Monday, 28 June 2010

Tips for living well in Shanghai

I've written up the highlights of another forum thread, this time related to tips for living well in Shanghai. As before, the thread covers a period of around five years, so some may be less relevant than they were when posted (assuming they were relevant then).

Forums: Shanghai Expat.
Sub-forum: Lifestyle Recommendations.
Topic: Tips for living well in Shanghai.

Priority Requirements

- Getting a temporary residence slip from the nearest PSB within 48 hours. [1]


- The maglev to the airport is cheaper if you can produce a ticket for travel on that day. [1]


- Approaches to bartering. [1]
- Determining the fair price for something before leaving home. [1]


- Goods are not weighed at the counter, but rather by assistants at scales. [1]
- Places you can buy foreigner food. [1]


- People performing a service in your home should be informed not to smoke. [1]
- If getting internet installed, speed check it before the technician leaves, making sure he fixes it. [1]


- You can get your visa/passport delivered to your home for a small fee. [1]
- Buying pre-paid SIMs from tobacco stands. [1]
- The last week of the month (after payday) is not the best time to go to the bank. [1]
- Carry cash and small notes as not everyone can give change. [1]
- The best public restrooms are McDonalds and KFC and you do not need to be a customer. [1]
- Have a english / mandarin speaker on speed dial, so you can call them to translate in an emergency. [1]
- Pay bills at selected convenience stores. [1]
- Get some decent maps. [1]
- Get familiar with different forms of transport so you have more options. [1]


- Declining the tissues you do not want, but have to pay for. [1]

Avoiding being ripped off

- Always ask for a receipt after you finish a taxi ride. [1] [2]
- Beware the maroon taxis. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
- Spotting counterfeit money.  Where to buy ultraviolet pens that help. [1] [2] [3]
- Spotting a fake fa piao. [1] [2]


- Cycling and unsafe taxi drivers. [1]

Being prepared

- Carry toilet paper as toilets may lack it. [1] [2] [3]
- Carry antibacterial cleaning gels as toilets may lack soap. [1] [2]


- Pushing and shoving in crowded spaces is normal. [1] [2] [3]
- Bowls of liquid might not be for drinking, but for washing hands. [1]
- Smiling and staying calm in all circumstances to help save face and resolve a situation. [1] [2]
- Always arrive on time, better to be early than late. [1]
- Friendly general phrases which help. [1] [2]
- Don't criticise how China works. [1]

Getting help

- A phone number that converts between english and chinese. [1]

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