VPN: A Necessary Hotel Amenity in China 


TPOL was blocked in China!

I’ve been trying to publish reviews as quickly as possible because I won’t do it when I get home. The plan was thrown off when my laptop charger gave out, leaving me with a limited WordPress app.

Everything was back on track until I went to China. Unlike my hotels in Guangzhou and the St. Regis in Shenzhen, The Grand Hyatt Shenzhen was not built with a big, beautiful door to circumvent The Great Fire Wall. Much of the Internet was off limits. My law firm’s website which is built on WordPress was still accessible but wp-admin for BoardingArea was not. What’s worse is not being able to access Gmail and its apps from my laptop. My friend recommended a VPN but I couldn’t get to the site to download it.

Back in Hong Kong, I thought I’d post this before I get to Sanya where I may or may not experience the same problem. It depends on how the hotel has its Wi-Fi setup.

Just like foreign hotels have adapters for outlets, they should also have a VPN in place for guests who don’t bring one with them.


  1. Welcome to my world. I make at least 5 extended business trips to China per year, and I use a VPN (typically Express VPN). It is a must have, especially if you are away from Beijing and Shanghai.

    The problem with VPNs offered by hotels to foreigners is that they are notoriously slow, and you can never be sure of how secure they are. Best to bite the bullet for around $100/year and have your own VPN.

  2. You made a neophyte traveler’s mistake. A simple Google search before you left would have told you that a VPN is required to access any Google product, Facebook, Twitter, and others. You can’t also rely on just one VPN product as the government knows all about them and will occasionally attack them. Most expats use more than one and you have to get them before you enter the country. I had good luck with VyprVPN as my main and Astrill as my back up.

    • Not really a mistake. I’m well aware of the block but have had good luck with the hotels. It’s just the grand hyatt. And i know the vpn game like a burnout phone from the wire. That’s why i don’t give up my att unlimited data plan. Full access to everything at lte speed. Still thankful for the vpn input

  3. Another option is to download and use the latest Opera browser – it’s got an SSL VPN feature built in that you can turn on and off. Not a 100% solution, but I’d give it an 8/10 for functionally. It’s a great backup for something like ExpressVPN as well.

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