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Buy your flight ticket with the best prices
Buy it during the off-season, be careful when buying in celebrations &
holidays as it will be more expensive. (Chinese New Year…)
o By the way, it’s rather difficult that booking transportation during
Chinese New Year is rather difficult.
Buy it 3 months in advance. Studies have been done, and it confirm
that’s the best moment.
Use flight search web sites (With private navigation)
Try search to buy flights with different airport in different city to get the
Book between midnight and 6 am (Reservation cost are more
expensive during peak hours)
When should you travel in China?
□ During September / October: The weather is really pleasant, and it’s
an off-season. Be careful, don’t choose the first week of October: it’s
a national holiday. There are a lot of people and the prices are higher.
□ During late spring: (April / May). The trees have blossomed, that’s
before the rainy season and the temperatures are really pleasant. Be
careful, the first week of May is also a national holiday.
Don’t worry, each month offers you a different experience. You should
inquire about the city where you are planning to go: the weather is really
different according to the region you are in, and it depends a lot of the
For a passport request, make sur you do it in advance. You’ve to wait a
few weeks before you receive it. And after the passport, you’ve to make
your visa (1 week more or less).
Specific form (Depend of the country / company)
Tax stamp (86€ in France)
Proof of address
Please, check all the documents needed. It can change because it
depends on the country! The information above are the general document
needed in Europe for entry into China.
Use the services of a company. It would be easier and not so expensive.
Passport valid 6+ months
Photocopy of the passport’s first page
Visa application form
Repatriation insurance certificate
Hotel reservation: You can choose one in booking.com for example.
Print it and cancel the reservation few weeks later (No fees). Then you
can choose another accommodation, or keep it if you want.
□ Or, if you’re hosted by a local: accommodation certificate
□ Photocopy of your flight ticket
□ If you go to work: Invitation letter
□ Sometimes: Proof of income / School certificate
Student VISA, in addition you need:
□ Form JW201 or JW202 delivered by the Chinese authorities
□ Medical certificate “Physical Examination Record for Foreigner”
For the working visa, you need different document. Please check an article
which talk precisely about this subject. Thanks!
Anything can be traded, rents included! So, do not hesitate, and try
When you arrive, check everything: Water, electricity, air
conditioning… If there is something wrong, just ask to change room,
and do not agree to stay if they said that they will repair it (They rarely
Don’t lose the receipt of the transaction! If you don’t have it, you
won’t be able to get a refund.
Different types of accommodation
Couchsurfing: This type of accommodation is more and more common in
china, but still not really developed. It consists to sleep in the resident’s house,
for free and without any task to do. You’ll just discover a new country with a
resident! It’s not easy to find couch surfing in the country side. If you’re
interested, check the official website couchsurfing.com, you’ll find
everything you need to know.
Youth hostel: Personal advice, go on Air BNB and filter your research by
rating. Try to target the centre of the city. Ask them if they have lockers! It will
be easier to leaving your computer and other stuff, instead of keeping them
all your days on your back. If you can, bring a padlock (Theirs are sometimes
Average hotel quality: Do not expect any good surprise about the
decoration. Chinese people do not have the same tastes as we do in this
domain. But you’ll have everything you need (Wi-Fi, bathroom, toilet, air
Luxurious hotel: Of course, the most comfortable option and the most
expensive. It will be more or less the same quality that you have all around
the world. The employees speak English, and trust me, that is not so common
The common problem for all expats: The Great Firewall of China.
You’re used to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, or just
google? When you’re lost somewhere, do you need Google Map to find
your way? Personally, Google Maps is a real reflex. When I arrived in
Shanghai, I wanted to eat somewhere. Of course, I lost myself then I wanted
to open Google Map. And I was really surprised when I saw that it didn’t work
in China. So what was the solution to my problem? Use a VPN.
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network, which allows you to access to
internet without being bridled. The second utility of a VPN is that you stay
hidden, because you’re not using a public network (the IP is masked). Then,
you can’t be hacked or traced (It’s a really good thing when you buy on
For all expats, it is not a possibility, it’s a necessity to have a VPN. If you
just want to check your e-mail box without it, you can’t!
I advise you to choose VP ALIEN. It’s one of the lowest prices that I
found, and it work perfectly! (No crash, no bandwidth limit, and I can use 2
devices simultaneously connected). Also, it works on all devices and my
connection is still speed & stable. I never had any problem, but a friend told
me that their customer service is really active. We can send them an e-mail,
or just send them a message on We Chat.
They gave me a free trial to be sure their VPN was good. Do not
hesitate to go on vpalien.com and ask them a free trial! Test it in your country,
and then you can buy it the day before your departure. Thanks to that, you
can travel without stress before your arrival.
By the way, check their official video: A journey with VP Alien (YouTube
Channel: VP Alien support). Really nice job!
□ If you never learned Chinese language, buy a little translation booklet. In
general, you can find complete answer or questions. It’s really useful when
you can’t use a translation app, and it cost nothing.
□ Prepare some medication. It will not be easy to buy it in China, and you may
need it during your first week. The food is really good, but not always easy to
digest for expats! Don’t worry, your body will adapt really fast.
□ All prices in China are really cheap. You don’t need to bring your entire
wardrobe with you. Do not hesitate to come with an empty luggage, trust
me, it will be full at the end of your tip.
□ By the way, a low price doesn’t mean a bad quality! China is a really good
opportunity to create a tailored suit: you don’t need to buy a fake brand,
specialised shop exists and they really worth it. You can buy a high quality
suit for 1000 Yuan. A lot of my friends and colleagues did it, and they were
not disappointed at all.
□ Be careful with the bus: You can travel really fast for 5 yuan, but nothing is
□ Don’t forget to register your arrival in a Police Station, it’s really important in
China! You need to complete a form, and photocopy your VISA + Passport.
We Chat, used by everyone in Asia (You can pay with this app)
Subway app (Like Shanghai Metro, you’re going to save a precious time)
I hope this little guide will help you! It’s a resume of what you need. My last
advice would be, not to not be afraid, and jump into this adventure. Try to
do things that you wouldn’t do in your native country. It won’t be always
easy, but to me, it t was the most intensive experience I ever had.
Enjoy your trip,