Serviced Apartment Scam

Serviced Apartments in Shanghai are always located in a single or number of blocks with the Serviced Apartment name on the building and a concierge in the lobby. If you find yourself in a Serviced Apartment that does not have a clear name and concierge then most likely you are in an individually owned serviced apartment which are often very risky to stay in. Due to the high demand for short term housing in Shanghai some small companies and private individuals have taken up the chance to sub-lease private apartments often against the knowledge or agreement of the landlord. The quality of service and support provided is often sub-standard compared to a legit Serviced Apartment. There are also poor quality or non existent facilities. One of the major concerns is the return of the security deposit that often does not appear after check out and as most guests are leaving the city or country it is difficult to follow up on this. These scammers realise the vulnerability of short term foreigners and are prepared to exploit this for their gain. If you are entering into any short term accommodation agreement ensure you get legitimate references and reviews from approved sources either online or personally.

Also, the Shanghaiist and Lost Laowai reported of a horrible apartment scam committed by a foreigner. Read the original story here.

Adrienne black top - smallAdrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties


Dragonboat Festival in Shanghai

Well, it’s that time of the year where if you’re not pulling at oars you are cheering the racers along or perhaps munching on a festive treat or two. My favorite Zong Zi has to be pork and along with Xiao Long Bao would be one of my all time favorite Chinese delights. Wishing you all a Happy Dragon Boat Festival and may your boat slide first over the winning line.


Qu Yuan was an author and poet known for his criticism of corruption in the Imperial Court. He was eventually exiled. Many years later when the Zhou dynasty was overthrown by the Qin Dynasty, Qu Yuan was in extreme depression so he threw himself into the Miluo River.

According to legend, villagers in the surrounding area rushed to his rescue and threw rice dumplings (z into the river to give the fish something to eat and prevent them from feasting on his body. The fishermen paddled up and down the river in their long boats known today as Dragon boats in search of Qu Yuan while beating on drums to scare away the fish.

Since then, Chinese people have celebrated Qu Yuan by eating zongzi(rice dumplings) and racing dragon boats accompanied by a chorus of loud drum beats. Zongzi are rices dumplings usually shaped like a triangle and wrapped in fresh bamboo or leaves. Dragon boat racing is now the main attraction of the holiday.

Dragon Boat Races:

Qingpu Sports Center

iMandarin language school will be celebrating their 11th dragon boat race this year at Qingpu Sports Center. The event will be on June 14th 2014. Guests can either take part in the race itself, or simply cheer on the boats. At the end of the race there is a beer drinking competition.. The race begins at 1pm with eight teams competing for the championship.

Go to Shanghai Water Sports Center 289 Yingzhu Lu, near Gangzhou Lu, Qingpu district. To view the race

You must register in advance at They will include the transportation, which will pick you up at Shanghai Centre on Nanjing Xi Lu.

Take to the water at Qingshan Lake

The travel agency Ok Deal! is organizing a special Dragon Boat Festival racing culture tour to Qingshan Lake in Linan, Zhejiang. This tour will teach you the customs of the holiday before taking to the water yourself.

This tour is a one night, two-day tour. It includes hiking up Linglong mountain, teaches you how to make zongzi and an informal dragon boat race on Qingshan Lake.,

The coach will pick you up at Hilton Hotel on Huashan Road on Saturday 31 at 8 am.

Suzhou Creek Dragon Boat Race

On Saturday 31 May, 12 professional dragon-boat teams will compete for the grand prize of 400,000RMB in the Suzhou Creek Dragon Boat Race. Each team is composed of 23 participants. The teams will compete in 200 and 500-meter races.

The race will take place on May 31, at Suzhou Creek in Putuo, between Jiangning Lu Bridge and Changhua Lu bridges (苏州河普陀区江宁路桥至昌化路桥水域)

The race will start around 8 am.

To view the races go to Changshou Lu (line 7) station. It is about a 15 minute walk to the Jiangning. For views on the northern side, go to Zhongtan Lu (lines 3/4) and follow the river south east until you reach Jiangning Lu Bridge.

Adrienne black top - small

Adrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties

Finding the Perfect Area

Finding a property to rent in Shanghai can be a daunting task for many foreigners moving to Shanghai. Property websites are often inaccurate so you will need the help of an experienced and trusted real estate agent. There are many steps you can take yourself to ensure you find the best properties in Shanghai, negotiate the best deal and move in to a sound and secure home.


Shanghai is a metropolis and getting first hand advice from expats living here helps you locate the right area for you. Living in Shanghai will be very easy once you read advices from people, who found themselves in your same situation before. Visit expat websites, forums to get an understanding of the different areas from a real Shanghai expat’s point of view.

  • Check out the local expat website forums like Shanghai Expat and Shanghai.asiaxpat and post your own questions
  • Choose a location with easy access to your office and/or school, close to a direct subway line, good supermarkets, wet markets and some Chinese and Western restaurants/bars.
  • Walk around your chosen neighborhood when you arrive, and see if it suits your lifestyle.
  • Visit at different times and be aware of traffic noise, late night bars, construction sites etc.
  • Peek inside stores and supermarkets in the area so you know what they stock.

Note: International supermarkets in shanghai deliver food or grocery to your doorstep so you need not be that close.

For more info on all the Shanghai districts browse through our pages:

French Concession





Check out more advice and info on Shanghai Life and search for properties in each district.

Adrienne black top - smallAdrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties


Game consoles

Where to buy Video Game systems in Shanghai

I have heard there are some rather challenging times finding Video Games in Shanghai. Given summer holidays are just around the corner kids will soon be replacing their school books with games consoles and if you don’t have the latest or greatest, there may be some grumpy faces around the house. To brighten up your households and keep your kids (big and small) entertained for hours, I have scoured the internet to find a comprehensive list of places in Shanghai to buy Video Game Systems, Gaming Consoles and Video Games. You can buy games like PS3, PS4, Xbox or Xbox 360 in the following locations:

 Xuhui District


  • TaipingYang Suma Plaza No.41 North Cao Xi Road (漕溪北路41号)
  • Metro city market, 1111 Zhaojiabang Road, 3rd floor, shop C2 (国际音像广场肇加浜路1111号3楼C2 室)
  • Other electronic shops in Xujiahui also may have them

 Jing’An District 静安区

  1.  Zhili Yuan – 智力苑

BeiJing Xi Road 1601, near ChangDe Road and Jiaozhou Road (北京西路,近常德路和近胶州路)

Closest metro: Line 2, Jing’an Temple (10 – 15 minute walk)

 Changning District宁区

  • 611 Dingxi Road, , Electronics shop 玩虫社游戏专卖 (玩虫社游戏专卖,定西路611号)

 Putuo District普陀区

  •  92 Lanxi Road (兰溪路92号)

 Pudong District浦东区

  •  Wal-mart super center building, 252-262 Linyi Road North (沃尔玛,临沂北路252-262号)

 Yangpu District杨浦区

  •  Wal-mart Supercenter (Wujiaochang Branch), 125 Songhu Road (沃尔玛,松湖路125号)
Adrienne black top - small
Adrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties




Having a baby in Shanghai

Having a baby in Shanghai used to be a pretty scary thought as there were no Hospitals in Shanghai that could provide the birthing experience that westerners are used to. Most mums to be and anxious dads had to either travel to Beijing, Hong Kong or back home which was a huge inconvenience to all. Nowadays, thanks to the growth of quality International Hospitals, giving birth in Shanghai is a far smoother and happier experience for everyone. I’ve compiled a list of Shanghai’s International Hospitals that have maternity departments and their details in the hope this helps couples when they receive the joyous news of an impending new arrival.

 International Hospitals with maternity departments

 American-Sino OB, GYN, Pediatrics Services

3/F, Block 6, Clove Apartment Building, 800 HuaShan Road

No. of deliveries: 1200

Cost: 850 Prenatal packages: Prenatal Care RMB 20,000; Normal Vaginal Delivery – RMB 45,000; C-Section: RMB 70,000

NICU: NICU will be available on site in ASOG International Hospital; emergencies currently transferred to other hospitals.

 Parkway Health

3F, 170 Danshui Lu, Huangpu District;

No. of deliveries: 300

Cost: Prenatal: between RMB 15,000 and RMB 25,000; Natural Delivery: RMB 60,000; C-section: RMB 98,000. Prenatal packages: Available from 12 or 16 weeks. Includes blood tests, ultrasounds, genetic screenings and doctor consultations. Can choose individual services from the package.

NICU: The birthing center is equipped with an incubator for pre-term babies with no other complications, and a Neonatalogist is on site. For major complications, newborns are transferred to Fudan Hospital’s NICU.

 Shanghai United Family Hospital

1139 Xianxia Lu, Changning District

No. of deliveries: 85

Prenatal care:

with insurance: 10 times = CNY20,000

without insurance: 10 times = CNY14,888

With insurance: 15 times = CNY25,000

Without insurance:15 times = CNY16,888

Natural Labor:

With Insurance: RMB 90,000, 3 days 2 nights

Without Insurance: RMB 62,148, 3 nays 2 nights

Caesarean Birth:

With Insurance: RMB140,000, 6 days, 5 nights

Without Insurance: RMB 101,875, 6 days, 5 nights

 Redleaf Hospital

1209 Middle Huaihai Road, Xuhui District

No. of deliveries:74 (since Redleaf’s official opening in July 2013)

Cost: Prenatal Package price: RMB 23,000;Natural Delivery: RMB 73,000; C-section: RMB 110,000Prenatal packages: Includes check-ups from 12 weeks; initial & follow-up consultations; 15+ types of lab tests, 3 types of ultrasound tests, fetal non-stress tests, and Down Syndrome screening tests. Can choose individual services from the package.

NICU: Newborn Special Care Nursery is available on site; for intensive care, newborns will be transferred to Children’s Hospital of Fudan University.

 Shanghai East International Medical Center

150 Jimo Lu, Pudong District (1F, 12F);

No. of deliveries: Between 70-80

Cost: Prenatal Care from 12 weeks RMB 25,000/ from 24 weeks RMB 15,000; Normal Vaginal Delivery – RMB 62,000; Operative Vaginal Delivery – RMB 72,000; C-Section: RMB 86,000Prenatal packages: Available for mothers in the 1st or 2nd trimester. Packages start at 12 and 24 weeks and cover all consultations and check-ups until birth. Individual services available up to 24 weeks.

NICU: No NICU, but have a partnership with Shanghai Children’s Medical Center for emergencies (fees may apply).

 Worldpath Clinic

777 Century Ave (399 Nanquan Bei Lu) Blk C

Prenatal care:

From 20th week = RMB 15,000

From 12th week = TMB 25,000

Natural Labour: RMB 45,000 onwards, 3 days 2 night

Caesarean Birth: RMB 70,000, 4 days, 3 nights


Adrienne black top - smallAdrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties



Concerns with International Schools in Shanghai

A good number of parents encounter many challenges with their kids trying to adjust to life in international schools in Shanghai. Being aware of these problems and knowing which questions to ask can help ensure that your child gets the best education.

Alcohol Abuse

Unfortunately since China does not have a drinking age, alcohol abuse is common amongst teenagers no matter which school you choose. Here are some tips on how to handle the challenges.

  • Don’t forget that children need to be respected and sometimes teens have to learn through trial and error
  • Find a counselor if you feel there are emotional problems as there may be other underlining issues.
  • Give your child time to adjust to the new life; you cannot force them to love their new school.
  • Try not to over react; this may force them to try worse substances.

For some helpful advice on these issues you can visit

Unruly Behavior

Most international schools are “for-profit” so the administrator’s decisions are highly influenced by profits making teachers and faculty less empowered. In some schools troublesome students are unlikely to be expelled or punished if it may result in a loss of tuition.

  • You will want to get a copy of the student’s code of conduct.
  • You should also ask how strict the school is on enforcing the rules, when’s the last time someone has been expelled…etc


 Remedial Assistance

If a child has trouble in a subject there may be little help offered by the school. The majority of international schools do not have the resources or training to deal with children with special needs.

  • You should ask what type of tutoring programs they have for kids that fall behind.
  • How many hours a month are they available
  • If none are available will the school help find an English Speaking teacher for the subject.

 Academic Qualifications

If a school strongly stresses it’s extracurricular activities and not academic, it may be an attempt to divert attention from a substandard academic program. International schools in Shanghai are not bound by law to any enforceable academic standards.

  • You should ask questions such as; how they execute the curriculum?
  • Do they measure progress of their kids compared to kids outside of Shanghai?
  • You may also want to look over example textbooks or handouts to check the materials that will be taught in Class.

Non Academic Activities

Some international schools spend a tremendous amount of time on non academic activities, for example a Christmas play. These productions are made in order to please the parent, but in the process the child’s education suffers.

  • Ask the school if the Christmas play, and other productions included in your childs class
  • If so how much class time will it take up?
  • Is it mandatory for the students to participate or do the students volunteer.

School style

Some schools are extremely rigorous while other schools are more relaxed. Some of the more relaxed schools will give children an enjoyable experience at the cost of a quality education.

  • Ask parents of students there in order to get a look on the insight of the student life.
  • Ask how many hours of homework there will be a week.
  • For smaller kids, what type of activities will be held, will the kids have a recess?


Many “for-profit” schools have very relaxed admission requirements with this means that kids of a wide-range of academic abilities are admitted as long as parents are able to pay tuition.

  • Ask if there are any admittance tests for new students.
  • Are the tests used to separate the kids by education levels, or are the kids put in classes solely based on age.
  • How will the school handle a kid that is behind the rest of the class, and has a negative impact on the class environment?
  • Will behaviorally problem students be dealt with sternly, or kept around for tuition sake.


 One of the other worries that parents have is how well will their child make friends. This depends greatly on the schools you choose, since the cultures in many schools are different.

  • You should look at the schools demographics, if the students are dominantly Korean or Japanese, your child will have a harder time due to language and cultural barriers.
  • Does the school have a dress code, if not do you notice distinctive clothes in certain groups of students. If so the school may have strong cliques, which may be hard to enter.image
Adrienne black top - small

Adrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties