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Living & Working in China

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1. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I'm planning to stop off and work (hopefully teaching English) in China for a couple of months on a round the world trip. I'm not very familar with China and as I'd rather avoid the more expensive areas like Singapore, I'm looking for some advice on where are the best regions in China to source jobs /live etc....



2. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 615 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

You're right about Singapore being expensive, but it's nowhere near China!
The big cities in China, like Beijing and Shanghai, will probably be the best places to find work. Beijing has the Olympics to think about and Shanghai is becoming a very trendy place to be.
As with any big city, there are all different types of accommodation so it depends on your budget and what you will put up with.
There are lots of other provincial cities which may be better and cheaper - I know that Beijing can be as dear as London in central areas.

3. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


oh well, maybe it was shanghai i was thinking of.
thanks for the tips though. as you can see, i'm in the early stages of my research.

have u worked in china before stevie?

4. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Beijing and Shanghai can be as or more expensive than most Western Eiuropean cities to live, but apart from that (and obviously the Hong Kong area), i don't think it makes that much difference.The further from the coast and Beijing/Shanghai, the cheaper it will be. But against that, they are also the 2 with the most opportunities and most foreigners etc. Am also in the process of getting ready to head that way, so interested in what else you pick up!

Wocca is probably the best person on here to ask though.

5. Posted by bouchette1 (Budding Member 5 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi. I live in Shanghai and have visited Beijing. Before I moved here, I was advised to live in Shanghai rather than Beijing. After I moved here, all of the expats here have the same opinion. After I visited Beijing, I concur.

Beijing--the place to go if you're going to see things. Since you're only going to be around for a couple months, I would almost suggest Beijing, b/c it could take that long to see everything! It's a much better place in terms of museums, culture, traditional China, etc. and it's very modern. I'm jealous sometimes that I don't live there due to the access to major tourist sites:
...Great Wall (it'd be fun to go several times to different sections of the Wall, as they are indeed very different--do the one that goes to Simatai!),
...TONS of good museums,
...the hutongs (alleyways that you could walk through daily and not be bored!), etc.!
...TONS of great old areas
...COLD in winter, warm in summer
...very far from major cities in China

Shanghai--This is the place to go if you're going to live for a year or more. It's much more liveable, BUT it can be boring if you're wanting to see traveling-type things...

...There's only one main temple--Jade Buddha Temple, small-ish Shanghai Art Museum,
...good theaters for opera and culture,
...the Shanghai Museum is much more hyped as being impressive than it is in reality (when compared to most of the other major museums in the world),
...4-5 decent art galleries,'s a city without a very long history, so not much that's terribly old--only a few things...
...some pretty good bars and dance clubs compared to elsewhere in China (still, you need someone to tell you where to go, b/c the best ones aren't in the tourist books, I've learned--let me know if this is your thing if you're coming to Shanghai, and I can give you a few tips),
...some really fun restaurants (although you have to lower your bar here in China in terms of food...Zagat Review said that China has a long way to go before their restaurants can compare to those in the rest of the world)--Lonely Planet is a good basis for this...their recommendations are accurate here.
...much availability of Western items--but only if you know someone who can tell you where to find them...and for two months, you prob. won't be in need.
...Warm-ish climate--SO hot in summer
...Much easier access to Hong Kong, Hangzhou and Suzhou, Guangzhou, and other major cities--you can go many places on an overnight train for the weekend.

Hope that helps.

Lyney ~

6. Posted by bouchette1 (Budding Member 5 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

A little addition:

Yes, Sh. and Beijing can be as expensive as the West...but they can also be super-cheap...depends how "luxurious" you want to live. You can live EXTREMELY comfortably for very little money--much less than Western countries!

Lyney ~

7. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

That's really helpful guys - thanks!!

Shanghai sounds more like my kind of place, although i do want to see as much as possible on this trip..

mmm...i'll have to have a ponder about it.

thanks again.

8. Posted by Zhou (Full Member 126 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

One of my friends who has been to China for several times said she preferred Beijing because she didn`t come to China for all those modern things and Europeanized buildings. :) But Shanghai is an attractive city also. I went to the Grand Palace last weekend, passing by Tiananmen Square later; got a feeling that I would not give up Beijing for Shanghai. Where do you usually teach in China? At colleges or private schools? I`m thinking of following an English course given by native speakers to improve my English.

9. Posted by travelem (Full Member 117 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!