How much does it cost to live in China? 

If your teaching contract includes accommodation, you’ll only need to worry about spending money on things like food, transport, mobile phone and social activities. 

So if you eat like the locals do (that is, street food and basic restaurants), take public transport, and don’t go too crazy socializing on the weekend, you’ll have plenty of money left over to spend or save.

On the flipside, if you constantly eat out at Western restaurants, buy Western clothes, and refuse to take public transport, your money could slip through your fingers quickly.

Check out our guide below for the cost of some everyday things in China. Note that it’s an average for the whole of the country (prices can differ greatly between cities).

  Chinese price (¥) US price ($)
Bottle of water (supermarket) 1 0.20
Can of Coke 2 0.40
Bottle of beer 5 1
Noodles (street food) 10 2
Steamed bun (street food) 5 1
McDonalds meal 25 5
One-way bus ticket 2 0.40
Taxi (1 km) 2 0.40