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Thinking of moving to Chengdu and need some advice

Liv Boyd

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I'm thinking about taking up a job offer in Chengdu and I wanted to ask the locals a few questions and get a feel for the place.

What are living expenses like in Chengdu? My work place would be in Wuhou District on Linjiang West rd. (in the area of the Sofitel Hotel and the Korean Consulate but on the other side of the river). Would it be possible to find a decent apartment (shared or single) within cycling distance? How much are apartments generally? And how is food and groceries? I'm looking at about a 4000 yuan per month salary, so I want to know if I can get by on that OK.

How's the air pollution in Chengdu? I used to live in Beijing, which was pretty awful in that sense.

What's the night life like? Is there much of an expat scene? I'm not really there to spend my whole time with foreigners, but sometimes faces and food that remind you of home can be a nice treat.

How's life in Chengdu more generally? What are the ups and downs in your opinion?

Thanks for the help Chengduers!

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I don't live in Chengdu (I live in Kunming) but you might find something useful here:


The forum section and the classified section are often more useful than the feature articles in getting a feel for a new place. Also might be a place to ask some of the same questions you asked here, above.

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I have lived in Chengdu for only about 4 months but to my experience it is a wonderful place. The people are much more relaxed and if you are seeking a different experience than what you can get in Beijing, I would recommend Chengdu. Living expenses are generally low, even in the center there are cheap and good local restaurents.

The nightlife is decent, of course nothing compared to western coastline cities, but I can recommend, Jellyfish, a bar with around 50/50 foreigner and chinese. If you seek a place with more chinese people, there are those standards clubs and bars along the main river and bar street.

the pollution is no where near as visible as in Beijing, though the construction boom recently has added much noise and dust in the areas around the center. It is generally a clean city compared to other chinese cities. To my taste it also has to offer some of the most delicious chinese food.

All in all I can only recommend that you find an apartment (as I did) a little out of the center near the river which is really cheap (1200 RMB per month), and since the metro system in Chengdu is not really of any use so far, cycling is very popular in Chengdu.

Hope it helped!


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  • 2 months later...
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hey,I spent about six months in chengdu and I will start studying these for 4years this september.

First of all I advice you to find a chinese friend who can help you arrange a long term rent contract,that requires mandarin skills and a local's knowledge,otherwise these are various agencies that could help you.

In Chengdu you can rent a decent lovely apartment for 1000rmb per month with a ensuite kitchen and bathroom. This the type of apartment my chinese girlfriend has. For me I was renting rooms for around 300 to 400rmb per month with access to all the basics needed. The price of street food in chengdu for one meal averages around 30rmb,and for a meal at a restaurant around 60 to 100rmb. So,the food Is cheap and delicious. I reckon there Is a average of 4 to

5thousand westerners in chengdu at any one time. 1200 are enrolled in long term courses in Sichuan university and about 100 in southwest jiaotong university.

To be totally honest,The pollution in chengdu Is worst at morning time with the intense and heavy traffic, and in summer time it thickets and condenses around the main roads,blocking the skyline from view.But,if you avoid the main roads it Is not noticeable at all. And most importantly Chengdu Is located in a area surrounded by natural beauty(check out emei shan,leshan,qingchen shan, and many other mountains and rivers and plaines) I have travelled all over china and my favorite city Is chengdu.

ok,the expat scene Is great in chengdu although I am not part of it because I only party with my chinese mates. Many foreigners have voted chengdu as a better party city than shanghai hong kong or beijing. I agree.

The dating scene,if you are interested,is also relaxed and fun,girls are more than willing to date with foreigners.

I recommend getting your own transport like a motorcycle,which Is what I have,and I have no licence at all. haha. its great for travelling around and travelling outside chengdu.

Taxis have a starting fee of 8yuan and then about averages about 10yuan per 15 minutes. enjoy it

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  • 3 months later...

Chengdu is great, although the cost of living has been steadily rising and the city is growing up quickly. There are a lot of opportunities in Chengdu right now though as the city has been groomed to be the cultural capital of Western China. Let me know if you have any specific questions, I've been here a while.

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