- The pros and cons of registering a limited company in Hong Kong
- How to open a company in Hong Kong without living or even going there
- All the documents you need to open a company in Hong Kong
- The total cost of registering and maintaining a company in Hong Kong
- How to open a multi-currency business bank account in Hong Kong (if you need it)
- How to get a government grant for your small business in Hong Kong
- How to spot an honest agency and avoid scammers while opening your company
- Frequently asked questions
- Get a free quotation from a reliable agency
Which portal is best for booking a hotel in Thailand?
Travel to Thailand Guide – Index
- Requirements for entering Thailand
- Visas for Thailand
- Tour operator or independent travel?
- Travel insurance for Thailand
- Vaccines and medicines
- Hotels and hostels in Thailand
- Getting to Thailand (by air or land)
- Internet and telephone
- Money, ATMs and credit cards
- Internal flights, trains, buses, boats and taxis in Thailand
- Where to visit in Thailand
- What to bring?
- When to travel to Thailand?
- Scams and safety in Thailand
- How to communicate in Thailand
- Frequently asked questions
- Blocked websites in China: highlights and latest news
- List of blocked websites in China
- List of websites and apps that AREN’T blocked in China
- What about Chinese websites?
- How to know if a website is blocked in China
- How to access blocked websites in China
- Is it legal to use a VPN?
- Is it true that all VPN access has been blocked?
- Other frequently asked questions
- What are the best VPNs for China?
You probably already know that websites such as Facebook, YouTube or Google are blocked in China and that the best way to access them is with a VPN.
But what about the other hundreds of websites or apps that we use every day?
Can you be sure that they’ll work in China?
One of the most common questions we get is whether a given website or app, such as Dropbox or Google Play, is blocked in China.
In this article, we list all of the popular websites and apps which currently don’t work behind the Great Firewall of China, which is the system developed by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) to control access to online services considered “dangerous” for Chinese citizens. [Read more…]
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:
Free Resources to Learn Chinese Online – Index
When we first published this list, in June 2012, it contained 25 resources. However, we update it every year with the best websites and free apps that we “discover” (many of which were suggested to us by your readers).
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.
Keep reading to find a brief review and corresponding link to the web site of each resource cited.
Singapore has seen an astonishing transformation in the past decades from previously being an undeveloped nation into becoming one of the most advanced in the world. Here, you can find plenty of international companies in everything from finance, petrochemicals, automotive, insurance, and electronics.
This is driven by its transparent and efficient business environment which is backed by low taxes and its ease of doing business. Having said that, if you’re still a student, newly graduated, or lack sufficient work experience to take on a regulation position, it can be worthwhile looking for an internship first.
Finding an internship in Singapore does require thorough research and an in-depth understanding of local visa regulations, the job market, and information related to how you can find internships.
Hong Kong attracts plenty of graduates that wish to commence internships and create a good foundation for future employment. The city is well-known for offering many opportunities in terms of professional development and networking.
Before you start looking for internships in Hong Kong, I recommend that you get your feet wet first, learning about the benefits, how you can find internships, and about the visa regulations, for example.
This is something that I will cover in greater detail in this article, along with many other topics. Let’s get started. [Read more…]
Traveling to Asia is often associated with culinary food, warm weather, and white beaches. Over the years, a new trend has come and where travelers visit Asia for medical purposes.
Visiting countries like Thailand and Malaysia doesn’t only allow you to get hold of high-quality health care for a fraction of the prices back home. You can also take the chance to have a short vacation to recharge your batteries and discover what the countries have to offer.
In this article, you’ll learn more about how it works when visiting Asia for medical care purposes and the benefits. I will cover a range of topics so that you become more prepared before choosing what destination to visit. [Read more…]
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Nowadays there is no shortage of free resources for learning a language: websites, apps, forums, videos, podcasts, you name it. However, many people are still looking for a more professional Mandarin course, the type that is generally paid. However, why should you pay for a Chinese course?
There are two main reasons for that:
- Often, you must pay if you want the best resources. Who would take the time to develop high-quality learning tools for free?
This is my review of ChinesePod, my favorite podcast for learning Chinese language.
The first version of this review was published in 2012. Because the product has changed a lot since then, we update this article every so often to add new functionalities.
I will explain how a podcast is different from a traditional Chinese course, introduce the main features of the product and the prices of the different kind of subscriptions. Also, I will point out the most common mistakes that people make when they start using a podcast to learn a language. [Read more…]
“Rather go without salt for three days than without tea for a single day,” Chinese Proverb.
I’m in love with Chinese tea. I drink it every day and every time I come back to Europe I bring some nice tea packages to my family and friends. Most importantly, I buy a ton of tea for myself.
My favorite Chinese tea is the Long Jing, the green tea produced close to the West Lake of Hangzhou. I also like flower tea and Pu’er, the fermented tea from Yunnan Province.
If you do a quick search on the internet you’ll find a lot of information about Chinese tea.
I decided to limit this first article about Chinese tea to two topics that I find interesting: the different classes of Chinese tea and the most famous tea brands of China (for each class of tea there are many different brands, for instance, you have the Long Jing green tea from Hangzhou, the Bi Luo Chun green tea from Tai Hu and so on). [Read more…]
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 of 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 Currenxie, which offers business accounts in Hong Kong that can be opened for free, allowing you to make, send, and receive payments (local and international) under your company name, and accept payments through all your major online payment gateways (Paypal, Amazon, Stripe)
In this article, we will describe these three options. We’ll start with Currenxie, since it’s the simplest. [Read more…]
- The pros of opening a company in Singapore
- The cons of opening a company in Singapore
- How to open an Singapore a company without living or even go there
- All the documents you need to register a company in Singapore and the procedure for opening it
- The total cost of registering and maintaining a company in Singapore
- How to open a multi-currencies business bank account in Singapore
- Frequently asked questions
- Get a free quotation from an agency that can help you to set up your Singapore company
Note: If you are only interested on getting a free quotation for a travel insurance, then we recommend World Nomads (click here to get your free quotation).
Travel Insurance for China – Index
When I decided to go to China for the first time, finding an affordable and comprehensive health insurance was one of my first concerns, as I knew that, while in my country I was covered by the welfare system, in China I was on my own. This also applies to short-term travelers: unless you have international insurance, you won’t be covered while traveling around Asia.
Why do I need an health insurance when I travel to China?
Health insurance isn’t compulsory when you travel, so you can still go to Asia without any insurance and hope to never get sick, have an accident, lose your luggage, or having your flight canceled by a storm.
However, I won’t do it myself. It’s too risky. Especially when you consider that a good travel insurance only costs you a couple of USD per day.
Chinese hospitals are business-oriented and they won’t help you unless you can pay cash in advance or they can verify that you’re covered by adequate medical insurance.
I repeat, if you can’t pay nobody will help you. Also, international hospitals in China (where doctors and nurses can speak English) are often more expensive than hospitals in the U.S.
I’ve heard plenty of horror stories of western tourists or expats that were left to die or lose a foot in an Asian hospital because, after being a victim of an accident or bad food poisoning, they didn’t have insurance or enough cash to pay for the emergency treatments they needed. Can you afford to pay 5,000 or 10,000 USD cash? [Read more…]
Well yes, even though TikTok is a 100% Chinese app (the “original” name is Douyin, 抖音), it is blocked in China.
Let me explain: TikTok has two versions, one exclusively for use in China, and one for the rest of the world.
If you find yourself in China you can download and use the Chinese version, Douyin without a problem, but it is in no way interconnected with the international version, which you won’t be able to download.
The reason is that Chinese laws are very different, so the company that owns Douyin and TikTok thought well about resolving the problem like this.
So, if you already have a TikTok account before arriving in China, once you enter the country it will no longer work. You can open a new account with the Chinese version, but you’ll be given a completely new account, and even your feeds will be different.
But all is not lost…
How do I access the international version of TikTok from China?
This page is dedicated to my favorite Chinese movies.
Ocean Heaven (海洋天堂, Hǎiyáng Tiāntáng)
Ocean Heaven is a 2010 Chinese-Hong Kong drama directed by Xue Xiaolu.
Sam Wong has a terminal sickness and is going to die soon. Even if he has accepted it, he’s worried for his son, Dafu, who is a 21 year old autistic guy. Sam works in an aquarium and, since his wife died fourteen years before, he has to look after his son alone.
Sam’s deepest fear is that Dafu won’t be able to look after for himself after he will die. Hence he’s trying to teach to his soon how to learn the essential everyday tasks so that he will be able to survive once he will be alone.
An important part of the story is devoted to show the help that Sam and Dafu get from their community. In China there isn’t the state welfare that you can get in Europe or Japan, so people learned how to take care of each other.
This is one of the few movies in Chinese that I was able to completely understand without English subtitles. The reason is that there isn’t much dialogue going on. It’s all about body language and face expressions.
Even if it’s a sad story, Ocean Heaven does end up with an optimistic view of the future. But you have to watch the movie to discover it ; )
The Story of Qiu Ju (秋菊打官司, Qiū Jú dǎ guān sī)
Travel to China Guide – Index
- How to get a Chinese Visa
- Tour or independent travel?
- Travel Insurance for China
- Hotels and hostels in China
- Vaccines and medicine
- Flying to China
- Internet and phone cards
- Phone cards
- Best apps for traveling in China
- Money, ATMs and credit cards
- China by train
- Domestic flights
- What to bring?
- When to travel to China?
- Common sense and cultural issues
- Food and drinks
- Nightlife in China
- Scams in China
- Shopping and bargaining
- Numbers in China
- How to communicate in China
- Frequently asked questions
This guide contains pretty much all the info that you’ll need to prepare your trip to China. However, note that in this article we don’t go into detail about any tourist destination or itinerary.
If you’d like to learn more about a particular destination, The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu, for example, click here to access our collection of tourist guides.
If you want to learn more about a particular touristic itinerary, click here.
Zodiac Signs and the Chinese Horoscope – Index
- Why does each sign correspond with an animal?
- Personality and (romantic) compatibility between Chinese Zodiac signs
- Find out your Chinese Zodiac sign
- The four pillars of destiny
- Find out your “internal animal”
- Find out your “true animal”
- Find out your “secret animal”
- Yin and Yang
- The five elements
- For those fixated on the math
- A calendar of the next twelve years
- Frequently asked questions
The Chinese Zodiac, or shengxiao (生肖), has twelve symbols, just like the western one (given to us by the ancient Greeks). And, even in this case, each sign is associated with particular character traits. The difference is that while in our Zodiac each symbol corresponds with a certain month, the Chinese Zodiac corresponds with a particular year, For example, 2015 is the year of the Goat!
Why does each sign correspond with an animal?
It is said that Buddha, when he was near to dying, gathered all animals of the earth. However, only twelve bothered to come say goodbye. So he – being magnanimous as few others could – decided to reward them by baptizing each lunar phase with the name of one of the animals that came. The first to show up was the mouse (never trust the rats). After that, arriving in order were the buffalo, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the goat, the monkey, the rooster, the dog and the pig (the usual latecomer). [Read more…]
Before you begin
Update: We’re republishing an updated version of this article, which was originally published in 2012.
This article introduces my plan to learn Chinese fast, where “fast” doesn’t mean that I hope to learn how to speak Mandarin within two months. Conversely, I intend to optimizing my time and efforts to learn Chinese by only studying an hour per day.
My goal is to be able to read Chinese newspapers, understand a talk show and have a “normal speed” conversation with any Chinese person. I want to achieve this purpose within one year.
Chinese is the sixth language that I’m learning so this plan is based on my past experience.
Also, I’m a big fan of SRS (spaced repetition software). If you are just starting to study Mandarin or you never heard the word “SRS” before, you should definitely keep reading!
I wrote this short story in 2011. It was firstly published in another website, but the website closed down last year, so we decided to republish the story here on SDC, as we think it’s still interesting, and relevant!
A nice encounter
Muse Club, Shanghai, almost one a.m.
I’m more bored than ever and I decide to contact a girl from Anhui province that I met two days ago on the pedestrian bridge at the intersection between Yan An Road and Xi Zang Road. I send her a text message:
“我在Muse, 你干什么?” (I’m at Muse, what are you doing?)
“我在KTV工作.你们几个人?” (I’m working at the karaoke. How many of you?)
“我一个人，你要来吗?” (I’m alone, wanna come?)
“和你聊天跳舞，你给我钱吗?” (If I talk and dance with you, will you pay me?)
“Oh shit, another prostitute!” I think while I give up and order a Carlsberg. [Read more…]