Be wary of LIES, lies everywhere.
Lies like when a local restaurant tells you it uses clean filtered water. Assume that you will drink polluted water once in a while. It does not only include bacteria but also heavy metal. Drinking bottled water ? The most popular company, Nongfu, was caught using wrong norms years ago. Too many people were boycotting so they changed the traditional red bottle... and removed the English name.
Lies like when they told you the internet speed using local servers. Local internet is actually not that bad, but since you would never use Baidu, Bing or any other unblocked search engine, then your VPN will throttle much of your speed and freedom. Add to that the fact that 2-3 times a year, a political meeting happens and they totally CUT all VPN access.
Lies when you try to know the air pollution and the weather agency chose not to update the air quality index to play with the averages. It's still unhealthy but it got A LOT better these last few years.
Lies like when you just try to know how many people live in Shanghai. Between 25-35 million people (depending on if you include migrant worker and nearby Suzhou soon to be connected by the same subway) means you get access to lots of stuff. Delivery is one (electronics, food). Subway is ridiculously cheap and modern. Taxis (just replace Uber by Didi) is also awesome and quite cheap.
Lies like when you read my review and count as many bad points as good, but you still get Chinese people asking you why you hate China so much...
🎒 Nomad Score3.34/5 214 reviews💵 Cost okay📡 Internet very bad😀 Fun great👮 Safety goodTap to Open🌥Feels 57°135°37°99°😷AQI1191$2,000 / mo2Mbps×
It's possible to live in Hong Kong on the cheap. You've got to live far out in the New Territories, or on an outlying island. I spent a summer living happily on Lamma Island for ~$500USD/month in rent for one bedroom in a shared flat. Rent is really the only tricky part--everything else is relatively cheap.
🎒 Nomad Score3.15/5 220 reviews💵 Cost very bad📡 Internet great😀 Fun great👮 Safety goodTap to Open🌧Feels 39°102°30°86°AQI446$2,941 / mo41Mbps×
I lived and worked (at a law firm) in Chengdu for about 3 months. I absolutely loved the city! It's so different from east coast China, especially given the Tibetan influences in many areas. I had a company arrange my apartment and registrations, but was a seamless process. I am a white, American male who speaks a decent bit of Mandarin, and I found the locals to be incredibly hospitable. China is general is extremely affordable for a Westerner, and Chengdu offers the luxuries of any large, Western city/metro area.
🎒 Nomad Score3.12/5 202 reviews💵 Cost good📡 Internet very bad😀 Fun okay👮 Safety goodTap to Open🌥Feels 52°126°38°100°😷AQI1427$1,009 / mo2Mbps×