Tour to Shanghai? What you need to know about the city? I have spent two years working on this topic and now, I want to look back and give people some handy link to the most important stuff you must know before you set your foot to this city.
Air Ticket to Shanghai
Booking international flight from country in the world to Shanghai is simple. To book flight from Shanghai to other cities in China is not easy if you are outside China. Don’t try large booking system like Expedia.com – it suggests you to transit at San Francisco if you check for a flight from Shanghai to Beijing. :-D Check China Domestic Flight Booking Guide this page for more information.
If you take international flights to Shanghai, you must be landing at Shanghai Pudong Airport. There is another international airport, Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. It is used for backup to Pudong Airport on international flight. It mainly serves domestic flight. You may use this one if you transit to other China cities.
Only Chinese RMB is accepted in Shanghai. Exchange your money after you arrive at airport or visit a local bank.
Bring your Mobile and Internet to Shanghai.
You will like foods in Shanghai. Most of my foreign friends like foods here. I have a list of restaurant.
Taxi, Metro and Bus are major transportation methods.
Didn’t reserved a hotel yet? Here is my hotel guide
People in Shanghai speak mandarine. Local people speak Shanghainese. Young people can speak English.
Considering relcating to Shanghai? Read my Living Cost in Shanghai and Living Cost in Shanghai – Part II.
What you will miss when you arrive in Shanghai? Check Hardship of Living without Twix, 10 Things You Love/Hate About Shanghai and Discrimination Against Foreigners in Shanghai? (My answer is no).
I have been using your site for awhile and you have some of the best info on the city there is. All you lack is a nightlife guide.
I see two forms of night life expat night life and Chinese night life. The difference being the places cater to expats so staff speaks english etc. The Chinese night life you definitely need a Chinese friend with you. On my last trip in April my Chinese friends showed me their side and I showed them mine so Shanghai has much to offer especially if you have a Chinese friend. This was probably the most fun I had had ever!
If you want me to expand let me know.
Oh. Yes. Readers of this site and I will be very happy to get your view. I am opening another post on night life.
Night Life Part I
I will focus on expat night life first. All of the places have either all or some English speaking employees. If anyone has some places I missed I am always looking to check out new places.
I am happy to say Shanghai is back to the City that never sleeps as it was quite depressing post sars last year. Night Life starts at 9 PM anything before that is Happy Hour pretty much and there are literally thousands of pubs with local flavor to check out.
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are packed everywhere in Shanghai with Monday Night being the slowest. However every night can be a different adventure. Night Life is not cheap by local standards. If you want to sit by yourself and nurse a beer you can get away with ten dollars in an evening however expect to spend $100 USD or more for a whole night out if you are a single guy and perhaps less if you are a couple. As a girl told me this last trip if you want to play you gotta pay!
These are all in downtown Shanghai I have only briefly explored Pu Dong but its a long trip and there are plenty of places in downtown.
The best places to go (in my opinion):
Mao Ming Lu
Ju Lu Lu
Hengshan Road has many little pubs that are colorful if you want a drink without the noise. Some come with companions and some not.
My favorite place and first stop on Hengshan Road is usually Bourbon Street. Its across from the Real Love Disco which used to be popular with foreigners but no longer its mostly local teens. Bourbon Street usually has a decent live band and dancing, Drinks are reasonable (for expat bars) and there is no cover. If you are lonely the second floor has plenty of rent a companions who will want to be your friend just beware if a women wants to get money and then buy the drinks for you. If you are happy tell the girls you are waiting for your girlfriend and they will leave you alone. The staff is also not high pressure if you tell them you dont want a second drink they will not ask you over and over. Its a relaxed casual place. I usually stay to about 11 unless I meet someone interesting and stay the evening it closes at 3 AM. The band sings almost all songs in English by midnight its packed on the 1st floor.
If you have a girlfriend this is the place you want to go. Both places are pretty upscale and nice and they weed out the working girls. The cost is a bit higher but again if you are having fun and not just drinking you can have dinner and a few drinks for under $100 USD. Both places have cover charges unless you can get in on a VIP list.
First is Park 97. Several really good restaurants and then you can dance the night away at either the Califoria Club with DJ or the new popular spot which is upstairs at 97 which has live music. Its all white collar upper income people.
However, I prefer Guandi across the way. Guandi has two dance rooms and is very upscale. The service is great and it alot bigger so you have room to breath. They have DJ music with a mello R&B and a faster pace techno/trace room.
In the heart of one of the most upscale areas in Shanghai sits Xiantiandi. Its an outstanding collection of first class restaurants, pubs, and clubs. Its also where you too can pay 70 rmb for a glass of coca cola. However its a nice place to stroll and take a girlfriend or just listen to the live music in all the clubs. I would suggest you try them all over time to see which ones have music that fits your taste.
If you liked part 1 let me know and I will push on with part 2 and then cover the best Chinese clubs and KTV’s..
i’m sorry, after going through half of the website, i am still not sure if this is the right place to post this question.
I would like to ask where can local Chinese, in Shanghai, change RMB to foreign currencies such as HK$, NT$, SGD or Mysia Ringgit? I was told that it is EXTREMMMEELLYY difficult for the locals to change RMB to foreign currencies. My friend (not a local) said they need to produce a passport at the banks to prove that they are foreigners before they can change foreign currencies to RMB.
My other question is: are there ANY restrictions on the amount of RMB a foreigner can bring OUT of China?? This is the situation which i’ll be facing IF my Chinese friend can’t change the RMB to my currency easily in Shanghai. this problem is giving me so many headaches before my trip to SH next Tuesday. HELP me please!
Please can you privde me with the email addresses for the best night clubs in Shanghai?
e.g. Park 97, Guandi, etc…
Sorry I meant, “provide”.
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I loved Shanghai, especially Bourbon Street. At the time I went, I had the pleasure of seeing a band named Mailbox who sang most songs in English. It was a blast.
Where is the Bourbon Street? I don’t know a street with this name.
Bourbon Street is at New Orleans, the name just refers to the place full of bars, restaurants and night clubs etc.
Bourbon Street mentioned is at Hengshan road… it’s not a street, it’s a bar. Moreover, it’s not in New Orleans :P
Yes. I now recall there is a bar called Bourbon Street on Hengshan Road.
i just wanted to thank you for recommending bourbon street as one of the good places to hang out.Visit us and we will try our best to entertain you guys with our music.Everynight we play variety of songs and party with variety of crowds.Hope you’ll have a great night with us…
Hi.. juz wondering if Bourbon Street is actually opened by a Singaporean?