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  • Welcome to another video.

  • Why did I choose to live in Shenzhen. There are quite a few reasons.

  • But the first and probably the most important reason is that Shenzhen is a

  • first-tier city

  • and I've been getting a lot of questions about

  • the tier system because I do mention it in my videos. I mentioned, you know, Shenzhen being first-tier. Huizhou being second

  • sorry, third-tier.

  • And so I thought I'd talk about the differences between you know first-tier city and say for instance a third-tier city in China.

  • Alright. What's up guys. We're out here with Winston and Prozzie. Stay Awesome!

  • So I'm here with a friend of mine who happens to live in a third-tier city.

  • So I thought we just discuss what the difference is between living in say for instance Shenzhen and

  • Huizhou where you live. So

  • let's kind of try to explain the whole tier thing to you first. There are only four "first-tier" cities in China.

  • That would be Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

  • That's it. Everybody thinks there's more, but there's not.

  • Prozzie: right.

  • Those are the best cities, means, it's got the most modern infrastructure.

  • It's got like for instance, there's a stock exchange here in Shenzhen.

  • There's one in Shanghai, and they're quite a few things that qualified as being first here that basically means

  • it's at the "top of the pops" in China.

  • Prozzie: The highest quality of cities. I guess you could say. First-world.

  • Yeah, there we go. There are a bunch of new cities

  • that are kind of on a waiting list to become first-tier and who knows by the end of this video

  • maybe or in 100 years who knows anyway.

  • I wanted you to start off by just explaining to everybody what it's like living in a third-tier city,

  • which is Huizhou, and then we can do some comparisons.

  • Prozzie: Yeah. I mean living living in a city like Huizhou

  • you're not going to get all of the sort of western amenities that you're so used to here in Shenzhen.

  • Every time I come here. I feel a bit spoiled like we just had a nice lunch thing.

  • You're not going to get that in a third-tier city.

  • It's a lot more, as a foreigner anyways, you're going to feel a lot more

  • um...

  • I guess you could say uh. What's the word I'm looking for?

  • not "excluded" but

  • Winston: When you mean in the first-tier or third-tier?

  • Prozzie: Third-tier. You feel a lot more like "isolated" I guess.

  • Winston: "Isolated". Yep.

  • The foreign community is a lot more tight-knit everyone kind of knows each other.

  • You know, someone does something, everyone knows about it. It's very

  • "small townie-ish", I guess, because there's less foreigners there. It's perceived as quite a bit "smaller".

  • Yeah, I mean living in a city like Huizhou also a lot less regulated.

  • I find then Shenzhen. Shenzhen is very... you guys get like

  • police and

  • security and everyone's just kind of

  • "regulated" I guess in a weird way. Which I know for you it might not seem like that.

  • Winston: It is. It is.

  • Prozzie: Yeah, but in a Huizhou. I mean, you know, you can ride motorcycles, but then it's also kind of illegal.

  • It's like this grey area, right?

  • It's just yeah.

  • I mean.

  • I could go on for days the differences between, I mean, you know you've been to Huizhou

  • every week for the last couple years.

  • Winston: I mean. Yeah. It is a gray area sort of a thing.

  • It's more like the wild west. You can get away with a lot. Like for instance,

  • you said, riding a bike when it is currently illegal in Huizhou you go can

  • and as long as you just kind of avoid certain areas. You'll get away with it.

  • You can kind of do stupid things that you wouldn't be able to do here. Prozzie: Oh definitely,

  • yeah, for sure.

  • Winston: So you've got that extra freedom, but it comes at a cost and the cost is that everything's kind of chaotic and rundown, you know.

  • Prozzie: Yeah, I mean, that's one thing...

  • I don't really like about living in Huizhou is that you're gonna get a lot of

  • just lower quality things and I mean everything. The buildings are falling apart

  • You know, the people are a lot less

  • I shouldn't say. I sound horrible if I say that but... Winston: A little less civilized.

  • Prozzie: Yeah, well, yeah. A little less civilized. A little less...ah...

  • Winston: It's just the fact. People, you can say what you want, but you come here yourself

  • you come and spend a day in Huizhou, and you spend a day in Shenzhen. You'll see people are more sophisticated here.

  • Prozzie: Yeah. You know it comes down to money as well, people in Shenzhen obviously make...

  • Winston: A lot more.

  • Prozzie: Usually make quite a bit more money than people in Huizhou.

  • Winston: you have to and that's another thing

  • we should talk about is cost of living now. That's a big plus for you.

  • I mean. Tell me how big is your apartment and how much do you spend?

  • ah...

  • Prozzie: Ah... Jesus. I don't know how big it is.

  • Winston: Would you say it's bigger than 100 square meters?

  • Prozzie: I've only got one bedroom, but it's a decent size apartment. I've got my living room.

  • I've got a separate kitchen and a separate bathroom

  • and it's nice, and it's in the most expensive part of Huizhou in the kind of "New Development Area".

  • and it cost me about

  • 1,800 RMB (185 USD) every month right and that's the top, the tippy top, that you're going to get for a

  • normal apartment. Of course you can get some crazy five-star apartments but that's like the top your gonna get for a normal apartment.

  • What do..ah.. what would you pay here in Shenzhen?

  • Winston: Okay. I got a 45 square meter apartment. It's tiny.

  • Basically it's the size of most people's kitchen. You know maybe smaller. It's tiny. It's horrible. I can't stand it. It's badly lit.

  • You know. There's like one window in the bedroom.

  • there's no window in the

  • Living room. The kitchen doesn't even have a place bigger than, like, this to prepare food on. It's terrible.

  • And it's rundown, and it's crap but it's in one of the best areas. So for that 45 square meter apartment

  • I'm getting a good deal. I'm paying 4,500 RMB (662 USD) a month.

  • That's a good deal.

  • That's only because my wife knows the owner but usually they go for about six to eight thousand for those tiny little places.

  • So you know that cost of living is...

  • Prozzie: Through the roof.

  • Prozzie: That's one of the reasons why I chose Huizhou. Third-tier city is so much cheaper.

  • Winston: Yeah

  • But you're paying for what you get for, right? Like you're gonna pay quite a bit more money... quite a bit more money

  • but you live in the better parts of town.

  • Winston: Yeah, I can go downstairs.

  • There's a nice supermarket, shopping malls, access to the subway straightaway. So yeah, it makes up for it.

  • Yeah, that high-speed internet at least for China

  • Um.

  • You know that kind of thing so it's kind of worthwhile.

  • What about parking?

  • Ah Yeah, I mean...

  • That even you were talking about your parking. I had a car not too long ago, and you could park it literally anywhere.

  • It's cheaper. Parking for me

  • cost

  • 120 RMB (18 USD) a month.

  • Winston: That's nothing. Yeah.

  • For me, it's about five to... no. What am I saying?

  • It's way more than that because I just got back. 40 days was 1,020 so it's probably about

  • 700 RMB (103 USD) a month or something like that where I...

  • Prozzie: You can... you can get an apartment for that much money like rent

  • I also wanted to debunk this kind of idea,

  • I think a lot of western people have is, that if they go to a smaller city

  • they're going to get more culture or they're going to get more kind of Chinese-esque

  • Ah...

  • feeling or you know. I don't think that's true after coming to Shenzhen enough. You do get

  • Shenzhen is a much more of a lively place. I feel like people think that just because there's more foreigners here. It's more western. It's more ...ah

  • you know, it's lost some of its Chinese culture. Just because there's more of an international community here.

  • I can say that after being, you know, in Guangdong area for three years that it's just not true.

  • Winston: I agree. But in small little kind of

  • alleyways, and there have been villages here, and you see everything that you'll see in Huizhou, if not more.

  • Yeah, and then you can just walk down the street

  • And you got like really nice restaurants and really cool infrastructure and things to see. A good mix of both worlds. Yeah.

  • Prozzie: I would agree. Yeah. Where as Huizhou you're only gonna get

  • I mean. Yeah, it's tough. If you watch what C-Milk put on his videos, you kind of see what I'm talking about.

  • You're not gonna get the crazy skyscrapers here, but you're also not going to get the alleyways. Yeah, it's all big open kind of

  • roads, and you know.

  • Winston: Let's talk about public transport for a moment because that's something I love about Shenzhen.

  • Hop on the metro, get anywhere, and it's expanded all over the place. You can literally pretty much go.

  • You can sit on the metro for like an hour and a half and get to some far-flung place

  • that's still a part of Shenzhen. Miraculously.

  • Even though it's passed the airport and it's in this weird, in fact, you want to see Huizhou

  • it's pretty much the same as going to Huizhou in those far, far flung places

  • but this amazing underground network which is probably going to be the biggest in the world soon.

  • I think that's their plan and you've got buses that go everywhere.

  • You got taxis that go everywhere. All the time. 24/7 so. Well not the buses, the taxis. What about in Huizhou?

  • Prozzie: Oh uh yeah, I mean, I don't use public transport in Huizhou because I've got a motorcycle, but um

  • you know I take a taxi from time to time if I don't... my bike is not available. Also very convenient. Cheaper.

  • Yeah, I think we start at 7 RMB. You start at 10.

  • Winston: 10.

  • Prozzie: And they yeah, they would go all over the city. Taxis are quite nice

  • but you mentioned the subway, which I love about Shenzhen. Cause of course,

  • I don't have a vehicle here, so I have to take public transport. Yeah, the subways set up here is like nothing

  • I've ever seen before. It's incredible and it's clean and it's cheap. Huizhou..

  • we just got one subway line and it's a joke. It runs like once an hour. If you're a foreigner

  • you have to use your passport and it's more expensive.

  • It's just... it's... it's not... the City's not big enough to have a subway system, but the public transport

  • Ok buses, how much is the bus here?

  • Winston: It starts at about 2 RMB (0.30 USD)

  • to go like a couple of stops and then I think the

  • maximum it can go for, if you're on the bus like over an hour, it's like 7

  • Prozzie: Ok yeah. it's one RMB in Huizhou to go pretty much anywhere.

  • But I would not I don't think too many foreigners take the bus.

  • Winston: Yeah, there's a reason for that. It's the same here.

  • There's no English on the bus.

  • So, you know, like you really need to know where you're going and be able to recognize the place or know the name.

  • Yeah, so even for a seasoned foreigner to take a bus here can be quite daunting because you need to be able to understand Chinese.

  • Yeah, pretty straightforward. Do you have a system like we have here in Shenzhen. We got something called the "Shenzhen Tong"?

  • Just like a card. It's like an Octopus card. You can basically

  • use... you can use it in a taxi now.

  • You can use it in the subway, on all the buses and you can even in

  • 7-Elevens and stuff buy drinks and stuff with. Do you have anything like that there?

  • Prozzie: I don't think we do. We might and I could be wrong

  • but I'm pretty sure we don't just because we don't have a subway system.

  • The buses are less common. We have a lot more e-bikes and things like that and plus with WeChat pay.

  • That's definitely the most common way of paying is with your phone. I don't think we have that card.

  • Winston: It's actually quite cool in Shenzhen. You can get a sim card for your phone

  • which has that built-in so you can use a phone to like use the subway and pay for stuff and all that.

  • Just by like, beeping it. Cause the sim card acts as like an NFC thing. It's pretty sweet.

  • Prozzie: We don't have that fancy stuff Huizhou.

  • Winston: So I mean, that's the thing though.

  • There's a huge difference between tier 1 and

  • tier 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, tier 88. We call tier 88 it's like the worst. Of course,

  • I think there... I think there are only like three or four tiers.

  • Correct me if I'm wrong. In fact, I'm going to "Wiki" it. I'll put it up

  • so I don't get my facts wrong.

  • But having been around the whole of China

  • From the very north to the very south I've seen pretty much everything China has to offer. I've been to the other tier 1 cities

  • a bunch of the tier 2 and tier 3, excetera.

  • Shenzhen still my favorite for a number of reasons. Number one, you might agree with me here, proximity to Hong Kong.

  • Prozzie: That's huge.

  • Winston: You can literally just pop over. Now something that sucks for me, but it's actually really good for you

  • and you should do this is next time you cross over. If you've got a passport

  • That's got that little. It's got a little chips on it.

  • Prozzie: You don't have to wait in the line, right? Yeah. Winston: You go register...

  • Winston: Have you done that? Prozzie: I will soon.

  • Winston: Okay, but you can actually go register it

  • I tried this the other day with my friend Pete and because my South African passports the piece of crap.

  • They were like "Sorry, South African passports don't have this chip in it."

  • You can't do it, but everyone else can and you basically get a... you can go through that e-channel.

  • You don't need to go through customs anymore. You just go fingerprint and go through.

  • Prozzie: And it just goes through.

  • Winston: No stamps, no bullshit. Any passport you just go through so that is cool.

  • Like if you had that which I don't. I still have to go through the line and get all the stamps and crap. But if

  • you have that living here. 20 minutes here in Hong Kong.

  • Prozzie: Yeah.

  • Winston: No problem. Just like that.

  • Prozzie: No. That's.... that's... Winston: Yeah. Prozzie: Yeah.

  • Prozzie: Yeah, really. That's awesome. Which would you recommend?

  • For people that have never been to China before and they're interested in coming here

  • Which would you recommend they go to tier one or like a tier three something like Huizhou?

  • Winston: I'd say, it's kind of like when you play a video game.

  • You choose easy mode, hard mode. You know, that kind of thing.

  • I'd say the first tier cities are easy mode. The reason is like

  • especially places like Beijing and Shanghai.

  • Prozzie: Yeah.

  • Winston: So many people speak English there. There's English stuff. Foreign amenities

  • They've got like imports stores.

  • Shenzhen's not even as good as those two when it comes to being foreigner friendly. You know?

  • Like you go to Beijing. No problem.

  • As a foreigner, you can speak English to a lot of people you've got stores there.

  • You can get your favorite kind of cereals and things that you just can't...

  • Prozzie: You don't even need to bother learning the language.

  • Winston: No, you don't. So I'd say that's easy mode

  • but if you're in for more of an adventure. If you want to be like "thrown in".

  • Sort of headfirst into this mess of chaos and not knowing what's going on around you. Having to learn the language.

  • Trying to survive and have an adventure.

  • Definitely, sort of third tier. Go for that. Go to Huizhou. Go to one of these other like smaller...

  • I don't know. Whatever else you want to go to because tons of places people go to all the time.

  • You know, Dongguan. Something like that.

  • And. Um...

  • That's in the south of course. I can give you a list of northern cities

  • if you want. Just need a comment below.

  • Prozzie: They're endless.

  • Winston: Yeah. In fact, if you say "name some third tier cities" in the comments section below.

  • There'll be tons of people who will answer for you so don't worry.