Not only is Shanghai a happening and exciting place to be, it is also super convenient! Do you know that you don’t need a wallet in Shanghai! You can shop almost anywhere with your smartphone. Here are 5 ways in which Shanghai is the most convenient place to live.
Paying for everything using your phone
Shanghai is an (almost) cashless city. The vast majority of people will pay for everything using e-wallets on their smart phones and everywhere will accept this form of payment. Even street beggars come with their own QR codes, I kid you not! The most popular e-wallets here in China are WeChat Pay and Alipay. Both of these come with an English interface making them great for us non-Chinese speakers. I am from the UK where this type of payment isn’t really used, but I am certainly converted. It’s great not having to carry my purse, and transferring money to friends is so easy. You can also pay your phone and utilities bills directly from your phone.
Shanghai Metro System
The Shanghai metro makes getting around the giant metropolis that is Shanghai easy and convenient. The metro is really extensive and covers most of the city, including the two airports and some far-out suburbs and towns. You can even use it to get to some beautiful Shanghai day trip destinations, such as the stunning Zhujiajiao water village. It can get pretty crowded at rush hour (think tinned sardines) and sweltering in the summer, but overall it’s a great and cheap way to get around town.
There can’t be anywhere in the world that does food delivery like they do in China’s cities. It is absolutely mind blowing the amount of food that gets delivered around Shanghai everyday. Once you get set up with the right apps and work out what your address is in Chinese, you will have a vast network of restaurants and cuisines to choose from. There is even an English food delivery app called Sherpa’s just for expats! Meituan and Elema are the favourite Chinese apps. These are fun to use if you don’t know Chinese as you will have to use the pictures to work out what you are ordering. They are also cheaper.
Didi (Chinese version of Uber)
Didi means little brother in Mandarin. It is China’s answer to Uber and it is just as easy and convenient as Uber is at home. There is an English version of the app which even translates messages between you and the driver, so no need to worry about the language barrier. The fares are generally pretty cheap which makes it a great way to get around, and perfect for late at night when the metro has stopped running for the day. Or if you just feel super lazy and don’t want to take the metro to work.
I have been teaching English in Shanghai for around 8 months now and this city never stops growing and never stops surprising me! Considering teaching in China? Then Shanghai is the city you can’t miss.