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Shanghai, China City Info
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Population: 17 million

Time Zone:  Shanghai (and all of China) is on Beijing time, which is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 8), 13 hours ahead of New York, 14 hours ahead of Chicago, and 16 hours ahead of Los Angeles. There's no daylight saving time.  Subtract 1 hour in the summer.

 

Average Temperatures:

 

 Month  

   High

 Low

January  

   46F  

  33F

February

   47F

  34F

March  

   55F  

  40F

April  

   66F

  50F  

May  

   77F

  59F  

June  

   82F

  67F 

July  

   90F

  74F  

August  

   90F  

  74F

September  

   82F

  66F

October  

   74F

  57F

November  

   63F

  45F

December  

   53F

  36F

 

When to Visit

Shanghai has hot, rainy summers and dry, cool winters.  With an average daily temperature range of 32F to 90F, July is typically the hottest month.  The average daily temperature range in January, the coldest month, is 33-46F.  Shanghai has an average annual precipitation of 45 inches.  June is the wettest month, and December is the driest.

Holidays

Telephone:  Country Code:  Shanghai's area code is 021; the country code is +86.

Currency:  Chinese yuan.

Business Hours:  8:30AM – 7:00 PM

 

Post Office:  Namjing Road

Internet Cafes:  Nanjing Road

Shopping Specialties:  Silk, cashmere, clothing, antiques, tea, electronics.

 

Getting There

By Air

Pudong Airport

With the opening of Shanghai's Pudong International Airport on October 1, 1999, Shanghai became the first city in China to have two international airports. Pudong Airport is 40km from the city. 

Hongqiao Airport

Passengers can take a special airport bus from Pudong Airport to the downtown area and Hongqiao Airport.  Five bus lines  operate on that route.  There is also the Maglev train.. The bus travels from Pudong Airport to Hongqiao Airport; from Pudong Airport to the Shanghai Exhibition Center; from Pudong Airport to Zunyi Road; from Pudong Airport to Dongjiangwan Road; and from Pudong Airport to the Shanghai Railway Station. Buses operate from 6:00 to 19:00 in downtown areas and from 8:00 to 21:00 at Pudong Airport.

 

Hongqiao International Airport is located in the western suburbs of Shanghai, only 13 kilometers away from the city center. Since 1996, Hongqiao International Airport has consecutively won the first prize among airport group with an annual passenger count of over eight million.

 

Getting Around

 

The Shànghai subway system, an inexpensive and fast way to cover longer distances, is currently undergoing some much-needed expansion (from three, including the existing light rail line,  to eight lines. During morning and evening rush hours and on weekend afternoons, the system is so overburdened that it is best to avoid riding the subway at those times. The still incomplete Metro Line 2 runs in an east-west direction from Zhongshan Gongyuán across downtown Shànghai, under the Huángpu River, and through Pudong's most developed areas to Lóngyáng Lù, where Maglev connections can be made to Pudong Airport. There are plans in the future to extend the line eastward and westward to connect to Shanghai's two airports.

To locate subway entrances, look for the large signs with a letter "M". . Subway platform signs in Chinese and pinyin indicate the station name and the name of the next station in each direction, and maps of the complete Metro system are posted in each station and inside the subway cars as well. In addition, English announcements of upcoming stops are made on trains. To determine your fare, consult the fare map posted near the ticket counters and on ticket vending kiosks.

 If you are going to be riding the subway often, purchase a rechargeable Jiaotong Card (Jiaotong Ka).  The card can also be used to pay for bus, ferry, and taxi rides, with your fare being automatically deducted from the amount remaining on the card.

 

Light Rail -- By 2001 Shànghai had opened the first phase of its Pearl Mass Transit Light Rail line, which it plans to expand greatly by 2012.. Currently, its 19 stations encircle the western outskirts of the city, with stops at Shànghai Stadium to the south and at Shànghai Railway Station to the north of downtown. Phase two of the Light Rail will complete what's started of this vast rail circle, extending the tracks across the river, through Pudong, and then back across the river into downtown Shànghai's southern precincts. The aboveground Light Rail is clean, modern, and not heavily traveled except during rush hours. Ticketing is nearly identical to the Metro system's. The Light Rail is seldom helpful for sightseeing, although it does stop near Lu Xùn Gongyuán (Hóngkou Stadium Station) and Duolún Lù cultural street (Baoxìn Lù Station) north of downtown, where the Metro lines do not extend. The Metro does usefully intersect with the Light Rail at the stations serving Shànghai Stadium, Zhongshan Park, and the Shànghai Railway Station.

 

By Taxi

With over 40,000 taxis in the streets, this is the most common means visitors use to get around Shànghai. Taxis congregate at leading hotels but can just as easily be hailed from street corners. Few drivers speak English. Most taxis now post a passenger's "bill of rights" along the back of the front seat. Some of the "rights" include a smoke-free taxi and a driver not distracted by a mobile phone.

The general rule is never go with a driver who asks you your destination before you even get into the cab.

Always have your destination marked on a map or written down in Chinese, as well as a business card from your hotel with the address in Chinese so you can show it to the taxi driver when you want to get back.

Check to see that the supervision card, which includes the driver's photo and identification number, is prominently displayed, as required by law. If not, find another cab.

Make sure the meter is visible, and that you see the driver reset it by pushing down the flag, If traveling by yourself, sit up front and take out your map so you can follow (or at least pretend to follow) the taxi's route.

At the end of the trip, pay the indicated meter fare and no more. Tips are not expected.

 

By Bus

Public buses (gong gòng qì che are considerably more difficult to use, less comfortable than taxis or the Metro. Some buses have conductors but others only have money slots in the front of the bus with no change given. Be prepared to stand and be cramped during your expedition, and take care with backpacks and purses.

 

By Bicycle

Shànghai is not the best place to ride a bicycle. Prosperity has tremendously increased the number of cars.  The bicycle is still the main form of transportation for millions of Shànghai's residents and bicycle riding is challenging, but not impossible.  A bicycle can be purchased at the large Malls.  Be sure to also purchase and use a lock.  Helmets are not required, but are advisable. 

 

By Bridge, Boat & Tunnel

Crossing the Huángpu River is necessary to enter the  Pudong New Area on the east side of the river. There are seven basic routes. Three are by bridge, each handling around 45,000 vehicles a day.  A fourth route (and the cheapest) is by water, via the passenger ferry.

The ferry terminal is at the southern end of the Bund on the west shore and at the southern end of Riverside Avenue at Dongchang Lù on the east shore.

Three more routes across the river make use of tunnels: The Yán'an Dong Lù Tunnel by car;  the  Metro Line 2 of the subway; and the Bund Sight-Seeing Tunnel (Wàitan Guanguang Suìdào) iby tram (daily 9am-9:30pm). 

By Foot

The best way to see Shànghai's sights and experience life at street-level is on foot..

 

Areas of Shanghai

Pudong Located across the Huángpu River from the Bund:  Pudong was formerly farmland before 1990.   Today,  it is home to the Lùjiazui Financial District and includes the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jin Mào Tower, the Shànghai stock exchange, Asia's largest department store, a riverside promenade, and the new Pudong International Airport.

 

Huángpu (Downtown Shànghai) The city center of old Shànghai lies in a compact sector west of the Huángpu River and south of Suzhou Creek. It extends west to Chéngdu Bei Lù (the North-South Elevated Hwy.), and encompasses the Bund, People's Square (Rénmín Guangchang), and the Shànghai Museum.

 

Nánshì (Old Chinese City) Though officially part of Huángpu District, this area immediately south of downtown and the Bund, between the Huángpu River and Xizàng Nán Lù, differs in every way from the westernized areas.  Today's old Chinese city (or Old Town) includes the Old Town Bazaar with its traditional shopping, Yù Yuán (Yù Garden), Shànghai's old city wall, and the Confucian Temple.

 

Hóngkou (Northeast Shànghai) Immediately north of downtown Shànghai, across Suzhou Creek, this residential sector along the upper Huángpu River was originally the American sector before it became part of the International Settlement in colonial days. Today it is a developing neighborhood with a few sights.  There are the Ohel Moshe Synagogue, the Lu Xùn Museum, and the Duolún Lù Commercial Street.

 

Lúwan (French Sector) Beginning at People's Square (Xizàng Lù) and continuing west to Shanxi Nán Lù, this historic district was the domain of the French colonial community up until 1949. The French left their mark on the residential architecture.   Local attractions:  Fùxing Park, the Jin Jiang Hotel, the shops along Huáihai Zhong Lù, the new Xin Tiandì development, and the former residences of Sun Yat-sen and Zhou Enlái.

 

Jìng An (Northwest Shànghai) North of the French sector and part of the former International Settlement, this district has colonial architecture, as well as the modern Shànghai Centre. Two of the city's top Buddhist shrines, Jìng An Sì and Yù Fó Sì (Jade Buddha Temple), are located here, as are a number of Shànghai's top hotels and restaurants.

 

Xúhuì (Southwest Shànghai) West of the French sector and south along Héngshan Lù, this area is one of Shànghai's leading locations for cafes, bars, and shops. Sights include the Xújiahuì Cathedral, Lónghuá Pagoda, the Shànghai Botanical Garden, and the former residence of Soong Chingling.

 

Chángníng (Hóngqiáo Development Zone:   Starting at Huáihai Xi Lù, directly west of the Xúhuì and Jìng An districts, this corridor of new international economic ventures extends far west of downtown, past Gubei New Town and the Shànghai Zoo, to the Hóngqiáo Airport.