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Moving to Kunming- advice appreciated

SJayne (33 posts) • 0

Greetings all!
I am planning to move to Kunming very shortly and would appreciate any advice from people residing in this great city. I plan to live in Kunming for approx 2 years.

I am planning on renting an apartment close to downtown, so I would really value some insight into the following:
-apartment costs (one bedroom, close to downtown, prefer high floor) and what furniture is included with the dwelling;

-ease/difficulty in dealing with estate agents;

-cost of utilities, including internet connections (and how difficult it is to set these things up);

-how much time I should allow myself to find an apartment.

-opening a bank account in China (or should I do it before I leave Australia)
-cell phone plan costs;
-ease/difficulty of finding part time work (probably teaching English, lets face it).

-Finally- whether I

need to hire a Chinese translator to assist me with any or all of the above mentioned (and what the going rate would be).

Sorry for all the questions! I really would appreciate as much or as little advice as possible!

Also, my Chinese is intermediate level so I'm not sure how I will manage doing all of this stuff on my own without an interpreter- if anyone has done this by themselves, I'd love to hear about your experience.
So far, I am planning on staying in an hotel/airbnb/tujia property for approx. one week whilst I look for an apartment.

I also understand that I need to pay 2.5months rent upfront (?)

I have stayed in Kunming before for around three months and I loved my time there.

I also have a decent idea as to what sort of stuff I need to bring to China!

Thanks again to everyone for taking time in reading my very long post full of questions and offering their wisdom to this crazy laowai :)

Kind regards,

tigertiger - moderator (5084 posts) • 0

Be prepared to pay 6 or even 12 months rent up front.
Bring warm clothes. The daily temperature range can vary 15 or more degrees C, and central heating is rare.

The best way to search this site seems to be using google. Just prefix any search with 'gokunming...'

SJayne (33 posts) • 0

Could you please tell me the title of the thread which answers my questions? I have searched and found results from three years ago, plus a few other threads that didn't really answer my questions. I'm assuming that prices have increased since then and it's no longer possible to live on ¥2-3K per month.

If estate agents require such a massive deposit, there must be a serious shortage of apartments! I would imagine rents must have increased...

GoKunming (161 posts) • +1

Regarding rent, estate agents don't ask for huge deposits. If they help you find an apartment their fees are normally equal to one month's rent at the place you take. In addition you will need to pay your new landlord a deposit (negotiable) and a chunk of rent up front, sometimes 3, 6 or 12 months.

Absolutely no shortage of apartments, which is driving rent down slowly from all-time highs about 2 years ago.

Personally, if you shop at the local markets, cook for yourself and have a frugal 'entertainment' and travel budget, spending around 3,000 a month (not including rent) is possible.

Hotwater (205 posts) • 0

So you’re going to move to Kunming on a tourist (or business) visa and work on the side?

AFAIK it’s getting more difficult to open a bank account here on those visa. Others might be able to comment more on this.

SJayne (33 posts) • 0

Thanks to everyone for taking time in responding- it's much appreciated.
It sounds like 2500kuai for a months' rent is realistic, plus up to 400 for utilities.
I read on this blogpost ( - I know it's Shanghai, but I'm sure there are similarities) that agents cannot take more than 35% of one months' rent in commission fees. I can appreciate that, whilst this may be the law, it may not be the common practise. Hence my concern about excessive agent fees and potential for being fleeced.

I would like to hear about peoples' experiences renting through an agent- was the process smooth?

I will be coming to China on a tourist visa with savings enough to live for several months whilst looking for part time work. Then I will get the work visa, which I think my employer would assist with? I just have to get all my qualifications certified at a Chinese embassy before I leave Australia...
It sounds like doing casual tutoring work on a tourist visa is 100% guaranteed to get you busted and deported...

tigertiger - moderator (5084 posts) • 0

Your question about renting has been discussed extensively before. Without wishing to sound unfriendly, a search would help you.
An employer will not help you get a work visa for part time work. I also doubt the authorities would grant one for pt work. The process for new work visas takes 63 days and would also require you to leave mainland China again.

Liumingke1234 (3297 posts) • 0

I recently saw some ads here concerning apts for rent without agents.

This was about a week or two weeks ago.

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