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Shanghai

About Shanghai
VISA
Languages
Useful Numbers
Climate
Currency
Roaming Around the City
Food
Shopping
Tipping
Tourist Attractions

Information Sources


About Shanghai

Shanghai is situated at 31 14' north latitude and 121 29' east longitude, surrounded by the East China Sea on the east and Hangzhou bay on the south. Therefore, Shanghai has excellent sea and river port.

Shanghai is a the largest metropolis in China and one of the most historically significant cities. Just like Yulan (magnolia, the symbol flower of the city) in bloom, Shanghai is full of life and vitality. At the same time, Shanghai has many scenic spots to behold. Built during different periods of time and in various architectural styles from other countries, the grand complex of high-rise buildings on the either banks of the Huangpu River is reputed as "the International Fair of World Architecture". On the eastern bank of the river, there are rows after rows of high-rise structure dominating the skyline, including the Oriental TV Tower and the 88-storey Jinmao Building where you can have a superb panorama view of Shanghai's spectacular development. At the core part of this world-famous metropolis, there are many attractive scenic spots, such as the People's Square, the Shanghai Museum, the Municipal Exhibition Hall of Shanghai Urban Construction and Shanghai Grand Theatre.

Shanghai has a convenient transportation network leading to other parts of the country. The railways, highways, ports and airports of Shanghai connect it with different countries and regions in the world, really becoming a tie and a bridge of friendship.

Shanghai is also a paradise for gourmets. There are over a thousand restaurants serving the famous 16 styles of Chinese food, such as Beijing, Sichuan, Guangdong, Yangzhou, Fujian. There is also French, Russian, Italian, English, German, Japanese, Indian and many other tantalizing types of foreign cuisine, genuine Muslim food and vegetarian food. In Shanghai you have the world at your fingertips.

Timezone is GMT+8
Voltage is 220V, 50Hz alternate current


VISA

Most if not all of the foreigners do need a VISA to enter China. To attend the 2010 IACMR conference, you need a tourist VISA. Please check and reconfirm with your local China Consulate for VISA details. Alternatively you may apply your VISA through travel agency. If you are planning to attend the conference, please apply for a VISA as early as you can to avoid delays in your trip.

If you need a referral or contact person when applying your VISA, please use the following person,

Cheng-Hua Tzeng
Assistant Professor
School of Management, Fudan University
670 Guoshun Road Shanghai, 200433, China
TEL: 0086-21-25011133
FAX: 0086-21-65643920
EMAIL: chtzeng@fudan.edu.cn

Here are some useful links to start with
http://www.travelchinaguide.com/embassy/visa/introduction1.htm
http://china.visahq.com/
 


Languages

Though Shanghai has its own distinctive dialect of the Chinese language (which is different from Mandarin and Cantonese), the official language spoken in Shanghai is Mandarin. English is good in tourist areas and only in larger scaled shops. Local or smaller stores may not provide service in English.


Useful Numbers

Emergency - Fire: 119
Emergency - Police: 110
Emergency - Ambulance: 120
Consumer Complaint: 12315
Tourists Complaint: 64393615
Telephone Trouble: 122
Local Telephone Number and Long-distance City Code Inquiry: 114
International City Code Inquiry: 116
Weather Forecast: 121, 221
Zip Code Inquiry: 184
Customer Service Center of Post Office: 185
Train Ticket Reservation: 63171880, 8008207890
Coach Ticket Reservation: 56630230
Hongqiao International Airport Consultation: 62688918
Pudong International Airport Consultation: 38484500

International calls: dial 00 + country code + city code + telephone number


Climate

The annual average temperature is around 60 degree Farenheit. It is expected that in July and August temperature will be around 70 to 90 degree Farenheit. The feeling is sweltering hot and wet as Shanghai is on the coast. Please observe the weather forecast before you go.


Currency

The official Chinese currency is yuan, or renminbi (RMB). The Bank of China issues RMB bills in denominations of one, two, five, 10, 20, 50 and 100 yuan. Coins come in denominations of one yuan, five mao, one mao and five fen. Paper versions of the coins remain in circulation.

Foreign currency and travellers cheques can be changed at the main branches of the Bank of China, hotels, Friendship Stores and some department stores. Banks open 5.5 days a week typically. JCB, American Express and VISA are most commonly accepted for exchange. Exchange cash only in banks or reputable sources to avoid counterfeit notes. Keep your exchange receipts if you want to change any of your remaining RMB at the end of your trip.

Cash is the most common mode of acceptance. Credit cards are not widely acceptable in China, except for some four and five-star hotels. Counterfeit notes are a problem in China. Very few Chinese will accept a Y50 or Y100.00 note without first checking to see whether or not it's a fake. Examine large denomination notes if given to you as change by street vendors; they could well be dumping a forged banknote on you. Notes that are old, tattered or torn are also sometimes hard to spend. You can exchange notes for new ones at the Bank of China - counterfeits, however, will be confiscated.


Roaming Around the City

The public transport of Shanghai is well-developed. Metro and taxi services are recommended. Bus services are also available around the city.

The Shanghai Metro is the urban rapid transit system of China's largest city, Shanghai. The system incorporates both subway and elevated light railway lines. Reaching almost every corner of the city, covering all the prosperous areas, the Metro is the fastest and most convenient way to move about in the downtown area.

The taxi service is provided by different taxi companies as they are represented by different colors of the taxi. The yellow taxi does not provide English service. Do not take taxi in rush hours as there is likely a jam. You may ask your local hotel for numbers to call a taxi.


Food

As an international city, Shanghai offer all kinds of cuisines from around the world. The vast majority of restaurants and public places allow smoking and they do not have non-smoking sections. Visitors eating at the Chinese restaurants should try and master the use of chopsticks as most Chinese restaurants do not provide forks and knives.


Shopping

Shanghai has become a shopping paradise for visitors mainly because of its reputed streets, including Nanjing Road (the country's No.1 Commercial Street), Huaihai Road (a street of world-famous brands and latest fashions to attract customers from all over the world), and Xujiahui (a shopping center gathering clothes, shoes, food, cosmetics, digital products and entertainment centers together within a circle).

There are a few good places to purchase souvenirs, one in Yuyuan Garden and another in Duolun Road, which offers wide variety of goods.

If you are looking for books, Fuzhou Road is famous for its book stores. You will find Shanghai Book Town, Ancient Book Shop and a store exclusively selling foreign books and foreign-language textbooks along this road.

As foreigner, you need to understand the local nuances in their expression of discounts. The Chinese sign "7?? means 30 percent off, while "8?? means 20 percent off. Whilst shopping, some shopping assistants may follow you in some big stores. You can tell them you are just having a look and ask them to leave you alone. Generally, customers can bargain with sales person in small shops in the city. And on some streets, bargain becomes an inevitable way to buy cheap stuff.


Tipping

In restaurants, tip for about 3% of the bill. Tip bellboys and room-service waiters for around 10-20 yuan, or 1-2 US dollars. Some restrooms requires tipping for 1 yuan.


Tourist Attractions

According to the Shanghai Municipality website, the top 10 tourist destinations in Shanghai are listed below.

  

The Bund (Zhongshan Road, E.)

The Bund is the best-known landmark in Shanghai. On this stretch of Zhongshan Road East lies the most important buildings left from colonial Shanghai including the Peace Hotel, the Bank of China, and Shanghai Gold Exchange. One of the key features of the Bund is the contrast it provides. On the West side of Zhongshan Road sits the historic European style buildings, the oldest of which is the Jin Jiang hotel built in 1906, this is called 'Puxi' . Just opposite on the Eastern side of the river is the area called 'Pudong' where Shanghai's most modern constructions can be seen. These include the Pearl TV Tower and the Jing Mao Tower. These ultra-modern even space age looking buildings form the most famous view of Pudong's Lu Jia Zui which has come to symbolize Shanghai today.


Shanghai Museum (No. 201, People's Ave, People's Square)

Shanghai Museum is situated in People's Square and its new buildings were built in 1996, designed by a Shanghai architect named Xing Tonghe. The new design symbolizes China's ancient understanding of the world: round sky and square earth. The museum has a circular roof and rectangular base. It stores 120,000 precious artifacts, which narrate the story of China's 5,000-year civilization.

Yu Garden (No. 218, Anren Road)

Yu Garden is one of the most famous gardens in China and is national heritage listed. It was built in 1559 and extended in 1577. Each section of the garden is separated by curved white walls crowned with the head and body of a dragon. It's named after the original owner. Yu Garden is decorated with rocks. One of the rocks is said to have been the property of Emperor Hui Zong (AD1082--AD1135) in the Song Dynasty. Rock buildings, such as the Grand Rockery and the Hall of Mildness, are the sites you shouldn't miss. Beside Yu Garden, the Bridge of Nine Turnings zigzags across an ornamental lake leading to Shanghai's most famous tea house. Bill Clinton, Gerhard Schroeder and the Queen of Great Britain have been guests there. The famous Nanxiang restaurant is near the entrance of Yu Garden, selling various types of delicious steamed dumplings. The tasty food attracts a swarm of locals and tourists. The Temple of the City God, Shanghai Old Street and Chenxiangge Nunnery are also near Yu Garden and all these sites represent typical Shanghai. Don't miss the shops lining the streets selling handicrafts, teas, silk clothes, calligraphy, jade decorations and china. Picking up one or two pieces as gifts for family, relatives and friends is definitely a good idea ??even if at inflated prices.


Xintiandi (North block - Taicang Rd, South block - Xinye Rd)

Located in central Shanghai just south of Huaihai Zhong Road, Xintiandi is a redevelopment of a once rundown part of town based on the layout of an old Shanghainese neighbourhood. Now it is a state-of-the-art warren of upscale shops, bars and restaurants based on the theme of "where old meets new". Here you find the oddly complimentary combination of the traditional houses of old Shanghai (the 'Shikumen') hosting ultra modern restaurants, bars and shops. The exterior of these shikumen style houses of 1920's Shanghai have been tastefully restored, whilst inside they have been fully renovated to accommodate the tastes of the modern Westerner. From Starbucks to T8, to international chains of Chinese restaurants you will find plenty to soothe a homesick expat, and with a price tag to match. Moreover Xintiandi is most famous for its nightlife when the Western style bars open their doors for business. No doubt every Westerner that comes to Shanghai will pay at least one visit here, if not more. The complex also includes a museum of Shanghainese architecture and a restored school where the Chinese Communist Party held its first congress in 1921, now also a museum.


Riverside Avenue (along the Huangpu River, Lujiazui area in Pudong)

The 2.5-kilometer Riverside Avenue along the waterfront of the Huangpu River attracts many visitors. Promenade is a wise choice to look around the main sites in Pudong. Besides the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the Ocean Aquarium, the Jin Mao Tower, the Super Brand Mall, and a string of restaurants and coffee houses are there or close to it. It is not only a nice place to visit, but has also become a booming commercial center in Pudong District. The location has attracted many famous restaurants, cafes and coffee houses, such as Starbucks, Lavazza and Haagen-Dazs. Many fashion shows are also held at the avenue, since it can be set as a gorgeous background along the Huangpu River and many luxurious commercial buildings are built there as well. A Giorgio Armani a fashion show on the avenue attracted more than 1,000 people. Formula One boat racing has been held on that stretch of the river and the World Female Handball Championship Tournament has also been held on the avenue area.


Jinmao Tower (No. 88 Century Avenue near Dongtai Road)

This incredible tower is the tallest building on China's mainland (421m). Its design combines traditional Chinese and gothic architecture. If you are not afraid of heights, going to the top of the Jinmao Tower is an interesting experience. Viewing from the dizzying heights of the 88th floor in the evening, you will have an illusion that Shanghai is a glittering light ball. On the 87th floor, a bar, the Cloud Nine, gives you the feeling of being in the clouds ??sometimes there is no view at all because you're surrounded by them.

Shanghai Confucian Temple (No.215, Wenmiao Road near Zhonghua Road)

The temple was once Shanghai's most prestigious learning institution and is now the only temple of Confucius (551-479 BC), China's greatest philosopher, in downtown Shanghai. It is also the biggest second book market in Shanghai. The Confucian Temple is a typical combination of temple and school in ancient China. It was built in 1294 (Yuan Dynasty), when Shanghai was just taking shape from a small fishing village. The temple has witnessed Shanghai's growing progress of more than 700 years, from a small Chinese county to one of the world's biggest metropolises now confronting the problem of integration the modern with the traditional. The temple was once the headquarters of the Stagger Society, a rebel group that revolted against the Qing's reign in Shanghai from 1851 to 1855. During the Culture Revolution, it was badly damaged but in 1995 it was designated for renovation by the Shanghai government. And now, the temple is no longer the study and research center of Confucianism, instead it is gaining fame as a secondhand book market and is the destination for book-lovers and collectors. Every Sunday, thousands of local collectors swarm to the Shanghai Confucian Temple to bargain and buy, exchange or trade rare editions and old books. The market is not big, taking less than 100 square meters of the temple, but it is definitely the best and most mature secondhand book-market in Shanghai.

Shiji Park (No. 1001, Jinxiu Road near Century Avenue)

Century Park is a great place to rest after a hard week. The grand square and green lawns allow you to get away from busy city life and crowds. There's not much entertainment in the park, but you can borrow a tandem bicycle. If you are tired, you can park the bicycle and then fly a kite, enjoy a picnic on the lawns or rent a boat. The park also hosts fireworks shows every golden week ??Spring Festival, May Day Holiday and the National Day Holiday in October.

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower (No. 1 Century Avenue)

The Oriental Pearl Tower (468m) is the highest TV and radio tower in Asia and the third tallest in the world. It was built in 1994 and soon became Shanghai's landmark. The design for the Pearl tower includes 11 spheres (or 'pearls') and three gigantic columns linking the green grass below to the blue sky above. Six high-speed elevators take passengers up to the bubbles of the tower, for a great view over the city. The second bubble (267 m) has a nice rotating restaurant with Chinese or Western buffet. The highest observatory platform, called the space module, is even at 342m.

Shanghai Urban Planning Hall (No.100, People's Ave near Xizang Road M.)

Shanghai Urban Planning Hall is a vivid model of Shanghai's history. Each floor has its own theme based on Shanghai's development, such as a traditional Shanghai street in the 1930's (basement), historical and cultural city (1st and 2nd floors, or mezzanine), current master plan (3rd floor), and short and middle-term construction plan (4th floor). The traditional 1930s street is a reproduction of typical Shanghai houses of the colonial period. Some "antiques" from the 1930s such as a trolley car, a mailbox and a rickshaw, are also displayed along the street. A hall in the mezzanine, which exhibits famous and historical sites, reflects 100 years of changes in Shanghai. Comparison photos are presented along the wall. One of the world's biggest urban planning models is displayed on the second floor ??for most visitors the highlight of the whole Planning Hall. This 600-square-meter model shows what the urban landscape within the inner ring route will look like in 2020. Famous landmarks like the Shanghai Oriental Pearl tower or Bund can be found along the "Huangpu River." Shanghai changes every week and so does the plan for the city, therefore the model is updated continuously. Another magnificent picture of Shanghai's future is showcased on the fourth floor. Some facilities are already under construction, such as Yangshan Deep-Water Port. A circular corridor for leisure on the top floor is a good place to take a break. Some drinks and food are offered there.


Information Sources

1. http://www.shanghai.gov.cn
2. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/china/shanghai
3. http://www.cnto.org/shanghai.asp

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