VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. A VPN is basically some software that you can download to make your computer think you’re in another country. Download the VPN software, select your overseas location and voila you’re browsing your favorite sites like Google, Facebook and Youtube – which are all blocked in China. While China has cracked down on VPNs recently there are still plenty that work such as Express VPN.
It’s definitely worth spending some time when you first come to China learning how to use this app. Taobao sells everything you could possible need and is essential for any foreign products you can’t find in China. It’s pretty straight forward to use once you get the hang of it – you can type what you’re looking for in English and even take a picture of it. If you have a Chinese friend that can show you how to use it – so much the better as the interface is still in Chinese though.
Zipping around town on an E-bike is a lot of fun. I mainly use mine for grocery shopping and meeting friends. Being able to just go anywhere at any time is a great sense of freedom. E-bikes are cheap too, mine cost about 2500 Yuan brand new a few years ago. No need to buy insurance, no need to buy a helmet. The rules of the west don’t apply here. With a top speed of about 50km an hour you often find yourself travelling at about the same speed as a fast cyclist – so E-bikes are quite safe too.