Moving to Shanghai ?!?!?!
Miscellaneous: 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: 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
bring a guide book
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
- Study Abroad
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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.
Cigarette - SALEM's Smoker
Miscellaneous: 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.
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Tiny Swiss Army knife+cigarette lighter...
Miscellaneous: 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!
- Women's Travel
Things you should bring to Shanghai!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: 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
Your Trusted Jacket
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.
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Miscellaneous: 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!
- Food and Dining
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Things To Bring
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.
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Bring what you would have at home!
Luggage and bags: You can always purchase extra luggage at good prices.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Comfortable shoes, the rest you can purchase if you have a good hunt around....enjoy!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Well i took what i would normally have in the bathroom at home and pleased i did. Woke up one morning requiring the aid of diastop..lol..(blush, blush), but you try and purchase this from a local pharmacy whilst clenching your cheeks and the girl behind the counter only speaks Shanghainese or Mandarin, BIG BIG problems for you!!!! So be a little cautious and be prepared for anything that may arrise!...Have a good time!!
Photo Equipment: Take extra memory cards, although you can purchase them cheaper than at home if you speak Mandarin? We brought a 8GB for 188rmb, a lot cheaper than home and it is the latest HC version!
Miscellaneous: I had a hepatitis and typhoid injection prior to leaving on the instruction of my GP and was happy i did, so not to worry about where and what i was eating or drinking!!! But be careful of the tap water, not all is suitable for drinking!! This is why you will find water coolers every where!
- Family Travel
Luggage and bags: Just bring a cabin case that will fit in the overhead compartment on the plane. Buy a big bag in the Xiangyang Market. Costs around RMB 150 for a big North Face sports bag with wheels.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: We were there during winter. Bring a warm jacket and clothes for a couple of days. Buy everything else in the Xiangyang Market or depertment stores on Nanjing Road
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: The usual stuff
Photo Equipment: Camera
Luggage and bags: You are limited to the number of bags and their weight so check the airlines rules and pack acordingley.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Shanghai has a climate similar to Vancouver, that's why I like it so. In the winter, it is relativly cool and a good chance of rain and fog. While we were there it actually snowed. So I recommend you have light rain gear and some warm sweaters if winter is the time you are there.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Out of all the cities in China, I found that Shanghaihad stores with more worldly suplies than anywhere we had traveled.
But I must make two recomendations:
Most of the medication you buy over the counter in China is FAKE. I was told that if you really need medication in China get it from a hospital, not a despensary. So, in other words, if you require perscription drugs bring them from home.In cities like Shanghai and Beijing, there are Watson drug stores. This is a Hong Kong chain and is pretty reliable. It's also about the only place in China you'll find deodorant and dental floss. Expect to pay western prices. Most toiletries, includign Crest, Colgate, Tampons, etc. can be bought in China, so don't weigh down your bags bringing extra.
Most restaurants do not have clean hot water to wash your hands so we brought sterile napkins, like Wet Ones, Handiwipes, PDI nice clean towelett to name a few brands. These are great to keep your hands clean during the day when you are away from your hotel, and before meals.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Definately take as many deodorants as you need with you to China in general. Once there, it's practically impossible to get them. Chinese people don't seem to have problems with sweat, so they just have some weird cologne water combination stuff, and that won't help you out too much :)
Luggage and bags: I packed 4 days of clothes into a small rolling suitcase, because I don't like to check luggage. The Shangri-La has everything that you could want- hair dryer, toothpaste, you name it.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It was high 60s when I went (May). I didn't see anyone in shorts, but I don't know if that is taboo or not.
Photo Equipment: You probably want to get a converter if you have a 110V charger.
Miscellaneous: It's really hard to get Coke over there- they love Pepsi.
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