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Top ten reason why living in Changchun is great!

2012/8/11      view:

Changchun is a very safe place, you can wander around town with little concerns about being robbed or in a worse case, mugged. At night, after having dinner with friends enjoying some beers; and in cases being quite tipsy to say the least, you can still walk around, catch a taxi and get back home safe. That is something that unfortunately does not happen in the west too often anymore.


For some it can be pretty annoying to walk in town and see some locals waiving their hands and smiling at you, but if you have the chance to go to the big metropolis in China one of the first things you will notice is how indifferent people are. Although we are different and very noticeable in Changchun people would be happy to help you. No matter what DongBei people are amongst the friendliest crowd I have ever met.


Although products for expats are overpriced and sometimes hard to find Changchun offers a great deal for people working here willing to save some money. If you know the places to go and shop around you will realise the great deals local markets offer, not to mention the variety of goods you can purchase. In comparison to other big cities in China, Changchun offers to us good housing, transport and gastronomic deals. Of Course, if you want you can splash few hundred pounds a week buying foreign products in western supermarkets.


Forget all those horror stories about food poisoning, weird creatures served at your table or restaurants using gutter oil. Changchun has a very wide selection of local delicacies at a good price. It takes only five minutes in town to notice the huge amount of small restaurants with good reputation serving local food, form MaLaTang, MaLaChuanr, lamb and beef skewers and others, it is all  up to you to enjoy a heartily meal.


There were times here, in a bygone times when having western meal would have cost you an arm and a leg, today, "the choon" offers a good selection of western restaurants; alright, it is not that huge but most of these restaurants care about the customers and the quality of the food they serve, once again the price is fine.


Changchun has a very interesting history and places to check upon, it is also surrounded by a number of little villages and medium size cities worth exploring. Haerbin and its ice festival,  Shengyan, ChangBai Mountain, Dang Dong, Siping and Jilin  are near enough to make a weekend trip. If time is short you can visit a village just outside the city, it takes about an hour drive into the countryside to see these human settlement with their slow and friendly approach to live.


Do you enjoy photography? Then Changchun is the place. Try to spend few hours walking around and capturing with your camera the daily life of the locals, they will never be aggressive or attempt to stick you camera up yours... if you have more time then visit the villages outside, it is not only a good way to learn more about China but also a great opportunity to shoot that fantastic picture we all want.


Winter in Changchun is sh*t to say the least, cold, dark and long... we all know that. Autumn comes and goes in a blink of an eye.  Spring is windy and wet, but it always comes with the promise of warmer days.  Then you get summer, a really pleasant, mild and slow season, I want it to last longer but for as long as it lasts it is very enjoyable. It is not super hot you sweat like a pig, or too cold you never think it was actually summer.  Summers in Changchun bring the opportunity to eat out, practice outdoors activities, walk about town and witness colors of the city. 


This applies to all China, but in general I would say that while staying in Changchun I have found out it is quite easy to travel, not only to the mainland China but also abroad. We are just few hours away from Russia, Mongolia, Japan and the Koreas. If you want to explore the south pacific (which you surely want in winter) options to visit Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand etc are wide.


 A good friend of mine described Changchun as the Wild West, all sort of foreigners from all nationalities come here, so that the chance to meet interesting people is always there. Changchun is an university city, there are thousands of students from China and from abroad enrolled in a wide range of courses, thus, there are many local and foreign teachers sharing their expertise. If you look around you will find great people willing share knowledge, scientist, engineers, mathematicians, artist, designers, animators, photographers, writers, journalist... you name it, they can be found in Changchun.