How is expat life in China?

We've all heard about the bad behaviors to avoid as an expat in China, but what about the good ones? Our China-friendly habits?

Being Cheap

Everyone knows the Chinese, especially the elder generations, save a lot. Expats in China may frequently follow their lead by saving money each month and monitoring their consumption. Obviously, how much you can save depends on your lifestyle and where you live in China, but for most people, it's doable. Whether it's taking advantage of a city's inexpensive food or shopping around for the greatest offers, bringing your China savings back home can help your budget.


You've probably seen the ayis and shushus practicing taichi in the park if you've gotten up early enough. Unlike most of us in the West who age with bowed backs and shattered spirits, the Chinese take care of their bodies and brains throughout their lives. So, be like these astonishingly fit seniors and try to exercise mindfully every day. You don't have to start slamming your back into trees or pounding your legs up impossible barriers, but please take some time out of your day to challenge your body and calm your mind.


Most foreigners in China learn some Chinese. Adult learning is good for the brain and a terrific way to meet people from other cultures. While Mandarin is the world's most frequently spoken language and therefore a good thing to learn, you could study Russian, Arabic, chess, or anything else instead. Any kind of brain training is usually worth the effort invested.

Mindful Eating

Feet? No issue! sour tofu? Not my fave, but hey, bring it on! Living (and eating) in China will introduce you to a different gastronomic and cultural world. Even if you don't like everything on the menu, at least sampling it will broaden your horizons and open your mind to new possibilities. Developing adventurous eating habits in China will prepare you to try new foods when you return home.


As an expat in China, one of the first things I learnt was to always carry tissues. Those small packets saved my skin on several times as toilet paper, napkins, or fast cleanups. A unexpected rain shower in the midst of a beautiful day or no soap in a restaurant restroom got me thinking about how living in China has taught me to be prepared for anything at any moment. I've learnt to have an emergency kit on hand, which will make me a better mother one day.

Smaller, more frequent meals

How do the Chinese keep slim when they appear to continually be snacking? There are various external elements at play here, one of which is the practice of eating smaller meals more often throughout the day. Many Chinese eat modest meals and snacks four to five times a day, which helps maintain blood sugar levels and prevents overeating. Moreover, Chinese people eat more at breakfast and lunch than evening, allowing their bodies more time to burn off the calories. Given the high rates of obesity in many Western nations, I believe we may benefit from adopting certain Chinese eating practices.

Stupid Persistence

While it may be annoying to haggle with street sellers or tuk-tuk drivers, not accepting "no" as an answer can help you succeed in life. Next time you face rejection, take a cue from those aggressive fabric market ladies. In the West, we might be too ready to give up. Then good luck attaining your goals!

Think about all the clever, intelligent, and downright valuable habits you've (and will) pick up throughout your time as an expat in China. Souvenirs a l'ultim

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