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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
Updated Dec 9, 2007
Miscellaneous: If you want to visit Beijing, bring a good City map.
I had bought the Beijing Lonely Planet map (green one) (5,99 US $) at the Adventure Fair in Gent. It is a laminated map with one big city map and several extra maps like The Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Badaling Great Wall and Greater Beijing.
The second map (blue one) , Peking/Beijing map, Berndtson & Berndtson was given by a friend who visited Beijing in 2000. This map was better then the lonely Planet map as it was more detailled (1:24.000), it was also laminated, it also had the Metro lines, the Beijing area with The Great Wall locations, detailled maps of the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Fragrant Hills and Chengde. (www.mapmyway.com)
Updated Aug 27, 2004
Miscellaneous: Make sure you bring a Guide Book with you (obviously written in your local language), but make sure alongside every attraction heading, it has the Chinese name written in Chinese alongside. I found however hard I tried, the taxi drivers could not understand my attempts at Chinese, but most could read the Chinese in the guidebook.
As soon as you arrive in your hotel, make sure you get a card from your hotel that has their name and address in Chinese too, for the same reasons.
Written Nov 26, 2004
Luggage and bags: -Comfi daypack for long city strolls
If you dont have good bags at home: in Beijing you can buy very good hard and soft suitcases for incredibly cheap prices if you bargain. Keeping in mind, that in most airlines you are limited to around 20-25 kg and that you might want to shop for clothes and souvenirs in China come with as empty bags as possible. Airlines are very strict and you will pay ridiculously high prices for every kilogramm extra you bring home.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you are tall and not super-slim then enough pants might be a good idea. I wear a German 38-40 (in Levis 30, 34) and found it hard to even fit in Chinese XL pants.
However, at the tourist markets like Hongqiao you get "western" sizes also
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: -medicine against cold and flu
-medicine for all kinds of "female" problems
-any kind of special medicine you might need
- Beijing hotels can be very quiet, but if you are not lucky and have a room facing one of the main streets some ear plugs for the night might be nice
Photo Equipment: - slide film and black and white film
- batteries for your camera
- enough memory cards for your digital camera if you don't bring a laptop to read out the data frequently
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: - warm underwear for the colder season
- comfi shoes for a lot of asphalt-walking
- rain jacket or umbrella
Miscellaneous: - maybe some pictures from your family, friends and hometown for Chinese friends
As a business present in delegations:
- food or liquor specialities from the area you live or work
- any products with your company symbol on it (if company big enough, e.g. Polo-shirts, jacket-pins, calender etc etc)
- wood crafts or arts from your home country
Updated Jan 23, 2005
Miscellaneous: Most of us will always try to use up all the local currency before we leave the country in order not to have small change that become useless when return to home country.
Do not forget to put aside 90 RMB per head for the Airport Departure Tax which you have to pay in cash ONLY in the airport.
It will not be straight forward to do currency exchange (small amount) when you are at the airport.
Written Apr 21, 2004
Luggage and bags: I always pack a light backpack to wear during my excursions and tours. They come in handy when you end up picking up something you don't feel like carrying and they are great for toting your bare essentials.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: On tours, definitely wear good walking shoes or sneakers! You'll be doing plenty of walking for sure. Throw a light jacket in your pack, especially for the Great Wall tour (it get's chilly, especially in the early months) and wear lighter clothing for when it turns warm.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Always, always, always carry toilet paper with you. WC's in Beijing range from the "one star" squat toilets in hideously grotesque bathrooms, to the "four star" western toilets in the fancy hotels.
Don't count on finding many of the 4 star ones around, and be aware that 1 - 3 star toilets do not have toilet paper!!!!
Photo Equipment: My suggestion is the lightest, most compact camera you can carry. I had one of Sony's smallest digitals and it was a godsend!
Miscellaneous: Always bring bottled water. Don't even THINK of drinking water out of a glass or drinking water with ice cubes floating in the glass, unless you know for sure that the source for both were definitely from a bottled source.
If you don't heed this warning, it will only be a matter of time before you get the "curse of the bad water" which can really ruin a trip.
Written Oct 9, 2004
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: We were advised to take a full medical kit with us on our trip, and laughed it off, thinking how silly is that. We learnt the hard way. We will never travel in China again with inadequte medical supplies for the basic vomiting and gastric problems you can suffer. Secret is "don't eat the lettuce".
Take plenty of Immodiun or similiar product and gastolite to rebuild your energy levels.
Written May 8, 2005
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.
Written Oct 15, 2008
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Cheap outdoor gear can be bought in many good shops (and on the markets) in Beijing.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Cold and cough medicine
Photo Equipment: Other than ASA100, 200 and 400 print film, you will need to go to a specialist shop (there are many in Beijing for 35mm slide and B&W film, and 220 films)
Miscellaneous: The Beijing and China Lonely Planet guides are not particularly good, except for background information.
The China Rough Guide is marginally better.
The Blue Guide to China is very good on mainstream temples, buildings, architecture and historical overviews.
"Beijing: New and Old" published in China by the new World Press is VERY good on the sites (although now dated), and has maps (Shock! Horror!).
There are no other useful English-language guidebooks published in China. (Trust me on this). Plenty of picture souvenir books, most of which have simply appalling colour reproduction and the photos are generally dreadful anyway.
Written Jan 10, 2004
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: We went to China in early/mid april and it was really cold. See the white thing in the attached picture, that's snow! . So take warm clothes, comfortable shoes, a wind jacket and a comfortable light backpack.
Photo Equipment: Empty your memory cards before heading to the Great Wall, you can take hundreds of pictures in a couple of hours. Every landscape is amazing.
Written Apr 13, 2006
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