Blending historical historical past with refined city life, Beijing is one of the fastest-growing cities in Asia. Although the associated fee of visiting and dwelling in Beijing has lately change into costlier, it’s nonetheless reasonably priced in comparison with different western and Asian cities all over the world.

Your value of dwelling in Beijing relies upon completely on the way you select to spend your cash. It’s doable to spend a hefty quantity on garments, items, and meals in Beijing (have you ever ever heard of the thousand-dollar chook’s nest soup?). On the opposite hand, you’ll be able to spend a mere $Four on a meal, or $15 on an evening out.

The reality is, Beijing doesn’t should be that costly in any respect, particularly if you already know what issues ought to value on common.

I’m right here to debate the precise value of dwelling in Beijing. I’ll clarify how a lot you need to spend on hire and meals, and what you’ll be able to anticipate from dwelling in China’s vibrant and historic capital. In this text, you’ll get the data and instruments to resolve if dwelling in Beijing is best for you.

Why Choose Beijing?

When individuals discover out that I lived in China, they’re often inquisitive about a couple of issues.

First, they marvel how an American with zero Mandarin language expertise was capable of survive in Beijing for a 12 months. That thought is then adopted up by questions on cultural variations between Western and Asian cultures. Finally, they wish to learn about the associated fee of dwelling, and if Asia is absolutely as low cost as they think about.

The reality is, there are a lot of causes to stay in Beijing. This bustling metropolis blends historical, conventional tradition with trendy, city life. You may simply spend the day in a peaceable, lotus-filled park, or lighting incense in a colourful Buddhist temple. Or in the event you choose, you could possibly hit the city for discount purchasing, connoisseur eating, and dancing beneath the celebrities. There are infinite things to do in Beijing to maintain you busy.

China’s vibrant capital is in the end a metropolis which you could make your individual. No matter what sparks your curiosity, yow will discover it in Beijing! Besides the enjoyable issues to do, and the prospect to find out about an historical tradition and historical past, listed below are a couple of extra causes to stay in Beijing.

living in beijing visit tienamen square

Work Opportunities

Take a glance in the classifieds part, and also you’ll see hundreds of job alternatives for expats and English audio system. As one of the most important cities in China, you’ll discover that many worldwide corporations are desirous to arrange satellite tv for pc places of work and branches in Beijing. For this motive, there are multitudes of job alternatives for foreigners and English audio system.

It doesn’t matter in the event you’re working in tech, finance, or hospitality. If the corporate relies outdoors of China, then the first language of the enterprise might be in English.

There are additionally a lot of service-industry alternatives out there in Beijing. With the booming development of tourism, many resorts and outlets wish to rent English audio system.

Teaching English is one other well-liked profession, not solely in Beijing however throughout Asia. In order to check overseas or to extend their hiring potential, Chinese college students and residents are desirous to study English from native audio system. You can educate privately, for a faculty, and even live as an au pair for a household!

Beijing can also be a superb vacation spot for digital nomads. There are a lot of co-working areas and inventive retailers so that you can increase your freelancing enterprise.

But don’t get me mistaken; whereas English is broadly spoken, it’s nonetheless helpful to study Mandarin whereas dwelling in Beijing. Not solely will you acquire a deeper appreciation for the tradition, however you’ll additionally increase your job prospects with Chinese corporations.

Unique Culture

Despite what many individuals assume, Beijing is a various and multicultural metropolis. Ever because it hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008, Beijing has seen super development in tourism and overseas expats.

While it’s frequent to see westerners and different foreigners, Beijing can also be a super vacation spot for immersing your self in Asian and Chinese tradition. China has accomplished a incredible job of preserving its conventional heritage.

There are seven totally different UNESCO World Heritage Sites, together with the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and the Summer Palace. If you need a style of genuine Beijing, then I like to recommend visiting one of these spectacular sights.

Intertwined with the standard websites is one of the most important defining traits of Beijing — urbanization. That means you’ll see towering skyscrapers and trendy highrises dotted in between the centuries-old temples, parks, and pagodas in Beijing. This provides town an eclectic aptitude, in contrast to every other place in the world. 

☞ SEE ALSO: The Villages of Dacangzhen: Southwest China’s Best Kept Secret

State-of-the-Art Public Transportation

In a metropolis recognized for its technological developments, it ought to come as no shock that Beijing has an unbelievable public transportation system. Your choices for getting across the metropolis (and getting round China in basic) are just about infinite. There are subways, rail trains, buses, taxis, bicycles, electrical scooters, and even rickshaws.

Best of all, all these choices are comparatively reasonably priced. We’ll talk about the associated fee of transportation a bit later in this text, however take my phrase for it; transportation prices in Beijing needs to be the least of your worries.

On the opposite hand, there may be one vital draw back to public transportation in Beijing. With over 21 million residents dwelling in Beijing, transport might be crowded and overwhelming to some. Renting a automobile or taking a scooter might be harmful, particularly contemplating how congested and populated the roads are.

Although you is likely to be rubbing shoulders throughout rush hour or dodging bicyclists throughout your drive to work, you’ll be able to nonetheless simply get from one place to a different.

cost of living in beijing transportation

Crime is at an All-Time Low

Beijing is extremely secure for foreigners, solo vacationers, and ladies. As a younger feminine in my early 20s dwelling in Beijing, I by no means as soon as felt unsafe strolling alone or at night time. Serious crime and violence towards locals and foreigners are rare.

On the opposite hand, petty theft might be a difficulty, particularly in massive cities and touristy areas. However, in the event you take the proper precautions, you’ll be able to keep away from being pickpocketed or robbed throughout your keep in Beijing.

When you exit, be certain that to depart any valuables resembling passports, jewellery, and enormous quantities of money at dwelling. You also needs to preserve your pockets in your entrance pocket, or your purse zipped up and in plain sight always. By being conscious of your environment, you’ll be able to keep away from thieves and pickpockets.

Amazing Food and Snacks

Beijing is thought to serve some of probably the most mouth-watering dishes on the planet. From connoisseur eating experiences to scorching avenue meals, you’ll don’t have any downside discovering one thing scrumptious to eat in China. The solely downside you’ll have is deciding precisely the place to eat!

Food in China is completely totally different than the mediocre Chinese meals that’s most likely served in your house nation. In Beijing, you gained’t discover Orange Chicken, Beef and Broccoli, or Fortune Cookies on the menu. Instead, you’ll have the choices of steamed pork buns, spicy noodles, and succulent duck to indulge in.

Besides the plethora of dine-in eating places, you’ll even have entry to freshly cooked avenue meals in Beijing. All you need to do is use one of the road carts that whip up meat skewers, savory crepes, and candy pastries, and you’ve got your self an inexpensive and filling meal!

The meals right here is so wonderful that it stays one of my favourite facets of dwelling in Beijing. 

Cost of Living in Beijing

Although many individuals consider that China is the most cost effective nation in the world, this repute has modified barely over the previous few a long time. While it’s doable to search out nice offers in Beijing, your value of dwelling will rely completely on the way you select to spend your time.

Let’s break the bills and see if life in Beijing is inside your finances.

Cost of Accommodation in Beijing

Your largest expense when dwelling in Beijing will possible be the associated fee of the hire. There are a number of totally different lodging sorts to select from, together with personal studios, shared flats, and even single-family homes.

Unlike most issues in Beijing, the associated fee of hire is definitely very excessive. To many native residents, renting a flat or home is definitely out of the query, for the reason that worth is far greater than the typical revenue. However, in the event you’re dwelling on a western wage, you’ll be able to stay fairly comfortably in many locations in Beijing.

If you’re trying to minimize down on prices, you’ll be able to take into account sharing an condo or housing with a number of roommates. You may additionally search for an condo outdoors the busy metropolis middle districts.

When it involves discovering a spot to stay in Beijing, there are a number of web sites to take a look at. The Beijinger is an English web site with dozens of furnished and unfurnished residences added every day. Besides housing, you may as well use the Beijinger to search out occasions, employment alternative, and different objects on the market. 
The draw back to utilizing an English website is that the majority listings are focused in direction of expats, which implies costs are usually a lot greater. If you already know Mandarin (or know somebody that may learn Mandarin), I like to recommend utilizing or Soufun.
If you progress to Beijing for work, your employer would possibly provide help to discover lodging in town. More typically than not, these locations are already rented by the corporate, which implies you might need little alternative in regards to the neighborhood or services in your flat.
Here are some estimates of what you’ll spend on lodging when dwelling in Beijing:
  • Private 1-bedroom in an costly space: 7500RMB (~$1000 USD)
  • Room in shared flat in an costly space: 5000RMB (~$700 USD)
  • Private 1-bedroom outdoors town middle: 4500RMB (~$630 USD)
  • Room in shared flat outdoors town middle: 3000RMB (~$420 USD)

Cost of Food and Drink in Beijing

The value of meals will rely on the place you select to eat. You can eat like a King in a resort or high-end restaurant and pay the identical as in the event you had been eating in a western or European restaurant. However, if you already know the place to look, you’ll be able to replenish on meals for just some {dollars} a day.

If you’re trying to save massive on meals, then eat in one of the smaller, native, family-run institutions dotted across the metropolis. Remember, it’s a superb signal in the event you see tons of locals consuming there! Just be certain that to carry a dictionary or translator, as a result of most native eating places solely have Mandarin menus (if they’ve a menu in any respect).

  • Meal for one in a mid-range restaurant: 30RMB (~$Four USD)
  • Street meals snacks: 10RMB (~$1.50 USD)
  • Meal for one in a cheap restaurant: 20RMB (~$2.50 USD)
  • 3-course meal in an costly restaurant: 100RMB (~$15 USD)
  • Bottle of beer: 10RMB (~$1.50 USD)
  • Glass of wine: 30RMB (~$Four USD)
  • Bottle of water: 10RMB (~$1.50 USD)

living in beijing eating chinese food

Spending an evening out in Beijing will also be pretty reasonably priced. Although you’ll discover a lot of western cocktail lounges and bars (most of which cost western costs), you’ll be able to nonetheless drink and get together in Beijing withing spending an excessive amount of.

  • One cocktail in an costly membership: 60RMB (~$eight USD)
  • One cocktail in a cheap bar: 30RMB (~$Four USD)
  • One beer from kiosk: 10RMB (~$1.50 USD)
  • One beer in a pub: 30RMB (~$Four USD)

As a basic rule of thumb, it can save you much more cash by cooking at dwelling. When searching for groceries, Beijing has a number of western shops and markets, together with Carrefour, Walmart, and METRO. You can even store at a neighborhood produce market, or in a Chinese retailer for much more vital financial savings.

  • Loaf of bread: 10RMB (~$1.50 USD)
  • 1kg of apples: 15RMB (~$2 USD)
  • 1kg of hen breast: 20RMB (~$2.50 USD)
  • 12 eggs: 10RMB (~$1.50 USD)
  • Bottle of beer: 5RMB (~$.75 USD)
  • Bottle of wine: 30RMB (~$Four USD)

Utility and Household Costs in Beijing

Compared to different western nations, utilities are less expensive in Beijing. The largest utility value will probably be electrical energy, which is often pay as you go earlier than shifting into an condo. You can anticipate to pay round 200-300RMB ($30-40 USD) per 30 days for electrical energy.

Gas and water could or will not be included in your hire. If not, then you will have to pay 70-80RMB (~$10 USD) for every, which is a minor value, in my opinion.

If your flat requires that you simply prepay your utilities, then this may be accomplished on the financial institution or native administration workplace.

Transportation Costs in Beijing

Navigating by Beijing might be complicated at first. But when you get the grasp of the place you’re going, you’ll be touring across the metropolis identical to a neighborhood. And it’s okay in the event you get misplaced each as soon as in some time, as a result of the associated fee of utilizing the general public transportation system may be very reasonably priced.

  • One-way ticket: 3RMB (~$.40 USD)
  • 10-minute taxi trip: 30RMB (~$Four USD)
  • Taxi from airport to metropolis middle: 100RMB (~$15 USD)
  • Cost of a brand new bicycle: 350RMB (~$50 USD)
  • Cost of 10-minute rickshaw trip: 50RMB (~$7 USD)

On common, you need to purpose for spending round $30 USD per week on transportation. If you reside close to the subway station, then taking the practice is an environment friendly possibility for getting round Beijing. However, I ended up taking a taxi to most locations, particularly if I used to be grocery purchasing. The worth of a taxi trip is pretty low, particularly in comparison with different nations in the world.

Cost of Entertainment in Beijing

When dwelling in Beijing, you’ll inevitably wish to spend some of your hard-earned money to let unfastened and benefit from the enjoyable and thrilling facets of town. After all, seeing the sights and immersing your self in Chinese tradition is one of the very best methods to get a really feel for Beijing. Most importantly, leisure in Beijing is definitely fairly cheap!

  • One film ticket for the cinema: 50RMB (~$7 USD)
  • 1-month fitness center membership: 400RMB (~$50 USD)
  • Standard haircut: 70RMB (~$10 USD)
  • One ticket entry to Summer Palace: 30RMB (~$4.20 USD)
  • One ticket entry to Temple of Heaven: 35RMB (~$5 USD)
  • One ticket entry to Forbidden City: 60RMB (~$eight USD)
  • Full-day personal tour of Beijing: 640RMB (~$90 USD)

Remember, it’s comparatively simple to spend most of your cash on leisure and actions in Beijing. All these cocktails, excursions, and ticket costs can add up shortly. I like to recommend sticking to a month-to-month finances, so that you don’t run out of cash whereas dwelling in Beijing.

What to Expect When Living in Beijing

Moving to Beijing might be an exhilarating expertise. After all, you’re in one of probably the most buzzing capital cities in the Far East. To assist make your transition to a brand new nation a clean one, I’ve put collectively an inventory of important issues to anticipate when dwelling in Beijing.

It’s Okay if People Stare

Not being of Asian descent in a predominantly Asian nation will inevitably entice stares and glances from locals. While most individuals that stay in the massive cities are conversant in Westerners, this may not be the case in the event you journey to small villages or cities.

Therefore, it’s fairly frequent for Chinese locals to stare. To outsiders, this will come off impolite, invasive, or unusual. But in actuality, it’s only a curiosity that makes them in studying extra a few totally different tradition apart from their very own.

As lengthy as you’re pleasant and smile at them, you’ll don’t have any downside traveling around China.

☞ SEE ALSO: A Travel Guide to Experiencing the Tibetan Monlam Festival

Carry Your Own Toilet Paper 

Public loos in China depart one thing to be desired. It’s not unusual to search out loos with out rest room paper, rest room seats, and even boundaries or partitions between stalls. Not to say, you’ll should get used to Chinese squatter bathrooms, that are extra like holes in the grounds reasonably than seats.

For this motive, it’s important to all the time carry round your individual rest room paper. High-end resorts and malls would possibly present rest room paper, or a minimum of make it out there for buy earlier than coming into the lavatory. But on the flip facet, most public restrooms won’t provide such a luxurious.

In addition, you also needs to carry round hand sanitizer. Many public loos are full of grime and mud, and cleaning soap isn’t offered. If you carry your individual rest room paper and sanitizer, you’ll be ready for even the dirtiest of public loos.

Prepare for the Great Firewall

Censorship all through China could be a main problem, particularly with regards to journalism, tv, literature, and even the web. The Chinese authorities limits entry to many overseas web sites, together with Facebook and Wikipedia, Google, and Twitter. Plus, you gained’t have the ability to entry web sites like Netflix or Spotify.

For this motive, you additionally gained’t see any data on-line relating to China’s tumultuous occasions in historical past. Information about meals security scandals, political corruption, Tibet and Taiwan independence, and the 1989 protests at Tiananmen sq. are strictly banned in China.

If you’re wanting to make use of these websites throughout your keep in Beijing, you need to take into account buying a VPN — digital personal community. This would mean you can faucet into one other IP deal with so you’ll be able to freely surf the net at your leisure.

Using a VPN to watch tv shows when living in beijing

Learn a Few Chinese Words

Although English is spoken in many vacationer websites and resorts, Mandarin Chinese is the first language in Beijing. Taxi drivers, avenue meals homeowners, and retail associates most likely gained’t communicate any English. Knowing a couple of phrases in Mandarin, like hiya, thanks, no thanks, can go a good distance with Chinese locals.

To put it merely, studying Mandarin isn’t for the faint of coronary heart. Not solely do you need to study totally different tones and vocabulary, however you’ll additionally should grasp a completely new type of writing. Unless you’re adept at studying new languages, it’s unreasonable that you simply’ll study Mandarin in just some months. However, you’ll be able to nonetheless choose up a couple of survival phrases to assist make your time overseas simpler.

Be Prepared to Bargain

In Beijing markets, it’s completely regular to discount for a cheaper price. Whether you’re searching for counterfeit footwear and watches or recent greens and fruit, the value you see on the tag will not be what you find yourself paying.

Generally talking, it can save you as much as 50% by bargaining. If the store proprietor is unwilling to go decrease, then you’ll be able to all the time use the “walk away” tactic!

Of course, you shouldn’t discount in grocery shops or purchasing malls, as these costs are set and controlled. However, in the event you go to a farmers market or knock-off market, you’ll be able to haggle your approach to higher offers. It’s even believed that some store homeowners will probably be offended in the event you pay the complete worth.

Final Thoughts on Living in Beijing

As you’ll be able to see, it’s undoubtedly doable to stay in Beijing with out burning by your wage and financial savings. However, the associated fee of dwelling will probably be totally different for everybody that decides to maneuver right here. Like I discussed earlier than, it’s as much as you if you wish to spend $5 or $500 on meals and garments!

Beijing might be reasonably priced when you have a good revenue, some financial savings, and most significantly, an open thoughts. And don’t overlook to place your bargaining expertise to the take a look at in the event you’re trying to rating even higher offers.

But prices apart, dwelling in Beijing is one of the best experiences you’ll ever get to have.

Personally talking, I liked my time dwelling in Beijing, and I nonetheless return yearly simply to eat at my favourite, low cost dumpling store and see how town has grown over time.

For the remainder of my life, the Chinese capital will all the time have a particular place in my coronary heart. And in the event you resolve to take the leap and transfer to Beijing, then you definitely’ll see precisely what I imply.

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