January 4, 2013 § 1 Comment
There are plenty of websites and magazines that can help you find your way round the city, the purpose of my blog is to simply share my own experience on the city and to document my adventures. If you need more information on things which I have not mentioned that don’t hesitate to contact me and I will try to help you, alternatively you could try these:
This is the company who arranged my one-month internship for me, they sort everything out for you even down to the Chinese sim card that they give you on arrival. They arrange the internship in the industry that you want, you will have a phone interview before they place you in order to ensure that you will be matched with a company that suits you. They will also arrange the accommodation as well as organise some activities including a charity day for all the interns, it is a great scheme to get on if you want to experience Shanghai but also want to gain some valuable work experience to boost your CV and career aspects. They also have placements in Beijing as well as their Mandarin learning programme, take a look here: http://www.crccasia.com
This is one of my personal favourites in Shanghai for visitors and also for expats who are actually living long term in Shanghai too. Their magazine is fortnightly and you can pick up a copy in most restaurants and bars. The website which is updated so frequently you can only assume that it is run by lots of little gnomes who don’t sleep. From food reviews to latest events, it has everything you need to live, work and play in Shanghai.They have websites for Shanghai and Beijing, check it out here at http://www.cityweekend.com.cn
If you can get apps on your phone, this app is worth every penny. You can search for restaurants, bars, hotels, art galleries, schools, hospitals etc. and the app is easy to navigate around too but the best part? It has a function which allows you to click on any place you want to visit in Shanghai and it will provide you with the address in Chinese for you to simply show the taxi driver.
January 4, 2013 § Leave a comment
This post will be regularly updated to accommodate for new questions I receive from people who are visiting Shanghai or are looking to move here. If you have a question leave me a comment below.
When is a good time to visit Shanghai?
I first arrived in Shanghai at the end of June and the other interns who I met there told me that they hadn’t seen a clear day since they had arrived. The weather at the start of the Summer is extremely muggy and it is hard to even see the top of the skyscrapers clearly. Most people would agree that Spring or Autumn are the best times to visit as the Summers are extremely hot reaching over 30-35degrees but I personally love the heat and I didn’t find this a problem at all. It doesn’t actually get cold in Shanghai until November and even then it is quite crisp and fresh, the Winter period is extremely short (well compared to London anyway!) I would definitely advise against visiting Shanghai between December and February though if you only plan on visiting once or twice as a traveller. One of the perks of the Shanghai Skyline is that the city is filled with rooftop terraces so don’t miss out on sensational views and great outdoor atmosphere by visiting in the peak of Winter!
What should I bring with me?
Personally I am a bit of a pack my passport and a few pairs of knickers and hope for the best kinda gal, the thought of forgetting anything doesn’t really stress me out because I believe that if you have a bit of money in your pocket, your passport in your other pocket and a few pairs of clean underwear then hey what’s the worst that can happen? But naturally, I understand that most normal
and anal people like to plan for a trip halfway across the world so I’ll just mention the things that I wish I had with me at the start. Paracetamol, dry shampoo, spray deodorant, magazines from home, good quality make up wipes, a cardigan or spare hoodie because the air conditioning is FREEEEEZZZINGGG over here! Oh and bring lot’s of adaptors for your electrical appliances!
January 4, 2013 § 2 Comments
I had many preconceptions about Shanghai before I got there and I’m sure you will too, the purpose of this post is to
attempt to comfort those who are overly nervous about visiting Shanghai and to prepare you for your adventure so that you can sit back, relax and get ready for the absolute chaos, epic adventure, fun. Right, let’s bust some myths (if I’ve missed anything out get over it then feel free to leave a comment).
- “Chinese food from China is disgusting, there’s no sweet and sour pork or egg fried rice.”
True that there is no sweet and sour pork or egg fried rice or any other regulars you order from Mr Wok or whatever local Chinese takeaway you order from. However, disgusting it is not. You will find that there are certain things that you actually really like that you wouldn’t have expected. It is probably true that you won’t like the local delicacies (I personally can’t bring myself anywhere near any trotters or claws or faces so in that way I am a bit biased, so try all you want
if you have the balls), but the Shanghai Xiaolongbao dumplings and something called the Four Seasons Beans are a foolproof way to survive local Chinese food at any restaurant.
- “China is cheap, everything is made there!”
It may be true that everything is Made in China, but not everything is cheap. You will get a lot of great knock-offs which are great souvenirs for friends and family, but the living standard in Shanghai is very high. Be prepared to spend as much money as you would in major cities like London and New York if you want to eat non-local food (like pasta, pizza or sushi etc.). There are also many things that would be cheap at home but are very expensive so come prepared, Weetabix for example is £12 a box and a jar of Branston pickles is £8. So if you know you are super fussy and have certain home comforts which you can’t live without
then you are sadthen come armed with a suitcase full of teabags and Organic wholewheat brown bread (because they don’t have that for less than £10 either).
- “If I forget something it’s fine, I can buy it when I get there.”
You are likely to find something you have forgotten but it will be a local brand like ‘Mr Wu’s Deo for your B.O’ and if you do manage to find it in the brand you want it will be extortionate. But there are two things which you absolutely will not find, and if you do manage to find it I will happily eat my many many words; bronzer and spray anti-persperant deoderant. They do have deodorant but it is either a roll-on which feels like warm custard that never ever dries or they have the liquid spray which makes you smell
like a grandmother’s used thong.
- “Local Chinese people don’t speak English”
Erm…correct. Absolutely 100% true. I had the biggest shock of my life, it wasn’t Chinatown in London, it was anything but that.
The only time I heard a local Chinese person speaking English was the taxi driver that took me home at 4am once and he listed every single swear word you can use to describe the female genitals.Not only do they not speak English, they expect you to speak Chinese, no matter what you look like. They will keep talking at you and keep repeating the same sounds over and over again before calling you a stupid lao-wai which you will very quickly learn means foreigner. The good thing is, there are many guide books and the city is full of expats running restaurants, bars and clubs. So you will find a way, and I promise you that miscommunication will make for some epic disastersstories.