View of Chongqing’s CBD

Chongqing 重庆: the city of hills

Chongqing is one of the fastest growing cities in the world with a really vibrant nightlife and a unique southwestern Chinese culture with loads of things to do and see. It is quite quirky for a Chinese city as it lies at a crossroads on the Yangtze river and was built on lots of different hills. The city never gets that cold (never below zero celcius) and is roasting during the summer months. It is surrounded by Sichuan to the north, Hubei and Hunan to the east and Guizhou and Yunnan to the south making it a perfect location for you to further explore China. Forget the triteness and smog of Beijing and Shanghai and move to the coolest city in China. You can read our full review of Chongqing here.

View of central Zhengzhou

Zhengzhou 郑州

Zhengzhou is a major industrial city in the middle of China. It is so important industrially that the Apple uses it to produce the iPhone and produces them in a “factory city” there.  It also happens to be the capital of Henan province and serves on the main trainline between Beijing and Hong Kong. The city is huge by international standards but fairly modest by Chinese standards with an urban population of around 10 million people.

You will not get bored here. There are tonnes of shops and massive malls for you to entertain yourself. At night, a whole new scene comes alive with bar streets and even a couple of superclubs both next to each other. The winters are cool-cum-cold depending on the day. Certainly warmer than places like Beijing but you will still need to clobber up. Summers are scorching so be ready to put your shorts and sandals on. This is a great city to live and work in and will give you an unforgettable experience of big city life.

Jiaxiu Pavilion Guiyang

Guiyang 贵阳

This is a city in the deep south-west of China. If you are looking for the real Chinese experience, then this is for you. Much smaller than both Chongqing and Zhengzhou, Guiyang is set to the east of the Yunnan-Guizhou plateau.

You will have the opportunity to bump into some of the different ethnic miniority groups of China such as the Miao and Bouyei. That also means there is some great food to try out. Don’t be put off by the remoteness. It doesn’t mean there is nothing to do. On the contrary, like most larger Chinese cities, there is still some great nightlife to enjoy which you can indulge in after work any day of the week. Being based in Guiyang also gives you great access to Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi and Guangdong – all just a stone’s throw away. Guiyang is definitely worth considering.