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Old 04-14-2014, 01:27 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,276,714 times
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If I ever do a working stint teaching English in China these two will be among my options.

They strike me as very similar in many ways: both considered clean and unpolluted, organised and civic cities by Chinese standards, with nice beaches, an old colonial quarter with lots of European architecture, parks, and being tourist destinations (mostly locals at this stage but this might change). They aren't well known by most who come to China and mostly stick to Shanghai and surrounds, Beijing, Xian etc.

Does anyone have any experience with both? I've been to Xiamen only, and I liked it a lot, both Gulangyu and the older parts of town. Known once as Amoy it was one of the most prominent ports in Fujian. Qingdao looks quite nice though with a more moderate climate than most cities in the region. How does Qingdao compare to visit, and also to live? Which is easier for someone who doesn't speak Mandarin but would like to learn? How would you compare cost of living, food, entertainment.etc, that sort of thing? Which has friendlier people?
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:00 AM
 
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Both great cities and better places to live than Shanghai/Beijing.

Qingdao is a bigger city and wealthier too. Climate is quite different too as Qingdao is way up in the north with much colder winter. Xiamen doesn't have a real winter.

When it comes to learning Mandarin, be noted that Xiamen is a part of Fujian, where people probably speak worst mandarin in China. Qingdao is part of the northern dialect which is very similar to Mandarin.
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
10,433 posts, read 12,445,136 times
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Yearly average...


Temperature:
Xiamen (24.6 / 17.6)
Qingdao (16.2 / 9.9)

Precipitation mm:
Xiamen (1,349.1)
Qingdao (662.1)

Sunshine Hours:
Xiamen (1,853.2)
Qingdao (2,489.9)
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
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Qingdao winters really suck compared to Xiamen.
3-6 degrees for 3 months where Xiamen enjoys 16-19 degrees.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:44 PM
 
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I have been to Qingdao. It is a real nice beach resort. The Beijing Olympics sailing competition was held there so the city was modernized with large roads and signs in English in many places. Also they are in the process of building a subway system there. I also taught many students (English) from Qingdao and they were all very friendly people.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:18 AM
 
96 posts, read 99,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
If I ever do a working stint teaching English in China these two will be among my options.

They strike me as very similar in many ways: both considered clean and unpolluted, organised and civic cities by Chinese standards, with nice beaches, an old colonial quarter with lots of European architecture, parks, and being tourist destinations (mostly locals at this stage but this might change). They aren't well known by most who come to China and mostly stick to Shanghai and surrounds, Beijing, Xian etc.

Does anyone have any experience with both? I've been to Xiamen only, and I liked it a lot, both Gulangyu and the older parts of town. Known once as Amoy it was one of the most prominent ports in Fujian. Qingdao looks quite nice though with a more moderate climate than most cities in the region. How does Qingdao compare to visit, and also to live? Which is easier for someone who doesn't speak Mandarin but would like to learn? How would you compare cost of living, food, entertainment.etc, that sort of thing? Which has friendlier people?
As someone originally from a three-hour drive away from Qingdao, I would recommend Xiamen. Never really liked Qingdao. I find the city as a whole to be a bit dirty, chaotic and bland. Maybe it's because I am very familiar with the local culture and tried very hard to break away from it.
Many people think that just because North China is mandarin speaking, you'd have more opportunities to learn and practice the language in everyday life. That is absolutely not true. Most people in North China speak Mandarin with a very strong accent even when they try to sound neutral. Listening to a foreigner speaking with a heavy northeastern accent can be a very big WTF moment. People in big cities in southern China (except for Cantonese speaking regions) usually have pretty good Mandarin skills and it will be less likely for you to pick up some bad accent subconsciously just because it is easier to differentiate Mandarin from the local dialect.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:01 AM
 
164 posts, read 220,345 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
If I ever do a working stint teaching English in China these two will be among my options.

They strike me as very similar in many ways: both considered clean and unpolluted, organised and civic cities by Chinese standards, with nice beaches, an old colonial quarter with lots of European architecture, parks, and being tourist destinations (mostly locals at this stage but this might change). They aren't well known by most who come to China and mostly stick to Shanghai and surrounds, Beijing, Xian etc.

Does anyone have any experience with both? I've been to Xiamen only, and I liked it a lot, both Gulangyu and the older parts of town. Known once as Amoy it was one of the most prominent ports in Fujian. Qingdao looks quite nice though with a more moderate climate than most cities in the region. How does Qingdao compare to visit, and also to live? Which is easier for someone who doesn't speak Mandarin but would like to learn? How would you compare cost of living, food, entertainment.etc, that sort of thing? Which has friendlier people?
Xiamen may look like Perth. Very small, comfort, and a little bit isolated from other major cities, but one advantage is: There is no redneck/racist at China.

Qingdao is pretty looking like Adelaide, closer to major cities and a little bit north. It used to be German's colony, so you may have some German style over there.
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,276,714 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kareno999 View Post
As someone originally from a three-hour drive away from Qingdao, I would recommend Xiamen. Never really liked Qingdao. I find the city as a whole to be a bit dirty, chaotic and bland. Maybe it's because I am very familiar with the local culture and tried very hard to break away from it.
Many people think that just because North China is mandarin speaking, you'd have more opportunities to learn and practice the language in everyday life. That is absolutely not true. Most people in North China speak Mandarin with a very strong accent even when they try to sound neutral. Listening to a foreigner speaking with a heavy northeastern accent can be a very big WTF moment. People in big cities in southern China (except for Cantonese speaking regions) usually have pretty good Mandarin skills and it will be less likely for you to pick up some bad accent subconsciously just because it is easier to differentiate Mandarin from the local dialect.
Yes the northern accent is very rhotic (heavy emphasis on 'r') and sometimes guttural to my ears, even though I don't understand Mandarin I can still pick up the difference. Also more emphasis on the 'sh' sound than in the south. I wonder where the most neutral accent is, maybe Wuhan?

Yes climate might be a factor, I was in Beijing in December and it was too cold for me.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:02 PM
 
96 posts, read 99,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Yes the northern accent is very rhotic (heavy emphasis on 'r') and sometimes guttural to my ears, even though I don't understand Mandarin I can still pick up the difference. Also more emphasis on the 'sh' sound than in the south. I wonder where the most neutral accent is, maybe Wuhan?

Yes climate might be a factor, I was in Beijing in December and it was too cold for me.
I wasn't referring to the rhoticity actually. Rhoticity is heavier in the north, is generally considered colloquial but not necessarily crude. I was talking about the tiny differences in the tones and the ways to pronounce the consonants and vowels. As a matter of fact, the Mandarin accent of Shanghai residents (not sure about Xiamen) are definitely much better than people from Qingdao.
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Old 04-25-2014, 03:59 AM
 
1,011 posts, read 631,238 times
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Been to both cities. The weather is definitely better in Xiamen. Cost of living I think is higher in Xiamen, as there are more rich people there. Housing price in Xiamen is at least 50% higher than Qingdao.

However, if you want to learn Manderin, Qingdao is a better choice. nearly all the cities south of Yangzi river speak a dialect far different than Manderin. Fujian dialect which is spoken in Xiamen is one of the most exotic one. People from outside of Fujian province cannot understand it at all.

Manderin is based on the northern dialect. There is no neutral accent. In Wuhan, they speak Hubei dialect, which is similar to Sichuan hua, and quite different than Manderin. The closest dialect you can find to manderin is in Beijing accent or Northeastern Accent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Yes the northern accent is very rhotic (heavy emphasis on 'r') and sometimes guttural to my ears, even though I don't understand Mandarin I can still pick up the difference. Also more emphasis on the 'sh' sound than in the south. I wonder where the most neutral accent is, maybe Wuhan?

Yes climate might be a factor, I was in Beijing in December and it was too cold for me.
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