Ringy001 was founded with the mission of helping to make expats life easier in China. Thus, we decide to start a column to share the solutions we’ve found for our users so far, with everybody.
Starting from this week, we’ve decided to add fact-finding to this column. The purpose is to share some of the useful information we’ve learned from helping expats through their day-to-day lives！
The three questions we featured last time were:
1. Who’s calling?
2. Time for a haircut?
3. Holiday’s around the corner, how should I plan my trip in China?
(Follow us to view history and read the previous article.)
This week, we are gonna talk about:
1. How do I get a Google phone?
Due to the tight internet control, phones manufactured in China are not allowed to have Google services pre-installed (just saying it gives me a sharp pain in my chest!). Many of the cool apps that your overseas friends are using and raving about will not be available in the Chinese app stores. Even if you try to download it when you are outside of China, there’s still no guarantee you can get it without a fight and potentially lose said fight.
Solution: Get a Hong Kong or Taiwan version phone! Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao are the only regions of China that are not internet restricted, thus Android based smartphones sold there will have google play pre-installed. While you can use phones with Google Services in China, you may have some issues accessing some of the apps without a VPN. Don’t have quick access to one of these lands? You can easily get them online if you don’t live close to HK like me.
2. How can I buy tickets for concerts and sport matches in China?
The main cities in China always have big stadiums and they hold big concert and events throughout the year. But where to find information for all of them? Most of the official websites of the stadiums don’t have English, and it may be troublesome for expats to buy tickets.
Solution: Try http://en.damai.cn/ They are the No.1 website for event tickets and have tens of thousands of events listed. It’s almost guaranteed you’ll find anything you are looking for in China. For tennis matches, please use the official website: http://www.chinaopen.com.cn/en/
3. I wanna join my Chinese friend on a tour, but they charge double for a foreigner. Why?
I once got rejected when trying to sign a foreign friend up for a tour on the Yellow Mountain. At the time 4G and apps weren’t so developed so I figured the best way to help him plan a vacation was a (near) foolproof tour. I was surprised to find out that they would not accept him as part of the group!
Facts: Recently a Ringy user brought it up again so I decided to find out why. It is said that tours in China, especially the low priced ones, turn a profit only by planning shopping stops and getting a commission from the sales. Since foreigners can’t understand the sales pitch at the stop they are not likely to buy, plus communication and insurance processing is more difficult. So most travel agencies will charge double for foreign guest, or simply don’t accept foreigners.
For a foreign friendly travel tour, we recommend people try out Ctrips.com or travelchinaguide.com
So much for today! You are welcome:)
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