Three Chinese cities in top 10 most costly places for expats

Three Chinese cities in top 10 most costly places for expats
JISHOU, HUNAN — Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing are among the ten most expensive places to live for expats, according to Mercer, a global business consulting firm. Hong Kong is #1, with Shanghai in seventh place and Beijing in tenth. Other Asian cities in the top ten are Singapore and Tokyo, in fourth and fifth places respectively. Jishou is not included on the list, but it would be near the bottom, as rents are quite cheap here compared to the larger cities in China. Citing the Mercer study, the BBC reports that a two-bedroom unfurnished apartment in Hong Kong rents for US$6,800, compared with $5,100 for a comparable apartment in New York. A cup of coffee in HK will set you back about US$8, but a hamburger meal is about $5. Some of the cities are expensive, because of their fearsome cost of living generally. Many Chinese, for example, have trouble affording housing in the nation’s largest cities. Other cities, such Luanda, Angola (#2) are in countries with weak currencies, which hurts expat pocketbooks. Mercer says it evaluates expats’ cost of living in some 200-odd cities by taking into account housing, education for children, transport and everything needed to live ...

Journey to the West* 4

JISHOU, HUNAN — Well, really, I’m heading east to the West — the USA, specifically — in two days. My feelings are, strangely, mixed. On the one hand, I will be able to see my kids and my relatives again, after 17 months’ separation. On the other, I’ll be apart from my friends here in Jishou, who themselves will scatter to the four winds after exams end on the 20th. Then, there’s the prospect of flying, which I used to enjoy and now regard as a necessary evil to get from one place to another. (Would someone please invent transfer booths**? Soon?) My itinerary is as follows. Leave Jishou’s Xiangxi Minzu Hotel at 9:30 am Wednesday by motorcoach to Changsha. Stay overnight in Changsha. Leave the next morning by air to Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport, then transfer by shuttle bus to Pudong Airport for an afternoon flight to Chicago. From there, I’ll go to Indiana or Kentucky, depending on which child picks me up. I’ll be in the USA for just three weeks. It seems a bit short, after 17 months’ absence, but my travel plans after I return to China dictated a curtailed US visit. My Ukrainian neighbors (two piano ...
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