I started this post a long time ago, as a companion to an earlier post about -- what are the upsides of living abroad?
The question is -- what are the downsides? How long should an ex-pat stay and live in China? I think the answer depends on a number of things:
Number one: If you have a really cool, high status, well-paid job here -- as opposed to being an ESL teacher -- perhaps the main considerations are (a) the pollution and (b) what is the best for your family life and your children, supposing you have any. The career considerations I'll discuss below do not apply to you.
So.... if you are mulling over whether to come to China for a year or two, take those financial and career considerations into account. No-one can guarantee you'll have a great experience teaching abroad, but I hope you do. A lot depends on what attitude you bring to it, of course.
Dave's ESL Cafe isn't the only source of info, either. Try Internations. Try YouTube. Austin Guidry, the vlogger I've linked to above, is a good place to start, and so is the Local Laowai series. And of course, my blog.