A tale of two cities

A tale of two cities


Chengdu is known for pandas, spicy food, hot girls and of course; home the newest  INTERNCHINA office. Over the last year or so there have been significant developments within the city’s infrastructure and the whole Chengdu lifestyle is arguably changing from a chilled out, tea drinking society to a fast paced, iPhone talking, Gucci Wearing, consumer spending economic powerhouse.

picture1InternChina – New Developments – TaiKoo Li

But perhaps it’s better to say the two aspects of Chengdu life are starting to coexist in a fascinating mix match of new and old, local and foreign, rich and poor. Recent developments between Lang Kwai Fong and the ShangriLa Hotel and the newly opened TaiKooLi (of Beijing Sanlitun fame) show a desire to keep architecture in line with traditional buildings and represent a welcome change from giant glass structures of over 60 stories (Chengdu is building a lot of these).

webwxgetmsgimg (3)InternChina – New Developments – Jinguanyijie

Perhaps what is happening in Chengdu is just a localised version of what you can find across the country. When people mention China – it’s quite hard to put your finger on what is China? We operate in 3 different cities and the marketing, local culture and treasures for each are very different. From Spicy Chuan Chuan in Chengdu, to Beer Bags in Qingdao and Dim Sum in Zhuhai – each part of China is unique and more importantly worthy of visiting if you can.

picture2InternChina – Two different worlds

To provide a more personal example of how life can differ in China I want to give you an example of how my life has changed in China. I have lived in rural China for a while before moving to the big city of Chengdu.


Mile County, Yunnan (about 2 hours from Kunming) pop. 500,000

A typical day is….(and there never was)

  • Wake up to beautiful sunshine (Yunnan is VERY sunny) and mountain scenery.
  • Walk to town along a dusty path, past the odd horse and cart and buses of people – all dressed in minority clothing who are on their way to the downtown market.
  • Pose for several photographs, whilst shouts of “hello” and “laowai” are whispered follow me around the shops which sell everything apart from anything I really recognise.
  • Observe people cooking tea eggs, smelly tofu, steamed buns and other unrecognisable dishes.
  • Eat at a fine Chinese restaurant for less than a beer in Chengdu and walk home with the sun setting

picture3InternChina – fresh countryside air!

Chengdu China population 15 million 

A typical day is…(and there never is)

  • Wake up in my high rise apartment (42 floors) look out at the expanding CBD district as another floor of a Skycraper goes up.
  • Walk to a spotless subway station past Starbucks, H&M, 7/11, a funky new Art exhibition as well as the familiar morning street food like pancakes jian bing and bao zi. As I reach the station a chorus of “Modi Modi!” rings out – these guys are basically trying to get you to go on the back of their motorbike taxi across the city at lightening speed.
  • Take a busy subway with fashionable businessmen and women rushing to work whilst carrying the latest iPhones and designer bags
  • Conduct business, meet clients and talk to companies who are designing computer games, marketing events for high end clients or designing the latest luxury shopping mall
  • Dinner at either a local favourite or numerous western restaurants; Japanese, Cuban, Belgian, Indian it’s all here as well as the latest fashionable imports from Shanghai and Beijing such as Element Fresh and Blue frog.
  • Home and I can finally relax above a city which is still not sleeping.

webwxgetmsgimg (2)InternChina – New CBD

Clearly Chengdu has woken up from being a sleepy city and now is the centre of West China’s still double digit growth. New developments are everywhere come and see it for yourself! This weekend I might take a taxi to one of the parks and maybe eat some BBQ but similarily I could take a UBER Audi A6 to a new shopping district.

webwxgetmsgimg (1)InternChina – Traditional travel