Arriving Shanghai Airport
There are 2 airports in Shanghai :
- Hongqiao Airport
- Pudong International Airport
Hongqiao (also the Expat's neighbourhood) situated on the west side of Shanghai in Puxi. Hongqiao Airport is mostly for the local destinations in China, Hong Kong, etc. But International flights all go to Pudong.
Pudong Airport is on the east side of Shanghai in Pudong, about 45km from downtown. Could be reached by car, taxi, bus, and Maglev(the fastest train)+Subway. The main and international airport of Shanghai, a brand-new and well-maintained.
Shanghai is divided by the Huangpu river into 2 parts, Puxi (west of ther river) and Pudong (east of the river).
The airport code for Pudong Airport is "PVG", Hongqiao Airport is "SHA"
Let's talk about arriving China.
Just before arriving Shanghai, the flight attendants on board will provide you some documents to fill in.
Upto now, there are 3 :
- Arrival card
- Health declaration form
- Custom declaration form
The colour of departure and arrival's documents are not the same (Yellow for arrival card, blue for departure card). I'll talk more about that later.
With your passport, those 3 documents above (arrival card, health declaration form, custom declaration),
all you have to do is to follow the crowd to a long walkway. Don't be surprised when you think you will never arrive, it's quite long way.
If you need to withdraw some cash from ATM machine, there is one in the middle of this hallway from HSBC Bank which you can use your international Visa or Master card. (It's not always possible to withdraw money in any ATM around Shanghai, you have to go to the right one). Maximum withdrawal with HSBC = 3000 RMB per time, how many times of withdrawal depends on the limit of your card.
Arriving the immigration area, you will have to walk pass the thermal detector camera (which detects if you are not carrying birdflu with high body temperature...but no need to worry, they never catch anyone for now), through a counter where you have to submit your health declaration form (be sure to fill in and sign to save more time> If you lose 1 minute to fill out the form, there will be 20 people ahead of you at the immigration counter).
Submit this health declaration form and walk through, nobody will as you anything,
Proceed to immigration area and queue up for passport & visa control. Be sure you have your visa before arriving China..it might create some problems if you don't. This is where you will give away your Entry card.
Same here, at the passport & visa control, nobody will ask you anything if you have the valid visa. They will just check your passport, visa, and key in your personal data.
To be friendly with them, you might say "nǐhǎo!" "你好!" which means "hello" in Chinese... As I observed after travelling in and out there, the immigration officers are not very talkative.
Once it's done , you will get a stamp on your passport. Normally on the other left page of your visa page.
Let's see what this red stamp tell you.
After visa and passport control, you will proceed to lower level to get your baggage. Check out the notice board for the baggage picking up point number. The trollies are just next to the belt. I must say, Pudong airport's trollies are excellent, brand-new, easy to push and control.
In case you don't have custom declaration form, you can pick up in this hall.
Queue up to get through the custom control. If nothing to declare, just give the officer the custom declaration form.
It might happen that they ask you to open your suitcase, and it might be possible that they take away your stuffs such as foods, etc..
Getting out of the airport..
The exit path is well organized, if you have someone waiting for you outside, they will never miss you, as we can see who's coming out.
There are 15 (or 18 I'm not sure) exit gates, the taxi stand is almost at the last gate.
There will be an officer asking where to go, he will write down your destination and arrange you the taxi.
If you may need to exchange your country's money into Chinese money (RMB for Renminbi), there is a currency exchange counter nearby exit 12 (correct me if I'm wrong). Just walk to the left once you are out. It's not far at all. Be sure to keep the exchange receipt as you might need it when you want to change back from Chinese RMB to your foreign currency. This receipt can be valid for 6 months.
There are different colors of taxi in Shanghai. Each taxi comes with meter and you can always ask for 'receipt' which is called "fāpiào" in Chinese (发票) , this receipt can be used to trace the taxi you take in case of problems such as complaints, cheated fare, lost things, etc. The passenger and driver are separated by a thin transparent dock. More pictures will come.
Congratulation!, now you are in Shanghai. Welcome aboard fellow..!
To read more :
Shanghai Airport's Website :
There is an excellent blog about Shanghai, Wangjianshuo's blog,
which you can find more interesting, interactive, practical and useful information about Shanghai. This famous blogger is a young Chinese man living in Shanghai. Take a tour, you won't regret.
To see and know more about Pudong International Airport, check out
It's well done blog, with pictures and details