No. 480 middle Sichuan RoadHotel73
Sleeping Dragon International Hostel394 Zhoushan Rd. Hongkou DistrictHostel-
The Phoenix17 Yunnan (South) roadHostel81
Chenlong Business HotelNo.582 Niuzhuang Road Huangpu DistrictHotel-
Captain International Youth Hostel-YanAn RdNO.7A East YanAn Rd under the BundHostel-
Biktime HostelNo. 150 Xianggang RoadHostel-
Old West Gate International Youth HostelNO.115 Penglai Road Huangpu DistrictHostel77
Blue Palace HotelNo.125 Bo Le South Road Jia DingHotel-
Blue Mountain HongQiao Youth Hostel#108, HaMi RoadHostel75
Soho People's Square Youth HostelNO. 1307 South Suzhou Rd Huangpu DistrictHOSTEL76
Bi Hao Apartment HotelNO. 32, Building No.5, Xinhui Rd Jing An DistrictAPARTMENT-
Shanghai Bund Serviced ApartmentWuchang Rd 258 HuangpuApartment75
Blue Mountain Bund Youth Hostel6F, 350 South Shanxi RoadHostel86
Zhongshan Park Serviced ApartmentRoom 1310, Floor 13, 99 Huichuan Road Changning District, ShanghaiAPARTMENT75
Magnificent International HotelNo 381 South Xizang Road Huangpu DistrictHOTEL-
Anqi HotelNo.871,Laohumin Road Xuhui DistrictHotel-
Rock&Wood International Youth HostelNo.615 Lane, ZhaoHua Road Changning DistrictHOSTEL85
Super 8 HostelNO.2692 Long Ming Road near Tian Lin RoadHostel-
Modena PutuoNo.1,Lane 58 TongChuan RoadHOSTEL-
City Home ApartmentRm709, No.5 Building, Saintland Servic Apartment, JiangNing road, Jing An DistrictHOTEL75
HengSheng Peninsula International Serviced Apartme258 Wuchang RoadApartment-
White Mansion Hotel1755 North Sichuan Road Hongkou District, ZhabeiHotel-
YesinSpace ShanghaiNo. 243 Middle Wulumuqi Road Xuihui DistrictHOSTEL-
Hi Inn East Jiangwan RoadNo.199-221 East Jiangwan Road Hongkou DistrictHostel-
Best Western Shanghai Ruite HotelNo 1888 Yishan RoadHOTEL-
New Harbour Service ApartmentsNo. 88 Yong Shou RoadApartment-
Hi Inn Tang QiaoNo,2162 South PuDong Road Pudong DistrictHOSTEL-
Mingtown Nanjing Road Youth HostelNo. 258 Tianjin Road Huangpu DistrictHOSTEL81
Quintet B&B808 ChangLe RoadGUESTHOUSE-
Celadon Theme GuesthouseNo.153 Zhaozhou Road Huangpu DistrictGUESTHOUSE-
Ya Zhu HotelNo. 288 Huanghe Road Huangpu DistrictHOTEL-
Hanting Seasons Hotel XintiandiNo. 283 Chongqing South Road Luwan DistrictHOTEL-
FX Hotel Shanghai at Nanjing East RoadNo. 257 Fuzhou Road Huangpu DistrictHOTEL-
FX Hotel Xujiahui (Shanghai Stadium Branch)No.2701 Xietu Road The Cross of Tianyaoqiao RoadHOTEL-
FX Hotel Shanghai at Expo Exhibition HallNo. 3500 Pudong South Road Pudong DistrictHOTEL-
FX Inn Shanghai North BundNo.888,Tongbei Road Huangpu DistrictHOTEL-
Shanghai Soho Bund Youth HostelNo.239, Da Ming Road, Hongkou District, ShanghaiHOSTEL-
Shanghai Dock Bund HostelNo.55 Xianggang RoadHOSTEL-
Shanghai Fish Inn BundNo.639 Middle Henan Road Huangpu DistrictHOSTEL-
Mike 168 Service ApartmentRm 627, Bld 5, No.1145 Jiangning Road Putuo DistrictAPARTMENT-
Kingtown Hotel HongqiaoNo.1111 Tianshan Road Channing DistrictHotel-
Kingtown Riverside Hotel PlazaNo. 126 Xinzha Road Huangpu DistrictHotel-
Kingtown Hotel HongmeiNo. 2975 Hongmei RoadHotel-
Jitai Inn People Square BranchNo.242 Ju Lu Road Near Rui Jin No.1 RoadHOTEL-
Jitai Hotel242号 Julu Rd Lu Wan QuHotel-

Mid-Range

  • Old House Inn - No16, Lane 351, Hwa Shan Rd, French Concession, Ph: 62486118.

Upscale

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Learn

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Keep Connected

Internet

Wangba (联网) means internet bar in Chinese. Almost every town will have an internet bar or gaming center. The best way to spot an internet bar is to look for the 网(ba) character, which means net, and large digitized images of computer game characters. Often, there will be a sign saying Green Power in English at the entrance. Most gaming centers cost about RMB3 an hour. You prepay at the main desk and are then given a plastic card or a piece of paper. Once you are done you return the card or piece of paper and get reimbursed for the money you didn't spend. Be prepared for a place that might be dingy, basic and messy. Internet bars in China tend to get crowded starting in the late afternoon to the late evenings.

Some hotels provide access from the rooms that may or may not be free; others may provide a wireless service or a few desktops in the lounge area.
Also, quite a few cafes provide free wireless Internet service. Some cafes, even provide a machine for customer use.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to China is 86. To make an international call from China, the code is 00.

When making international phone calls it is best to buy an IP card. They typically have a value of ¥100 but sometimes can be had for as little as ¥25. The cards have printed Chinese instructions, but after dialing the number listed on the card English-spoken instructions are available. As a general indication of price, a call from China to Europe lasts around 22 minutes with a ¥100 card. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are advertised to be another 20% cheaper. There is no warning before the card runs out of minutes.

If you already have a GSM 900/1800 cellphone, you can roam onto Chinese networks, but calls will be very expensive (¥12-35/minute is typical). If you're staying for more than a few days, it will usually be cheaper to buy a prepaid Chinese SIM card; this gives you a Chinese phone number with a certain amount of money preloaded. Chinese tend to avoid phone numbers with the bad-luck digit '4', and vendors will often be happy to offload these "unsellable" SIM-cards to foreigners at a discount. If you need a phone as well, prices start around ¥100/200 used/new. Chinese phones, unlike those sold in many Western countries, are never "locked" and will work with any SIM card you put in them. China's two big operators are China Mobile and China Unicom. Most SIMs sold by the two work nationwide, with Unicom allowing Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan usage as well. There is usually a surcharge of about ¥1/min when roaming outside the province you bought the SIM, and there are some cards that work only in a single province, so check when buying.

Post

China Post (中国邮政) is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the State Postal Bureau of the People's Republic of China (website in Chinese only), and has more details about price to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. The Chinese postal service is very good. Remember that in more remote places usually only one post office in a city can handle sending international boxes or letters. Also many times it might be worth having the name of the country you are trying to send to in Chinese characters, because small town people might not know what Estonia is in English. Post offices have a striking green logo and can easily be found everywhere in the cities. They are mostly open every day (including weekends!) from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though small offices might have shorter opening times, while the bigger ones in central and touristic areas are sometimes open during evenings as well.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 31.247709
  • Longitude: 121.472618

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Shanghai Travel Helpers

This is version 108. Last edited at 7:23 on Aug 21, 13 by Utrecht. 94 articles link to this page.

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