If you’re traveling or moving to China in the near future, these China travel resources are for you!
Over the 10 years that I’ve lived and traveled around China, these are the companies, services and products that I’ve personally used and recommend to my friends and family.
Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you, I will receive a commission if you decide to use any of these services. In some cases, I’ve been able to negotiate a discount for you, so it’s a win-win.
To make things as helpful as possible, I’ve broken down these resources into the following categories:
- Basic China Travel Resources (those which every traveler needs)
- Chinese Language Learning Resources
- Moving to China | Resources for Expats
- Free Downloadable Resources
If you have any questions about the services that I use, feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to respond quickly.
Basic China Travel Resources (For all Travelers)
There are certain services and products that every single traveler to China will have to use at some point. So why not try to get the best available deal on a service that comes highly recommended?
Here are the basic travel services that I use and recommend for others.
Passport Visas Express | 10% Discount Code
There are plenty of China visa services out there, but this is the one that me and my family have used time and again.
They’re reliable and incredibly helpful throughout the process. Best of all, use this link to get 10% off their fees!
ExpressVPN | Staying Connected Online
As you probably already know, sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Gmail are blocked here in China.
ExpressVPN is one of the best (and easiest!) services to use in order to stay connected during your stay in China. Click this link to get 3 months free!
World Nomads | Reliable Travel Insurance
I can tell you from experience that travel insurance always seems like a waste of money…until you need to use it.
Don’t take the risk, though! It’s just a few extra dollars for unbelievable peace of mind. I’ve used World Nomads in the past and they’ve been great.
Cheap China Flights | Trip.com (aka Ctrip)
Ask most any expat here in China and they’ll tell you that they buy their China flight tickets through Trip (formerly Ctrip).
Because it’s a China-based company, they’re usually cheaper than foreign companies and they have English-speaking phone support in case you have problems.
Best China Hotel Options | Agoda.com
In the same way that Trip offers a more local option for flights, Agoda is the go-to resources for hotels all around Asia.
You can try Expedia or Orbitz, but if you want up-to-date listings that have plenty of pictures, Agoda is going to be the best place to find it. They also offer lots of great pictures so you know what to expect with your China hotel experienceWhat to Expect with Chinese Hotels | 2021 Traveler’s Guide.
Of course there’s a lot more to consider when you’re preparing to travel to China. These are a few other written resources you might find helpful as you make your preparations.
- How to pack for your China travel (free PDF checklist!)
- The Best China travel guidebooks
- How to choose the best China hotel (sight unseen)
Chinese Language Learning Resources
While it is entirely possible to travel to China without speaking Chinese, there are a number of benefits to learning the language.
If this is something you’re interested in, here are the services and products that I’ve used in the past to study Mandarin Chinese.
Chinese Online Tutoring | FREE Class!
No software or app is going to help you learn as fast as talking with a native Chinese person. If you can’t study in China, online tutoring is the next best thing!
Get paired with an experienced teacher that can help you with your goals. Best of all, you get your first session free!
Keats Chinese School
Founded in 2004, Keats School is one of the best and largest Mandarin Chinese schools in China and offers both one-on-one immersion Mandarin courses and small group Chinese classes.
Located in Kunming, Keats develops personalized exercises and materials exclusively for you to meet your learning goals and requirements. You can come to study anytime, according to your schedule.
Skritter | Have Fun Writing Chinese!
Flashcards are boring. Skritter is FUN. Seriously!!
I have learned how to write and pronounce thousands of Chinese words using Skritter’s amazing mobile app that utilizes spaced repetition learning. Get 10% off their plans using the button below.
The Chairman’s Bao | Read Chinese FAST!
When learning to read Chinese, some of the best tools available are known as “graded readers”.
The Chairman’s Bao is an amazing resource of current news articles organized by reading level. You need to use it to understand just how helpful it is. Try for free and if you like it, use TCC20 to get 20% off!
FluentU | Watch TVs & Movies in Chinese
Sometimes the best way to learn Chinese is to relax while watching a movie or TV show…in Chinese 😉
FluentU is an amazing resource full of shows you know as well as those you don’t. Don’t just learn from a textbook, improve your listening and understanding using FluentU’s video archive!
For more help with your Chinese language learning, I have a ton of great content that you can dig through on this website. Here are some articles to get you started:
- Chinese Idioms: 21 Most Useful “Chengyu”
- How to Enjoy Learning to Read Chinese
- How to find an online Chinese tutor
Moving to China | Resources for Expats
For those who are planning to move to China as an expat, whether to do business, teach English or be with your spouse, I have a whole different set of resources for you.
Being an expat in China is entirely different than being a tourist. Money becomes more of a factor, sending/receiving mail, insurance is different and moving your stuff internationally is a unique challenge.
Here are the companies and services that I’ve used in the past.
Traveling Mailbox | Virtual Mail Anywhere
You can use your parent’s address, but that’s not always convenient. For those that need a virtual address solution, I have loved using Traveling Mailbox.
They scan my mail so I can view it on my computer or mobile app. Very handy service for those who travel from place to place. Click the link below for 2 months free!
Wise (Transferwise) – Send Money to China
Pulling money out of an ATM is costly and so is wiring money from your bank. So what options do you have?
I love using Wise (formerly Transferwise) to make the transfer of money to my bank account in China. Saves a lot of $$$!
International Moving Company
You want to move your stuff from one country to another? It seems daunting, I know, but I’ve done it before and it’s easier than you think.
I’ve already written about the best international moving companies here, but I’ll just cut to the chase.
To get the best price, I recommend filling out the form below. You’ll get quotes from a few different moving companies that you can use to compare and find the right deal for you.
Safety Wing | Long Term Expat Insurance
While most insurance is meant for short-term travel, Safety Wing covers you for extended periods of time at a great price.
What’s even more important, they cover COVID, which is surprisingly harder to find than you might realize. Get a quote to see how they compare!
TEFL Certification | Online Classes
If you’re coming to China to teach English, you’ll want to be TEFL certified. Not only will it give you better job opportunities, you’ll also get higher pay!
i-to-i offers plenty of courses to get you officially TEFL certified. They also have great options to teach English online.
In addition to these services, I’ve written up a number of helpful resources for China expats that you can find here.
Free Downloadable Resources
In addition to all of the services and products I’ve listed above, there are also a number of free downloadable China resources offered here on this website.
These China travel resources are in PDF form and are delivered straight to your email inbox. These include:
Expat Guide to VPNs in China
Because of internet censorship in China, VPNs are absolutely necessary.
Learn how to use a VPN, whether they’re illegal and how to set it up.
44 Important China Travel Tips!
This is my list of the 44 most important travel tips that will help you properly prepare for your travel to China.
This is what I wish somebody would have told me before I first came to China!
Be Prepared for Your China Trip!
Before you buy your tickets to fly to China, make sure you grab a copy of my book Travel to China | Everything you Need to Know Before You Go.
It’s 200+ pages of my best travel advice for anybody who has never been to China before or who doesn’t quite know what to expect.
I promise it will be one of the most helpful resources you buy!