Beibu Gulf Square in Beihai, China
Beibu Gulf Square in Beihai, China
Beibu Gulf Square in Beihai, China

Living in China

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Dec 02, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in China: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

William Russell Expat Health Insurance

What do I need to know about living in China?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to China, they said:

"If you have children, decide if you want to be in a more family friendly compound, such as Lakeshore Gardens or one that has a more singles demographic. Definitely get in touch with the schools' parents' committees. As well as a flourishing shopping and hospitality scene, Suzhou Industrial Park contains vast areas of factories and company head quarters, with little else to do. Are your priorities to be near the schools and/or work place or to be near the recreational parts of the city? If the latter, then chose a compound that is close to Jinji Lake. Make sure to check out the old town and visit the heritage gardens to gain a flavour of what pre-industrial Suzhou was like," said another expat in Suzhou.

"Lousy weather - cold, windy winters and very polluted. Hot sticky summers. Little to do aside from eating out and shopping malls. However, there is an airport close by and a train station - and Beijing is 2 hours away," added another expat who made the move to Tianjin.

"1. Learn Chinese ASAP! 2. Remember this is a Communist Country 3. Remember you are a guest here 4. Join www.ZhuhaiNights.com It's easy to have fun and get very comfortable here. The joke is that once you've been here, you can never truly leave (my 2 week holiday to Zhuhai is in its third year now!!!) but it's also important to remember to be on your best behaviour at all times. I have never seen the inside of a Chinese jail and I intend on keeping it that way," explained one expat living in Zhuhai, China.

"Go to www.hefeiexpat.com where there is an open forum to ask anything you want to know. They are very helpful," mentioned another in Hefei.

"Be prepared for a lot of walking. Live in one of the gardens within walking distance of shops. Traffic here is a nightmare and you do not want to drive in the city.Buy a bike. Great exercise and you can bike to shops quite easily. Smile..although some Chinese are wary of foreigners most will say "Ni Hao" (hello) if you speak with a smile," explained one expat who made the move to Dongguang.

"Make friends with the locals. Visit Xiangfan Museum. Make sure your cab driver uses the meter. If you are large sized like me make sure you have enough shoes and clothing as it's very hard to find otherwise. I wear a size 48 here (which is size 13 US ) and most shoes here stop at size 44. I needed some new shirts and had to have them specially made which is very expensive in Chinese RMB. Some of the Restuarants have picture menus so if you don't speak/read Chinese you can point to what you want. I recommend learning at least some Chinese before coming here, as it will be extremely helpful," said one expat living in Xiangfan, China.

Expats in China may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Get a Quote

Expats in China may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, a leader in international insurance for expatriates. Allianz's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Their flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget..

How do I meet people in China?

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For expats in China, choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our partner, Allianz Care. Their plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz Care's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Beibu Gulf Square in Beihai, China
Allianz Care Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Living in China GuideLiving in China Guide

Expats living in China find learning Mandarin a big challenge, but most say that learning even a little is very worthwhile. They also agree that the spitting, squat toilets and Chinese culture take some getting used to.

China Forum China Forum
Meet other expats and talk about living in China.

Healthcare in ChinaHealthcare in China

Expats living in China discuss health insurance and quality of medical care in China. Tip 1: if you're going to the hospital in China (or to a doctor

Cost of Living in ChinaCost of Living in China

Expats offer insight into the cost of living in China.

Moving to ChinaMoving to China Guide

Expats in China offer tips for newcomers and others considering a move to China. Advice what to bring when you move to China, health insurance and healthcare, finding an apartment, expat banking and more.

Real Estate in ChinaReal Estate in China

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in China.

Pros Cons of Living in ChinaPros & Cons of Living in China

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in China.

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Contribute to China Network Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in China.

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