|shanghaitourguide||Posted: 2011-01-07 09:05:27
Shanghai Travel Tips
HotelTravel.com’s travel tips are your guide to discover unseen adventures in Shanghai China. While taking you off the beaten track and into the exciting back streets of Shanghai, they can also help you navigate through the many layered cultural nuances that make China such an exciting holiday destination. After a few times and a couple hours on the ground in Shanghai, you’ll be buzzing around town like a local. Click the travel tip links below for further information.
Banks: 09:00 to 17:00, Monday to Saturday
Business Offices: 09:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday
Post Offices: 08:00 to 18:00, Monday to Saturday
Department Stores and Shops: 10:00 to 22:00, daily, some close later
Museums: 09:00 to 18:00, Monday to Friday, some open on weekends
Violent crime in China is particularly low, which is in part due to the severe penalties received for crimes of a serious nature. It is also largely a Buddhist country, with most people leading peaceful lives. It is extremely rare for a tourist to encounter any problems of a violent nature however petty crime can be somewhat more of a problem, with many pickpockets and bag-snatchers targeting tourist areas and public transport.
A bit of common sense will help to prevent you becoming a victim of crime. Always keep your valuables locked away in a hotel safe and try to avoid carrying more cash than is necessary. Never flash cash or expensive jewellery in public as this can be a magnet for potential thieves.
Road safety can be a concern in China as traffic laws are not as strictly followed and drivers can be erratic and dangerous. It is important to be especially vigilant when crossing the road or riding a bicycle as cars tend not to stop.
The Chinese currency is called the renminbi (RMB), and there are bills in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 yuan. Yuan are commonly referred to as kwai.
Make sure that you exchange any remaining yuan in China, because it cannot be exchanged outside of the country’s borders. Traveller’s cheques and foreign cash can be exchanged at banks and hotels throughout the city. Credit cards are accepted at various establishments such as hotels, restaurants and shops, although they may not be accepted at smaller independent businesses. ATMs are plentiful throughout Shanghai.
Before entering China, you will need to fill out a customs declaration form that will be given to you. If you are bringing in more than US$10,000 in cash, this will need to be declared. The import of live animals, fresh produce or pornographic material is strictly prohibited, as is anything which criticises the Chinese government. Chinese antiques over 150 years old cannot be exported as they are valuable to the country. Visitors may import 400 cigarettes, two litres of alcohol and a reasonable amount of perfume.
Electricity 220 V, 50Hz. Plug types can vary, but the two narrow-pin plugs are most common.
Many visitors arrive in China believing that they will have to adhere to extremely strict and complicated rules of etiquette. The truth is that while following many rules, you are not expected to get everything right all at once. Many of the customs are alien to Western traditions and therefore harder to remember. You'll soon understand that unlike in the West, certain questions are not thought of as rude such as asking someone you have only just met if they are married or how old they are.
It is wise to stay away from more in-depth conversations such as politics. The concept of ‘saving face’ is very important to Chinese people. You must avoid losing your temper in public and never criticise anyone in front of others.
You may find that you are invited out to eat. If you are, do not panic; Chinese etiquette surrounding the dining table is daunting, but you will not be expected to know everything. However, if it looks like you have made the effort to learn some, you will earn much respect.
A few simple customs include: bringing your bowl of rice close to your mouth and quickly scooping the rice into it with chopsticks. Never play with your chopsticks during a meal and always try to avoid pointing with them or standing them up in a rice bowl. If you are toasted, but do not wish to drink anything, simply bring the glass to your lips without actually drinking any.
The occurrence of a number of epidemic diseases has been considerably decreased in recent years and as such, there are now very few health risks connected with visits to Shanghai. However, there are certain issues to be aware of. Some visitors will experience mild abdominal upsets, mainly caused by eating contaminated foods or drinking contaminated water. Always avoid uncooked food and unpasteurised milk and only drink bottled water, which you will find in shops across the city.
It is wise to make sure that all standard vaccinations are up-to-date such as tetanus, polio and hepatitis A. It may also be worth considering getting inoculated against hepatitis B and having a rabies vaccination.
If you fall ill, have an accident or require any healthcare while you are in Shanghai, you will find excellent medical facilities and English speaking doctors. Most hospitals will require a deposit or payment upfront and it is therefore vital that you have comprehensive medical insurance.
Huadong Hospital: +86 2162 483 180
Emergency services: 120
Mandarin Chinese is the official language of China, but there are hundreds of dialects. English is not widely spoken, although you will find that many professionals have a grasp of English.
Everyone who visits China is required to have both a valid passport and visa. Visa applications should be made in advance, at least one month before the intended departure date. Passports must be valid for at least six months if you have a single or double entry visa, or nine months for a multiple entry visa. Your port of entry must be indicated in your passport.
Shanghai Tourist Information Services can be found at Yu Garden, 159 Jiujiaochang Lu, Huangpu district, Shanghai. They can be contacted by calling: +86 215 355 5032.
Personal tour guide in shanghai--qinqin
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