Living in Yangzhou, China for the past 13 months has been an amazing experience. An experience filled with fond memories, great friends, a new career and a cool culture.

As we’re nearing the end of our time in China, we’re starting to get a bit misty-eyed thinking about the great moments we’ve had here.

things we'll miss about china
Us at the entrance to the beautiful park in Hangzhou, China

There are so many things we’re going to miss about this country, but here’s our Top 10 List:

1. The People. Ok, so we’re always saying that the people of whatever country are so kind and generous, but the people in China are seriously some of the most friendly we’ve ever come across. Not only are they kind, but they’re curious, helpful and genuine. No one is out to rip us off and we have never been scammed while living here, or travelling here. Besides all of that, we feel 100% safe every day. The people rock.

people of china
Such a cool looking character! The people of China are great

2. The Cute Kids. Why is it that Asian children as sooo cute?! We’ve always said that when travelling around SE Asia, but I think that Chinese kids actually might be the most adorable in the world.

children in china
Uh! So adorable…Oh the left is my student, Frank and on the right is his brother, Kobe

3. Fireworks. Nick and I love fireworks. So the fact that we get to see them shooting off each and every day is amazing. People light off fireworks right at their apartment complexes, so we have a front row seat to most shows just by looking out of our window.

4. Food. Except for some seriously strange street foods, everything we’ve tried here in China, we’ve loved. We’re going to miss the delicious restaurant foods, street vendors and the fresh fruits and vegetables from our favourite market.

chinese food
One of our favourite meals in China – Ma La Tofu (spicy tofu)

5. Special Treatment. Because we’re foreigners, we get treated with a lot of respect and are sometimes treated like famous people. People are always willing to help us out, want their photo taken with us and always try to chat with us – maybe not in big cities like Shanghai, but definitely here in Yangzhou.

6. Transportation. The transport in China is great. It’s efficient, clean and cheap. Taking a bullet train going 300kms/hour is an experience in itself.

living in china
The super fast trains in China are the best…some go almost 400kms/hour!

7. Cost Of Living. Living in China is quite cheap, especially by North American standards. Rent is $300/month for an apartment, we can have a meal for $1 if we chose to and take the bus for $0.16. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

8. Culture & Architecture. The Chinese culture is one of the oldest in the world. We love seeing all of the temples, wandering around the old towns and enjoying the Chinese architecture, it’s stunning.

living in china
Beautiful temple in Beijing, the architecture in China is gorgeous

9. The Beer. Ah, there’s nothing like a cold bottle of píjiu on a hot day in China! The big bottles of beer (650ml) are between $0.33 and$0.50 here in Yangzhou. Needless to say, we drink a lot of them.

beer in china
Having a nice cold beer on a hot day in Guilin…can’t believe how cheap it is!

10. Great Service, But No Tipping. Like many parts of the world, except for North America, there’s no concept of tipping here. Being born and raised in Canada, we’re so used to tipping for anything and everything. At a restaurant here, you pay exactly what the bill says and you’ll get great service even without tipping. Service with a smile is always nice.

eating in china
Dinner with great friends, great service…and no tipping!

This list could have been much longer, but those are some of the many reasons why living in China is awesome. We loved our 1 month of travelling here and our 13 months of living here. Who knows, maybe we’ll be back here again one day…

Have you ever been to China? What do you think of it? We’d love to hear from you, leave a comment below!




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10 Things Well Miss About China

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Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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12 thoughts on “10 Things We’ll Miss About China

  1. Goodluck guys, you guys are just awesome. cherishing and enjoying every moment of life without any complaints unlike us who slog for days, weeks or even months to earn a decent holiday to spend.Goodluck guys wishing you all success and keep going…

  2. Ya, those are delicious too. I never liked aubergines before (we call them eggplants in Canada), but now I like them since eating them in China!

  3. Thanks for the kind words Amit 🙂 We appreciate it. We are enjoying what we’re doing and have loved our time here in China, it’s an awesome country!


  4. It’s always hard to leave after spending significant time somewhere; the friends, the delicious food, the ease of getting around once you’ve figured everything out… but you’ll be back! 🙂

  5. You’re right about that. It was really hard to say goodbye 🙁 I’m sure we’ll be back though, we love China!

  6. I agree with all of the above and especially the great derive. I miss being able to yell for the laoban whenever I need something. I’m in Nepal now and I have to wait patiently, and they add 13% to the bill as a tip. I don’t mind since Americans do the same, but, they’re not all that attentive here.

  7. hahah, it was so weird/funny yelling at the waiter from 10 tables away! I definitely don’t think behavior like that would fly in other parts of the world 🙂 Enjoy Nepal, we love it there!

  8. Ian and I spent 1 month in china (sept -Oct 2017) traveling independently and what a month . We had been told by everyone that it would be so hard due to the language barrier and that it would be easier going with a tour company but as we are 60 + year olds still looking for adventures we decided to disregard the well intentioned advice and hit the road ourselves and we are so glad we did .
    We have travelled independently for many year and mostly in Asia so we did have some experiance but this time we did do a lot more homework before we left the UK . First thing we realised was that to keep in touch with the outside world we would have to download a vpn that was suitable for china . There are two walls in china ,the great Wall and the fire wall and without a vpn you cannot get google Facebook or any of the sites we are accustomed to on the Internet . Secondly an off line translator but if you are like us you do foget to use it until you have tried unsuccessfully for half an hour trying to be understood . Thirdly plan your journey . China is a vast country and you will soon realise that a month goes by very quickly so you will save time booking hotels and especially trains in advance . Once you get to china you can collect all your tickets at once at the first railway station (with a small fee) and you no longer need to wait in long queues or find out that the train you were expecting to get has no seats available .
    We did travel to the usual places like beijing ,xian to see the terracotta warriors, chengdu for the pandas,and did a five day trip down the yangtze but some of our favourite places were yangshuo and guillin where you were surrounded by karst mountains and breath taking scenery .
    China is probably the cleanest country we have ever been to . You will not see anyone drop litter and the Chinese do not take kindly to anyone who does . They are extremely friendly and will go out of their way to help you . So all in all I can safely say it was an adventure that we are so glad we took and would definatly do again

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