Hi there! Recently came back from Guangzhou, and that was actually my first trip to China. Heard many different opinions from different about China, good and bad. So I was kinda prepared for what I might encounter there, turns out actually it was not too bad afterall!
Here I am today to share some information which might be useful to you guys visiting China/Guangzhou soon!
If you are planning to take the metro, whether from the airport or at the various different metro station, do prepare small changes like RMB5, RMB10 notes and coins to buy your tickets from the ticketing machines. The bigger notes like RMB 100 can’t be use for these machines, but not to worry, if you need small changes, you can proceed to their customer service counter to do the changes.
Either that, OR unless you are using different apps like the Wechat, Alipay (支付宝), QQ, then you don’t need to worry about not having small notes.
Getting around Guangzhou is not difficult, the metro system works like any metro/subway in other countries, and cheap as well. I bought a single trip ticket from the airport to my apartment around Changgang (昌岗) station and it only cost me RMB8, which is around SGD1.70.
If you just want convenience and don’t mind spending slightly more on transportation, of course you can always get a cab. On my last day to the airport, because it was too early and the metro have not started operation, I could only call for a cab to go to the airport. I used this app call DIDI!
DIDI (滴滴) – Call for a cab at ease!
This app is convenient even for foreigners as it does not require any local number to register. It works the same way as Grab/Uber, you can choose between taxis or private cars, metered or fixed price. It cost me about RMB108 (~SGD22.50) for a 35 minutes journey.
VPN apps to unblock sites
As most of you should be aware, China does not allow the use of a number of social media platform like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube. So if you guys can’t survive without these apps, you better get your VPN ready before heading to China.
The most popular VPN app is probably the Express VPN. They do offer packages which you can purchase, which will allow you to access all the social media websites once you activate it. They do also allow a 7 days free trial, which I thought is better for tourists who are just staying in other countries for a few days.
But strangely, the app didn’t work for me, because apparently the app couldn’t locate my location. So, I downloaded another free app!
VPN Proxy Master
Image from Google
Although this is a free app, it works pretty well for me. There are times whereby it will disconnect when network is bad, but you just have to reconnect and you can continue to use the sites that you want to access!
So food delivery app comes in handy when you feel hungry at the weirdest time, so there are some food delivery apps which might be helpful:
饿了么 (E-le-me) – The app features many restaurants and eateries, even the famous restaurants. But this app requires a local number to register for an account, so if you don’t have a local number like me, you probably can’t use it. In fact most of the food delivery apps I came across requires a local number.
Other delivery app will also include Meituan (美团), Baidu (百度) delivery, which requires local number to register.
点评 （DIANPING) – This app works like a forum, not so much of delivery. So you will see all the restaurants nearby your current location, and also those recommended. You will be able to see the reviews of the patrons and decide for yourself to go or not! This works well if you are one who believes in reviews.
Besides those that I’ve mentioned earlier on, these are apps that might be useful if you visit China or Guangzhou itself.
Explore Guangzhou metro map – Simply key in the station’s name that you would like to go, and it will immediately show you where the station is on the map. This is useful to me as it saves me alot of time searching for the station in the map. Especially in countries where the metro map is crazily messy, this app helps alot. They do have metro maps of other parts of China. So you probably like to check it out!
Baidu map – As mentioned earlier on, there are sites which are blocked in China, that includes Google/Google map. But not to worry, in case you do not have VPN but need to access the map, try the Baidu map, it works just as well.
Alrighty people, I finally managed to share something after missing for a few months. Hope this post is useful to you guys travelling to China! Of course this post is written based on personal experience. so do share with me any other tips you have!
See ya all soon.. hopefully 😀