Travelling to China can be intimidating even to experienced travellers for obvious reasons: the language barrier, the enormity of its territory and cultural diversity. But fortunately, technology is here to make our lives easier and enhance our travel experiences! The following apps were really useful during our month trip to China, some I would say were life savers! Check our top 6 list:

1- Google Translate:
It may sound obvious, but most of the people don’t know that it works offline! Not for all languages, but luckily for Chinese it does! How does it work? Download the app, go to settings and then go to offline translation. Click on the + icon and select Chinese. Download the translation file and volià! It will work offline! Another amazing feature is the instant translation that uses your camera. Click on the camera icon in the app, point your camera at the text you want to translate and you will see on your screen the text in English. Great no? Perfect to translate menus at restaurants 😉 This app is free.
Available on Android and iOS.

2- ExpressVPN:
Some apps and pages are blocked and don’t work in China, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Google. The only way to share your great experiences on social media is to have a VPN downloaded on your phone. There are many VPN apps available but the one we liked the most was Express VPN. After downloading the app you have a free trial for seven days. Consider buying a plan if you are staying in China more than that.
Available on Android and iOS.

3- China Train Booking:
Traveling by train in China is very easy, comfortable and recommendable. We decided to travel only by train and China Train Booking app was really useful. With this app you can plan well your trip, checking to which destinations you can reach by train, departure and arrival times. You can also see how many seats are available for each class/category. You can use it to book online, but you still have to collect the tickets at the station some hours in advance. For this reason, we preferred to use the app as a planning tool and book the ticket personally at the station. This app is free.
Extra tips: We preferred to travel on the hard sleeper – middle row (the third/highest row is smaller than the middle and first/lower row). Book your ticket at least four days in advance because the hard sleeper is quickly sold-out.
Available on Android and iOS.

4- China Metro:
You might use the metro during your trip to China (we actually used it quite a lot!), so it’s very handy to have the metro maps on your phone. China Metro has a great collection of metro maps, from big cities like Beijing and Shanghai to small cities like Wuhan and Hangzhou. This app is free.
Available on iOS.

5- Flights:
With Kiwi, you can find and book the cheapest flights. It’s one of our latest finds and we are very happy with this app. We got great deals and saved some money, comparing to Kayak or Skyscanner. This app is free.
Available on Android and iOS.

6- Triposo: We first used Triposo during our trip to Japan and this app was just great! You can download their guides and have offline access to maps, local tips and monuments descriptions. You can select on the map on your smartphone or tablet the monuments you would like to visit and create a walking route, which you can follow offline. Triposo China is available for more than 360 destinations, so I’m pretty sure you can use it almost everywhere 😉 The app is free but a pro account costs €3,99.
Available on Android and iOS.

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