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6 Apps You Need When Traveling to China

As a westerner, it is always daunting travelling to a completely different country. We are so set in our ways that we something forget that there is a whole new world waiting to be discovered. Before my travels, I have read a lot of post on what China travel apps you might need to use and this is my list of the top 6 apps I used.

1. VPN

VPN or a virtual private network will definitely be top of my list. China is known for their great firewall and without a VPN none of your Google apps will work. Make sure to download and register the VPN before entering China as once there you will not be able to access your apps store to download it. I would suggest Express VPN and this would be the best VPN to use in China.


2. WeChat

WeChat is China’s Whatsapp and it was sometimes the only way of communicating with the outside world if my VPN did not work. Again I would suggest you download and register the app beforehand.


3. Translator App

This is a must as virtually nobody in China would understand you when speaking English, I would suggest downloading Google translator and pre-download traditional and simplified Chineses beforehand. It would come in handy more times than you could possibly think.



DIDI is the Chinese version on Uber and it works just as great, you can register your credit card and is extremely cheap to use. Just make sure when downloading DIDI that you download the English version.


5. Offline Maps

If you are an explorer by heart that likes to take the road less travelled by an offline map is a must, it would help you get back into the main road as China has so many interesting and beautiful side roads than one would easily get lost. I would suggest Maps.ME as this is the best offline app to assist in finding your way in a new city.


6. VISA and Mastercard locator

Finally, this is an app I only realized I needed once in China, as a westerner I am so used to VISA and Mastercard ATMs being around every corner that I did not even think about getting it. But I soon realised that the majority of the Chinese banks use Union pay and it was a struggle to find VISA or Mastercard. But again a lifesaver.

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Lastly, enjoy every second of it, China has a lot of hidden gems and the people and culture are extremely beautiful and caring. If your goal is to rediscover yourself on a whole new level I would strongly suggest China.

© 2018 Stefan Reitsma


Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on October 30, 2018:

Very helpful information.Have not traveled to China but hope to one day. I lived in Japan for 4 years and fell in love with the people and the country. I feel sure I will feel the same about China. Angels are on the way this morning. ps

Eman Abdallah Kamel from Egypt on October 25, 2018:

Thanks for the tips.

nuttapon sriyapai from thailand on October 24, 2018:

Thanks for the info.

Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on October 23, 2018:

This is a great article for those hoping to travel to China. It can be quite scary travelling without internet, especially if the place is unfamiliar to you. These tips will definitely give tourists what they need to stay connected during their trip.

Liz Westwood from UK on October 22, 2018:

I saw a friend's holiday snaps from China recently. They recommended either visiting someone you know there or going on an organised tour unless you know the language. They thought that reading signposts and getting around would have been a problem without knowing the language.

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