Auteur : Sam

A great option for short term stays in Shanghai. Located in the beautiful French concession, close to restaurants, public transportation, and more. Great hosts will make you feel at home.

In Shanghai, it can be hard to find a short-term place to stay. Landlords require a one-year contract, and moving in with roommates can be unpredictable and you will need to put down a cash deposit. One great option is Airbnb. If youre not familiar with Airbnb, it is an American company that allows travelers, interns, and anyone to easily find short-term accommodation all over the world. You can choose to rent whole apartments or just a room. Are you a student that needs short-term housing? Are you traveling through Shanghai? Do you want a cheap place to stay in Shanghai? Do you need accommodation while you do an internship? All these situations are a great reason to use Airbnb. Id like to offer a specific Airbnb recommendation. My apartment! It is in the French Concession of Shanghai, a great area with lots of shops and restaurants nearby, and very close to public transport. Also, youll have access to me, and I can help you with advice on how to make the most of your days in the city. Check out some pictures, and follow this link to book! Living Room Living Room Living Room Living Room Guest Bedroom Guest Bedroom Guest Bedroom Hallway Kitchen Bathroom Bathroom A view from outside the house Intersection near the...

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Find out where to get Quest Protein Bars in Shanghai, China. Using this information, and Taobao you can get reasonably priced, delicious protein bars.

Back after quite a while with a quick entry on an awesome health/fitness product Ive found on Taobao over the last month. Before, I told you about where to get Whey Protein powder, Creatine, Pre-workout, and other fitness supplies I was introduced to Quest Bars by a crossfitter here, who brought back a whole suitcase full of these guys! I tried one, and was pretty impressed by the taste, especially since my main source of non-food based protein has been chocolate shakes for the past 4 years. The best thing, hands-down, has to be the number of flavors. There are 16 different flavors of Quest Bars. Ill list them below, with the Chinese translation so you can easily find which ones you want to add to your Taobao Shopping cart. You can either order bars individually, or a single flavor box of 12. At the time of writing, there is barely a price difference between the two, so Id suggest giving a bunch of flavors a try. Each bar has 20 or more grams of protein, and very little sugar, only 1 or 2 grams. There are lots of good reviews of these out there on the internet, which also encouraged my purchase. The Taobao seller is located in Southern China, so they bars will take a couple days to arrive to you in Shanghai (and other Chinese cities...

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How to use Taobao to find Whey Protein in China and Workout Supplements in China

Id written previously about creating your own home gym in China. So, now that youre working out, what about the workout supplement, protein, and other fitness food items that youd usually just get at GNC or Vitamin Shoppe? Well, as most things here, you can get protein on Taobao in China. There are several physical or online shops that cater to expats that sell whey protein in Shanghai and other supplements, but the prices are much more expensive than Taobao. For a great guide on using Taobao, check out the Taobao Field Guide. Getting Whey Protein in Shanghai First, Im just going to do a promotion of the seller that Ive been using for the last couple months. Ive been happy with the whey protein Ive been buying. I like them because theyve got a great selection, low prices, and are in Shanghai, so Ive been receiving my shipment the day after I order. The link is http://hanshangsp.tmall.com So, Id suggest using this shop if the link is working at the time you read this. If you do buy from them, make sure to read step #3 below about specifying flavor of your protein. If you are not in Shanghai, or would like to find a different seller in China to buy protein and other workout supplemtns, here are some steps to follow to make sure you get quality...

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Most of my readers are those who are planning on moving to China, or have already moved to Shanghai, Beijing, or another Chinese city and are looking for t

More than a China Tour By Guru On August 22, 2013 · Add Comment Most of my readers are those who are planning on moving to China, or have already moved to Shanghai, Beijing, or another Chinese city and are looking for the best way to live their best life. I recently helped a different type of client, the business traveler, who can also easily feel lost in China and is also very much in need of the Shanghai Guru. Mindy Moore isn’t a new entrepreneur. She owned and operated a small advertising/public relations company for more than two decades before retiring in 2009. By 2012, she realized retirement was not for her and decided to create a product from scratch. On her own, she contacted factories around China, and formed relationships with a couple of them. After exchanging business philosophy, specifications and, later, samples, she was well on her way to having her product produced. But, there was one thing missing. She wanted to visit China to see these factories with which shed been communicating. She wanted to sit down and hash out the details and take a tour around the production line to see the conditions of the workers. But also, she wanted to have her trip be a vacation as well. Mindy had not been to Asia since she was a child, and her husband, Tony,...

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Finding gyms in shanghai and China can be expensive, so if you’d like to build you own home gym using Taobao, check out my guide for an alternative to the gym

Gyms in Shanghai are many, and they range from amazing spa-like fitness centers, which cost over $1000 a year, to local community centers, with mismatched weights and shirtless, cigarette-smoking patrons. Lots of articles have been written about the different gyms in Shanghai, so Im going to skip that. I like going to the gym as much as the average person, but last year when I was short on funds and unable to put down for a full membership, I used Taobao to buy all the materials to make my own home gym, and spent around $1000 RMB ($160). Using Taobao to build you own home gym is an especially good decision for those living in smaller Chinese cities where there are no gyms, or where selection is very limited. For learning how to do online banking in China, see my previous Shanghai Guru blog post For using Taobao in China, check out the Taobao Field Guide, which I highly recommend Build Your Home Gym in China When building your own home gym in China, first decide what you need. For me, the essential (and most expensive) were free weights. Thankfully, you will not have to buy a whole set of weights. Instead, you can get a knockoff Bowflex dumbbell, which allows you to turn a dial and change the weighs engaged by the dumbbell. Heres how you buy this...

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Get from the Zhuhai airport to Macau. Here’s a step-by-step guide to taking the bus to the border crossing, getting to Macau, and coming back to Zhuhai.

For many reasons, foreigners in China occasionally have to leave the country and then reenter. Most of the time, people go to Hong Kong, but one option is to do your visa run to Macau. If youre doing things on the cheap, you can fly to the Zhuhai airport and then take a bus to Macau. Getting from the Zhuhai airport to Macau is very simple, and bus tickets only cost 25 RMB. First, you have to get to the Zhuhai airport. Currently (May 16, 2013), round trip flights from Shanghai to Zhuhai can be gotten with Spring Airlines for as little as 920 RMB ($150). Now, heres how to get from the Zhuhai airport to Macau and then back into China. Get from Zhuhai Airport to Macau 1) After you exit baggage claim, look to your right for the Zhuhai Airport Bus ticket counter. Buy a ticket to GǒngBěi (拱北). Gongbei is the port which connects Zhuhai and Macau. The ticket is 25 RMB. Busses leave every 30 minutes or so. 2) Wait in the bus terminal waiting room. Keep an eye on on the busses that pull up outside and what other people are doing in the waiting hall so that you dont miss your bus. 3) Board the bus from the Zhuhai airport to Gongbei. Your ticket has an assigned seat, so make sure you sit...

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Now in Shanghai we are in the period of perfect weather. These are the times after you’ve stopped using the heater and put your winter clothes away, but be

Now in Shanghai we are in the period of perfect weather. These are the times after youve stopped using the heater and put your winter clothes away, but before youre working the air conditioner overtime and wear flip-flops any time youre not at work. So, now is the perfect time to do a bit of spring cleaning, specifically on your air conditioner. Since youre going to be using it most of the time during the summer, its good to clean the dust and grime out of the air filter now. If you havent cleaned your filters out in a while (or ever), you may be in for a surprise. The good news is that after youre done, your air conditioner will work better and produce a better air flow. As most apartments in China have individual air conditioner units for each room, Ill focus on cleaning these individual units. Steps for Cleaning Your Air Conditioner in China 1) Get all your supplies ready. If the air conditioner unit is above your bed, computer, or TV, you may want to put a sheet over your stuff to protect it from any dust that falls down. Also, if youre worried about breathing in anything hazardous you can want to wear a mask while you do this. Or, if youre like me, you can just hold your breath. Also, figure out where...

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So, what do you do if you forget your ATM card inside a Chinese ATM? Don’t have a breakdown yet, there’s likely an easy way to have your card back soon.

Its a normal day in China, and you go into your wallet to find your ATM card, needing it to buy something at the store, or maybe to take cash out. Uh ohits not there. Youre mind is racing. Where could you have lost it? Was it stolen, dropped on the ground, maybe forgotten in your apartment somewhere? Then you come to the realization: you forgot it in the ATM you used the other day. Fear not! There is a solution, and I just had one of the more difficult experiences getting my card back, so everyone can learn from my forgetfulness. Its like this First, lets take a step back. Im not sure how it is in other countries, but in China, nearly all ATMs will have you fully insert your card into the machine, and it will keep it until your transaction is done. Rarely (or maybe never) will you find one where you insert and take the card back before you put in your PIN and proceed with the withdrawal. Also, the machine first dispenses your cash, then you have to tell it that youre done and want your card back. Then it will give you your card. I think this makes it easy (if you are forgetful, or dont have your wits about you) to take your cash and go on your way, leaving your...

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How do get water delivery in Shanghai and in greater China? Here are steps to getting a water dispenser,choosing a water delivery company, and talking on the phone in Chinese.

If you werent previously aware, the tap water in China is not suitable to drink. Most people use it for brushing their teeth and washing fruits and vegetables, but when it comes drinking, its best to drink bottled water. Many Chinese will boil the tap water, but as this doesnt get rid of some of the metals that are present in the tap water, its not the best option. So, you will either need to buy bottled water from the store, or you can get water delivered to your apartment. Here are some key steps to dealing with water delivery in Shanghai (and greater China too). Getting a water dispenser If youre going to get water delivered, youll first need a water dispenser. Basically, there are 2 types: tall ones that sit on the floor, and shorter ones that you place on your countertop (or a table). I prefer the tall ones, as I find I have a lack of counter space, but not floor space. If youre able to do online purchases (or get someone to help you), head over to www.jd.com and search for 饮水机. The most popular ones will display first, so Id recommend getting one of those. The other key difference in water dispensers (other than their size) is the functions. The dispensers will either A) dispense hot water and room temperature water or B)...

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It seems as if Shanghai tap water is getting more dangerous, so here are some common sense tips to keep yourself safe and as healthy as you can.

If youre living in Shanghai, youve undoubtably heard about the pigs that were found in the Huangpu River, which is the source of Shanghai tap water. This very scary Foreign Policy article which tries to connect the recent pollution of water supply with 2 deaths of a new form of influenza (H7N9) that came out today has prompted me to write this post. So, what can we do? 1) DO NOT drink the tap water. All foreigners in China know this, but its important to not drink the tap water, especially now. For the past couple of months now, Ive been using bottled water for all types of cooking, including making pasta, rice, noodles, etc. I want to minimize any of the tap water getting inside my body. Its worth noting here that any Chinese restaurant you go to will undoubtably be using tap water to make their rice. So just keep that in mind. Im still using the tap water to brush my teeth, but if youre really worried, using bottled water for that is such a minimal cost that it might be a good idea. 2) Dont eat Chinese fish. Ive stuck to this for most of my time in China. When you consider the purity of the rivers, its probably best not to eat animals that live in them. 3) Dont eat Chinese produced pork (or...

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Utility bills in China are all in Chinese, and can be hard to understand. See actual bills in China broken down in an easy to understand way.

After a some recent fiascos with bills in my personal life in Shanghai, I figured a post on how to read bills in China would go a long way. Bills in China are something that everyone dreads paying, but the silver lining is that in China, bills are actually quite cheap. Your most expensive bill will be the electric bill, and will obviously be high in the winter (when the heaters are on) and in the summer (when youre using the air conditioner). Its always amazing to get bills in the spring and fall and find them to be very cheap. In almost all circumstances, there will be 3 bills that you get in your mailbox: Electricity bill Comes once a month Gas bill Comes once every 2 months Water bill Comes once every 2 months Note: Im not going to get into internet or phone bills here, because they differ in a lot of circumstances. The other 3 above bills in my experience are standard for everyone. Reading Bills in China ***Click the image to enlarge*** Explanation of the bill Period of time the bill covers This is the time period that you are being charged for. Some common sense allows you to figure this out, but just in case there is any confusion, look for the following characters: 年 Year 月 Month 日 Day Total Owed This...

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Some tips on how to easily find an apartment in China or Shanghai. How to find suitable agents in China, what to expect,watch out for, and a little on negotiation.

So, you need to find an apartment in China. The ultimate needle in a haystack situation. I have personally just finished my apartment search, and even though it was for less than a week, it was still exhausting. This is thankfully only the second time Ive searched for my own apartment, but I can offer some tips and tricks to make your search as easy as possible, and make you aware of the common obstacles. Where to look for apartments in China? 1) To find an apartment in China,first try expat-oriented websites, like SmartShanghai (and its new Bejing site, SmartBeijing). The most important benefit here is that the apartments offered are real. The site penalizes realty companies that put up fake pictures. The apartments here are just a fraction of what are available, but this is not a bad place to start. 2) Chinese real estate sites, which are all in Chinese, can offer some direction to help you find an apartment in China. Some examples of these are Soufun.com, Haozu.com, or Baixingwang. In my experience, there is major fishing going on here. Companies will put up an amazing looking apartment with a really cheap price. Im not sure if the apartment never existed in the first place, but they wont be able to show it to you. I use this just to get contacts at realty agencies. I...

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Winter in China can be freezing, but it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Look here for cheap key items that you can get off Taobao and delivered to you.

Winter is quickly descending on China,and there are all sorts of ways to stay warm. Ill get into methods in a later post, but for now I want to focus on some Ive also recently discovered the ease and joy of online shopping using Taobao and its sister site Tmall. Ive found the prices there to be equal if not lower than the stores, and with cheap delivery there is no need to actually go shopping for some items in physical stores. The one large purchase item, a space heater, I have yet to buy yet, and am waiting till I really need it. But until then, here are some of the goodies I bought, along with the prices I paid. Stave Off Winter with These Online Purchases 1. Area Rugs (地毯) This is the first time Ive had a rug in a Shanghai apartment, and Im loving it so far. Its so much nicer to step out of bed onto a rug than a frigid wood floor. I bought two ROBO (not sure what this means) off Taobao, and together they cover most of the bare floor in my bedroom. Also, they arent super shaggy, so they can be vacuumed fairly easily. If you dont have a vacuum I would caution about getting rugs. Chinese cities can be pretty dusty, and hardwood floors can be easily swept and...

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Grocery shopping in China can be difficult, but by knowing the advantages of each type of grocery store or veggie/fruit stall can save you time and money.

Grocery shopping in China is probably not going to be as simple as what you’re used to back home. In the United States, I’d just go shopping at 1 grocery store, and find all I needed: meat, vegetables, fruit, packaged goods, frozen goods, canned goods, everything. In China, it is not so simple. As you’ll see, if money is not an issue, it can make your life a little easier, but with some good planning you can do your best to save time, money, and get the best quality food available. First things first – Know how much groceries you can carry. In your home country, you may have been used to filling up your cart and loading the bags into your car’s trunk, but in when you grocery shop in China, you’ll either have to carry everything with you. If you’re doing a big shopping trip, I’d suggest taking a backpack with you to put the heaviest items (milk, cans, other liquids) in, so that it is easier on your arms. Types of Grocery Stores in China (and strategies for shopping): • Hypermarket (Megastore) – These massive stores have groceries, cleaning supplies, kitchen supplies, home goods, clothing, electronics, and even some sporting equipment. Most usually have an aisle or two of popular imported food items, usually cheaper than the strictly import grocery stores. Imports you can get at...

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Here are some easy tips to deal with the pollution in China, Shanghai and Beijing. These tips are easy to implement and are easy on your budget as well.

Yesterday, Shanghai suffered a bit of excess pollution. Air pollution in China is a fact of life.. Some cities, like Shanghai, get lucky and get less pollution, while some smaller cities in the countryside may be fairly polluted most days. While we cant change what we breathe in while were outside, it is possible to make your apartment as pollution free as possible. Here are some tips to keep your lungs as healthy as they can be and deal with the pollution in China. Cures for pollution in China Dont leave your windows open The Chinese will often leave their windows open to clear out the air, which is productive only if they get closed soon after. If windows are left open, youll get more dust and bad air in your apartment. On really polluted days, its best to leave your windows shut. Get houseplants to clean the air Plants in China are cheap. Small ones will cost between 20 and 40 RMB, and large plants will usually cost between 100 and 200 RMB. Do some research on which houseplants best clean the air. Some really common ones youll find in the plant markets include the bamboo palm and snake plant. Check out the Shanghai Guru ebook for more information about houseplants. Clean your bed linens at least once every 2 weeks The average person spends 8 hours in...

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Buying a scooter in China can be a big decision. Before you go to buy a scooter in China, read these 5 things to look for in your purchase.

Buying a scooter in China is a decision that many people weigh in their minds during their time in the country. For the negative aspects, a scooter is a financial investment costing anywhere from 2000-4000 RMB by the time you buy the scooter, bike locks, helmet, and any other accessories. Also, there is always the possibility of the scooter getting stolen, which while rare, does happen. On the other hand, having a scooter in China will bring all sorts of conveniences to your life. You can commute to work or school faster, long walks to the grocery store are turned into a quick ride, and generally, your area and mobility are greatly increased. The 5 things you NEED to consider when buying a scooter in China: 1. Battery type This is the most important factor, because it will determine what types of scooters you can buy. It shouldnt come as a surprise that, because scooters are electric, they need to be recharged after a certain number of uses. The batteries will either be removable or they will be built-in (built into the bike body). To charge built-in batteries, you will have to park your scooter near an electrical outlet and run the supplied cord from your bike directly to the outlet. For removable batteries, you will take the batteries out of the bike, carry them to your apartment, and...

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How do hotels in China work? Find out check in, check out, and all the in betweens.

When you first arrive in China, or definitely when you travel around the country, you’ll be staying in hotels or hostels. Checking in and out of a hotel can be a long and semi-confusing process in China. I had been so used to the Chinese way, that when I came back to the United States and stayed in a hotel, I was amazed at how easy it was. First Steps If you’ve already booked your room, you should be on record with the hotel. Remember the website where you booked from. Some websites will ask you to print off a page or remember a confirmation number associated with your reservation. See the bottom of the post for hotel booking websites If you do not have a reservation, you’ll have to check with front desk for available rooms. Oftentimes, there will be a placard listing the hotel’s room types and the associated rates. DO NOT pay the rates listed on the sign. Real prices will almost always be lower. Instead, ask the staff for the best price. You may even be able to negotiate it down a bit, depending on the season and current occupancy rate. Checking In In China, people (and foreigners especially) must be registered with the police. So, whenever you check in at a hotel, you’ll need to present the front desk with your passport.You need your...

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What are the 10 Chinese dishes that all foreigners love? In China, ordering food can be tough and confusing, so check out this guide to the best Chinese dishes you can get.

Arriving in China, eating out can be a challenge, especially if you arent familiar with Chinese dishes, let alone Chinese characters. But, youll notice after being in China for a little while, especially if you hang out with other foreigners, there are certain dishes that show up again and again on the restaurant table. Below are some of my favorites, and Ive found most foreigners like all of these. Give these a try when youre out at a restaurant, and start opening up your palate to more and more Chinese flavors. But dont just take my word for it, explore and find out which Chinese dish is your favorite. Meat dishes 1. Gōng Bǎo Jī Dīng 宫爆鸡丁 or 宫保鸡丁 We in the West know this traditional Sichuanese dish as Kung Pao Chicken. But, its not only in Sichuan where you can find this dish. Nearly all restaurants can make their own variant, yet its constant is pieces of chicken, peanuts, vegetables and chili peppers. Often the vegetable will be green onion, and occasionally carrots will be added in as well. What makes lots of foreigners (and me) like this dish is the Dīng. Dīng here means small piece and refers to the small pieces of boneless chicken in the dish. Many times chicken in Chinese food will not be deboned, which is a source of aggravation and annoyance, to...

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China bus signs can be hard to understand. Check out this visual guide to deciphering China bus signs. Bus route, current stop, start/stop times

Of all the transportation options in Chinese cities, the bus system is the hardest to learn, but the most rewarding once you learn the ropes. China bus stops are easily identifiable. Many stops will have glass enclosure and benches to sit on. Others will only have a post (like in the picture). The bus legend will either be on the post or attached to the bus stop enclosure. Bus Route – This is the big number at the top of the placard. Oftentimes, this number will be followed by 路, the Chinese word for “road.” Here it would mean “bus route.” Bus Stops – Each stop the bus makes will be listed on most signs. In the example bus stop sign, the current stop is highlighted using red font. As you can see, this stop is the second stop for #23 bus. The previous stop is in grey (meaning it’s already been past) and the upcoming stops are in black. The red arrow on the left side indicates that stops progress from top to bottom. Bus Times – On the top right corner of the sign will be two times (written in the 24 hour military clock). 前班车 is the time of the first bus, and 未班车 is the time of the last bus. Occasionally, there will be times listed near the bottom of the green section. This indicates...

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What do you do when you arrive in China? Find out the forms to fill out, customs procedures, and how to get a taxi in China

m switching it up a bit this post, and have some video for you. Its all about Arrival in China today. From the form you have to fill out on the plane, going through customs, picking up your bags, getting a taxi, and communicating with the taxi driver, I cover it all. Youtube link as soon as I overcome a mountain of technical difficulties The entry form mentioned in the video can be found on the Forms section of China Life Tools Tagged with → arrival • policy • tips •...

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