I love BJ, HK or Shanghai?

On July 20, 2011, in Beijing, Cool Places, Shanghai, by Jack Li

So you want to visit China? And you’re short on time or budget? Or maybe instead of rushing to visit all China’s highlights you prefer to explore one place in depth? You don’t have to be reminded what China has to offer – what you’re looking for is the essence of all that. Before you book a flight with China Flights and find accommodation with China Hotels, take a look at the 3 biggest metropolises in the country and decide where you could make the most of your China experience.

A few facts

Beijing: There are no words to describe Beijing shortly. It is a political, cultural and education capital of China; it’s been called ‘one of the greatest cities in the world’. It has long and fascinating history and is extremely diverse – ‘old Beijing’ mixes with modernity on every step!

Shanghai: With over 19m citizens, one million more than Beijing, Shanghai is China’s most populous city. It is very modern and international; you will find many clubs and bars here if you’re after nightlife. Beware of the hot and humid climate!

Hong Kong: It’s one of the two special autonomous regions in China. Situated in the Pearl River Delta at South China Sea, it’s one of the most important Chinese seaports. A truly international metropolis, HK is home to the best universities in the country. Moreover, it’s one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Culture

If you are interested in Chinese history and culture, Beijing is the place to go! It’s rich in cultural attractions, e.g. The Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, hutongs and many more. The city follows Chinese way and rhythm of life. However, don’t be put off by Shanghai or HK – even though they don’t have much to offer, you can go outside the city (Suzhou, Nanjing, Wuxi from Shanghai and Guangzhou from HK) and admire the sites without the bustle.

Financial Hub

With headquarters of all banks, Beijing is not only a political, but also a financial capital of the country. It is because all of the banks set up their headquarters here, due to the proximity of government institutions, essential in the corporate culture based on guanxi. Beijing has definitely more of a Chinese flavour and it is said to be more welcoming to foreigners.

Often regarded as China’s leading financial centre, Shanghai has 4 financial exchange centres. Business runs on a basis similar to the West, which is why Shanghai is preferred by many foreigners. Most of the domestic and international banks follow dual headquarters strategy, setting up offices in both Beijing and Shanghai, however there is an increasing level of authority being shifted to Shanghai.

Seen as New York of China, Hong Kong was ranked in top 5 world’s financial centres in 2009. It is a bigger, less regulated, market, where companies are considered to operate at better quality. Because of a greater degree of free market, HK is still ahead of both Shanghai and Beijing in eyes of many businessmen.

Where to go, then?

HK, BJ and Shanghai compliment themselves, creating what’s recently become world’s second largest economy. Which city to chose will depend on your personal preferences – if you put culture and rich history in the first place, Beijing is an obvious choice. However, if you are after the bustle of an Asian megacity – seemingly similar to the West, but with its distinct Chinese touch – consider going to Hong Kong or Shanghai. Did you make up your mind? Visit China Travel and get started!

 

Jack Li
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