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Survey: Guangzhou & Shenzhen both in world’s top 20 unfriendliest cities

Posted: 08/9/2013 7:00 am

A survey by luxury travel magazine Condé Nast has declared Guangzhou to be the 11th unfriendliest city in the world and Shenzhen to be 14th.

About Guangzhou, the magazine had the following to say:

Readers think Southern China’s largest city is “not as tourist-friendly as Beijing, Hong Kong, or Shanghai,” and that may be because it’s a better fit for business travelers. Readers say the “not nice” city is best for “work only” because it is “busy and extremely crowded.”

About Shenzhen, it said this:

Another big business city (the Shenzhen Stock Exchange is here), Shenzhen didn’t win over our readers. Though some like the shopping and spas and the proximity to Hong Kong, others complained it was “too crowded” and “dirty,” winding up at visiting “only if I have to.”

But if this survey is embarrassing for the Pearl River Delta, it is even more so for the United States. Newark in New Jersey is the number 1 unfriendliest city, one of five U.S. cities in the top 10.

No Chinese cities are in the top 20 friendliest cities, the list of which you can find here.

Sina Weibo users’ reactions to the results were entertaining. One said: “You think Guangzhou is unfriendly? You should go to some other Chinese cities.” Another said: “I’ve heard Beijing and Shanghai are less friendly to outsiders.” Another said: “Maybe the reason why Guangzhou isn’t friendly is because it’s the capital of the 3rd world.”

So, are these verdicts unfair?

  • Jake2778

    Nice, New Jersey is #1….ha.

    I’ve lived many years in different cities in China and I find cities in Guangdong to be better then Shanghai or Beijing. People’s mannerisms and politeness are MUCH better in Guangzhou and Shenzhen then Shanghai or Beijing. I think what hurts Shenzhen and Guangzhou are the taxi drivers as most of them are not local people and have a poor attitude. Shanghai and Beijing most of the drivers are local and have a little more education and understanding on service.

    • Kevin McGeary

      Well, the result makes sense when you think it was a survey of tourists, not expatriates.

  • Pingback: Huizhou is declared most beautiful city in mainland China | Nanfang Insider

  • Matt

    Guangzhou crowded?! Give me a break. I moved here from Shanghai last year and the place feels half empty. The closest i have found to a crowd is Saturday evening in Beijing St. Somebody didnt tell the reviewers that there are more people in Guangzhou than Kansas City and they should be ready for that. Personally I have found Guangzhou to be very welcoming of outsiders from all over the country and the world. The most ‘friendly’ city in China (incl HK) in which I have lived.

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