Day: June 9, 2010

Expensive living in China

People might still consider China a third world country, but in big cities, especially in newly developed areas, China looks more developed and modern than many developed countries. 

I have been really impressed by the beautiful landscaping in newly developed areas and along highways.     

In some aspects, such as housing and driving, living in China is more expensive than in other parts of the world.

A house like mine, an average one around $400,000 in Woodbury, would cost at least over one million dollars in China. House price has multiplied many times in the last few years. 

Still, people are buying apartments/houses like crazy. Some buy second or third or more residence for investment or kids.

Driving is also more expensive in China than in the US.

It’s very expensive to buy a car in China. But it’s more expensive to keep a car. That’s why people say you can afford a car, but you can’t afford to maintain a car.

Gas is more expensive in China than in the US.  

All highways in China are toll roads. You get a ticket when you get on highway. Then you pay when you get off highway. The longest time I have been riding in a car on highway was about two hours. I have seen the driver pay about 2-20 dollars each time, depending on the distance. 

High end, brand name consumer products have the best market in China now. People have money to spend. The more expensive the items are, the more popular they become.

It’s crazy.  

I asked  a few people I met in China what’s the average monthly salary is. The answer is it depends. Some say $150, some say $500. Then there are a lot of business people who make way above the average.

Judging from the average monthly salary, you can see how out of proportion the housing and driving expenses are for the average citizens.       

 

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Travel updates

Sorry I haven’t posted for a few days. I have been busy traveling. I am usually too tired to write at night. In addition, I don’t like to use the small laptop computer.

Since June 1, I have visited Maanshan, Nanjing, Wuxi, Ningbo, Putuo, and Hangzhou. Today I arrived in Xi’an. I was so happy to find in the hotel room a big screen TV that also serves as a computer with Internet connection.

Xi’an is an ancient capital city in China. The old part of the city is surrounded by a wall on all sides, with four gates in each direction. The wall is 14 kilometers long and very wide, probably 3-4 bus lane wide. It took us 1 1/2 hours to finish bike riding one round. My kids had a really fun time biking on the two-person bike.    

I have taken a lot of pictures. I will share them when I get back home and have time to post them.

 

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