TRAVEL QUICK TIPS
Shanghai, China - Customs
Customs | Places to Visit
DO'S AND DON'TS- Always accept a business card with two hands and treat it with respect. Don't use red ink as it conveys unfriendliness. Never point your chopsticks at anyone (and yes, you will be eating most of your meals with chopsticks) as it is considered rude.
HAGGLING NOTES- In China you will almost NEVER pay the asking price The Chinese are skilled negotiators and shopping
in China is all about the art of the haggler! In the markets I will usually make a deal at between 25 - 35 % off the merchant’s initial asking price. Most stores that have fixed prices are still
able to give a discount of between 5 - 20 %.
Haggling is a passionate sport here and you are best to hit the markets when you are up for the action. Engage in the barter for the sporting event it is - have fun and always haggle with a smile. Never appear to be enthusiastic regarding a particular item and be prepared to walk away. Rest assured another vendor will have the same product and you can always try again tomorrow.
SHOPPING NOTES- Sizes are very irregular. Have a good look or try on before buying. Even two of the same item, marked as the same size, can be substantially different.
WHAT TO WEAR - During the summer months Shanghai is hot,
in fact the temperature can reach 104 F- dress comfortably, especially with good walking shoes as you tend to put on the miles and the streets are not conducive to high heels. Shanghai does cool down in the winter months with temperatures ranging from +10 to -10. The air is damp and I find I need to dress warm, with a down filed coat, scarf and even gloves. Avoid traveling during the Chinese New Year as the city literally grinds to a halt mid-January to the end of February.
CAR RENTALS - DEFINETLY NOT- This is not a city that you should consider driving in. There are 40,000 taxis in Shanghai and the only time you will have trouble finding a cab is if it is raining outside. Be prepared for a long wait during bad weather, otherwise hailing a cab is easy and efficient. Drivers will not speak or read English so be prepared and have a business card or destination address written in Chinese ready to hand to the driver. Taking a cab to most destinations will be under 30 RMB or about $3.50. Let's not even talk about having to find a parking stall or reading a road sign.