1. Low Utility Fees – the government control the utility fees and for the past 3 years I’ve been in Beijing, I spend roughly 50 rmb for Electricity each month. Water fee is also minimal and we don’t have any restrictions on how much you use. I know I know.. I should conserve water which I do.
2. Low Transportation Cost – the public transportation bus is so cheap in Beijing. If you have the IC Card, starting rate is 0.40 cents for a bus ride. Subway cost 2 rmb no matter what the distance is. The government provide taxi subsidies so the flag down rate is still 10 rmb for the first 2.9 km.
3. Great Railway System – most of my travels within China involves the train. They have a very good railway network connecting the entire nation. If you like to travel and backpack, this country is the place to go.
4. Lots of Fantastic Tourist Spots – As big as a country as China, they have rich history to offer. If you like to visit scenic spots, head west. If you’re into Buddhism, head to the 3 Buddhist caves in Dunhuang, Luoyang and Datong. If you like to hike, head to Mt. Everest or Mt. Huang. If you want to experience the Great Silk Road, head to Xinjiang. During winter months, head to Harbin for the annual Ice Festival.
5. Language – it’s something that you both love and hate. If you can speak it fluently, a lot of job opportunities await you. Also, you’ll appreciate Chinese culture and history more.
6. Haggling – I hate haggling in the beginning as I wasn’t used to it. However, as time passes and I know how much it should cost, I enjoy haggling for everything. Just remember, if you don’t plan to buy, don’t haggle!
7. Foreign Treatment – when I was still teaching, being a foreigner gives you higher salary, better benefits and preferred guest during events and dinner.
8. Four Seasons – I come from a country where we only either have rain or sun so experiencing snow for the first time was truly memorable.
9. Cheap Bootleg Stuff – when it comes to fake, China’s the best imitator. Also, they can offer it at a cheaper price. I sometimes treat everything as fake as I’m not sure with the quality. Also, they have different sale every week so I buy Christmas gifts as early as January.
10. Stronger RMB – when the RMB gets stronger, I’m earning more money when I convert it to my country’s denomination. Here’s a tip: never exchange your RMB to whatever currency until you really have to because the RMB appreciates daily against the USD.