Money and China?

Money and China?



Living in China and the quality of life as a visitor or long term traveller has many benefits, simply because we are a wanted source that they feel safe as a tenant, so we are an obvious target for agents and none authorised rental gamer.

So be smart and use the knowledge we have called scepticism and caution, ask questions and if your still not real ask a Chinese friend or workmate, these guys and girls are only too happy to show you they can assist.



Your your hard earned cash from your home country is comparable to chinese renminbi, years ago the exchange rate was good between the usd and uk pounds conversions, i remember getting 17.5 to the pound current day you will be lucky to get 9 to the £

You need to treat this with caution as your cash will very easily disappear no matter what assumption you had of china’s cheaper lifestyle, [good in the country and small towns yes]

in the cities like beijing, shanghai, shenzhen, guangzhou,  apartments and eating is still considerably expensive in comparison.

if you can look for apartments on the outskirts and be choose on what you eat and where.


What is it like to live in Shenzhen?

Well, Apartments are available and ready for tenants in Shenzhen at competitive prices and choices or shared or sole rental, these apartments can be as high as 47th floor and views of the City is magnificent, if you are lucky it’s facing Hong Kong, or a park or even a Lake!

Cities, in general, are well supported with agents on just about every street corner, however, beware that to approach these professionals can lead you wanting and out of pocket, more so in contracts that need to be clarified and appreciated.

residental 37 floor apartment view

sky rise view apartment

By this i mean that you could find for example these Agents are trying to rent an apartment that already has a tenant that is one of a group of tenants trying to replace a recently departed group member, this is good and not good, as the previous tenant may have left his tenancy ongoing. Leaving you to cover his contract.

Good, you may think, but if that contract is about to expire in let’s say, 3 months, you could find yourself footing a higher tenancy agreement at renewal or even be expelled. So asking questions like is there an existing contract running, or is the term 1,2 years fixed without increase?



In China there is a requirement for all foreigners to report monthly to a local police constabulary, this ensures that they keep track of your stay and any problems associated with unsociable behavior. Bar fights and other misdemeanors, if working tax purposes..

It’s also a way to keep audit checks on foreigners in locations.
This is not too difficult but a Chinese friend can make the event easier.

I have many times only registered on arrival into China, not every month and never had a problem. The real necessity comes when you move apartments, then this must be registered again at the local police station.

After this, all else is free sailing, no fussing or frustrations, I must say in my time in China, I encountered no other problems in 9 years, also crime is very severely punished on a monetary scale.


apartment 37th floor over park views


I took other routes as I became more street-savvy and connecting with friends,

I found access to special groups that promoted jobs and apartments many sharing or offering sole tenancy renting.

These groups are primarily travellers and expats from many countries. These offer more flexibility in types of abode and sharing costs. Also making new friends quickly.



traveling friends

expats friends Ukrainian, Singaporean, UK

Affording a quality apartment that you wouldn’t pay a high price as a sole tenant is a great benefit, as sharing allows this possibility.

Many quality apartments are securely enclosed and offer community activities areas, tennis courts, swimming pools, gymnasium, dance classes or even miniature sports tracks. Security in most cases is part of the scheme of things.

Neighbors especially Chinese are modest and offer pleasantries or shy away from contact if awed by English speaking, I have had many just shoot off in mandarin assuming I could converse in Chinese.

Foreigners tend to stick together perhaps because the landlords have collaborated in buying these apartments for the sole purpose in profiting from foreigners staying short or long term either in jobs or just on a project or extended stay. Rental can now be 6 months to 2 years and this City is always cool as the concentration of travelers and entertainment is attractive and beneficial and vibrant.

  • Better than hotels for accessibility and privacy without the official status that hotels can have.

Shekou in Shenzhen I recommend seeing and experience. Lots to do and engaging in activities, a good balance of Chinese and foreigners with a healthy lifestyle without breaking the bank.

Also, Futian boasts an active and entertaining area, some 30 mins metro ride from Shekou, a variety of funky eateries, bar Street. coffee bars and  relaxing areas to just observe and enjoy the sunshine, Cinemas and new night clubs popping up frequently



Shekou bar and dance room

Philippine friends during a session

All in all renting apartments is big business when you consider that many Chinese families own several properties and this is a good form of passive income.

Also, foreigners are targeted being regarded as domesticated and refine market sectors, compared to the Chinese counterparts.

We invariably pay more and not negotiate as heavily as a native Chinese for the obvious reasons, language and confidence in our skills. Though to us, we are getting a good deal for our money,+ So a win-win situation

What would you do given you are going to stay a few months?

  1. Apartment
  2. Flat-share
  3. Hotel
  4. Hostel

Any comments, ideas suggestions to assist in your travel plans, I am only too happy to help using the form below:



Get All Publish Blog Posts.