The following tips are contributed by travelers on the forum of travelchinaguide.com.
-General- | MELISSAWONG | 2006-02-07 11:10:46 GMT-5
I read "Extreme Backpacking" and tend to agree on the packing list. For me, it looks quite similar.
My must-haves are as follows:-
1) Toilet rolls
2) Medication (in case of getting sick)
3) Good walking shoe
5) Poncho / raincoats
6) Torchlight (especially useful in smaller towns like Songpan)
7) Simple Toiletries - your full facial regime would not work when you are fighting to catch up with sleep)
8) Hat (for sun and cold, depending)
9) Swiss army knife - to cut anything edible or inedible.
10) Wet wipes
11) Water bottle
16) And of course some change of clothes
17) & $$$$, plastic
18) Additional light-weight foldable bag for shopping
Though sound a lot but I managed to carry my "harvest" from shopping at the end of my trip.
Anhui | ELCABRON | 2005-2-20 21:19:16 GMT-5
I’m not sure if I am a good example. I have a backpacker’s soul. I like to travel as light as possible and as packed as necessary. This means on a trip for a month, I only travel with my small army backpack. It is 50x35x25cm only! (If you are travelling with your girl things look different of course. Romantic travelling is more convenient travelling)
Medicine is most important. Toilet paper comes second in China.
A LP guide is never a mistake. But I reduce it to the most necessary information of my route on a separate paper in case I lose the guidebook (transportation, alternative places to stay, copies of some maps...). Youth hostels are always a breeding point of the latest travel information. It is a big backpacker family.
I only have just a few things of clothes, two trousers, a few T-shirts, a few socks, one or two pullover and so on to change. Jacket is on my body.
If you need new clothes you can buy them very cheap or if you stay at a place for a couple of days wash your used clothes.
I hope you are not too disgusted. Always have something to drink with you. Money, traveler's check, passport, tickets - everything important is in my money belt.
My wallet is just for some little money you need every day. It does not hurt when you lose it or it gets stolen, or even robbed. But I normally wear it in a front pocket while I am traveling. (China is one of the safest countries I have travelled to. It is more dangerous to take the wrong exit in a major US city.-)
The weight is right when you are able to walk with it for at least half a day - everyday ;-)
Normally when you reach a city, I look for the place to stay first. But that can take some time. Than you can reduce the weight, leave everything in the hotel you can afford to lose and start your exploration!
I hope this helps everyone who wants to experience a little bit more independent adventurous traveling.
MADE IN CHINA
Heilongjiang | KAIOTEE | 2007-07-23 05:47:24 GMT-5
A lot of people underestimate what is actually available when travelling to another country, especially one being so different to their own.
Girls, despite what you get told, sanitary products ARE available although pads are the more common choice to locals over tampons.
Guys, same for you... deodorants (both roll on and spray), condoms, and razors are all available.
Now, from experiencing the North for the majority of my time in China, it gets REALLY cold. As DUNC said, legwarmers/thermals are a necessity. Now I'm not one to go prancing around in tights so it was nice to know that you're everyday pants just go over the top.
Apart from the obvious, beanies, gloves, scarves, ear muffs, etc, you really don't need to pack that much stuff. If you're only looking to spend money on travel, food and souvenirs, then by all means go on and stuff your suitcase... but I'll remind you, 1. 90% of the things you buy in your local convenience store were MADE IN CHINA, so yes you can buy it when you're in China, and most times for half the price you would've paid back home. 2. Remember, when you're leaving... you have to make sure you have room in your suitcase for the extra things you bought, otherwise they either make you pay extra for the excess weight, or they arrange your items to be sent to your home by air/sea mail at your expense. And yes, it happened in Shanghai to a girl in our group.
Hope this helps anyone planning a trip.
I Took Everything but the Kitchen Sink!
Xian | LOVESASIA82 | 2006-10-25 21:21:58 GMT-5
When I traveled to Xi’an it was my first time traveling out of Canada so I wasn’t sure what to pack. I was going for three weeks. I brought lots of clothes and hygiene products, even five pairs of shoes! DO NOT do this…. Everything is so cheap in Xi’an. If I wasn’t a bigger girl I could have went with just a few outfits and undergarments then bought clothes there. I would suggest you bring a very comfortable pair of shoes, well worn because you will do a lot of walking. If you wear a size 9 or more (female) you probably can’t get shoes. Also if you are tall you may have trouble as well (for clothing). Just do not forget your camera, and take a backpack or larger purse with a zipper to keep your goodies in while shopping! Although you can get that here too VERY cheap! I bought three fake Louis Vuitton purses while there and they were about $8.53 CAD! And they look VERY real!
Heilongjiang | DUNC | 2006-09-25 19:45:45 GMT-5
It's grim up north!
Don't worry, simply either bring your expensive North Face life saving, compass wielding, inflatable 'I'm a tourist' overcoat.......or if you'll stay a whole winter, buy local thermals for 30-100RMB a scarf, 2 pairs of gloves 2 pairs of socks and a thick hat, all for much less, it'll take some getting used to the feeling of 2 pairs of trousers but 9 million locals can't be wrong!
One teacher in my old office has the record, 4 pairs of leggings last winter! And it was a he!
Travel in China.
Wuhan | LADYMAGGIC | 2005-11-19 05:44:23 GMT-5
My destination was Wuhan.
I asked everybody what I needed to take and came up with some very complicated answers...like coffee, hair color, stockings.
The truth was that I was able to buy everything I needed in China, except shoes to fit my large western sized feet.
Buying shoes invariable led to many sniggers or directions to men’s shoes, which would have made my big feet look even larger.
If you have large feet you need to take sandals for summer and warm boots for winter. Everything else your heart desires you can get in China or have made for you.
I did have problems with clothes but they were available in large sizes, strangely enough at the markets and some department stores. Large sizes were available in coastal cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, as there are many westerners already living there.
If I was going to China again, I would take an empty suitcase and fill up on the silks I loved so much and the jade and get all my clothes tailored.
Everything else is there so don't waste room bringing stuff you don't need.
Tissues - wherever you go!
-General- | JAKIVO | 9/24/2005 11:38:24 AM GMT-5
Don't know about the guys - but ladies don't be surprised when you go into a WC and stall doors are open while "business" is being conducted. If you're not comfortable with that yet, don't be afraid to wait for one that has a door or go all the way to the end of the bathroom (by a fan is best). But most importantly . . . DO NOT EXPECT TOILET PAPER! Thankfully I never go anywhere without tissues. Carry a travel pack of tissues (and hand sanitizer) with you.
Shandong | PSTRICK198 | 2005-6-23 18:22:43 GMT-5
If you are deciding to climb Tai Shan Mountain, strongly advise you to bring water and buy a cane. They sell them everywhere. Pack light snacks and writing material. Be advised it is a long and treacherous journey to the top. You can also rent a long green army jacket a little over halfway up. The temperature really drops at night. If you have a light windbreaker is much better. Wear good climbing shoes. They are steps made of stone. Not exactly perfect like at home.
Travel tips to China
Xi'an | BETH | 2004-8-11 17:03:52 GMT-5
I have been to China 4 times and am also doing a 3-week return trip from Sept 23 to Oct 15.
I would recommend going from Xi'an to JiuZhaiGou then to Guilin, that way you are going in a smooth arc and not flying back north over the same area. Also Oct 1 to 8 is a national holiday week. So a lot of people will be traveling.
I have found that going to travel websites and checking the China tours helpful. It helps to plan the order of cities to visit and the sites to see. Get a travel book. I use Lonely Planet; it tells the normal charge for a taxi ride is from the airport to the city.
If possible, pre-plan your pickup from the airport to the hotel. If you have not made arrangements be ready to negotiate for the fare. I stayed in Yangshao, 39 km south of Gulin. The trip is about 1.5 hours from the airport. The hotel charges 495 RMB for the ride from the airport. I was able to negotiate the trip back to airport down Y200. I was traveling with my 2 brothers so had to pay more then the normal Y80.
Remember the exchange rate. It can be fun to negotiate if you like doing it. But my brother spent 10 minutes trying to talk a vendor down from 10Y to 8Y per DVD when I pointed out that he was haggling over less than $0.25.
Other tips: Pedestrians only have the right to be run over. Tap water is not potable unless boiled. Be aware of the porcelain trench, I never found a hotel that did not have a western style toilet in the lobby.
Tianjin | INTIANJIN | 2004-6-29 7:41:50 GMT-5
If you are partial to specific toiletry brand names then I'd suggest stocking up before you come. You can purchase many home brands here like Gillette, Pantene, Nivea, Herbal Essences, Crest, Ponds, Olay.
Don't bother bringing any pants or long sleeved shirts. Sweaters and jackets are useless. I overpacked bringing 5 pairs of jeans. I can't wear any of them; it’s too hot. Shorts are a must because you'll be sweating constantly and need to keep cool. If you wear big sized clothing then you will have a hard time more here so bring from home. Don't bring thick fabrics because you'll regret it and choose your fabrics wisely or you'll have sweat trails showing thru everywhere. Undershirts and dress shirts are great. You can unbutton dress shirts as it gets hotter.
The clothing here is so cheap you'll be buying a lot of it. The men's shirts they sell in stores/market looks like the stuff you find in heaps in Salvation Army stores. If you want to wear nice shirts bring them from home. Shorts look cool here so it’s fine to only pack a few pairs and buy more when you are hear.
Electricity (for Europeans)
Beijing | TARZAN | 2004-6-16 5:36:33 GMT-5
When you go to China you do not have to bring a converter for electricity. Most sockets are the same as the European (two holes) and the voltage is 230 volts. So save some money on not buying a converter.
Beijing | JANEVERDOORN | 2004-6-3 20:17:07 GMT-5
I consider traveling light very easy. If that is of course if you travel for pleasure not for work. Anything you might need in access to that what you brought with can be bought.
Because of the difference in temperature
Kunming | BETH | 2004-6-2 15:45:50 GMT-5
For Kunming's obvious big difference in temperature of daytime and night, you'd better take several pieces of warm clothing for the night and bring sunglasses and some sun block for the strong ultraviolet radiation of the day time.
In addition, eat more fruits and water to avoid dehydration.
Xi'an | DAISY | 2004-5-12 9:06:33 GMT-5
Do remember take the gloves and the umbrella.
Gloves: to protect your hands from the rusted chain.
Umbrella: to prevent the strong wind when you are waiting for the sunrise on the peak.
Of course, overcoat and some warm clothes are necessities.
ATMs in China
Beijing | TASSALUM | 2004-4-26 15:25:28 GMT-5
There are branches of The Bank of China all over the place so you shouldn't have any trouble. If you're going to smaller, more remote places it may be better to take cash. Carry cash next to your body.