Q: Best city to live in China?
I'm planning to move to China in August - I was wondering what would be the best city to live in for me? I'm a 23 year old Australian male who recently finished my degree. I'm planning to do a bit of English teaching while I'm there. Id like a friendly city with a great nightlife, easy to get around and things to do during the day. I was thinking Shanghai but are there any other options?
You would find more friendly places than Shanghai. It's all hustle and bustle. Try the cities around it like Nanjing, Suzhou or Hangzhou. Perhaps they still have more of the charm you are looking for. Plus the nightlife.
Pogger, you are not nuts, because I do share your views on where to live in China and I do not consider myself nuts. And you are correct, not all foreigners have the same reason to be in China, and I also dislike big cities and love the countryside.
I'll never live in Shanghai, Beijing or Guangzhou...not for me
I live in Xiamen and will probably stay for some years, if I can. (I'm staying next year)
A warm, clean, beautiful & friendly city on the coast, the air is good too.
Foreigners from many countries...anything western is available.
Night life is good enough, depends on what you like, beach parties every 2 weeks
now also. For me good night life in China is only in those 3 big cities and Chengdu maybe (I've heard). I hate pop culture and KTV. Underground culture is not the same like back home, unfortunately
I would second Pogger's suggestion to travel around a bit and see which city grabs your imagination and your affection. It's super risky to pick a city to live in without having been there before, for one thing, and you may find yourself disliking places that sound great on paper, and loving life in places you would never expect.
I grew up in a city back home, but live in the country, so I might make a different choice than you, I don't care about night life.
I've been to Beiijing a few times, too big for me (only place they tried to tea scam me constantly), Xian it poured didn't see much. Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong for me a city is a city, didn't do anything for me. My first trip I came to Guilin to see Yangshou, Li River etc. i had the best vacation ever, but I was always travelling or doing something, I spent way too much money. i met a woman here and came back, I like Guilin but I never want to spend another winter here. I froze even here and I'm Canadian, store fronts are open, many big stores have no heat, doesn't help that the GF insists that windows be open in winter.(Chinese thing)
So I like smaller places but I want to be some place warmer in winter, I could even live in a dirt poor village if I was warm, I'm sick of cold winters any where, here or at home. I want to see Qinzhou, Beihai, Sanya and Zhanjiang and decide, or maybe go to Thailand or ?
Beijing and Shanghai are great cause it's a little more western, which you will appreciate when you live in China. Shenzhen is cool cause Hong Kong is right there and Qingdao is gorgeous.
I dont like the massive cities like Bejing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou. I do love the country side, and have spent some time travel around it, but I dont think I would want to live in too small of a place.
Chengdu was awesome, and I would recommend it. There are lots of cool places around it you can go see, and the city has a good feel.
Dalian is my favorite. Its nicely developed, easy to get around. Friendly people. Most actually know what a queue is (more than other places at least). Just an all around good place to live.
Thanks for the help everyone, yes I definitely want a city with a decently-sized expat population - as I can't speak Mandarin I would need to make some friends over there!
Shenzhen has great nightlife..tons of expats...many expat areas with western restaurants and bars...the weather is nice year round...you are 30 minute train ride from Hong Kong and the women here are the hottest in the country (IMO).
People complain that there is a lack of culture and history here but if you don't care too much about these things then Shenzhen is the best.
I would pick Guangzhou as a second choice.
If yo uwant a quiet, beautiful city, Zhaoqing which is near Guangzhou is a favorite of mine. Still too small to have a Starbucks or 7-11, they do have the most amazing lakes in the South, endless cafes and restaurants of every price, and the people are super friendly there, and not crowded at all.
For a big city, Guangzhou for sure (with Shenzhen a close second). Guagzhou has the best transit system, though the use of it is far outgrowing its capacity unfortunately. When you walk above ground, it feels very quiet and clean, since motor bikes are banned and most people use the Metro or BRT to get around. You will have no problem getting around in this huge city! Guangzhou has a seemingly endless world of night life, architecture, food, parks, and recreation, and while it can seem busy when on the Metro, it is actually a peaceful city to live in, and its location is excellent for visa runs to Hong Kong, or enjoying a weekend in Macau.
Thanks for the help everyone, it seems like Guangzhou seems like a good place... Does anyone have any reasons why / why not to move there?
I apologise if I'm being irritating with all these questions but I think you guys are the best people to ask
Guangzhou, in my opinion, is the best mix of big city/nightlife/not the typical spot in China. I have lived there many years and it has a very good expat community, great nightlife and lots of things to do if you are on the adventurous side.
The people tend to be very friendly and not out to rip off every foreigner they see. It is also not flooded with foreigners like Shanghai & Beijing so it actually feels more like China than either one of those cities while giving you a little familiarity of home.
Also, the cost of living is much less than Shanghai & Beijing. If you pick Guangzhou, I am sure you will not be disappointed.
If lots of foreign nationals and plenty of nightlife are your scene, try Wudaokou or Sanlitun in Beijing.
Better make sure your salary meets your expectation though! That kind of scene can often require western style salaries to support it.
Of the big cities i've visited (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu) i'd have to say Shanghai every time, the place has a lot of atmosphere. I live in Guangxi though, in which i've lived in Beihai, Liuzhou, Guilin and Nanning, and of these cities i'd recommend Guilin, it's clean, beautiful, an hour from Yangshuo (always a laugh there) and it's got all the night-life you could need. Plenty of ex-pats too, but nothing like the big coastal cities.
Welcome to Chengdu.
I just come back to China for half month form Australia,and I have studied in Australia for 4 years. So I can introduce you about Chengdu
Chengdu is the most leisure city in China, It has many beautiful scenery ,kindly person ,delicious food.
Now Chengdu develops so fast that need more foreigners to teach them English,learn
the different culture for other culture,the city is very open and friendly!
If you come to Chengdu, you can contact me.