Expatriates deserting Beijing for commuter belt small towns

Published:  24 Feb at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Rocketing real estate prices, overall cost of living increases, poor air quality and the chaos of the massive Chinese capital are resulting in an expat exodus to commuter belt towns 30kms and more away.

For many Western expat working in Beijing, the city’s soaring cost of living is becoming unsustainable on average wages. The giant city is surrounded by smaller commuter belt towns with a more peaceful ambience and laid-back lifestyle. For many, the move means a three-hour commute, but most believe it’s well worth it as they have more disposable income and life is far more enjoyable.

One favourite town, located some 30kms east of Beijing, is Yanjiao, where rentals are half the price of similar accommodation in Beijing itself and the cost of commuting is cheap, as are shared taxi services for late night travel. Shopping facilities and local markets are fine for everyday needs, with prices at least 15 per cent cheaper than in the big city.

One American expat who’s made the move admits the time spent commuting isn’t ideal, but doesn’t regret his decision to reduce his living expenses and enhance his quality of life by moving from the city. He enjoys Yanjiao’s more relaxed atmosphere and has noted more and more foreigners are arriving from Beijing.

At present, some 300,000 people including expatriates make the twice-daily journey to and from work, and foreigners are impressed by Yanjiao’s services and facilities. Going to a movie, shopping, eating out or meeting with friends is much easier, according to one ex-Beijing resident, who added the town even has an international hospital catering to the needs of expatriates.

Another favourite small town, Dachang, is becoming more popular with expats, as buying a house is affordable and commuting is straightforward. One UK expat moved there last year, and is more than pleased to be out of the city, referring to Dachang as a friendly suburb similar to those in the home country. He and his wife bought a house, his son commutes to school in Beijing and the value of their home has tripled in just one year.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive