Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.
I'm in the process of planning my first trip to China in early September. I have already been to Asia as I lived in BKK for a few months 2 years ago. Best few months of my life. While living in BKK, I also spent a month in Cebu in the Phils. While I had a lot of fun there, I got bored quite soon as there was nothing else to do other than just banging girls. Trust me, as incredible as it may sound from a North American perspective, once you live in that kind of environment as in Asia, even banging a fresh new girl does get boring and tiring. I was thinking to return to the Phils next month as I have been chatting to some very nice, fun, feminine, sweet and educated middle class Pinays from CB, I'd prefer to go to China for various reasons.
First of all, I've been doing a lot of research on China and the more I learn about it, the more I'm getting intrigued and even fascinated by China and living there. Of course, the great opportunities available in China are also a major factor in my decision to go to China. And of course, the Chinese women, if they are anything like their pics on the various dating site, then it will be glorious. I've heard and read a LOT of praise about Chinese women in here and other forums online. So I believe it's time for me to see it with my own eyes and get a taste of China and Chinese women.
This will be a short 3 week reconnaissance trip for me. I will be returning to China in January 2013 for a few months during which I will enroll in a university to learn Mandarin as I want to make China my base for the next few years specially for business reasons. I'm looking at the south of China as the last thing I want is to be in a place with a cold winter. Coming from Canada, I'm sick and tired of cold and long winters so for me, it will be the south of China.
I will be visiting Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzen as these are the prime areas for the life style, weather and strategic location for easy traveling around Asia and of course for business. I've been also reading and hearing a lot of praise about Chengdu. I will visit it on my next trip for sure...I'd like some tips, suggestion from the China experts in terms of places to go, visit and also which areas of town to stay at in Guangzhou, Shenzen and HKG.
Btw, has anyone flown with United Airlines on long haul flights? I'd be specifically interested in hearing about those who have flown the NYC-HKG leg. How are the seats in economy on United? I'm not a fan of flying with US carriers and I usually fly with Air Canada for my trips to Asia but this time, the fare with AC to HKG is about 50% more than flying United through either NYC or Chicago.
Also, if some of you China experts can share some examples for cost of living in the above mentioned cities, it would highly appreciated. And if anyone from here will be in the area, would be cool to meet for drinks and going hunting together.
Yeah, Guangzhou is a good choice. Shenzhen is more expensive - it's the most expensive place after Shanghai.
See my other post which I updated this morning. I've crossed off Chengdu - it's too traditional and maybe not a good place to find a woman suitable for a Western man. Also it looked really boring.
Chinese Universities have costs posted on their websites, you can share a room for $40 a month, and food is $3 a day. Of course if you want more comforts you'll need to pay more. $1500 a month would buy a nice lifestyle in China - that's what I'm aiming for.
GDUFS looks the best place to study in Gz, although there's A LOT of Universities in Gz. GDUFS is in a cheap part of town, and the air isn't bad there. Also I might stick around and do an MBA there. The metro to downtown takes about 30 mins.
For short term stays in Gz, Tianhe/Linhexi is good for its central location and excellent Pizza Hut!
American airlines do suck, and I'm amazed our Continental 757 made it across the Atlantic when I went to NYC. I don't see the point in spending money on the flight, it's better to save the cash.
Thanks for chipping in Xiongmao. Appreciated my friend.
I bought my ticket, a direct flight and I'm excited about the trip. It will be a reconnaissance trip before a much longer one in January. Guangzhou is where I'll be and next time, I'll explore other cities/areas in China. Btw, Xiongmao, can you forward me some of your female contacts you said you had in GZ? If you are in town in early to mid september, let me know it would be awesome to go hunting together and sharing drinks/stories.
Good luck to you Jacare.
I agree that Guangzhou is note quite as expensive as Shenzhen, Shanghai, or Beijing, but it certainly is still one of the most expensive cities in China.
Tianhe Bei [North] (天河北) is popular among Europeans and Americans. This is where the financial district and upper-end shopping malls are.
Xiaobei (小北) is popular among Africans and Arabs. It's got a "bazaar" feel to it. In my opinion, it the funnest part of Guangzhou, since it's the most different and diverse part of town. Xiaobei is one metro stop next to the main central Guangzhou train station (广州火车站).
Be sure to get a Yangchengtong (羊城通) card in Guangzhou. You can use that on buses, the Metro, and even 7-11's and many local attractions. Simply place the card flat on the electronic scanner, and you're good to go.
Unlike in most other Chinese cities, you'll see almost no motorcycles, honking, or spitting in Guangzhou. This is because the local ordinances are strictly enforced with heavy fines.
As for Shenzhen, check out the bustling Luohu Commercial Center (罗湖商业中心)! The arts, crafts, antiques, and calligraphy dealers are especially warm and friendly. Also, the Shenzhen Metro is quite similar to the Guangzhou Metro, so you're not going to get lost if you already know how the Guangzhou one works (and vice versa).
Budget motels should range from 120 - 200 RMB per night. This is relatively expensive compared to motels in rural southwest China, which charge 20 - 40 RMB per night. One month stays are more convenient in hotels, most of which offer discounts for those who rent by the week or month. Apartments may be cheaper, but they can be quite hard to find for short-term (i.e., less than a few months) stays. Hostels are another popular option. They charge 60 - 70 RMB per night for a typical dorm room.
Taxis charge a 10 RMB initial fee, and then additional charges are calculated by kilometers traveled on the taximeter. A typical ride should cost from 20 - 60 RMB. On the other hand, in rural southwest China, taxis do not use taximeters and do not charge an initial fee. A typical ride costs 5 - 10 RMB. To save money, ride the Metro, which is a lot of fun. Metro rides are around 5 RMB.
A cheap meal in at a low-end Chinese-style cafe usually costs about 10 RMB. Expect to pay 25-40 RMB for fast-food restaurants such as McDonald's and KFC. Bottled drinks are 3-5 RMB.
To convert RMB's (or CNY's) to USD's quickly in your head:
(1) Multiply by 2
(2) Divide by 10 [take off a zero]
(3) Subtract around 20%
This is because the USD-CNY exchange rate is 6.4. Now 6.4 times 2 is 12.8, and dividing by 10 gives you 1.28. Then subtract a little.
You'll most definitely have a fantastic experience in China. Feel free to ask me if you've got more questions.
Last edited by Falcon on Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ha ha ha, if you buy a Yangchengtong yourself and go around on the metro then any Chinese women you meet will be enormously impressed! Chinese people think only other Chinese people know about Yangchengtongs.
Remember to visit Shamian Island and see all those beautiful Chinese brides getting their photos taken!
I haven't had much interest from Chinese women this year. If I didn't know any better I'd say that last year baby hunters were out of force and making a determined effort to land a man and therefore born a dragon baby...
I've been in Guangzhou since Friday afternoon arriving from Hong Kong. My initial impressions of GZ are very positive. I'm staying at a nice hotel in a brand new building in the heart of Tianhe, which is the best area of town for about 30$/night. The infrastructures at least in Tianhe are very impressive and make IMO even Manhattan look like 3rd world, no kidding. Negatives: it's hot as hell, language barrier is a major problem here so learning the language is currently my # 1 priority.
Women, simply ubelievable. There are lot of pretty, sexy, feminine and super fashionable girls everywhere. I've been here only 3 days and have already met 7 girls in person and got tons of text messages and phone calls from girls I don't even know but who had my number given to them by a friend. I fully believe that if one were to leave here, that he could have as many women that he could handle. Once I get some free time, I will post a more detailed report but suffice to say that China is the real deal and I'm really considering not returning to Canada at the end of my trip. So anyone looking at getting to China, don't wait book that ticket and you'll be really glad you did. As cheesy as this may sound, it is the total truth.
I'm simply blown away here like never before! Just WOW!!!
Congratulations! I have had very positive experiences with girls in rural Southwest China, so check out that area if you've got a chance to do so.
I didn't get nearly as much attention from women in Guangzhou as you did, probably because I pass for a local Chinese. Nevertheless they were quite sweet, friendly, easy to talk to, and very, very different from the white-washed Chinese-American women I'm used to being around with.
Sadly, we just missed each other. I'm back in the US now. Stayed for the night in Inglewood, California where the youths were trying to act all "cool" and thuggish. Then I went back home and found out my car had been vandalized and burglarized. Good old USA.
Are you white or asian? Are you meeting these girls by cold approach or online?
I saw many mainland Chinese tourists up at Alishan a few days ago. They sure were different, much more relaxed, but like oblivious to others around them. They don't wait their turn and are pushy and shovey, as though everything were a rush. Are they all like that in China, in every city?
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.
Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!
"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
Chinese foot traffic is similar to Chinese vehicular traffic. The shoviness and pushiness is especially bad at train and bus stations. They do this while being laid-back and care-free. I got used to it quickly. For example, a guy who just shoved me to get his bus ticket first might end up having a laid-back, wonderful conversation with me the next moment.
It's like how all the seemingly chaotic traffic in China rarely results in road rage, whereas road rage occurs much more often with much more orderly American traffic.
You will see less of it in large cities such as Guangzhou, which have been "cleaned up" by strictly enforced city ordinances.
Good trip report Jacre. I'm hoping to go to Gz in Feb. It's taking longer to quit the UK than I thought, although the biggest issue is that I can't study in China until the next semester starts in Feb. This does give me more time to save cash, as I believe I'll need to spend 3 years out there.
Gz is a great city, although if you only visit Tianhe you'll not see the less desirable parts (e.g. the factory district). I like the fact that multiculturalism is embraced in Gz, whereas in Shanghai the locals were too snobby to eat the Muslim street food!
Gz seems to have a lot more law enforcement officials than any other city in China. You'll often see street cooks get their wares confiscated, and the main streets are heavily policed. Shame they don't do much to stop all the touts in Beijing Lu.
Gz is full of English speaking office ladies who are desperate to find a man. In fact there are loads of single ladies everywhere, but I think having a Mandarin speaking wing-woman to help with the introductions is the way forward.
Small shop owners seem to be particularly nice - a few certainly caught my eye. They're pretty smart as well.
PM me if you spotted any business opportunities!
Congratulations JacarÃ© on getting to China, but it seems like you're in the honeymoon phase right now. Traveling to a place is never the same as living in a place. In the beginning, everything seems so much cooler and better than back home, but eventually you'll come to see reality. I'm not trying to sound negative, but let's see if you still like Guangzhou after living there for a year or two. If you're anything like me, you'll probably still like the women after living there for a few years.
And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I disagree with some of you other posters about China.
Winston, yes, Chinese in China are very pushy and always act like they're in a huge hurry. If you're ever standing in a line/queue, expect the person behind you to be constantly pushing at your back (yes, physically pushing you), even though you can't move forward. Whether you're waiting to get on a bus, waiting in line to buy a ticket, or waiting in line to pay at the supermarket, that kind of behavior is very normal in mainland China. Also, cutting in line is practically guaranteed. If you leave even an inch of space between yourself and the person in front of you, you can definitely expect someone to try to cut in front of you. I'm not exaggerating one bit. This is the kind of behavior you can expect on a daily basis, and it's absolutely mandatory that you learn how to adapt to it if you want to live in mainland China. Trust me, sometimes it's really hard to keep your cool when everyone around you is behaving so boorishly.
Falcon, I can't say for sure about other parts of China, but the people in northeast China have fierce road rage - far beyond what you would see in the United States. I've been all around Asia, and no other Asian country even comes close to the poor driving skills and road rage in northeast China. Literally every day in Dalian I would see two drivers get out of their cars in the middle of a busy street and then get into a heated argument.
And laid-back? Once again, not sure about other parts of China, but northeastern Chinese people are the polar opposite of laid-back. They're extremely aggressive and pushy, especially people who are 40 and up. In Dalian the social atmosphere was very tense, and the slightest thing would set some people off in a rage. Let me give you an example:
One time, my two friends (both Korean) and I went to eat at a little hole in the wall restaurant in Dalian. We needed a couple of more bowls of rice, so my Korean friend asked a man, who we thought was a waiter, to bring us an extra bowl of rice. The man exploded in a rage that he was not a waiter, and he had a nasty grin on his face as if he wanted to fight with my Korean friend. In no way was our communication condescending towards him. Bear in mind that the whole conversation took place in Mandarin. This man was ready to fight over a tiny, innocent mistake. And honestly, that kind of situation is common. Had this happened in most other Asian countries, the guy would have probably just laughed and shrugged it off (like any normal human being would do). And on a side note, the more Mandarin you learn, the more shocked you'll be at the crazy and rude things Chinese people often say!
I completely agree with you on this one. And this includes the Chinese women that some of you guys might be dating. They might seem shy and awkward when speaking in English, but a lot of listening to their speaking in Chinese might prove otherwise.
I have not been to urban Northeastern China. The people there are completely different. Bear in mind that it is the complete polar opposite of rural Southwestern China, which is what I'm familiar with. I have seen people in SW China getting into big heated arguments, but I can say for sure that the overall atmosphere is laid-back. Even the locals say that rural SW China is more laid-back than Guangzhou. Many of them have worked in Guangdong as migrant laborers, and they would say that it's all "rush rush rush, about making money, people not as friendly." An urban, well-educated local of Guangzhou who has a city hukou might say otherwise though.
Last edited by Falcon on Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Yeah, Everdred is right, don't be fooled by your honeymoon period in China. I've seen a lot of the downside, from bad food to bad healthcare, terrible road accidents, road rage, crime, mosquitos and plenty of cheating. And if you're a regular Chinese person then you have to work 6 or 7 days a week for $300 a month while your boss spends all his money on fast cars or mistresses.
On the other hand there are plenty of nice Chinese around. I've met some wonderful girls, and I have to say that I haven't been ripped off in bars and shops like I was in France or Italy. Sheesh, Europe is shameful at times - once I got overcharged in France when I was just a kid!
Chinese people are generally very competitive though, and also noisy. Travel on a train in China and Japan and notice the difference.
Gz is a nice city for a Westerner to hang out though. I went to Wuhan and it was pretty terrible, especially the spitting. I didn't see too much of that in Gz. The food was good though.
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests