So lost in Pokemon Go forgot about everything else…. obsessed. Works better than Tinder and all other dating apps, meeting guys hunting for Pikachu. Hipsters and nerds alike. Pokemania hit us like the great wave of Kanagawa, and it’s not even launched in Norway yet #teamvalor

That’s how we met, kids, hunting Pikachu in the park

China baby! 

I get the best travel insight from friends who live or lived abroad. On Facebook search you can also type in “friends of my friends who live in…” Was planning on riding solo, then put my plan on Snapchat and found my travel mate there.

Booking bonanza 

Booking China I used a plethora of sites and apps; Booking.com, Expedia, AirBnB, Hostelworld and Ctrip for train tickets. Speed trains are fun. Cross checked Momondo, Skyscanner and the whole lot, but the SAS Asia campaign drew the longest straw. Like to do both budget, mid range and luxury all in one trip.

Hostelgeeks tweeted me Peking Station Hostel, which is a quiet, green lounge two stops from Tiananmen Sq. and walking distance to Wangfujing St. and Beijing Railway Station. Feels more like a B&B really, with totally overpriced breakfast. Get your nutrition from FamilyMart up the road. One street down in the Suzhou Hutong you`ll find my fav pick`n mix noodle shop!

mmm noodle soup

Fitbit goals

China blew my Fitbit charts to smithereens. On average 25,000 steps and 15 km walking daily. Public transportation is gold and so cheap. Now Pokemon Go is making me walk great distances, oh the irony. In the next post I’ll tell you a great way to hike the wall – no tourists in sight…

Walk walk walk

Disclaimer: this blog is edited exclusively in the app, mobile only. Might not look right in desktop.

Martine goes to China

Confession time! It has been ten years since I last blogged. Cairo 2006.

A recent visit to China has woken this blogger-panda from hibernation, although pandas don’t really hibernate. As I find myself working with content marketing and social media in the travel industry, and being a traveller at heart, plus an educated anthropologist, China was really a pleasant surprise. Thus I want to write a series of China travel blogs, for a lot of the things I was told beforehand was total ludacris.

Let`s start with the language barrier! There’s an app called Baidu that translates live Chinese to English and vice versa, you just talk into the phone. Other apps translates text and menus, but the best way of ordering food in “no english” eateries, is pointing at whatever the neighboring tables are having that you fancy. And it`s fun! More on the foodie stuff later.

Mind the gap

Everyone I met in China were really helpful despite understanding no or little English. Sign language and screenshots of what you are after goes a long way. Getting around is easy, the metros in Beijing and Shanghai are all in English, 3 RBM one way. Download the metro map apps and you have it offline in your pocket. Point of comparison, rush hour in both cities ain’t half as bad as the London tube and air conditioning is much better. The Chinese and Norwegians alike, could however learn a thing or two from British queue-culture…  

While you’re at it, get a good VPN app and WeChat. Lot`s of free wifi. You can easily access all social media including Tinder, Happn, Bumble beyond the great firewall. Let`s get real, Tinder tourism is a big thing. Not just for hook ups; talking to peeps, getting local insight on clubs, restaurants and areas. You’ll swipe through lots of expats, fellow travelers, study abroads and Chinese repats. And please, stay sane. Shady people can be found everywhere on this planet.

If you, like me, enjoy going out dancing in clubs, another great thing about WeChat is getting a promoter. Free entrance and endless drinks at crazy clubs. The Belvedere might be a bit watered out or synthetic, so drink responsibly.

Cheat sheet

1. VPN app
2. WeChat
3. Baidu
4. Metro maps

Next up, how to avoid the tourist crowds.