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10 Things to Know Before You Travel to Shanghai

The night view of ShanghaiThe night view of Shanghai

Want to know how to travel in Shanghai? We've put together a page full of practical travel tips for visitors. Read 10 Facts Travelers Should Know About Shanghai to have a rough understanding about Shanghai.

1. How to Greet People in Shanghai?

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. It is a good idea to take a large quantity of business cards with you, and if possible have the text translated into Chinese on the reverse.

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.

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.

Click to see Do's and Don'ts in China.

2. What Are the Business Hours in Shanghai?

Chinese government stipulates a five-day workweek, from Monday to Friday, with no more than 8 hours a day. The normal business hours are generally from 8am to 6pm, with a break from 12pm to 2pm.

Restaurants: 11am–2pm, 6–9pm, in general

3. Who Should I Tip (and How Much)?

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. Read more information about tipping in China

4. Western Style Toilets are Available in Shanghai?

Toilets in China are normally of the squatting type. Now airports and hotels all have Western toilets, and many public toilets have both Western style and squat style. Always carry tissues with you, just in case you need to go to the toilet (because most public toilets don't provide toilet paper).

More on How to Use a Squat Toilet in China.

5. Should I Bring an Adapter or a Converter?

Bring an adapter.Bring an adapter.

Electricity in China is 240 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. A transformer may be necessary if you bring electric devices. It can be bought in China. As the shape of a socket varies between countries, a portable plug adapter may also be necessary. Some hotels can provide adapters for guests, but we suggest visitors bring one. Adapters can also be purchased from electronics stores in China.

6. Is Internet Widely Available?

Internet: Most hotel rooms in China offer internet cables and Wi-Fi for laptops. Some public areas like airports, Starbucks, SPR, and a number of cafes and restaurants also provide free Wi-Fi. China Highlights offers Portable Wi-fi Rental so that you can surf the internet anytime and anywhere while traveling in China.

7. How to Make a Phone Call from China to Another Country

Make a phone call from China

First you must dial "00" (international prefix), then dial the country code, then the area code and local number. E.g. if you want to call 434-5678 in California (area code 760) in the USA (country code 1), you need to dial 00-1-760-434-5678.

8. Shanghai Useful Phone Numbers

  • Area Code: 021
  • Fire Emergency: 119
  • Police: 110

9. Medical Emergencies

In Shanghai there are a number of International hospitals and clinics with modern medical facilities and English speaking staff. They can offer medical services to foreigners.

CanAM Int'l Medical Center, Shanghai Pu Xi Clinic

  • Address: 20F, 966 Huaihai Zhong Road (by Shanxi Nan Lu)
  • Tel: 5403 9133
  • Fax: 54038978

Shanghai International SOS

  • Add: Units 2907-2901, 2 Grand Gateway, 3 Hongqiao Road, Xuhui District
  • Tel: 52989538
  • Fax: 52989539

America-Sino OB/GYN Service

24 Hour Emergency Service

  • Add: 14F, Complex Building, Huashan Hospital, 12 MiddleUrumqi Road (near Changle Road)
  • Tel: 62493246
  • Hours: 8am–8pm

Huashan Worldwide Medical Center

  • Add: 12 MiddleUrumqi Road (Out-patient Clinic: 8F, Building 1; Night Emergency: 15F, Building 6)
  • Tel: 62483986/62489999

Bioscor Shanghai Clinic

Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, Bioscor now has 20 branches in 12 countries. Bioscor Shanghai Clinic has Australian, American, and Chinese doctors specializing in plastic/cosmetic surgery, medical skin treatment and cosmetic dentistry.

  • Add: 5, Lane 89, Xingguo Road
  • Tel: 64318899
  • Fax: 64713888
  • Web: www.bioscor.com.cn

Shanghai United Family Hospital and Clinics

  • Address: 1139 Xianxia Road (General and Cosmetic Dental Center)
  • Tel: 51331900
  • Emergency call: 5133 1999
  • Fax: 51331919

Shanghai United Family Clinic-Minhang-SRC

  • Address: Lane 555, Jinfeng Road, Huacao Town, West Suburbs
  • Tel: 22010995
  • Web: www.unitedfamilyhospitals.com

World Link Medical Center Portman Clinic

  • Address: Suite 203 West, Shanghai Center, 1376, West Nanjing Road
  • Tel: 62797668/ appointments: 62798678
  • Fax: 62797698

World Link Medical Center Hongqiao Clinic

  • Address: Unit 30, Mandarine City, 788 Hongxu Road
  • Tel: 6405 5788
  • Fax: 6405 3587

International Medical & Dental Center (IMDC)

  • Address: 1111 Xian Xia Road (near Bei Hong Road), Changning District
  • Tel: 62909558

Sino-United Health American International Center at Shanghai Center

  • Address: Room 1376, Nanjing Road West
  • Tel: 62798920
  • Fax: 62798921

10. Currency Exchange

Currency exchange service is available at most hotels, and all large banks. Credit card is widely acceptable as a means of payment in hotels, department stores, and boutiques. The credit cards commonly accepted in China are Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

Main Banks in Shanghai

Shanghai Pudong Developing  BankShanghai Pudong Developing Bank
  • Shanghai Branch of Citibank: Floor 20, China Shipping Building, 1, Pudong Main Street, 58791200
  • Shanghai Branch of Overseas Chinese Bank: Floor 23, 710, Oriental Road, 58200200
  • Yangpu Sub-Branch of Shanghai Branch of Huaxia Bank: 1207 Kongjiang Road, 65709961
  • The Shanghai Headquarters of Bank of Communications: 18 Xianxia Road, 62751234
  • Shanghai Pudong Developing Bank (Headquarters): 50 Ningbo Road, 63291188
  • Shanghai Bank: 476 Xianxia Road, 62955327

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