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Author Topic: Miscellaneous Lesser-Known City Information  (Read 5960 times)

Raoul F. Duke

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Miscellaneous Lesser-Known City Information
« on: June 17, 2007, 04:25:49 PM »
This thread is for the 4th, 5th....Nth tier cities that don't really have enough happening to rate a thread. Might also go for cities like Lhasa that some of us have seen briefly but none have lived in or visited at length.

Kunshan, Jiangsu
Part of Greater Suzhou City. It's sometimes presented in job ads as being "suzhou"; uh, it ain't Suzhou. Not a bad place, but pretty small. Lots of industry, including a few smokestack industries (big chemical plant in the middle of town) little seen in Suzhou proper.

Still, the town seems reasonably clean and liveable, especially considering that we're in China. Great economy. The town is heavily infested by Taiwanese- this seems to have become their enclave while others moved on to Suzhou.

Maybe the best thing about Kunshan is that it is about equidistant to Shanghai and Suzhou, and not far from either. It's well served by trains and buses. Relief is not far away.


Lager added: HUZHOU Zhejiang (my last city)
This is sort of a poor mans Suzhou...A pretty place with canals running through it---but a very small town.

Good location-Shanghai is 2.5 hours away, Hangzhou one hour.

Small enough to walk almost anywhere. A supermarket has begun stocking Western stuff-even NZ cheese---DVD selection as good as anywhere---cost of living very low...Was a "bicycle" friendly place if you enjoy that.

Touristy stuff pretty standard--a lake a temple the usual..There are a couple of better places nearby for sites---small camal towns mostly...

CAN certainly get boring. No real nightlife to speak of and really only a handful of foreigners.


Gengrant added: Huizhou, Guangdong
This place has it all! Shopping, Restaurants, Bars, Bowling & Golf, Home to Carlsberg Beer in China. Built around West Lake (note: not the famous West Lake, which is in Hangzhou, Zhejiang...), the city has beautiful walkways around the lake and lots to do. Transportation is fair, with taxi meter drops at 5 yuan Bus station & train station to just about anywhere. about 2 hours from Hong Kong to the Southwest. Day trips to Guangzhou and Shenzhen are easy...as are trips to the South China Sea. Luofo Mountain is a great place to visit, with a mountainside monastary that has a giftshop the size of Texas (cause we FT love to hit giftshops!). Lots of teaching jobs available here...Huizhou University, Public Schools, Private Language; if you can imagine it, they probably have it. Wages are comparable to other parts of China. Crime is VERY low, only a couple traffic lights, so I wouldn't recommend owning a bike here. I'd live there again in a heartbeat!


Da Dan added: Jishou, Hunan
This is a smaller city in northwest Hunan, one train stop from JangJiaJe (sp? famous national park) or a 5 hour drive from there; it is the nearest airport.
Jishou is a 24-hour train ride to either Shanghai or Beijing.

I lived in a really small town that is 3-hour bus ride into the mountains from Jishou so this is a general short write up of the area.
Jishou University often posts around the net looking for teachers.

I really enjoyed this area & will happily recommend going there!
It is the real China & has the small town atmosphere & friendliness.
If you're into big city life, maybe you should only visit for a few days of R&R, if you want to get to know & see how normal people live in China, this is a good place for living a term or two. Pay won't be high as it is a poor region but that also means the cost of living is quite low too so you can save easily.

The people are very friendly & curious about foreigners, it is not uncommon to be the First one they ever saw in person so expect people to look at you. It is a poor area so many are not well educated in ways of the book, Many are educated in the old fashened ways in what they need to know to survive in their part of the world though & happy to share anything they have with Special guests.
The "Hello!s" are rarely meant in bad ways, often it the only word they know & you see in there smiles that most are just trying to be nice.
Go to some of the small villages in the nearby mountains & you Will end up eating & staying in peoples homes. A lot of wooden homes built without a single nail, I loved looking at how they constructed things the old way.

A lot of local crafts there too, they use the lunar month system with the markets, the vilage people come to the bigger towns on certain days with their goods so finding really cool things in the markets is easy once you learn which days are for which kinds of goods.

Food is HOT! ALL of it!!!
For me, that is a good thing  but if you're not a chili pepper eater, ya might end up losing some weight in these parts. They use the bigger peppers, not the little red ones, the long ones that turn red & a little sweeter & less hot in time, that just means they put more into the dishes. I liked the flavor of these peppers more & they add great color to the dishes... ALL of the dishes!
Also being a smaller city with many village peoples, they eat everything, nothing is wasted.

The area is pretty mountainous, big mountains with of them having large rocky cliffs, a lot of the rock pinnacles here & there & it stayed green all year.
I thought is it a beautiful area. Many places that you can visit for great day trips, rivers, valleys, hiking, villages that never saw a white face in person...

Winters get cold but not like in the north, `maybe 10 days of snow.... `maybe none...
Summers can be Hot & Humid!

Anyways.... I don't know what to say.
If anyone wants info on this area, Please feel free to ask, I can answers questions better than thinking of things off the top of my head.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2007, 04:32:31 PM by Raoul Duke »
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

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we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

becster79

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Re: Miscellaneous Lesser-Known City Information
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2008, 03:26:58 AM »
Can I add one here on Baoji, the up-and-coming 2nd largest town in Shaanxi Province? Too bad, I will anyway uuuuuuuuuu.

I love this place (not at all biased- only been here 2 years and plan to stay on!). We have the new D train service from here to Xian, 4 both directions each day. Cost is about 50Y. Regular trains are about 2.5 hours (this one is 1.15) and cost a mere 15Y.

There are some Western goodies here- we have Jazz Island Coffee (various Western dishes including steak), another restaurant close to the main branch of Bank of China with the same and a new pizza joint (but with frozen vegies and fruit aoaoaoaoao). There's 1 MacDonalds, a King Coffee next to it, 2 KFC's- soon to be another. There is also Walmart being built but it's a big mystery as to when it will open- building seems to have stalled! In this complex will be the next KCF, a Pizza Hut and other stores. Should be good.

Very good well-stocked supermarkets, Vanguard (from Hong Kong) and several Jia Mei Jia's here- they sell various basic Western foods- pasta, sauce, olive oil, Doritos. But still very small supply, things like cheese, bacon and real bread will have to be a trip to the capital.

Speaking of capital, there is talk of Xian becoming a municipality (I can't speeeeeeellll), much like Beijing in the future- and Baoji to be the capital of Xian. When this will be I'm not sure. I think there's still a bit of work to be done to be at that level though.

Good bus services, but like usual cities tend to stop early (8.30 in winter, 9-9.30 in summer). But again like everywhere you only need to wait for a taxi for about 5 seconds. Flagfall here is 5Y.

There is only 1 college/ university here (where I work), but some smaller, perhaps private colleges. Aston English is also here, and Kid Castle was (not sure what happened to them though). Cooler here in summer than Xian, but also colder in winter, and maybe more snow.

I can't really think of any negatives as such- I guess it depends on what you like, your standard of living etc. Some people may very well hate it and won't live in a city smaller than Xian. Me, I won't live in a city BIGGER! Like anywhere you get your probs, staring etc, but really, it feels like one big community which is nice.
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becster79

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Re: Miscellaneous Lesser-Known City Information
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2008, 06:45:02 AM »
The Sphinx....oh crap, where is it again??!! Maybe I've lived here to damned long it's just normal to me ahahahahah

Oh yeah, we also have a rather funky looking ironworked chook statue (read: chicken for you non Aussies) on the road towards the new campus!
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Chief

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Re: Miscellaneous Lesser-Known City Information
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2012, 06:15:57 AM »
Xingtai - Hebei

I have been in this city since January of this year and overall have had a positive experience.

Xingtai is located in Hebei province inbetween Shijiazhuang and Handan, it is quite a small city that is like many places in China experience a rather rapid rate of expansion. There is one train station and from here you can to many places, Beijing (3 hours) Chengdu (24 hours!) and Shijiazhuang (1 hour) are the only ones I have been to.

Regarding travelling, the city is small enough that you can travel almost anywhere by pushbike and this is my main mode of transport. However taxis are very cheap and start at 6 yuan, the most I have ever paid is 20 and that was going from opposite ends.

Food: The city is awash with restaurants, and you can get any chinese food you like - there is some western food available of average quality around the city such as Pizza hut, KFC, Jazz beefsteak, no Mcdonalds as of yet  ananananan . The food really has been enjoyable here and also very cheap, there are a number of markets selling street food and I can get lunch for as little as 3 yuan.

Nightlife, as usual there are lots and lots of KTV's there are also a few nightclubs such as Kiss, Ye Xuan, Scotland club and Muse - weekends can be fun though it does wear thin very quickly.


People - The locals have all been extremely friendly and welcoming, yes you do get shouts of hello and stares down the street, but there is a very small amount of western people in Xingtai. The other foreigners have all been great, very welcoming and I have made good friends with Chinese and other teachers.

Misc, the city has a number of nice parks and two temples which are worth seeing though not particularly great. Within easy reach are many places such as Jia Long Xia (sp) which was an amazing mountain range and walk and other local attractions.

To conclude,an enjoyable 6 months have been spent here. The people are friendly and every weekend I am out socialising/ having dinner/ drinking with other foreign teachers and chinese friends, the food and the people have been great.

The city is fairly average though it does seem to grow on you, especially in the summer months, western amenities will be coming (2013 should see Mcdonalds, Walmart, Tesco and H&M).

Hopefully this will help some people moving to Xingtai as the only information I could find on the internet was that Xingtai was famous for folk music...


Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Miscellaneous Lesser-Known City Information
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2012, 06:42:57 AM »
Excellent, excellent post, Chief! Thank you! agagagagag
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

kitano

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Re: Miscellaneous Lesser-Known City Information
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2012, 08:37:00 AM »
Right next to Kunshan is Zhangjiagang whch I really wasn't crazy about when I lived there bt going back to visit my girlfriend's parents I appreciate it a lot. A great Italian restaraunt, decent French restaraunt, a couple of good western style bars
The selling point is that it is clean and not crowded though. Reminds me of Europe coming from Hangzhou

It is quiet so not to everyone's taste (although you are only about an hour from Shanghai and Suzhou but it's very nice and mellow for this part of China
« Last Edit: June 23, 2012, 03:06:25 PM by kitano »

Chief

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Re: Miscellaneous Lesser-Known City Information
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2012, 02:23:29 PM »
Excellent, excellent post, Chief! Thank you! agagagagag

Thanks I just reeled off my thoughts while I had a spare ten minutes so I am glad it made sense!