Borders: From Zhuhai to Macau (Photo Essays)

Borders Zhuhai Macau

Despite not being as well known as the one between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, even less-famous Zhuhai has its border checkpoint, Gonbei Port, from which it’s possible to get to Macau (or enter China from Macau). Actually, between Zhuhai e Macau there’s also a second checkpoint, Hengqin, which is mainly just used for the transport of goods.

In recent years, travel to and from Macau has grown, and in the last year alone, about 100 million people passed through Gonbei checkpoint.

Who goes to Macau? Besides Chinese tourists full of cash who are looking to gamble it all away in the Las Vegas of Asia, from what I saw there are tons of farmers and small-time merchants who shuttle across to sell their products in much wealthier Macau. But there are also students, businessmen and foreigners looking to renew their visas who make the crossing.

This photo gallery is dedicated to them and the variety of trades that operate near the borders. Enjoy! [Read more…]

Moving to China to Work or Study

moving to china to work and study

This article is a quick guide to everything you need to know to prepare before moving to China to live and how to take your first steps once you have arrived. Keep in mind that many of the subjects included here have been covered in much more detail in our free e-Book or in other articles.

In this article, I will discuss the following aspects (you can click on any of them to skip directly to the section that interests you).

Before moving: Relocation agencies, finding a job, visas, vaccines, money and cards, plane tickets, documentation, health insurance, finding lodging for the first days, what to bring, sending your things, finding a school for your children, pets.

First steps in China: Registering with the local police, residency permit, registering with your consulate, opening a bank account, driver’s license, phone cards and internet, finding a place to live.
[Read more…]

Business visas for China – The complete guide

Business Visa for ChinaThe old commercial visa (F visa), now called M visa

The business visa (or M visa) is issued to those coming to China for commercial activity. In the course of the article you’ll find answers to the following questions:

  • What is required to obtain an M visa?
  • How long is the M visa good for, and how many entries can I get?
  • Where can I apply for an M visa?
  • Can I renew my M visa in China?
  • How much does an M visa cost?
  • How can I read an M visa?
  • How can one get an M visa on arrival at the Shanghai Airport?
  • How can one get a 5 day visa on arrival at the border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen?
  • Can I work in China with an M visa?

If you’re interested in finding out more about tourist, student or work visas, click here to read our guide to Chinese visas. If instead you’re interested in a visa to visit relatives (your husband, son, etc) then click here. If you’re interested in obtaining a visa for Taiwan, click here. [Read more…]

Moving out of China -The Complete Guide

moving out of china

On this site, we have written many articles and even a free e-Book on how to move to live and work in China, but, what happens when you decide to go back to your country or go to another place? Today’s article is dedicated to all of the people that have decided to move away after living for a time in China.

In this article, I will cover the following subjects (you can click on them to jump directly to the section that interests you):

[Read more…]

Day Trip to Turpan – in Xinjiang – on High Speed Rail

day trip to turpan

This article was written by Josh Summers, the founder of FarWestChina.

I remember years ago taking a trip to Turpan, a quiet but once important stop on the ancient Silk Road. I woke up early in the morning to catch a bus from the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi where I spent over three hours sitting in a chair whose padding had long ago been worn down to nothing.

It’s funny to think about that now as I write this from the comfort of my first-class seat on Xinjiang’s new high speed train. The grueling three-hour bus ride is now reduced to less than an hour on the train, and the cost of my ticket was the same.

You see, here in Xinjiang, China’s largest administrative region by land area, the idea of a “day trip” is almost laughable. Unless you’re willing to fly everywhere you want to go, most travelers have to budget whole days for transit between different parts of Xinjiang.

Now that the new high-speed train has begun operational, however, a day trip to Turpan is not only possible, it’s actually quite enjoyable. [Read more…]

How to transit China for 72 hours without a visa: The complete guide

72 Hours Transit without VISA Pudong International Airport, Shanghai

When traveling in Asia, oftentimes you’ll have to pass through a Chinese airport. For some time now, if you have a stopover in one of the airports listed below, you have the option of visiting China (for less than 72 hours, or three days), without needing a visa.

In which Chinese cities can I get a visa exemption for 72 hours?

Transit without a visa is permitted only if you stopover in one of the following cities:

  • Beijing (Beijing Capital International Airport);
  • Shanghai (Shanghai Pudong International Airport or Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport);
  • Guangzhou (Guangzhou Baiyu International Airport);
  • Chengdu (Chengdu ShuangLiu International Airport);
  • Chongqing (Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport);
  • Shenyang (Shenyang Taoxian Internatioanl Airport);
  • Dalian (Dalian International Airport);
  • Xian (Xian Xianyang International Airport);
  • Guilin (Guilin Liangjiang International Airport);
  • Kunming (Kunming Changshui International Airport);
  • Hangzhou (Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport).

[Read more…]

Learn Chinese online: 51 excellent free resources

Learn Chinese

This article contains a list of free resources to learn Chinese online. Click on one of the following links to “jump” directly to the section of the article that interests you most:

You’ll find a brief review and corresponding link to the web site of each resource cited.

Disclaimer: This article, which when it was first published in June 2012 contained 25 resources, is updated every 10-15 months with the best web sites and free apps (many of which were suggested to us by you readers) that we “discover” during the year. Our goal is not to list all the free resources dedicated to learning Chinese; rather it’s to present to you the best of each of the categories listed above. Enjoy! [Read more…]

Studying in China with a scholarship from the Confucius Institute: An interview with Chiara Romano

Confucio ScholarshipThe beachfront of Qinhuangdao

In today’s interview we’ll be talking with Chiara Romano, who is 22 years old and since last August has lived in Qinhuangdao, where she is studying Chinese thanks to a scholarship from the Confucius Institute.

What is necessary to obtain a scholarship

Chiara, what are the minimum requirements to obtain a scholarship from the Confucius Institute?

Hi Furio! Getting a scholarship from the Confucius Institute (which is actually promoted by Hanban, the “head office” of the Confucius Institutes worldwide) isn’t too difficult. First of all you have to choose what sort of experience you’re looking for: there are various scholarships, offering periods of study between six months and a year, as well as scholarships to graduate both with a three year degree or teaching degree in China, or still other scholarships centered on the teaching of Chinese.

All in all there are a lot of possibilities! To apply for any of these scholarships you must be between the ages of 16 and 35 and must pass the HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, Knowledge of Chinese Language for Foreginers Test) exam and the HSKK (similar to the first one, without having to write Chinese characters).

Each scholarship requires different levels of mastery over the language, but as for the annual scholarship, the one that I received, you must as a minimum pass the HSK3 exam with at least 180 points and the HSKK成绩 (in other words the elementery level) with at least 60 points. [Read more…]

The Best Restaurants in West Beijing

best restaurants in beijing

This article is the third part in the series dedicated to share my “knowledge” about the city of Beijing. After suggesting 10 alternative plans and indicating the things you should avoid doing in Beijing, today, I wanted to do a review of, in my opinion, the best restaurants in the west part of the city, that is, the Haidan district (or university district).

This area is excellent for tasting ethnic Asian food and since I have lived here more than four years, I’m quite familiar with the district. So, just enjoy! [Read more…]

Life on Nanchang Lu, Shanghai – Interview with Fiona Reilly

Interview with Fiona Reilly

Today I’ve the honor to interview Fiona, the soul of Life on Nanchang Lu, the place where you shall go if you want to learn more about food – especially street food, – in Shanghai.


Fiona, you define yourself as a Foodie, Writer, Photographer and Expert dumpling taster. I want to start with the most important question: What is, in your opinion, the best dumpling’s fanguanr of Shanghai?

I have a soft spot for The Humble Room at 601 Nanchang Lu. Now it’s opposite the bright and shiny IAPM Mall so it looks even more humble, but it has some of the very tastiest (and cheapest) xiaolongbao in the city.

In your series about Shanghai Street Food, you list 36 different kind of street foods. Let’s say I’m in Shanghai only for a day and my goal is to learn as much as I can about the topic. Where should I go and what would you suggest me to taste?

The great thing about street food is that you can begin your education at any time of day! [Read more…]