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Life in Chengdu

I’ve been living in Chengdu since July 2015. As a Chengdu resident, I gotta bust “Chengdu is a tourist city” myth.

My wife is Chengdu local and we made the decision to settle here after our marriage.

We believe it is a nice place to get settled plus Chengdu is one of the booming cities in China.

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Chengdu has been evaluated as a city with great economic vitality, a superb business city, good tourist destination and national model city for environmental protection. It has won the UN Habitat Award and International Thiess River Award.

Alright, less bullshit. Let’s get into the topic.

Frequently Asked Questions About Life in Chengdu.

What is living in Chengdu like?

Chengdu is a nice city to live in when you compare it to other big Chinese cities. Quiet overnight, Chengdu is transforming itself into a very large modern city. New subway lines are under constriction. Locals are fun loving and relaxed (but I prefer to spend more time in Dujiangyan though, away from the city).

You’ll find lots of bars and places to hang out. Western restaurants are popping up left and right. It’s a fun place to live and very convenient. And yes, there are a handful of pubs and bars in Chengdu. And Chengdu has garnered a reputation for its LGBT scene.

What is the realistic cost of living in Chengdu, including rent?

Well, I can’t give an exact answer. It depends on the lifestyle you choose.

Here’s a ballpark figure:

  • Shared apartments range from 1000RMB to 4000RMB.
  • 15RMB to 30RMB for one inexpensive meal.
  • 5RMB for domestic beer.
  • 1RMB or 2RMB for buses within the city limit.

Verdict: consider moving to Chengdu if your employer offers a solid 6,000RMB net salary, at least.

What is the weather in Chengdu like?

Because of its geography, Chengdu is quite cloudy. You will not see sunlight for months at a time. Winter can get very dark and cold. Summer can be annoyingly humid.

How about the Pollution?

Pollution in winter can get hazardous for the sensitive group. But it isn’t bad as pollution in Beijing.

What is the food in Chengdu like?

Chengdu food falls under the banner of Sichuan Cuisine, which is one of the Eight Regional Cuisines of China. Many (most) places serve oily food.

Be careful if you suffer from GERD or if you’re someone who easily gets an gastroenteritis.

Read more about food in Chengdu here.

How about the expat population?

I couldn’t find an exact total count of Chengdu expats, but see the image below.

Apparently, Sichuan is not in the 10 expat-populated provinces.

What is the music scene like in Chengdu?

Chengdu is home to several local and international artists, DJs and performers. Music scene won’t be majestic as in Shanghai, but yeah it’s awesome out here. Chengdu is one of the cities that hosted STORM Electronic Music Festival 2017, China’s first and biggest international electronic dance music festival.

The city is home to The Sichuan Conservatory of Music (Chinese: 四川音乐学院), founded in 1939, one of the leading music institutions in China, and is considered to be the largest conservatory in the world.

How to open a bank account in Chengdu?

Pretty straightforward if you speak Chinese. Otherwise, you might need help from a local friend or colleague. Different banks have different rules for signing up an account. Do check with your employer and open a bank account according to that.

How about the traffic in Chengdu?

Pretty dope if you ride a bike. Chengdu is notorious for bad traffic during rush hours due to its centralized layout. Subway lines are expanding, which is a good sign. And yes, you can easily grab a green taxi cab from downtown. Didi is another option.

How about Railway Stations in Chengdu?

There are 3 major railway stations in Chengdu. The three train stations are Chengdu North Railway StationChengdu East Train Station, and Chengdu South Train Station. The city is going to build the fourth train station – Chengdu West Train Station.

I have more questions…

Got some general questions? Wanna join expat groups in Chengdu?

Feel free to add me on WeChat. xonikk is my ID.

Don’t use WeChat? Get in touch with me on Facebook.

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  • I. I’ve analyzed and used answers from Chengdu related thread on Quora.
  • Photos from Charlie is a good friend of mine. He’s an American designer and DJ who’s been living in China for ten years.
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