Nanjing Expat

Nanjing Expat is really an amalgamation of four brands: The Nanjinger, a monthly publication aimed at Western expats with a focus on listings for local hotels, restaurants, and businesses; City Guide, a taxi book to aid foreigners in getting around the city; LifeCycle, a weekly e-newsletter; and finally With sections like News & Stories (featuring local expats in the news as well as national stories), upcoming events, classifieds, and a somewhat active forum, the site is well-structured and updated consistently.

Nanjing Expat’s City Guide is hit or miss. There are fantastic reviews and descriptions of many of the city’s tourist attractions, along with photos, brief explanations for transportation options, and names and addresses in Chinese. There are also fairly good restaurant reviews and information on places like gyms and spas around the city. Unfortunately some of the review pages are not very comprehensive or only include addresses and a few lines of information.

The website has an embedded online version of the well-done Nanjinger magazine, with articles on local sports, health and beauty, interviews, eco-friendly living, a “Chinese corner” and other interesting features.

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Hello Nanjing

Touting itself as the “premier social network in Nanjing”, Hello Nanjing is a nicely designed site with a focus on connecting local expats with one another; a great alternative to the typical situation of foreigners meeting at local watering holes.

Hello Nanjing operates with a similar structure to Facebook: add friends, customize a profile, post shareable albums and photos, discuss events, and follow activity streams. The network currently boasts over 9000 users and also connects to the forums. Forum sections like Social, Helpline, an open chat and the typical classifieds/personals/accommodation are useful and active.

The Nanjing Directory is fairly extensive and contains listings categorized into restaurants, services, hospitality, family, activities, retail, and tourism. These are accompanied by pictures, brief descriptions, Google Maps, and Chinese contact details.

The Nanjing Articles section is worth a look. While it does not contain many articles yet, there are some news items on things like new air routes, international ties, and events scattered amongst interesting commentary on cycling, charity information, and dealing with Jiangsu’s humid summers.

A small events section does not seem to be updated regularly; for the latest news on what is happening in the city, it would be better to take a look at the site.





GoKunming is the number one resource for expats living in Yunnan province, particularly in the city of eternal Spring. With constant updates and a monthly magazine, GoKunming is run by a small group of expats with ties to the local NGOs and the hospitality industry and this is reflected in a lot of the content: features on project and non-profit work occurring in the area, interesting travel articles on locations off the beaten track, and restaurant/nightlife news.

With its constantly updated events section and Yunnan-related news items, the site also provides listings for the smaller cities around the province, namely Lijiang, Dali, Shangri-La, and the Jinghong/Xishuangbanna region. This helps connect foreigners in other locales with Kunming and also provides travel advice and useful information for those wishing to explore Yunnan.

The GoKunming forum is lively and the Classifieds section is used regularly with sections such as rental listings, language exchange, and items for sale. The Jobs Offered/Wanted component is also very active and probably the best possible place to look if you are seeking employment in Kunming. Articles are written by a variety of voices and have some interesting content like local recipes, WWII-era photos of the city, giveaways and fascinating interviews with “everyday people”.




GoChengdoo is the online spin-off of a monthly magazine covering all the latest news and events in Sichuan province’s capital city.

GoChengdoo’s greatest strengths are its Travel and What’s On sections, the latter featuring events spanning from weekly bar specials and Chamber of Commerce networking mixers to the city’s biggest music festivals. The Travel section has beautifully written articles with stunning accompanying photos that describe unique locations within Sichuan and surrounding provinces, often detailing places that one may not typically find in a guidebook or any other English-language sites.

The ‘Reviews’ area is also a great resource for restaurant information; the website’s active user base is consistent in delivering their opinions on Chengdu’s vast range of food and drink establishments, whether international or Chinese.

Regular contributions to the Classifieds section are also a strong point as users can view jobs offered, housing/rentals, as well as items to buy/sell – including “rare” finds for sale by foreigners such as coffee makers, e-bikes, and dogs. One of the site’s weaker points is its forum, which is often spammed or used as a sales tactic for local businesses.


Chengdu Living

In contrast to GoChengdoo, Chengdu Living has a well-maintained, lively forum populated by locals and foreigners engaging in discussion. New items, events, bar/dining specials and promotions are often circulated through the forum, accompanied by never-ending banter and debate. The forum alone is an excellent resource on life in China, with guides to using TaoBao (Chinese eBay), advice on buying property, English-language job offers in the local hospitality industry, detailed information on unique events run by the expat community and general q&a for newcomers to the city of spice and pandas.

Chengdu Living also features beautifully written, magazine-style articles by several long-term expats. Topics are distinct and range from interviews with a local Jiu Jitsu expert, a guide to marijuana in Sichuan, a how-to on bypassing visa fines, buying tea in Chengdu, a series on giving birth and raising a child in China from a foreigner’s perspective, as well as things like business, language, culture, and love-related features. Although many of the articles take a uniquely Sichuan-ese angle, the information found here can be applied to life in any city in China.

A more recent addition to the site is “Chengdu Places”, which lists tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, shops, parks, transportation and more either by category or by area of the city. Reviews are well-written, thoughtful and feature quality photos as well as price range, Chinese address details and Google Map.



Hangzhou Expat

The Hangzhou Expat forums have been running since 2004 and have been providing the expatriate community with an invaluable resource for all the events and information on one of China’s most popular cities. Particularly useful are the city’s long-term residents who are always on hand to answer any questions that fresher faces may have. Besides the very popular Q&A section, the forum spans a large number equally active categories, including:

  • Legal issues;
  • Events;
  • Nightlife;
  • Eating & drinking;
  • Health & fitness;
  • Family & education; and many others.

Other sections include classifieds, love and dating, a language corner, and an active job board. The “Property Offered/Wanted” section is also an excellent resource as it bypasses any rental agencies and facilitates expats renting to other expats; this is one of the most effective ways to rent when relocating to China as existing residents can answer any questions and understand what is needed as a foreigner moving to this country.

Overall, HZ Expat provides a great platform for exploring Hangzhou because it is so interactive, filled with lively debate and discussion from numerous voices, both Chinese and foreign.


More Hangzhou

One of the most significant players in China’s multi-city More Magazine network, More Hangzhou is a monthly publication that also operates a comprehensive website. The online version of the magazine is not quite as extensive as the print edition, however it features many of the monthly articles, food/drink features and full listings for all the local necessities.

More Hangzhou’s articles span a huge variety of topics and are written from the perspective of locals and foreigners alike. Find unique, thoughtful interviews with local artists, dance troupes, details on museums and cultural exhibitions, hiking, clubs and NGOs, food and drink culture, travel itineraries, and many other topics.

Another one of More HZ’s strong points is its reviews section, which discusses books, films and restaurants with a local slant. The restaurant and bar reviews are thorough and up-to-date and often include menu translations, professional pictures and honest opinions.

More HZ’s listings, spanning tea/coffee spots, restaurants, bars, tourist sites, shopping and services, are comprehensive and provide detailed addresses in Chinese and English along with accompanying Google Maps.

The Transportation section is also very useful; find train schedules between Hangzhou and Shanghai as well as other surrounding cities, along with train ticket office and station locations.