Friday, 11 May 2018

10 Apps to Survive Beijing

Manouvering Beijing can be tough, but there are so many great apps out there to help. I would have been absolutely lose without some of them, especially when I first arrived. These are a few of my favourite apps that are essential for surviving Beijing.

❤  Didi - Similar to Uber, Didi is a taxi app that is (mostly) in English. They will collect your from your location and drop you off wherever you want to go, predicting journey time and price before beginning the journey. You can select the car type, including car pools and the journeys are much cheaper than a private taxi.

❤  Airpocalyspe- Beijing is known for its awful air, and while the media definitely make it seem worse than it is, it is also a very real problem. It's definitely worth checking the AQI before leaving the house, and as a teacher it's good to know the AQI so you can prepare yourself for a day from hell if it's a pollution play. Yep, the UK has rainy play and Beijing has pollution play. Airpocalypse provides some light entertainment with your AQI reading too. 

❤  Jinshisong- Beijing is the capital of takeaway and there are so many options. Similar to Just Eat, Jinshisong lists all of the restaurants offering delivery. You can order online and pay via WeChat. There are so many food options on there so you'll never run out of options, and it's always nice to not have to deal with the language barrier when you're tired and just really want some food. 

❤  WeChat- So on the subject of WeChat, this is one app you absolutely cannot survive without in Beijing. Not only is it the main social networking app that it allowed in Beijing, it is used for buy and sell groups, paying bills, ordering taxis, paying for items and so much more. It makes life so convenient and without it you will basically be a hermit. 

❤  Taobao- Taobao is essentially Chinese eBay. They sell all sorts of goods, including named brands at cheap prices. I can't vouch for the genuineness of the items sold, but they are certainly cheap and arriver super quick. The app is in Chinese but is pretty easy to use.

❤  Google Maps- Navigating Beijing at the best of times can be pretty tricky so you definitely need some form of map to find your way around. I'm a Google girl through and through so I love Google Maps.

❤  Google Translate- A translation tool is another app you're definitely going to need. It will save lots of embarrassing moments of jumping up and down like a chicken trying to signal what you want to say. I love Google Translate for this as it's so easy to use.

❤  Pleco- Pleco is an amazing app that translates all of those Chinese symbols that bare absolutely no resemblance to any letter in the English alphabet. You can draw the symbols or take a photograph and it will translate it. This app makes shopping SO much easier!

❤  Express VPN- So because almost every good website and social media is blocked in China, a VPN is essential for pretty much everything. I've been using Express VPN for 4 years without any problems. It works well, connects quickly and the internet usually works fine for it. Let's be honest, nobody loves a VPN, but since we need one, I'd recommend Express VPN!

❤  Metro Beijing- Beijing metro is incredibly easy to use and so cheap. Journeys can be long sometimes but when you're sat in traffic, sometimes it's nice to feel like you're moving. It can get crowded at times so you need to pick your times for travelling on the metro, but if you live near a station and aren't travelling far it should be fine and will save you a fortune. The metro map is so easy to use and lets you plan out your route before you get there.

Download for Android

These 10 apps definitely saved my life in my first few months in Beijing so check them out!

What other apps are great for navigating a new city? Let me know in the comments!


1 comment

  1. one of the best vpn that i have used is ivacy vpn. the cheapest that i could find and their support team is awesome. they helped me figure out how to access content when i was traveling to china.


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