Driving in China: How can I get my license?

drive in china get license

In this article you will find a summary of all the information you need to be able to drive in mainland China. You can click on the links below to skip directly to the section you’re interested in.

Getting a temporary permit in mainland China (maximum 3 months)

Getting a Chinese driver’s license if you already have one from another country

Getting a driver’s license for the first time

Web pages and apps to study for the written test

But before starting, here are some general things to consider…

  • This article is based on the laws of the province of Beijing, and as usually is the case in China, the requirements may vary slightly depending on the city in which they apply.
  • Written exams can be done in English or Chinese. Nonetheless, in some small cities, you may be forced to do them in Chinese (sometimes they may authorize you to bring a translator). On the other hand, in some of the main cities of the country, you may even find exams in other languages (such as Spanish, French, German or Arabic).

[Read more...]

The top 20 tourist attractions of Hong Kong


In view of the success of our “Complete guide for traveling in China“, I thought I’d write a similar guide about traveling to Hong Kong (visas, transport, hotels, etc).

But then I thought of how, before arriving in Hong Kong for the first time, I didn’t even know what there was to see. So I decided to publish, first of all, an article introducing the main attractions of Hong Kong. Enjoy!

p.s. The MTR (Mass Transit Railway) is Hong Kong’s subway system. Click here for an interactive map.

Hong Kong Island

1. Watch the show “A Symphony of Lights” on the Avenue of Stars

We’re not just talking about any light show: A Symphony of Lights is entered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest permanent light show on the planet. In fact, 45 buildings along the Skyline of Hong Kong Island “shoot” laser lights toward Victoria Harbor in time to music. [Read more...]

Journalism Internship in Shanghai: Interview with Anna

journalism internship shanghaiAnna at  Di Jing’An Temple

Today we’re speaking with Anna Pisaniello, who at the moment is in Shanghai for a journalism internship with the magazine Imetro.

How to find an internship in China

Anna, how and when did you manage to find an internship as a journalist with Imetro, a Shanghai magazine?

I was wandering around on the internet and I found the site Projects Abroad. When I discovered that through them I could do an internship with a Chinese newspaper, I decided to go. I wound up at Imetro, in reality without any choice. I simply sent a resume and test article in English to Projects Abroad. The partner companies make the selections, based on experience and qualifications. [Read more...]

What to see and do in Beijing: 10 alternative plans

things to do in beijing

I have been living in Beijing for more than four years and aside from articles on how to rent an apartment, study Chinese and the city’s best hotels, I have written practically nothing on the city which has been my home for such a long time. In this first article on the subject, I am going to suggest ten alternative plans for Beijing to you.

Today I’m not going to talk about the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven and the other typical places in the city. They are obligatory visits if it’s your first time in Beijing. At that moment if you want to read about this places you can just read the Lonely Planet which give a fare and detailed information.

Today, I want to share with you a little bit of the “wisdom” which I have been accumulating during these years. This article is dedicated to those people who are looking for something more in their visit to Beijing or those who have been in the city for a while and are looking for something to do in their free time. [Read more...]

To spend or not to spend? How much and when to pay for an app dedicated to the study of Chinese

when to pay for a chinese app

As a student of Chinese at the end of my three year course, I’ve spent many – too many – nights in the books or, worse still, seeing characters flutter before me until I finally went to bed. My Chinese books have notes in every free corner, and are worn out. I’ve used a disproportionate number of exercise books and pictures books, often with kittens or cartoons on the cover.

And the dictionary… Here’s where things get interesting. Just before officially enrolling and registering for a Chinese course, I bought a dictionary. A lovely green and white brick that for me represented the solution to all my problems, the source of all possible knowledge. However I barely used that dictionary, thanks to Pleco.

If you study Chinese and you don’t know Pleco, know that this free little app without advertising banners will be your salvation. And just as Pleco perfectly replaced the brick I revered with a bit of trepidation, and has been most useful, there are many other apps that constitute a valid support for the study of Chinese. [Read more...]

8 great dishes from Sichuan that you can find in a restaurant

Sichuan food

This article was written by Elaine Luo, the writer, photographer and cook of China Sichuan Food.

Sichuan cuisine is my favorite cuisine out of the eight ones of China not only because of my childhood but also because of the great taste and imagination. There is a famous description about Sichuan food: “one hundred dishes, one hundred flavors.” Sichuan cuisine is featured by its unique cooking methods, adaption of spices and seasonings including fresh ones, pickled vegetables and dried goods. Now Sichuan dishes are enjoyed across the world. Today I’m going to introduce eight of the best dishes from Sichuan you can usually find in a real Sichuan style restaurant. [Read more...]

Do Reseach in Taiwan: Interview with Isabel

do research in taiwan

I met Isabel in Barcelona when both of us were doing our PhD, and out of the curious nature of destiny, a few years later I moved to the capital of the People’s Republic of China and afterwards she went to the capital of the Republic of China.

This adorable Colombian, from the city of Pereira, has been working for the past 8 months as a post-doctoral researcher at the Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan.

The other day, while we were sharing impressions on Facebook of our experiences in the two Chinas, I thought that I could do an interview with her. This is the result of our discussion. Enjoy! [Read more...]

Food street markets in Vietnam (Photo Essays)

Vietnam food street markets

On July 2012 I traveled for three weeks across Vietnam with Jelen, a good friend of mine. Shortly after my trip I published some articles about this wonderful country (How to survive to the crazy Vietnamese traffic, Ten unconventional habits of Vietnamese, Dog meat in Vietnam (photos NSFW) and Mama I wanna be a playboy in Saigon) but I never published anything about FOOD. Shame on me!

The article of today is a photo essays about food street markets in Vietnam. I promise to publish soon also an article that explores Vietnam cuisine. Enjoy! [Read more...]

China’s Third Gender: The Woman PhD

Third chinese gender

Note: this is a satirical story and therefore may be rather offensive. If you think that you will find it offensive, this will surely be the case, so don’t read any further.

In the past months, I have had a lot of problems getting a good night’s sleep. This is the first time in my life that something like this has happened to me, so I’m completely obsessed with knowing the reason.

My fantastic neighbors

In the beginning, I thought that my insomnia was to blame on my neighbor, who was training to be the starring actor in the Chinese remake of Indiana Jones.

Each morning around five, I wake up all of a sudden, thinking that something has gone wrong in the conflict between Japan and China over a handful of islands in the middle of nowhere and that the Japanese have started to bomb Beijing. I wake up, take a look out the window, and I see him with his whip. I can’t believe that this god-damned whip manages to make so much freaking noise. Compared to it, New Year’s fireworks seem like nothing but a noisy kid’s toy.

[Read more...]

How to get a Visa for Taiwan – The complete guide

visa for Taiwan

Welcome to the complete guide for obtaining a visa for Taiwan!

Here are the subjects that I will consider in this article:

  • Do you need a visa to visit Taiwan?
  • How to obtain a visitor’s visa;
  • How to obtain a student visa for Taiwan;
  • How to obtain a work permit and a resident’s visa;
  • How to get a family reunification visa;
  • How to get a permanent resident certificate (APRC).

[Read more...]