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Getting Around - Shanghai

As in any large city you can travel using public transport, buses, metro and taxi, a private driver or drive yourself. In addition you can cycle, use a scooter, bicycle or simply walk. Here in Shanghai you can even venture out in your very own tuk tuk.

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If you have a valid driving licence in your home country, you can apply for a licence in China. You do, however, still have to sit a written driving test.  It may be a good idea to familiarise yourself with the style of driving and how pedestrians behave here in Shanghai before you make this decision.  Similarly the decision may be made for you by your employer as many organisations do not allow their employees to drive and instead provide a driver and car.  Alternatively, if this benefit is not offered as part of your expat package, for a reasonable monthly rate you can hire a driver with a car. Drivers can work at weekends, and evenings but will expect time off for Chinese New Year (February) and the National holiday (beginning of October).

Instead of using the car, the Shanghai metro is a cheap, clean and very efficient way of getting around the city.  Our nearest station in Huacao is on Line 2 East Xujing, a short taxi, scooter or bike ride away from the main compounds.  You can buy a Shanghai Transportation card which can be used on trains, buses, tourist buses, the maglev, ferries and in taxis.

Bikes, electric scooters and tuk tuks are a popular form of transport, especially for getting to school.  Bikes and scooters can be bought at Carrefour, Decathlon or the many small retailers around Huacao.  The shop on Zhuxin Lu is good for buying bicycles and scooters and is very cheap when you need them repaired.  The owner speaks some English.  When buying your scooter you must register it at the local police station on Beiqing Way.  You will need to take the bike, the fapiao (tax receipt), your residency document and passport with you and they will fix a small registration tag to your bike free of charge.  Although it is not law to wear a helmet on a bicycle or a scooter anyone riding to school must wear one. 

Tuk Tuks are an easy way to transport children, school bags and shopping around.  They can be bought here in Huacao new and many expats returning to their home country every year have a tuk tuk to sell.  Alternatively you can buy them online on Taobao.  The cost ranges from 4000-6000 RMB for a new one.