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I didn’t find Jiaxing to be so hot when I first moved here in 2011 but it grew on me as I have met more people and developed myself here. Located at the nexus of four major Chinese cities: Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Suzhou, Jiaxing will boom in the next five years.

10) Take Mandarin Classes at Youngsome Mandarin – If you’re looking to start learning Chinese, this is a good place. Even if you think you’re already pretty good, this is also a good place to learn. The young, entrepreneur-teachers, Ruby and David, are very hospitable and have made the lobby quite cozy with a collection of Chinese and books. Ruby also makes great coffee.

9) Eat Xinjiang Food – Xinjiang Food is probably the best type of Chinese food if you like lamb. In Jiaxing there is a big, new restaurant that has an hour-long wait every night of the week unless you go around four or eight. It’s located in the south lake district of Jiaxing near in 中港城 (zhōng gǎng chéng), a large mall. Dishes include lamb skewers, potatoes and lamb, spicy lamb wraps, lamb shanks, and dark Xinjiang brew.

8) Buy Sporting Gear at Decathlon – Buy sporting equipment, tents, sleeping bags, and clothing at this French sporting gear retailer. Optional: have kids scream and run away from you upon entering the store. An abundance of locations around China.

7) Relax at Starbucks – There are now two locations in Jiaxing and they are both packed every night of the week. In 2012 Jiaxing started to see a plethora of coffee shops opening up. Starbucks was one of the first several years ago but it wasn’t until recently that people started going there, probably because they charge 35 RMB ($6) for coffee which is more than most people spend on food everyday. But they of course are not the target customer, the new middle class and wealthy are.

6) Eat at iPad Japanese – It’s cozy, it’s romantic, it’s ordering by iPad. For about 200 RMB ($30) one can enjoy all the sashimi, sake and wasabi they want. This restaurant is located on Zhongshan Road. in Xiuzhou district near several other Japanese restaurants and bars.

5) Buy Foreign Groceries at Metro – Foreign groceries (think cheese and a variety of cereals). The store reminds me of a Sam’s Club in the US as they sell everything in bulk.

4) Stroll Down Friendship Street – 友谊街 (Yóu yí Jīe) “Friendship Street”. It is called friendship street because of the large number of Korean people who live and work in the area. It holds a wide variety of restaurants ranging from Hunan, to Sichuan, to Korean, to Northeastern food. This is one of the three areas of Jiaxing that has the most eateries.

3) Visit Suppliers – Mars, Inc and Cargill are just two of the International companies that have production facilities in the Jiaxing area. Lego, my favorite toy company as a kid, is also building a factory complex here which will serve their Asian market. One of my favorite experiences in Jiaxing has been walking up to factories to see what they make. The bosses I have met have been very hospitable and eager to show me around their facility. For a fun read on the foreign trade industry with China, check out Poorly Made In China. It depicts some unpleasant experiences had by foreigners in China dealing with factories here. This does not mean that all companies are like this.

Factory exterior.

2) Enjoy South Lake – Beautiful, peaceful, and green. This is probably the best place for relaxing outdoors in Jiaxing as there is a park surround the lake with several small canals flowing in and out. There is also a free museum which tells the history of the establishment of the communist party in China which was founded on a boat on the lake in 1921.

1) Visit Wuzhen and Xitang – Make the obligatory water town stop; Tom Cruise did when he filmed Mission: Impossible 3. The two water towns I’ve listed here are pretty touristy, but I am sure there are many other water villages around like them waiting to be discovered.

live-and-work-in-china-nick-pic-small AUTHOR: NICK LENCZEWSKI
Nick Lenczewski (Len-chess-key) writes books and makes movies to help people discover the incredible life that living and traveling in China brings. He believes that listening to music, playing cards and drinking tea with friends is one of the best things in life. Nick is fluent in Mandarin.

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21 comments… add one
  • Allen August 23, 2013, 2:56 pm

    Nice pictures of Wuzhen and Xitang

  • admin August 24, 2013, 1:15 pm

    Hey Allen,

    Thanks, buddy, I’m glad you like them.

    • Allen August 25, 2013, 2:02 am

      Yeah,you are good at taking pictures

  • Nancy September 3, 2013, 1:33 am

    Hi Nick,
    I liked your list of places to go along with the comments you made on each one and the pictures were good to see.

    • Nick Lenczewski September 3, 2013, 10:53 am

      Hey Nancy,

      Thank you, Jiaxing is on the rise in China. The number of international brands with factories here are steadily increasing as well as foreign retailers and restaurant chains. A few years ago there were very few high rises. Now there are dozens, with dozens more building projects in progress.

  • Sky December 5, 2013, 12:43 pm

    Thank you for the good information. In fact, I might begoing there for work and I should visit some of places among listed.
    By the wya, is Jiaxing freezing cold in winter?
    Can Jiaxing people understand some of basic Engilsh? (like taxi drivers or shop/restaurant owners or staffs)

    Thank you for the info!

    • Nick Lenczewski December 5, 2013, 11:32 pm

      Hi Sky,

      Thanks for dropping in! I am glad you found the information useful. Jiaxing sometimes gets snow so it does get down to a freezing temperature. Otherwise it might be around 5C in the winter. I am from the northern US where it gets really cold, and I even thought Jiaxing was pretty cold in winter. You also should know that many places don’t have very good heating, so that also makes it colder.

      Not many taxi driver and restaurants workers/owners know English. The school I mentioned does a good job of teaching Chinese if you are interested in taking lessons though. Some students and young people (18-35) would know some English and if your face is clearly non-Asian you will probably get some people who can speak English coming up to you and taking to you. Overall it is a nice little town (of millions of people). Let me know if you have any questions and I hope you have a good time there!


  • Sky December 7, 2013, 11:21 am

    Hi Nick,

    Thank you for the further information!
    Actually, I have been living and working in Ho Chi Minh, Vietanm for over 4years and here the year round temperature is about 30C. Although I also used to live in New Brunswick(-30C is really miserable), Canada for many years, I still don’t get along well with cold weather much. It sounds like Jiaxing is quite chilly, and I should prepare some of winter gears.

    I am Korean and I look like Asian(maybe not much differnt than Chinese looking) so I’d better be prepared with some of surviving Chinese lanaguage to speak in Jiaxing.
    If the location of my new apartment allows, I would be happy to visit and get some information about courses at the institution posted.

    By the way, do you have any idea about the apartment rental cost in Jiaxing?
    For example, 2 bed rooms, 1 bath room, and small living room for TV and sofa.

    Thank you.

    • Nick Lenczewski December 9, 2013, 1:36 am

      Hi Sky,

      I would like to go to Vietnam some day. The weather there sounds better than Jiaxing, though I know it can get pretty hot.

      As for apartments, I rented a brand new fully furnished studio apartment (1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1 small kitchen) in one of the nicest apartment complexes in Jiaxing (exterior picture of apartments: http://www.chinalifefiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/IMG_0318.jpg) for 1600 RMB ($250 USD) per month in 2012-2013 (1500 plus 100 for the management fee, which is typical in China).

      However, you could probably find a non-brand-new 2-bedroom apartment in the center of the city for around 1400. This website (http://jx.fccs.com/rent/search/fr1_ai1-12.html) is good for checking apartments in Jiaxing, but it is all in Chinese. For some of my former colleagues who could not read Chinese, they would get help from a Chinese colleague or friend. Maybe you could try the same.


      • Sky Song December 9, 2013, 8:29 am

        Hi Nick,

        Many thanks for your valuable information, which is hardly find on the net.
        I was exptecting to spend around $500-$600/month for a two bed room apratment, but it seems that I can save quite amount of my budget! It’s very helpful information!!

        Yes, Vietnam is an interesting country and drop me a msg if you have any plan to come to Ho Chi Minh City in December and I will be happy to show you around the city!


        • Nick Lenczewski December 9, 2013, 11:22 am

          Hi Sky,

          You are welcome. There is usually no need to spend $500 a month for an apartment in China unless it is in a big city, and even then that would get you a very nice place.

          I will let you know if I come to Vietnam. I wish I could, but probably won’t get there anytime too soon.


  • Nicolas Ochoa December 17, 2013, 9:20 am

    Hi Nick,

    I was carefully reading all your information regarding apartment rental in Jiaxing. I am from Colombia and will be moving to Jiaxing by end February for working purposes. I´ve been there before but just for a week, therefore no deep understanding about the city and its residential zones. Which are the best and most confortable residential zones to live on? I have no special budget, actually I would like to find a very nice apartment since I will be probably living for several years.


    • Nick Lenczewski December 19, 2013, 1:11 pm

      Hi Nicolas,

      Thanks for dropping in! Jiaxing is a pretty sprawling city and it can take about 30 minutes to drive by car from one end of the city to the other, or more than one hour by public transportation. So I think living on the side where you work would be most convenient. The western side is Xiuzhou district and the eastern side is Nanhu district. I lived in Xiuzhou district and there were several great places for living there including: Jindu Jiayuan (金都家园), Yongtai Guangchang (永泰广场), and Yuanyi Baizhuang (元一柏庄). I don’t know Nanhu district as much so probably couldn’t recommend any. However, there was one apartment complex in the middle of the city that looked really nice called Meiwan Huayuan (梅湾花园) overlooking a lake. Sorry, I am not sure of the English names or if all of them even have English names. Those were some nice places though. If I could live there again, I might choose the last one I mentioned because it is in the exact center of the city near restaurants, bars, entertainment, etc.

      Hope that helps!


  • Sky Song January 23, 2014, 7:50 pm

    Hi Nick,

    With all of your careful information, i finally settled in Jiaxing! Thank you so much!

    I found an apartment near to Jindu and i think the location here is really good!
    There is a quite long walk ways along side of river next to my apt and l jogged last Sunday around 40mins. Also, there is Tr Loon Pa(not sure exact name) and Wallmart 5-10min away from the apt which is very convenient.

    As expected l am having a communication problem with Jiaxing people at tbe moment, though l will learn Chinese after the CNY so hope l will be better soon. By the way, do you have address or contact info of Youngsone Mandarine school you posted in your blog? I like to visit to discuss.

    Also, my fiance is planning to come to study Chinese in Jiaxing, but it is difficult to find any school that offers a full time beginner lanage course. I checked with Jiaxing Univ, but they said they only offer mid-adv level of Chinese courses and have exchange students only. So l am not sure how and where to proceed a student visa with. Do you have any information on this?

    In any case you come to visit Jiaxing again please drop me a msg or email, l would like to treat you a glass of beer!

    Again, thanks alot and happy Lunar New Year Nick!


    • Nick Lenczewski January 25, 2014, 8:44 am

      Hi Sky,
      Happy to hear you are all settled in Jiaxing and that I could help! I am glad to hear you are enjoying settling into your new life there. I agree the canals and parks in the city are nice.

      To get to Youngsome/get in touch with them I would recommend directly contacting Ruby, one of the owners and teachers. She is very nice. This is her LinkedIn which has some of her contact details: cn.linkedin.com/pub/liu-ruby/39/400/a70. I have marked the location on this map (use the satellite view so that it lines up correctly): http://www.chinalifefiles.com/jiaxing-life/jiaxing-map/.

      I am not exactly sure how a student visa works in China since I have always had work or travel visas. One option might be for your fiancé to study Chinese at Youngsome Chinese. I am not sure what the deal is with Jiaxing University, I never knew anyone who worked or went to school there.

      Hope that helps, Sky. I will definitely get in touch with you when I drop by to visit sometime, though I am still not sure when that will be.

      Happy Chinese New Year.


  • Lena February 19, 2014, 4:56 pm

    HI Nick!
    Great to finally find some information about Jiaxing. Seems like it’s pretty difficult, but you just made me more curious with an up to date information 🙂
    I’m going to do exchange in China from January 2015 and I got two choices – Jiaxing Uni or Beijing Uni. I’ve been to BJ before and I know there are lot of things going on, expensive living and lots of English speaking ppl. It would be the easiest for me to go there, but I also seem to want more than the easy way around things. Jiaxing seems interesting too, though I don’t know very much about the place. I can see that you don’t know any at the university, but do you know if it’s located inside town or outside? And is it easy to go to Shanghai? (I like to travel a lot, so thought about saving my money and then go traveling during my stay instead). I speak almost fluent Chinese so a place like Jiaxing would probably be a good place to practice even more. How’s the accent? Putonghua or crazy accent? ;))
    Looking forward for your answer.

    Best Regards Lena

  • Gladys Robert January 12, 2015, 6:35 pm

    Hi Sky im so happy to have read all the information you gave out about Jianxing, but I have a problem, I will be moving to Jianxing Unv this year on September but still my chiness speaking is very poor what should I do I am very afraid of being mute when I get there. Thank you

    • Nick Lenczewski January 14, 2015, 10:24 am

      Hi Gladys, I would recommend Youngsome Mandarin once you arrive. Do you have their contact information? You can search for Youngsome Mandarin Jiaxing to find more about them.

      Otherwise, you might also check on these resources I posted: http://www.chinalifefiles.com/resources/learning-chinese/. If you haven’t studied Chinese before I recommend getting Pleco Dictionary on a smart phone and Chinese Learn Online or Chinese Pod.

  • Tomoko Otani April 7, 2015, 11:04 pm

    Hi! Nick.
    Thank you for the further information!
    Actually, I start to live on 1st Apr. I am japanese woman. I am looking for information about Jiaxing life. I want to study Chinese.

  • Jay August 28, 2016, 11:59 pm

    Hi, my name is Jay From England I’ve moved here to Jiaxing a few days ago they placed me in a comfortable apartment, i have not seen any foreigners yet i would like to meet some and in order for them to show me around. So far the people are pretty friendly and the food is wonderful.

    • Simon October 17, 2016, 12:56 am

      Hi Jay, I have also recently moved to Jiaxing. Would be nice to have some English speaking friends and grab a drink. You can add me on wechat: mrcmon


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