Richard Kronick is a long-time English teacher in China and creator of the free step-by-step course The Complete Guide to Landing a Dream Job Teaching in China. Named the Most Livable City in 2014 by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Zhuhai provides a nice balanced lifestyle. Xiamen Marriott Hotel & Conference Centre. In 2009, it was ranked 72nd in the world and 1st in China in The Economist’s Livability Index. Qingdao is a great place to enjoy the beach and to indulge in seafood. Being an outstanding foreigner having major contributions to the Chinese society. In fact, the ratio of university students to total population is the highest nationwide. Since the economic reforms began in China in the late 1970’s, Suzhou has been one of the fastest growing cities in China with the last 35 years being marked by growth rates of about 14%. Which Chinese cities have the most expats? Behind the temple there are hundreds of Buddha images carved into the rocks and sides of the hills. Shanghai Road also hosts a collection of bars and pubs. Gulangyu, also called Piano Island, is a popular for day trips and weekend getaways and provides great views of the city and has many Victorian-era style European buildings. Guilin is for those who can never get enough of exploring the outdoors and the surrounding countryside. In Suzhou one can find a nice mix of new and old. Just outside the city is the relatively unknown 1500 year-old Qixia Buddhist Temple. That being said, there are some parts of China that are typically more attractive for living in than others. Based in Guilin you can explore the countryside and natural beauty of the area by bicycle or take a wildlife and nature tour. The grand story of China features a great wall, a forbidden city, and a few thousand Terracotta warriors. Haikou has consistently been ranked as being one of China’s most livable cities as well as having one of the cleanest environments in China. Xiamen sits on the southeast coast of China, directly across from Taiwan. Hangzhou is renowned for its historical relics and natural beauty. Shenzhen, which was a small fishing village as recently as the 1970’s, has exploded economically since it was established as the first Special Economic Zone because of its proximity to Hong Kong. Haikou attracts many bicycle enthusiasts who use it as a base to explore the island. Travelling from place to place in China you could feel as if you are travelling through a variety of different countries. This page covers the most famous attractions and things to do in China to help travelers plan their China tours. The Terracotta Army . All of this has given Shenzhen a unique flavor of optimism and economic vitality. Nanjing is the home of the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, in honor of one of the 20th century’s most respected Chinese leaders. If you have any cities you feel deserve to be added to the list, please share them in the comments section below. Tianjin has long lived in the shadow of its nearby neighbor Beijing, however Tianjin has a completely different atmosphere to it. Best well-known outside of China for its beer (also spelled Tsingtao), Qingdao was once under German control and the large number of German style buildings and sizable Korean expatriate population gives the city a unique feel. The lake has been a favorite of poets and painters throughout Chinese history and has been an important source of inspiration for Chinese garden design. Marco Polo even called it the most beautiful place in the world. Haikou is the capital of Hainan province and is located at the northern tip of the island. Xiamen and the surrounding areas in Fujian are the ancestral home to large numbers of overseas Chinese. There is an old Chinese saying that can be translated as “Up in the sky is heaven, and down here we have Suzhou and Hangzhou”. Enjoy China in all its variety! Beijing has a little bit of everything and is well-known for its Peking opera and roast duck and flourishing shopping districts of Wangfujing, Xidan and Zhongguancun. Enjoying a year-round warm climate, relatively clean air and water, being surrounded with coastline, high-class hotels and not far from the mountains and rainforests of the inner parts of the island, Sanya is paradise for those who enjoy the outdoors and are looking for an escape from big city life. Yunnan province is full of cultural and ethnic variety and can feel like a world apart from the big coastal cities on the east coast. It is the gateway between the island and the mainland and is the most developed city on Hainan Island. Kinmen Island, which is under Taiwanese jurisdiction, is a quick ferry ride away and has regular quick flights to Taiwan. It is the world’s longest human-made construction (6,500 km - 4,000 miles approximately). Chengdu and the surrounding area are great for exploring Buddhist and Taoist temples and culture. Hangzhou is also close to many other cities of interest, including a few others on this list such as Shanghai, Suzhou and Nanjing. China is an enormous country full of diverse cultures, cuisines, dialects and living conditions. The city has a real international vibe to it and has a plethora of modern shopping areas, restaurants, bars and clubs. With only 48 hours in Hong Kong, Jeff Samaniego and his wife were in for a challenge, trying to squeeze in as much activity as possible so as to still get a sense of the history and a taste of the culture. For nightlife, the 1912 district has a wide variety of restaurants, dance clubs and western pubs. Suzhou is often called the “Venice of China” or the “Venice of the East” because of its many canals, classical gardens and stone bridges. In north, south, east or west of China, mountains, rivers, trees, deserts, stones, sands…, no landforms can prevent the … Hangzhou’s most well-known attraction is West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to being next to Hong Kong, it is not far from other cities of interest nearby such as Macau, Guangzhou and Zhuhai. Aura Lounge & Jazz Bar (The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai Pudong), The Shenzhen Kitchen (JW Marriott Hotel Shenzhen Bao'an), Lanting Chinese Restaurant (The Azure Qiantang, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hangzhou). Settings include the sci-fi skyline of Shanghai, the jutting peaks of Zhangjiajie, and the tropical beaches of Hainan, … The city was ranked the number one most livable city in 2011 by The Chinese Institute of Competitiveness. The dialect is classified as a Wu Chinese dialect, but is easy to understand and very similar to Mandarin Chinese (Pu Tong Hua). The Mausoleum sits on the picturesque Purple Mountain which hosts numerous heritage and scenic tourist sites. While there’s plenty of fun and games to be had, many of these activities are also educational and inspiring. Thanks to the high-speed train, the entire coastline of the island is never more than a couple hours away. At the southernmost tip of China, on Hainan Island, lies the city of Sanya a beachgoer’s paradise. Top Things to Do. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. The city was one of the four original Special Economic Zones opened to foreign investing and trade during the economic reform period of the early 1980’s. The biggest city is Shanghai, that’s closely followed by Beijing. China Tourism: Best of China. Getting a permanent residence in China is not the easiest task on hand. Tianjin is the face that China strives to show the rest of the world. Despite its modern development, Hangzhou has maintained a nice mix of old and new and you can easily explore the rich history and culture of the city while enjoying the nightlife and shopping. A list of China’s most livable cities would not be complete without Shanghai, one of the largest and most vibrant cities in the world. Best of China. We hope you enjoy our list of the 15 most livable cities in China! We have taken into consideration many factors such as cultural and historical significance, economic conditions, cleanliness, cuisine, climate, fashion and shopping, how cosmopolitan a city is and proximity to other areas of interest. The grand story of China features a great wall, a forbidden city, and a few thousand Terracotta warriors. You can, but you need to get a Chinese citizenship, permanent residence or apply for a visa to be able to stay. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. more. Just across the Pearl River Delta from Shenzhen, Zhuhai, which was also established as a Special Economic Zone, chose to focus less on manufacturing and more on tourism and cultivating an image as a garden city, making relatively greater effort to preserve its environment. In many ways Shanghai is the face of the economic boom of China and many expatriates and Chinese alike continue to declare it as the best city in China in which to live. It is one of the least polluted large cities in China and is home to several universities, museums and other important cultural, economic and educational institutions. Sanya lives on “island time” and is the perfect place for those who enjoy the ocean, laid back lifestyle and tropical fruits. The lifestyle in the largest cities differs significantly from that in the countryside, the western and eastern parts of the country feel like completely separate worlds and customs in the north can be totally out of place in the south (and vice-versa). Outside of Kunming you can explore Dian Lake, which is surrounded by temples and limestone hills, go hiking in the Stone Forest or take a train or bus into Vietnam, Myanmar or Laos. Shanghai is considered to be the safest big city in China. Modern high-tech developments jut up against working class neighborhoods. a common perk of being an English teacher, Xiamen sits on the southeast coast of China, Nanjing is a favorite for many expatriates, Shenzhen, which was a small fishing village as recently as the 1970’s, Zhuhai provides a nice balanced lifestyle, Beijing is the nation’s political, cultural and educational capital, Tianjin has a completely different atmosphere to it, most breathtaking sites in all of China is Jiuzhaigou, you can visit one of the many Panda reserves and breeding centers, Suzhou is the other half of the previously mentioned Chinese, The Complete Guide to Landing a Dream Job Teaching in China, Great for: Cultural and ethnic variety, surrounding scenery and proximity to Sout East Asia, Great for: Beaches, beer, seafood and European cultural influence, Great for: History, culture and education, Great for: Business, Weather and proximity to, Great for: Weather, location and greenery, Great for: Politics, history and language, Great for: Business and a big city with a small town feel, Great for: Those who want one foot in the beach and the other in the city, Great for: Culture, foodies and panda lovers, Great for: History, culture, economic prosperity, classical gardens and canals, Great for: Backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts, Great for: Business, nightlife, fashion and shopping. Loads of Chinese, Russian and international tourists vacation in the tropical city. If you’re looking to spend some quality time with your kids, read on to find out where to take your tots around town. Other big cities include Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Hangzhou and Chengdu. Below I’ve listed some examples of how you can become a permanent resident: No, it is a part of mainland China. Hiking along or taking a boat down the 83 kilometer stretch of the Li River between Guilin and Yangshuo is like viewing an artistic masterpiece. And if Pandas are your thing, you can visit one of the many Panda reserves and breeding centers. is a comprehensive content site in China. Today the city is often referred to as the “Chinese Riviera”. Being one of the most highly developed and prosperous cities in China, as well as being a quick high-speed train ride away from Shanghai have made Suzhou and attractive place to live for many people. Guilin’s most famous features is the karst topography, consisting of beautiful and sometimes spire-like hills and mountains as well as underground caves.