This guide is a collection of resources and practical advice for living in Shanghai. Here are the subjects that we will cover:
For four years I’ve regularly found myself in China for long or short periods, and like anyone in China for study or work, I try to tour the country as much as possible.
Many times the biggest problem when planning travel in China is booking a train ticket, and not just because of the high number of people traveling back home or for a relaxing weekend, but also because of the ticket booking system that’s difficult for us foreigners (and I believe for the Chinese as well).
In the past I had to give up traveling (or pick secondary destinations), but I finally managed to discover a fantastic way that sometimes can get you a ticket that you’ve already passed on; this method is called Bupiao (补票).
Fewer people buy tickets at ticket counters or stores, both for the long lines, which as a foreigner you’re forced to do since you’re not able to use the automatic machine, as well as the growing number of platforms that offer ticket buying services. To learn which platform to use read our article about traveling China by train. [Read more…]
The Sidemen countryside in the interior of Bali on the slopes of Mount Agung – Photo by Matteo Bosi
It’s not infrequent to hear the name Bali mentioned along with “paradise”. This slice of Indonesia gained its fame as one of the most memorable places in Asia to vacation. Without a doubt, it’s a marriage between a varied territory suited for all forms of tourism, and an innate hospitality that has made Bali so renowned.
Moreover, over the years its offerings have improved to the point of being suitable for all budgets. From Obama to backpackers!
An island, yes, but where
Bali is part of the Indonesian archipelago. In particular, it is located between the larger island of Java and the smaller one of Lombok. The Strait of Bali separates Java from Bali and can be easily crossed by boat. Connections with Lombok and the Gili Islands have improved and increased in recent years.
Bali is a volcanic island. A good portion of its beaches are therefore typically dark sand, while the southwest offers steep cliffs along the shore with small sandy corners. The beaches in the southeast are artificially kept, which means that they are rather tranquil, or in other terms, boring. It all depends on your point of view. [Read more…]
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More than one year ago, we published the first version of our comprehensive guide for obtaining a Chinese VISA (which we update every year). Since then we received hundreds of questions and suggestions for improving it (thousands, if you consider the Spanish and Italian version of this website).
We actualized the article several times according to the feedback we received and the new laws that ruled out. However, it seems that there is still a point that isn’t clear at all.
This article will explain what type of VISA you shall apply for and what documents you need when you want to visit (or accompany) your family members or friends in China. [Read more…]
If you’re reading this article then perhaps you already know that in recent years, opening a business bank account in Hong Kong for your company has become complicated.
The time has passed when you could just show up at any branch and open a business bank account in one day.
But all is not lost. These days there are three ways for handling payments for your company in Hong Kong:
- Open a “traditional” bank account in Hong Kong (this as I already mentioned has become complicated, as I will explain in detail later in this article);
- Open an off-shore bank account: this could be simpler but is more expensive, and would also make it very hard to accept payments through Paypal or credit cards via Stripe or Braintree (the companies used by the majority);
- Open an “alternative” account with Neat, one of the first startups to offer business bank accounts in Hong Kong that can be opened for free, giving you access to international payments, allows you to accept payments through Paypal or credit cards, and even gives you the right to a prepaid MasterCard.
In this article I will describe these three options. I’ll start with Neat, since it’s the simplest. [Read more…]
We’ve received and published this article written by Camilla Fatticcioni, author of the blog “Per Quel Che Ne So Io“.
The history behind how Buddhism came to the region of Gansu
I’ve always been fascinated by the stories of “Il Milione” by Marco Polo, about his adventures along the historic Silk Road that crosses all of Asia all the way to China, a country which at that time was so far off and unknown to Westerners that only a few legends were known about it. Never in my life would I have believed that I would be living in this place that represented the main destination along this long road that merchants have been traveling for centuries, often risking their lives.
I lived for a year in the city of Lanzhou, chief city of the Gansu region, and presently a growing metropolis: today skyscrapers sprout like mushrooms along the banks of the Yellow River, the main river of northern China that a long time ago was the mythical site of those legendary stories that were told along the Silk Road.
Marco Polo passed through Lanzhou, also stopping in Zhangye and Dunhuang, another two large cities in this arid Chinese region in the northwest. [Read more…]
Once used as a military outpost during the Dutch East Indies colonial era, Magelang still maintains the legacy of its military past by being home to the only National Military Academy in Indonesia. However, it never ceases to amaze tourists with its beautiful scenery, the hospitality of its locals and its tranquility, cool air, and delicious food.
It is probably the only city in Indonesia that has a mountain right downtown, called Mount Tidar. In addition, Magelang is also surrounded by seven mountains: Mount Merapi, Mount Merbabu, Mount Sumbing, Mount Sindoro, Mount Andong, Mount Telomoyo, and Mount Gilipetung, making it a perfect destination for people who love hiking!
How to get to Magelang
There are several options for getting to Magelang. Since there are no direct flights to Magelang, you will need to switch over in Yogyakarta, the nearest transportation hub.
You can fly either from Jakarta, Singapore, or Malaysia to Yogyakarta Adisucipto International Airport (JOG). From Yogyakarta Adisucipto International Airport, take the Damri Bus available at airport, which will take you to Magelang. The bus is available from 7 am to 8 pm and leaves every hour. The Damri Bus costs around 35,000 IDR per person. You will arrive in Magelang in 1 to 2 hours, depending on the traffic. Because the Damri Bus serves various destinations, you need to ask the driver if the bus is going to Magelang. [Read more…]
On this site, we have written many articles 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):
- Things that you should prepare before your move (plane ticket, money, graduation, documentation, rent contract, pets and guanxi).
- What documents and procedures do I need to prepare (unregister at your consulate, translations, legalizations and recognition of degrees).
- How to send your belongings from China (take them with you, air transport, sea transport and sending by weight or by volume).
Do you have to send money to China, perhaps a travel agency, a Chinese school, or your supplier, but your bank asks for absurd commissions and tells you that it will take more than 5 working days?
Keep reading this guide to understand how to save time and money by using TransferWise!
What service should I use to save money on bank commissions?
At the moment we can’t help but recommend TranserWise, since we’ve been using it for years – with savings we never thought possible, – both for our own private international expenses as well as for our business.
In few words, Transferwise allows you to send money abroad (not just to China), using the official currency transfer rate and having you pay only a percentage (which is more than reasonable) of the amount sent. [Read more…]
The first part of this article explains what a VPN is and how it can be used to access Facebook, Whatsapp, YouTube and other websites that are currently blocked in China.
The second part is a comparative review of ExpressVPN, VyprVPN, NordVPN and VPN Area, in our opinion one of the best three VPN providers for China. We compare the prices, functionality and performance of the three VPNs. On top of that, you will find multiple sections to help you evaluate and optimize your VPN, short reviews of some of the most popular VPNs and in general which types of websites are blocked in China.
The last section is a list of frequently asked questions on VPN use in China and blocked websites.
Important: Due to the increased restrictions to VPNs which came into effect in October 2017, you should always keep your VPN updated in order to make sure it works at its best.
What is a VPN and why do I need one in China?
As you probably already know, the internet doesn’t work like we would like it to in China and a large number of websites are blocked by the “Great Firewall.” Among the websites that you can’t access there are Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter and Google+.
There are many other blocked websites, and depending on what you do, it may be virtually impossible for you to work in China without a VPN (Virtual Private Network). The most striking case is probably that of Google.com, which often returns an error message when used from within the Middle Kingdom.
But there is still hope…
In order to solve this problem, you can install a VPN, which masks your I.P. address so that your laptop appears to be connected from the U.S. or Japan even if you are in China.