Xi’an is the capital of Shaanxi Province, situated on the Guanzhong Plain in northwest China. A city of contrast between ancient and modern, Xi’an has many Tang Dynasty temples and pagodas, a Stele Forest of ancient stone sculptures, the Banpo Neolithic village, the world-famous Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, and much more simply waiting for an expatriate living in Xi’an to visit. The enclosing city walls, which were reconstructed in the fourteenth century and are the longest in the world, stand twelve meters high, and it is possible to walk around them in 4-5 hours, or cycle them in 2-3 hours. However, Xi’an has expanded beyond its city walls, and to the south expats living in Xi’an will find a lively shopping district, with bars open until 4am! The center of Xi’an is marked by the Bell Tower, from which four roads radiate out to the four compass points, along which are a variety of shops. Thankfully, pedestrianization of much of the city center, including under- and overpasses, protect residents and tourists from the hectic highways of Xi’an. Joining InterNations, the friendly online community for expatriates, gives an expat in Xi’an the opportunity to easily socialize and network via the InterNations portal in order to find contacts living in the Xi’an area and beyond.
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The Xi’an Xianyang International Airport is situated in the northwest of the city sees flights arriving in Xi’an from Asian cities as well as Europe and has its own Metro station for a direct connection to the city. The still developing Metro system and the overground railways combine to give an efficient transportation system. High speed trains arrive at the Xi’an North Station, a few miles north of the city, with slower domestic and urban trains calling at suburban stations and the main Xi’an Station, which forms a hub with the bus system. Air-conditioned buses display a snowflake symbol, and with the climate of Xi’an alternating between semi-arid and humid sub-tropical depending on the season, an expatriate moving to Xi’an will appreciate the comfort! Relocating to another country can be daunting and with the differences in culture and language to overcome it makes sense to draw on the expertise of fellow InterNations members, especially those who have, or are, living in China. For more general advice and information, the online Expat Magazine offers up to date information not only on the relocation process and should be consulted as needed.
The Xi’an tourist industry is an important economic contributor, but with several Fortune 500 companies based in the city, including Mitsubishi, Fujitsu and Boeing, the city is very much at the forefront of technological development. Xi’an has a prominent aerospace industry and several high tech industrial development zones, containing businesses in service outsourcing as well as research and development. Xi’an is further part of the West Triangle Economic Zone, together with Chengdu and Chongqing, and expatriates working in Xi’an can expect excellent career opportunities in this dynamic city. The InterNations membership is composed of high-ranking individuals and their partners, in business, commerce, industry, education and more, all of whom are united by their expat status and global mindset. Locating other expatriates in Xi’an is therefore certainly possible for business as well as social activities within the city.