GoKunming Forums

Life in Kunming

JoseandLena (4 posts) • 0

Hello All,

I am looking at possibly relocating to Kunming from Hong Kong for work with my wife and children.

I am have been looking online and around various forums looking for cost and quality of life in and around Kunming. I have been in HKG for 5 years now.

Any help would be appreciated,


atwillden (109 posts) • 0

Unless you're specialized in a particular industry that is in demand or independently wealthy, you will take a pretty large pay cut. Similarly, private school can be a bit tricky if you are not planning on sending the kids to public Chinese school. That said, if you make enough, quality of life can be quite nice. Pollution levels are about on par on most areas that people live, but transit is not nearly as convenient as it is in HK, so you may find yourself less mobile.

xb6asd (170 posts) • 0

so i wrote an offense post the size of the great wall, but i realized i was trolling. You'll make nothing compared to HK. There is no reason to move here, air quality is shit. You like traveling mate? Well welcome to tourist traps, and cheap gigs to steal your money. You have a kid? Well welcome to the world of H, booze, sex, abuse, aka what we call the silk road. If you dont have a skill to market dont come here. Teaching here is a joke, there is always a 17 year old student here for the semester to undercut you. If you've half a mind, and have been a proper adult and saved, kunming is your haven to start a business. Start an online company, food, or drink company. If you're smart you'll hawk a failing company for 15k usd everything included. if you're an english teacher gtfo... i dont mean to be harsh but, there are 17 year olds that will work for 50Y an hour.

JoseandLena (4 posts) • 0

No, not an English teacher. Have a good profession, just can make more in Kunming than in HKG and it seems as if the cost of living is MUCH lower.


atwillden (109 posts) • 0

If you can make more in Kunming, feel free to relocate. Cost of living is much lower. As an example, my cousin lives in Kowloon in a 45m box and pays about 15X more for rent than it costs to get a high-rise place in the center of Kunming a with amenities and a view. Wife and kids may find it a bit isolating though.

JoseandLena (4 posts) • 0

"Feel free to relocate" thanks for permission.

We are already isolated in Hong Kong. Just trying to make and save as much cash as possible before I quit working.

xb6asd (170 posts) • 0

i live at dian chi wei chun, i bought it 4 years ago for about 500k rmb, now the cost from realestate companies within the community are at 2 to 4m. renting is the best, 4 to 5k a month plus maint and car cost. you cannot live at high end area's with out a car. i pay 700rmb a month for a parking space. gas is here is the same as my home country, which isnt a big deal. i pay yearly dues for the country club and spa, im able to loan the card to friends or take up to 2 guest at a time. (must give full name and phone number for harassing calls about joining). The most you'll make as an English teacher here is 15k or 30k as a couple, with no amenities. compared to bj or shanghai 25k plus amenities. Start a business here, or work for non profit.

atwillden (109 posts) • 0

Okay...well, apologies if that was taken the wrong way. I meant that if you had a stable income and could make more in KM, then the biggest hurdle most people faced would be gone. In any event, enjoy trying to figure things out.

HFCAMPO (3062 posts) • 0

Seems you have received many negative responses but I for one highly recommend moving out here. Since you state that work will not a be a problem then I suggest you make the move.

You did not reply to the children going to school question. There are many foreingers here with kids so this should not be a problem. It is hard to get a blue sky day in HK so you will find many clear skies when you arrive in KMG. The complaints you here about the pollution are not exactly accurate. The skies in Yunnan are clear and blue 80% of the time however, there is a high pollution index in KMG because of the construction going on all the time. I am always travelling outside of the city so I see more blue skies then most of the people who are commenting here. I also do not live in the downtown area as I am just 3 km from Xi Shan Hills were you can find Dragon Gate.

tigertiger - moderator (5096 posts) • 0

If you can make more money, and your goal is saving before bailing, then it makes sense to move to Kunming.

As for quality of life, it is a two edged sword. Life is more relaxed in Kunming, but Kunming is nowhere near as developed as HK, and you will find many frustrations.
For most expats KM is nowhere near as convenient to live in, as HK. Unless you live in/near one of the commercial centres, you may find it difficult without a car, as the metro/subway system here is basic compared with HK.
If you and your family are used to, and enjoy, the benefits of a modern city (shopping, transportation, the theatre, etc.) stay in HK.

Work wise, another challenge will be in the work place. There is a general lack of planning and anticipation by managers. This means there is more firefighting, and you really need to be very flexible. Also, many managers and co-workers tend to be indolent, and you will need to take up the slack. I am not sure how this compares with HK. But work pressures here in Kunming are just as stressful as Shanghai, but for different reasons.
If you speak Cantonese, that is of little use here. And many shopkeepers, taxi drivers, etc. don't use a lot of Mandarin.

Kunming and HK are very different. I would suggest an extended stay here, to check out the lie of the land. Not the tourist thing, but actually try to find a school, or apartment, and see what you will up against.

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