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Poemba

Nightlife in Hangzhou compared with Shanghai

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Poemba

Hey guys,

I signed up for the Chinese language and culture course in Hangzhou. I choose Hangzhou, because it's suppose to be beautiful, Zhejiang University is a good university and there is enough nightlife. But I coincidently spoke to a girl who lives in Shanghai at this moment and she kinda started laughing when I told her I would go to live in Hangzhou. She was like: "Why the hell hangzhou and not Shanghai? There is no nightlife in Hangzhou haha, and the city doesn't really attract me either."

Now i'm really doubting if I made the right decission. I do want nightlife, but I also want to see China's nature and stuff. And isn't hangzhou pretty big already?! I come from a town that has 450.000residents and that's almost the size of our capital city (Amsterdam).

I hope Hangzhou can offer me enough nightlife and stuff so I want get bored at night, ofcourse Shanghai has a lot more. But still.

I hope you guys can convince me that I have made the right decission, because I really feel bad about this. It's already a big step and I want to make the right step ofcourse. Ofcourse it's just one girl who says it, but I don't know many people who have been to China.

Thanks :roll:

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roddy

It's ok. There are girls in Hangzhou too . . .

It'll be fine. If you were choosing a place only for the nightlife, then Shanghai would be a better choice. But there are other factors to consider, and Hangzhou doesn't seem like a bad place to spend a year.

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xuechengfeng

Well, you said your intention is to study Chinese language. You're going to find a lot less foreigners in Hangzhou, so you'll be more immersed, so there's a plus. West Lake in Hanzhou is also one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. Other than that, I got the impression that the city looks like any other Chinese city. To be honest, a friend and I also found little nightlife where we stayed near West Lake. Shanghai has an awesome party scene and if that's a huge factor in your Chinese studies, go there instead.

As an aside, I find it comical that many Chinese people I've encountered consider Hangzhou "the most beautiful place in China" because of the commercial that is redundantly aired, at least on CCTV-9, when many of them have never even been there. :mrgreen:

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anonymoose

I have lived in Shanghai for over a year and a half, and whilst I haven't spent much time in Hangzhou, I have visited a few times.

Shanghai certainly has a lot of nightlife, and perhaps I'm not the best person to advise on this as I don't really care for nightlife, but I think that it will get boring pretty quickly anyway.

Hangzhou has more natural environment than Shanghai, though Shanghai does have several parks dotted around the city.

However, as pointed out, the relative number of foreigners in Hangzhou will be lower. Frankly, I don't think it'll make much difference to your learning Chinese experience, as your level of emersion depends on who you decide to hang out with rather than which city you go to, but since westerners are fewer, you'll have less competition for the girls who are looking for westerners.

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imron
West Lake in Hanzhou is also one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.
Seriously? I was considerably underwhelmed by it, and found it to be nothing special. Maybe I've just been spoiled from having grown up in Australia :mrgreen:

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Poemba

Thanks for your reactions guys.

I like nightlife ofcourse, but not on a daily basis or something. I think the weekends will do just fine :mrgreen:

But it's more like.. how should I explain this.. I'm still young and I want to meet interesting people and make friends, do sports, drink beer and blabla. I hope that I'll find that all in Hangzhou. Because since I've made the decission of going to Hangzhou, suddenly every bad point about Hangzhou shows up. I can only see the negative points about Hangzhou at the moment and only the positive points about any other city in China.

I feel brainwashed.. oeh..

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roddy

If you'd chosen Shanghai you'd probably be feeling the same about that city. Basically it's up to you and what you do with your time, wherever you end up. You'd probably be better off spending your time reading a bit about the city, looking at some maps so you can orientate yourself quicker, find a few people already there to chat to, etc. A few people on here have spent time in Hangzhou, and I haven't noticed them complaining. Like many of China's second-tier cities, it's big enough that you can find what you want.

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blink

Just another vote for the not to worry column: I was in Hangzhou for a little while and thought it was a great city. Some of the students went out most nights during the week and seemed to find enough places to drink, listen to loud music, and play dice (the favored drinking game of the locals while I was there). There are also many beautiful parks in and surrounding the city and you can always travel on the weekends to try someplace with a different atmosphere.

I definately empathize with your worry though. I'm trying to decide where to go next summer/fall -- the number of choices is overwhelming, but I just try to remember that any city will have its pros and cons. I agree with Roddy - finding a few quidebooks to give you ideas of what you'd like to do during your time in Hangzhou might put your fears to rest.

goodluck

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jbradfor

One more thought re: her reaction. While most people are rather proud of where they live, I get the impression that many Shanghai-ers take that pride to a whole new level. The typical Shanghai-er can't imagine why anyone would want to live anywhere else.

P.S. I was in Hangzhou a couple years ago, and while I was there only for a couple a days, I can think of many worse places to spend a year. West Lake is nice, not the 人间天堂 I was lead to believe (e.g. http://www.tynews.com.cn/travel/2005-04/15/content_888595.htm), but nice. But I believe most of the action is in other areas of town.

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xuechengfeng
Seriously? I was considerably underwhelmed by it, and found it to be nothing special. Maybe I've just been spoiled from having grown up in Australia :mrgreen:

Either I haven't been that many places, or those commercials were successful in brainwashing me :mrgreen:

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anonymoose

I think the other thing to consider is that Hangzhou isn't very far from Shanghai, so well within reach for a weekend trip.

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crazy-meiguoren

I haven't been to China (hopefully someday in my lifetime), but it sounds like if Hangzhou is 450,000 then that would place it in the same league as Seattle or Portland. That would make it a major city right there. That's pretty good company in my opinion.

I would hate to think what your friend would have to say about the city where I live. It's only 45,000 - and that's stretching it.

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xuechengfeng
I heard there is a new train between Hangzhou and Shanghai that only takes 1 hour 40 minutes.

It's also inexpensive

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jbradfor
I haven't been to China (hopefully someday in my lifetime), but it sounds like if Hangzhou is 450,000 then that would place it in the same league as Seattle or Portland.

I'm not sure where that 450 000 number came from, but wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangzhou) puts the population at between 2 M - 4 M, depending on what you want to include.

That would make it a major city right there. That's pretty good company in my opinion.

That's one of the things I love about China (and India too, for that matter): the population scale is so different. A city of 450,000 barely registers, doesn't even make it into the top 80: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China_by_population

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crazy-meiguoren
I'm not sure where that 450 000 number came from

Based on an earlier post. The actual population number wasn't given, so it was purely an inference based on what the post presented.

It sounds like comparing Hangzhou to Shanghai is like comparing Philadelphia to New York - both are over 1 million and in close proximity, but it's in the shadow of a bigger metropolis.

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Poemba

I probably wrote something down the wrong way. I meant, the city where I live in now, has 450.000residents. (The Hague, Holland) Meaning, that Hangzhou is pretty big compared to my city or even to my capital city (Amsterdam, Holland). Hangzhou has millions.

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xlfxlf

Hangzhou, much better than Shanghai.

Don't worry about the bar/club in Hangzhou, there are many gorgeous bars/clubs in Hangzhou, and you won't be worry about tall buildings everywhere in Hangzhou, and you can enjoy West Lake in your free time.

Hangzhou is a paradise. For me , I don't like Shanghai, Shanghai is just a good place for shopping, but for living, hangzhou is the best choice in China.

There are many foreigners in Hangzhou, and Yuquan Camp of Zhejiang university is located next to West Lake, and a bar near there and we meet there every Tuesday for running event whatever rain or not. Many foreigners and chinese joined together.

I have been here for around 5 years and I love this city.

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simonlaing

I think you will like hanzhou,

like holland it is relatively flat and easy to ride a bike around, there is west lake with lots of bike paths and other rivers nearby.

SHanghai on the other hand is much more difficult for bike riding, many of the smaller roads have eliminated the bike lanes, The metro gets crowded during rush our , and the Shanghai people's mentality is more directed towards money, materialism and learning english.

Hangzhou has it's fare share of english teachers but since tourism is such a big part of the economy people are generally friendly. Hangzhou even with tourist prices will be cheaper than Shanghai on Average .

With the maglev they will make the distance from hangzhou to Shanghai 1 hour.

I have heard good things about the Hangzhou schools, where as Shanghai the students seemed really busy or not there for learning chinese really.

As Roddy says a lot of it is what you make of it. You can change after a year or 6 months if you really want to.

have fun,

Simon:)

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