Although the Chinese have become more fashion conscious in the past few years, informal attire is still appropriate for most occasions. The streets are dirty, so you may prefer to bring older clothes and shoes. Sturdy, comfortable walking shoes are a must. Summers are very hot and winters very cold in most of China, so pack accordingly. Avoid bringing clothes that need dry cleaning. You will find it much easier to get around if you travel light, with no more than two or three changes of clothes. Most hotels have reliable overnight laundry and pressing services.
Eyeglasses, film, pantyhose, sundries, and over-the-counter medicines are hard to find in China. Be sure to pack the following essentials: alarm clock, contraceptives, dental floss, deodorant, mosquito repellant, shampoo, shaving cream and razors, sunglasses, sunscreen, tampons, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
If you're planning a longer trip, or will be using local tour guides, bring a few inexpensive items from America as gifts. American cigarettes are popular in China, but if you don't wish to promote smoking, bring candy, T-shirts, or small cosmetic items, such as lipstick and nail polish. Do not give American magazines and books as gifts, as this could be considered propaganda and get your Chinese friends into trouble.
Other useful items to have in China are a flashlight with extra batteries, English-language books and magazines, and a money belt. Bring a pen knife to peel fruit and, if you're going to smaller cities and rural areas, water purification tablets.
To use your U.S.-purchased electric-powered equipment, bring a converter and adapter. The electrical current in China is 220 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC); wall outlets take American-style plugs, with two flat parallel prongs; however they may not take the converter's one oversized prong, used for grounding, now in general use in the United States.
If your appliances are dual-voltage, you'll need only an adapter. Don't use 110-volt outlets, marked 'For Shavers Only,' for high-wattage appliances such as blow-dryers. Most laptops operate equally well on 110 and 220 volts and so require only an adapter.
Taking taxi in Shanghai
I found that taxi is very convenient and fairly reasonable priced in Shanghai. Taxi by norm uses the meter. You can get a receipt for claim. This is prevent you from being overcharged.
Only thing is that at the exits of MRT stations, some times you have to "fight" for taxis. I got in one door and another a couple tried to enter another door.
Also it helps if you know the road junction of where you are going, eg this road with that road or the nearest landmark. If you do not speak Mandarin, have the destination written and a mobile phone to a native speaker if you get lost.
Good thing is that in many streets in Shanghai, taxis and cars are not allowed to honk at other cars or pedestrians.
Soong Ching Ling Memorial Residence
The first thing we did in Shanghai after having lunch was visit the Soong Ching Ling Memorial Residence which Soong Ching Ling lived in from 1948 - 1963. It is an important monument under State Protection and was opened to the public in 1988.
Soong Ching Ling was the honarary chairwoman of the People's Republic of China and the second wife of Sun-Yat-Sen, the founder of the Chinese Republic.
Upon entering the house, we had to put on plastic bags over our shoes to protect the carpets which apparently were a gift to Soong Ching Ling from Mao Zedong.
In the sitting room there are two pictures hanging above the mantel. One of Sun Yat-Sen and one of Chairman Mao Zedong visiting Soong Ching Ling in this very house in 1961. This is the room where Soong Ching Ling received many visits from many other top leaders of the State and distinguished foreigners.
In the dining room there is a painting of Soong Ching Ling's mother. The second floor is not open to the public.
Outside in the garage, her two limousines are kept in good condition.
Soong Ling Ching passed away on May 29, 1981 and her ashes are buried beside her parents at Shanghai International Cemetary.
With a site area of 30,000 square meters and a gross floor area of 60,000 square meters, Xintiandi features a multitude of specialist retail, entertainment, cultural, recreational, commercial and residential facilities.
The Jade Buddha Temple
"Jade Buddha Temple"
What a neat place. Great art, great architecture, and of course the Jade Buddhas.
It was about 3 p.m., on a monday afternoon, when I arrived at the Jade Buddha Temple. That left me almost 2 hours to see the whole place. The sign on the wall proclaims the temple to be a heritage site and it should be. .
After, paying a nominal fee (20 RMB-3.00 USD) to enter, I walked into the square where people were burning incense as offerings to the gods. I looked around to find a place to get some incense and was greeted by someone that looked as if he worked at the temple. He led me to some gift shops to look at Jade to buy. Apparently, there were several shops inside that did this and I assumed he got some kind of bonus from this shop if I were to buy something. The art was beautiful-all the things that were made from Jade and other things. Nonetheless, I was looking for incense to take home; and pushed on.
I went into the building hall where people were offering the incense in front. Here I found amazing golden statues of all kinds. They were so tall and ornate. It was truly incredible. I moved on through a garden area and some more shops(really interesting Jade artwork). Then, I found another hall upstairs where they keep the other Jade Buddha. The cost was another 10 RMB(1.50 USD). And, of course it was amazing, too.
I continued around and noticed some prayer rooms. There were monks reciting prayers and I couldn't help from stopping to listen. Rhythmic prayers. Somewhat enlightening.
Well, anyway, I found some Jade I liked and also, some incense. this rounded out my tour of Jade Buddha Temple. For the price-truly interesting.
"Back To The Hotel"
Anyway, I had laundry to do so, I left here in search of a laundry place. I thought that it would be like in Hong Kong or other places where you can walk down a street or two and find one. But, not here in Shanghai. I walked a few blocks to the subway and had to give up on it. Anyway, the subway ride didn't take long and I was back at the hotel. At any rate, I went to the club room and again I had some truly wonderful food for dinner. Trully, relaxing. I went back to the room and surfed the web for awhile and got ready for the fourth day.