maslow's hierachy of needs states that man first need food and shelter ....
he forgot to mention that having satisfied need for food leads to need for another type of shelter ....
in shanghai, supply of food far outstrips supply of public toilets!
Unique Suggestions: it is impossible to self-actualise when the queue for the only public toilet along the bund is very long!....
please relief yourself before going out .....
Fun Alternatives: alternative?
feign a loose bowel .............................
twist n turn
to get to the top of the queue!!!
Shops often quote ridiculously high prices to tourists (often as much as up to 4-5times more). It's better to watch the locals do their purchases first so that you have a feel of what's a more reasonable price.
Unique Suggestions: Always bargain and bargain! A good gauge, I was told, is to start at 20-50% of the asking price. And another good tip that I had picked up from a helpful local is the art of looking ambivalent or disinterested! According to this helpful local, he said buying things in Shanghai is really a psychological game. If the stall owners can detect your eagerness to buy, the prices that they quote tend to be much higher. However, if you show ambivalence..tendency for the shopowners to offer better prices to entice you. Try walking away when the shopowners refused to bargain...more often than not, they will relent and offer much reduced prices.
Fun Alternatives: If you aren't comfortable haggling over prices, stick to the departmental stores as those are often fixed pricing.
I paid 45RMB for a so-called 'special' package which included a cable car ride in the Sightseeing Tunnel, a visit to 'Marine Wonderland' and to experience a 'Virtual world of Sounds'. The 'Marine Wonderland' was all but a few aquariums with some very limited species of marine creatures. The 'Virtual world of Sounds' was even more pathetic...basically, you go into a room where you sit down, put on earphones and the lights will be switched off so that you experience complete darkness. Then you listen to some pre-recorded sound effects (people walking, tea being poured etc) which are supposed to stir up your imaginations so that you feel that these things are actually happening just around you. But it's a miserable attempt...and i felt so cheated (as well as other locals who were with me)! The cable car was just as bad...it just traveled through this tunnel which had been decorated with pretty cheesy lightings which were supposed to simulate effects such as traveling through space, volcanic eruptions..but failed miserably!
Unique Suggestions: Avoid at all costs!!!
Fun Alternatives: I took the Sightseeing Tunnel just to get across the Huangpu river. If you are like me just wanting to cross the river, you should just take the Yan An Road Tunnel which is free of charge too!
Do not walk in any puddles on the street. Children in China do not wear nappies. Instead they have a slit in their pants through which they can do their business. When nature calls, anywhere is a potential toilet.
As a westerner, expect prices for goods to be quoted as up to 10 times the 'real' price. Bear this in mind when haggling for goods. This also applies to meals, so view the price on a menu before you order anything. Otherwise you could be stung with a hefty bill.
This is a hugely popular market with the tourists.
Granted, it's a sprawling place with plenty of stalls, but the merchandise start to look the same after a while.
It can also be quite difficult to navigate, as the market is built like a maze, with streets crossing each other. If you find something unique you like, suggest you try to get it at the shop where you first spotted it, because you may not be able to get back to the same shop after you move on.
Also, beware that most of the "branded" items here are imitation goods, even those sold in the little alley "warehouses" that the touts lure you to.
Unique Suggestions: Bargain like there's no tomorrow. Stalls here charge tourist rates that can be brought down 20-40%, depending on your negotiation skills.
If you like Chinoiserie homeware, you can pick up some pretty tissue-box covers, chopsticks etc, at lower prices than you would normally get back at home.
Lastly, bathrooms are not readily available, so try not to develop an urge while you're there. If you must go, there is a little bistro on the border of the market, and you can always grab a drink and rest your legs after exploring this sprawling place.
This is a very popular haunt with the expats and tourists, and are full of trendy restaurants and nightspots.
If you're longing for something familiar away from home, and want somewhere cool to hang out, this is the place to go to.
But I reckon if you're in Rome, then do as the Romans do. There are plenty more places that offer great food, albeit without the ambience. Recommend that you explore the real Shanghai and not just confine yourself to this area.
Never pay full price for anything when shopping. Start off offering half what they are asking and negotiate from there. Don't worry about speaking the language, all vendors have a calculator that they kindly pull out and punch away on. Happy shopping.
To me, Pudong is like an empty, ghostly town. The govt. is building Pudong as a whole new biz area. All you see is tall big buildings and empty streets. It gave me a spooky feeling walking around on my own. The further you walk, fewer and fewer people you will see on the street.
There is no attraction besides the Oriental Pearl TV Tower.
Its not a place to hang around unless you want to wander in that big mall. Just see whatever you come here to see and leave, I guess.
Fun Alternatives: Check out what you cross the river for. Take a few pictures. And leave.
The Shanghai "Bar Girls" can be found at certain bars that are frequented by expatriates.
The premise is this: THEY WANT YOUR MONEY. They will sit down next to you, ask you if you will buy them a drink, and will offer to get you a drink at the same time. When they return, they won't have a drink and you won't have change.
They are there to MAKE MONEY for the bar and for themselves. After one drink, Mao politely excused himself and went to a bar without "Bar Girls".
What a joke.
Unique Suggestions: If you want to look at the merchandise without buying a drink, simply politely decline to buy any of the "Bar Girls" drinks. After several "no's" word within the "Bar Girl's on duty" will travel fast and they will leave you alone.
Fun Alternatives: There are sooooooooooooo many great bars and dance clubs in Shanghai where you can meet real, normal women, why in the hell would anyone want to go to one of these places? I just don't get it.
Just cut 50% off the price during bargain when you are shopping at Xiang Yang market. It is located the exit of Shan Xi Nan Lu's MRT station, outside of Parkson's Shopping mall. And beware of pick pocket too!
Unique Suggestions: Carry your bag on your chest will do.
When walking in a touristic area it may happen that you are confronted with a group of young people telling you that tey were art students from Peking or elsewhere and lacking money for going backth their hometown. They will offer you to show you some of their art works if you go with them to an exposition room just arround the corner. They will ask you to buy some pictures form great chinese artists. These are quite cheap faked drawings. In fact this is nothing dangerous but it's annoying.
Although I think (or hope) most Shanghai taxi drivers are relatively honest. Be wary, some tend to take the scenic route with foreigners, that is anyone that doesn't speak Shanghaiese. Although, this happens even to the locals.
To quote GI Joe, 'knowing is half the battle' so know or ask what the local rate should be, especially from the airports.
Taxi from Pudong Int'l to the city center is about 150 RMB. Taxi to Hongqiao Airport about 40 RMB. And never go with the touts offering their services at the airports...they'll quote you 2-4x the going rate. Instead wait at the taxi quene.
Unique Suggestions: If you do get trapped, insist on an electronic ticketed receipt from the meter (not a hand written receipt). That way you can trace the taxi, fare paid, time, etc.
If the taxi driver refuses, you have the right to NOT PAY the fare.
Fun Alternatives: Shuttle bus to Pudong Int`l ?E30 RMB from most city center hotels. If not sure, go to a large reputable hotel and ask about shuttle bus services.
To me it seemed like things were much more expensive in this area as it was very popular for locals to visit. It may not be a true tourist trap but a cup of tea will be more expensive than the average shop.
Walking around the old part of the city, me and Max, my aussie friend, got to know an old man. He spoke english very well, because he was an english teacher when not retired. So he took us to know the temple, the tea house, etc... And then i needed to pee, and he invited us to go and try a chinese tea. OK let's go.
He took us to a pearl shop, we got our teas on a table while this two cute girls tried to sell us the pearls. I don't know if these were real pearls or not, but i was there to take tea. Well, we managed not to buy nothing, but we had to pay 15 yuan for the lowsy tea!