ningbo information
 
Ningbo Brief Introduction
Ningbo, on the coast of the East China Sea in northern Zhejiang Province, is the terminus of the Xiaoshan-Ningbo Railway. Only 140 nautical miles from Shanghai and facing the Zhoushan Islands across the sea, it is a center of land and water communications. With a population of 740,000, it is ranked as the province's second largest city and has remained one of China's major foreign trade ports since the Tang Dynasty. After one of the Opium Wars in the 19th century, China was forced to open five Treaty Ports for foreign trade, including Ningbo.
 
Get in

Fly to Shanghai and take flight, train, bus, or hire a car to travel to Ningbo. From Shanghai to Ningbo is 2 hours and half to 4 hours by bus or train.

 
Get around

Bus is ¥1 (¥2 with air conditionings), but you must know the bus routes - stops are not announced in English. Buses leave Ningbo's south bus station every ten to twenty minutes for Hangzhou, China's most popular domestic destination. Shanghai is also served by frequent, comfortable buses.

Boat: The beautiful Buddhist island Putuoshan is a short bus ride and boat trip away, but can feel like a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the city. The ticket (bus and boat included) costs approximately 60 RMB.


Taxis Probably the most contact you will have with local Ningboanese for the first few months will be with taxi drivers.
Despite speaking no English, they are usually always polite and helpful. So, in order to avoid potentially stressful situations involving multiple misunderstandings, always carry a card or piece of paper with your home address or destination written in Chinese characters.
Make sure, if you do get an address written down, that it is in Chinese characters, not pinyin, as drivers cannot read pinyin.

 
Money Matters
As a foreign expatriate, you can exchange your money at all major banks. A maybe wiser alternative is to use your foreign debit card. International ATMs (Plus/Maestro) can give about ¥6,000 (about 600,- Euros) out of each ATM each day, which should be sufficient. ATMs can be found all over the city.
 
The Currency
The Chinese currency is called 'Yuan', or you will hear it more commonly called 'Kuai'. The Chinese yuan (RMB) is not a convertible currency, meaning that you won't be able to convert it into foreign currency outside of China. Neither will you be able to change RMB into international currency at banks. When you change international currency into RMB, you'll receive a foreign exchange receipt, showing the amount exchanged. Any unused yuan can be changed back into foreign currency when you leave the country, but you must show the foreign exchange receipt.
 
Making Payments

Although Ningbo is beginning to move towards credit, it is still overwhelmingly a cash economy. Utility and phone bills are paid in cash at your local post office, and stored value cards are used for some services like mobile phones and buses.
Credit cards are accepted at major hotels, higher-end restaurants, department stores and upscale fashion boutiques, and most of them can offer services catering to expats. 
Stored value cards are purchased for a certain value (e.g. 100 RMB), and then topped up as needed. Stored value bus cards can be purchased, as can stored value cards for mobile phones. 
Personal checks are not used in Ningbo due to forgery. Checks are generally only used in business transactions, and there are a long list of rules governing how they must be written - down to a special way of writing numbers on checks!

 
Income Tax
Chinese income tax is complicated at best, and made even more so by current tax reform as the authorities scrutinize the China's high-earners. The first question to ask regarding tax is whether you or your company will be bearing the individual income tax obligation. 
We advise you to also check implications for your taxation in your home country.
 
Passwords / code
You'll need to prepare a number of passwords/codes for different cards and pin numbers, telephone and internet banking, etc. Think about a few easy to remember (but not easily cracked) codes, but don't use your birthday. You should write these down and keep them in a safe place. Send a registered letter with all codes to your trustee at home for emergency cases. Alternatively send a diskette or VCD with a codeword.
 
Land Marks

Tian Yi Square. The city's main square. 
Moon Lake. The main city park, originally built in 636. 
Tian Yi Library. A garden pavilion built in the 16th century. 
Lao Waitan. The 'old bund', a popular nightlife district
Wanda Plaza. The new business centre of Yinzhou District.

 
Shopping
Cheap clothing - Chenghuang Temple. 
Brand-names - Tian Yi Square. 
Carrefour (家乐福超市), 248 Zhongxing Road, Ningbo City,宁波中兴路248. Tel: +86-(0) 574-87771211. With parking lot.
Metro (麦德龙超市), 1 Maidelong Road, Ningbo City, 宁波麦德龙路1号 Tel: +86-(0) 574-88208888. Also with large parking lot. You will need a metro card to do your purchase. People, however, tend to be quite helpful - if you ask them to borrow their card, they are happy to help. That's because in China the metro card does not come along with any credit card abilities unlike sometimes seen in Germany. 
Walmart(沃尔玛超市)Wanda Plaza, #999 Si Ming Zhong Rd,Yin Zhou District, Ningbo City 宁波市鄞州区四明中路999号万达广场
Auchan(欧尚超市) #160 Cui Bai Rd. Hai Shu District, Ningbo City宁波海曙区翠柏路160号. Tel: +86-(0) 574-87072999
 
 
Local Cuisine
Ningbo's local seafood style is called 'Yong cusine'. 
Shipu Restaurant (石浦大酒店) [1]. Two locations, 60 Yanyue Jie (tel:8732 8777) at Moon Lake, and 7 Gongqing Road (tel:8730 7470) at Tian Yi Square. Considered one of the best restaurants in Ningbo. 
 
 
Car and Driving

+ Cost of a car

The following costs are involved when buying your own car:
1. Car Price (new or secondhand car);
2. Registration Fee;
3. Road Tax;
4. License Plate;
5. Insurance

Monthly maintenance, tolls and insurance comes to about US$3,000 annually, while the cost of a base license plate is about US$ 4,000.With the cost of top-of-the-line imported luxury cars in the US$ 100,000 range, most expatriates drive General Motors or VW cars. The popular MPVs cost in the US$ 25,000 range, while VW has just come out with a two door passenger car in the US$ 10,000 range.

While the true cost of a car is its depreciation, the second hand car market is very new in Ningbo (personal cars have only been a factor for a couple of years), and determining your car's depreciation is difficult.

+ Car repair

It is best to ask your car dealer for their list of approved workshops. Some workshops make and use counterfeit car parts, which could compromise the quality and life of your vehicle.

+ Driving

In Ningbo, we drive on the right size of the road. But even those from countries where this is the norm find driving in Ningbo challenging. Drivers tend to gently waft in and out of lane with no warning, and pedestrians and bicyclists weave between the cars! And, the traffic is fairly slow, and most accidents are fender benders rather than fatal. Seat belts are required in the front seat but, unfortunately not yet for the rear seats.

+Invalucel in a car accident

Chinese law requires that in the event of a car accident that causes injury, the injured should be taken to the hospital immediately, there should be no changes made to the accident scene, the police should be called, and all witnesses should remain at the scene until the police arrive. If there is no injury, the parties may settle the dispute on their own in terms of damages, but this may jeopardize any future insurance claim.


+ Driver pints system

Info: Overview of most important DIS Points
Offences Points
Exceeding speed limit 2
Failing to conform to traffic light signals. 2
Using a mobile telephone hand held whilst driving 2
Any fines - which are always relatively small - accrued are paid at the traffic police office nearest to the place where the offense took place. 

 

+Parking

Parking is in a state of flux in Ningbo - plenty of free street parking is still available all over the city. But increasingly, so are multi-storey car parks and underground parking.Car park attendants collect cash fees when there is paid street parking, while ticketed machines operate in the parking bays.

 

 
Importing household goods to Ningbo

Officially, China requires tourists to complete a baggage declaration form in duplicate upon entering the country and submit the duplicate upon departure – but in practice, no customs forms are offered, and baggage spot checks are rare. Travellers are asked to go through the `red channel’ when there is something to declare and the green channel otherwise.

There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency and Chinese Renminbi traveller's checks that can be brought in; the unspent portion may be taken out. Gifts for relatives or friends in China, or articles carried on behalf of others, must be declared.


If you are having some furniture shipped to Ningbo from your home country, you will have to pay some duty on the imports. It is essential that you have a detailed packing list of everything you are bringing in as this is how your shipping agent will calculate the duty payable to the government.

If your company is organising your relocation, their shipping agent will take care of all this. If not, make sure you have a shipping agent who you trust. The import procedure is extremely complex, with up to 30 chops (official stamps) being required to get a container from a ship to your home. You must have a residence permit in order to import your personal belongings.

 


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