January, February in Beijing
Luggage and bags: Depends on where else you've been or are going to visit.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It is very cold, but dry in January/February in Beijing. Make sure you have warm underwear, heavy socks and warm boots; gloves and toques/scarves. We just about froze our butts off the first week of February in Beijing but it was sunny every day and no snow anywhere in the city. I ended up using a terry hand towel from our hotel room to wrap around my neck and head.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Take lots of moisturizer! The air is so dry there you will need it-for your face, hands and body.
Photo Equipment: We took our Fuji camera and rechargeable batteries/charger.
Miscellaneous: We took a tour that included hotel (we stayed at the Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel). It was a lovely hotel -4 Star. We were up early and home late so get lots of rest; you'll be doing a LOT of walking. If you are using Aeroplan points, consider a layover that is usually included in your trip. It was worth it and the only extra we paid was for the tour and that was a great deal. Transportation from/to airport; to all the tour sites with English speaking guides; was a very small tour; largest group of nine to Badaling Great Wall; just the two of us to the Kung Fu show and Llama Temple, Summer Palace. Would like to go back there; loved it!
What to bring
Luggage and bags: A good sized bag with room for any purchases.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: What to pack depends on time of year. summers are hot, winters are cold. Spring and Fall are best. Its best to pack in layers for sudden climatic changes.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Yes, take all.
Photo Equipment: Camera, spare batteries and ample cards for your camera.
Miscellaneous: A good guide book or 2.
Comfortable Walking Shoes are a MUST
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Make sure you have comfy shoes/sneakers as you'll be doing a ton of walking especially on the Great Wall. If you have a large foot and most westerners do - don't think you'll be able to buy shoes in China - it's not going to happen. My daughter is extremely lucky she has a size 6 foot 'small' by our standard but the norm in China so returned home with 10 pairs of shoes!!
Bring your thermal's!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: We had been in Shanghai for some weeks before we were able to get a flight to Beijing due to the poor weather and you would not beleive how much snow can fall in this city!!
Out and about in Shanghai, of cource we went to quite a few shopping centres, where i did have a look at a lot of over priced thermal underwear (compared to NZ) with maybe not quite my healthy size, so abstained from making any purchase.....BIG BIG mistake!!....Of course i survived by wearing three shirt's, plus a jacket. And i am so so glad i took my boots with me, even if they did upset all the machines at the airport's....lmao!!
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Things to bring when climbing up the Great Wall
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good walking shoes
In summertime, additional T-shirt and an umbrella if you don't want to get a tan
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Plastic strips in case you don't have good walking shoes
Photo Equipment: Bring a camera with you or you will regret it!
Miscellaneous: A BOTTLE OF WATER
beijing map, a must !!
Luggage and bags: You absolutely need beijing map. Cannot get it for free even in the airport. Some hotel (not all) give it for free, but most in chinese, map itself has two language, but explanation about some where is chinese. It is better to buy the english version, cost 8 (usual paper) or 15 yuan (laminated) at Wangfujing int'l book store or Xidan book store. At Beijing airport, you can get Beijing tourism guide (english) for free. I took it at airport express train gate.
Lost in translation
Miscellaneous: It is easy to enhance your holiday experience by boosting your capacity to communicate in the local language. To assist us in various situations we would encounter in China, I used a word processor program to make small little flashcards in both English and Mandarin. I then laminated them to prevent deterioration.
These little cards were small enough to fit in my wallet or a pocket and we carried them around everywhere we went while in Beijing.
Whenever I wished to communicate something, for example in a hotel foyer or restaurant, I would produce one of my little cards. The Chinese found these fascinating and I think they really appreciated the effort to communicate with them in their own language.
I mostly obtained Mandarin translations for tourist sights, dishes in restaurants, public transport, emergency services etc.
We also translated directions to and address of our hotel, which we could give to a taxi driver.
It was very worthwhile little accessories.
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These Feet are made for walking!
Luggage and bags: A small backpack or shoulder bag for your cap, sunglasses, camera etc. You will need both hands free to hold the railing of the stairs or escalator or to hang on for dear life in a speeding Metro train or public bus.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A sturdy pair of broken-in walking shoes. The major sights are quite expansive, for example its around 3 km from the north end of the Palace Museum to the south end of Tiananmen Square. A tour of the Temple of Heaven via the east gate is also around 3 km. Going up and down the Great Wall can be quite challenging.
Photo Equipment: A tripod is quite useful.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: A water jug or canteen is quite useful. The price of a bottle of water is normally CNY 3 but this jumps to CNY 5 at the tourist areas and CNY 10 at the top of the Great Wall. Talking of the law of supply and demand.
Miscellaneous: A compass is quite useful, not only when touring Beijing but any other city. You can countercheck the station directions by simply checking the compass.
Airport Departure Tax
Miscellaneous: I just came back from a short trip to Beijing during the Paralympics (13 Sept 2008 weekend). The Beijing airport departure tax is no longer collected in cash at the check-in counter as the departure tax is already part of the airplane ticket price. The tip to set aside CNY 90 per passenger is an old tip. I ended up with excess CNY because I set aside CNY 200 for the two of us.
Photo Equipment: I always travel with my Minolta SLR camera with 2 lenses (1x 35/80 and 1x 75/300 zoom), a two times converter, a polariser for both lenses, a spare battery and 10 spare rolls of 400 asa film (36) with 1 loaded into the camera.
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MUST CARRY TISSUE AT ALL TIMES!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: bring a light jacket, the temp difference can be as much as ten degrees in the day/night
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sun block. Beijing skies seem to have no clouds...
Miscellaneous: When you get to Beijing, it would be wise to buy a packet of tissues (the easy to carry around type) they're cheap and you will need them! most public bathrooms in beijing do not provide toilet paper, and you'll be glad that you have some when you need it.
Do not leave home without....
Luggage and bags: I advise to carry an extra bag for your shoppings
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Take tennis and confortable chothing. During summer, take fresh clothing because the weather is really hot.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Don't forget to take Pepto Bismol just in case: finding food in Beijing is not a problem, to know what it is, that's another story..
Photo Equipment: Take enough film or a high capacity memory stick. There are so many things to photograph.
Miscellaneous: A calculator will help a lot when shopping. An electrical converter is indispensable.
Travelling starts at home!
Luggage and bags: Besides the large bag and the hand bags, keep an empty extra bag in the large bag you will be checking in. In the last day of your trip you will be amazed how much stuff you have bought.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Summer: light and comfortable clothes that can be easily washed and dried (cotton T-shirts are best).
Winter: Down garment or winter jacket, hat, ear protectors, scarf, gloves.
Spring and autumn: Sturdy, warm and washable clothes, a comfortable jacket, sweater, casual coat.
Shoes: comfortable and waterproof walking shoes, sandals, running shoes, and for formal occasions some dressy shoes.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: 1. First-aid (a few plasters and small alcohol tissues will make do)
2. Centrum (vitamins)
3. Dried tissues and wet tissues (small packs)
4. Lotion cream (it is very important, especially in October, November and December, you can expect then very dry weather)
Photo Equipment: 1. Camera, films and batteries, recharger
2. If you have a digital camera bring at least 2 chips of 1GB.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: 1. Bathing suitsunglasses
2. Sun lotion
3. Hiking-type boots
Miscellaneous: 1. Passport and Visa
2. Air tickets
3. Copies of your most important documents (passport, ID card, visa card, etc.)
4. Travel Insurance papers
5. Emergency Card with your full name, address, phone number
6. A guide book with Chinese translation
7. A Beijing Map
8. A piece of paper with the address of the hotel you will be staying (with Chinese characters, if possible)
9. Money: Credit card and cash (when using the ATM of Bank of China remember you will have to pay the taxes, so, try to withdraw the maximum)
10. A water bottle
12. Small notebook
13. Embassy phone number
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Some helpful stuff to bring along
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Light clothes and footwear.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Vitamins and minerals (Centrum), one a day, since you will encounter new foods (and probably don’t know if they are or they aren’t more nutritious than the ones you are used to). Well, just to make sure you get all the essential ingredients while away from home.
Miscellaneous: Water, plenty of it. Don’t stick to sweetened soft drinks like soda and sports drinks.
Paper and wet tissues (or even a small wetty cloth will do).
Sugarless gum that’s sweetened with xylitol because at traveling time we sometimes can’t brush the teeth afterwards.
Tea leaves or coffee bags.
Small and light thermos (when I travel I always bring one with me for tea). You can use it for water, milk, juice, etc. Drinking tea after eating can help destroy the germs that cause cavities and refresh your breath.
White short-sleeve 100% wool t-shirts: this is definitely a must, especially if you are kind of hairy person. You should bring along several of them, you won't be sorry because they will retain most of your perspiration. You can use them alone or under your shirts.
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Arrive like a pro
Luggage and bags: small day backpack. buy a cute reusable sack at the Beijing market. Has a nice chinese logo and you can stuff your small gifts inside without needing tons of plastic bags to throw away.
Garbage is a problem in every country.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Lightweight clothing for September. Easy to wash in hotel room. Good walking shoes with a little style. Sandals a must. I personally don't travel with denim because it is too heavy and unwashable. Takes to long to dry.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Hand sanitizer before eating, Liquid tear eyedrops for pollution. Pepto Bismal.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: small umbrella for the heat of the sun. Very chic and fashionable to see chinese ladies with their umbrellas for shade.
Miscellaneous: Buy a chinese hand fan for a quick cooling off. The best air conditioner I found and the cheapest. Now it is my souvnier.
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