Living in Shanghai

Shanghai is the “window” of China and fifth largest city in the world, one of China’s most cosmopolitan areas and located on the coast of the East China Sea, enjoys a convenient position as a transport hub.  It is a natural tourist base for visiting the East China Sea coastal regions as well as an ideal international transit point for domestics and foreign travel.  Shanghai is also a city with a long history that is rich in culture.  Hundreds of different style buildings, whether old or new, known as the Exposition of World Architecture, bear witness to the city’s one hundred year history.

Population and Language
Shanghai has a population of over 15 million people with half of whom live in the urban core.  The vast majority of Chinese outside metropolitan areas do not speak any foreign language.  In all parts of the PRC, the dominant dialect is Putonghua.  The individual native dialect of each region (e.g., Shanghai) is also used, making most Chinese people effectively “bilingual”.

The climate in Shanghai is an extreme climate with very hot summers, cold winters, a lovely long dry autumn and a wet spring.  January is normally the coldest month of the year and July and August are the hottest months.  The frost-free period per annum lasts as long as 230 days and the average amounts of rainfall a year is 1,200 mm.  Make sure you drink a lot of water.

Getting Around Shanghai
Shanghai is a big city, but the fairly regular pattern of the central area, with the main streets crossing at right angles, together with the variety of landmarks, makes it a relatively easy city to get around.  Getting a taxi usually presents no problem.  Fleets of taxis belong to taxi companies.  Shanghai’s buses offer convenient, cheaper services throughout the city but they are sometimes overloaded and at peak hours even a Chinese-speaking visitor should be wary about boarding one.  Shanghai has been an important artistic center for well over a century and, though there have been major changes in politicaland social outlook, the city’s culturaloutput is now richer than at any time.  Shanghai has a lot specialist companies and professional performing groups in everything from opera, ballet and music to comedy and acrobatics.