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Q: Is Anyang, Henan A Good Place to Live?

I have received a job offer in Anyang city, Henan province.  How is life in Anyang for a ex-pat and how does it compare to other 2nd and 3rd tier cities for quality of life and things to do?

4 years 29 weeks ago in  Lifestyle - Other cities

 
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Anyang is, without exaggeration, the worst place I have been in my life. For the sake of brevity, here is the info I'd put in a tourism pamphlet:

 

1. Extremely dirty

Very bad air pollution. Everything is covered in filth. If you like filth, Anyang is the place for you.

 

2. Absolutely nothing to do

Samsara does not like KTV, lower-class girls with gormless expressions, or being stared at by hostile idiots. If you like those things, there is plenty to do.

 

3. Populated entirely by thieves

Taxi drivers, for example, will not put the meter down under any circumstances (they seem to have formed an agreement on that). At the place outside the train station where you wait for licensed taxis, you will be given a leaflet that says taxi drivers are required to put the meter down. They don't. I called the number on the leaflet for reporting non-compliant taxi drivers, and the person who answered was like "So?".

 

4. Really unpleasant people

Everyone stares at you with contempt or hostility. Everyone looks like they are dead inside, which in fact is because they are dead inside. No one you talk to even pretends they want anything except your money.

 

If Anyang had souvenir tee shirts, they would say "I contracted soul cancer in Anyang." Don't ever go there.

 

 

Things that happened last time I was in Anyang:

 

A farmer tried to blow up the government offices using a hydrogen tank. It exploded before he got there, killing him and destroying a car (which hopefully at least belonged to a government member).

 

My ex girlfriend's grandmother died of cancer. At her funeral, around a hundred local people turned up at 8am in the morning when food was set out, stuffed it all into their bags, and left.

 

I went to look at a swimming pool in a "5 star" hotel. The water was visibly discoloured (organic colours, not blue) and smelled strongly of urine. The pool had obviously not been cleaned, or chlorinated, or the water replaced in years. I elected not to swim in human waste on that occasion.

 

A girl on an electric bike in front of me lost her hat. I stopped to pick it up for her, and she started screaming at me - not words; just "Raaaaaaargh!". Quite alarming. Then I felt depressed.

 

Anyang is not a 2nd or 3rd tier city as your job agent has apparently claimed. It is an accursed backwater where people go to get raped and dismembered, or kill themselves.

 

Though in Chinese, that translates as: "It is very cultural and wonderful."

 

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4 years 29 weeks ago
 
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hello, What a coincidence, because I just have spent my university years in Anyang, Henan one years ago. Anyang is a famous ancient city in China, full of cultural flavor. As a small city compared with first-tier cities, there are less press to survive there, prices of goods are not high, but the infrastructure is not very complete. If you just want to know China and the Chinese culture deeply, it is a good city to live.

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4 years 29 weeks ago
 
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henan in general is poor and my wife always tell me to avoid it

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4 years 29 weeks ago
 
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It looks like you've been in China for a while.

 

Just looking at the topics in your post history, it sounds like maybe you prefer the smaller cities and understand their limits.

 

It's gonna be full of people gawking at you, probably tough to find a quiet, nice place to live if that's important to you. Not great selection of food.

 

But yeah like yingtong said the cost of living will be low and hey maybe you enjoy kinda being a spectacle. I don't personally but that's your call.

 

Henan does have a bad reputation within China for being full of dumb scammers. I'm sure that's probably true it is full of dummies who will try and rip you off, but who knows how much more than other places.

 

It looks like you're the type of guy just wants to move around a lot, live in different places here. Might as well go for it, probably as good a choice as any.

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4 years 29 weeks ago
 
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If it's a lesser known city in Henan, I would be cautious. Henan has a reputation for being overpopulated (even by Chinese standards) as well as having dishonest residents (by Chinese standards). As others have said, there will probably be very few foreigners and you will receive a lot of attention. The general behavior of most of the people around you will likely be primitive but if you've been in China for some time it's probably not that different from what you've already experienced. If I were going to pick a small city that I didn't know much about though I would choose a different province.

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4 years 29 weeks ago
 
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Don't know about Anyang, but I remember Zhengzhou like the worst city I ever been in 10 years in China.

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4 years 29 weeks ago
 
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Anyang is, without exaggeration, the worst place I have been in my life. For the sake of brevity, here is the info I'd put in a tourism pamphlet:

 

1. Extremely dirty

Very bad air pollution. Everything is covered in filth. If you like filth, Anyang is the place for you.

 

2. Absolutely nothing to do

Samsara does not like KTV, lower-class girls with gormless expressions, or being stared at by hostile idiots. If you like those things, there is plenty to do.

 

3. Populated entirely by thieves

Taxi drivers, for example, will not put the meter down under any circumstances (they seem to have formed an agreement on that). At the place outside the train station where you wait for licensed taxis, you will be given a leaflet that says taxi drivers are required to put the meter down. They don't. I called the number on the leaflet for reporting non-compliant taxi drivers, and the person who answered was like "So?".

 

4. Really unpleasant people

Everyone stares at you with contempt or hostility. Everyone looks like they are dead inside, which in fact is because they are dead inside. No one you talk to even pretends they want anything except your money.

 

If Anyang had souvenir tee shirts, they would say "I contracted soul cancer in Anyang." Don't ever go there.

 

 

Things that happened last time I was in Anyang:

 

A farmer tried to blow up the government offices using a hydrogen tank. It exploded before he got there, killing him and destroying a car (which hopefully at least belonged to a government member).

 

My ex girlfriend's grandmother died of cancer. At her funeral, around a hundred local people turned up at 8am in the morning when food was set out, stuffed it all into their bags, and left.

 

I went to look at a swimming pool in a "5 star" hotel. The water was visibly discoloured (organic colours, not blue) and smelled strongly of urine. The pool had obviously not been cleaned, or chlorinated, or the water replaced in years. I elected not to swim in human waste on that occasion.

 

A girl on an electric bike in front of me lost her hat. I stopped to pick it up for her, and she started screaming at me - not words; just "Raaaaaaargh!". Quite alarming. Then I felt depressed.

 

Anyang is not a 2nd or 3rd tier city as your job agent has apparently claimed. It is an accursed backwater where people go to get raped and dismembered, or kill themselves.

 

Though in Chinese, that translates as: "It is very cultural and wonderful."

 

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4 years 29 weeks ago
 
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This piece was written by a teacher who lived (living?) in Anyang, dated Nov 22, 2014. It doesn't sound pleasant.

 

"The heating season in China began on November 15th. On that day, municipalities in central and northern China fired up hundreds of coal-fired boiler facilities. The hot water from those facilities is the source of heat for thousands of buildings. My apartment, for example, has a few bare metal pipes within which flows hot water from a local boiler facility. After the start of this year’s heating season, it didn’t take long for the first death smog to blossom.

 

Before I went to bed Thursday night, I looked out one of my apartment windows. The lights of nearby buildings were barely visible through the dense white haze. The air pollution had been gathering the prior few days. I knew that when I woke up the next morning, I would be greeted by the season’s first death smog.

 

My prediction was correct. On Friday morning, the air in Anyang was heavily polluted, a thick white haze of airborne toxicity."

 

http://wanderingthebluemarble.com/category/china-2/air-pollution-in-china/

 

He posted this in his article.

Same thread, another teacher described the health effects in more details.

 

"In August of 2013, I moved to Anyang, a medium sized city in northern Henan Province. The air pollution in Anyang is quite bad. Since moving here, my nasal passages have been constantly inflamed, and I came down with a sinus infection.

 

Beyond having chronic sinusitis, at times I find it hard to breath. It’s like I am breathing but still not getting enough oxygen. It’s a feeling that causes a sense of terror and imminent death.

 

Sometimes at night while lying in bed, I feel like some little scratchy things are caught deep in my throat, and I start to cough. These coughing fits can go on for a half an hour or more before the scratchy feeling goes away.

 

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) guideline for inhalation of fine particles (pm2.5) over a 24 hour period is 25 micrograms/cubic liter. I use aqicn.com to follow the pm2.5 readings for Anyang, the city where I live. The pm2.5 readings rarely drop below 100. During the winter, pm2.5 spikes and readings soar to between 250 – 400 for days on end. That’s 10 to 16 times higher than the WHO’s safety limit.

 

The WHO’s pm2.5 guideline for one year of exposure is only 10 microgram/cubic liter. That means dozens of cities around China, including the one I live in, have extremely poor air quality with potentially grave health consequences.

 

To put it succinctly, many cities in China are not livable places. For a place to be livable, the simple act of breathing should not decrease your life expectancy."

 

"....While environmental laws have been put in place to help curb air pollution, these laws are not being enforced. So far, China’s efforts to clean up its environment are almost all talk with little action and few results. Those in power have placed greed as the priority while degrading their country’s environment and the health of the people to a degree and scale never before witnessed in human history."

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4 years 29 weeks ago
 
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Wow......scores very highly on the suck-o-meter!

Is there a worse place?

I hear that Taiyuan is enchanting too.

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4 years 29 weeks ago
 
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