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Q: Guidance for Guangzhou newbie?

Hello there all!

 

I was on a couple of months ago asking for the diff between Foshan and Guangzhou and if people had heard of this school or that one etc but I finally made a decision.

 

I'll be going to Guangzhou-ish, Pheonix City.

 

It was a big decision to make and I was back and forth about it lots of times, but I feel like inthe end the stars aligned to make the decision a kind of no brainer, so off I'll be popping at the start of September!

 

To this ends I suppose my question is, is there anything I should do / know / prefer for moving to Chine, Guanzhou specifically? What do you wish you had know before you moved there? Whats the best way to start off on he right foot? How easy is it to build a network of friends / comrades?

 

Answers to these or any general info appreciated! Thanks! 

5 years 12 weeks ago in  General  - Guangzhou

 
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first of all, good luck: you are in for one unforgettable experience.

from a practical perspective, bring a basic first-aid kit/medication with you, eg aspirin, band-aids etc: don't rely on being able to find reliable there in a hurry.

Bring any cosmetics such as moisturizers you will need (i am guessing you are female from your pic). Local brands have skin whitener in them.

Document all communication  with your employer

be calm, patient and tolerant, but don't accept being BS'ed.

Try the local food - with a reference back to the basic first-aid kit for any stomach problems 

travel

Find a local coffee shop with an English Corner to meet non-student locals

be cautious about who you give your phone number/contact details to - it is almost always demanded from people who 'want to be your friend' - see above.

be prepared for the unexpected

HAVE FUN wink

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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 Welcome newbie. I never lived in Guangzhou but I've visited a few times. I live rural in Canada and found the really big Chinese cities overwheming just from the size. I never got lost and managed to find my way around. I was so happy to see English on the subway stops, thought that was cool. 

 You'll need an unlocked phone with translator and maps.

 I've always found Chinese people very friendly, just don't trust anyone until they earn it. People will give you the foreigner price, but they think you are rich. I made my friends in Guilin in the first few days, people that helped me, were nice to me. 

 Watch out for traffic, really !!! Anything on wheels and any where. Expect scooters to be coming from the wrong direction and from any where.The fact that I'm alive has nothing to do with my watching out, it's shear luck. Buses, look out.

 Bring personal items that you need, some feminine products aren't available.

 Watch out for scams, I didn't get tea scammed in Gz but in Beijing it was endless..

You will get used to things like staring. I hate that young men especially will point whisper and laugh, but I seldom let that rudeness slide, Size matters and I exaggerate. You have to watch for thieft on buses, pickpockets on the street, but it's not as bad as places like Philippines    

 I found people in Gz stared at me more than any where else, maybe  it's my fault for eating bananas in a tree with my friend Cheetah. People will do things like pushing in front of you, spitting etc, it's just different, don't let things annoy you.

 Despite cultural differences you will enjoy China. just imagine it to be a combination of a really big circus and the Wild West, cowboys and clowns.

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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Hi there, I've lived in Guangzhou for nearly 5 years now and love the place.

 

But do you know where Phoenix City is? It's about 35 kilometers east of the city centre. I work in Luogang district which is close to Phoenix and it takes me 40-60 minutes to drive to work every day from Zhujiang Newtown in the city. There are regular coaches that head downtown on the highway, takes 30-40 minutes to Tianhe I believe. Unfortunately the metro to there (line 13) won't be open until 2016.

 

Phoenix city itself is a nice, clean place. Decent supermarket, Starbucks, McD & KFC if you want some Western junk food. a good choice of Chinese restaurants in the vicinity and a number of small bars. The school has a reasonable reputation as far as I know.(I assume you'll be teaching at the International school there). Please make sure that you are living in Phoenix city itself as the nearest town, Xintang, is a bit of a dump. major manufacturing area for Jeans. It's an interesting place though to eat locally and see how normal Chinese people live (Phoenix is full of upwardly mobile middle class which isn't a bad thing).

 

Guangzhou itself, when you head down at weekends, has a great choice of things to do. Lots of international restaurants, some superb Cantonese places and a couple of decent bar areas/streets. 

 

If you want to keep up with local events then join www.gzstuff. The forums can be a bit quite or full of arguments but there are event listings and groups for all sorts of different tastes.

If you need any guidance, tips, etc on places to go then send me a PM on here or keep this topic going with your questions.

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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You will be out in the boonies: buy what you like, when you can, where you can...and lots of it.

Be prepared for the humidity and the rain. I moved to GZ in 2002 and it seemed that the rain would never stop (buy a good umbrella at 7-11). Don't expect clothes to dry in less than three days (bring lots of extra undergarments).

Getting anywhere is expensive (I would have said "getting anywhere fast..." but traffic deadlock has made subways faster than taxis. Subways are cheap and efficient but getting from A to B can be incredibly time-consuming.

Best advice I can give: for the first few months, keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut. Find out who's who and what's what before trusting anyone.

 

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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You mentioned Foshan in your message, consider it, it's a great place today, it used to be a dull industrial city about 10 years ago but not anymore, the new districts (especially Guicheng where I live) are very impressive, clean, modern with high standard residences, large roads, lots of greenery, ..., people are used to see foreigners so they won't stare at you and nobody is trying to scam you because of your foreigness unlike in GZ, a good choice for anyone who is looking for a less crowded, cheaper place than Guangzhou while keeping all the conveniences (expat-runned bars, imported groceries, shopping opportunities, ...). I moved from GZ to FS about 2 years ago, never regretted it wink

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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I lived in Foshan, Shunde district for about 18 mths before moving to Guangzhou, Panyu. I can say that Foshan is a better place. Guangzhou is full of people, pushing, rushing, getting in your way.....Foshan isn't like that. Like Eorthisio said, you can get all the imported stuff you want, eat at foreign owned bars and restaurants. I were you, I'd go Foshan anytime.

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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You will be just up the road from me. I can see Pheonix city from my apartment window.

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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Did anyone tell her to get a working VPN before entering China?

In China you can get it but smetimes it is difficult so it is better to arrange it before hand.

 

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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Te advice about brining everything from home is sound. However in Guangzhou, you do have the luxury of taking train to Shenzhen and go to Hong Kong, or to Zhuhai and go to Macau, for buying safe products of different types. It's be a daytrip, but not only can you get stuff there, you can also give your mind a breath of fresh air, as the insanity level in Hong Kong/Macau is much much much lower than in China

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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Thanks all so much. I have lived in South Korea for a couple of years previously, so yeah, I have a rough idea of what to expect as regards different culture and funky little foibles people have. I’m just more wondering about the area specifically I suppose and what its like and if it’s fun!

 

I know that’s vague but I’m just excited and want an insight before I go, so again thanks a million everybody for the info.

 

Also had to google what a VPN was, will defo investigate that further!

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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