China Travel Guide

Apps & Websites

The Great Firewall of China blocks a lot of websites i.e. Google, Facebook, Whatsapp Instagram, Reddit, etc. Even with a vpn, accessing Whatsapp or Google Maps would not be useful because no one uses them. Here are some must have apps while travelling in China.

WeChat (Weixin) The mega app of China. There are a lot of functions but primarily it serves as chat and ewallet. *There is a built in translation function.
Alipay Also an ewallet
Baidu Map Google Map of China
DiDi Uber of China
Trip.com Easiest way to book internal flights, hotels and trains in China.
Baidu Google search engine

Food:

In small villages with no photo menu. Here are some common dishes and words. Most rural villages still cook using pork oil or bone broth, so even if you say you don’t eat meat, there will probably by animal product. Don’t be difficult and just be flexible. You are in China.

Common phrases:

No MSG 不加味精 Bù jiā wèijīng
Less Salt 少盐 Shǎo yán
Less Oil 少油 Shǎo yóu
Don’t Add 不要加。。。 Bùyào jiā
Add 加。。。 Jiā
Not Spicy  不要辣 Bùyào là

As for dishes to order. Different provinces have different types of food. For example, some parts of China eat noodles not rice. There’s 100’s of types of noodles.  Dim Sum and most “chinese dishes” such as fried rice that’s common in North America is found in Guangdong province only.

Normally vegetable dishes such as eggs, tofu, mushrooms and vegetable dishes are good. Beef and chicken tend to be very lean. A easy way to order is just to say stir fry 炒 (Chǎo)+ meat/vegetables/eggs. Do keep in mind most stir fry vegetable dishes will still have random meats unless you specify.

As for drinks. Chinese people love hot water and tea. Coffee doesn’t exist and if it does, it’s in canned form. Red Bull is commonly found, but it doesn’t have fizz. Weak beer is common throughout China (2.8%) as well as home brewed baijiu which is a 50%+ alcohol which tastes like rubbing alcohol.

Bowl of white rice 米饭 Mǐfàn
Fried Noodle (dry) 炒面 Chǎomiàn
Fried Tomato & Eggs 番茄炒蛋 Fānqié chǎo dàn
Eggplant 茄子 Qiézi
Stir fry Vegetable Dish 炒青菜 Chǎo Qīngcài
Tofu 豆腐 Dòufu
Chicken 鸡肉 Jīròu
Fish 鱼肉 Yúròu
Beef  牛肉 Niúròu
Meat  肉 Ròu
Lamb 羊肉 Yángròu
Beer 啤酒 Píjiǔ