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Shunyi District: Guide to Living Here

Shunyi District (顺义区 in Chinese, Shùnyì Qū in Pinyin) is Beijing's expatriate suburb located north-east of the Beijing city proper. Shunyi is similar in organization and layout to a North American suburb, with large homes, lots of green space, markedly reduced traffic compared to often-gridlocked downtown Beijing, and loads of Western amenities.


Expatriates who choose Shunyi choose it because they want:

  • The closest thing to a "home away from home" experience

  • A safer, quieter, and/or calmer living situation outside the urban environment

  • To be a part of its large expatriate and family communities

  • Easy access to the large number of international schools with campuses here

It's most common for expatriate families first moving to Beijing to select Shunyi as their location of choice simply because of its familiarity and similarity to previous living environments, and for its safety and accessibility for children.

Shunyi offers a number of other advantages to expatriates and expatriate families too; we'll look at each below.

Living Arrangements

Most expatriates living in Shunyi rent or own villas in the many gated communities the district has to offer. "Villas" can be as small as a town house, or as large as a proper Western villa. The villa communities typically features the following facilities for residents' use:

  • Swimming pools
  • Tennis courts
  • Gyms (with machines and free weights)
  • Clubhouses / meeting rooms
  • Guardhouses with regular patrols

Villas can range in price anywhere from ¥20,000 per month at the absolute least expensive to (more often) ¥30,000 to ¥60,000+ per month for residences at the higher end and in the nicer communities.


Most expatriates living in Shunyi are those with families (singles normally prefer to live inside the city limits).

Local Amenities

Shunyi offers the same kinds of amenities you'll find in most Western suburbs, including:

  • Western supermarkets, including Carrefour and BHG.

  • Western restaurants, ranging from Mexican to Italian to French food, bagel shops and pizza parlors, and including bakeries and fast food establishments like McDonald's and KFC.

  • Salons, sports gear, electronics, clothing, and other shops and stores aimed at Westerners and carrying Western brands and items.

  • Pinnacle Plaza, a square at the heart of Shunyi hosting numerous shops, cafés, bars, Western restaurants, Western supermarkets, and a even a tailor.

  • Beijing United Family Hospital, one of Beijing's Westerner-focused hospitals, offers both a medical and surgical clinic and dental offices in Shunyi (located in Pinnacle Plaza).

  • Entertainment options including superior sporting facilities, fishing spots, golf courses and clubs, skating, dance, yoga, kung-fu, horseback riding, and even a ski resort (located a bit outside of town).


Western dining in Shunyi is as good as or superior to anywhere else in Beijing. Nightlife is not as vibrant as that on offer in downtown, though the activities available to families and children are much broader and greater in number than those you'll find elsewhere in the city.


Shunyi is home to one of the largest concentrations of international schools in Beijing:

  • The British School of Beijing
  • Canadian International School
  • Dulwich College Beijing
  • Harrow International School Beijing
  • International School of Beijing
  • Swedish School Beijing
  • Western Academy of Beijing


... and many more international schools and kindergartens serving Shunyi's large population of expatriate families and school-age children and teens.

Main article: International Schools in Beijing: The School Guide


Shunyi is located northeast of Beijing proper, between the city and Beijing Capital Airport (PEK). It's location removed from the city means fewer cars on the streets, lower traffic and congestion levels, and less road noise; it also means a longer commute to work if work is located in the city, or to visit friends, go shopping or dining, or see attractions or nightlife inside the city.


A subway station in Shunyi has been open on Line 15 since 31 December 2011, connecting Shunyi to the rest of Beijing by metro since then.


Assuming the higher rents won't break the bank, Shunyi is the area of choice for most expatriate families moving to Beijing. It's also home for a number of wealthier Chinese families looking for quieter and more serene living conditions than can be found in Beijing, and more proximity to Beijing's international residents.


While likely not a place you'll want to settle as a Beijing single - it's too far removed from where all the singles are congregating, and it's likely to be far from work, and everything else - if you have school-age children and want to remain in a more Western environment, Shunyi may very well be the best choice for you.

Ready to find an apartment or villa in Shunyi? You can head here to start now:

Shunyi and Pinnacle Plaza 顺义南
Price: ¥39 000
Beds: 4 | Baths: 4
Shunyi and Pinnacle Plaza 顺义南
Price: ¥11 000
Beds: 3 | Baths: 3
Shunyi and Pinnacle Plaza 顺义南
Price: ¥12 000
Beds: 4 | Baths: 4
Shunyi and Pinnacle Plaza 顺义南
Price: ¥18 000
Beds: 4 | Baths: 4
Shunyi and Pinnacle Plaza 顺义南
Price: ¥30 000
Beds: 5 | Baths: 5

Or, see more apartments here: Apartments in Shunyi