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Shanghai: A great place to live in

Shanghai is the largest city in China in the term of population and one of the largest urban areas in the world, with over 20 million people in its extended metropolitan area.

Beside Shanghai is the most populous city in China and the most populous city proper in the world. A global city, Shanghai exerts influence over global commerce, finance, culture, art, fashion, research and entertainment. The city is located at the middle portion of the Chinese coast, and sits at the mouth of the Yangtze River.

The city is a tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as the Bund and City God Temple, and its modern and ever-expanding Pudong skyline including the Oriental Pearl Tower.

City Language

Mandarin is the official spoken language of China, and the people of Shanghai also speak Shanghainese. With the development of the economic policy, more and more Shanghainese could speak English and other foreign languages even very fluently.

Shanghai City Flower – the White Magnolia

In 1986, the standing committee of the Shanghai municipal people’s congress passed a resolution adopting the white magnolia as the city flower, The white magnolia is among the few spring flowers in the Shanghai area. It is in full blossom in the early spring and before the clear and bright festival, which usually falls on April 5. The flower has large, white petals and its eye always looks towards the sky, Therefore, the flower symbolizes the pioneering and enterprising spirit of the city.

Shanghai Districts

Broadly, central Shanghai is divided into two areas: Pudong (east of the Huangpu River) and Puxi (west of the Huangpu River). On the east side of the Huangpu River is Pudong, a special economic zone of banks, skyscrapers and new residential compounds. The bund lies on the historic Puxi side of the Huangpu River and looks across to the new skyline of Pudong business district. West of the old town and hidden in the backstreets north and south of Huanhai street (Shanghai’s premier shopping street) is the former French concession, with tree-lined streets, 1930s architecture, and cafes and bars. At its western end is a major collection of western-style restaurants and bars. Continuing southease is Xujiahui with its massive shopping intersection. Farther south is Shanghai Staduim. Western Shanghai is dominated by Hongqiao, a zone of hotels, conferece centers, and business offices, farther west is Gubei, and expart area, northeastern Shanghai has an industrial feel and is home to several universities, farther northwest is Zhabei and Shanghai train station. Street names are given in pinyin, which makes navigating easy, and many of the streets are named after cities and provinces in China.

The Weather

Shanghai has a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. Winters are very cold and temperatures often drop well below zero, though with few snowfall. In contrast, summers tend to be hot and humid. The weather in Shanghai is overall mild and moist all year round, with spring and autumn being the best time for traveling.

June and July are the “plum rain season”, characterized by gloomy and rainy weather. From late August till early September, Shanghai is frequented by typhoons and rainstorms, but they rarely cause any considerable damage. When traveling in Shanghai during these periods, please prepare umbrellas or raincoats.

Spring

Spring (March to May) is warm and pleasant, very suitable for spring outing or traveling.

Summer

Summer in Shanghai is very hot and humid, with July and August having the highest temperatures. Typhoons and sudden heavy rains frequent during summer. When traveling in summer, please prepare umbrellas, which can be used to protect against rain, as well as the strong sunshine on sunny days.

Autumn

Autumn (September to November) is one of the best times of the year for visiting Shanghai. The weather is generally sunny and dry. This is also the best time for eating crabs in Shanghai.

Winter

Winter in Shanghai is characterized by bitingly cold north wind and heavy humidity. Nighttime temperatures often drop well below zero, but it rarely snows. The coldest period is from late January till early February, usually during the Chinese Spring Festival.

Average Temperatures during the Year
Momth Jan Feb Mar Aprl May Jun July Ayg Sep Oct Nov Dec
Ave High 7.22 8.33 12.22 18.33 23.33 27.22 31.11 31.3 27.2 22.6 16.67 10.56
Ave Low 0 1.11 5 10.56 15.56 20 25 24.9 14.4 14.44 8.93 1.6

What to Bring

Deciding what you really need to bring, depends mostly on how long you are planning to stay Shanghai. Most people bring more than what they need. However, some of the products you are used to buy at home might be a little harder to find, or a little more expensive to buy when in Shanghai.

Appliances

Before you pack your favorite toaster, you should consider that most household and electronic items you might use in your home country today are made in China, most things can be bought locally at a decent price.

Food

If you have a favorite comfort food or a nightly ritual with a particular brand of beverage you enjoy, bring some with you to get through the stress of moving until you can be sure to find it locally. Most common food items, even those not in the Chinese diet, are now being sold everywhere. Delis and hypermarkets sell everything from cheese, wines and imported meats to specialty breads and imported fruits. However, diet or diabetic items are hard to find, as are organic foods.

Infant Needs

China is the land of the little emperors so there is no lack of children’s clothing or toys. Disposable disapers too have caught on. Beware however, that infant clothes and toys may not conform to the same safety regulations as those in your own country. Baby strength medicine or aspirin is hard to find. Also if your child has allergies and needs special shampoos, washing lotions and washing powders, these are rather difficult to come by.

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