What it is to live in Wudaokou / Zhongguancun Beijing

I have been living in Beijing for 4 years: 4 months in Fulicheng (CBD area, South-East of Beijing), 4 months near Tiantan (South of Beijing), and 3 years in Chaoyang Park area (Sanlitun, Expat-Party area, East of Beijing).

This year in March I moved to Wudaokou (5DK), far North West of Beijing if you compare it to Chaoyang District where most of my friends live. I decided to move there because my job was there and I was tired to have more than 1h of commute every day. Also because I believe Zhongguancun (ZGC) & Wudaokou is very happening right now for the start-up scene.
I move without any regret even when all my friends were making fun of me saying that 5DK was for students and there is not much thing to do in term of party there. They were saying that it is so far they will never visit and I will never come down again.

And they are not entirely wrong, 5DK is freaking far from other happening places like Nanluoguxiang or Sanlitun (at least 40 min of subway).

5DK is full of students due to the proximity of all universities: Beida, Qinghua (the most prestigious ones), Beijing Language and Culture University (where most foreigners go study Chinese for 1-2 semesters), Agriculture university, Forestry university….
And because of that, the biggest tech companies have there office here: Google, Yahoo, Sohu, Sina…
And because of that, most startups set office around here, in this famous residential building in Zhichunlu, behind the old Microsoft office, that is said to host many startups, or within Innovation Works, the famous startup incubator from Kaifu Lee. After graduation, most of his startups stay around.

Living in Wudaokou is like changing the pace of your life. Everything seems more cosy and village-like. I can find anything I need 5-15 minutes walk from my??apartment??(supermarket, optic shop, hairdresser, stadium, swimming pool, street-food, street-book, street-clothes, giant mall….), most of my colleagues live very close-by, you feel less like an alien as everyone live here for the same reason: taking a chance!

Only in here would I bumped into an old friend from Toastmaster who tell me he just quit his job at Sony Ericsson to launch his start-up!

You can easily have lunch or coffee with a friend. And a friend is always a potential business partner.

I feel more drive to get things done, waking up on Saturday, going to a coffee and working on stuff. Because people here do that: students or startup guys. There are less distraction and more drive.??And also pretty good brunch.

This post has been written from Bridge Cafe.

Photo_on_2011-07-09_at_14Photo_on_2011-07-09_at_14

About Carole (code name 烤肉)

I work in tech since 2008, moved from Reunion island to Paris, Beijing, San Francisco and ended up in Berlin in 2014.
This entry was posted in Being an entrepreneur, Being an expat, China, Tech. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What it is to live in Wudaokou / Zhongguancun Beijing

  1. Provoost says:

    Hi Carole,The one thing I noticed in Beijing is that the "relevant" sites are very far apart. Maybe they can build a ring MagLev like in Shanghai, e.g. West Station -> Wudako -> CBD :-)Was it easy to find an apartment as a non-student? Expensive?Sjors

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Sjors,<div>Yeap the distance is a paint… It is very difficult to find something nice and affordable in 5DK, because of the Student population, landlord never have difficulties on the demand, so the price is quite high for the value. Fortunately I got in just when my friend left his place, so I was able to get it and negotiate with the landlord to have a price still a bit under market value.</div> <div>Apartment??sharing is the way to live here, reduce cost and make friend. How is iShiyou going?<br><br></div>

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