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Expats considering a move to Guangzhou will naturally have many concerns about life in this Chinese city. From their personal safety and security to the transport system and potential language barriers, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about expat life in Guangzhou.
Is Guangzhou safe?
Guangzhou is generally safe. As in most large cities, certain parts of the city centre are more prone to crime. Expats should be extra careful around the train station district at night and should be especially wary of pickpocketing.
What language is spoken in Guangzhou?
Mandarin is the official language, but most local people speak Cantonese (Guangzhou was once called Canton City). Both languages use the same characters for reading and writing. English isn't as commonly spoken as in China's other large cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, but many professionals who deal with expats frequently will have some English ability.
Will I need a car in Guangzhou?
Taxis are fairly easy to catch and relatively cheap. Public transport does cover the whole city and is efficient, but can be uncomfortably crowded, especially during rush hour. Expats living outside of the city centre may need their own transport.
Can I find work in Guangzhou?
As a major city in China, Guangzhou offers ample opportunity for work. The job market is especially open for expats working in engineering, construction and ship-building, as well as the IT sector. Teaching English remains a popular job opportunity for expats.
Is it easy to find accommodation in Guangzhou?
While finding the perfect home is never a guarantee, expats can go about their house search in several ways. One of the best ways to secure a decent property is with the help of a real estate agent, although fees for this service must be budgeted for. There are many types of accommodation in Guangzhou, and new arrivals to Guangzhou should research the typical lease requirements.