Moving to Chengdu from UK – Advice?

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    Avatar photocandj

    Hi Everyone

    My boyfriend has been given the amazing job of teaching Maths in Cheng Du. We currently live in England UK and are thinking about moving there for a year. However, we have some questions.

    I get homesick sometimes- what is the best way I can contact home? Is Skype blocked? Or can I get a SIM card that allows me to call home?

    What cultural differences are there from the UK to China? Before I go there I would like to learn Chinese.

    In regards to healthcare, I am sure the employer will sort it out, but what are the hospitals like there?


    Thank you



    Avatar photoReese

    hi there, there are many ways you can contact home, yeah skpye works here and u can buy a SIM card calling ur friends in the UK directly but it’s alittle bit expensive. The main cultural difference, I think it would be the manners. BTW, the weather here is so much different than the one in the UK. Chinese hospitals are crowded, unlike NHS, you have to pay here and if u want to make an appointment with a specific dr. u can do it only one day before. hope it help:)

    Avatar photoAlan

    I wouldn’t recommend using a Chinese mobile to call the UK. I find that phoning another city in China can be costly enough. The cheapest way to keep in contact is probably email and free communication apps like WhatsApp. Apart from that Skype is probably the best.

    One thing I like to do when I’m homesick is download the latest episode of Have I got News for You and and eat some Marmite on toast. You will need to bring the Marmite as you won’t find it here. Worcester sauce can be found here though.

    Avatar photoBrendan

    One thing I like to do when I’m homesick is download the latest episode of Have I got News for You and and eat some Marmite on toast.

    Is that still going? Who’s presenting now, used to be a favourite of mine back home. Never Mind the Buzzcocks was another succinctly British gem.

    : You’re going to be better off just accepting there’ll be some adjustments, and maybe the odd trip to Hong Kong to breathe a little ‘civilised’ fresh air. I always take my HK trips as a ‘little’ reminder of London.

    Staying in touch is easy. You have Skype, Facebook, Gmail, and the super popular Wexin (WeChat) app for free messaging and ‘walkie talkie’ voice messaging. As mentioned, WhatsApp is another that’s more widely used in the West.

    Hospitals can be an eye opener, but you’ll always have the forum as a source of advice on where to go for what should you need it. You could always consider an insurance policy if you think it’s warranted.

    Chengdu is always adding something new to the mix, so things are slowly becoming more accessible. I always say the same thing, but the best thing you can do is figure a way to ignore the imagined hassles and work on figuring things out. You won’t regret taking the leap of faith.

    Good luck to you guys on the jump!

    Avatar photoPaul Yeandle

    I would echo what has already been said here with regards to communication – Skype is convenient, whats app etc are good – and I would suggest getting wechat (Chinese based whatsapp basically) but almost everyone with a smart phone is using it here so it allows you to contact your new friends in China as well as home in one place.

    With regards to Cultural differences between the UK and here (I am also British) I think it is best to enjoy them. Chinese people on the most part are fantastic, and life here is very enjoyable with a large expat community and local flavours all around as well. Maybe the food is a big difference (do you like spicy food) and just the masses of people are sometimes the biggest challenge. But as Brendan says you won’t regret making the leap, I have lived in a very small city in China and now in Chengdu – both were fantastic and I have never regretted the choice.

    Hospitals are in general much worse than the UK but it does depend where you are and how much you pay, in Chengdu I heard there are some doctors which speak good English and some international standard places for treatment as well.

    Anyway if you have any further questions – I would be happy to help.

    Avatar photong so fan

     there’ll be some adjustments, and maybe the odd trip to Hong Kong to breathe a little ‘civilised’ fresh air. I always take my HK trips as a ‘little’ reminder of London.

    Sadly, HK is now flocked with mainlanders who come to buy their baby powder, cream, snacks, or may be toilet paper soon.  

    And since you are foreigners, another sad truth, as long as you get acustome to their ‘spitting’ around habits, you will find most people very friendly and nice.

    Avatar photoAlan

    Is that still going? Who’s presenting now, used to be a favourite of mine back home. Never Mind the Buzzcocks was another succinctly British gem.

    It’s recently ended it’s 47th series I think. Easy to reach that number when you do two seasons a year. They have a different guest presenter every week, Buzzcocks does the same now too.

    Avatar photocandj

    Thank you all for the advice. Is there any clubs that I could join, to make friends, or something?

    Avatar photoIan

    Bring some Monster Munch

    Avatar photoKim Duistermaat

    Dear Candj, try becoming a member of the, they don’t keep up their website much but are a good source of contacts and informations about things happening around town. Otherwise, try to pursue your own interests, that is often the best way to feel at home and meet others. For many interests, there are people here doing it, if only you are ready to search a bit and dive into it, just take the big leap and you’ll be fine. Learning Chinese helps a lot and will enable you to go places that suit your needs even if ‘the foreigners’ don’t go there. The Chinese, as far as I have experienced, are all very friendly and happy to see you try speaking chinese. Taking lessons here, too, will help you.
    For ‘western’ healthcare, we like Parkway Health the best, please make sure (your company provides you)/you have a proper health insurance.

    Avatar phototreelu

    Hi~ I am lulu from Panda service! Hope below info. can help you! TKS!

    The third people’s hospital of Chengdu
    Patterns of Outpatient Registration Appointment
    Telephone Appointment:61318569,61318570(Time for Appointment:7:45-11:45,13:45-17:15)
    61318577(Time for Appointment:24 hours available)
    Online Appointment:
    Present Appointment Over Window: any registration window available.
    PS: Now ,there are three foreign doctors:
    1. Mr. Sun Bo An ,an American, good at all medicine
    2.Mr. Zhengxiang Liu刘政相(Chung Sang Yoo ) Korean American, good at general surgery,especially vascular surgery.
    3.Mrs.Jixing Liu刘姬姓(Hee Sung Yoo), Korean American, good at rehabilitation of apoplexy, bone fracture.
    visit time: every Thursday on 14:00-17:00, three patients on one hour
    Reserve by phone:18980033427(24 hours); Reserve on

    Adress: No.82 Qinglong Street, Chengdu,610031, P.R. China
    You can take metro line 1 at station LUO MA SHI,then walk there
    Pls well noted take metro is more convenient~

    Sichuan Academy of medical sciences & Sichuan provincial people’s hospital
    Address:32# W. Sec 2, 1st Ring Rd. ( Qingyang Taoist Temple Diagonally Opposite)   Postcode:610072
    Hotline:028-87394243,87393928,87393927  Emergency Call:028-87769262
    Hospital Operator:028-87393999
    Take metro line 2 at “A” EXIT of station Chengdu University of TCM & Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital(中医大省医院)
    Then walk 260 meters to destination(终)

    Sichuan University West China Hospital,Golden Card Hospital
    Make an appointment
    +86 +86-28-85422408
    Emergency hotline
    24 hours×365 days with Chinese and English speaking
    More details at
    You can take metro line1 at B exit station HUA XI BA, then walk 760 meters to destination

    Global Doctor/Chengdu Clinic
    24 Hours Assistance Call :+86-028-85283638 +86-028-85283660
    Emergency Call: 13982256966
    Address: No.62 north of Kehua Road,Lippo tower,section S,2nd floor9-11,Chengdu,Sichuan Province, 610041,P.R.C
    Fax:+86-028-85283667 E-mail:[email protected]

    Avatar phototreelu

    I am sorry can not see website and how to get,you can see more details as atachment,TKS!

    Enjoy yourslves in Chengdu!


    Avatar phototreelu

    Reserve on line
    1.The third people’s hospital of
    2.Sichuan Academy of medical sciences & Sichuan provincial people’s hospital:
    3.Sichuan University West China Hospital,Golden Card Hospital:
    4.Global Doctor/Chengdu Clinic:
    Presently have four foreign hospitals in Chengdu,if more,we will update you.

    Avatar photohank

    Cheaper VoIP services like have been working well for me for making international calls. They offer free landline calls to many countries, and free cell phone calls as well for some countries such as China. There’s many compatible VoIP clients. On my iPhone I’m using one named MobileVOIP.

    Avatar photoElizabeth391

    Hey , i moved here from the uk last august as my boyfriend and i both secured teaching jobs. We had never even heard of chengdu before , so had no idea what to expect. Friends who had visited China before tried to describe it to us ,but to be honest you can never really explain what it is like,you just need to experience it yourself. Its crazy -sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a bad way but its an amazing country to live. It took me around 3months to get over “culture shock ” as it is so unbelievably different and even today i can see something that surprises me. Chengdu is a great place -still not overrun with western culture, cheap , and the best food i have ever eaten in my life however there are some downsides that come with living in a slighty less-known and smaller city. There is a big lack of clubs /groups for younger women. In terms of sport ,unless you want to play rugby there is nothing else. I was also a member of a book group which fizzled out due to lack of members. A Lot of the opportunities to meet people revolve around club/ bar events so if you like going out then you Will be fine. Apart from this its a great place to live ,and its been a great experience for us.

    Avatar photoalicelilee

    Hi, candj, welcome to Chengdu ,Sichuan,China. U can use contact your friends by skype or email, international QQ . Chengdu is a beautiful city , and many delicious food ,famous sights ,and many lovely animal pandas.

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