China is a really big country and it’s full of diversity, different languages, dialects and different conditions for living. Traveling through China can make you feel like you are travelling through several different countries – that’s how different it can be from city to city or region to region.
The lifestyle differs as well from big cities and smaller cities, countryside, western parts and eastern parts and so on. North is also very different from the south. It’s a land of varieties. This is why it’s so attractive for so many people.
Of course, some cities are better for life than the others.
In that spirit, here are some cities that might suit you.
What it’s like to live and work in Hangzhou.
Hangzhou is full of natural beauty and historical value. Next to that, it’s very rich economically and it has a great location. The best known places are the West Lake which has always been a favorite one with poets and painters in the past and this is an important inspiration for Chinese gardening style. Marco Polo called this the most beautiful place on Earth. Hangzhou is a nice mix of old and new, offering plenty of opportunities for exploration, nightlife and shopping.
There is even an old saying that says “Up in the sky is heaven, and down here we have Suzhou and Hangzhou”. Despite the modern development that took place here, as in most Chinese cities, you can still enjoy a healthy mix of historic places and buildings and get that feeling of old times. You can easily explore the culture, history and so on. There is still quite an enjoyable level of nightlife and shopping opportunities which appeals to people that love these things. Hangzhou is near other cities like the already mentioned Suzhou, Shanghai and Nanjing which are also amazing because of their historical value and culture.
What it’s like to live and work in Xiamen.
This city is a great one for leisure, good food and excellent climate. It sits on the southwest coast and it’s very close to Taiwan. Most of it is on an island surrounded by a coastline. You can really have fun here on the beach or eating some street food.
There are many cultural and educational institutions and the economy is thriving here. You can take day trips, enjoy weekend getaways, enjoy the beautiful city and so on.
Xiamen was one of the original cities from the Special Economic zones which was open to foreign investment and trafe in the 1980’s. This is the home of many people that live abroad but are Chinese. This has helped create a lot of cultural and educational diversity as well as a thriving economy for all of the people that live there.
The Piano Island is also a popular area for all day trips or weekend getaways which gives you a great view of the city. This island also has numerous Victorian or European buildings and it looks really amazing. You can also take a quick ferry ride to Kinmen Island which is Taiwanese or you can get a flight to Taiwan.
What it’s like to live and work in Kunming.
This city is full of cultural and ethnic differences, great nature and it’s really close to South East Asia. It’s also known as the Spring City because it has a moderate climate and it’s the least polluted amongst the big Chinese cities. There are many museums, universities, economic and educational institutions.
This is the largest city of the Yunnan province and it has a wonderful climate. It’s not really as polluted as other cities and it’s very focused on the cultural and educational elements like museums or universities.
Yunnan province is one of the best areas for cultural and ethnic variety as well as cultural beauty and it can feel like a completely different world from all of the other cities, especially the coastal ones. Outside of this city, there are also many other things to explore and learn in this province. You can explore the beautiful and wonderful Dian Lake. It’s surrounded by various temples and beautiful limestone hills and mountains. You can go hiking in the Stone forest and other countries are nearby as well like Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
What it’s like to live and work in Qingdao
This place has the best beaches, the best seafood and the most European influence. It was under German control once in the past so there are plenty German style buildings and many Koreans live here too. The city has a very unique feel and this is what makes it extremely good for life. There is always a lot to see here and experience too.
This city is best known outside of China for the beer that they make because of the historic German influence. It has a really great number of European buildings. This city is truly unique and amazing. You can enjoy the beautiful beach and eat really amazing seafood. It also has a Qingdao International Beer Festival that you can visit and enjoy amazing beer. This city was ranked as the number one most livable city in 2011 as well. You can enjoy the amazing Laoshan area, the Golden beach as well as the Olympic sailing center. There is always something to do and see in this amazing city.
What it’s like to live and work in Nanjing
“This city is full of great history and culture, one of the favorites for expats that come to live in China and Chinese people alike. There is a lot of everything – history, culture, great food, institutes, universities, museums and so on. There are also temples, shopping centers and hiking areas,” says Galina Salis, a travel blogger at Draftbeyond and Researchpapersuk.
Nanjing is the home of the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum which is located on the wonderful Purple Mountain which has great heritage and scenic sites which are perfect for tourists. You can also visit many other great places like the Xuanwu Lake which offers some of the best sights of nature. There is also the Hunan Road which offers shopping opportunities and Fuzimiao too.
Outside of the city you will find some locations that are a bit off the beaten path like the Qixia Buddhist Temple and behind the temple hundreds of Budha images in the rocks and hill sides.
The 1912 district offers a plethora of restaurants and dance clubs that you can enjoy if you are looking for some nightlife adventures. There are also western style pubs which expats love. Visit the Shanghai road and you’ll find a great place for nightlife as well, with a great number of bars and pubs. Both of these areas are very popular and you will find many expats there.
Nanjing in general is a wonderful spot for cuisine from all over China and all over the world. Street food is also amazing so you will never be hungry.
What it’s like to live and work in Shenzhen.
Shenzhen used to be a small village but has exploded economically and now it’s one of the biggest and most prosperous cities in China. It’s very close to Hong Kong. It’s also a financial centre. It has drawn migrants from all over the world. There is a lot of investment and people are very optimistic. You can almost feel this economic vitality and it has an international vibe too. There are many shopping areas and restaurants as well as bars and clubs that you can enjoy. It’s always warm and there are many famous area around it to visit.
What it’s like to live and work in Zhuhai.
This place has great weather, a lot of greenery and a wonderful location. It provides for a balanced lifestyle. It’s focused less on money and manufacturing and more on tourism and looking like the garden city. It makes a lot of effort to look good and maintain a healthy environment.
It was named the most livable city in 2014 and it has a very nice lifestyle which would suit anyone looking for some balance and enjoyment. It’s just across from Shenzhen which is another great city to visit and live in, as you were able to see. They are really focused on tourism and entertainment, making sure that the environment is clean. It has a small population but it’s well known for its beauty.
What it’s like to live and work in Beijing.
Beijing is a great city for living because there are many unique features to it. It’s a huge place and it’s a political and cultural centre. Education is also one of its main points. It has many temples, palaces, ,walls, gates, gardens, tombs and so on. It has as far as seven UNESCO protected sites in the city. It also has plenty of shopping opportunities and nightlife opportunities.
What it’s like to live and work in Shanghai.
“This is one of the biggest and most vibrant cities in the world. It’s fast paced but still a magnet for people all over the world. It’s a mix of modern and traditional, both Chinese and Western audience. There are many restaurants, bars, nightclubs and so on,” says Hue Packston, a travel writer at Lastminutewriting and Writinity.
These have been some of the best cities to live and work in when in China. Make your choice based on this information and enjoy all of the beauties of Asia.
Special thanks to Angela to provide us with such an informative content.
Angela J. Bryant is a successful writer and editor at Luckyassignments and Gumessays.com. She specializes in topics related to social media, business and job seeking and helped hundreds of people. Her motto is “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”. She is an aspiring travel writer and a long-term digital nomad.