- WeChat Pay
This one is probably the best one on this list. When you have a Z (working) Visa you can open a bank account in your district of your city where you live. Then the fun begins, you never have to carry a wallet around anymore because you can pay for EVERYTHING with your phone with your social messaging app called WeChat.
From ordering food, calling a taxi to using the metro system and buying anything on JD or Taobao (China’s Amazon with food) – the list goes on. When I leave China one day, I will miss the ease of this digital payment method a lot!
- Public transport
Every type is here except unusual stuff like a Hovercraft that’s in the United Kingdom. You get Ferries that cross rivers, people on motorbikes, tuk-tuks, Didi (like uber), a very cheap train system that connects to all most all cities and speed trains in most parts of China. Transport will never be a problem, even with the Coronavirus epidemic that started at the beginning of 2020 you still get car taxis (called DiDi in China).
- Crazy drivers
Road rules you know does not mean that much for some car drivers and almost all people on motorbikes and e-bikes. They do U-turns everywhere, turn into any street when there is an opening and the list goes on but this is a good thing in my opinion because compared to South-Africa taxis most people know how to drive here.
Before you start stressing just know that almost all drivers respect each other so they will wait for each other to do their thing. In all this chaos they respect a zebra crossing and people that just walk in front of them over the road. I personally believe that their driving habits make traffic better over here.
- Internet is blocked by a firewall
Basically, if it is not a Chinese website or app it’s probably blocked. They say it’s for cybersecurity which is understandable if you know the story of the whistleblower Edward Snowden. For foreigners living and working here, it is a bit of a hassle that can just be fixed if you buy a good VPN like Astrill. Some free VPNs work most of the time but for reliability, speed and security (if you even care about it which you should) Astrill is what you want above all the other VPNs that are on the market.
- Translating apps
These days life is really made easy to travel anywhere and use an app to communicate or understand a picture. Both parties can even talk while using the app and understand each other. There are some errors but 80% of the time you will understand each other. I recommend using the app called Dear Translate but honestly use the one you like.
- Movie theaters
If you were wondering about this one, don’t fear all types of movies from animation to 3D show in the cinema’s here. There are a lot of different types of theaters here from popular franchises to small ones where you can smoke.