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Living in Asia vs. living in the West


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Not sure where to put this, but some people might be interested in discussing the pros and cons (IN GENERAL) of living in China vs. the West.

Many expats have said China has the following benefits:

More hot, thin women

Strong economy

Cheap prices

The downsides of China include:

Boring food (after awhile)


Lack of religion

Less freedom


Poor quality products

Few English books


The good sides about most Western countries:

Diverse populations

Food variety

More quality products

Less corruption



Better libraries

Better universities

Higher pay

The downsides of living in the West:

More violent crime

Negative/hysterical media stories ("Crime Up",

"Gas Prices Up", "Employment Down")


High cost of living

Runaway lawsuits and overregulation

More hassles with debt/taxes/cars/insurance


Many people may disagree, but the ease of living in China (and Asia) vs. the difficulties of living in western countries like the USA makes many foreigners in China wonder how they ever go back to their

home countries. Perhaps the majority of people born in developing countries would do almost anything to move to the west, but for the western male, Asia is almost a paradise.

Comments welcome.

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For me one of the ‘cons’ of living here is the other expatriates whose attitude makes it more difficult for the rest of us.

For example, I mean the ones who complain all the time that people say hello to them, that the writing system should be changed to accommodate them, that the stores don’t have anything they want to buy (even though they do.).

And the ones who can only see China as a source of hot looking women and a cheap lifestyle.

And the ones who complain that China is dirty. How many of them have been in a Chinese home? The streets may not be up to the conditions back home (but then if they want it to be clean, they better forget about those cheap prices!), but in my experience Chinese homes are usually very clean. Of course, if they walk around insulting the Chinese all the time, they are unlikely to be invited to many homes.

And the ones who can’t see a link between cheap prices and poverty.

And the ones who think that there is little violent crime and little homelessness in China, just because they can’t read the newspapers.

And the ones who list ‘offshoring’ as a downside to the west, but work in China!

But especially the ones whose insensitivity, arrogance and conceit annoys the Chinese and make it easy for them to assume we are all the same.

Thank God there’s no-one like that on this forum!

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The topic is 'Living in Asia vs Living in the West". How come the content changed to "Living in China vs the West"?

Actually you cannot compare China and the West (what countries do you guys actually mean?). Why? Very simple. China is a developing country while most of the countries in western Europe and Anglo-America are developed countries.

A more appropriate topic should be like "A comparison of expatriate's life in China vs Brazil/India/Russia".

In terms of the cost of living for expatriate, in fact Asian cities like Tokyo, Osaka, HK or even Shanghai, are notoriously more expensive than western cities like NYC or London if they intend to live in the same lifestyle they used to have.

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I think one big disadvantage is the pollution. Granted I was only in Shanghai and Hangzhou and so I can't say anything about the rest of China. The air pollution is really bad. I have lived east of Los Angeles in the US and so I know what bad air pollution is in the USA, but Shanghai was much worse. I was there the first week in November. I did not experience the water pollution first hand, but I was told it is very bad.

I spent most of my time with native Chinese friends and so at least my experience was not so much as a tourist. I was able to see how the 'natives' live, albeit a more well-to-do native.

I did enjoy it alot, so much so that I am starting a joint venture computer consulting business in Wuhan with some friends. Is anyone here from Wuhan? If so, send me a note. I would love to hear from you.

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