Cost of Living in China

Cost of Living in China

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Cost of Living in China 

The cost of living in China can be much lower than in most of the western world.
Food is really affordable and you can eat in a street restaurant by the school for about 10 - 20 Yuan. Three Chinese dishes, with rice (enough for two people) at an average restaurant will cost about 40-50 RMB. Of course you can eat food off the street that will cost about half of this for a meal. More upscale restaurants and Western restaurants are more expensive, but you rarely spend more than 100 Yuan for a meal.

In large cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, there are many shopping centers in the city where you can find Western products and brands, which more or less cost the same as in US or Europe, or you can go to local markets. Particularly for clothes, it can be very convenient, and also fun to haggle about the price. China is also the ideal place to buy technology. There are several computer malls where you can find all the brands, and Chinese brands, which are normally are cheaper…and just as good. 

Getting around in the city is fairly convenient. There is a subway system that can be convenient when close to a station, which is not always the case. Tickets are 2 RMB. Taking a bus is only 1 RMB but can be confusing at first, especially if you can not read Chinese characters. The easiest way to get around is by taxi. Fares range from 10 RMB for any ride within a few miles or about five minutes to 70 RMB for 45 minute rides across the city. The average taxi fare for getting around the city in a convenient way is about 15 RMB per ride.

Getting from city to city in China is also relatively convenient. Flights from Beijing to Shanghai start at about 500 RMB if bought in advance to 1200 RMB if bought at the last second. A train to Shanghai would cost about 350 RMB for an overnight sleeper train. A bus could be less than 200 RMB.

An average three-star hotel in most cities in China will cost about 300-500 RMB per night. A very nice 4-5 star hotel will cost 800-1200 RMB per night. Most big Chinese cities also have a number of hostels. These will cost about 40-60 RMB per night for a dorm-style room with shared bathroom and 250-300 RMB per night for a double room with private bathroom.

Beijing is slightly cheaper than Shanghai, and Guangzhou is slightly cheaper than Beijing. Hong Kong, on the other hand, is comparable to the U.S.

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