Settling-in China

China Destination Guide

The Basics

Let’s Talk About Culture

Settling in Tips

Let’s Have Fun

Need Help?

The Basics

About China

China, officially the People’s Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world’s most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion in 2019. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million mi2), it is the world’s third or fourth-largest country by area.
China is a vast and diverse country with a rich cultural heritage, a rapidly growing economy, and a unique way of life. Whether you’re moving to China for work, study, or personal reasons, settling in can be an exciting yet challenging adventure. This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with essential information and tips to make your transition to life in China as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

China's Facts & Figures

Official Name:People’s Republic of China
Land Area:9,600,000 sq. km
Population1.412 billion (2022)
Density147 people per square kilometer
Time ZoneUTC+8 (Beijing Time)
CurrencyChinese Yuan (CNY)
WeatherThe eastern half has a wide range of monsoon climate, that is, the continental monsoon prevails in winter, which is cold and dry. In summer, the ocean monsoon prevails, and it is hot and humid. With its high altitude and large area, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has a unique alpine climate. The northwest region, because of its inland location, is not affected by the oceanic monsoon force, and has an inland arid climate in the westerlies.
Weights and MeasuresMetric System

Let’s Talk About Culture

Local Culture

Traditional Festival

China has a rich history of traditional festivals such as Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Dragon Boat Festival.

The Spring Festival

The Spring Festival, also known as Chinese New Year, is the most important traditional festival in China. It’s a celebration of the lunar calendar’s new year and is filled with vibrant colors, joyful festivities, and meaningful traditions.

The Spring Festival is an incredibly exciting time in China.  It’s a time when families come together to celebrate the beginning of a new year and bid farewell to the old one.  The festival typically falls between late January and mid-February, depending on the lunar calendar.

One of the most charming aspects of the Spring Festival is the vibrant red decorations that adorn homes, streets, and shops.  The color red is believed to bring good luck and ward off any evil spirits.  You’ll see red lanterns, couplets with auspicious wishes written on them, and beautiful red decorations everywhere you go.

During the Spring Festival, people travel from different parts of the country to reunite with their families.  It’s a heartwarming time when loved ones come together from near and far, sharing laughter, stories, and delicious meals.  The dinner on New Year’s Eve, known as the “reunion dinner,” is especially important.  Families gather around the table to enjoy a feast comprising traditional dishes like fish, dumplings, and various regional specialties.

Fireworks and firecrackers light up the sky during the Spring Festival, creating a festive and exciting atmosphere.  The loud noises and bright lights are believed to scare away evil spirits and bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year.  It’s a spectacle you won’t want to miss!

Another fascinating tradition during this time is the giving and receiving of lucky money, known as “hongbao.”  Red envelopes filled with money are given to children and unmarried individuals as a symbol of good fortune and blessings for the year ahead.  It’s an exciting tradition that adds an element of surprise and joy to the festivities.

Throughout the Spring Festival, you’ll have the opportunity to witness traditional performances like lion dances, dragon dances, and traditional folk music.  These lively and colorful performances showcase the rich cultural heritage of China and are an absolute delight to watch.

Participating in the Spring Festival offers a unique chance to immerse yourself in Chinese culture, make new friends, and create unforgettable memories.  Don’t forget to greet people with “Xin Nian Kuai Le!”  (Happy New Year!) and “Gong Xi Fa Cai!”  (Wishing you a prosperous New Year!) and you’ll be sure to receive warm smiles and well wishes in return.

Embrace the festive spirit of the Spring Festival, savor the delicious food, enjoy the company of loved ones, and soak up the incredible atmosphere of this incredible celebration.  It’s an experience you’ll cherish for a lifetime!

Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is a delightful and enchanting traditional festival celebrated in China.  It’s a time when families gather under the bright full moon, share tasty mooncakes, and enjoy the beauty of the night sky. 

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a treasured festival that takes place on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, usually falling in September or early October.  It has a history of over 3,000 years and is deeply rooted in Chinese culture.

The festival is centered around the full moon, which is believed to symbolize family reunion and togetherness.  During this time, families come together to appreciate the beauty of the moon and strengthen their bonds.  It’s a perfect opportunity to celebrate and cherish the love and warmth shared among family members and friends.

One of the most iconic symbols of the Mid-Autumn Festival is the mooncake.  These round pastries with various fillings, such as lotus seed paste or red bean paste, are enjoyed during the festival.  Sharing and exchanging mooncakes is a way for people to express their love and unity.  Some mooncakes even contain salted egg yolks to symbolize the full moon.

As evening falls, you’ll witness the cityscape transform into a dazzling spectacle.  Beautifully lit lanterns of various shapes and sizes illuminate streets, parks, and homes.  Lantern parades and exhibitions are held, showcasing elaborate lantern designs and vibrant colors.  It’s a magical experience, especially for children, who carry lanterns and join in lantern-making activities.

One popular folklore associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival is the story of Chang’e, the moon goddess.  According to legend, Chang’e resides on the moon with her companion, the Jade Rabbit.  People gaze up at the moon, admiring its beauty, and may even share stories about Chang’e and her mythical lunar abode.

In addition to mooncakes, there is also a wide variety of delicious seasonal treats to enjoy during the festival, such as pomelos, which are sweet citrus fruits, and osmanthus flower tea, a fragrant and refreshing beverage.

During the Mid-Autumn Festival, it’s common to exchange greetings and well wishes.  A popular phrase you can use is “Zhōngqiū jié kuài lè!” which means “Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!”  It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with locals and experience the warmth and hospitality of Chinese culture.

Finally, don’t forget to take a moment during the festival to look up at the bright full moon shining down on you.  Appreciate its beauty and the sense of unity it represents.  The Mid-Autumn Festival offers a chance to create lasting memories, enjoy delicious food, and embrace the love and harmony that comes with being together.

So, get ready to indulge in mooncakes, be enchanted by lanterns, and experience the joyous atmosphere of the Mid-Autumn Festival in China.  It’s an unforgettable celebration that will make your time in China even more special!

The Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Duanwu Festival, is a vibrant and exciting traditional festival celebrated in China. It’s a time when people come together to honor an ancient poet, engage in exciting dragon boat races, and enjoy delicious sticky rice dumplings.

The Dragon Boat Festival is a wonderful celebration that takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar, usually falling in June. This festival has a history of over 2,000 years and is deeply rooted in Chinese culture.

One of the most exciting aspects of this festival is the dragon boat races. These thrilling races involve teams of rowers paddling vigorously in long, narrow boats decorated like dragons. The boats are accompanied by the rhythmic beats of drums, and the air is filled with cheers and encouragement. Watching or even participating in a dragon boat race is an exhilarating experience that showcases the spirit of unity, teamwork, and friendly competition.

The Dragon Boat Festival is also associated with the famous poet Qu Yuan, who lived during the Warring States period of ancient China. Qu Yuan was a patriotic poet who committed suicide by drowning himself in a river as a form of protest against political corruption. To commemorate him, people throw Zongzi, pyramid-shaped sticky rice dumplings stuffed with various fillings, into the water. It is believed that the Zongzi would distract the river creatures from consuming Qu Yuan’s body. This tradition has evolved into a cultural practice of eating Zongzi during the festival, symbolizing respect for Qu Yuan and warding off evil spirits.

During the Dragon Boat Festival, you will find streets decorated with colorful banners and traditional ornaments. Some places even organize cultural activities, such as making and racing miniature dragon boats, creating paper crafts, and performing traditional dances. These activities provide a fascinating insight into Chinese culture and create a joyous atmosphere for all to enjoy.

Don’t forget to greet people with “Duānwǔ jié kuài lè!” which means “Happy Dragon Boat Festival!” It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with locals, learn about their customs, and experience the warmth and hospitality of Chinese culture.

So, get ready to witness the exhilarating dragon boat races, savor the delicious Zongzi, and immerse yourself in the rich traditions of the Dragon Boat Festival in China. It’s a festival filled with excitement, cultural significance, and great camaraderie. Enjoy every moment and create lasting memories!

Chinese Customs

Here’s an introduction to some Chinese customs that can help you understand and navigate daily life in China:

Greetings: When meeting someone, a simple nod or handshake is acceptable. But if you want to show respect, you can give a slight bow or use a two-handed handshake. Address older people with their title, such as “Lao” before their surname, and use “Xiao” before the name of someone younger than you.

Dining Etiquette: Dining is an important part of Chinese culture. When invited to someone’s home, it’s polite to bring a small gift, such as fruit or tea. During the meal, wait for the host or eldest person to start before you begin eating. It’s common to share dishes among the group and use chopsticks to pick up food.

Tea Culture: Tea plays a significant role in Chinese culture. When pouring tea for others, hold the teapot with both hands. The person pouring should pour tea for others before themselves, and it’s customary to tap the table twice with two fingers to show gratitude to the pourer.

Gift-Giving: When giving a gift, it’s important to keep in mind the recipient’s cultural background. Red envelopes with money are commonly given during festivals, weddings, or as a token of appreciation. Avoid giving clocks, handkerchiefs, or anything in sets of four, as they are associated with funerals.

Politeness and Saving Face: Chinese people value politeness and harmony. It’s customary to avoid causing embarrassment or openly criticizing others in public. Saving face, or preserving one’s dignity and reputation, is important, so try to be tactful when providing feedback or addressing issues.

Receiving and Giving Business Cards: When exchanging business cards, offer and receive them with both hands as a sign of respect. Take a moment to read the card before putting it away. It’s seen as rude to immediately put it in your pocket without acknowledging it.

Holidays and Festivals: Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is the most important holiday in China. Other festivals like Mid-Autumn Festival and Dragon Boat Festival also hold cultural significance. Take the opportunity to engage in festivities, learn about traditions, and spend time with locals.

Remember, Chinese customs can vary across regions, so it’s always helpful to observe and follow the locals’ lead. By being respectful and open-minded, you’ll surely make a positive impression and enjoy your time in China!

Traditional Arts

Calligraphy (Shūfǎ): Imagine writing as an art form itself! Chinese calligraphy is all about creating beautiful characters using special brushes and ink. It’s like painting with words. People often practice calligraphy for relaxation or to express their emotions through elegant brush strokes.

Painting (Huà): Traditional Chinese painting is like stepping into a dreamy landscape. Artists use ink and watercolors to capture the beauty of nature, people, and everyday life. The paintings are known for their poetic and gentle style, with artists aiming to portray emotions rather than exact realism.

Chinese Opera (Xìqǔ): Chinese opera is like a colorful and lively theater performance. It combines singing, dancing, and acrobatics with gorgeous costumes and makeup. Each opera style has its unique flavors, but they all bring fascinating stories to life. It’s like watching history unfold on stage!

Tai Chi (Tài Jí Quán): Tai Chi is like dancing in slow motion. It’s a graceful martial art that focuses on body movements, balance, and meditation. People practice it in parks for health and relaxation. Your friend might enjoy joining the locals for some Tai Chi exercises—it’s a great way to start the day!

Traditional Music (Yuèqǔ): Traditional Chinese music is like a soothing melody that speaks to your heart. With instruments like the guzheng and erhu, the music creates a calming and peaceful atmosphere. Try listening to some traditional Chinese music to experience the beauty of its unique sounds.

Paper Cutting (Jiǎnzhǐ): Paper cutting is like making colorful snowflakes out of paper! It’s a folk art where intricate designs are carefully cut with scissors or knives. The cut-outs are often used as decorations during festivals and celebrations. It’s like creating tiny pieces of art with your own hands!

Chinese Knotting (zhōng guó jié): Chinese knotting is like weaving good luck into beautiful ornaments. People use colorful threads or cords to create intricate knots with different patterns. These knots symbolize luck, love, and blessings. It’s like having a piece of traditional art you can carry with you!

Cultural Do’s & Don’ts


Greetings and respect: Chinese people appreciate when visitors show respect by using polite greetings. Saying “ni hao” (你好) meaning “hello” and “xiexie” (谢谢) meaning “thank you” can go a long way in making a positive impression.

Sharing meals: Food holds a special place in Chinese culture, and sharing a meal is a great way to bond with locals. Be open to trying different dishes and use chopsticks if you can. It’s also polite to offer to pay or split the bill as a gesture of friendship.

Learn a few phrases: Even if you don’t speak fluent Chinese, learning a few basic phrases can make a big difference. Simple greetings, expressing gratitude, and asking for directions are always appreciated.

Be punctual: Chinese people value punctuality, so make an effort to be on time when meeting friends or attending events. Being prompt is seen as a sign of respect for other people’s time.
Dress modestly: While modern styles are accepted in larger cities, it’s generally a good idea to dress modestly, especially when visiting more traditional areas or religious sites. Avoid clothing that may be considered too revealing or offensive.

Personal space: China can get crowded, particularly in busy cities. Be mindful of personal space and be patient, especially in crowded places like public transportation or tourist attractions.

Follow local customs and rules: Observe and follow any local customs or rules to show respect for the culture. For example, removing your shoes when entering someone’s home or refraining from taking photos in certain areas may be expected.

Remember, Chinese people are generally warm and welcoming. Showing kindness, curiosity, and willingness to learn about their culture can make your experience in China even more enjoyable.


Avoid touching or pointing: In Chinese culture, it is considered impolite to touch someone without their consent or point at people with your finger. Use gestures or words instead to indicate direction or objects.

Don’t stick chopsticks vertically: It is seen as a symbol of bad luck or reminiscent of incense burned during funerals. Instead, place your chopsticks horizontally on the chopstick rest or on the edge of your bowl.

Avoid discussing sensitive topics: Be cautious when discussing sensitive topics such as politics, religion, or territorial issues. These topics can be seen as sensitive or potentially controversial, so it’s best to steer clear of them to maintain a friendly atmosphere.

Don’t disregard the queue: In public places or when waiting in line, respect the concept of queuing. Cutting in line is considered impolite and can create tension. Wait for your turn patiently.

Don’t display too much affection in public: While small displays of affection among friends or family are generally acceptable, excessive or intimate public displays of affection may make others uncomfortable. It is best to be mindful of cultural norms and act accordingly.

Avoid giving clocks or sharp objects as gifts: In Chinese culture, clocks and sharp objects (like knives or scissors) are associated with negative connotations, such as time running out or severing a relationship. Choose more auspicious gifts instead, such as tea, fruit, or modest souvenirs.

By being aware of these cultural norms and practices, you can show respect and appreciation for Chinese customs, creating a friendly and harmonious experience during your time in China.

Settling in Tips

Getting Around

Getting around in China can be an exciting and sometimes overwhelming experience, given the country’s vast size and diverse transportation options. Here’s a simple introduction to getting around in China:

Public Transportation

Public transportation is widely available in most cities in China. The most common modes of public transportation include buses, subways, and taxis. The subway systems in major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou are extensive and convenient. Buses are another popular mode of transport and offer routes within cities as well as intercity connections.

High-Speed Trains

China has a well-developed high-speed train network, offering efficient and comfortable travel between major cities. These trains are known for their speed, punctuality, and comfort. They are a great option for long-distance travel, with routes connecting most major cities across the country.

Domestic Flights

If you need to cover long distances quickly, domestic flights are a convenient option. China has a vast network of airports serving both major cities and smaller towns. Many airlines operate domestic flights, making it relatively easy to find connections to various destinations.

Taxis and Ride-hailing

Taxis are readily available in most cities and can be hailed on the street or found at designated taxi stands. It’s important to ensure the meter is used and to have your destination written in Chinese characters to communicate with the driver.

Alternatively, ride-hailing services like Didi (China’s version of Uber) are widely used and offer a convenient and reliable way to get around.   Simply download the app, register, and request a ride.

Bicycle Sharing

In many cities, bicycle sharing programs are prevalent, allowing you to rent bicycles for short trips. These programs often have designated parking spots around the city, making it easy to pick up and drop off bicycles as needed.

Tips for getting around

Familiarize yourself with the local transportation system and maps.

If you don’t speak Chinese, have your destinations written down in Chinese characters for easier communication.

Allow extra time for travel, especially during peak hours or when navigating through congested areas.

Use mobile payment options like WeChat Pay or Alipay, as they are widely accepted for various transportation services.

Remember, each city may have its own unique transportation system and characteristics, so it’s helpful to do some research in advance. Embrace the adventure of exploring China’s diverse transportation options while being prepared and open to new experiences!


Local Food

Chinese cuisine is a delightful and diverse culinary experience that you’ll encounter during your time in China. It’s known for its vibrant flavors, fresh ingredients, and rich culinary heritage.

Dumplings (Jiaozi): These bite-sized pockets of joy are a staple in Chinese cuisine. Made with a thin dough wrapper and filled with a variety of ingredients like minced meat, vegetables, or seafood, dumplings are typically boiled, steamed, or fried. They are served with dipping sauces and are perfect for sharing with friends and family.

Kung Pao Chicken (Gong Bao Ji Ding): A popular Sichuan dish, Kung Pao Chicken combines tender chicken pieces, peanuts, and vegetables in a spicy and tangy sauce. It’s a perfect example of the bold and fiery flavors that Sichuan cuisine is known for.

Sweet and Sour Pork (Tang Cu Li Ji): This classic Cantonese dish features crispy pieces of pork stir-fried with colorful bell peppers, onions, and pineapple in a tangy-sweet sauce. It exemplifies the balance between sweet and sour flavors that is characteristic of Cantonese cuisine.

Mapo Tofu: A signature dish from Sichuan, Mapo Tofu is a flavorful combination of soft tofu cubes, minced pork, spicy bean paste, and numbing Sichuan peppercorns. The dish is known for its bold and robust flavors and is often enjoyed with steamed rice.

Peking Duck: A famous dish hailing from Beijing, Peking Duck is a succulent whole roasted duck with crisp skin and tender meat. It is traditionally served with thin pancakes, scallions, cucumber, and hoisin sauce. Enjoying the delicate and flavorful slices of duck is a culinary experience not to be missed.

Hot Pot (Huo Guo): Hot Pot is a communal dining experience loved across China. A simmering pot of flavorful broth is placed in the center of the table, and you cook a variety of ingredients such as thinly sliced meat, vegetables, tofu, and noodles in the bubbling broth. It’s a social and interactive way to enjoy a meal with friends or family.

These dishes represent just a fraction of the incredible variety found in Chinese cuisine. Exploring local eateries, trying regional specialties, and embracing new flavors will enhance your experience and appreciation of China’s culinary traditions. Enjoy your gastronomic adventures in China!

International Food

China’s culinary scene is rich and diverse, but it’s not limited to just Chinese cuisine. In major cities across China, you can find a wide range of international food options due to the country’s increasing globalization and expatriate communities. Here’s a glimpse into international food in China:

Western Cuisine: Western-style restaurants serving cuisines like American, Italian, French, British, and more can be found in many cities, particularly in areas with a large expatriate population or popular tourist destinations. You can find familiar dishes such as burgers, pizza, pasta, steak, and sandwiches.

Asian Cuisines: Apart from Chinese food, you can also indulge in various Asian cuisines while in China. Japanese, Korean, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, and other Asian cuisines have gained popularity with specialized restaurants offering authentic dishes. Whether you crave sushi, Korean barbecue, pad thai, or curry, you can find options to satisfy your taste buds.

Fast Food Chains: International fast food chains like McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Subway, and Starbucks have a strong presence in China. These chains serve familiar menu items for those seeking a quick and reliable option.

Fusion and Expat-Owned Restaurants: In certain neighborhoods or expatriate communities, you may find fusion restaurants or eateries owned by foreign chefs. These establishments often blend flavors and techniques from various cuisines to create unique and innovative dishes.

It’s important to note that the availability of different international cuisines may vary depending on the city or region you are in. Larger cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou tend to offer a wider range of international dining options compared to smaller cities or rural areas.

Exploring international food options in China can be a fun and tasty experience, providing a change of flavors amidst the rich tapestry of Chinese cuisine

Medical Care

Int’l Clinics & Hospitals


  • Beijing United Family Hospital

  • International SOS Clinic Beijing

  • Oasis International Hospital

  • Beijing Puhua International Hospital


  • Shanghai United Family Hospital

  • ParkwayHealth Medical Center

  • Shanghai East International Medical Center

  • Shanghai United Family Pudong Hospital


  • United Family Guangzhou Clinic
  • Guangzhou Elizabeth Women’s Hospital
  • Raffles Medical Guangzhou
  • Poly He She International Dental Clinic


  • Shenzhen United Family Hospital

  • ParkwayHealth Medical Center (Shenzhen)

  • Shenzhen Luohu International Dental Clinic

  • Raffles Medical Shenzhen


  • Chengdu United Family Hospital

  • ParkwayHealth Medical Center (Chengdu)

  • Kuanzhai Alley Dental Clinic

  • Chengdu International Women’s & Children’s Hospital


  • Hangzhou United Family Hospital

  • ParkwayHealth Medical Center (Hangzhou)

  • New Century International Dental Clinic

  • Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital


  • Tianjin United Family Hospital

  • ParkwayHealth Tianjin Medical Center

  • International SOS Clinic Tianjin

  • Tianjin Dental Hospital

    These are just a few examples of private and international clinics and hospitals in China. It is always recommended to research each facility further, including services offered, physician qualifications, and insurance coverage before seeking medical care.

Government Hospitals

Peking Union Medical College Hospital (北京协和医院):

Special Departments: Cardiology, Neurology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Gastroenterology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Nephrology, Dermatology, etc.

Shanghai Ruijin Hospital (上海瑞金医院):

Special Departments: Cardiovascular Surgery, Neurosurgery, Urology, Pulmonology, Endocrinology, Radiology, Rehabilitation Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Infectious Diseases, etc.

Guangzhou General Hospital of Guangzhou Military Command (广州军区总医院):

Special Departments: General Surgery, Neurology, Respiratory Medicine, Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Gastroenterology, Otolaryngology (ENT), Ophthalmology, Emergency Medicine, Dermatology, etc.

West China Hospital of Sichuan University (四川大学华西医院):

Special Departments: Cardiology, Hepatology, Intensive Care Medicine, Nephrology, Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Dermatology, Endocrinology, Ophthalmology, etc.

Xijing Hospital of Fourth Military Medical University (第四军医大学西京医院):

Special Departments: Thoracic Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Anesthesiology, Rehabilitation Medicine, Radiation Oncology, Hepatobiliary Surgery, Urology, Hematology, Plastic Surgery, etc.

Please note that government hospitals in China typically provide a broad range of medical services, and their special departments may vary based on the specific hospital and its expertise.  Additionally, this list provides only a few examples, and there are many more government hospitals across China with specialized departments in various medical fields.


Expat housing in China varies depending on the city and individual preferences. Here are some common options for expatriates looking for housing in China:

Serviced Apartments: Serviced apartments are a popular choice among expats as they offer fully furnished units with amenities such as cleaning services, laundry facilities, and 24/7 security. These apartments are often managed by international companies and provide a convenient option for those seeking a comfortable and hassle-free living arrangement.

International Compounds: International compounds or gated communities are another common choice for expats. These compounds usually offer a variety of housing options, from apartments to villas, and provide amenities like gyms, swimming pools, on-site shops, and English-speaking staff. Many international compounds are located in popular expat areas and cater specifically to the needs and preferences of the expat community.

Local Apartments: Some expats also choose to rent local apartments, especially if they are looking for a more immersive experience in Chinese culture and lower rental costs. While these apartments may not provide the same level of international amenities, they can offer a more authentic Chinese living experience.

Real Estate Agencies: Engaging local real estate agencies can be helpful in finding suitable housing options tailored to expat requirements. These agencies can assist with housing searches, negotiations, and paperwork.

When selecting expat housing in China, consider factors such as proximity to work, access to transportation, safety, local amenities, and personal preferences for location and lifestyle. It’s also advisable to visit the properties in person before making a decision and ensure clear communication regarding lease terms and responsibilities.

Additionally, keep in mind that rental prices, contract terms, and availability can vary significantly between cities and neighborhoods in China. It’s recommended to do thorough research, seek advice from local expat communities, and work with reliable agents to find the most suitable housing option based on your needs and budget.

International Schools

Here is a list of some international schools in China:


  • British International School Shanghai
  • Concordia International School Shanghai
  • Shanghai American School
  • Shanghai Community International School
  • Yew Chung International School of Shanghai


  • Dulwich College Beijing
  • Harrow Beijing
  • International School of Beijing
  • The British School of Beijing
  • Western Academy of Beijing


  • American International School of Guangzhou
  • Clifford School
  • Guangzhou Nanhu International School
  • The British School of Guangzhou
  • Utahloy International School Guangzhou

Please list some international schools in China and their contact

Certainly!  Here are some international schools in China and their contact information:


British International School Shanghai


Contact: +86 21 5812 7455

Concordia International School Shanghai


Contact: +86 21 5899 0380

Shanghai American School


Contact: +86 21 6221 1445

Shanghai Community International School


Contact: +86 21 6261 4338

Yew Chung International School of Shanghai


Contact: +86 21 6219 5910


Dulwich College Beijing


Contact: +86 10 8450 7676

Harrow Beijing


Contact: +86 10 6444 8900

International School of Beijing


Contact: +86 10 8046 2288

The British School of Beijing


Contact: +86 10 8047 3588

Western Academy of Beijing


Contact: +86 10 5986 5588


American International School of Guangzhou


Contact: +86 20 8709 4788

Clifford School


Contact: +86 20 3223 8388

Guangzhou Nanhu International School


Contact: +86 20 3489 2168

The British School of Guangzhou


Contact: +86 20 8709 4788

Utahloy International School Guangzhou


Contact: +86 20 8720 2019

Please note that the contact information provided here may be subject to change.  It’s recommended to visit the respective school websites for the most up-to-date contact details and admissions information.

Daily Needs

Food and Groceries

Local Markets: You can explore local markets, where you can find fresh produce, meat, seafood, and other ingredients for cooking. These markets are often vibrant and offer a glimpse into local culture.

Supermarkets: Major cities in China have supermarkets that stock both local and international brands. Popular supermarket chains include Carrefour, Walmart, Metro, and Tesco. They offer a wide range of products, including imported goods.


Mobile Service Providers: China has several mobile service providers such as China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom. You can visit their local stores to purchase a SIM card and select a suitable mobile plan.

WeChat: Suggest you download the WeChat app, which is widely used for messaging, payments, and social networking in China. It can be helpful for staying in touch with people and accessing various services.


Public Transportation: Encourage your friend to familiarize themselves with the local public transportation system, idncluding buses, subways, and taxis. Public transport is generally reliable, affordable, and convenient for getting around in cities.

Bike Sharing: In many Chinese cities, bike-sharing services are popular. These services allow users to rent bicycles on a short-term basis for commuting within the city.


Banks: Get information about the local banks in your area and open a bank account. Major banks in China include Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China, and China Construction Bank.

Alipay and WeChat Pay: These mobile payment platforms are extensively used in China. You can link their bank account to these apps for convenient payment options.


Let’s Have Fun


Attend Networking Events: Look for professional networking events, industry conferences, and business forums in the city where your friend will be residing. These events provide opportunities to meet like-minded individuals, industry experts, and potential business partners. Websites like Meetup and Eventbrite can be helpful in finding relevant events.

Expatriate Groups and Chambers of Commerce: can join expatriate groups, such as city-specific expat communities, international chambers of commerce, and foreign business associations. These groups often organize networking events, social activities, and workshops tailored to the needs of expats and can provide valuable connections and support.

Utilize Social Media and Online Platforms: In China, social media platforms play a significant role in networking. You can create a profile on WeChat, China’s most popular messaging app, and connect with people they meet at events or through mutual contacts. You can also join relevant professional groups on platforms like LinkedIn or industry-specific online forums to expand their professional network.

Language Exchange Clubs: Language exchange clubs can provide an excellent opportunity to meet both locals and other expats while practicing language skills. These clubs typically organize language exchange sessions and social activities, making them a good platform for networking and making new friends.

Utilize Personal and Professional Connections: you can tap into their existing personal and professional connections and seek referrals or introductions to people who are already based in China. Colleagues, friends, or acquaintances who have experience in the country can offer valuable insights and connections.

Be Open and Socialize: In Chinese culture, building relationships often involves socializing outside formal settings. Accepting invitations for dinners, social gatherings, and other informal events. Participating in local activities and showing genuine interest in Chinese culture can help establish connections with locals.

Language and Cultural Understanding: you can learn basic Mandarin language skills and gain some understanding of Chinese culture. This can enhance your networking efforts by building rapport, showing respect, and facilitating better communication.

Need Help?

Emergency Contacts

Police: 110
This number should be dialed for immediate assistance in case of criminal activities, emergencies, or any situation requiring police intervention.

Medical Emergencies: 120

Dial this number for immediate medical assistance or an ambulance in case of medical emergencies or accidents.

Fire Department: 119

In the event of a fire or any other emergency requiring the assistance of the fire department, dial this number.

Traffic Accidents: 122

Dial this number to report traffic accidents and seek assistance from traffic police.

Tourist Helpline:

Each province and major city in China may have its own tourist helpline or hotline, which can provide assistance, information, and support to tourists. The specific contact numbers can vary, so it is advisable to check with local tourism authorities or research online for the relevant helpline in the specific area.

It is important to note that in emergency situations, it may be more effective to contact local authorities or emergency services directly if available in the specific region or city your friend is residing in. Additionally, you might want to keep a list of important contact numbers of the local embassy or consulate in China, your employer’s emergency contact information, and any local contacts can be reached out to in case of an emergency.

Copyright @ Asian Tigers Ltd • 15/1/2023

We make every effort to ensure the information contained in these destination guide is accurate and up-to-date. However, do keep in mind that the rules, regulations and other material in these guides change from time to time, so we cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. We suggest that you contact the appropriate Asian Tigers office if you have any questions. They will be glad to help you.