Location

Jinan is located in the North-western part of The Shandong Province in Eastern China. It is the capital of the Shandong Province. Jinan has always had an important effect on all of the history within the region that it is in in China; and now it has evolved into a major national administrative, economic and transportation hub.

The nice location and relatively low cost of living make Jinan a great place for ESL teachers to live. Tianjin is only 336 km away, which makes it an hour and a half train ride, so it is a convenient place to go to for a day. A one-way ticket will cost you about ¥139. Beijing is only 432 km away, so it’s also easy to go there for a day trip. The train ride is only about 2 hours and a one-way ticket will cost about ¥184.

Weather

Jinan experiences all four of the seasons. The spring’s in Jinan are dry. The summer is hot and rainy. It is crisp in the autumn. In the winter it is dry and cold (with a little bit of snow) in the winter. The weather chart below is the averages; it is not to be taken seriously. The main point is that summers are very hot and winters are cold with a wind chill that is cold even for teacher’s that are used to cold weather, such as myself.

Temperature

High C/F

Average C/F

Low C/F

Spring

20.9/69.8

15.4/59.7

9.9/49.8

Summer

32/89.6

26.7/80.1

22/71.6

Autumn

20.7/69.3

15.5/59.9

10.5/50.9

Winter

5/41

1/33.8

-4/24.8

Cost of Living

China classifies its cities under a tier system. The cities are evaluated on population, Gross Domestic Product, political ranking and many other factors. Jinan is classified as an upper tier 2 range. This means that there’s a lower cost of living, but the city is developed and modern. Let’s look at Jinan’s cost of living compared to other large cities in China.

City

Beijing

Guangzhou

Shanghai

Tianjin

Jinan

Taxi

¥13

¥10

¥14

¥8

¥8

McDonald’s

¥30

¥27.50

¥30

¥23

¥30

Restaurant

¥155

¥110

¥200

¥120

¥130

Movie Ticket

¥50

¥60

¥60

¥50

¥35

Apartment

¥6300

¥3680

¥6815

¥2950

¥3750

Speaking on apartment costs, Utilities per month is about ¥383 for electric, heat, cooling, water and garbage. Internet is about ¥36.25 a month.

The cost of living for everything in Jinan is very affordable.

*All prices are in Chinese Yuan, and all figures are from numbeo.com.

For more information on the tier system you can check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_city_tier_system.

Transportation

Jinan is a very easy city to navigate. I have no problem getting around by just using my GPS and hopping on the bus, which cost ¥2 for one way on the K or T bus and ¥1 for one way on the bus without a letter. If you are not someone who is keen to carry cash on you that is alright because you can pay for the bus using WeChat. You can also walk or ride a bike around the city. There are several bike-share programs that you can access by downloading an app.

Language

Older people living in Jinan are likely to speak a version of Mandarin that is called the Jinan Dialect, which is not even easily understood by native Mandarin speakers. Younger people usually speak the traditional dialect of Mandarin, but there is usually a thick accent and Jinan dialect is also mixed into their regular Mandarin.