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Top Ten Tips for Moving & Living in Shanghai

Top Ten Tips for Moving & Living in Shanghai

Every foreigner arriving in China must immediately register with the local police. If you are staying in a hotel, they will take care of this for you. Otherwise, simply go to the nearest police station in your neighbourhood, present your passport, along with a photocopy of both your identification and visa pages, and report where you are staying and for how long. Once registered, you receive a form, which is your temporary residence permit. If you move into a housing compound, ask if your landlord will take care of this for foreign tenants. Always re-register whenever you change residence in Shanghai. Late registration usually results in a nominal fine. Failure to register at all could lead to major bureaucratic hassles. As with most things in daily Chinese life, it is now possible to register on your mobile phone using WeChat.To get more lifestyle news shanghai, you can visit shine news official website.

Shanghai is not a grid, and the sporadic maze of alleys, streets, boulevards and freeways is difficult to navigate, even for the city’s seasoned veterans. Morning and evening rush-hour traffic is characterised by dense, aggressive traffic and frequent gridlock. Using map apps on your phone will make life much easier.

Despite the massive size of greater Shanghai, most of the central areas are grouped together and manageable in size. Once inside a neighbourhood, getting around on foot is relatively easy.On a good day, shopping in Shanghai is a delightful and engaging experience, where one can revel in all of the city’s sensations, discover hidden gems and feel fully immersed in the flow of China’s thriving consumer culture. On a bad day, however, lines and crowds are spirit crushing, bargains are fleeting and it takes far too long to find something simple. Either way, it’s an adventure. And as Shanghai’s consumer infrastructure matures, the good days are becoming far more frequent for expat shoppers. You can find anything in Shanghai!

There are several branches of each of the Chinese domestic banks in almost every district of Shanghai, all of which allow foreigners to open either yuan or US dollar accounts. The most common are Bank of China, ICBC, China Merchant’s Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank. They all offer debit cards, Internet banking and currency exchange services. Many expats choose banks with an international focus, such as Bank of China and ICBC, which both accept the transfer of money to and from your home country. For credit card services and access to funds back home, it is best to keep an international bank account. Banks are generally open from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, and Saturday mornings.

Expect long lines at banks. If you want to spend less than 30 minutes for any visit, take a spot near the door before it opens and make a run for the ticket terminal to collect your number. There will be others – particularly on Mondays when weekend earnings are deposited. The mobile phone market in Shanghai is thriving. Everybody from ages 8 to 80 has a mobile phone. They buzz, sing and ring constantly wherever you are in the city – a testament to a clear, functioning network and affordable pay-as-you-go calls. Most mobile phones that are supported by GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) work throughout China, and you might find that Chinese SIM cards will work in your phone. However, if you are moving to Shanghai, it is far more affordable to pick up a local plan as soon as you move here. China Mobile, the nation’s biggest telecommunication service provider, as well as China Unicom have extensive 4G coverage and are developing their 5G capacity all the time.


In a vast country with varying standards of sanitation and enforcement, Shanghai is known throughout China for serving the cleanest food. Most restaurants and supermarkets, especially those that cater to expats, look and feel sanitary. The longer you are in Shanghai, the more adventurous you can be with eating out. Local inspectors increasingly visit popular restaurants to ensure they are up to standard. Nonetheless, you may have minor digestion problems during the first few weeks. This is normally no cause for alarm, as the body has to adjust to foreign bacteria.
Finding Housing

Choose your housing carefully. In a city this big, and this sprawling, where you live will dictate your lifestyle. The best way to get a feel for Shanghai's varied residential worlds before signing a lease is to explore the different neighbourhoods. While you’re at it, give potential daily journeys to work or school a trial run. Collect information and perspectives by speaking to property agents that specialise in expatriate housing while asking colleagues and friends about the advantages and disadvantages of their areas.

Finding appropriate housing in Shanghai can be frustrating, as there are pros and cons to every option. The converted lane house in the former French Concession may be close to the action, but it may also be noisy and prone to running out of hot water. Conversely, the expansive suburban villa may leave you and your family feeling isolated from city life.

Culture Shock

Culture shock is the inability to understand and react to what’s going on around you.

So what should you do to keep culture shock under control? There are measures you can take to mitigate the negative aspects.

1) Get to know your immediate locale. You may be in a foreign city, but being familiar with a few neighbourhood restaurants, markets and green areas will at least allow you to feel that you have control over your immediate domain.

2) Start a journal. This is an invaluable tool. A journal will force you to reflect on your own feelings and consequently get you thinking about ways to control them. It will also be a priceless experience to read it a year later when you’re an old hand in Shanghai.

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