I'm freshly returned from five fantastic days in Chengdu China, courtesy of the amazing Niccolo Chengdu. They invited us up to showcase not just the hotel (if ever one deserved a sixth star, it's Niccolo Chendgu), but the surrounding area as well. The trouble is that my current fascination is, as many of you know, with live and live-esque video, specifically Snapchat. And Snapchat, along with most other social fun things, is blocked by the Great Firewall of China.
Originally I'd resigned myself to not Snapping during the trip, instead focusing on collecting pictures, videos, and stories for publication when we returned to Thailand. But then I remembered it was 2016, and surely there was a solution to my problem. And I was right.
My first purchase was ExpressVPN, the undisputed king (according to my exhaustive research) when it came to solid, fast, and reliable connection that China seemed to ignore. And it was a great purchase, as Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, and everything else I wanted to access while I was over there worked like a champ.
Except Snapchat. Luckily, a friend and fellow Snapper recommended RabbitVPN, a free VPN app that she used exclusively just for Snaps. I can't say why it worked better for Snapchat than ExpressVPN. Only that it did. But it's far from perfect. The connection doesn't hold all that long, so most of my Snaps were in the "failed to send" category most of the time. I was able to get them to load easily enough in batch, but watching Snapchat stories was difficult. I'd watch 3-5 minutes of stories, then the dreaded "LOADING" message would appear and I'd have to disconnect/reconnect. So I missed a lot of fun snaps, but was happily able to keep my own Stories updated with fresh content.
Currently I'm working on editing all the Stories down to smaller, cohesive chunks. As it turns out, I snap a lot when I'm somewhere new and/or have been drinking. Who knew? Chengdu, that's who.
Recap: ExpressVPN is rock solid for everything *but* Snapchat when you are in China. I recommend you buy it (and yes, that's an affiliate link). RabbitVPN is free and spotty, but gets the job done so you can send out Snapchat stories the next time you're in China. (I've no idea if RabbitVPN has an Android client or not.)