10 Reasons Why I Love China
A lot of people I met during my time here in the US ask me what I want to do when I am graduating in March and when I say I am going back to live in China some of them ask why.
That’s why I decided to write a post about my top 10 reasons to love China and why I am going back there.
Love at First Sight
When I talk to Expats in China or people who traveled or lived in China there are usually two types: the ones who love it and the ones who hate it. To me, I don’t know what it is but I just love this country and I will describe why in the next 9 points.
The Asian, or more specific Chinese, culture is very interesting to me. I love Chinese temples and holidays and want to be part of all that.
Of course, China is full of great career opportunities for young expats who speak Chinese. With its fast development and thousands of Western companies thriving to China, a career path would be quite easy to achieve – I hope.
This is a really important point for me. I love the fact that I can go out anytime I want and go to a “food street” and try my way through endless food stands. And I love that Chinese cuisine has so much variety: meat, vegetables, sweets, dim sum, soup, salad, … everything!
I love traveling and the fact that traveling inside China is so cheap makes it really attractive to live there for me. You can get overnight bus tickets for as los as $15-$20 and the country itself has so much to offer: sunny islands in the south, mountains everywhere, snow in the north, and so many different cultures to visit. Traveling to other Asian countries is also cheaper and closer than coming from Europe or the US of course.
There is no place where I feel as safe as in China. There are people everywhere, also at night. This makes me feel so safe compared to other places around the world. Certainly, there are bad areas and crime is just as present but I just get a feeling of security in China. All my other expat friends feel the exact same way.
Everybody knows: China’s economy is booming. Cities pop out of nowhere within months and mid-sized cities become metropolis. Being part of this boom is very exciting I think. I have never experience such an upswing before. Definitely very unique.
Everywhere I went in China I always felt welcome at all times. I had no “racist” experience whatsoever. I am sure there are a lot of Chinese who don’t like the streams of foreigners flocking into their country but at least I never had this personal experience.
When I was in China, everyday was exciting. In the beginning of every stay abroad that’s quite normal but usually within a few weeks/months everything becomes daily life. Not so in China for me. No matter where I went I saw something I hadn’t seen before or I tried food I hadn’t tasted before. It was never boring.
Let’s face it, I’m a girl and almost every girl loves shopping. China is a shopper’s paradise. At least for me. You can find crazy stuff and cute clothes on every corner. The quality is another story but at least it’s cheap and I can buy lots and lots of stuff… 😀
For me, there’s many more reasons why I want to go back to China, but the biggest one is that I fell in love with this country. It amazes me and I want to be part of it. For a long time.
There’s something wrong with me – I would put food and shopping first, then my husband 😀 I’m a horrible person 😀 oh, and handsome men! 😀 as much as I love my husband I can just look on those handsome guys with good hair and dressed nice 😀 I’m really horrible 🙂
hahaha yeah… actually i didnt really put it in a specific order just No 1 my boyfriend haha all the others are equally no. 2 i would say haha
oh and good cosmetics! 🙂
Aiyaya Aiyaya… haha do u know that store?? xD
I just love this post, Linda! For me personally the reason I’ve been here for almost 4 years now and don’t plan on leaving anytime soon is that it feels the right place for me to be. It’ hard to put into words, but I know others who have exprienced this feeling too.
When I was 16 I took a one week Chinese summer course at my high school. There was one older man in the group too and once during lunch he told us how he went to this place in South America, a small place he has never been before, and felt like home right away. He asked me if I ever had this feeling, but I was too young that time to have experienced it. But now I know 🙂
The security thing is one of the things I always hear expats, especially female expats, mention as the reason why they like China so much, which is remarkable given that China is still a developing country and it’s HUGE. Western expats like the fact that they can walk the streets by themselves even in the wee hours at night without having to worry about being mugged or assaulted. The same is often said about other East Asian countries such as Taiwan, Japan, and Korea — people feel safe in these countries, too.
That said, apparently Guangdong province has a reputation amongst Chinese people for being a hotbed of crime. It could be just a stereotype, but perhaps you shouldn’t be too carefree regarding personal safety when you’re back in Guangzhou.
I’m not sure if Guangdong is the hotbed of crime, but I often do feel safer here than in Finland. Like Linda said, it’s because there are usually a lot of people outside no matter if it’s day or night. Having people around you feels safer thand being alone on a dark street.
But no matter where in China, everyone should be prepared to prevent petty theft. Mobile phones get stolen quickly in busses and metros if you place it on your jacket’s pocket for example. I usually keep my hand on my bag when in a crowd to avoid anyone having the opportunity to open it.
that’s true petty theft is huge 😀 I know lots of people whose phone got stolen… luckily, I was safe all the time 🙂
Isn’t Finland, and the Nordic countries in general, supposed to have very low levels of crime? Everything I’ve heard about the region suggests that it’s practically paradise. Well, everything except this: http://swedenson.com/
And I don’t think the security that people have in China is attributable to the fact that there are always so many people around. India, for example, is also a huge country with a large population, and in fact you’re likely to find more people around in India at any given time because it’s a lot more densely populated. However, I don’t think anyone would consider India to be a safe country, especially for women judging by the horrific news about violence being committed against women that have made international headlines in recent times.
I think that Chinese people have all kinds of stereotypes about Guangdong haha 😀
Like I said I think there’s bad areas in every city but I always felt very safe. BUT I heard stories that especially in clubs, bartenders would put stuff in (especially) foreigners drinks to get them faded and them rob them. But I never met anyone who actually experienced this.
By the way, have you been to the so-called Chocolate City in Guangzhou? The locals don’t seem to like it very much so I’m just wondering what other people think of it.
Do you mean the African communities in Guangzhou??
Yeah, that’s what I meant. There’s an African enclave in Guangzhou that is settled by African people who went to China to do business and trade. I think the locals have nicknamed it “Chocolate City”.
Couldn’t reply to your newer comment, so I’ll comment here. (Linda, this could be because how many levels of threaded comments you are allowing.)
You have a good point about India. I have never been there, but the news I’ve heard don’t encourage me to go there either. I’m not sure what is it about China, but it feels safer than in Finland.
In Finland I would be scared to walk alone when it’s dark because there might only be just that one guy on the street behind you. I think the possibility of getting raped could be higher in Finland than in China for me.
But theft I’m not that worried in Finland (besides bicycles), but I don’t live in the capital where it might be different.
China is an old civilization, the difference between Chinese and western culture is that Chinese culture detests achieving goals by brutal force. In general, Chinese people is less violent. There are more thefts than robberies in China because people committing robbery are considered too stupid to steal.
I think you’re right. Even though in the past few days/weeks I have seen so many news about violent acts in China 🙁
I’m very grateful to you for this blog post, because to be honest, it seems to me that I just stepped with the wrong foot into “the relationship with China”. I knew for a long time that I have to come to China and it would be interesting here. However, everything has been going down ever since I came here…
I agree with most of points that you mentioned, yet there’s one that I would like to specify: is it actually easy for young foreigners to get a proper (!) job in China even if you speak Chinese? I mean another kind of a job besides teaching… I know that in Guangzhou the Zhujiang New Town is full of foreigners, however, I think, most of them are expats, sent here by foreign countries. Do you know any young professional in China (Guangzhou) who got a proper job, being merely a graduate and hence having no real experience?
I share the dream with you of being happy in China, yet my main concern is a proper job. My dream job is a (international) business consultant or a software consultant. Any suggestions? 🙂
PS! Just as a background, I’m currently taking Chinese courses in Guangzhou and also hoping to pass HSK4 in winter. So I have a bit to go until I become fluent, yet I would be grateful for any early insight that might be useful for the future job hunt.
We have 18 chinese students in M1, so that i have my own class 🙂 crazy, dosen’t it? I will show them your blog:)
hey xing!!! woooooow 18??? that’s sooo cool!! yes, you can show the blog to them and they can contact me. you can also use some of the texts if you want 🙂
cool! Thanks:) I will follow you.
Hey Linda; I also love China. I think of her as being exciting. I have been four times, and want to go back with my wife next year. We can visit her family, and do some more sight seeing. The China people always treat me well. To get my attention, they often holler out hello, then laugh. Nice people..
Trump likes China Too
I love Xhina