The Sunday Post this week comes to you on a Tuesday! Sorry about that. We got to mainland China from Hong Kong last Wednesday and ever since we have had internet trouble due to the Great Firewall of China! Essentially China has blocked access to a lot of non-Chinese sites, apparently for security reasons – maybe due to the use of social media in recent popular uprisings, or maybe it’s just to keep all the traffic (and money) flowing through Chinese (likely state owned) businesses. We don’t think the firewall is necessary or effective for either of those reasons though. If the people want to start an uprising on social media sites they can just buy a VPN tunnel to get around the block, and we think Chinese people, the vast majority of whom don’t speak, read or write English, would use Chinese sites anyway whether the block was in place or not. So in a few words, the firewall is simply nonsense.
Our VPNtunnel, VyprVPN by Golden Frog, only seemed to work intermittently until last night and so with all our excuses laid on the table, apologies for the lack of blog posts and other social media content by The Two Gallivants recently.
TIP: If you’re planning a trip to China and are worried about contacting the outside world, we understand from talking to other foreigners in China that Astrill works very well as a VPN tunnel, and Hotmail generally seems to be available despite the firewall at the time of writing. We’ve paid for VyprVPN already so we’ll just stick with it, as it appears to have resolved its connectivity issues as of last night. Hopefully that continues, and if so, we will continue to update you every Sunday with stories, photos, videos or whatever else tickles our fancy about our travels. There will certainly be lots to tell you about strange and beautiful China!
We also have loads to catch up on from our travels in Cambodia, Vietnam and Hong Kong and so stayed tuned for those stories and tidbits over the few weeks. Next up is one of our more serious pieces – about our irresponsible travelling one day in Banlung. That will be posted in the next few days, as today and tomorrow will consist wholly of getting from Yangshuo to Shanghai overland!! Wish us luck!!
In the meantime, here’s a photo of something else the Chinese got very wrong!