Chengdu – Culinary Capital of China and the Home of Pandas
Chengdu is large and growing fast. It’s the financial and economic hub of Western China. The New Century Global Center in Chengdu is the world’s largest building by land area (18.9 million square feet). Chengdu is also a heaven for foodies and home to the adorable giant pandas. Its culture is rich with the famous Sichuan opera, a classical Chinese art form, and ancient sites such as Jinli Old Town or the Giant Buddha in Leshan.
There are many more impressive facts about Chengdu that make it an attractive destination for those who want to teach English abroad in China.
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in China, has a population of over 7.8 million people. With its fast development in recent years, Chengdu has become the financial and economic hub of Western China. The city was the starting point of the famous Southern Silk Road that made exporting tea, iron, and silk from Chengdu to neighboring areas possible. Trading products from Chengdu went all the way to Myanmar, India, Bangladesh and even the Middle East. Chengdu’s also favored because of its central location and easy access to Tibet and Yunnan province in China.
Chengdu’s weather is subtropical with four distinct seasons. Winter is quite cold, and it rains a lot during the summer. The locals speak the Chengdu dialect, which is a slight variation to the mainstream Chinese language, Mandarin.
Chengdu used to be a second-tier city in China before, but has now risen to be among the “new first-tier cities”. With that said, though the average salary of an ESL teacher in Chengdu may not be quite as high as in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Shenzen, it’s not that far off! You should get on average $1,400 to $2,300 a month as an English teacher in Chengdu. You may earn even more if you teach at prestigious private or international schools.
Why Teach English Abroad in Chengdu?
The number one reason for many ESL teachers to choose Chengdu over other major cities in China is that the cost of living in Chengdu is quite low, despite its convenient, big city life. You’re looking at around $300 to $400 per month to rent a single apartment in the city center. A person can live in Chengdu for a lot less than $1,000 per month. This is definitely not the case for living in Beijing or Shanghai, for example. Plus, offering a slower pace of life, Chengdu isn’t as overwhelming as other metropolitan areas in China.
Chengdu has a reputation for having the most delicious cuisines in China. Sichuanese food is well-known for being spicy and oily, and the smell is amazing. There are of course non-spicy food options too if you aren’t a fan of chili. You must try the spicy hot pot, Sichuan dumplings, noodles, and skewers while in Chengdu! There’s a huge number of tea houses all around Chengdu regularly filled with locals. They often play cards, Mahjong, or have conversations over a cup of freshly brewed tea.
Okay, if you aren’t sold on the food, the adorable Giant Pandas might do. Chengdu is home to the biggest Research Base of Giant Panda, where you can see the pandas up close, roaming around in nature. It’s the cutest thing to watch. Don’t believe me? Google it!