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.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





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

Ren Ri Chinese New Year 2018 – Everybody’s Birthday


As we celebrate the Lunar New Year of 2018, today we celebrate a special day which is the 7th day of Chinese New Year and is Ren Ri 人 日 快乐 or all human’s birthday.

It is believed on this day the Goddess Nüwa created humans and moulded them from clay.

Many Chinese wear red on this day as it is an auspicious colour tp be worn on special days. They also set off fireworks as Renri also celebrates fire.

Ren Ri started in the Han Dynasty that time Chinese would wear head ornaments called Rensheng made of gold or gold ribbons. Chinese believe if the weather is good on Renri the year ahead will be filled with peace and prosperity. As 2018 Renri weather is fine then it seems the year ahead will be a good one. During Renri, Chinese avoid killing animals and punishing prisoners.

The 7the day of Chinese New Year Greetings are Happy Birthday to one and all初七人日撈魚生慶生日

The feast held on the 7th day of Chinese New Year is called Yusheng and is interpreted as (余升)an increase in abundance. Dishes for Ren Ri Chinese New Year are Seven Vegetable Soup” (七菜羹) and Seven Vegetable Congee” (七菜粥) In South China the dish includes strips of raw fish, shredded vegetables, sauces and condiments. The dish is tossed as high as possible to increase wealth.



Wishing your family and friends much luck, prosperity and success throughout the Year of the Dog! From Adrienne and the team at Shanghai Properties xx


Rental Bargains during Spring Festival Season

bargain for rent

The Spring Festival season in Shanghai brings out the generous spirit of home owners who want to rent out their properties before the end of the year. According to Chinese customs, it is auspicious to finish business transactions before the end of the year so push hard on those negotiations this time of the year and see how low they will go. Landlords also very much appreciate the monies for the Spring Festival Holidays too!! This generous spirit is around for a few weeks so make the most of it!! Good Luck!



Chinese New Year Animal 2018 – Dog

dog post

A few more sleeps and we will be into a new Lunar Year which encompasses our dearly beloved friend, the Dog.

Each New Year in the Chinese Zodiac, which covers a 12 year cycle, represents one animal for that year. It is believed that each person has the characteristics resembling the animal in the year they were born.

The Lunar New Year (China) can fall between January 21st to February 20th and 2018 Lunar Year will be Friday, 16th February.

So, to all the folk born in the year of the Dog (1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 and 2018) this 2018 is a Dog year and it’s YOUR Year!! So, Happy Dog New Year to you all. Woof, woof.

As we all know, a man’s best friend is a Dog. They can understand our needs and emotions and are loyal and devoted.

The Chinese believe Dogs are auspicious animals that bring good luck so best head out and get that Tatts Ticket! And make sure you use the Dog’s Lucky Numbers which are 3, 4 and 9.

Characteristics of Dog

People born in the Year of the Dog are known to be clever, brave, sincere, loyal, responsible, independent, lively and decisive. They are tough and hardy and get on well with others. They also tend to be a bit conservative and stubborn, sensitive and emotional.

Why do the Chinese value dogs?

Stray dogs that approach a house symbolises good fortune to the family.

Dogs are very loyal to their master despite the owner being rich or poor.

Dogs bark to warn people if an intruder is nearby.

The Chinese many years ago would use the number of a dog’s bark to predict good or bad luck.

Dogs were also seen in Chinese mythology, fighting monsters and enemies. Due to this some minorities forbid dog meat to be eaten. (We hope this habit is taken all over China!!)

Chinese New Year Calendar

The Chinese Lunar calendar includes the Chinese zodiac which is a cycle of twelve stations/signs that follow the Sun’s path throughout the Cosmos.
Each new year is marked by the characteristics of one of the 12 zodiac animals: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig

How were the animals chosen in the Chinese Zodiac?

One of the most popular stories is this one. Long ago in ancient days of China, the Jade Emperor announced 12 animals would join in the Chinese calendar and said he’d select the first 12 that arrive at his gates. Cats in early days were friends with rats and both wanted to join the calendar. The cat was worried he’d sleep in so asked the rat to wake him but the rat forgot to do so, as he was so excited to leave and went alone. The rat met up with the tiger, ox, horse and other larger animals – all much faster than him. He asked the ox for a ride on his back and promised to sing all the way there. However, when the ox arrived first, the rat ran in front of him and was the first animal blessed. Sadly, the selection was over by the time the cat arrived and the cat was very angry. That is why cat’s always run after rats, trying to kill them.

What does your Chinese zodiac sign mean? 

In Chinese astrology, the 12 animal zodiac signs each have unique characteristics. 

  • Rat: Intelligence, adaptability, quick-wit, charm, artistry, greagariousness. 
  • Ox: Loyalty, reliability, thoroughness, strenghth, reasonability, steadiness, determination. 
  • Tiger: Enthusiasm, courage, ambition, leadership, confidence, charisma. 
  • Rabbit: Trustworthyness, empathy, modesyt, diplomacy, sincerity, sociability.
  • Dragon: Luckiness, flexibility, eccentricity, imagination, artistry, spirituality, charisma. 
  • Snake: Philosophical, organised, intelligent, intuitive, elegant, attentive, decisive.
  • Horse: Adaptable, loyal, courageous, ambitious, intelligent,  adventurous, strong.
  • Sheep: Tasteful, crafty, warm, elegant, charming, intuitive, sensitive, calm.
  • Monkey: Quick-witted, charming, lucky, adaptable, bright, versatile, lively, smart.
  • Rooster: Honest, energetic, intelligent, flamboyant, flexible, diverse, confident.
  • Dog: Loyal, sociable, courageous, diligent, steady, lively, adaptable, smart.
  • Pig: Honorable, philanthropic, determined, optimistic, sincere, sociable.

The Chinese Zodiac Clock

Few know of this Chinese zodiac animal clock. Have a look at how it works:

The Chinese clock:

  • Rat: 11pm-1am
  • Ox: 1am-3am
  • Tiger: 3am-5am
  • Rabbit: 5am-7am
  • Dragon: 7am-9am
  • Snake: 9am-11am
  • Horse: 11am-1pm
  • Goat: 1pm-3pm
  • Monkey: 3pm-5pm
  • Rooster: 5pm-7pm
  • Dog: 7pm-9pm
  • Pig: 9pm-11pm

Shanghai Chinese New Year 2018

shanghai chinese NY

Shanghai Chinese New Year 2018

For those of you spending your first New Year in China, we hope you enjoy the Spring Festival break and Chinese New Year celebrations. Xin Nian Kuai Le!

If you are looking for some ancient CNY traditions, sadly Shanghai doesn’t have any. As the city was a little fishing port a mere few hundred years ago, Chinese New Year in Shanghai doesn’t have any particular local traditions apart from those carried out all over China. But a visit to the City Temple at Yu Yuan Garden or other temples, are worth a look. Just expect crowds upon crowds. 🙂

Shanghai CNY Festivities

Given CNY in Shanghai is all about dining with Family and Friends, here’s some places offering wonderful New Year dining experiences.

T’ang Court Cantonese New Year dining

Chinese New Year at Hakkasan

Chinese New Year Buffet at Cachet

Hongbao lottery at The Chop Chop Club

New Year Buffet dinner at Camelia

Soong Family Buffet at Sasha’s

Celebrate Chinese New Year at Shang-Xi

Celebrate Michelin-style at Yi Long Court

Family celebration at Gui Hua Lou

Chinese New Year 2018


Chinese New Year is nearly upon us. Here’s a little snapshot of CNY in case you are wondering what’s going on. 🙂

The Chinese Lunar Year

This ancient calendar dates back as early as 14th century BC. It was used as a social, religious and dynastic guide. Citizens were given time off to honor heavenly gods and household dieties. Also to remember ancestors and come together as a family for feasting.

Since mid 1990’s, the Government has given people seven days off to and this is commonly called Spring Festival.

Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year starts with a new moon in January or Februaury and lasts 15 days when the full moon arrives and the Lantern Festival finishes the celebrations.

Chinese New Year Celebrations

Decorations are pasted on doorways, firecrackers are set off and people wear red to ward of the evil monster Nian.

Families come together on New Year’s Eve to eat dishes of Dumplings and Fish which are the most important parts of the Chinese New Year dinner, and wish all members luck and prosperity for the New Year. Fish sounds like ABUNDANCE in Chinese which is what they wish for the coming year and Dumplings are shaped as Gold Nuggets so there is a hope for more wealth. Relatives who have died are honoured and the young are gifted with small bright and colourful red envelopes filled with money. These are called “Hong Bao”. In more rural areas families pray for good harvest and enshrine the Kitchen and Gate Gods.

Greetings for CNY

Greetings for Chinese New Year in Shanghai is usually Xin Nian Kuai Le, Xin Nian Hao and Gong Xi Fa Tsai. Chinese will be delighted to hear foreigners wish them New Year Greetings so don’t be shy!!


Happy New Year quotes to send loved ones

We’ve found a selection of the most popular Happy New Year Wishes for 2018. I hope you find one that suits your taste and you can send as a New Year Greeting to loved ones.

Adrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at or connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8.

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