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Old 05-29-2011, 04:19 AM
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My fiancée and I are planning to move to Santiago in 2 years, potentially for the long term, to raise a family. We currently live in Shanghai. We're looking at Santiago for a number of reasons. First, Santiago (and Chile in general) seems very safe, modernized and worldly. Chile has probably got the best political situation in South America and I like that stability when considering where to have a family. Next, we are hoping to escape the insanity that living in Shanghai brings into our lives. The crazy pace of life (60-70 hour work weeks are not unusual here), the horrible overcrowding and the inescapable pollution. Third, since Chile and China have a Free Trade Agreement we're both hoping to barter our time and experience here for comfortable positions.

Mostly we're looking for a healthier, more family-oriented and outdoorsy, active lifestyle. From what I've read it seems like Santiago offers this by being close to the mountains (we both snowboard) and also to the sea.

I've heard that Santiago's pollution is quite extreme, but I'm wondering how many people who consider the pollution there to be terrible have lived in, or at least traveled to Shanghai to compare?

Any helpful tips or feedback would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-29-2011, 12:53 PM
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I have been to both Shanghai and Santiago. Both are nice cities. But the pollution in Santiago is much worse than Shanghai I believe. Santiago is like a big bowl - a valley surrounded on all sides by tall mountains. The pollution builds up, there is no where for it to go, so it all gets stuck there. In contrast I do not believe that Shanghai is surrounded by mountains. So Shanghai may produce more pollution but the pollution gets blown away by the wind to other areas rather than accumulating in the city.

In addition to having cleaner air I would imagine that Shanghai also has better economic opportunities.
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