Top 3 Issues of Shanghai Tourism

Reporter and Editor of Travel Times Miss Chen Zhen chatted with me about the tourism service of Shanghai. The newspaper is part of the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administrative Commission, the government organization in charge of tourism of Shanghai.

She asked: What do you think Shanghai should improve in tourism, especially for international visitors?

I thought there are many that Shanghai needs to improve to make travel and sightseeing more enjoyable for foreigners, but I wasn’t able to name top 3 issues of Shanghai Tourism as a whole. Should it be more English information about Shanghai? or be better service in tourism industry, like travel agencies?

As visitors or expats in Shanghai, I believe my readers may have better answers. I want to pass readers’ comments to those who can make some impact, so Shanghai is a more visitor/traveler friendly city.

P.S. We met because the commission thought I may be a good candidate for Shanghai Tourism Ambassador. :-) It is a good title, but I would rather to my daily work to introduce “events (in Shanghai) that affect my life (and others’)”.

P.S. I am happy to chat with Zhen, and Yangyu, and I suddenly found I love the city I live better than I thought. I had a dream of open an (as mentioned in this article

I learnt a small shop space near Xintiandi only cost around 5000 RMB/month to rent. Not a very bad deal. I dreamed to open an Unofficial Shanghai Tourist Center before. I don’t like the so-called Shanghai Official Tourist Center. They are not helpful as the worst travel company because they have no incentive to attract more visitors to their centers (they are not a profit center so not many people care). In the “unofficial” tourist center, there will be some free articles (printed from this site and other contributing sources) and some volunteers to offer tour guide (in exchange of foreign language practices with native speakers to Shanghai). It may remain a dream until I decide to retire some day. I am serious because retiring early (than age of 40) was my other dream.

So the questions for you. What is the top 3 areas to improve for Shanghai Tourism?

42 Comments

  1. Attitude, Cleanliness and Historical Preservation

  2. one important thing which needs improvement is help tourists using chopsticks to eat rice. I cannot effectively load much rice using just chopsticks.

  3. Advise tourists what to do about the “hello, lady, watch?” people and the beggars on the Bund and on Nanjing Lu. A lot of tourists just give money to the beggars and shrug off the sellers, but there are so many. I started carrying snacks and would give the beggars cookies but NOT money. But I ended up just avoiding Nanjing Lu because of the sellers. There must be something funny to do that would make them less annoying.

    I don’t advise making them go away. That would probably be impossible. However, one seller did say he couldn’t go into the Yu Yuan area. Is that right?

    Actually, Shanghai is a very foreigner-friendly city. Friends got along so well on their own in Shanghai that they tried to travel to Suzhou on their own (not on a tour) mistakenly assuming that the level of English would be the same. Big funny shock.

  4. Hi,

    As a foreigner living in Shanghai, I have some opinions on how to boost the tourism in Shanghai:

    1. Increase the usage of English for the sign board for directions (especially the transportation area like train station, bus station, airport and etc.)

    2. Encourage Restaurant to have their Menu in bilingual (Mandarin and English). At least provide pictures for the recommended dishes from the restaurant. I guess a lot of the us (foreigner) would love to try Shanghainese food but the ordering the food has become a problem. Then, just ended up in McDonalds… sigh…

    3. Well, it is actually a horrible experience taking a subway in Shanghai. The passengers doesn’t queue, pushing, doesn’t give way for passengers to exit from train, squeezing into the train etc. JS, I have no idea how this can be improved. This is a culture of the mass public.

  5. That’s easy…

    1. Get ride of the beggars, people trying to sell you things and people who pass out business cards.

    2. Stop littering.

    3. Get drivers to give the right-of-way to pedestrians when, by law, they are supposed to but don’t AND to get pedestrians to stop jaywalking.

    Three very simple things to really change how tourist view the city I love, Shanghai.

    CJ

  6. Shrek7, use your lower lip as a ramp to the edge of the rice bowl and the chopsticks as shoval, open your mouth wide and start unloading, I am sure you’ll find this method effective.

  7. Stephen,

    thanks for the great advice. what happens though if the server brings the rice to me on a plate instead of in a bowl? do I pick up the plate of rice and use the sticks to shovel the rice into my mouth? isn’t there such a thing as Chinese etiquette while eating?

  8. At first, I thought about more usage of the English language as well but I was just thinking about it and, to be honest, I think there is already enough English in Shanghai. When you put more of the English language into the city, it could go two ways: either they come because it would become easier for people, or they simply wont come anymore since it removes even more of the ‘authentic’ China which a lot of tourists (the ones from outside Asia anyways) are looking for. So for me, the English option could be removed.

    The only thing which bothered me only once, when I was in Shangha,i were actually the streetvendors. But, as I just said, this was only one specific time, the other times it did not bother me at all. I think it has something extra as well.. so what if I have to get rid of them? Just learn few simple words in Chinese and you can do that as well, they do listen if you know the right words ;) That they are there is, in my personal view, also something that just belongs to Shanghai (or actually in China as a whole imo). It all has its own charms.

    As for mass transportation, I don’t have any opinions about that actually as I would never take a bus or subway but would simply take a taxi, it’s still the easiest way imho.

    When I think about it at this moment, it is actually very hard to give a serious opinion for me about what should be improved for visitors/tourists so it would be even better. To be honest, I miss Shanghai a lot lately, I loved it there. I mean, there are not many crimes, it is a lot safer at night over there then where I live now. Living is a lot cheaper for me over there then it is over here and there are loads of other things that are, at least in my opinion, a lot better then over here but ok, that is still my personal opinion :)

  9. Shrek7, rice in a plate is western serving. Filipino, Vietnamese and cafe restaurants in Hong Kong always use spoon to serve the purpose. You don’t see chopsticks associated with plate serving, perhaps only in Shanghai.

  10. Stephen,

    the rice bowl isn’t blue margarita.

    shirley

  11. The three things which would help a foriegner in Shanghai are

    1. A street map of Shanghai city in English showing the metro stations, restuarants and important landmarks

    2. A tourist information booklet in English giving information on where to go in case of emergency – eg police, hospital, etc.

    3. A short information pamphlet in English on the cultural “do’s” and “don’ts” so that foriegners do not cause offence to local people.

  12. “1. A street map of Shanghai city in English showing the metro stations, restuarants and important landmarks” <- just look for the red tourist maps, they’re in english, they hold the metro stations and landmarks… and about restaurants, well, imo they can be found everywhere in shanghai ;)

  13. Well, While most tourist city are individal-traveler friendly, SHanghai is only prepared to cater group tourist, so at least

    1. Prepare good map and listing at airport

    2. One day City tour should be improved(the current JinJiang Bus stil runing?)

    3. Museums and galleres should united, and display brouchure and use same pass

    Can say more, backpackers seems ignored, and will be lost here

  14. Although I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting Shanghai, my experience as a visitor in Taiwan may be of some relevance. For me, a most interesting part of that adventure was being, for the first time in my adult life, in a place where I was unable to read. I would not have known whether I was in front of a hotel or a hospital were it not for an ambulance or a limousine pulling up to the front door.

    This problem must be similar for all travelers who are unfamiliar with the written alphabetic characters of a place they are visiting.

    For this reason, the suggestion someone made above for a map, with recognizable landmarks such as parks, transit stations, major hotels, etc. might be useful if those landmarks are also identified at the site with some sort of symbol that might be easy to understand for travelers from *any* country (not just those who read English).

    In fact, why not make all major urban areas more globally friendly with some sort of consistent, internationally understood system of coded signs and symbols intended to assist travellers?

    A map, in English, with words such as “Center Street” or “Grand Hotel” will not help me if the signs on the streets and buildings are in Chinese characters which I cannot understand.

    Mind you, my own brain is no longer limber enough to devise any workable sort of system for this, but I am thinking things like major streets, regardless of their actual name, could also have some sort of small numeric code on the sign (such as “N12/s” meaning “the southern portion of street number 12 which runs north to south”) so that when a visitor is standing on the corner of two major streets with Chinese (or Italian, or Russian, or…) words on the sign giving the actual street name in the local language, they could consult their Visitors’ Map which would be marked with the codes instead of the names and be able to figure out where they are.

    Does this make sense to anyone, or am I simply an incurable optimist to think that such a thing could even be possible?

  15. Stephen

    I went into a Japanese sushi restaurant and the waitress served rice on a plate with only the sticks to use. I was driven crazy trying to eat the rice that way.

  16. Shanghai is a good place for the white, not for the Chinese. Some Shanghai girls love money and even sell sex to Japenese. For the rich, Shanghai is a good place for sex.

  17. GOODGUY

    I guess you were just dumped by a shanghai girl, am i right?

    by the way, most girls in Shanghai’s prostitution bussiness are NOT native shanghainess girl.

  18. Shrek7, sushi is considered as finger food in Japan, only outside of Japan people is asked to use chopsticks to pick up the delicatessen as part of the culture promotion, and the sushi chef usually will made the riceball firmer for easy pick up. If you still have problem with that, you should ask for western utensil.

  19. GOODGUY

    Prostitutes may exist here,but as well as in JAPAN or other westen countries,such as yours,right?

  20. Dear Wang,

    You have made wonderful contributions to the City’s tourism and all. Your English is largely readable. As an English life learner myself, I will be more than happy to share my learning experience and language knowledge with you. Hope you will not mind my pinking on your language.

    Drunkpriest

    ——————————————————

    Reporter and Editor of Travel Times Miss Chen Zhen chatted with me about the tourism service of Shanghai. The newspaper is part of the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administrative Commission, the government [governmental] organization in charge of tourism of Shanghai.

    She asked: What do you think Shanghai should improve in tourism, especially for international visitors?[‘:’ is not an option in English]

    I thought there are [were]many [‘many’ can only be used like this, if you have made your readers know ‘many what?’]that Shanghai needs to improve to make travel and sightseeing more enjoyable for foreigners, but I wasn’t able to name top 3 issues of Shanghai Tourism [improvement]as a whole. Should it [there]be more English information about Shanghai? or [should it]be better service [services] in [the city’s] tourism industry, like [more effective]travel agencies?

    As visitors or expats in Shanghai, I believe my readers [my readers, I believe,]may have better answers. I want to pass readers’ comments to those who can make some impact[s], so Shanghai is a more visitor/traveler friendly city[I am going to pass my reader’s comments to those who are able to do something about Shanghai’s tourism because I want Shanghai to be more visitor/raveler-friendly city(if you have to write this way. Actually I would suggest ‘a more friendly city to its visitors and travelers’].

    P.S. We(who are supposed to be ‘we’] met because the commission thought I may be a good candidate for Shanghai Tourism Ambassador. :-) It is a good title, but I would rather to [do]my daily work to introduce [of introducing]”events (in Shanghai) that affect my life (and others’)”.

    P.S. I am [was] happy to chat with Zhen, and Yangyu, and I suddenly found I love [loved] the city I live better than I thought[bad English, confusing. and I suddently found I loved the city (that I lived in) more than I thought (I did)]. I had a dream of open [opening]an (as mentioned in this article

    I learnt a small shop space near Xintiandi only cost around 5000 RMB/month to rent. Not a very bad deal. I dreamed to open an Unofficial Shanghai Tourist Center before. I don’t like the so-called Shanghai Official Tourist Center. They are not helpful as the worst travel company because they have no incentive to attract more visitors to their centers (they are not a profit center so not many people care). In the “unofficial” tourist center, there will be some free articles (printed from this site and other contributing sources) and some volunteers to offer tour guide (in exchange of foreign language practices with native speakers to Shanghai). It may remain a dream until I decide to retire some day. I am serious because retiring early (than age of 40) was my other dream[because an early (say, than 40) is another dream of mine or one of my other dreams].

    So [,] the questions for you. What is [are]the top 3 areas to improve (that need to be improved]for Shanghai Tourism?

    —————————————————-

    So, what are top 3 areas that need to be improved of Shanghai’s tourism? Below are my answers.

    Top 1 is the accessibility to the information. There must be more information centers that are governmental and unprofitable, where people can get help they need. Travelers can easily find these ‘information centers’ around every railwaystaion and busstation in western counties.

    Top 2 is to open more state tourist attractions free to visitors. For example, Number 76 Xingye Street,the cradle of the CPC, where the party’s first national conference was held.

    Top 3 is the convenience for travelers. This may involve many aspects. Not all foreigners are as rich as we might think, especially young foreigners. Cheap accommodations, like Youth Hostels, will be very good choice for budget travelers. Sadly, Shanghai is abundant in five-star hotels, but lack of cheap ones. Yes, we now have ‘Rujia’ and the like. Yet, they are hardly ready to receive non-Chinese spoken guests. As a matter of fact, we do have a tourism policy that the government has a say about which hotels can take in foreigners. Has this policy changed?

    Bests

    Drunkpriests

  21. i think cleanliness is the most important one, especially the restroom

  22. vw and goodguy:

    The difference between a prostitute and a Shanghai girl:

    Prostitute = has sex for money

    Shanghai girl = has sex for brand name clothes and handbags

    My friend did put it into perspective though… maybe its the places we go to that we meet these types of people, which might only be 50% of the girls. The other 50% might be stay at home types and the types you should be meeting instead.

  23. Shanghai girls like the white more than others. If you are a white guy, you are luck and can have sex with them easily. The white guys always find sexy girls in Shanghai easily. But it is unlucky for chinese guys. By the way, Shanghai girls are always very good in bed.

  24. hey, what about white guys in shanghai who r just poor backpackers? ie. will i get laid even if i dont buy them designer clothes? the shallow ………….

  25. Hello,

    Well, i stored my things at a Shaihanese moving-vompany and they are not willing to give it back to me, actually they try to blackmail me.

    Do you have any idea , whom can i ask for help? is there any foreign/ tourist police that can help me?

    Thanks!

  26. shockr-

    so 50% of shanghai girls will sell themselves for a bag? thats an idiotic thing to say and insulting to chinese women. whats wrong with you men who make comments like this about asian women? it’s deeply misogynistic, and i feel sorry that i haven’t told-off men more clearly in the past who have approached me thinking that it would be an easy deal. all of you who think/act like this need to be knocked down a few notches.

  27. Beware white men! Since foreigners spread AIDS to China, these Chinese gals may just spread those diseases to you! Shanghai girls are good in beds? Yes, sweet but they know how to spread the disease to you too in an unavoidable way! I advise people going to Shanghai do their business or travel only without having this type of sex hunting desire in their minds. Otherwise, they will be shocked by the sudden result of sobbing in hospitals later! :(….

  28. @jollyrogers – get yourself an education, fool…

  29. I’m going to Shanghai next week.

    I love Asian girls – and yes, they are just wonderfull in bed ;-)

    The problem I see is not if they ask for money, handbag or other things, but that they are to bad speaking english.

    I prefer to cummunicate with the girl I’m with, I love to treat her nice so she also have a good experience. I know it is selfish to say like that, but if you take girls from Eastern Europe who sell their body, you have the feeling they like you and enjoy the time. If you take western girls they are so cold – and out before you even say welcome.

    Do anyone know where to find an Asian “GIRL” (not a ladyboy) in Shanghai. Who want to go out for dinner, have a drink, some fun, and end up making love – for money (or a bag) of course.

    Simbest

  30. @Simba – firstly, you are insulting the ladies in China… sex for a handbag? – you idiot.

    Secondly, “they are bad to speaking english”… most people I know in Shanghai speak much better English than what you have posted here… I doubt these ladies would want to spend time with someone so shallow as you and who has such poor english language skills. If your reason for going to Shanghai is to have sex for money or a handbag, then my recommendation to you is – STAY AT HOME!!!

  31. im working in jiading, how would i go about finding prostitutes in the area as i dont speak the language.

  32. @tom, please do not use this forum to ask for information you just asked.

  33. @AussiePB:

    Don’t bother arguing with idiots. They are just trying to provoke the audience.

  34. hey, i’m tall good looking white british guy.. and i can’t find any of these easy shanghai girls you guys mention.. what am i doing wrong??? ;)

    all the ones i meet.. and i meet many.. are assertive and talk of long term deal.. !

    am i talking the wrong words or something ? is there some secret(to me) venue i should explore?

    help!!!!

  35. yeah, sure, there is this place right between your legs you can explore with a cattle prod. Be sure to put it on stun.

  36. Hi:

    I just returned from China after a thirty day stay. The last few days of my trip were spent in Shanghai, I loved it!

    I sincerely appreciated a robust selection of english speaking channels on cable television at my hotel. I had spent quite a bit of time in Xiangtan, CN and the only english speaking channel was the BBC.

    Hmmmm, improvements to increase tourism. Perhaps menus in both chinese and english. I went to mostly authentic little restaurants and most of the owners were not english speaking, and for the most part their clientele was not english. So convincing them to spend money on menus might be a hard sell (I’m lucky, my girlfriend is chinese).

    Like others, I would appreciate maps in english. Even though I didn’t know where I was going all the chinese people we asked for directions were extremely accomodating.

    One thing I really did find annoying was the street vendors. I didn’t know there were so many Rolex’s in Shanghai! After the 100th person asked us if we had any interest in a Rolex our tact was to offer them a used umbrella (it was raining). Most of the responses were either laughter or the hawkers walking away perplexed.

    All this banter about prostitutes and “Shanghai Girls” are from men who spend all of their time in the bathroom. They wouldn’t know what do do with either one of the women they are talking about. Cowards that have the anonymity of the WWW.

    Shanghai I love it!

  37. I am told i am good in bed sometimes very good. versatile and can enjoy the

    best of both worlds. Being a good lover means knowing what your partner wants and needs.

    How he thinks and give him all the pleasure imaginable and explore grounds that are unfamiliar

    to both parties if they agree to it.

    Respecting his limitations as well as his boundaries please all i ask is for you to understand

    me as well. the reasons that i am what i am,

    and the intentions of what i am doing. thank you and lets enjoy each other soon

    ladyboy shemale tgirl from the phils….

    ladyboy shemale tgirl from the phils

    ladyoby shemale tgirl from the phils

  38. I am told i am good in bed sometimes very good. versatile and can enjoy the

    best of both worlds. Being a good lover means knowing what your partner wants and needs.

    How he thinks and give him all the pleasure imaginable and explore grounds that are unfamiliar

    to both parties if they agree to it.

    Respecting his limitations as well as his boundaries please all i ask is for you to understand

    me as well. the reasons that i am what i am,

    and the intentions of what i am doing. thank you and lets enjoy each other soon

    ladyboy shemale tgirl from the phils….

    ladyboy shemale tgirl from the phils

    ladyoby shemale tgirl from the phils

    None of my pics are glamour shots meaning what u see here is what u get. Nothing pretentious

    and nothing fake… except for my boobs hips and ass of course…

    SHANGHAI APRIL 14TH – MAY 2

    Upcoming Travel: Possible Hong Kong and Singapore in May (Check My Website for Updates)

    http://www.laikats.com

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    or +86 13564740614

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  39. SHANGHAI APRIL 14TH – MAY 2

    Upcoming Travel: Possible Hong Kong and Singapore in May (Check My Website for Updates)

    http://www.laikats.com

    http://www.laikatsxxx.com

    or +86 13564740614

  40. currentinShanghai

    October 8, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Hi,

    currently i’m in shanghai…. been here for 10 days… another 4 days to go…

    so far, if i were to say the top 3 improvements for shanghai in terms of tourism are:

    1. English – be it menus in the restaurants (big or small, as foreigners love to try local shanghainese food); waitress/waitresses should be able to say/recognise at least “welcome”, “thank you”, “food recommendation”, “water”, “tea”, all those common ones; clothing shops staff should be able to say/recognise at least the types of colors “red”, “blue”, etc, as well as clothes size “S” “M” “L”, “small” “medium”; ————- it’s been a challenging days for me communicating with the locals, most of the time when i go shopping i got a shock due to their way of speaking (loud, very direct, tone can be classified as rude), but i understand it is their WAY/culture of talking, however if they can be educated to better accommodate foreigners, it would definitely make foreigners feel much more comfortable when they dine, shop, etc.

    2. Cleanliness – on the roads people spitting, the awful restrooms everywhere from restaurants to shopping centers, the smell of pee on the roads, the whole lots of rubbish on the streets at nights…. perhaps the tourism department should consider looking at how singapore has been so successful in maintaining excellent cleanliness for its country although its population is 4 times smaller than shanghai.

    3. Define massage places clearly, indicate those with “Extra services” and those without – so many international visitors coming to shanghai would love to have a good proper massage without those extra services…

  41. not really…i am a asian man…but i dont like to making love with white girl becouse mostly of them is too many flek in skin (hand breas and other pat of body….. so before starting fore play i have a bad mute…..sorry…it just emberasing people who immoral like making love with white man (not the her husban)

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