Text by: Amanda Hong
It’s common for people to be perplexed when they hear about all the apps that isn’t the norm for people in China. But it really isn’t as bad as you think it is, because there are tools to help you get your daily dose of Instagram! That, alongside other applications that can help you navigate your ventures in China at ease.
Unfortunately, the firewall in China has blocked most of our frequently used sites and apps such as Facebook, Google, Instagram, and others. But fret not… VPN to the rescue!
This is how VPN Express works: It provides a secure channel that protects private web traffic by changing your IP address. It’s basically tricking the network that you’re online in another country. VPN Express has a 7-day free trial, which will most probably be ideal for your short trip in China. But if your trip is longer, you can opt for their paid plans to continue surfing.
WeChat & WeChatPay
China has been one of the top countries that have rapidly evolved into a cashless society, so e-wallets are preferred — VISA, Master, and American Express cards are not widely accepted. When in China, use WeChatPay or Alipay for dining and shopping to save yourself that weird stare from the cashier.
Many of us rely on Google Maps to walk around a foreign city, but since Google isn’t available in China — Baidu Maps shall be your best friend. But don’t worry, it works similar to Maps with voice-guided navigation available. You can pin your preferred venues and explore the city as you please!
Metro China Subway
What’s sub! If you’re looking to go around by public transport, the Metro China Subway app will help you navigate public transportation in each city. The app provides everything from entering and exiting to instructions within each subway station. It also has a filter that provides the best route while taking duration into consideration. The best part is it’s available in English. Phew!
DiDi Chuxing (滴滴出行)
If you’re not up for squeezing your way through public transport, you can always opt for a private ride. DiDi is similar to Grab and Uber, an easy option to get from point A to B — and you can also pay for your rides with WeChatPay.
Language barrier? Waygo is the way to go. This award-winning translation app works offline, just scan an image of the Chinse characters and it’ll instantly translate it for you. It provides 10 free translations a day, but you can pay a small amount for a week of free unlimited translations.
Now that we’ve gone through all the necessary apps, are you ready to book your trip?!