Saturday, December 01, 2012


Winning a trip to Shanghai from a promotion by Cairns Airport on direct flight on China Eastern from CNS to Shanghai Pudong (PVG) in October was quite mind blowing!
MDR & MB scrambled to set travel dates in the small window of travel dates supplied by Cairns Airport.  Once dates were settled visas were obtained by sending passports to China Consulate in Brisbane.  Then it was research, research, research.
Neither MDR nor MB speak mandarin however the internet came to the rescue. 
Tripadvisor in particular is fantastic for finding accommodation and also for checking out restaurants and tourist attractions.
Many reviews noted that wifi wasn't always available in hotel rooms (as opposed to their lobbys) and many recommended one take a travellers wifi router that could be plugged into an ethernet port in the hotel room.
Luckily Jaycar in Cairns had just got some of these in so was able to get this locally for under $30.  This unit does need power via USB which can be limiting so made sure to take a USB extension cable to plug it into the iPad USB charger in a powerpoint.
The decision to take an iPad also turned out to be a lifesaver, bought a local SIM card, China Unicom 3G with 500mb of data, from a China Mobile shop in downtown Shanghai for around 130RMB.  The guy cut the SIM card to size and installed it in the iPad, with nice fast internet working in seconds.
MDR took his iPhone but the local China Mobile SIM didn't work in it.  A search on Google revealed that iPhones with IOS 5 or later won't work with China Mobile SIM.  We had a spare Nokia so used that instead.  China Mobile prepaid SIMs are very cheap and easy to buy at the airport on arrival, no ID needed.

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