Have you ever thought of traveling or moving to China? If you have, I have some useful tips to help you on your adventure.
Get a VPN
A VPN is virtual private network that let’s you get a secure connection to another network. Since China restricts a lot on the web such as Google, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, a VPN is a great way to surpass that. I can’t stress this one enough if you are connected to social media like I am. If you’re not, China will be a walk in the park for you. Before I used a free VPN by Betternet. It worked fairly well, but I knew I was going to be going to China more often. My husband bought Express VPN. We can have 3 devices connected at the same time, which is a huge plus! For one year, it’s $8.32 per month. For all our traveling to China, it is worth the money. But just remember that with any VPN, the connection might be a little slower than at home, but it’s manageable.
iTunes Shows & Movies
I don’t know about you, but I love my TV shows! I knew Netflix wasn’t going to work in China, and I wasn’t going to rely on a VPN for streaming shows. I just knew it would be a huge challenge. So this time I downloaded three TV series that I’ve been meaning to watch. Season 5 of Once Upon a Time, Season 5 of New Girl, and Season 2 of Tyrant were all locked and loaded before I boarded my plane to China. (Side note- I highly recommend these TV series for everyone!) This method for watching TV shows in China is by far the easiest way I’ve found. It requires no Internet connection, no VPN…nothing. Just you, your computer and some yummy candy is all that’s needed.
Carry Plenty of Tissues
As with many Asian countries, carrying little tissue packets in your purse or jacket is a must. Often times, bathrooms do not supply toilet paper. I’ve been caught many times having to do the “drip dry” method before leaving the bathroom stall. This is not a fun situation to be in, so keep those tissues close. Thankfully they are easy enough to find since everyone knows they have to do this while living in China. These tissues might come in handy for the next tip I have for you as well.
This is EXTREMELY important. I can’t stress it enough. Being in China, especially in the wintertime, is awful when it comes to air quality. Unless you want to risk getting serious health problems, or even just a clogged up nose, I highly recommend a pollution mask. My husband and I bought a Respro mask in Taiwan before we went. These masks have excellent reviews and might seem a little pricy, but I feel they work well! Plus, they are reusable and have a cool “look”. If you want, you can easily buy a pollution mask in China. No worries if you didn’t get to buy one before your trip. These are a popular kind I saw all the time (3M 9332). They are disposable ones though, but I’ve seen online that they can be bought in packs. I would advise NOT to wear just a surgical mask. Those are not made for keeping out all the fine pollution particles. In Beijing, you will see lots of people wearing them, and many people without masks at all. It’s a scary sight!
Word of warning! Even if it’s a green light for the crosswalk, don’t think you can just walk across without a care in the world. Cars do not stop for pedestrians in China. Even when the pedestrian has the right of way, one should always double and triple check both directions as you cross. There are bikes, cars, scooters and other people to keep a lookout for. Don’t worry! I promise you will be fine if you cautiously cross the street each time.
Become a Hand Sanitizer King or Queen
Maybe this is just me being a germ freak. I know I am, and I’ll admit it. But like with any big city, there are lots of germs because there are lots of people. Plus public transportation like buses and the subway carry tons of people every day. I always feel that my hands are grimy after using public transportation. It’s such a relief to squirt a little hand sanitizer on after getting off the subway! Remember it’s important to stay healthy on your trip if you want to have a good time.
WeChat is a free messaging and calling app that is widely used in China. Everyone and their mother has this app on their phone. It’s great for keeping in touch with people you meet in China, plus local businesses have accounts through WeChat that you can follow for information. Remember to have your friends and family back home download the app, so it’s easy to stay in touch. WeChat doesn’t require a VPN, so it’s an almost guarantee that the app will work. Another fun thing about WeChat is the fun stickers you can use for messaging. There are tons of free ones with cute characters we all know, such as Stitch and Winnie the Pooh.
All in all, China is an excellent place to travel to. It really does feel like you are in a foreign land that is full of history and culture. I’ll be posting more on China in the near future, so stay tuned!