For those of you who wish to remain plugged in and keep in touch with your loved ones and friends back home, you have a multitude of options:
Email and Social Media:
For those of you with a Gmail account, please bear in mind that it can be interrupted frequently and can be denied in all the places in China. Make sure you have a backup, like a Hotmail or Yahoo! account. Of course, you could also utilize a corporate account and experience less trouble. However, that is not always guaranteed.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube- Please keep in mind that all of these sites are officially blocked in China. To gain access you may have to use a VPN service. There are some VPN service providers who target the China market. Install the most reliable ExpressVPN app to survive the hardest Internet censorship in the world during your visit to China.
Almost all the hotels and hostels are equipped with WiFi, even in the farmotels we use on the Great Wall area. Install the most reliable ExpressVPN app on your phone and computer before you board your airplane to China. Our offices in China use ExpressVPN to be able to communicate with our US headquarters.
All major American carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile have roaming agreements with the two major Chinese carriers, China Mobile and China Union. In most cases they utilize 2G speed. The 2G speed provided by Chinese carriers are generally solid within the major metropolitan areas. Our recommendation for the best equipped American phone in China is to have T-Mobile for phone calls and unlimited Internet roaming. If you wish to get higher-speed, you can purchase T-mobile's month-to-month plan of $50.
Where Western social media is mostly blocked, WeChat is the giants of social messaging in China. To keep in touch with your friends and family, and new-found friends in China, send photos, and make video calls, WeChat should be your first choice.
You can install them on your phone, computer, or tablet, and they are available for iOS or Android. To learn more aobut WeChat, please visit the Wiki Site.
Please add us as your friend after you install it. Our ID is GWAC2015.