6 Apps to Download Before Traveling to China

Since traveling to China I’ve learned a few tricks to help me on my journey. China is very tech-forward, and these apps will also help you with navigating in a country where most people do not speak English. Make sure to download these before your trip!

Apple Pay

Debit cards are now a thing of the past! Whether it’s a restaurant, your taxi or even a street vendor, just about every place uses electronic payments. We Chat is the Chinese app, but you need a Chinese bank account to use it. Set up your Apple Pay because many places will accept this.

If you don’t have Apple Pay, you can always rely on cash.

VPN Express

This is an awesome VPN app to use while in China. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It lets you connect to websites that are blocked by the Chinese government including Google, Instagram, Netflix & other medias. Download this onto your phone and your computer if you want full access while you’re here!

Netflix

The Download function on Netflix is a huge lifesaver for long train rides when you don’t have WiFi. Did I binge all of Queer Eye Season 3 on my way to Shanghai? You betcha!

Travel Tip: Some of the host countries do not work with Netflix Downloads (Ex: Tokyo). Try L.A. or the UK if you’re having issues!

Google Translate

China is really pushing for the growth of English Language classes in schools, however most adults in the country don’t speak language. You also won’t find English menus at restaurants very often, or at attractions. It will be very helpful to have a version of Google Translate downloaded you can use without wifi. Use it to help order food, ask for directions or pay.

DiDi

This is China’s version of Uber and can be really helpful getting past the language barrier. Because you’ll already have your destination logged your driver will know where to go, and it can be cheaper than a taxi.

Beijing/Shanghai Subway

If you plan on using public transportation (I totally recommend it!) then you’ll want these apps. You can put in your start and end location and it will plan out the best route for you! Save the routes to access them without WiFi.

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