Eating local food and buying produce from the Chinese markets gives our English teachers amazing insight into the Chinese diet and a glimpse at traditional Eastern medicine. It also leaves them with money in their pockets for massages and traveling.
Milk (1L) : 7 RMB
Eggs (12) : 7 RMB
Carrots (1kg) : 5 RMB
Chicken breast (1kg) : 15 RMB
Rice (1kg) : 8 RMB
Bottle of water (1.5L) : 3 RMB
Bottle of Chinese beer (.5L) : 4 RMB
China has a wide range of regional cuisines and eating out is the best way to discover this variety. Chinese people eat out frequently and often entertain friends and colleagues in restaurants instead of having them into their homes.
Whether you’re enjoying a meal with friends, working out at the fitness club, or getting a massage, you’ll find that leisure activities are often very affordable in China.
Three course mid-range restaurant dinner : 80 RMB
Quick restaurant meal of rice or noodles : 25 RMB
Large steamed dumplings, a common street food : 3 RMB
Housekeeper (2 hours) : 80 RMB
Massage (30 min) : 100 RMB
1 month fitness club membership : 1000 RMB
Movie ticket, international release : 65 RMB
China has excellent, yet inexpensive public transport and even taxi rides are quite reasonably-priced. Chinese people often commute by bicycle, but this mode of transport is only for the bravest of foreigners.
Metro Ride : 3 RMB
Taxi rate per km : 2.2 RMB (start fare ~ 10RMB)
20-min taxi ride across town : 25 RMB
City bus : 2 RMB
3-hour bicycle rental : 8 RMB (plus 100RMB deposit, returned)
Ferry crossing : 2 RMB
Any traveler on a budget will love taking trains in China. Trains are numerous and increasingly high-speed rail services connect large regional cities. Domestic flights are also usually inexpensive. There is some seasonal variation and prices rise during national holidays like Chinese New Year.
1 night in a mid-range hotel: 350 RMB
The high-speed train, Guangzhou to Wuhan (3 hours): 490 RMB
Slow train, Guangzhou to Wuhan (10 hours): 120 RMB
Flight one-way, Guangzhou to Beijing (2 hours): 800 RMB
Flight one-way, Guangzhou to Bangkok (3 hours): 1300 RMB
To give you an idea of how teachers at English First in China spends their salary, here is a sample monthly budget with the cost of living in China:
Gross Income (Salary) : Up to 15,000 RMB
Rent: 3000- 4500 RMB
Utilities (electricity, gas, water): 200 RMB
Phone & Internet : 300 RMB
Food: 2,000 RMB
Insurance: 300 RMB
Remaining Disposable Income: 9,200 RMB