Tell me about your experience living in Shenzhen

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Re: Tell me about your experience living in Shenzhen

Postby SerpentChina » 04 Nov 2009, 15:38

almas john wrote:
sandman wrote:Well, this is an interesting thread indeed. I've known, hell, it must be scores by now, of foreigners who've lived in Shenzen over the last 20 years -- I have around 10 old friends living there right now -- but you're the VERY FIRST person I've encountered who actually likes it there and who doesn't dismiss it as a complete shithole. You're a lucky guy!

Hmm, you think SerpentSaffer might be looking to sell bridges in Shenzhen?
Actually, I've heard a few positive comments about Shenzhen in recent years, that although still being far from paradise on earth, it has improved a lot.
I agree with the Surfer. It's nice to have some new blood on forumosa and a different take on things.


Thanks guys :) haha, if you think I'm bad going on about how great Shenzhen is, you should hear how I go on about how great Taiwan is to the locals here (and they also have their stupid preconcieved ideas about Taiwan which aren't true) :) I love both places, I just don't like the negative shyte people say about my city (if it were all true I would agree).

Having been to both places I can simply report what I've seen. BTW, expect to see me in Taiwan next year around March/April, I'm planning another bike roadtrip
我叫小温!!!我的QQ号码是:1067535232 我觉得每天喝啤酒不太好 The hardest part is when you're in it それ は そう です よ。... 无所谓

Yamaha Virago fixing her up one day off at a time ;) : http://www.youtube.com/user/serpentza#g ... 69205436C3
Ever wondered what China is really like?: http://www.youtube.com/user/PSPTRAVELLE ... 7B78459233
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Re: Tell me about your experience living in Shenzhen

Postby Elegua » 04 Nov 2009, 15:40

Elegua wrote:Think of it as the modern day Babylon, Sodom and Gomorra all wrapped into one.



I think perhaps most of you missed the part where I said I lived in a slum for a few months, of course I know the real seedy shit side of Shenzhen, I was sleeping on the floor of a filthy slum apartment and my Chinese friend who I was living with, well his girlfriend was a prostitute who for instance while we were all watching TV together would get a phone call and have to dissapear for a few hours then come back later (also she'd been bought from her rural parents by a pimp.. let's just say shitty shitty stuff.. and she was such a nice girl too)... it was an uncomfortable and shitty experience to live in and see the kind of crap that goes on in the underbelly of the city. But that's my point, that is the underbelly, and if you want to get involved in things like drugs and prostitution you'll start seeing it very quickly, however if you just want to live a normal life, go out partying have a good job, go shopping etc etc, this city is amazing. And yes the air is much cleaner than Taipei, and the city is very green littered with big impressive parks and bird watching mangroves etc etc it's been given some world heritage award or something (skips my memory as I'm not a treehugger) for being a green city.

Another thing that many of you are saying is that you can isolate yourself from the crap and stick to "clean areas" This is true and many foreigners for instance just live in Nanshan, Shekou (about 80 to 90% of all foreigers in fact) but they miss out on all the fun, I love exploring the local small villages and sitting on the side of the road drinking a beer at some grubby little 烤吧 chatting to the locals, my point being that even if you immerse yourself in the dirtier so called "real China" areas, you'll still be treated well by the locals, you'll still be safe and still be able to enjoy yourself. (Watch out for pickpockets in crowded areas, but if you have common sense you would anyway).


So which part did I get wrong again? I find no glamour in the underbelly, nor romance in honor among thieves. But, kudo’s to you for going out and seeing the, “real China”, that is out there and I am glad that you can still see the humanity through all the grit.

Spend some more time in Taiwan and you’ll realize you're a bit off base interms of the environment/pollution. Either that or you've been watching too much CCTV.
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Re: Tell me about your experience living in Shenzhen

Postby sandman » 04 Nov 2009, 16:03

and they also have their stupid preconcieved ideas about Taiwan which aren't true)

And you can piss off with the passive-aggressive malarkey, too. My notions are not stupid, nor are they preconceived. They are the result of two decades of feedback from people I trust a whole shedload more than you, bubba.
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Re: Tell me about your experience living in Shenzhen

Postby SerpentChina » 04 Nov 2009, 16:14

Elegua wrote:
Elegua wrote:Think of it as the modern day Babylon, Sodom and Gomorra all wrapped into one.



I think perhaps most of you missed the part where I said I lived in a slum for a few months, of course I know the real seedy shit side of Shenzhen, I was sleeping on the floor of a filthy slum apartment and my Chinese friend who I was living with, well his girlfriend was a prostitute who for instance while we were all watching TV together would get a phone call and have to dissapear for a few hours then come back later (also she'd been bought from her rural parents by a pimp.. let's just say shitty shitty stuff.. and she was such a nice girl too)... it was an uncomfortable and shitty experience to live in and see the kind of crap that goes on in the underbelly of the city. But that's my point, that is the underbelly, and if you want to get involved in things like drugs and prostitution you'll start seeing it very quickly, however if you just want to live a normal life, go out partying have a good job, go shopping etc etc, this city is amazing. And yes the air is much cleaner than Taipei, and the city is very green littered with big impressive parks and bird watching mangroves etc etc it's been given some world heritage award or something (skips my memory as I'm not a treehugger) for being a green city.

Another thing that many of you are saying is that you can isolate yourself from the crap and stick to "clean areas" This is true and many foreigners for instance just live in Nanshan, Shekou (about 80 to 90% of all foreigers in fact) but they miss out on all the fun, I love exploring the local small villages and sitting on the side of the road drinking a beer at some grubby little 烤吧 chatting to the locals, my point being that even if you immerse yourself in the dirtier so called "real China" areas, you'll still be treated well by the locals, you'll still be safe and still be able to enjoy yourself. (Watch out for pickpockets in crowded areas, but if you have common sense you would anyway).


So which part did I get wrong again? I find no glamour in the underbelly, nor romance in honor among thieves. But, kudo’s to you for going out and seeing the, “real China”, that is out there and I am glad that you can still see the humanity through all the grit.

Spend some more time in Taiwan and you’ll realize you're a bit off base interms of the environment/pollution. Either that or you've been watching too much CCTV.


Haha, thanks, and yes I could be off on the environment thing, but seriously I found it difficult to breathe in all that traffic and had black grit on my face after a day riding, I'm just talking from first hand experiences.. actually I took a lot of youtube videos while driving around Taipei and Taoyuan etc, you can check them out, you'll see the air quality was pretty shyte in Taipei, and don't even get me started on that Linkou place 林口 (It could just have been a bad week for air quality though). Anyway my comment was on Taipei specifically, I drove out one morning to watch the sunrise over taipei.. and yes the air quality again was a little shyte.

Sunrise over taipei:
Image

Pic of Taipei from the 101:
Image

Okay now I know this isn't fair because I don't have a sunrise picture of Shenzhen, but I'll get up early and take one tomorrow, here's a picture I took during the day from the top of my building:

Image

and one more of the actual city also from my building, please note that I used the same camera to take all four pictures:
Image
我叫小温!!!我的QQ号码是:1067535232 我觉得每天喝啤酒不太好 The hardest part is when you're in it それ は そう です よ。... 无所谓

Yamaha Virago fixing her up one day off at a time ;) : http://www.youtube.com/user/serpentza#g ... 69205436C3
Ever wondered what China is really like?: http://www.youtube.com/user/PSPTRAVELLE ... 7B78459233
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Re: Tell me about your experience living in Shenzhen

Postby sandman » 04 Nov 2009, 16:22

So you have a pic of Taipei affected by duststorms from China. Yes, we get those every year for a few days. Shenzen doesn't? Today, Taipei is at least as clear as your Shenzen pics.
The following is more like the Shenzen I'm aware of. The piece is two years old. I'm willing to bet its only got worse since then.
Not that I give a shit one way or the other. I'll never go there, probably.
Today, Shenzhen is one of China’s largest cities, with a population pushing 18 million — almost twice the population of Los Angeles County — and a landscape of skyscrapers, luxury apartments and shopping malls.

Hundreds of square miles of fields have been drained and covered with factories that churn out a significant portion of the world’s products, from computers to clothing and toys. The city has averaged an annual economic growth of 28 percent since 1980, the fastest in China.

But Shenzhen speed also represents China’s dilemma. The fast profits have come with problems. On many days, the air is thick with smog. The number of cars has nearly doubled since 2003, and streets lock into snarls of exasperated motorists. Violent crime and the incidence of HIV/AIDS has surged.

Experts see the city as a test case for whether China will be able to solve problems ranging from massive pollution to growing labor disputes.

At a park in the city center, 55-year-old Peng Li remembered that when she moved to the city in 1987, “it was always clear.”

“But now . . . well, now you can see what’s happened,” she said, sweeping a hand across the polluted gray skyline.

Other residents complain that lack of social welfare has created a society where poorer citizens are left out.

Some 13 million migrant laborers work in Shenzhen’s factories and produce almost all of the city’s wealth, but they have almost no access to public services, including reduced-cost health care and schooling, said Liu Kaiming, director of Shenzhen’s Institute of Contemporary Observation.

“The system has created a huge group of people who are treated as second-class citizens,” he said.
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Re: Tell me about your experience living in Shenzhen

Postby SerpentChina » 04 Nov 2009, 16:29

Like I said, it could've been a bad week or something.

I really don't want to get into a tit for tat thing, I was only commenting on air quality, and specifically inside the Special economic zone, where there are no factories and the stuff that article is on about I won't deny, but air quality here is and always has been good (at least for the last 4 years), with the occasional bad day (which is why I think Taipei was having a bad week or something when I was there).

Please post some pics of clear skies over Taipei (this isn't a challenge, I genuinely want to see what it's like).
我叫小温!!!我的QQ号码是:1067535232 我觉得每天喝啤酒不太好 The hardest part is when you're in it それ は そう です よ。... 无所谓

Yamaha Virago fixing her up one day off at a time ;) : http://www.youtube.com/user/serpentza#g ... 69205436C3
Ever wondered what China is really like?: http://www.youtube.com/user/PSPTRAVELLE ... 7B78459233
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Re: Tell me about your experience living in Shenzhen

Postby headhonchoII » 04 Nov 2009, 16:38

I think one of the biggies for people living in Taiwan is we don't have to worry saying something like 'you can set-up a VPN' to avoid censorship', things like that. The other very irritating thing in China is that it is hard to have a conversation if you are based in Taiwan and you are proud of living here and stuff in Taiwan because they often pick it up the wrong way, basically too patriotic. THey miss all the good stuff , start opening their mouths and showing their lack of education and understanding of the world, hard to make friends with those type of people. By moving to China we all have to compromise more than we like. The other issue I found recently is that China is not open-minded regarding visa applications, making it more and more difficult and investing and running companies in China is a lot more controlled compared to Taiwan, they whack on big taxes on everything and put capital controls on your company. Taiwan and HK are far superior for doing business unless you have to be based in China (I guess you are doing quality control work or sourcing). Shenzhen looks nice from your pics and video, I'm sure it's very liveable.

Taipei has bad air quality, that's undeniable (mostly from local vehicles/industry but some is from the China 'brown cloud'), I have moved away and suffer from allergies a lot less now. When I was in Shenzhen it did seem better than the other cities I have visited in China.
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Re: Tell me about your experience living in Shenzhen

Postby Mucha Man » 04 Nov 2009, 16:38

Sunset from the teahouses in the south:

Image

Slightly cloudy, not hazy (don;f forget it's very humid here):

Image

Again, from the south of the city looking over the entire thing (that's the ocean on the other side of those mountains in the distance):

Image

Image

Image
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

http://hikingintaiwan.blogspot.com/
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Re: Tell me about your experience living in Shenzhen

Postby sandman » 04 Nov 2009, 16:40

Image

Image
Those mountains are at least 20km away.

Image
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Re: Tell me about your experience living in Shenzhen

Postby SerpentChina » 04 Nov 2009, 16:45

Bloody awesome pictures mate!

Guess I was just there at the wrong time (first impressions and all that).
I have hundreds of awesome pictures of Shenzhen, but I won't bother posting them unless anyone wants to see them.
我叫小温!!!我的QQ号码是:1067535232 我觉得每天喝啤酒不太好 The hardest part is when you're in it それ は そう です よ。... 无所谓

Yamaha Virago fixing her up one day off at a time ;) : http://www.youtube.com/user/serpentza#g ... 69205436C3
Ever wondered what China is really like?: http://www.youtube.com/user/PSPTRAVELLE ... 7B78459233
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