MOVING TO SHANGHAI

 A NEW ARRIVAL’S GUIDE

Lying on the estuary of Chang Jiang (Yangtze) River, Shanghai is roughly split into two. Puxi (to the west) remains Shanghai’s cultural, residential and commercial centre, while Pudong (to the east) is Shanghai’s newer growth area and since 1990 it has emerged as China’s financial and commercial hub. 

The Basics

Orienting Yourself 

Getting Around

MetroThe metro and taxis will most likely be your main form of transport in the city, since the bus system can be a little tricky for non-Chinese speakers to utilise. The Shanghai metro system is extremely easy to navigate, as its stations are clearly labelled in English and each stop is audibly announced in English too. Each journey will cost around 5 RMB depending on how far you’re going, making the metro excellent value for money.

Taxis: Taxis are relatively cheap, especially compared to the likes of London. While taxi drivers generally do not have a good command of English, there’s a wide range of excellent smartphone apps which can be immensely helpful. 
A final word of warning: it’s especially hard to get a taxi in Shanghai when it rains!

 

For those not acquainted with the fast-paced urban centres of Asia, Shanghai can represent quite the shock to the system. As mainland China’s economic capital and most cosmopolitan city, Shanghai is absolutely packed with glittering skyscrapers, impressive bridges and elevated highways, vast malls and shopping districts, not to mention rather large crowds.

While this can seem a touch overwhelming at first, you’ll quickly become used to the hustle and bustle of the city, and will be able to seek out your own oasis of calm within it. Even this modern metropolis has plenty of hidden treasures which show off the rich heritage of the ancient Chinese culture, and offer you a wide range of sightseeing and unforgettable life experiences.

First Impression When Moving to Shanghai

Health Conditions

Keeping Safe & Healthy

YES!AuPair has arranged an insurance package for Aupairs.

Smog and air quality: While the problem is much less severe than in Beijing, Shanghai does encounter days of poor air quality.

Water: While the water from the tap is perfectly safe for washing and cleaning, drinking it is not recommended. 

Internet: The Great Firewall of China is the means by which the Chinese Government blocks out sites that it finds inappropriate or otherwise unacceptable. The list of blocked sites and services is long and in a state of continuous flux, including major online entities like Google, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.

Fortunately, there is a relatively simple and completely legal way to get around the firewall, which is to use a VPN, or Virtual Private Network.  you will need to subscribe to a VPN provider of your choosing. ExpressVPN, Banana and Astrill are all popular choices but it’s worth doing a little research on price and quality before committing.
Important: Make sure that you download and set up your VPN before moving to Shanghai, as the process is much easier this way.

Bring your phone everywhere: For new arrivals, your smartphone will be a lifeline. With just a few essential apps, you will be able to pay for goods and services, explore your surroundings, translate, and generally navigate the city much more easily. Here are a couple of “must have” apps to download:
WeChat: China’s answer to Whatsapp and Facebook, WeChat is ubiquitous and extremely useful. Not only can you use it for calls and instant messaging, a wide range of shops and service providers will accept payment via WeChat, turning your phone into a backup wallet.
Shanghai Air Quality Widget: A handy and simple AQI monitor.
Explore Shanghai Metro: The metro is easy to navigate but this app gives you a useful overview of the whole system and allows you to plan journeys in a more efficient manner.
Bon App!: The dining experience discover app of choice, Bon App is dedicated to searching, sharing, rating, and reviewing local restaurants and bars in English.
Baidu Maps: Unless you install a VPN on your phone, Google Maps will not be available, so Baidu Maps is a useful alternative for fast and accurate city street navigation.
Pleco: A must for those learning Mandarin, Pleco is a free dictionary app that offers paid add-ons like flash cards, a document reader, and live camera-based Chinese character recognition.

Communication

Internet

Bring your phone everywhere: For new arrivals, your smartphone will be a lifeline. With just a few essential apps, you will be able to pay for goods and services, explore your surroundings, translate, and generally navigate the city much more easily. Here are a couple of “must have” apps to download:

WeChat: China’s answer to Whatsapp and Facebook, WeChat is ubiquitous and extremely useful. Not only can you use it for calls and instant messaging, a wide range of shops and service providers will accept payment via WeChat, turning your phone into a backup wallet.
Shanghai Air Quality WidgetA handy and simple AQI monitor.
Explore Shanghai MetroThe metro is easy to navigate but this app gives you a useful overview of the whole system and allows you to plan journeys in a more efficient manner.
Bon App!The dining experience discover app of choice, Bon App is dedicated to searching, sharing, rating, and reviewing local restaurants and bars in English.
Baidu MapsUnless you install a VPN on your phone, Google Maps will not be available, so Baidu Maps is a useful alternative for fast and accurate city street navigation.
PlecoA must for those learning Mandarin, Pleco is a free dictionary app that offers paid add-ons like flash cards, a document reader, and live camera-based Chinese character recognition.

 “Must Have” Apps

When you’re arriving at Shanghai as our new AuPair, we want to make you feel as welcome as possible in your new home. To that end, we’ve designed a brief guide to help you settle into Shanghai and make the most of what this amazing city has to offer.

With a subtropical maritime monsoon climate, Shanghai enjoys four distinct seasons. Its spring and autumn are relatively short compared with summer and winter. The average annual temperature is 16°C (61°F). Shanghai starts the year shivering in midwinter, when temperatures can drop below freezing and the vistas are grey and misty. Spring brings warmth; April to mid-May is probably one of the best times to visit Shanghai, along with autumn (late September to mid-November). In summer the hot and humid weather makes conditions outside uncomfortable, with temperatures sometimes as high as 40°C (104°F) in July and August.

The Weather

Something for Everyone

LaowaiAfter moving to Shanghai, you’ll quickly hear the word “laowai” being used by locals. “Lao” means old or wise, in a respectful context, while “wai” means outside. Together, the term is purely a label that many Chinese people use for any white person they see. While it might seem slightly odd at first to be labelled as such, it’s important to be aware that absolutely no offence is meant by the term, and it is simply part of living in a country which has only very recently opened to non-Chinese people.

Children: Chinese people love children, and will often react very warmly towards them, even to the point of picking up young children and touching older ones. For some Chinese people, Western children, especially if they are fair-haired, are an unusual sight, so they may attract a lot of attention. This phenomenon is much more common in the countryside than in the city. Do not be alarmed – it is not threatening, and is well intentioned.
Fortunately, Shanghai has a lot of child-friendly restaurants, and plenty of child-oriented activities and events including a variety of sports. A number of publications cater specifically for families with children, providing general information and guides on events and activities.

Cultural Tips

Understanding Shanghai

Moving to Shanghai will be absolute heaven for food lovers, as the sheer variety of culinary delights on offer is enough to keep even the most seasoned gourmet busy all year round. No matter where you are in the city, you’re never far from an exciting and unique dining experience.

Restaurants and barsIt’s incredibly easy to discover an amazing array of traditional Chinese cuisine being served up from all manner of establishments, from small, street-side eateries to very fancy, high-end restaurants, which represent all of the country’s different provinces. International cuisine is also very well represented. Be warned though, generally you will pay a premium for eating Western, whereas Chinese food is generally available at extremely reasonable prices. 
Street Eats: Street food has been part of Chinese culture for many hundreds of years and you can find some truly delicious and unique dishes. However, sadly there are potential health risks attached to this form of dining, as some vendors use poor quality ingredients and recycle their oil. A good rule of thumb is that if you are unsure, don’t eat it! One of the most famous of Shanghai’s food streets is Shouning Road, near Huaihai Road.
Food delivery: One thing you’ll soon realise when living in Shanghai is that practically anything can be delivered to your door quickly and cheaply. This goes for online grocery shopping as well as takeaway, as an army of motorcycle riders is constantly zipping all over Shanghai, bringing food to hungry mouths! 

Food

Unforgettable Dinning Experience Around Every Corner

 

Please be patient for 30 sec TVC before an overview clip of Shanghai City

2019.01  

Wechat: "Must-Have" App for the survival in China

             1. “How to use  Wechat account”

             2. “How to Use WeChat Pay (Wallet) and Link a Bank Card"

             3. Wechat Download

 

2018.10  The general information about "Au Pair in China"

           

Survival Tips: 

           

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