For the most part, the Changchun Friends website is not very active and has been superseded by the Tencent "Wechat" app by the local expat community. This website is maintained sporadically, people may still join and membership is still open, but if you are a spammer, stay away. The archived information here is still useful, but some may be out of date. There are plans to make it more useful for static information in the future. If anyone needs information about Changchun or China, you may post a message and it probably will get a response but not immediately.

Changchun Friends

a great way to get involved

Hiya all, Sara here, will be arriving in Changchun mid Jan, there's a group of us so we just want to gather some information about the city, also what we should bring and what to expect there. All excited and cant wait to get to the new surroundings that we'll be in for a year..

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Hi Sara, you found the site, a lot of cool people here i'm sure they can help with any problems you guys have when you get there

Hi Sara,

If you look through the Groups, you'll find a few that deal with places to go, and things to see. Some of us have been here for a long time, and we'd be more than happy to answer any questions that you and/or your group need answers to. From Restaurants and Bars, to pet ownership, to visas and medicals. No matter the question, somebody here will be able to answer it for you.

Make sure all of your software is up to date before you come.

Call Microsoft (1-800-642-7676) and make sure your activation codes are still going to be valid while you're in China. Yes, it matters.

Get a good vpn BEFORE you come if you plan on keeping in touch with your family using Facebook or Twitter. Also, you'll need it if you want to use Google. Make sure you can also use it on your phone.

Make sure your cellphone is backed up before you leave home. Check for updates before you come. If you update while you're here, you'll probably find that your Google Play store is missing, and you'll have a bunch of Chinese games and crap that you don't want or need.

When you arrive and get your first SIM card for your phone, ask for International Dialling. If you don't ask, you won't get it.

You will be able to get most of your favourite foods here. We do have some International markets which specialize in foreign foods. You might want to steal and bring grandma's potato masher, tho. ;-)

Don't bring anything that can't run on 220V 50Hz. If you do, and you plug it in, you WILL release the built-in smoke, and it won't work any more.

Chinese thermal underwear is really, really warm, but winter boots are ... more suited to the fashion runways of New York or Milan, than the snow and ice. Bring something that will ensure good traction on ice. They don't clear the snow as well as we do back home, and it gets very slippery, very quickly!

Bring a good quality, down-filled parka.  Winter can get very, very cold. The more it makes you look like the Michelin Man or the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man, the better.

If you play a guitar, leave it home. You can buy one here. They are actually quite cheap, and you can get surprisingly good quality instruments. Changchun is an Arts College city, so there are more than just a few music stores around.

Any more questions? Feel free to ask.

yea thx a lot for showing us the site Matt

Hiya Chris, thx for all the info, most of us r using mac's

we've got most of all our winter gear sorted out, boots, thermals etc.. 

a few more questions, some of us were wondering if there are places paintball, jet skiing etc.. during the summer?

whats the average most people spend there, i personally drink and party a lot lol but normal costs i.e. living costs, food, getting around the city, things like that.

Thx again for all the info you've given us. very helpful 

There are several clubs here. Grandpa's, Nautilus, Trochilus, The Mayflower, Happy Home, Three Amigo's, World Life Center, etc. It seems like there's a new one every week, almost. Be careful with the drinking. It can get extremely expensive (western prices in RMB). If you are going out every night, and you're drinking cocktails at Trochilus, it won't take long for you to be asking, "Where the hell did my paycheque go?" World Life Centre has a good selection of European beer at an affordable price. Nautilus has a good atmosphere, and serves good mixed drinks. Their prices vary, depending on what you want. Trochilus serves cocktails. I've never been there, but I've been told they are very good. Also very expensive.

Even tho you are using Mac's, I still would recommend you get a reliable VPN. Astril is quite popular amongst expats here. From what I know, there is paintball here. I don't partake in it myself, but I think there might be one or two others who do. Jet-skiing may be available in Jingyue. There is a huge lake/reservoir out there which is very popular. It even holds the Northeast Siberian Tiger breeding center.

Taxis start at 5 yuan <$1 (USD). It's almost impossible to get one between 4:30 and 6:00, however. That's when shift change happens, and they like to refuse fares at that time, unless you are going somewhere relatively close, and no ... it doesn't matter if it's freezing or monsoon rain. They will still refuse.

Buses are around 1 yuan, and most people here can help with that. You can get a bus card (electronic) that you put money on, and just swipe it when you get on the bus. Changchun has a light rapid transit system that is prettty good, but it shuts down after the last run at 9:00 PM, and the city is currently building a subway system which will be finished in a couple more years.

There is a lot of street food here. Some of it will seem pretty strange at first sight. Kinda like, "OMG, how can you EAT that?!?!?!" Lots of smaller places that are like BBQ's that are absolutely fantastic, and dirt-cheap. They may look filthy, but when you walk in the door, they will treat you like royalty. They don't often get foreigners who will just walk in, but when they do, it's nothing but the best service.

Glad I could help.

The three monkeys Irish Pub is a proper Wester Bar with lots of activities going on

Beginnings are always difficult and you will always spend more money during first month or two until you know where to go what to buy and how to bargain. When you acquire this ability combined with cooking at home more often than eating out it will allow you to survive a month on 2000 rmb or less (you can spend more on drinking and party for example at 3 monkeys, WLC, grandpas or Trochilus)

Also, depending on where you are going to be working, you may be close to one of the 4 Die BackstuBe restaurants. Authentic German cuisine courtesy by of one of our very own, Wilhelm. 10 yuan pints of beer, and all the schnitzel you could possibly swallow!

There are always events going on, such as "My Home Town" at the World Life Center, and our "Trivia Nights" at Die BackstuBe and The Three Monkeys. There is darts, Latin dance, movie nights, our ever-popular 4th of July Party, Halloween Parties galore, Christmas get-togethers, Thanksgiving dinners (yes ... with turkey), New Years parties, St. Patrick's Day, and a whole lot more. There's something for everybody here.

Wow thx so much guys, Chris, Richard and Murin (i hope i got your name right) for all the great info, sound like a really interesting place with pretty much everything most foreigners need. VPN crossed off the checklist, next thing is for us to visit all the places here we wont see for a year lol, and also bulk buy chocolates and candies lmao.

P.S.. Are you the Chris teaching or taught at Changchun university? the one who studies karate(or maybe something else similar)?

http://vpnreviewz.com/

There are some websites that are like "yelp for VPNs"

vpnreviewz.com is one of them. think it might be helpful

There are also Chinese VPN providers, often they are cheaper and work well in China.

You guys are gonna have fun

Yes. Why? Are you the one replacing me? If so, good luck with that, and if so, I hope you are skilled at skirting around BS, and you enjoy being locked in at night.

Oh, and I study Taekwondo.



Sara Woodward said:

Wow thx so much guys, Chris, Richard and Murin (i hope i got your name right) for all the great info, sound like a really interesting place with pretty much everything most foreigners need. VPN crossed off the checklist, next thing is for us to visit all the places here we wont see for a year lol, and also bulk buy chocolates and candies lmao.

P.S.. Are you the Chris teaching or taught at Changchun university? the one who studies karate(or maybe something else similar?

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