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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Beijing vs. Shanghai

I may not be the most qualified person to write about this topic but I'll give it a shot. I have been living in Shanghai for almost a year whereas I've only stayed a mere 48 hours in Beijing. Whenever I go to a new city, I always evaluate how "livable" the place is.

Instead of focusing on the tourist spots, I focus my attention on the transport system, convenience, infrastructures, cleanliness, "foreigner-friendliness", and overall safety. (In fact, with these factors considered I have Zurich, Tokyo, and Toronto topping the list out of the cities I've been to.)
Here's how Shanghai and Beijing fare out against each other:

  • Transport System - Because of last year's Olympics, Beijing has renovated their subway system by adding new lines from the downtown to tourists spots of the city. You pay a standard fare of 2RMB compared to Shanghai's fare which ranges from 3-5RMB, however this price difference probably is the reason why all of the transfer points are 2 km away and platforms are at the center of the world. (RESULT: Shanghai)
  • Convenience - By convenience, I mean availability of stores and restaurants in a given neighborhood. We are lucky to stay in a hotel near Tiananmen Square and hence we were fortunate to find a restaurant at 9:30pm. In Pudong, Shanghai it would be quite difficult to find an open place at that time. (RESULT: Not enough info)
  • Infrastructures - Ok, a bit of tourist guide here. The Bird's Nest is quite bedazzling but Shanghai also prides itself of SWFC and the Pudong Tower, and let's not forget the EXPO is still coming next year. (RESULT: Shanghai)

  • Cleanliness - This is one of the aspects that Beijing gets hands-down. (RESULT: Beijing)
  • Foreigner-Friendliness - The only foreigners in Beijing are either tourists or language students. Hence, 2 words (RESULT: Shanghai)
  • Safety - In downtown Beijing, there are uniformed guards roaming all over the place. (Unfortunately, when I approached one of them for directions, he said that he's also new in town) Anyway, after my electronic dictionary was stolen from me while commuting in Shanghai, I guess I have no choice but to hand it to Beijing. (RESULT: Beijing)
Final Score:
Beijing - 2 Shanghai - 3

So, I guess it's SHANGHAI after all.

24 HIT back:

junjun said...

I'm living in Beijing as a student of Chinese. The buses here are better than subways. Did you try??

bluedreamer27 said...

what an interesting analogical comparison between Beijing and shanghai
how i wish i could be there someday
the place was amazing
have a great day and happy blogging

bluedreamer27 said...

by the way thanks for putting my link there
God bless you

MommaWannabe said...

Hi there, thanks for dropping by my other site Pinay Blogging!

I like your site ...it's fun to read and very informative. I think I will be visiting Shanghai around the end of April....so finding your site is very timely;)

My expat site is Life of Filipina Blogger ...the one you commented at is not very active.

Althea said...

Happy April Fool's Day!!

jeng said...

You have an interesting blog. Thanks for the visit and I've just linked you up. ; )

Sardonyx said...

I wish I could visit Beijing while we are still here in Japan :-) Nice blog. Thanks for dropping by my site and I will add you to my blogs list.

Rodolfo Samonte said...

Nikou,
Rod here from Pinoy Komiks USA checking on your blog. Beautiful. I had a friend who lived in Beijing for about 3 years as a photographer for Reuters. He's back in Singapore now, but he sent me or our group called Banggaan (group of artist and writers from all over the world) beautiful pictures from China. Keep on blogging.
Rod

bluedreamer27 said...

hello just dropping by here again
have a great weekend

Valley Girl said...

Wow, it must be quite a culture shock for you! But exciting!

bluedreamer27 said...

hello thanks for dropping by at my site
have a great day sayo and happy palm sunday

bluedreamer27 said...

hello there just dropping by here again
have a great day and happy blogging

John said...

Hi Nikou, thanks for dropping by my blog.

Yours looks very interesting, so I'll keep an eye on what you guys are up to over there in Shanghai. About a link exchange, I've already added you to the blogroll on the sites home page.

bluedreamer27 said...

hello there my friend
just dropping by here
have a great day and happy blogging

Keith L. said...

Been to Beijing 3 times and I love the food. Thanks for the insights.

bluedreamer27 said...

by the way i just tagged you in my blog hope you can participate on this meme i just created
http://bluedreamer27.blogspot.com/2009/04/top-five-hottest-blog-meme.html
have a great day and happy blogging
dont worry the tag will starts at april 10 and ends up until may 10 so you can do it if you have time

cpsanti said...

hehehe. love love the architecture in shanghai---everythings new and shiny, but i love the oldness of beijing...its close to xian too! ;-)

bluedreamer27 said...

have a great day and happy blogging
happy earthday

Guus said...

What I heard is generally that those who like Shanghai won't like Beijing; people who enjoy Beijing can't stand Shanghai! Both cities have a really different character. It's like New York vs. D.C., Amsterdam vs. Rotterdam, New Delhi vs. Mumbai etc.

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Expat Amsterdam housing said...

You have written very beautifully about Beijing after reading this blog i would also like to visit Beijing.
Thanks for your share........

chomie3 said...

Hey! Thanks for your write up!
I currently live in the US but have had a desire to move to Asia. Choosing which country to go has been intense. I've finally decided to explore. My Chinese friends advise choosing between Shanghai and Beijing. Thanks for your write up- it has armed me with more info!

Xie xie!

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