China is one of the most incredible places you will ever visit. It’s a country rich in ancient history and awe-inspiring sites combined with high-tech cities that can sometimes put New York to shame.
Such is its cultural differences though when visiting you often need all the help you can get. More and more apps are hitting the market to help with life in China, with some must downloads ahead of any trip, whether you’re visiting Beijing, Macau or one of the many rural hamlets that have so much to offer.
Below you’ll find some of the best apps to download to make visiting the Orient that little easier…
One of the main issues when visiting China is internet censorship. It can often lead to you feel being cut off from home with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and many news sites from home being blocked by the government.
A VPN can help bypass this. ExpressVPN is often considered the best VPN for China, as you can download it onto almost any device and get around geoblocks to access the same content you would at home.
The VPN allows you to connect to a server from outside of China, masking your location and giving you access to sites that would otherwise be blocked. This opens up the door to communicate with friends and family via social media as well as unlocking many streaming services which are also heavily censored via geoblocking.
The language barrier can be a real struggle in China. The majority of people only speak in their native tongue, aside from major hotels, attractions and restaurants of course, so it’s always a good idea to have some method in which you can attempt to break that barrier.
Waygo is a fantastic app that doesn’t need to be online to work and can help you translate the written word into English.
It’s ideal for deciphering menus, street signs and more, instantly translating what you need to know and ordering what you need or getting to where you need to be.
Getting around can be confusing in the major cities of China, which may often lead you to hire a taxi. Rather than try and explain to a taxi driver where you wish to go, download Didi Chuxing and let the app do the work.
China’s answer to Uber, Didi Chuxing is available in English and Chinese and ultimately works in exactly the same way to Uber, meaning, in reality, you don’t need to even speak to the driver if necessary.
You place your pickup point and drop off into the app and away you go. Quick, easy and reasonably priced.
Google Maps isn’t currently available in China, so figuring your way around town can cause problems. However, Baidu is an alternative mapping app that does work and operates in much the same way.
It’s ideal for exploring the city, becoming familiar with your surroundings and getting from A to B whether on foot or in a vehicle. What’s more, you can also figure out public transport networks and generally make life much easier when visiting major cities such as Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.