Living in China

5 reasons to love China

For some reason my old blog post, 5 reasons to hate China, has been widely read and misunderstood through the years. I thought it’s time to give my five reasons why I still love living in China.

Yummy oysters with garlic
1. Chinese food

I thought I liked Chinese food before but only until I moved to China in 2010 I realized how delicious the food can be. And every province has their specialities so you can use a lifetime trying them all! With Chinese food I’ve also started to eat more vegetables which has made my diet healthier, no one can do eggplant as tasty as the Chinese!

Chinese menu on the wall
2. Chinese language

It’s no secret that I came to China to learn Mandarin and I used my first 6 years going from non-degree student to undergrad and finally to Master’s degree in Teaching Chinese. China is unarguably the best place in the world to master this fascinating language. It’s my passion towards Mandarin that led me to a completely new life and I love it!

My teachers and classmates
3. Chinese people

Even though cultural differences create problems, there are many characteristics that I admire in Chinese. One is their care for their family, they will go out of their way to help you out if you are a family member. Now that we have a baby, I’ve realized how Chinese adore kids. No matter where we go, lots of people are always willing to help out and play with our baby girl.

At GWIC morning coffee
4. Guangzhou’s international crowd

Maybe I could get this somewhere else too, but by living abroad I’m getting a chance to jump in new circles and make new friends. I think it’s important for our daughter to have international and mixed kids, just like she is. Guangzhou isn’t as international as Shanghai or Hong Kong so you can decide your self which side of the city, local or international, you want to explore today.

A treat in a park while baby sleeps
5. I can be my self

When living in China as a foreigner, who looks like a foreigner too, I stand out and my customs are seen a bit strange at times. That gives me a freedom to be my self. I don’t need to fit into a box or compare my self with neighbors. I’m the strange foreigner living in the village anyway so why not enjoy it to the fullest!

+ I just have to add this final point: job opportunities. Sure I could perhaps find job as a Chinese teacher back in Finland, but right now China is offering me more interesting opportunities. I can be here developing the scene of teaching Chinese the foreigner way, build my business by helping others to fall in love with Mandarin as well. 

So here is the new top 5! What’s your reasons to love China?


  • hello

    Yikes, just reading some of those comments on that 5 Reasons to Hate China blog post made me mentally face palm so many times. China definitely has a lot of amazing things to offer, and I’m glad people like you are able to see them!


    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    It’s sad that many people only concentrate on the negative and can’t see all the amazing positive things China has to offer. Now on a long holiday in Finland I can definitely see China better too as well and I even started to miss some things I’m already used to.


  • Lawrence Robinson

    Reasons to love China. I’ll admit I find it easier to come up with reasons to hate it, but well, no relationship comes without a bit of love and hate, so here we go.

    1. Opportunities. No matter what crazy (business) idea you may have, it seems like it can be done anytime, anywhere in China! If it’s not on Taobao yet that is…

    2. Language. I just love the sound of Mandarin (as opposed to Cantonese which makes we want to chew on my nails somehow).

    3. Can’t and won’t lie about it: women.

    4. Food. The diversity throughout the country is amazing, some of it I absolutely dislike, a lot of it I love, including cooking myself (lao wai jiao zi anyone?).

    5. Things to see. Again, the diversity of things to see is amazing.

    I’ll refrain from listing the reasons why I hate China (also because most of them are amongst the most typical of reasons).


    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Love your list of things to love about China! I totally agree with opportunities, that’s one of the big reasons we are staying in China, so many things possible for us to do.


  • tatar

    BacHa it is funny you from finLand and you cHoose to Live inside cHin but not some otHer western country

    You Hate cHinese peopLe I understand but you Have to know cHinese peopLe Like you because you Look European not Asian or cHinese if you Look cHinese or Asian tHere tHat country can be a Living nigHtmare for you

    AnotHer reason not to Like cHinese bacHa is tHat cHinese peopLe are not nice to eacH otHer but tHey are very nice to peopLe wHo are not cHinese but tHis is advantage to you because you do not Look cHinese or asian


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