101+ tips useful information and tips on moving and living in China
Disclaimer: Always remember there is nothing that applies for each and every Chinese citizen out there. The given statements might be correct, but at the same time they can be as false as something can be.
1. Prepare yourself before you decide moving to China! – If you wake up one morning and fell like “I want to move to China”, great! But before making the final decision you should minimum travelled China for 2-3 weeks to get a glimpse what I may feel like living and working there. Learn more
2. Find out, what region you want to live in – make sure the climate of the region you want to relocate to is suitable for you. I for instance, could not live in southern China, it is just too hot for me and my body can’t stand the summer heat for this long. Learn more
3. Find out what language in your Chinese target region is spoken – Chinese language is not Chinese language! There are the big two: Mandarin and Cantonese and thousands of regional dialects. When you know where to go, prepare for the in this region spoken language and dialect. Learn more
4. Find a job or university place – In order to apply for the correct visa, you first need to have an employer or place at university. Then you need to follow the formal regulations to get the correct visa.
5. Arriving in China – After holding the correct visa and arriving China you need to go to officials to get a residency permit.
6. Applying for a Chinese visa – Chinese visa regulations tend to change quite often. To be updated always use https://www.visaforchina.org for latest information
7. Translating documents – In order to get your visa and residency permit you need certified copies of some of your documents. Which the are you can also find out at the above given homepage
8. Whats living in China like? An Overview – Living in China can be the best or worst experience of your lifetime! There is usually nothing in between. To find out please research carefully and take the opportunity to stay in China prior your relocation.
9. Choosing the right area to live in – When new to a town you should first check out what neighborhood you want to live in. Neighborhoods with many foreigners tend to be more expensive. If you want to real Chinese experience you should stay in a Chinese only area. There you can deep dive into Chinese living lifestyle with street food, Mahjongg players in the evening and
10. Costs of living in China – Living in China with a salary of 1.500-3.000 USD can bring you a lifestyle you could not live in the west. Housing can be cheap (beware of the mega cities), transportation costs nearly nothing and food is still so cheap, you can go out an eat nearly every day.
11. Renting a place in China – When it comes to renting, I guess there a no universal rules that apply all over the world. Learn everything you need to know, when you want to rent a place in China
12. Using MRT to work or university – You should keep in mind to travel minimum one time during your usual commuting time from your future apartment to your work or university. This avoids you from being surprised on how long the commute may take or on how crowded the Metro might be.
China is the future:
13. Mobile payment in China – Chinese is known for its innovations in a lot of areas. Payment might be a remarkable one. Nowadays it is possible to live just off your phone. With Alipay or WeChatPay there is no need to carry any cards of wallets with you anymore. You can literally pay mobile everywhere. Even street musicians place a QR-code in front of them instead of a hat to put coins or bills in.
14. Face recognition systems – China might be the leading nation when it comes to face recognition systems. Nowadays it is possible to step in form of a camera and get useful information, for example on what gate and time your flight departures at airport. On the other hand, of course, there are concerns on abusing this technology for bad. But let’s focus on the good use of it.
15. Same day delivery to your desk – The future is now! In 2017 I already could order things on TaoBao and let it deliver to my desk at office, same day. Around 3 hours after purchasing the goods were delivered.
16. Learning Chinese when relocating – A lot of Chinese people do not speak English. In order to get along, it is highly recommended to learn at least basic Chinese. Read my thoughts about it in my blog post. Read more…
17. Try to speak as much Chinese as you can – when learning Chinese, a key factor is talking to Chinese people as much as you can. When I started learning I went to a lot of local Chinese restaurants and talked to them in Chinese to improve my speaking and listening. Learn more
18. Learning Chinese online – my experiences and recommendations – coming soon!
19. Chengyu is Chinese wisdom in four words – the Chinese languages are complex. In order to make it easier Chengyu established over to course of many thousands of years. A Chengyu is a 4-character idiom that have a deeper meaning and doesn’t need more explanation.
20. There is one thing you have to understand: There is no Chinese food – Chinese food is a collective name for all foods that may be cooked and produced in China. But they may have nothing else in common than the same country. Chinese food can be everything: rice, noodles, potatoes, fish, meat, spicy, mild, hot, cold, sour, sweet, fresh, dried, conserved, fermented, burned, grilled – or: all the above mentioned combined.
21. Hotpot, the soul of Sichuan and China – Hotpot might be one of the national dishes in China. It contains a Hotpot in the middle of the table and a wide variety of food you can throw into the pot. The pot contains soup in a flavor, or even two of your choice: hot, mild, sour, sweet, fruity… You just throw into the pot whatever you want to eat and pick it out after some time.
22. Jiaozi or the Chinese tortellini – Jiaozi are small stuffed dumplings. You can find an unlimited variety of Jiaozi all over China. You can find them cooked in water or soup or fried in a pan
23. Baozi Chinese rolls – In contrast to Jiaozi Baozi have softer dough and are usually streamed over water or soup. They are stuffed with a variety of ingredients as well and often consumed as a small breakfast
24. Beef noodle soup – One of my favorite food. A bowl of soup, noodles, vegetables and some pieces of beef. I love it!
25. YangRouPaoMo – is a traditional dish severed usually in Muslim restaurants. It’s a lamb soup with bread
26. RouJiaMo – That might be the prototype of all hamburgers. It’s a bread half cut open and filled with meat and sauce and sometimes some vegetables as well.
27. Chuanchuan – One of the most popular street food dishes. Actually, it’s just meat and vegetables on a stick in order to being prepared on a grill or soup
28. Do Chinese people eat “everything”? – don’t forget: There is no Chinese food (#30), so the statement is of course wrong. But in some areas people eat food, no other nations or regions want to eat. Read mode
29. Desserts in China – Egg custard tarts, pudding, fruits, dragons beard candy, sweet tofu, jelly in coconut milk… you name it, China has it!
30. Breakfast in China – breakfast in China is usually small and unexciting. You can find Baozi, congee, fruits, noodle soup or cabbage. Most importantly is that it’s hot
31. Rice congee – Is a type of rice porridge you can mix with ingredents of your choice. Sweet or sour, hot or mild – everything is possible. Usually when offered you can find a buffet with several toppings to put into your bowl on your own
32. Do all Chinese eat spicy and hot – No! I met a lot of Chinese people that were surprised about how hot I can eat. But be aware of people from Sichuan. They could eat fire and not feel the smallest burn.
33. Eating order in China – starter, main dish, dessert, this order does not apply in China. You can eat what ever you want when you want. It is not uncommon to have a hotpot and eat a sweet pudding when you feel like you want one
34. Chinese food at home country – When I came first time to China in 2014 I realized that all my life was a life! Sure, the Beijing duck was more or less authentic, but all the other dishes local Chinese restaurants and take-away offered were not really authentic. To spot an authentic Chinese restaurant go for these, only Chinese people sit inside. If that is the case it might be authentic. Sometimes that authentic that the don’t even offer a local language menu
35. Traveling in China: train or plane – my recommendation: Always go for the train, if suitable. Planes are usually delayed, and summing up the time prior departure, the delay and the wait for the luggage are often shorten than taking a train. Note: Always show up at an train station 90-120 minutes prior departure of your train. Picking up the tickets and waiting for security check may take lot of time.
Celebrations in China:
36. Chinese New Year CNY – the most important festival in whole China! At the same time it is the biggest travel season in the world, around 800 million people want to go from A to B.
37. Dragon boat festival – more soon
38. Latern festival – more soon
39. Tomb-Sweeping Day – more soon
40. 11.11. Singles day – the biggest shopping day of the world, more soon
41. 1.10. National day– more soon
42. Lunar festival – more soon
43. Chinese valentine’s day – more soon
44. How does the health care system in China work – whatever disease you may have, you usually go to a hospital to see a doctor. Be aware of long waiting hours and a huge language barrier in local hospitals. International hospitals might have English speaking personnel, but might not be covered by your health insurance plan – make sure to check prior your visit. If there is no international hostpital near you make sure to bring a interpreter with you!
45. Heating in China – not every house holds a heating device, as the communist party nearly 60 years ago decided what areas should be connected to the central heating system and what not. You can fine a line between the upper and lover part of the Yangtse river.
Pets and animals in China:
46. What pets do Chinese people have – many people hold cats or dogs. Rabbits or birds. Fishes or reptiles. Nothing special here
Important cultural knowledge:
47. Giving and receiving face in China – The Chinese culture centers around the concept of face. Make sure to give and receive face whenever you can. Read more…
48. Bringing gifts whenever you can – Gifts are always welcome in China. Whenever you are invited make sure to bring gifts to your host. Read more…
49. Why do Chinese eat with chopsticks? – Did you know that people in the west tend to eat with finger until the 17th century? While people in China are using chopstick for over three thousand year.
50. Confucius – more soon
51. Daoism – more soon
52. Buddhism – more soon
53. Harmony – more soon
54. GuanXi – more soon
Places you should have seen in China:
55. Visit Beijing – more information soon
56. Visit Xi’An – more information soon
57. Visit Shanghai – more information soon
58. Visit Hainan – more information soon
59. Visit Chengdu – more information soon
60. Visit Zhangjiajia – more information soon
61. Visit Harbin – more information soon
62. Visit Tianjin – more information soon
63. Visit Qingdao – more information soon
64. Visit Shenzhen – more information soon
65. Visit DaLian – more information soon
66. Visit Rual areas – more information soon
67. Year of the Rat – more information soon
68. Year of the Ox – more information soon
69. Year of the Tiger – more information soon
70. Year of the Rabbit – more information soon
71. Year of the Dragon – more information soon
72. Year of the Snake – more information soon
73. Year of the Horse – more information soon
74. Year of the Goat – more information soon
75. Year of the Monkey – more information soon
76. Year of the Rooster – more information soon
77. Year of the Dog – more information soon
78. Year of the Pig – more information soon
79. Mahjong – more information soon
80. DouDiJu – more information soon
81. ShengJi – more information soon
Leisure time in China:
82. Free time activities in China – more soon
83. KTV – Karaoke is king! – more soon
84. Why do Chinese grandmas dance in parks or at squares? -more soon
85. Having yourself massage – more soon
86. Food – chinese people love to eat – more soon
Colors in China:
87. Every color in China represents a symbolic meaning – be careful what color you use as a gift wrap, the color of your head, and what to wear at a wedding or funeral. The symbolism of your home country may not apply
88. Gold – more information soon
89.Red – more information soon
90. White – more information soon
91. Avoid wearing a green head in China – Greens hats represent being cheated on by a significant other. That’s why you should avoid wearing a green hat, cap or whatever at all costs.
Dropping bricks in China:
92. How to greet in China? – more soon
93. How to avoid dropping a brick while eating in China – more soon
94. Drinking culture in China – more soon
95. Dropping bricks when invited to someone’s home – more soon
96. Day by day advices – more soon
Numbers in China:
97. Why are numbers so important in China? – because people belive in their power! That’s all. Why is 13 considered unlucky in western countries? Why do people think of Satan if they read 666? Because it is cultural taught. There is no law of nature behind it
98. Why is 4 considered a bad number? – Because it is phonetically very close to Si, which means death
99. Why you should avoid mentioning 250 to anyone – that’s a longer story, that’s why I wrote a blog article about is. Read more…
100. 8 is the luckiest number out there – and guess what, 88 means even more luck than 8 ?. 8 is called Ba in Mandarin and phonetically close to Fa which means prosperity and wealth
101. Why is 6 is a lucky number in China? – Because it is phonetically close to liu, which means fortune and happiness. Six is a very good number for business
102. 666 the number of the beast or the number of good luck? – when 6 is a lucky number, what can bring more luck than three times six? Exactly: 666.