10 Best Cities in China for Foreigners

***After over a year of observing readers’ responses to this article, coupled with the author’s own personal experience, an update has been made in hopes of better reflecting reality.***

This article will attempt to point out and evaluate the best cities in China for foreigners.  What constitutes a “best city”?  Surely, without additional qualification, the word best is a subjective adjective.  For the purpose of this article, the best cities in China will be determined by the author’s bias and experience as a recruiter of foreign talent, the author’s desire to select a variety of city types and locations (e.g. Guangzhou and Shenzhen are so near and relatively similar, so that only one was chosen), and each city’s ability to meet as many of the following criteria as possible:

  • Suitability to the needs of foreigners
  • Climate and other natural factors
  • Overall environmental quality
  • Income to cost of living ratio
  • Future prospects and trends
  • Travel convenience
  • Social environment
  • Amenities
  • Uniqueness


10 – Baotou 

While Baotou may seem to be just a sleepy small city in the plains of Inner Mongolia, it is also a comfortable city, with four distinct seasons, albeit, mostly dry, far less air pollution than average cities in Northern China, and relatively open to foreigners when compared to other tier 3 cities in China.  If one is aiming for a distinctly northern Chinese social environment, few cities offer a better opportunity to work and live than Baotou.  Most visitors, and this author included, find the people to be friendly, quiet, and industrious.  Essentially, Baotou is great choice for low-key expat living.

Baotou Stats:

  • Population: 2.9 million
  • Per Capita GDP: $20,400USD (¥138,000)
  • Location: north central China
  • July avg. high temp: 29°C / 85°F
  • January avg. low temp: -16°C / 2°F
  • Avg. annual rainfall: 298 mm / 12 in
  • Climate: cold semi-arid

Baotou Pros:

  • Secluded, conservative, medium-sized city is perfect for a calm life-style
  • Inner Mongolia is a surprisingly wealthy province, good for the ambitious
  • Income to cost of living ratio for foreigners is excellent: to save money, go to Baotou
  • Nearby mining is cause for wealth and good transportation infrastructure
  • Clean environment, very scenic (Baotou is known as, “Deer City”)
  • Many outdoor opportunities (e.g. hiking, horseback riding, etc)
  • High food quality and freshness
  • Local cuisine is simple, likely acceptable to foreigners

Baotou Cons:

  • Secluded, conservative, medium-sized city is terrible for extroverts who enjoy vibrant night life
  • At least a few hours travel is necessary to any other major city
  • Wind can carry dust from the more arid regions in the West
  • Mining and agricultural labor is of a high proportion, which renders the city a bit utilitarian


9 – Changsha

Changsha is a special city; more than 2000 years of historical importance, including being the birthplace of Mao Zedong, renders Changsha a notable place in the hearts and minds of the Chinese people. It has a vibrant yet down to earth night life, with a few very large pedestrian malls (e.g. Wuyi Square) filled with shops and restaurants, and, of course, shoulder-to-shoulder pedestrians. It is a major provincial capital, so there are many resources here, yet being a central Chinese city, it does not hold the notoriety of other cities even on this list. Depending on what one moving to China is aiming for, that is either a demerit or a merit of Changsha. Life in Changsha is chill, but opportunity is readily available for those who seek it. Additionally, for those outdoors-type, Zhangjiajie and other sites of natural wonder are not too far away.

Changsha Stats:

  • City status: Provincial capital – tier 2 city
  • Population: 7.4 million
  • Per Capita GDP: $19,000USD (¥128,000)
  • Location: south central China
  • July avg. high temp: 34°C / 93°F
  • January avg. low temp: 3°C / 37°F
  • Avg. annual rainfall: 1422 mm / 56 in
  • Climate: humid sub-tropical, monsoon

Changsha Pros:

  • Very little competition for foreigner jobs
  • Robust education industry provides job opportunities
  • Very reasonable cost of living with average salaries
  • Convenient and clean public transportation
  • Great food, if you can tolerate spice

Changsha Cons:

  • Few jobs for foreigners outside of the education industry
  • Fewer foreigners than other major tier two cities
  • Mild air pollution during winter
  • Summers are hot, humid, and rainy
  • Local dialect dramatically interferes with Mandarin


8 – Chengdu

One of the ancient cities of China, Chengdu boasts both old architecture and scenic spots as well as modern infrastructure and thousands of mid and high rise buildings. While a mega city, Chengdu is also fairly low-key. Chengdu is perfect for the foreigner who wants big city resources with small city feel. It is known throughout China that those in Chengdu know how to have a good time and enjoy leisure and food. If these things match your ideal lifestyle, then look no further.

In recent years, the Chinese central government has focused on the development of China’s western provinces, and therefore many amenities in Chengdu are very new, and the future will be bright. The tech industry, especially for software, is also growing in Chengdu. It is a good opportunity for those with IT, game design, and programming backgrounds.

Chengdu Stats:

  • City status: Provincial capital – tier 2 city
  • Population: 14.4 million
  • Per Capita GDP: $11,200USD (¥74,000)
  • Location: southwest China
  • July avg. high temp: 33°C / 86°F
  • January avg. low temp: 3°C / 37°F
  • Avg. annual rainfall: 921 mm / 36 in
  • Climate: humid sub-tropical, monsoon

Chengdu Pros:

  • Best nightlife of any tier two city
  • Relaxing and fun atmosphere for all ages
  • Heavy government investment bodes well for future
  • Near to some great natural spaces
  • Great food, if you can tolerate spice

Chengdu Cons:

  • Heavy air pollution during winter
  • Summers are stagnant, hot, and humid
  • Incomes are not as high as other tier two cities


7 – Nanjing

While being one of the largest and most important provincial capitals in China, Nanjing is overshadowed by its neighbor, Shanghai.  However,  it is conceivable that Nanjing has all the convenience and amenities of Shanghai without any of the drawbacks.  For foreigners specifically, Nanjing is a welcoming city, and many expats already reside there.  The nightlife is great.  The size of the education industry is massive, and demand for teachers is high.  The best aspect is, one can live in this modern and well-developed city, which also contains hints of Ancient Chinese city life, for just about half the cost of Shanghai.  Also, Nanjing occupies a great location in the middle of several train lines, and is therefore a great city to travel from.

Nanjing Stats:

  • City status: Provincial capital – tier 2 city
  • Population: 8.3 million
  • Per Capita GDP: $21,000USD (¥143,000)
  • Location: east central China (Yangtze River Delta)
  • July avg. high temp: 32°C / 90°F
  • January avg. low temp: -1°C / 31°F
  • Avg. annual rainfall: 1001 mm / 39 in
  • Climate: humid sub-tropical, monsoon

Nanjing Pros:

  • Foreigners are common and welcome
  • Capital of the wealthiest province in China
  • Robust education industry provides job opportunities
  • Relatively high salaries for a tier two city
  • Convenient and clean public transportation
  • Near to many large cities (e.g. Shanghai, Hangzhou, Hefei, etc.)

Nanjing Cons:

  • Mild air pollution during winter
  • Summers are stagnant, hot, and humid
  • Rainfall is regular


6 – Shenzhen

About thirty years ago, the Chinese government created a Special Economic Zone at the site of what is now the expanding city of Shenzhen. Shenzhen is both prosperous and dynamic. People from all over China and from abroad visit and call Shenzhen home. Trade, consumer electronic manufacturing, and finance dominate the upper-echelons of society, rending a wide birth between people low-end service sectors workers in Shenzhen and those of affluence. However, foreigners can usually find themselves earning median incomes and enjoying much of what Shenzhen has to offer. Beaches, access to other major cities, amazing night life, and great food… there are too many positive attributes to list. There are hundreds of thousands of foreigners residing and visiting Shenzhen at any given time. Therefore, you would not feel culturally or linguistically isolated here. Have a try.

Shenzhen Stats:

  • City status: Provincial city (special economic zone) – tier 1 city
  • Population: 12.5 million
  • Per Capita GDP: $27,000USD (¥185,000)
  • Location: southeast China (Pearl River Delta)
  • July avg. high temp: 32°C / 89°F
  • January avg. low temp: 15°C / 58°F
  • Avg. annual rainfall: 1933 mm / 76 in
  • Climate: humid sub-tropical, monsoon

Shenzhen Pros:

  • Foreigners are common and welcome
  • Huge consumer electronic sector, for exporters
  • Great night life, with a high energy feel in the urban area
  • It is a melting pot of people from all around China and the world
  • Convenient and clean public transportation
  • Near to many large cities (e.g. Hong Kong, Dongguan, Guangzhou. etc)
  • Close to Hong Kong for those needing visa renewal
  • Some nice beaches are not too far
  • Mandarin is more widely spoken here than anywhere else in Guangdong

Shenzhen Cons:

  • One of the most crowded cities in China
  • No long-standing local culture, just an amalgamation of outsiders
  • Cost of living to income ratio in some industries may be the worst in China
  • Education industry jobs are crowded out and salaries pushed down by illegal workers
  • Summers are very hot


5 – Qingdao

Encompassing most of the large Jiaozhou Bay to the east, the East China Sea to the west, and mountains to the north and northeast, Qingdao is large coastal city with a special landscape. To the mind of most Chinese, water in front of the city and mountains behind it renders Qingdao of particularly good fengshui, and for the non-adherent to fengshui, it is simply a beautiful city. The seafood is fresh. The summer nightlife is readily found. The beaches, when not crowded, are some of the nicest and easiest to access among China’s major coastal cities. Whether one wants to enjoy the landscape of the old city, fitted with old German architecture from the concession-era, the bustling modern city feel of Shibei and Shinan districts, or the natural spaces, Qingdao has something to offer for practically any foreigner. Another bonus is that the city is very compact, with convenient public transportation.

Shandong province is fairly large source of Chinese students studying abroad and its education industry is robust generally, offering ample opportunity for those interested in working in the education space in Qingdao. Other major industries are shipping, as Qingdao is a port city, and the PLA-Navy has a base there, so there is a great deal of government investment in Qingdao. China’s high speed trains are built here, and a large percentage of the televisions sets, refrigerators, and air conditioners are too. Essentially, Qingdao is an important industrial and trade city in China with a bright future. There will be much for you to do there, unless you simply want to go spend time at the beach and relax. All lifestyles permitted. Enjoy.

Qingdao Stats:

  • City status: Provincial city – tier 2 city
  • Population: 9 million
  • Per Capita GDP: $17,500USD (¥119,000)
  • Location: east central coast China
  • July avg. high temp: 27°C / 81°F
  • January avg. low temp: -3°C / 27°F
  • Avg. annual rainfall: 1720 mm / 28 in
  • Climate: temperate , four-season, monsoon

Qingdao Pros:

  • Large Japanese and Korean populations give the city a unique feel
  • Robust education industry provides job opportunities
  • Relatively high salaries for a tier two city
  • Convenient and clean public transportation
  • Only a few hour train ride to Shanghai or Beijing
  • Lower air pollution and better weather than the surrounding area

Qingdao Cons:

  • Mild air pollution during winter
  • Summers can be humid
  • At least a few hours travel is necessary to any other major city


4 – Hangzhou

One of the fastest developing tier two cities in China, Hangzhou has recently been put on the world stage as it is home to the headquarters of may tech companies such as the internet giant, Alibaba, or through its hosting of the 2016 G20 Summit.  Hangzhou is also an ancient city that has welcomed foreigner traders for nearly a thousand years, since the Song Dynasty.  In addition to being welcoming and accommodating to foreigners, there are many excellent ancient architectural achievements and scenic areas, West Lake being the most famous among them.  As Hangzhou is the capital of a very important and wealthy province, while also being home to industry-leading companies, it clearly has a promising future, and foreign expats can and will be part of that future.  Fortunately for foreigners and locals alike, the growth and progress of Hangzhou has to some extent outpaced the cost of living, rending Hangzhou one of the most affordable major cities in China.  Essentially, living in Hangzhou has all the benefits of living in a tier one city, yet with tier two living costs.

Hangzhou Stats:

  • City status: Provincial capital city – tier 2 city
  • Population: 9.5 million
  • Per Capita GDP: $19,900USD (¥135,000)
  • Location: east coast China (Yangtze River Delta)
  • July avg. high temp: 34°C / 92°F
  • January avg. low temp: 1°C / 33°F
  • Avg. annual rainfall: 1141 mm / 45 in
  • Climate: humid sub-tropical, monsoon

Hangzhou Pros:

  • Many opportunities both within and without the education industry
  • It is a common relocation destination for young Chinese
  • Cost of living is reasonable for a major city
  • For educators, cost of living to income ratio is very ideal
  • Many convenient and high-end amenities
  • Close proximity to other major cities (e.g. Shanghai, Nanjing, Ningbo, Suzhou)

Hangzhou Cons:

  • Living costs are rising, it will not be so affordable soon
  • Air pollution is a mild problem during winter months
  • With the sudden population boom, traffic is heavy and public transport is congested


3 – Beijing

China’s capital city is not only a thriving and diverse metropolis; it is also the center of government, corporate offices, and education in China.  As a consequence of this fact alone Beijing should be included on any list of cities to which expats should migrate.  Most foreigners with working permits in China are employed in the education industry, and Beijing is an easy target for finding work and settling in.  The population has risen sharply over the last two decades; this results in great networking opportunities, as nearly half the population are not native to Beijing.  Beijing also has resources to an extent unparalleled in China.  Due to China being a highly-centralized unitary government, more resources are allocated to the capital Beijing than to any other city.  This results in high-quality and convenient infrastructure, the hosting of China’s best universities, and a very safe and confident environment to which China’s brightest and most talented people are attracted.  Moreover, as Beijing has been the capital of Chinese regimes for roughly half of a millennia, the culture of Beijing tends to be very conservative and serious.  Beyond politics, being a cultural center has also bestowed upon Beijing a number of additional benefits, such as: interesting architecture and neighbors (e.g. Beijing Hutongs), art districts, and a number of massive parks (e.g. Houhai).

Beijing Stats:

  • City status: Nation capital city – tier 1 city
  • Population: 24 million
  • Per Capita GDP: $19,900USD (¥129,000)
  • Location: north central China
  • July avg. high temp: 31°C / 87°F
  • January avg. low temp: -9°C / 15°F
  • Avg. annual rainfall: 577 mm / 28 in
  • Climate: temperate continental, monsoon-influenced

Beijing Pros:

  • The education market is incomprehensibly large and growing
  • Being the site of foreign embassies creates an interesting mix of foreign residents
  • Many interesting neighborhoods, parks, and scenic spots
  • Public transport is very convenient and easy to understand with English text signs
  • In both academia and industry, there is great intellectual ferment
  • Beijing work experience can be a resume-builder

Beijing Cons:

  • Air pollution can become quite serious during the winter months
  • Beijing is nearly as expensive as Shanghai
  • Work pressure in Beijing can be strong


2 – Guangzhou

Guangzhou is an extremely popular choice for foreigners to visit and reside, and is possibly the most foreigner-friendly city in China.  In fact, it seems Guangzhou is the most desired place for returning expats; at least, this is the experience of our team at Opportunity in China.  The industrial make-up of Guangzhou is quite diverse, and the foreigners one may find are often only there on business.  As with any large city, the education industry is notable, yet in Guangzhou, as in Shenzhen, the competition for jobs, especially from unqualified foreign teachers, is especially fierce, and this drives down salaries.  However, opportunities to get involved in other industries are numerous. Overall, Guangzhou is a diverse, welcoming, and well-developed major city.

Guangzhou Stats:

  • City status: Provincial capital city – tier 1 city
  • Population: 14.5 million
  • Per Capita GDP: $22,500USD (¥153,000)
  • Location: southeast China (Pearl River Delta)
  • July avg. high temp: 33°C / 91°F
  • January avg. low temp: 10°C / 51°F
  • Avg. annual rainfall: 1736 mm / 68 in
  • Climate: human sub-tropical, monsoon

Guangzhou Pros:

  • Guangzhou has a long history with foreign influence, thus expats are very welcome
  • Food is mild, delicate, and can be various in type, usually suitable to a foreigner’s pallet
  • Exceptionally modern, clean, and industrious, with any amenity one would need
  • Near to other major cities (Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Zhuahi, Foshan etc.)
  • Cost of living is probably the best among all other tier one cities on this list

Guangzhou Cons:.

  • ESL work does not pay as well as in other tier one cities
  • The summers can be brutally hot and humid
  • The majority of locals cannot speak Mandarin well
  • It is difficult to stand out as a foreigner at times


1 – Shanghai

The most developed city in China is also increasingly maturing into the financial hub of Asia, and maybe, after time, the financial hub of the world.  Shanghai is an ultra-wealthy, modern, and fashionable city in the vein of other great financial and cultural cities throughout the world (e.g. NYC, London, Tokyo).  While the city is expensive for living and playing alike, salaries are high and the sky is the limit with regard to the scope of opportunities foreigners can uncover there, as the culture of Shanghai is generally very accepting of foreigners in a manner that one cannot encounter anywhere else, save maybe those major cities of the Pearl River Delta. If you have the staying power, give Shanghai a couple years of your time and you will most certainly be rewarded.

Shanghai Stats:

  • City status: Special municipality – tier 1 city
  • Population: 24.2 million
  • Per Capita GDP: $20,000USD (¥133,000)
  • Location: east coast China (Yangtze River Delta)
  • July avg. high temp: 32°C / 88°F
  • January avg. low temp: 0°C / 32°F
  • Avg. annual rainfall: 1736 mm / 68 in
  • Climate: human sub-tropical, monsoon

Shanghai Pros:

  • Foreigners are common and thus it is easy to blend in and be accepted by locals.
  • Food from every cuisine imaginable can be found in Shanghai
  • Job opportunities abound, as do opportunities for entrepreneurship
  • Having work experience in Shanghai is worthy material for resume building
  • Vibrant and multifaceted social environment and night life
  • Clean, modern, beautiful city

Shanghai Cons:

  • Foreigners are common and thus one loses the benefits of novelty enjoyed elsewhere.
  • While the cost of living is not like that of Manhattan, everything is relatively expensive.
  • Some argue it has a materialistic culture (just as one would expect from NYC or Tokyo)
  • Traffic is incredibly congested and public transport is almost always packed


Other Notable Cities

Of course, a list of ten cities is really too limited.  Listed below are an addition ten cities that could have made it on the list.

# – Kunming


# – Guiyang


# – Chongqing


# – Wuhan


# – Harbin


# – Dalian


# – Yiwu


# – Zhuhai


# – Xi’an


# – Haikou

47 thoughts on “10 Best Cities in China for Foreigners”

  1. Dalian is a Japanese/Korean city only, so less opportunities for other nationalities… unless of course wanna work as English teacher.
    8 years living in Dalian.

    1. Yes, you’re right. Dalian is home to many foreigners, principally Korean and Japanese expats and business travelers. As Opportunity in China’s services are solely to provide native English speakers with teaching positions in China (both ESL and other subjects), it is appropriate to serve our audience by suggesting Dalian as a target city.

      Thank you for your comments. What do you do in Dalian?

    2. I dunno…six years in here myself and I still enjoy Dalian. Been working in an international school for four years, though, so not involved in other fields much at all. Still, I’ve traveled all around China, and I think Dalian is one of the best places to be if you’re going to “live” in China for an extended period.

      1. Jordan, your sentiment is exactly what is heard from many who’ve spent considerable time in Dalian. That is why it made it so high on the list.

        Thanks for your input.

    1. Nanjing and Hangzhou are just an hour or two from Shanghai. Have a try, and contact us if you need any help there.
      Suzhou, Ningbo, and Hefei are also good choices nearby.

  2. Would love to see Kunming on the list. Great weather, growing educational sector, no pollution, cheap cost of living, and great travel in Yunnan (not to mention the diversity of the minority population)

  3. Hey, great article. I just visited Wuhan earlier this week to talk with some students. I was very inspired by the culture in that city. I’ve been in Beijing for seven months, and it is the only city I have been to in China. Going to Wuhan (and having no access to Starbucks) made me realize that Beijing and the rest of China are almost two different places. I’ll have to get out more often.

    1. Lorin, glad to hear that you enjoyed your time in Wuhan. If you’re ever in need of contacts there, or if you’re aiming to work there let us know.

      Regarding Beijing being different than other places in China, yes, the tier one cities all have certain qualities that you will not find in other places in China. You had trouble finding a Starbucks in Wuhan? Ask a local; I’m sure they can point you in the right direction.

  4. An interesting overview. I have been living in the North now, for almost a year and am interested in seeing what other opportunities lie elsewhere. Though, as I have a terrific little school at present, any move will have to be well thought out. In the summer I will travel south and am excited to begin exploring further. The biggest issue with the north is the freezing temperatures and, a lack of historically cultural places to visit. Charting the opportunities in the industry seems to be a bit of a challenge! Thanks for the info.

  5. Ya missed the best little city in the north.
    Spent eight years there , one in Wuhan , one in Jingzhou and one in Chengde
    Chifeng still comes out on top.
    Sure it’s cool in the winter but central heating takes care of that.
    Plenty of work for English teachers, and the cost of living is quite low.

    1. Jeff,

      Thank you for your insights. I chose Baotou and Ha’erbin over Chifeng for the Dongbei selections, but I remember it was a nice little city.

  6. Where’s Suzhou?!?! This city has one of the largest expat communities and it don’t even make the list! It’s so big that In fact the local government spent about ¥7M building a church for the foreigners to worship. Now how often does that happen in other cities or anywhere in china for that matter? Suzhou is number 1 in my book! Provides plenty of opportunity and I’ve lived in several other cities before of all tiers and this city provides me the quality of life closest to my home town in the USA.

    1. Yes, it would have been great to have added Suzhou, but with Nanjing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou on the main list, and Ningbo mentioned, the list was too concentrated in the Yangtze Delta area. But point taken. Suzhou is a great place.

  7. You’re right that there are relatively few foreigners in Chongqing in relation to its size. This is reflected in very little international standard facilities (like hospitals) too, especially in comparison to nearby Chengdu. The infrastructure is developing very quickly but is still far behind given the city’s massive size.

    Foreigners looking for the occasional respite in a foreign restaurant or hangout will also find those difficult to come across in Chongqing. That said, the small foreigner community that is here is actually kind of close-knot, which is nice.

    For some firsthand accounts from expats in Chongqing, check out this list of local blogs:

    1. Ben,

      Thank you for sharing insights from your blog in addition to validating claims made on this blog. The fact that Chongqing has fewer foreigners is not indicative of a lack of welcoming sentiment; I think we should be clear about that. Chongqing attracts folks from all over China and all over the world. This renders the culture there pretty open, and many Chinese there are fairly experienced outside of the borders of China.

  8. i was born in chongqing and now working in beijing. if u have any travel questions, u can contact me?
    bf: wei aiyu
    whatsapp: +8618612108254

  9. I loved living in Shanghai.

    I now am in Haikou on the island of Hainan and loving it so far!
    climate is hot year round. Plenty of beaches and hiking opportunities. Fresh fruit grown on the island and clean air. ??

  10. Having lived in Shanghai for 8 months now, I will say I love living here. However, I’ve noted, due to its size, to do anything major it’s best to give yourself an entire day if you’re visiting areas other than where you’re living. Shanghai is positively vast and while its train system is super-easy to understand and very clean, it is, as stated very, crowded. And highway traffic, except at odd times, is a nightmare.

    Also, the novelty of being a westerner in a town less used to westerners wears off pretty quickly after the 15th request to take your picture. I find that particular “con” of Shanghai to be a “pro” instead.

    1. Well, maybe novelty is not what I had in mind. There are opportunities that Chinese can find in a relationship with a foreigner (i.e. business opportunities).

  11. Can’t profess to know much about the other cities but having lived in China for 3-4months now I’d wager good money that Xiamen would smoke half these on the list!

    Sub-tropical island in the far south south east across the Taiwan sea ?, ridiculously lower cost of living compared to tier one cities and zero pollution. Also surprisingly large expat community with very good university on the island ? and locals are in my experience very receptive to foreigners! All in all a great city to consider but I would like to explore more of China in good time.

  12. Living in Nanjing, visited some other cities. Clearly Nanjing has a wonderful blend of modern amenities, peace and comfort.

  13. Kunming seriously didn’t make the list? Very little pollution, quick access to stunning nature, right in the middle of southeast Asia, vibrant nightlife, etc. This is by far the best place I’ve lived in China and pretty much all the expats here would say the same.

  14. Chongqing food is even more spicy than Wuhan’s! Also, took me a while to meet other expats in Chongqing because I worked at a training centre 25 minutes from downtown.

  15. I have been in Yiwu for ten year now and live here permanent for 6 year and its a really good city. It start to be a small Shanghai and a good location in China.

  16. What about Xiamen? Who wrote this article and doesn’t mention one of the most beautiful port cities in China.
    Lived in China for 6 years came back to the U.S for 4 and heading back by Spring Festival to retire. Changsha is where I lived and where I’ll call home.

    1. Xiamen is mentioned, just not on the top of the list. I could only chose a couple coastal cities, and Qingdao beat it out due to its larger industrial base and bigger economy, more opportunities, and less touristy feel.

  17. I have taught in Huizou (close to Guangzhou and Shenzhen), Beibei (Close to Chongqing), Hangzhou and now I’m teaching in Shanghai. I agree with this list as far as the pros and cons for Hangzhou and Shanghai. Shanghai is a wonderful city, but yes it is very crowded on the Metro.

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