April 27, 2013 at 10:42 pm #11070
First off, this website is amazing! I have been reading the forum and the website for a couple of weeks now, a lot of helpful info.
My husband and I are moving to Chengdu in August for about 2 years. I have a ton of questions and your input is greatly appreciated!
Anyways, here it goes:
1. Location: We will be working for an international high school – QSI. I have google mapped it and it seems like the school is around 3rd Ring 3d Section around Airport Expressway. The school provides housing and I imagine it will be around the school area. With that said, could you tell me what the area is like. It seems to be on the outskirts, but how developed is it? Grocery stores, restaurants, gyms? We are most interested in the gyms. Are there any gyms nearby? I have seen the thread on the gyms but it looks like most of the ones mentioned are more around downtown. Is there anything closer to where we will be living? The gym doesn’t need to be all that fancy but nice and clean enough with all the necessities: the bench, free weights, A-frame, etc. If we have to commute to a decent gym, then how long would you guess the commute might be?
2. Shipping mountain bikes: Have any of you every shipped any bikes to China? I am curious about how long it might take, how much it might cost and would there be any trouble with the customs.
3. Raspro mask filters: Definitely getting the mask and a couple of spare filters. Question: how often do you change your filters? And, do you recommend stocking up on filters while in the US or they can be purchased easily in Chengdu?
Sorry for so many words and all your input/advice is appreciated!April 28, 2013 at 2:06 am #30861
You might end up not too far from the Galleria shopping mall (called “Kaidan Plaza” on Google maps), which has a couple of decent restaurants, and the Auchan shopping mall, which has more (fast-food-type) restaurants plus a huge supermarket.
Right near all that is another mall called Suning Plaza, which is a bit of a ghost mall, but has a huge new gym on the 6th floor called Ching Fitness. I can’t find any links, sorry. But it’s got heaps of weights and heaps of machines, plus separate rooms for aerobics, spin and yoga classes. It’s even got its own wifi-equipped cafe. Haven’t seen any other foreigners there and they don’t speak much English but they’re friendly enough. (Just don’t get it confused with the kiddie play center “My Gym” on the 3rd floor.) It’s probably a bit expensive by local standards but I’m pretty sure it would check all your boxes and more.
Good luck!April 28, 2013 at 2:21 am #30863
Welcome! Glad you’re finding our sometimes incoherent ramblings useful.
I think it might help if you give us a maplink or address to go on as far as location. A lot will depend on how close you are to transit, particularly the subway, which can get you central from anywhere within 20 minutes give or take. As for gyms, there are more and more popping up across the city, especially within the numerous new malls completing. Many of these are along areas adjacent to the metro lines, so finding one isn’t going to be difficult.
I haven’t shipped bikes, though there are definitely people on the forum with information on that. I have shipped personal effects etc. though, and all I can say is be thorough when you arrange it. Make sure your freight forwarder knows the ropes this end so you don’t have a nightmare with customs. I’d imagine bikes to be easy, though from experience imagining anything here to be easy is usually the first mistake.
Respro filters are easy to get hold of. I buy the Techno (charcoal impregnated) Respro filters for approximately $27 equivalent for a 2 pack. Each filter is rated for 70 hours use under moderately polluted conditions. I’m buying the filters on Taobao.April 28, 2013 at 3:49 am #30872
Thanks for the quick reply, guys! much appreciated!Quote:It’s probably a bit expensive by local standards but I’m pretty sure it would check all your boxes and more.
Melina, do you happen to know what that could be approximately?
Also, thanks for the info on Galleria plaza. It looks like it is somewhat close.. depending on the bus routes/traffic I guess.Quote:I think it might help if you give us a maplink or address to go on as far as location. A lot will depend on how close you are to transit, particularly the subway
Brendan, thanks again for the input. here is the link to the map of the potential location 🙂Quote:Each filter is rated for 70 hours use under moderately polluted conditions
lol, but how about chengdu standard pollution? judging from the airquality app its like 400 today, weve been watching the app daily for the past few weeks and the last couple of days have been very bad. on those days, do you guys just stay inside?April 28, 2013 at 6:46 am #30882Brave ChengduParticipant
I think different people deal with the air in different ways. It seems to be a state of mind as much as anything for many. I’m sure you’ll adapt after you arrive.
I’m not the expert on this. but if you are flying out also – I think it’s often worth it to just box the bike and bring it with you as baggage/extra baggage. your airline should have details on that.April 28, 2013 at 6:49 am #30884
I’m not completely familiar with the location, but it doesn’t look like too much trouble to get to anywhere convenient.
As for pollution, I have stayed indoors on occasion when it’s been stoopid high like today (when I’m not obligated to be out for work etc.), but I’ve also ridden my bike in the high 300’s wearing my Respro. Although the pollution is definitely heavy in Chengdu, it’s not consistently high everywhere. So for example Renmin South Road is obviously generally higher because it’s trafficked heavily 24/7. I can’t say what that means for you and the area your accommodation is in, that’s something you’ll figure out once you’re on the ground.
Same goes for the filters. I’m not out on my bike a crazy amount, but I’m out regularly and the filters are lasting a long time. Easiest thing is to stock up on them wherever they happen to be cheapest, be it here or in the U.S.April 28, 2013 at 6:56 am #30885CharlieKeymaster
Thanks for the kind words, I’m glad the site has been useful to you. To add some small things:
Respro filters: there is a single authorizer Respro reseller in Chengdu, the Natooke bicycle shop which is located in the Southwest of Chengdu, near First Ring Road. You can get them on Taobao also, but the people in that shop are very knowledgeable on the different types of masks and filters (in addition to having general mastery over all things bicycle), so that’s where I get mine.
About your bicycle, I agree with Brave Chengdu above who suggested packing your bike up and taking it with you on the flight. I imagine that shipping could be expensive and troublesome.Quote:lol, but how about chengdu standard pollution? judging from the airquality app its like 400 today, weve been watching the app daily for the past few weeks and the last couple of days have been very bad. on those days, do you guys just stay inside?
You actually do get used to it – I’ve heard here on the forum that the pollution is particularly bad today, but I’ve been outside and didn’t notice. I don’t stay indoors on days when it’s bad, my personal policy is try to wear the Respro when it’s over 200 and I’m on my bicycle. Recently I haven’t been wearing the mask too much, but for the first 3 months of the year I was wearing it regularly. Pollution seemed to be at something of a peak then.April 28, 2013 at 8:54 am #30891
I think one month is usually 800-something RMB, but they gave it to me for 580 for some reason. Opening promo? Or maybe they just took one look at my body and felt sorry for me : P
One year is 2880 and two years is 3980. You can also rent a permanent locker for a year but I have no idea how much that is. Daily lockers are free.
And I found the website. Not super helpful, but someone had fun making it:April 28, 2013 at 11:20 am #30898Stephen HowardParticipant
About bringing the bikes I would also recommend bringing them as extra baggage on the plane. It is pretty standard procedure for anyone traveling with a bike so the airlines are set up to handle it. BUT check before hand, in the last couple years some airlines have started charging flat fees like $200. Otherwise there is usually a weight allowance and then a fee per kilo if you go over. I have paid anywhere from $35-75 to get a bike from Seattle to Chengdu.
Any shop in the US can box your bike for you or you can just go to a bike shop and get a box, they all have extras from new bikes coming in, and pack it yourself. Whenever I do it I always use clothes for packing material so I can get more stuff over here. Obviously my clothes aren’t that nice.
I have never been asked about the bike at Chinese customs and even if they do if it isn’t new it is fine. Can’t say the same for Bolivia, unpacked my bike in the customs line on the way in and out!
Anyhow the Respros are great, I also got mine from the Natooke guys. Rode today with it, lungs feel fine. Got mine a couple months ago and have not changed the filter yet, probably should soon though.April 28, 2013 at 8:07 pm #30910
Wow, thanks everyone for all your responses!
Melina, checked out the website. Indeed looks like someone had too much fun developing it. The gym looks huge and pretty nice! Looks like much wasted space with all the cardio and weight machines, but, hey, if most of the people stay on those – great – more room for me in the free weights area 🙂 Speaking of people, how crowded is it? We’ve spent almost two years in Shenzhen (2010-2012) and went to a small gym by our apartment. Definitely it was not NEAR as nice as ChingFitness, a lot cheaper too, but it was so crowded! I don’t mind the crowd and happy to work in a set with someone here and there, but having a group of 5 Chinese guys crowd around me and COUNT my push-ups as I was doing them O_o ..Hmm…not sure how I feel about that?! I will definitely check out the gym, maybe they will be nice enough to offer a discount as well 😀 And who knows, might run into you there sometime 🙂
Branden, Charlie, thanks for all the info on the mask, filters and pollution.
Branden, ya ive noticed how pollution levels change around town. Makes it kinda fun to watch. There is this one spot on the river that has some strangely low readings most of time; like in the 50s while the rest of the city is in 200s! might have to set up a tent thereQuote:my personal policy is try to wear the Respro when it’s over 200 and I’m on my bicycle.
Charlie, I like this approach:) will definitely be adopting it!
Stephen, great idea to pack the bike with the clothes! Will definitely check with our airline to see if checking in the bikes can be done! This option definitely sounds better than shipping them off. While in Shenzhen I didn’t bring my bike with me and bought a Rockrider at Decathlon. While it got the job done as biking around town, I really missed my Trek.. Of course mine is not the best and the most expensive Trek out there, but it is pretty good for a mid level rider like me.. And I guess it’s those little familiar things that make adapting to a new place a little bit easier! 🙂 Plus, I saw your post on the park around QSI/American Gardens (and we will be living close to QSI) and I am super pumped about that! Would definitely love to join you guys for some rides come August/September after we get to Chengdu.
Again guys, thanks for all the info! I am sure I will have more questions as it gets closer to our move and especially during the first few weeks we are in Chengdu, so I apologize in advance 🙂April 29, 2013 at 1:16 am #30911Quote:Branden
Spell my bloody name right then woman!!
Jeeeeeeez!!April 29, 2013 at 1:28 am #30912Quote:Spell my bloody name right then woman!!
lol sorry BrendAn 🙂 Wasn’t intentional 🙂April 29, 2013 at 2:46 am #30915
Yeah, it’s looked pretty crowded when I’ve been by in the evenings/afternoons. I’ve got a flexible schedule, so I usually go in the morning when there’s hardly anyone there. As a foreigner, you’ll probably get a few stares sometimes but hopefully not the kind of attention you were getting in Shenzhen.
I can say that even in the evenings there seems to be a pretty good ratio of girls to guys so if you do get a crowd of admirers, at least it might not be all men(?).April 29, 2013 at 3:29 am #30919
Thanks, Melina. Flexible schedule is nice.. As a high school teacher I enjoy that for two months out of the year. one of the reasons i switched to teaching from my previous career.Quote:if you do get a crowd of admirers, at least it might not be all men(?).
lol that’s comforting.. i guess…April 30, 2013 at 2:10 am #30946SherryParticipant
Natasha: I will be heading to Chengdu with the same company. Please feel free to PM me if you would like to “compare notes.” This will be our first time in China.
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