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Living in Shanghai

Living in Shanghai

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Shanghai (Shànghǎi), situated on the banks of the Yangtze River Delta in East China, is the largest city of the People's Republic of China and the eighth largest in the world. Widely regarded as the citadel of China's modern economy, the city also serves as one of the most important cultural, commercial, financial, industrial and communications centers of China. Administratively, Shanghai is a municipality of the People's Republic of China that has province-level status. Shanghai is also one of the world's busiest ports, and became the largest cargo port in the world in 2005.

Originally a sleepy fishing town, Shanghai became China's most important city by the 20th century and was the centre of popular culture, vice, intellectual discourse and political intrigue during the Republic of China. Shanghai once became the third largest financial centre in the world, ranking after New York City and London, and the largest commercial city in the Far East in the late 19th century and early 20th century. After the communist takeover in 1949, Shanghai languished under heavy central government taxation and much of its bourgeois elements were purged. Following the central government's authorization of market-economic redevelopment of Shanghai in 1992, Shanghai quickly surpassed early-starters Shenzhen and Guangzhou, and has since led China's economic growth. Some challenges remain for Shanghai at the beginning of the 21st century, as the city struggles to cope with increased worker migration, and a huge wealth gap. However, these challenges aside, Shanghai's skyscrapers and modern lifestyle mark the pinnacle of China's recent economic development.

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Living in Shanghai

Shanghai is one of the most vibrant cities in the world and a very exciting place to live. It is the most modern city in China and has a long tradition of looking to the west for inspiration. Often referred to as ‘the Paris of the East’, Shanghai boasts a modern infrastructure and the progressive outlook of its residence is famous throughout China.
The rate of change has been staggering over the past ten years and change is a common theme running through life in this city of 16 million people. It is progressing at a rapid rate and new buildings, shops and hotels are springing up virtually everyday. Like many other large Asian cities, Shanghai suffers from pollution, traffic congestion, and overcrowding. However, it is a city undergoing enormous change and is one of the most dynamic and interesting places to live today. The allure of 30's Shanghai is evident in some of the city's older quarters, and this is juxtaposed with modern skyscrapers heralding a bright future.
More and more foreign companies and people are establishing themselves in China, and more of the commodities they demand are in hot pursuit. Western clothes, toiletries, music and food are all available, although often at an inflated price. Local medical facilities are of a high standard, and western doctors are available, but are expensive.
Unfortunately, while bookshops abound, only a few stock good English books. The situation is improving, but for the moment the selection of English reading material is limited. International newspapers and magazines are available at larger hotels.
The social scene in Shanghai is constantly changing and expanding, like everything else in the city. There is a very active nightlife, with many pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants to choose from. There are also innumerable teahouses and coffee shops, a concert hall that plays host to local and foreign musicians and shows, and some quality museums, opera houses, gardens, and other cultural establishments. Karaoke bars are everywhere for those so-inclined.



Area: 7,340.5 sq mi
Population:16 million
Country: People's Republic of China
People: 95% Han Chinese
Main language: Mandarin (putonghua), Wu (Shanghaihua)
Time zone: GMT/UTC plus 8 hours
Telephone area code: 021


Weather during November to April is the coldest and temperatures range between 3.5oC to 13.7oC (38.3oF to 56.7oF). Weather in May, June, September and October is cooling, ranging between 18.6oC to 23.5oC (65.5oF to 74.3oF). Climate in July and August starts to turn warm and temperature can go up to 28oC (82.4oF).


Dressing in Shanghai is casual but modest. Bring along some heavy clothing for the winter whereas light clothing is adequate during summer.


The currency in China is Renminbi. Credit cards and US dollars are widely accepted in hotels and major shops.

Emergency Call Numbers

Police: 110
Fire Services: 119
Ambulance: 120

For more information about Shanghai, Please visit following website:
Shanghai Town (
Shanghai city council (

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