Going behind the “Great Firewall of China”

I am out and about traveling in East Asia with my family as a part of the cultural immersion portion of my studies in Taiwan. Soon I will be heading behind the so-called Great Firewall of China (the internet filter that the People’s Republic of China uses to restrict its citizens access to many parts of the internet), and I am very interested to see whether or not I will be able to access the places on the interwebs that I normally frequent. I am prepared – I have purchased and installed a VPN on my equipment, so I think that the effect will probably be negligible. Nonetheless, it will be a first for me – my first trip to the PRC.

As a funny aside, today when we went to the China visa application office, we had inadvertently written R.O.C (Republic of China) on some of our application paperwork as a part of our address in Taiwan, and this did not get past the visa clerk. She said, "You must cross out R.O.C. – never say it!" I thought it was kind of funny, but my wife was wondering why they were so upset, it’s just part of our address, right? Yes, but well, there’s some baggage attached…I explained as we rode the train back to our hotel.

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