Living in: Great cities for history and ancient ruins
A central Tel Aviv two-bedroom flat sells for around 2.1 million shekels and rents for around 6,000 to 8,000 shekels a month. In Neve Tzedek, a two-bedroom flat costs around 3.5 million shekels and rents for between 6,000 and 9,000 shekels a month. Around the Jaffa Port market, a similar apartment costs anywhere from 1.8 to three million shekels and rents for around 4,000 to 5,000 shekels a month.
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This city in central China, more than 1,000km west of Beijing, is one of the country’s oldest metropolises. It is also where the Silk Road ended in the East and is home to the famed army of terracotta soldiers that belonged to the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. While his actual tomb has not been explored yet because of the difficulty in excavating the site, the vast pits containing the terracotta soldiers, cavalry, archers and officers can be viewed at the Emperor Qui Shi Huang Mausoleum Site Museum. Thousands of these life-sized figures are part of the mausoleum and imperial palace that sits about 30km east of Xi’an, built to resemble the empire’s capital city of Xianyang. In addition, the city is peppered with old city walls, temples, pagodas and tombs from Han Dynasty rulers, including the Hanyangling Tomb, which houses Emperor Jingdi and his wife Empress Wang.
Modern Xi’an is a centre for tech, software and aerospace industries, as well as home to almost 100 universities and colleges. According to a 2012 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, it is one of China’s 13 emerging megacities. Samsung recently opened a microchip plant in the Xi’an High-Tech Industrial Development Zone (XHTZ), an event that is attracting further foreign investment and workers to the city. In turn, this is spurring the government to provide infrastructure and schools for the internationals who are moving there. The city also built six parks within the XHTZ and added bus stops and additional parking. The average cost of a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre is 9,000 renminbi per square metre. A similar three-bedroom flat in the city centre rents for around 1,300 renminbi per month, while a two-bed in the Crystal Island area of the XHTZ goes for around 2,000 renminbi a month.
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