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Oh, Shanghai There

Tales of an Englishman living in Shanghai

Dave On March 24 2011

Oh, Shanghai there.

I’ve decided to start this blog after 6 months of living in Shanghai, as somewhere to log the weird and wonderful adventures I’m having over here.

So far living here has been an amazing experience, with plenty of amazing moments. Since last August, I’ve not only moved to an entirely new country and started learning to speak Chinese, but thanks to China’s ridiculous visa requirements forcing me to leave the country and come back every 30 days I’ve also travelled to Hong Kong, Thailand (Bangkok and Phuket), and a small island in Taiwan (Kinmin).

I’m enjoying living here a whole lot – I’m far happier here than I was living in England – but Shanghai is definitely not without its downsides. For one thing, the internet sucks. A lot of sites are censored (Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot/Blogger/LiveJournal etc. and many others), and the speed is terrible. But you get used to it.

I have a habit of starting blogs and then never updating them, so I’m hoping that won’t happen here. I’ll try to update a few times a week at least, but we’ll see where it goes.

So… welcome!

Categories: Other


  1. Platypus says:

    Heya, found this blog via your reddit comments.

    Hope you don’t mind all the stalking involved!

    (But mostly I’d like to learn to write better, or at least in a more amusing manner 🙂 )

  2. Robin says:

    Ohhh, your my wife now…

  3. Kris says:

    Hey Dave! I found your blog on reddit too 🙂

    I’ll be going to Shanghai in August, and staying til January (studying abroad). I’ll be keeping an eye on your blog…some interesting stuff here, keep it up!

    I was hoping you had some tips for someone that will be living in Shanghai for 6 months? I’ve got some time to prepare, so any tips will be great 🙂

    Also, as far as your internet problem goes, have you ever tried 12vpn? I use google docs and dropbox for everything, and i hear they’re blocked in China so I went on a search to find a way around this. A lot of people use proxies but I’ve heard VPN’s work fantastic and you don’t sacrifice speed at all. Check out 12vpn, a lot of expats seem to love it!

  4. Dave says:

    Hi Kris, thanks for reading my crappy little blog, hope you enjoy!

    I did an AMA on Reddit that has a whole crapload of information about Shanghai:

    Hopefully some of the info there will help. As for specific stuff like restaurant recommendations, I could reel off a list of my favourite places but I guess I’ll be doing that on this blog anyway 😀

    My main tip would be to expect anything and just enjoy the ride. It’s a bit of a crazy city and there’s always something going on. The subway is great but don’t be afraid to walk around, as I often find myself discovering cool new places I would never have found if I’d caught the subway or got a cab. And always haggle whenever you buy something if it isn’t clearly priced. They’ll always charge you ‘westerner prices’ but there’s always plenty of room for negotiation.

    The internet here is just crap really. I do use a free VPN for Facebook but it’s painfully slow. I’m hesitant to try a paid VPN service as they are often being blocked over here, and I’m waiting to see more solid evidence that it will be able to handle video streaming before I’m going to fork over money for it. I’ve heard that Astrill is good but I’ll check out 12vpn, too. Thanks for the recommendation!

    And yeah, Google seems to be on the way out over here. The government is not enjoying what they have to offer. Gmail takes decades to open here, VPN or no VPN. Really frustrating, but still not bad enough to make me switch to Hotmail 😀

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