Chengdu, as the beacon of Western China, has a unique work life balance culture. Its citizens work studiously, but at the same time cherish their time with family and friends, enjoying the city’s vibrant lifestyle and culture. 

In November 2015, Chengdu was bestowed the title of “The Happiest City in China” for a third straight year running and awarded first category status in housing, traffic and prevailing weather.  The award reflects the results of a comprehensive nation-wide survey and was conferred at the forum of the ‘Happiest Chinese Cities’, held by the Xinhua News Agency and Association of Chinese Mayors, at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing.

The “The Happiest City in China” survey was launched in June 2015 and from the 1st of August to 30th September 2015, more than 80 million people voted from every region in China.  The survey encompassed 42 industries in 7 categories, including: education, medical treatment and public health, cost of living, quality of living and natural environment, social security provisions, public services and cultural influences.

From 2007 Chengdu has been awarded numerous titles ranging from Happiest City and Most Beautiful City to the prized Most Unique Cultural City. is genuinely proud to congratulate Chengdu, its institutions and citizen for receiving this award three straight years in a row.

Undoubtedly, Chengdu has achieved a truly unique work life balance and this phenomenon is worthy of exploration in more depth.

Chengdu is home to over 14 million citizens who are very welcoming and tolerant of all individuals and cultures.  Chengdu has a history spanning 2,300 years and has consistently lived in peaceful coexistence with mother nature and its neighbours.  When walking the street of Chengdu, if lost and in need of directions, its citizens will gladly assist, and their parting words are invariably “Welcome to Chengdu”.

Chengduans have a deep respect for the law and incorporate values of honesty and trust in their daily lives.  Indeed, while in some global jurisdictions honesty is on the wane, in Chengdu you can sense the sincerity and warmth in people’s behavior and conversations.  As they say “Honest Chengdu ‘took millennia to cultivate’”.

Chengdu also has a unique urban design landscape. When walking around West Chengdu, one is awed by the tree lined streets and majestic villas.  In East Chengdu, one is frequently and profoundly amazed at the hive of construction activity set amongst the beauty and significance of structures from an ancient city still very relevant culture.

However, it is South Chengdu, the new burgeoning metropolis where, within the last three to seven years the precinct has been transformed into a modern and stylish cityscape.  The epicenter of Chengdu’s geographic expansion is slowly moving south into the Tianfu New Areas: the Hi Tech Zones, where you can witness urbanization on a mighty charge.

Chengdu’s weather has four distinct seasons.  On some days when it can feel a little foggy and overcast the sun is likely to come out bristling with energy and invigorating the city and its people.  On such a day within a mere one hour drive one can be in the outer districts that mingle with the forests and reach into spectacular mountainous landscape.

Chengdu has a rich, living culture and its citizens immerse themselves in art, dance, music and poetry to name but a few.  Chengdu is world famous for the Sichuan Opera, but when walking through People’s Park and Jinjiang River territories, it is their love of dance that stands out most.  Traditional and stylish, both modern and traditional dance forms are incorporated throughout their majestic dance performances.

Chengdu is home to over 10,000 tea houses, and the tea drinking culture is Chengdu’s traditional way of having a casual chat, meeting and getting to know one another, and importantly, is an essential part of doing business in the Chengdu way.  The business phenomenon is refreshingly unique, whereas in western businesses and cities, one congregates in modern office towers and hallowed halls of commerce, in Chengdu all the business and entrepreneurial discussions are undertaken in traditional tea houses and more recently, gradually spreading to modern cafes.

Indeed, acclimatising to Chengdu, its culture and its people, is not a daunting challenge.  Whilst certainly, in some quarters, there is a lack of English spoken, the professionals who make the transition into its working life, will find English spoken by many likeminded business people.  Though not surprisingly, it is said that learning some quaint Mandarin words will go a long way to help you adjust to the customs and relate to the people of Chengdu and Sichuan.

Finally, happiness, a paradigm we all aspire in our busy, hectic and often stressful lives is highly valued and promoted in Chengdu.  The need to slow down and incorporate a better work life balance, helps to promote the development of our creative and entrepreneurial skills and notions of tolerance and consideration.  Chengdu, with its endearing happiness, is a unique place where we all can feel at home.  It is only a matter of time before many more people find out about Chengdu’s unique work life balance, charm and ability to transform careers, support entrepreneurial pursuits and provide ongoing learning opportunities.

Disclaimer: The above article has been researched and written by