Tag Archives: Shanghai

Shanghai Tourist Things To Do: Explore Shanghai on a Vintage, Sidecar Motorbike

This is a fun tourist thing to do in Shanghai. I see people in these and they’re always smiling. Make sure you visit the French concession  as the views  will be fascinating and fabulous.

Contact: thomas@shanghaisideways.com or call them +86-150-2111245

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Shanghai, Shopping, Tourist Things To Do: Go to the Eye Glass Market

Buy  your eyeglasses here, they are REALLY CHEEP! Make sure you bring your prescription, or they can check your eyes at the shop. The eye glass market here is massive, but I have attached Lisa’s card below ( in English and Chinese). I always go to her. Print it out and give it to a taxi, you will end up at a door, go in, find the lift and go up to the fourth floor. When you  find Lisa’s shop and if  you can’t find some frames you like: you really need your eyes tested!

To buy reading glasses they are about 100-1500 RMB  and if you want a really good name (??? know what I mean – 300 RMB).  They, also have prescription swimming goggels ( about 100 RMB about $15 US)  and  contact lenses in all colors ( about 70 RMB). Go wild, get  different glasses for each room of your house.

On the 3rd floor below the eye glass market is the wedding market… I will post on that later.

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China and Hong Kong Pets

I must say, the dressing-up of pets I do find interesting here. When I lived in Hong Kong there was even a cafe where you could have a latte  whilst your dog was served a doggy pizza. On Saturdays the cafe pumped like a fashion show, girls  oooed and ahhhed at the best-dressed pooches and birthdays were also celebrated with doggy birthday cakes and candles. I would take tourists there as part of my alternative Hong Kong, tour-guide service. In China and Hong Kong they also  put shoes on their dogs: they don’t like their feet to get their dirty. You will also see dogs in prams.

But the best fashion-prize must go to a neighbor of mine in Shanghai, who makes panties for her dog out of g-strings.


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How to Send New Clothes to Deceased Relatives

I love my Chinese neighbours. Today in the lane one of them was making paper offering to give her dead relatives on April 4th ( a special day to do this in China).

She taught me how to make shoes, shirts and trousers. I’m now working on making my  deceased mother a whole wardrobe. On the 4th April in our lane, I will draw a circle on the floor with chalk and burn everything I’ve made inside it. The smoke will take  the burned goods up to heaven to meet Mum: ahhh, so sweet! Or  weird ( depending on your beliefs or how you look at things). I’m also thinking of going out and  buying other paper offerings you can get here too. I could send  to her a designer handbag,  a Porch car,  a mansion and even a butler and policeman to cater to her every whim and need.

My neighbor also gave me a couple of apples for lunch. Have I told you how much I love Chinese people – they’re so sweet, one of the nicest cultures I’ve ever lived amongst.

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Want to come and live in Shanghai?

My suggestion is,  to contact at least 5 real estate agents before you get here and get them to send you pictures of the kind of accommodation you would like to rent or buy. When you get here give yourself a week of back to back appointments to look at everything. Do it fast and furious – or it will make you go mental.

Interesting fact: in Shanghai, different real estate agents will have the same accommodation on their books, but at drastically different prices!

Send them an email with the below information: 

How many adults or kids you have.

How many bedrooms you want.

How many bathrooms.

If you want a garden or outdoor space.

Let them know  how many pets you have, goldfish you don’t need to include.

length of lease.

District  you are interested in.

When you go to view the properties make sure you:

Turn on taps and showers and check water pressure.

Look at windows. Trust me, you don’t want old drafty ones, because in winter it gets friggin cold.

Make sure there is oil wall-heaters, or floor heating ( not just silly radiators) and air-conditioning units in each room, it gets friggin hot here too.

Look for wood rot, damp, bugs. Look at the top of the ceilings, a place to spot for leaking roofs (I have seen quite a few dripping brown slime.)
If  the property comes furnished with beds – sit or jump on them. Some can be rocks and some instantly fall apart; you can ask for them to be changed.
Ask the agent
“What problems have your other tenants had with this house?” Amazingly, they will tell you.
Before you rent, it is normal to make requests like:
I want  the house to be re-painted, I want new curtains, take out that rubbish furniture and, “Can I have a budget for some new stuff ?” (There is no harm in asking…)
Also Ask: does the property come with any gym memberships, or parking or “Can I have a  dishwasher or washing machine?”
When I came to live here in Shanghai in August 2011, I contacted all the agents below and they were all good. I finally used Rachel ( she is  really sweet) and please don’t blame me if some of the emails don’t work anymore…
Here, are also some other real estate agent websites. I found Joanna Real Estate, really good to get a clear idea of what is available all over Shanghai.
Houses and apartments can vary so much and the prices they charge, often make no sense at all! That’s why it is worth seeing LOTS!
Happy house hunting…


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Hanggai: Good Mongolian Throat Gurglers

If your into  going out and seeing bands, look out for this Chinese one from Beijing: Hanggai. They are highly entertaining using throat gurgling, horse-hair fiddles and  they wear fabulous outfits (that I am sure they go to the pub in). I saw them at the Black Rabbit Festival, live in Shanghai, with other local and international acts but: they travel the world. Check out their Myspace page and go and see them if they are playing near you. I think they’re Stars!

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More Shanghai dolls. I think it would freak out my kid if she found it in her Easter basket though.



October 3, 2011 · 8:10 am