Man Goes to China

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Man Goes to China

Postby admin » Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:00 am

This thread contains some mini-trip reports from my time spent living in Southern China.

Feel free to register for the forum and ask questions about what it's REALLY like to live in China :shock: .

I guess I'd better introduce myself. I quit my job at the age of 40 to go and see something of the world.

I'd visited Asia on a number of previous occasions, including time spent in Japan, Hong Kong as well as China. But the previous trips had all been vacations of a fortnight or less. And it's rather different visiting a country and actually living there!

As a single guy, I wanted to go somewhere that had beautiful women, and China certainly fits the bill.

A couple of years ago I had my heart set on finding an Asian wife. I guess my life plan has changed somewhat in the last couple of months, but if I find The One, then I'll put a ring on it (as Beyonce would say).

Anyway, in this forum I'll help you get to the bottom of what it's REALLY like to live in China and date the local Chinese women.

To answer the basic questions:

    I lived in Guangzhou, which is one of the most foreigner-friendly cities in China (but that's not saying much).

    I got by financially by living off my investments and income from micro-businesses.

    Many Western guys get burned by Western women and think Asian brides are a better option. Well I don't know about that, but I date Chinese women because I like Chinese women.

    There's a gender imbalance in China. But I didn't go there to steal women from Chinese men. Most Chinese ladies will only marry foreigners if they've already exhausted all possibilities of marrying a Chinese man.

    It's easy to find dates in China, but if you want to marry a perfect 10 then you'll need to put in a lot of effort. As I've already said, there's no shortage of men in China, and hot ladies have lots of admirers! But your chances of finding a hotter woman than you could hope to attract back in the USA/Canada/Australia or Western Europe are virtually 100%, especially if you can speak a fair bit of Mandarin.

    Is it possible to find a much younger bride in China? Yes it is, but it will require work. If you're a 50 yo guy who wants a 20 yo girlfriend, then you'll have more luck in Thailand or the Philippines. In all the time I've lived in China I've very rarely seen men with much younger ladies on their arm (unless they're mistresses of course!). Really the "half your age plus 7 years" rule applies very well to age differences in Chinese dating.

    Are Chinese women better? Well there's no question Chinese ladies have terrific figures and they age very well indeed. They tend to be fairly faithful and really look after their man. On the downside I couldn't say they're any less complicated than Western women. And don't come here if you're lazy or have no ambition. Pretty much ALL Chinese women are money obsessed and want to improve their lives. If you're too laid back for all that, then you'll be better off seeking a Filipino or Thai bride.

As for living there, well it's not easy by any means. It's hard to get a long term visa. It's difficult to find work. The weather is hostile, the food is strange and there is absolutely no concept of personal safety. Oh, and I've not even mentioned the formidable language barrier!

Is it worth going to China? Absolutely. Especially if you're single!

Anyway, if you have any questions about living in China or dating Asian women, then register here for free, then post your questions :D .
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My Experiences Dating Dongguan Girls

Postby admin » Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:05 am

Sandwiched between Guangzhou and Shenzhen in Southern China are the badlands known as Dongguan. Does Dongguan deserve its reputation, or is it worth dating ladies from this part of Guangdong Province?

Dongguan has a reputation for being the sex capital of Guangdong Province. As Shenzhen and (especially) Guangzhou have been cleaned up, so the sleazy KTV bars and hairdressing salons have moved on out to Dongguan.

But if you don't speak or read Chinese then you'll find it hard to get much out of the P4P industry in Dongguan.

Aside from the sex industry, Dongguan is also home to a large number of factories. Many electronics companies have their factories in this part of China, as it's conveniently located for the ports around the Pearl River delta and the global export markets.

I dated a couple of Dongguan ladies. Both were actually from other provinces, rather than being locals.

Of all the ladies I met while I was living in Guangzhou, it was actually my Dongguan ladies who I liked most. So I give ladies from this part of Guangdong Province a big thumbs up!

Some real life Dongguan girls at the local train station:

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Worth Living in Dongguan Itself?

Dongguan has some key advantages, particularly if you want to live in China.

One key thing is that rental property is very cheap - much cheaper than the equivalent property would be in Guangzhou or Shenzhen.

I practically cried into my green tea when I saw how beautiful my friend's Dongguan apartment was. And the rental price was just 700 RMB a month more than the crappy couple of rooms I rented in a run-down student apartment building in Guangzhou. Hell, he even had a Western toilet, a bath you could lie down in and a really decent fitted kitchen. All I had is a squat toilet and a kitchen that was just a 2.5 foot long piece of formica.

My rooms were next to a noisy factory, but his apartment was on a gated community with beautiful landscaped grounds and breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside:

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And the downside? The problem is that salaries for locals are way, way, lower than they would be in Guangzhou or Shenzhen. So to live in Dongguan you'll have to endure a long daily commute to the office, or find some kind of job where you can work from home.

It's also hard to find foreign goods in Dongguan, harder than it is in Guangzhou or Shenzhen anyway. And there's not much of a an expat community there, although I did see a few foreigners outside Zhangmutou station.
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What it's Like to Date Shenzhen Ladies

Postby admin » Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:10 am

I made Guangzhou my home from home while I lived in China. But I made a couple of trips to Shenzhen in order to date a few Shenzhen ladies.

Here's my report on what ladies from Shenzhen are like...

First of all it's very easy for Western guys to find Chinese ladies to date in Shenzhen!

Shenzhen does actually have a smaller population than Guangzhou. But on my Chinese Love Links account I always seemed to have more Shenzhen ladies on my favourites list compared to ladies from Guangzhou.

Shenzhen is one of China's most progressive cities, and it attracts some of the brightest talent from all over China. The majority of Shenzhen ladies on sites like Chinese Love Links are what you might call alpha females.

The first Shenzhen lady I dated was in her mid-30's, originally from Hunan and had a figure to die for. She also spoke great English, and we talked all evening. She also had a very good career, and in fact her monthly salary in Shenzhen was almost the same as my software engineering job paid me back in the UK! To put it into perspective, my first Chinese girlfriend earned the equivalent of just $200 USD a month.

Well she was great but on the downside her hectic work/play schedule left little room for a man in her life.

My second date in Shenzhen was with a fiesty Sichuan girl. She was the first Sichuan girl I had ever met. I heard that Sichuan girls were fiery and she didn't disappoint.
Well I was a bit scared of her to be honest, and I never saw her again. Actually I have slight pangs of regret about writing her off so quickly. Maybe a spicy Chinese wife would make a man's life a heck of a lot of fun!

The third date involved a very long journey to the furthest reaches of the Luobao metro line. This date wasn't that memorable, although I sure as hell remember the rather steep prices in the restaurant we went to. I do also remember that the lady was worried about her weight. Many Chinese ladies are worried about their weight, but for me a curvy Chinese lady is just awesome. If you're dating a Chinese lady who isn't stick thin, then always remember to reassure them by mentioning that Western guys love girls with some meat on the bone!

Real life Shenzhen women:

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Living in Shenzhen

That was my Shenzhen dating experience - so what's it like to live in Shenzhen?

First up, Shenzhen is EXPENSIVE.

Rental property here is arguably the most expensive in all of China. On top of that, I found that my favourite foods were sometimes 20% more expensive in Shenzhen compared to Guangzhou. So if you want to live in Shenzhen then you'll need a lot more cash than if you lived in somewhere like Changsha or Wuhan.

Downtown Shenzhen. Big and modern:

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If you want to date Shenzhen ladies but you're on a budget then it's worth thinking about living further afield. Zhangmutou in Dongguan is less than 30 minutes to Shenzhen by express train. Apartment rental prices in Zhangmutou are half the equivalent for the same sized apartment in Shenzhen! On the downside there aren't so many facilities for foreigners, and far fewer people speak English.

Zhangmutou:

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One good thing is that cheap hotels aren't too difficult to find in Shenzhen. If you're chatting to a lady and plan on visiting her then maybe she can find you an inexpensive inn to stay in. Failing that there are some cheap hotels in the Louhu and Futian areas of the city. Find them on Expedia or Ctrip.

Just bear in mind that cheap hotels in Shenzhen are extensively used by hookers and their clients from Hong Kong. Personally I wasn't bothered at all by this. It was also kind of fun spotting the Chinese hookers in the streets around my hotel. They are beautifully dressed and look a million dollars, but also they look kind of empty inside.

As far as Shenzhen's other entertainments go, there are plenty of shopping malls, a few modern tourist sites and a few bars. I found a few Westerner-friendly bars in the back streets of the Shopping Park (购物公园) area of the city. Foreigners were drinking beer and shooting pool.

There are a few modern tourist sites like the Window of the World amusement park. On the whole though, I found these sites to be pretty expensive, surprisingly so for what is on the whole still a fairly poor country.

I also found Shenzhen to be a little boring. It's modern, reasonably clean and just a bit dull quite frankly. Still, it's easy to take a day trip to Hong Kong, and Guangzhou is just an hour away by express train.

The good thing about Sz is that it's so easy to cross the border into Hong Kong. Here's the Lohu border crossing complex:

Image
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Man Goes to China: Finding Foreign Foods in China

Postby admin » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:29 pm

If you live in another country for any length of time, then you'll no doubt pine for the foods you were used to at home.

Five weeks into my new life living in China, and I had a desperate episode of homesickness. Actually the thing I missed most of all was the food back home.
So I went in search of some of the foods I used to eat so much back in England.

First the bad news. Imported foods are expensive here. Stuff that's expensive here includes European chocolate and most kinds of nuts.

But the good news is that foreign foods can be bought in larger cities. It can take time to find them though.

Some British comfort foods I found on sale in China:

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If you're living in somewhere like Guangzhou, then foreign owned supermarkets like Carrefour and Tesco are worth a look. There are also a few foreign supermarkets that cater for wealthy expats, like Corner's Deli in Tianhe.

Some stuff is plentiful here. Bread is easy to find in any Chinese supermarket or corner shop, although it's best to avoid the stuff made with milk - yeuch! Peanut butter and honey are both cheap and easy to find, so if you're on a shoestring budget then you can fill up on sandwiches.

Also easy to find are pasta and pasta sauces. Asian people love Italian food so you should be able to find dried pasta in even the smallest Chinese city. On the downside pasta sauces are quite expensive. Being a frugal guy I tend to use a can or packet of tomato based sauce to make pasta for lunch, then a Tuscan bean soup in the evening.

Cheese is hard to come by in Asia. Imported cheese is typically double the price of what it would be back home. If you're a big fan of cheese then it's usually better to just find a good Italian restaurant and go for a pizza once in a while.

Some supermarkets sell herbs and spices that you might use back home. It's worth grabbing curry powder, oregano or turmeric if you see them on sale. They're packed with nutrients, and also useful for flavouring all kinds of dishes.

Many Western vegetables aren't too difficult to find. Red and white onions, green and red peppers, carrots, potatoes, chillies, corn on the cob and tomatoes are easy to find. They're often much bigger than what you might be used to back home though!

Various pulses are available, although they're nearly always sold in bulk, dried form.

Fruit is plentiful and cheap here, although aside from bananas and oranges, the other fruit here is very different to that you'll see in Western Europe! I can't say that I'll ever fall in love with Durian, but I love Dragon Fruits.

The Cantonese go wild for Durian, but I can't see what they get out of this expensive, smelly and foul tasting fruit...

Image

Produce is much more seasonal in China, and thanks to a chaotic supply chain, there's no guarantee that your favourite store will always have potatoes or even carrots. And even if they do, the produce might be of rubbish quality. So you need to be flexible with your meal plans.

Some fruit and vegetables I found in China:

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Non-Chinese restaurants are relatively common in larger cities like Guangzhou. There's some good Middle-Eastern restaurants around Xiaobei. On the downside I didn't like having to pay almost 100 RMB* in a Turkish restaurant for a couple of dishes that were effectively just rice and beans!

*100 RMB will buy 40 cans of Coca Cola from my local supermarket!

Talking of drinks, yes Cola is available here and it's much cheaper than in the USA or Europe.

Imported wine and spirits are available. It's expensive, but if you live in a country like the UK where alcohol is heavily taxed, then you'll find that prices here aren't as steep as you might think.

One thing I miss intensely is cider (alcoholic apple juice). I've only ever found it in one bar in Guangzhou, at a whopping 60 RMB a bottle. For that price I can buy 17 600ml bottles of Chinese beer from my local supermarket!

This example illustrates that foreign foods are very much a luxury! You'll save a lot of money by swapping your home foods and beverages for Chinese versions.

But when you're 10,000 Km from home, it's nice to have a few familiar items.
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Man Goes to China: What's Chinese Food Like?

Postby admin » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:30 pm

So if you come to live in China what are you going to eat?

McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC are everywhere, but you can't eat at those every day. So it's best to find some more local delicacies.

I should also add that although Chinese food is very popular in the USA, Canada and the UK, don't expect to eat any of your favourite dishes here in China! Chinese food in Western countries is made for Western people - it's rarely anything like the stuff here in China.

If you live in China then you'll have these issues to deal with:

    Menus you can't read.
    Unrecognisable food.
    Difficult to eat food.
    Lack of vegetarian food.
    Health scares.

Reading Food Menus

If you're on a budget then you might want to eat at the cheaper restaurants round town. But generally speaking, the cheaper the restaurant, the less money they have to spend on fancy menus with pictures or English translations. Like this example:

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If you're going to live in China then it's a good idea to learn as many Chinese characters relating to food as you can. The characters for beef (牛), pork (猪), lamb (羊), chicken (鸡), duck (鸭) and fish (鱼) are essential. Master the characters for rice (米) and noodles (面) and already you'll be able to decipher quite a few menus. In time you'll be able to recognise whole words, such as jiao-zi (饺子) - those tasty little fried dumplings.

Unrecognisable Food

Food that's totally different to food I eat at home still freaks me out. If I'm going out on a date with a lady then I'll tend to go to a restaurant I've previously visited. That way there are unlikely to be any nasty surprises on the menu. It's considered un-manly to refuse to eat something offered to you!

Still, if you do eat some truly horrible food in a Chinese restaurant, then you can just go around to the local convenience store and buy some real man food like this magnificent and inexpensive Chinese sausage bread:

Image

Difficult to Eat Food

Some Chinese food is just a nightmare for Westerners to eat. Chief amongst these are fish and meat dishes full of bones.

Most Westerners just aren't brought up to expect to find bones, stones and other nasties in their food.

So when you're eating in China, be careful and don't eat at the same speed as you would back home.

Be particularly careful with fish, as it's rarely de-boned here. And some popular fish soup dishes here are absolutely full of bones that could hospitalise you if you're not careful.

Vegetarian Options
It's kind of hard to find vegetarian food in China. Most main dishes contain meat, even if the headlining ingredient is a vegetable!

And of course all kinds of stuff is cooked in meat stock.

Actually most restaurants do vegetables dishes, but they're designed as side-dishes for main courses.

If you're a committed veggie, it's probably better to do most of your cooking at home.

The good news is that fresh produce markets are easy to find, and the choice of vegetables on offer is usually excellent.

Health Scares

Finally health scares are common in China and there just isn't the supply chain vigilance that you get in Western countries.

When buying food it's best to stick to known brands. Although you may be on a low budget here, don't cut too many corners when it comes to food. I also eat a fair bit of imported food. It's expensive, but at least it's a bit more trustworthy.

Personally I avoid people selling food in the street - you have no idea where it's come from. There's a lot of pollution in China, and for all you know those bananas being sold off the back of a lorry could have been grown on a farm next to a battery factory.

Some plants like rice are also good at sucking out toxins from the soil (like Cadmium). Even my University where I'm studying at had a scare when they bought tainted rice.
Also when buying food, inspect dates on the food and avoid buying anything with damaged packaging. I've noticed it's hard to buy tinned food here that isn't covered with dents.

Don't worry though, there are plenty of great foods here - you won't go hungry in China! Spicy fried yam for example, was pretty, pretty good:

Image

Just don't go expecting the food in China to be as magnificent as it is in somewhere like Thailand.
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Re: Man Goes to China

Postby GeekyGuy » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:27 pm

Looks crazy! I'd like to visit Southern China but according to the weather forecasts it's actually warmer here in England now than it is in Guangzhou or Shenzhen. Strange but true.
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