Local Information

1. Passport and Visas
A single-entry visiting visa is required to enter China and a visa can be obtained from Chinese embassies and consulates. 

2. Currency
The Chinese currency is known as Renminbi (RMB). Officially, the basic unit of RMB is the yuán (Y). Bank cards from many countries can withdraw from the ATMs of the Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and HSBC. Credit cards are generally accepted in Shanghai by some tourist hotels and restaurants although smaller shops and hotels may not accept credit cards. 

3. Tipping
Tipping is generally not done in Shanghai although some more expensive restaurants will add on a service charge. If you wish tip your hotel porter please do. 

4. Driving and car rental
Hiring a car to drive across China is currently forbidden to foreign tourists. It is possible, however, to rent cars for local use in Shanghai from rental companies at the airport. An international driving license and a credit card to cover the deposit are required. Special license plates make the rental cars easily identifiable to the Chinese police so it is not advisable to take them beyond the designated boundaries. Rates are above Y400 a day plus petrol. 

The mainland Chinese drive on the right and as drivers seems to drive wherever they like, hiring a car is not recommended. 

5. Taxi
Shanghai's 45,000 taxis are reasonable cheap and easy to flag down outside rush-hour. If you do not speak Chinese it is recommended that you have your destination written down in characters. Taxi drivers do not expect tips. 

6. Electricity and Plug


There are two official standards for plugs and sockets in the People's Republic of China. The first is the grounded, three-blade CPCS-CCC which is practically interchangeable with the type of socket found in Australia. Their non-grounded two-blade standard is very much like a 2-blade North American/Japanese plug.

No matter what the plug type is, electrical sockets (outlets) in the People's Republic of China usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. 

7. Telephone calls
If you wish to make international calls from China, it is recommended you purchase an international IP (internet phonecard) Telephone Card on arrival. The cards are readily available from newspaper kiosks and are much cheaper for international calls. The cards can easily be used from your hotel room. Although user instructions are shown on every card, some cards are written in Chinese, so it is best to check for detailed instructions at your hotel prior to use. You will also need to confirm with your hotel the number to dial for an outside line. 

Phoning abroad from China
To call abroad from mainland China, dial 00, then the country code, then the area code minus the initial zero (if any), followed by the number. 

Mobile telephones
You will need to ensure your mobile phone is unlocked for use in China in order to use another network's SIM card. Mobile phone shops, such as China Mobile, and some newspaper kiosks sell SIM cards from Y60-Y100 which includes Y50 of credit. Top up credits can be done with a credit card. 

8. Travel Information

Find the reasons to visit Shanghai, please check: 


For more details on getting around and where to eat, please check the Authoritative Guide for Shanghai Tourist and Event Information: 



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