I'm thinking about moving to Chengdu and was hoping to get some more opinions. So far from the Kunming folk I've spoken to I've heard mediocre to horrible. I'd love to hear your thoughts about the ex-pat community, night life, housing, restaurants, weather, locals or just the general vibe of the place. Thanks 'Mingers!
Sounds like your reasons for moving to Chengdu revolve around ex-pat community, night life, housing, restaurants, weather - basically entertainment value.
Most definitely larger than Kunming
More happening than Kundu - and Chengdu is larger so LOTS more eye candy.
Depends on where you want to live. Most cities look the same - so new stuff is the same in most cities - old stuff...the same. But there's Chengdu has higher density population so things will be a little (aka a LOT) more crowded. Simple things such as catching trains, buses, airplanes - PAINFUL.
Same - but they don't have a Salvadors. Really - I've eaten at most Mexican-style restaurants in Beijing and Salvadors - although not "true LA-style Mexican" - plays a good second fiddle - ESPECIALLY for China.
Can't beat Kunming (or better still - Anning, Dali, etc).
You left this out but I thought I'd chuck it in FYI since you're NOT Bill Gates, Forbes, etc. The GDP per capita for Chengdu is about ¥35k, Kunming is about ¥28k. You should expect things to be more expensive than Kunming. Chengdu is a HEAVY recipient of government financing over the last 10+ years as China tries to improve the economic standards in the west.
Gaoxing aside (dude, you're famous), most long-term expats love it here because of the weather and it's so economical - culture issues aside.
You left this out also - but again...Chengdu is quite similar to Kunming in that the locals blubber Sichuan Hua (local dialect). Incredibly tough for me to understand - although I have noted it's a FANTASTIC language for cussing something out...you can take the culture comments from there...
Chengdu - as in Kunming - is far from Beijing. You should expect some political and governmental anomalies. The government recently smashed (and executed) a very large corruption-based criminal organization. Where there's one cockroach....so just be careful as usual.
After four years in Chengdu, came to Kunming - have never regretted it.
POLLUTION: Blue skies are unheard of, i.e., continuous smog. Large rivers downtown (and everywhere else) used to dispose of dead dogs from the pet market and, in the slow moving sections, bubbles with toxic gases.
I'm a Chinese. I've stay in Chengdu for 5 years. if not for business or any particular reasons I don't think you need to go to Chengdu.
the weather is terrible. very gloomy. if for a week stay. I bet you will never see the sun there. but its very hot. humid. almost unberable. dirty and dusty in many places(in 1997-2002. I hope it changed now.)
as for the expart comunity. I never get in touch with. but as what I observed. the expart population is definitly much smaller than in KM.
But. there's lots places aound Chengdu worth travel. Dujiangyan/qingchengshan. 50km away. and E'mei Shan. maybe 200km south and many others.
anyway. Chengdu is not a good place for a long stay. but for its unique local culture and scenary. it realy a good tour place for a 3-5 days visit.