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Shanghai is China's most comprehensive industrial and commercial city, ranking the first in population and population density. As a tourist city, it attracts travelers from both home and abroad by its commercial activity rather than scenic beauty.


Airport   |   Banks and Government offices   |   Banking Hours   |   Climate   |   Clothing   |   Currency   
Customs   |   Credit Cards   |   Electricity   |   Emergency Call Numbers   |   Health   |   Health Risks   |   Holidays   
Local Area Information   |   Mobile Phones   |   Offices   |   Public Phones   |   Religion   
Shopping and Business Hours   |   Taxes   |   Tipping   |   Time Zone   |   Useful Numbers   |   Visas   


Climate
Shanghai summers are hot and humid with temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius. The rainy season begins in June. Fall is mostly mild. In winter (January to February) temperatures can reach below freezing. Spring begins again in March. Click here for 5-day weather forecast for Shanghai.

Clothing
Shanghai was once famous for its stylishness, but has been overtaken by a more laid-back fashion sense over recent years. Recently, however, young executives are trying to recapture the bygone era, what with more disposable income and the arrival of brand-name fashion products.

Currency
The RMB (Renminbi) is the official currency. The basic unit of RMB is the yuan (¥), also known as "kuai," divided into 10 jiao, which is again divided into 10 fen. Yuan notes come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, and 100. Click here for currency conversion.

Customs
Visitors to China must fill out a customs form upon arrival. When you enter the country you are asked to declare electrical goods and luxury items such as cameras, computer equipment etc. Keep this form until you exit to avoid paying duty on goods you brought into the country. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency you can bring into the country. However, one must declare any cash exceeding US$5,000 or the equivalent.

Emergency Call Numbers
Police: 110
Fire Services: 119
Ambulance: 120

Health
Visitors to China are required to fill in a health declaration form at the Customs. Medical facilities are generally adequate in Shanghai. It is advisable to drink only boiled and bottled water.

Health Risks
Pneumonia and influenza are common, although there is a limited risk -- according to the government -- of hepatitis A and B, typhoid, polio, malaria, tuberculosis, dengue fever, tetanus and rabies particularly in rural areas. In areas where dengue or malaria is found, use mosquito nets or bug spray and wear clothing that covers your entire body. Consider taking anti-malarial pills.

Local Area Information
Shanghai is situated on the bank of the Yangtze River Delta, with East River in the east and Hangzhou delta in the south. Housing a population of over 16 million at present, it was once a small town supported by fishing and weaving before the first Opium War. Late in 1990, the central government started developing the area, and has since became the well-known booming metropolis city.

Mobile Phones
Network accepted in Shanghai is GSM, CDMA, and Xiao Lingtong.

Public Phones
In China, telephoning is relatively easy if you adhere to certain procedures. The best way to place a phone call is to go to the local post office. At most places it is possible to dial directly, in other places you have to ask the operator. There are now public phone booths where you can make calls with a phonecard.

Shopping and Business Hours
Shops are usually open from 10.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. everyday.

Banks and Government offices
Banks and Government offices are open from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays only.

Offices
Commercial offices are open from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Mondays to Fridays.

Taxes
Taxes are not applicable.

Airport
Hongqiao International Airport in western Shanghai, about 15 kilometers from the city center, handles all international flights. By taxi, the trip from the airport will take you about 30 min. to an hour. For arrivals at Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Pudong, Taxi is the recommended transportation for first-time visitors. It costs 120 -150 RMB (15~20 USD) to most places in downtown Shanghai. Airport buses are also available and operate on 6 routines. The Maglev train is also a good choice, which will take you to the city within 7 mins.

Visas
Consult the Chinese embassy or consulate in your home country to arrange for a visa. A tourist visa is valid for 90 days but can be extended for 30 days. For business visa extensions, you'll need to bring your passport and registration of temporary residency from your hotel, plus a letter from the business that invited you, to the Public Security Bureau (PSB) Division for Aliens at 333 Wusong Lu (tel: 6357-6666) on weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 5 p.m..

Credit Cards
Most major credit cards -- including American Express, Diner's Club, Federal Card, JCB, MasterCard and Visa -- are accepted at hotels and certain restaurants and shops.

Tipping
Tipping is generally not expected in mainland China. For more information on business and social etiquette in Shanghai, click here.

Useful Numbers
Police: 110
Fire Department: 119
Public Security Bureau: 6357-6666
Visa Card Hotline: 10-800-110-2911
MasterCard Hotline: 10-800-11-0-7309 (only in certain provinces)

Electricity
The voltage is 220 volts, 50 cycles. Most luxury hotels have built-in converters in bathrooms for shavers, hair dryers, etc. Otherwise, come equipped, because a wide variety of plug types are used.

Time Zone
GMT + 8 hours, same as Singapore. The whole of China, including Hong Kong, is set to Beijing time.

Banking Hours
Banks: Mondays to Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., although all foreign banks have slightly different hours (Japanese banks tend to close at 4:30 p.m. and American ones at 6 p.m.). Half days are the rule on Saturdays. For more information on banking in Shanghai, click here.

Holidays
Jan. 1, New Year's Day; Jan. 24-26, Spring Festival Chinese New Year; March 8, International Women's Working Day; May 1-2, International Labor Day; May 4, Youth Day; June 1, Children's Day; July 1, Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party; Aug. 1, Anniversary of the Founding of the Chinese PLA; Oct. 1-2, National Day. If you'd like to know more about China's customs and culture, click here.

Religion
China is officially atheist, but traditionally pragmatic and eclectic. Some 2% to 3% of the population practice Daoism (Taoism), Buddhism and Islam. An estimated 1% are Christianians.


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