What to Pack
Light clothes like lined Jacket and woollen sweater are suitable for the weather in Spring (from March through to the end of May) and Autumn (from September to November). Extra-light clothing is for summer (from June to August). Heavy woollen overcoats are necessary to keeping out the cold outdoors in winter (from December to February). Since there is much rain during the periods between Spring and Summer and between Summer and Autumn, it is advisable to get rain gear ready.
Greeting Someone in Shanghai
It is a good idea to take a large quantity of business cards with you, and if possible it would be wise to have the inscription translated into Chinese and printed on the reverse side of the card. When you are introduced to a local take out your card, bow slightly and present it with both hands. They will probably reciprocate in a similar manner most likely holding their card English version uppermost. It is at this point considered good manners to pass a polite comment on the appearance of the other's card, whilst tucking it carefully within the confines of your wallet. Don't get flustered if when meeting a group of people they start clapping when you arrive. This is simply a form of greeting and you may respond by clapping also.
Tipping used to be very rare in China but now no doubt through western influence the idea is catching on. In restaurants a 3% tip is standard, bellboys and room service staff expect roughly $1 or $2. You can tip in U.S. dollars as hard currency is always appreciated.
When to Go
The best times to visit Shanghai are spring and autumn. In winter, temperatures can drop well below freezing, with a blanket of drizzle. Summers are hot and humid with temperatures as high as 40degree (104F). In short, you'll need silk long johns and down jackets for winter, an ice block for each armpit for summer and an umbrella wouldn't go astray in any seasons.
Be prepared for huge crowds at the airport, tourist sites, shopping areas, restaurants, and hotels during the Chinese New Year (usually in January or February) and the week-long holidays of International Labor Day (May 1) and National Day (Oct 1).
The Shanghai Music Festival is in May and the Shanghai International Tea Culture Festival is usually at the end of April. The Shanghai Marathon Cup is in March and is one of the top sporting events in China. The Shanghai Beer Festival staggers into town around the end of July, while the Shanghai Tourism Festival kicks off in late September. It's worth bearing these dates in mind as hotel accommodation can become scarce - during the Chinese New Year, usually in February, Shanghai is packed.
Shanghai Useful Phone Numbers
- Area Code: 021
- Fire Emergency: 119
- Police: 110
Currency exchange service is available at most hotels, all banks. Credit card is widely acceptable as means of payment in hotels, department stores and boutiques. The credit cards commonly acceptable in China are Visa, MasterCard, and American Express Card.
Main Banks in Shanghai
- Shanghai Branch of Citibank; Floor 20, China Shipping Building, No.1, Pudong Main Street, 58791200
- Shanghai Branch of Overseas Chinese Bank; Floor 23, No.710, Oriental Road, 58200200
- Yangpu Subbranch of Shanghai Branch of Huaxia Bank, No.1207, Kongjiang Road, 65709961
- The Head Quarter of Bank of Communications, No.18 Xianxia Road, 62751234
- Shanghai Pudong Developing Bank (The Headquarter), No.50 Ningbo Road, 63291188
- Shanghai Bank, No.476 Xianxia Road, 62955327
Post Offices in Shanghai
- Lujiazui Post Suboffice; No.365, Shangcheng Road
- Post Service Center in New Century Square; No.501, Zhangzhang Road
- Oriental Pearl Tower Post Office; No.2, Fenghe Road (259meters away from the Oriental Pearl Tower)
- Post Service Center in the Sight-seeing Hall of Jinmao Tower; Floor 88 of The Sight-seeing Hall of Jinmao Tower