As two of the largest cities in China, Beijing and Guangzhou have many similarities, but they also offer expats many different experiences, from their culture, traditions, weather, people, food, and expat way of life.
- Beijing and Guangzhou are huge, exciting cities, with modern infrastructure and they both have a lively expat community making it much easier to find other expats, western brands and international restaurants than in other cities.
- Beijing and Guangzhou are at opposite ends of China. Beijing is in the north east area and It’s 4 hours from Shanghai by train. Weather-wise,
- Beijing has hot summers but freezing winters. It doesn’t rain often and isn’t very humid. Guangzhou has hot, humid summers and mild winters, and it rains quite a bit.
- Guangzhou is really close to Hong Kong, it is very easy to go there for a weekend trip. It's also close to other countries in South East Asia, like Vietnam.
- Culture and food is where you’ll notice the biggest differences between Beijing and Guangzhou. The Cantonese culture and influence are strong in Guangzhou. Locals speak Cantonese in addition to Mandarin. Cantonese food is quite different than other regions in China – it tends to be lighter and sweeter, featuring dim sum and lots of soups. Locals will tell you it's the food capital of the country, but Beijing is packed with excellent restaurants too.
- Beijing is definitely the bigger tourist draw out of the two cities, boasting world famous sites like the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Summer Palace.
Rachel has lived for extended periods in both Beijing and Guangzhou. Read the full article on her blog: Rachel Meets China