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Old 01-10-2016, 04:54 PM
 
1,424 posts, read 737,938 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmlandis View Post
Do you find any differences in people's attitudes between say Northern China (Tianjin/Beijing) and a place like Shanghai or Suzhou? I find them as country bumpkins here - along with the pollution it make it hard to live. Fortunately only 6 more months here.
North and South Chinese are very different in terms of culture.
South Chinese are probably more open-minded, but at the same time they are also more materialistic. Of course, it always depends on individuals. I would assume most westerners will enjoy Shanghai much more than Tianjin. They are not really on the same level in all aspects.

An other option is cities like Chengdu in southwest China. People there are less materialistic and reasonably open-minded at the same time. For example, it is famous for gay culture in China, and also famous for food, panda, and pretty girls. The expat community is growing fast there too, if you may consider. The weather there is decent temperature-wise, but extremely cloudy.
The drawback is it is in western China and is relatively far from other big cities (except Chongqing). But Chengdu per se is not poor or backward compared to eastern Chinese cities.

Last edited by yueng-ling; 01-10-2016 at 05:06 PM..
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:30 AM
 
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The 4 cities you mentioned are all relatively open minded in attitudes toward foreigners. In fact, most Chinese who are very interested in foreigners are in the major cities, not the rural and small towns residents.


Those Chinese who are good in English or study abroad are usually more wealthy families from the larger cities.


Yes, Southern Chinese are more practical and materialistic. The overseas Chinese you come across often are mostly from Southern China, including Shanghai. Southern China is more known for doing business, Beijing is more known for emperors and governments.


Southwestern China is more laid back and relatively poorer. The cuisines are known for spicy. These inland areas have less foreigners and the people know less about the world outside China than those city residents of Eastern China.
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:13 PM
 
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People from Southern China (Guangdong) I find are much more laid back, more open minded and have better mannerisms then people from Shanghai, and certainly better when you compare to northern Chinese. As much as I complain about living in Guangdong because of the hot rainy weather and the fact that it's still Mainland China, the people are one of the best things about Guangdong. I think a lot of it has to do with the general slow paced southern Asia culture, the fact that Guangdong has been open to foreigners for like 100 years, and that it's so close to Hong Kong, with many Western TV/Movies and ideas.
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:18 PM
 
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Oh and to Answer the OP question, if you have the money, I would certainly live in Hong Kong over Shenzhen, Shanghai or any other Mainland city, but HK is expensive on housing. Food and whatnot are similar when you compare costs in Shenzhen. Many times Shanghai food, booze and other costs are more expensive than HK.
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:48 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
317 posts, read 239,100 times
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One more question, which city in China is best for expat medical care? We went to Hong Kong and found a local hospital which did a routine blood test and check up for 900 HKD. And all English speaking. I know we could probably find it for 1/4 the price in Mainland China but I don't really trust the public hospitals from what I've heard. We need some medical tests for our next assignment (in Middle East) and where to go. We live in Tianjin (north China)
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:56 PM
 
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Do you speak Chinese? IMO there are many great hospitals in Mainland China that have some great, inexpensive services, but most doctors and nurses do not speak English. For blood work, tests, check ups and certain services, the Mainland China hospitals are fine. Many foreigners get put off by them because they can't understand Chinese, secondly there are long lines with many people and the management of the departments are not always very good, and you might not get the feedback and verbal replies from Mainland doctors like you would in the U.S. Most doctors in China simply provide test results but because there are so many people waiting in line, you don't receive that one on one discussion with the doctor. Your usually in and out rather quickly. I'm sure Tianjin and Beijing have medical clinics that have employees that speak English, but those are private clinics and not a hospital.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:17 AM
 
Location: San Francisco
317 posts, read 239,100 times
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I think I will take a pass on the public hospital and go to the private expat clinic with the hope there will be a few English speaking employees. My chinese is good enough to order a meal or a taxi but not for medical matters.
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