Another VT member recently asked me about online resources for people relocating to Shanghai. Here is my short list:
www.thatsshanghai.com (local expat mag)
www.cityweekend.com.cn (local expat mag)
Luggage and bags:
Bring something with wheels and another bag that expands
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good walking shoes with a little bit of fashion in them. Don't be fooled by the chinese girls that wear heels all day. They are tiny and lightweight on their feet compared to most Americans
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring your bug repellent for the warm weather. Also a package of travel baby wipes for cleanup when no water is available. A small bottle of hand sanitizer is also a feel good relief.
Meds over the counter. Sleep aid for adjusting to change of time. Imodium and or Pepto Bismol for tummy problems. Tylenol PM for general walking and hard beds.
Miscellaneous: A small portable umbrella is good for the sunshine as well as the rain. The chinese women use them when walking and it really helps when it's muggy and you need a break from the heat.
Luggage and bags:
travel light because you can buy cheap luggages or suitcase for about US$3-10.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: in winter, bring at least a jacket that can block off the chilly wind.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: bring your medications from home. you may not be able to buy the exact medication or they maybe fake. most medication are written in chinese and you wont know if your stomach can take it.
Photo Equipment: bring a digital camera that can take good night pictures. I was using Sony P32, Pentax Optio and Sony DV camera for all my photos. Bring lots of storage capacity. We had an external drive so our cameras were clicking non stop;p
Miscellaneous: Bring a guide book. I took the frommers guide to shanghai and it was a life saver. We used it to guide us through the subway system because everything was in chinese. We used the translation section in the back to get us to our hotel and help us find restaurants. It is important to have a translation book with phrases and words in english, chinese, and pin yin the form of chinese using english alphabets. Language barrier is a huge problem. Almost 99% of the people we encountered didnt know how to speak english
Certain materials like silk or leather react in a unique way when subjected to something like flame. Anything else will react differently. With a lighter one can test the authenticity of a material and the tweezers prevents your fingers from burning.
Tiny Swiss Army knife has scissors and pair of tweezers in it. If travelling by airplane, pack it in your suitcase which you will check in as baggage. A lighter will go onboard in your handbag or in your pockets.
Cut a piece of the cloth which you are buying, hold it with tweezers and light it up with a lighter. Many times a dealer convinces the cloth being 100% pure silk and it turns out not to be... as a result of this test. Or sometimes its enough even when I pull the lighter out of my pocket and they see it. Then they will tell that it is not genuine leather/silk.
Please consult someone to teach this trick to you in practise before trying it. Normally I use this trick on markets.
Be careful and do not ruin any items in a shop or burn it down!
The brand of cigarette that I smoke is Salem Lights. Cigarette that related to Salem is also acceptable for myself. But in Shanghai, looking for a Salem is a very tough task to do. Although in Shanghai they do have lots of shops selling cigarette but Salem and other international brand are hard to find. On the 3rd day, we manage to locate a shop selling Salem, but after bought it for RMB12, the original taste is not there. I think its the old stock and taste like a cigarette that had been opened for more than a month, tasteless. As an alternative, we managed to find a cigarette that taste similar like Salem. The brand name is Sobraine.
For those smokers especially Salems brand, please do buy this cigarrete before you enter the city. I bought a carton at the Pudong International Airport before depart back to Kuala Lumpur. The price is RMB128.00 per carton.
Nice comfortable shoes and a nice jacket or sweater depending on the weather is needed.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: It's always good to bring some medicines to a foreign land especially in a place where language can be a barrier to getting what you really need. Just basic medicines for an upset stomach, fever, cough and colds.
Photo Equipment: Shanghai is a beautiful city and you will be tempted to film/take pictures of all the sites and sounds of the city. You will need to bring extra camera batteries, film and memory card.
Miscellaneous: Be sure to bring the name and location of your hotel as well as the names of the siteseeing spots in Chinese. This will help your cab driver get to where you want to go. Al
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Always carry a light jacket with you because the temperature varies a lot during the day time & night time and also when it rains. Useful when you are cruising along Shanghai Bund & on top of Oriental Pearl TV Tower.
forks n spoons, for those who can't get to grips with chopsticks.
most restaurants only have chopsticks n soup spoon, n the waiters are very insistent that one uses them n will make all efforts to show how!
Luggage and bags:
If you're a shopaholic, bring at least 1 empty suitcase with you. You won't have any problem filling it up with your purchases!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Shanghai goes through the four seasons.
Summer months can be very hot, reaching past 35 degress Celsius. So bring light clothes then.
From late Oct onwards, autumn kicks in and the temperatures drop, so you'll need a light coat.
Shanghai is a fairly well-dressed city, so be chic and you won't regret.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Toiletries are not an issue.
But medication may be tricky, because I generally see Chinese labels on the shelves in the pharmacy. Anyway, it always makes good sense to take along a small pack of travel medicine, including antibiotics and pills for upset tummies (just in case). So if you're on medication, suggest you bring supplies of your own.