Traveling the world not only allows you to get to know new places and people, but also objects you’ve never seen before. Anyone who’s been to China well knows that many things, even the most common ones, can be very different than what we’re used to. The same goes for a ton of objects that can’t be found anywhere but the Middle Kingdom.
With this article I hope to gather a few ideas about souvenirs you can buy in China. By reading it, you’ll have a few more choices the next time you need to bring some “little gifts” to your friends and family. If you have no intention of visiting China…you can think of something for someone who’s going to bring you, taking advantage of someone else’s trip!
What souvenirs to bring home from China? – Index
How to use the DiDi app – Index
- How DiDi works
- What you need to install Didi (cell phone number, payment method, etc)
- How to install DiDi on your cell phone
- The type of rides that DiDi offers
- What is the difference between Taxi and Express
- How to reserve a car with DiDi
- Quick guide on how to take a trip in ten steps
- Frequently asked questions
If you don’t use DiDi you could have some problems in China. Sure you could always wave your hand at the side of the road and a taxi will still stop. But if it’s bad weather or rush hour, there’s no longer any hope of finding a taxi without this new app.
DiDi dache or DiDi chuxing (滴滴打车 or 滴滴出行) is the name of a cell phone app which makes it possible to contact both taxis and private cars with professional drivers.
In other words it’s like a local Uber. DiDi is not the only one on the market, but it’s certainly the most widespread and above all it has a convenient version in English.
There are two ways to use DiDi: [Read more…]
Fake Markets in Thailand – Index
In Thailand, as in Asia in general, it’s very easy to find counterfeits of name brand products. The largest Thai fake markets are in Bangkok, but you can find smaller ones in other cities like Pattaya, Phuket, and Chiang Mai.
Before starting, note that importing “fake” products protected by a trademark can be considered a crime, so only do so after evaluating the pros and cons at your own risk.
The fake markets: where they are and what they sell
Fake markets in Bangkok
For a detailed explanation on the most famous shopping malls and markets in Bangkok, and how to get there, click here.
The choice of markets in the capital is quite varied, with the foremost being Chatuchak Market.
Also called the JJ Market, Chatuchak is one of the largest markets of all Southeast Asia. One of its distinctions is in its hours of operation: only Saturday and Sunday, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Some of its parts, such as those dedicated to plants and flowers, are also open on Wednesday and Friday, with the same hours of operation on the weekend. Friday instead hosts an extraordinary opening of areas dedicated to bulk sales. [Read more…]
Living and working in Hong Kong – Index
This guide is a collection of resources and practical advice for living in Hong Kong.
This article is a travel guide to Yunnan Province, in the South West of China. It was written by Harley Greenberg, who works with a local travel agency (WindhorseTour) in China.
Travel to Yunnan – Index
Yunnan Province is famous for its diverse scenery and for being home of a third of all China’s ethnic minorities. It has lots to offer any traveler!
Yunnan basic travel facts
A trip to Yunnan province realistically takes at least one week. However, if you want to cover all the highlights I encourage you to spend twelve days or longer. [Read more…]
Travel by Bus in Thailand – Index
Why travel by bus? The advantages
Traveling by bus in Thailand is very convenient, both in terms of savings and comfort. Bangkok represents the country’s major transportation center; in fact, from the capital it is possible to reach practically every city in Thailand, and even cities in neighboring countries, such as Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and even Malaysia.
Besides cheap prices and excellent connections, traveling by bus in Thailand is a relatively comfortable experience. The vehicles used by various transportation companies are almost all new and equipped with every comfort.
Their are daily buses that offer services such as television, some snacks, and a few even have Wifi connections. Night buses will welcome you with reclining seats, covers and the classic midnight snack!
Buying tickets is simple and intuitive. You can show up in person at various bus stations, or buy them online and show your ticket directly from your smartphone. There are many websites where you can buy tickets and are often run by specific companies. [Read more…]
Business Bank Account in Hong Kong – Index
Introduction: Your options
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…]
If you are going to travel to Southeast Asia need one or multiple visas, in this article, you will find some of the best agencies for applying for your visa easily and without worrying.
Best visa agencies – Table of contents
Visa agencies for Thailand
Do I need a visa for Thailand?
If you are traveling to Thailand for tourism, you don’t need a visa, depending on your country of origin, for stays less than 14, 30 or 90 days:
- 14 days: Cambodia or Myanmar
- 30 days: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mauritius, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates , the United Kingdom, the United States.
- 90 days: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Korea, Peru.
Vacations are the most eagerly awaited time of year for all, during which we can finally relax or change scenery even for just a few days. The first question we ask ourselves though is always the same: where should we go?
In recent years China has become a growingly popular tourist destination not just for solo travelers but also for families.
However when you decide to travel to China for vacation, you have to pay particular attention to the time period; by carefully choosing the dates you can attend very fascinating cultural celebrations or festivals from a historic point of view.
At the same time it’s possible to avoid the worst times to be a tourist in the country (if you choose wrong your vacation can turn into a real nightmare, with endless lines to buy tickets to tourist sites and hordes of people visiting the attractions along with you that won’t allow you to enjoy what you paid and waited in line for).
In this guide I’ll try to list the main Chinese holidays (there are, in fact, many other minor and strictly cultural ones that by now are almost completely lost, though no less interesting) and everything you need to know about them: anniversaries, legends, historical and cultural elements and some travel advice.
Guide to vacationing in China – Index
In this article I will talk about 8 of the most common scams going on in Thailand and how you can avoid them simply by being smart:
The most common scams in Thailand – Index
Taxi and tuk tuk drivers
The most well-known scam, especially in Bangkok, undoubtedly has to do with Thailand’s notorious taxi drivers. Nobody is spared from this scam; whether you’re a tourist on your first vacation in Thailand or an expat who’s lived in the Kingdom of Siam for years, the battle against the taxi drivers will inevitably become part of your daily life.
As soon as you exit Suvarnabhumi Airport you’ll see many taxis waiting for travelers who have just landed looking to go into the city. There are two types of taxis that you’ll see – those with a regular license and those that are unauthorized. [Read more…]
China is without a doubt a paradise for massage lovers, as you can find quality massages at very reasonable prices. However, this paradise can turn into a nightmare if you don’t choose the right place.
This essay, written by Ginés Olivares, is in my opinion a lively description of the types of situations you can find yourself in when trying to get a massage in China. Enjoy!
I have been a massage lover my whole life and have gotten them everywhere I have gone. I loved the massages I got in Hungary, in famous hot springs resorts across all of Europe, as well as in Central America and the pristine hotels in the hot springs region of Chile. Nobody can deny it: there exists a close relationship between hot springs and massage therapists.
After submitting your body to the so gratifying caress of hot springs, a massage from expert hands becomes a necessity, relaxing and removing tension and pain from the body. I need to be honest and I can’t forget the massages in Nordic countries, where the cold makes people turn to saunas and all of their additional features, but it seems like there doesn’t exist such a thing as a place that doesn’t offer a restorative pause for your body.
In Asia, Thai massage stands out, and for me was a unique experience, as at times I didn’t know if I was enjoying it or if they were massacring me, or the delicate massage of a geisha, a delight reserved for special occasions. However, in this story, I am going to recount my three experiences in China. [Read more…]
This article is a complete guide with all the information necessary for you to enjoy your trip to Thailand.
Tours in Thailand – Index
One of the common questions that people going to China will ask themselves is how they can communicate with people outside of the country. The purpose of this article is to present and analyze each of the possibilities for making calls and video calls from China.
As you should already know, a large number of apps and websites can’t be accessed freely in China, and you are going to need a VPN or an alternative system to get around the Great Firewall of China.
Calling from China – Table of contents
Using Skype in China
Despite the fact that some inaccurate news is still circulating online, Skype is NOT blocked in China.
However, if you try to download the Skype app on the iOS app market or one of the Android markets (Google Play is blocked) once you’re in China, you won’t find it. In addition, if you want to access the Skype webpage, you will be redirected to a Chinese webpage (skype.gmw.cn) where you will download a modified version of Skype that complies with Chinese regulations. Complying with Chinese regulations means that communications are redirected (and monitored) via a Skype partner in China.
Traveling to Anhui – Index
A little history
The province of Anhui 安徽 – abbreviated as Wǎn 皖 (a character used on car license plates for example) – located in eastern China halfway between the Yellow and Huai Rivers, is one of the three most prosperous provinces of the Chinese coast along with Jiangsu and Zhejiang, though it’s the poorest of the three.
The abbreviation Wǎn 皖 comes from the historic state in this province with the name, the State of Wan, actually; in fact, in Anhui there’s still the Wan River 皖江 and Mount Wan 皖山. [Read more…]
Drivers license in Thailand – Index
In order to legally drive in Thailand, you need to have an international license recognized by the Geneva Convention of 1949, or convert your home country’s license so that you can drive in Thailand.
In fact, according to local laws, no foreign license can be recognized as a legal document in the Thai state, and driving with a foreign license is prohibited.
If you have already been to Thailand you probably know that most of the time when a local policeman stops a car or scooter driven by a local with a foreign license (not an international one!), they’re rarely given a ticket for not having an international or Thai license.
The same thing happens when you rent a scooter: you’ll almost never be required to show your license, and the few times that you are, they’ll even accept those from your home country.
This though doesn’t mean that it is recommended to drive with a foreign license, because if you get into an accident and don’t have an international or Thai license, your insurance won’t shell out a penny.
At this point, if you don’t have the money to cover the expenses, they might even throw you into jail.
We receive and publish this interesting article written by Lavrentiy Klimov
Most Popular Sports in China – Index
China has become not just an economic, but also a Sports superpower. According to Daxue Consulting, China is a huge sport market. Some Chinese athletes like Yao Min (姚明), Li Na (李娜) o Lin Dan (林丹) are popular around the globe and represent different sports brands. Also, sports in China receive great support from the government.
According to the Telegraph, China wants to complete a transition from a big country to a strong nation in sports. The purpose is to have one third of population (or 435 million people) to do physical exercises by 2020. Obviously, it is a very ambitious purpose. But have you ever thought what sports do Chinese people like? Let’s have a closer look at most popular sports in China!
Table tennis and badminton are top China’s national sports
Table tennis once considered as a “cheap” sport with no need for spacious facilities, has been declared by Chairman Mao as a Chinese national sport. It is also a national pride: 6 gold medals were won at London Olympics (2012) and a total sweep was completed by Chinese national team in Rio de Janeiro (2016). In China you can see tables for ping-pong in university campuses, local parks and yards. This sport does not require expensive equipment or to be very athletic. Come to China and give it a try to play with locals!
Another national sport is Badminton (国球, guoqiu). It is one of the most favorite sports in China. People are playing badminton in the streets both in the cities and in the villages. Many locals play it before work, during their lunch time or in the evening. Chinese dominance on the international level is unprecedented. One of the reasons is the Chinese unique training system, and a huge pool of talents, who are willing to sacrifice a lot to become champions. [Read more…]
How to get a Mongolian Visa – Index
- Do I need a visa for Mongolia?
- How long does it take to get a Mongolian visa?
- How much does a Mongolian visa cost?
- Where can I get a Mongolian visa?
- Can I get a visa upon arriving in Mongolia?
- What are the basic requirements for getting a Mongolian visa?
- What other requirements may be necessary to get a Mongolian visa?
- What are the validity and duration of the visa?
- Can the visa be extended?
- Do transit visas exist?
- Frequently asked questions?
This article is divided in 2 parts:
- In the first part, we review Tunnelbear, in our opinion the best free VPN in the market, especially if you want to use it in China
- In the second part, we expose 6 reasons for which oftentimes using a free VPN is not a good idea, unless you know exactly what you are doing.
Tunnelbear – The best free VPN for China (in our opinion)
However, if you want a VPN with good performance in China or to get around geographic restrictions (for example, to watch Netflix), we recommend that you choose one of the premium VPNs that we recommend in this article on the best VPNs for China (updated monthly).
Encryption protocols: OpenVPN, IPSec/IKEv2
Simultaneous connections: 5 connections
Server count and location: Servers in 20 countries
Server changes: Unlimited
Guide to the HSK 6 Test – Advanced Chinese – Index
Before taking the time to read this guide, know that you can only really appreciate it if you’ve already reached level 5 of the HSK exam or if you’ve already attained a good level.
Consider too that you’ll have to know more than 2500/3000 words before being able to specifically work on the HSK 6. Happy studies!