I was asked to put this together for an HR on-boarding, but I figured I would post here. These are not in any order of importance:

1.      Avocado lady

Cheap avocados, fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme) cheap smoked salmon and (domestic) mozzarella. She also knows all the names for veggies in fruits in English. WAY cheaper than any grocery store and overall better quality.

Address: 274 Wulumuqi Zhong Lu, near Wuyuan Lu
Chinese Address: 乌鲁木齐中路274号, 近五原路

2.      Booking CNY trips/online travel booking

If you want options that won’t break the bank, start booking in October. I generally compare ctrip.com and elong.com and if you have someone to help you navigate Chinese travel sites qunar.com compares all the online travel agencies for the lowest price.






3.      HiShanghai Iphone App and/or Guanxi SMS service

Comprehensive listings as well as a Yelp-like service to find what’s around you. Leverages Google maps to show you where things are. TOTALLY worth $5. If you don’t have an iPhone you can use the guanxi SMS service to get addresses – text the name of the restaurant/bar/store to 106695882929. Reply to the result that matches what you’re looking for with “C” to get the address in Chinese. Cityfu.com is also a good venue search option for mobile.

4.      12593 cheap international calling service (China Mobile Users)

Call 10086 to activate this service. Add 12593 + 00 + country code to make cheap international calls from your mobile phone – IP cards be gone! Rates vary on the country you are calling but US/Canada rates are RMB .40/minute (USD$0.05).

5.      Online classifieds

I have always bought kitchen stuff, couches, etc from the online classifieds. Shanghai is a transient city – take advantage of people leaving who are trying to ditch their stuff.





6.      Street Map

Smartshanghai has the best streetmap – bit hard to find itty bitty side streets but overall very useful (you can also overlay the metro map or the Happy Hour map) – http://www.smartshanghai.com/maps/smsh_map.php

7.      Online grocery shopping

http://www.smartdirect.cn – this is the main grocer I use. Same day delivery if you order before 3:00, except on weekends, you have to order on Friday for Sat or Sun delivery

http://feidan.cn/ – specialize in Italian/European stuff, weekend order/delivery

http://www.cityshop.com.cn  – City Super online groceries, same day delivery if you order early enough

http://www.helekang.com/english – organic veggies

http://www.shorganic.com/delivery_en.html – organic veggies

8.      What’s going on?

These are the best places to check out what’s going on in Shanghai

Smart Shanghai – http://www.smartshanghai.com/

City Weekend – http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/

That’s Shanghai (urbanatomy) – http://urbanatomy.com/

Shanghaiist – http://shanghaiist.com/

CNN GO Shanghai Minisite – http://www.cnngo.com/shanghai/

China “ticketmaster” equivalent – http://www.culture.sh.cn/English/

Second “ticketmaster” option – http://www.mypiao.com/

9.      Books

“Classics” are only 15RMB in any Chinese book store, if that’s your thing. If it’s not you

Non-classics can be found at:

Garden Books – 325 Changle Road, near Shaanxi Nan Road. Tel: 021 5404 8729.

Shanghai Book Mall – 701 Huaihai Zhong Lu

Charter Books

Shop B1-K, Shanghai Times Square, 99 Huaihai Zhong Lu ,
near Pu’an Lu, Metro Line 1 Huangpi Nan Lu Station

Shop 104, Shanghai Centre, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu ,
Nanjing Xi Lu
near Tongren Lu, Metro Line 2 Nanjing Xi Lu Station

10.     “2 for 1” massage

Almost every massage place (excluding the BIG chains like Dragonfly) have 2 for 1 massages if you walk in the door before 6PM. Butterfly massage has 100RMB for 1 hour foot and 1 hour body:

Lane88 Huichuan Lu,
Zhongshan Park
near Changning Lu

29 Wuxing Lu,
near Huaihai Lu