Banana Man
Dec23

Banana Man

Yes, Shanghai IS a weird and wonderful place. I was on my way to the Science and Technology Museum in Pudong when I caught this guy walking down the street. No, it wasn’t Halloween. Just some guy in a…. Well, you’ll want to see the video on this one.

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Shanghai Sex
Nov30

Shanghai Sex

Anywhere you go in the world you can find sex for sale. That’s not really news. But sex on display so openly, and in China no less. That is what was so shocking to see. Shop window after shop window….

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Buying Fresh Produce/Meat/Seafood in Shanghai
Nov04

Buying Fresh Produce/Meat/Seafood in Shanghai

In a previous article I wrote about food shopping at various grocery stores in Shanghai.  Today we’ll look specifically at buying produce.  As with other groceries, there are good and bad options for fresh fruits and vegetables.  Let’s take a look: Wet Markets: Fresh Produce/Meat Markets Not to be confused with the Modern looking Fruit and Vegetable Shops (see the last item on this page), these wet markets are more like farmers markets with small individual vendors selling from stalls or tables.  Prices are good, produce and meats are fresh, and it’s generally it’s the best way to buy almost everything you’ll need to make a great meal.  I’ve purchased avocados, pineapples, and kiwi at these markets for about 30% less than the price at Carrefour and about 50% less than the shops covered in the Grocery Shopping in Shanghai Guide. Carrefour (a grocery store and then some) As mentioned before, Carrefour is the biggest chain supermarket, with stores located all around Shanghai.  Their fruits and vegetables rarely appear as fresh as what you’ll find at the Fresh Markets, although their prices are comparable for locally sourced foods.  Imported produce are quite a bit more expensive than the Fresh Markets. Here are some photos taken of the Produce (and Meat) sections of Carrefour.  You’ll see they have quite a decent selection, but note that these photos were taken just before the big national holiday in early October, and the produce does not normally look this plentiful, or this good. Pines, Olé, City Shop… These are the smaller and higher priced stores that cater to expats.  Their produce selections are much smaller with many of the goods in shrink-wrapped plastic.  I’ve only really bought produce at one of these stores if I’ve come to get some other grocery product I can’t find elsewhere, and don’t want to bother with an extra trip to Carrefour or a Fresh Market. Buyer Beware – Modern Fruit and Vegetable Shops – Buyer Beware WARNING! All over Shanghai, especially in the expat areas of town, you’ll see these modern looking fruit and vegetable shops that have a fairly limited stock of great looking produce.  Avoid them.  They’re pretty much all over-priced and you’ll find the same produce at the real Produce/Meat Markets and places like Carrefour. Here’s what these shops look like.  It’s good to stop in to take a look, but you really can get your produce for much better prices.  And no, the produce at these shops is NOT fresh and direct from their farms to you.  ...

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Grocery Shopping in Shanghai
Sep27

Grocery Shopping in Shanghai

Where to find the widest selection of food products, including those imported foods you’ve been longing for! Includes a map with addresses/phone numbers.

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Shanghai Metro Guide
Sep26

Shanghai Metro Guide

I ride the Shanghai Metro just about every day.  It’s a modern and massive system that rivals New York, London, Paris….  And at just CNY3-4 per ride, why on earth would you not want to take the Metro?  It cuts through traffic on the streets above with an average of 3 minutes between each stop. And the Metro is a great way to see all sorts of interesting people.  Just take a look at the very first post on this site, about the Shanghai Metro Makeup Girl.  As one friend said, she was just about falling out of that dress.  And the guy sitting next to her just couldn’t keep his eyes off. So how does it work?   You can buy a single ride ticket each time you ride, but that’s the hard way to do it.  Instead, buy yourself a Metro Card (the Shanghai Transport Smart Card).  Just go up to the service counter they have in each station, and hand over CNY100 or CNY200.  They’ll deduct CNY20 as a deposit, and put rest on the card for you to use. Then each time you ride, simply place the card on top of the turnstile and when you see the remaining balance on the little screen, walk on through.  At the end of your ride you do the same thing.  And if you run low on funds, you can easily refill the card at any of those service counters. Obviously this is great for people living in Shanghai, but what about for tourists? It’s fantastic for tourists!  You can use the Metro card to pay for a ride in any of the 50,000 or so taxis that roam around Shanghai.  [Be sure to read our Shanghai Taxi Guide for lots of tips.]  So if you don’t feel like riding with the crowds during rush hour, you can sit inside an air conditioned taxi during a rush hour watching people walk past you on their way to ride the Metro. At the end of your trip, you can either return the card and get your deposit (and any remaining balance back), or use the card to pay for a ride on the high speed Maglev train to the Shanghai Pudong International Airport (the fare is CNY40 with the card, CNY50 without).Not only can you get the CNY20 deposit back (along with any remaining balance) but you .  So don’t stand there in front of the ticket machine each time you ride the Metro.  Just get a reusable Metro card! Returning the Metro Card? If you’re planing to return the card, keep these things in mind a few things:...

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Shanghai Taxi Guide
Sep23

Shanghai Taxi Guide

Taxi’s in Shanghai are great.  They are plentiful and easy to get.  They are relatively quick, although you need to allow for a little extra time during morning and evening rush hours (not really any different from any other place in the world).  And paying for them is extremely easy to do if you have a Metro card (the stored value card you buy and keep reloading to ride the Shanghai Metro). Oh, and they are cheap.  By international standards compared to other modern, mega-cities (Shanghai has over 20 million people) they are very cheap. ¥14 gets you the first 3 kilometers, with another ¥2.4 for each extra km (up to 10km).  Compared to the US, UK, and Europe, that’s cheap. A few tips about taking taxis: Pay with your Shanghai Metro card – Much easier than dealing with cash.  At the end of the ride just hand the driver your card.  They’ll put it on top of the taxi meter and your balance on the card will show on their screen.  They’ll hit a button and you’ll see the deduction of your fare and your new balance. Taxi Cards – a lot of places will provide you with a small card with their name, address, and phone number (sometimes a little map too).  These are great for giving to your taxi driver.  Be sure to get one for your hotel so it’s easy to get back! Or use maps on your phone.  I use both Google Maps (you can download areas for offline use, since you may not have – or want to use – data roaming) and Open Street Maps.  I use OsmAnd Maps & Navigation on my Android Phone, and have downloaded the entire country of China.  All offline, no cellular data needed!  Just load up your destination and show your phone to the taxi driver.  Most can figure out where you want to go this way. Get in the Taxi BEFORE you tell the driver where you want to go.  Sometimes a taxi driver will refuse to take you’re standing outside the taxi and your tell them a destination they don’t want to go to.  Refusing this way is actually against the taxi regulations, but if you’re outside the cab they can lock the door and drive off.  Once you’re in the cab, they don’t really have much choice.  [Official Shanghai Taxi Regulations] BEWARE THE DARK BLUE TAXI’S!!!  The dark red taxis too.  Almost every ride I’ve had in a red or blue taxi has been bad, and unless it’s raining or there just aren’t any other taxis around, I’ll let them pass on by empty. ...

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