I haven't regret taking umbrella to China. It is usefull during sunny days (sun protection) and the rainy ones.
There are plenty of shops where you can buy it, if you forget. I suggest not to buy the cheapest ones - they rust after a week ;)
Luggage and bags:
Don't bring huge amounts of luggage. Chinese taxis are Volkswagen Jettas, and are therefore limited in how much luggage that they can hold (they will put overflow bags in the front seat if necessary). Also keep in mind that domestic flights in China make you pay for extra weight if your luggage is too heavy.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Pack comfortable clothing. Chinese buildings are not as agggressively air conditioned as those in the US. However, Chinese summers are hot.
If traveling in the winter, bring warm clothes. Northern China has cold winters, and many buildings in southern China are not heated during the winter.
Also, pack comfortable shoes. Many of the top sights in China involve a lot of walking, especially the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Terra Cotta Warriors, and the Great Wall. On rainy days, don't wear sandals - the puddles may not be something that you want to expose your feet to.
If you are larger than average in terms of size, bring an extra pair of shoes and some extra clothes. You may not be able to purchase anything that fits you in China. However, if you are staying for a few weeks in one location, you may be able to get clothes made for you by a tailor, which is not very expensive.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring some toilet paper. Many public restrooms have none. Also bring Purell and/or wipes for cleaning your hands.
Also, bring extra deodorant, which for some reason is hard to find in stores. Women should bring extra tampons, which are also hard to find.
In terms of medical supplies, we brought Pepto Bismol, Immodium, and aspirin. If you have allergies, definitely bring your medicine. The air quality is not always great in the cities, and many people smoke, so we brought Allegra and Zirtec. If you take prescription medication, bring extra quantities. You don't want to have to deal with getting it refilled in a place where many pharmacists don't speak English.
Photo Equipment: Bring a battery recharger and extra batteries and memory sticks for your digital cameras. We ended up taking tons of pictures.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Bring a poncho and umbrella. It does rain in China, especially in the south.
Miscellaneous: If you are staying in hotels, bring a laptop computer. Most 3* and up hotels have good broadband service and the laptop was very useful for looking up information in each city. It was also very useful for phone calls back to the US using Skype, which is far cheaper than calling with your cell phone or a hotel phone.
Also, pack a few books to read. We did not see a lot of foreign language bookstores while we were in China, so we were glad that we brought books from home to read during the trip.
You need Chinese Visa to travel to mainland China except Hong Kong and Macau. If you are in Kuala Lumpur, you can apply the visa at the address below:
2nd Floor, Plaza OSK, 25 Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Single Entry : (RM58 - 4 working-day collection)
Double Entry : (RM78 - 4 working-day collection)
Multiple Entry: (RM108- 4 working-day collection, valid for 6 months)
For US Citizen:
All Visa : (RM 493 - 4 working-day collection)
For Other Citizen:
Single Entry: (RM 158 - 4 working-day collection)
Double Entry: (RM 228 - 4 working-day collection)
Multiple Entry:(RM 278 - 4 working-day collection)
If you wish to speed up the process, you have to pay extra between RM72 to RM112.
You need to fill up an application form with 2 passport size photo.
For further information, please check out their website.
Along with all the other usefull tips here with regards to traveling in China.
I would also recomend taking along a phone card/calling card to keep in touch with the people back home. I found hotels to be expensive and if your in a hotel where the people don't speak good english it can be a hassle. Found one online at 2stepsconnect.com that was very useful. prepaid and rechargable with decent rates. Best thing about it also was when i left china the card was still good from anywhere else.
Miscellaneous: This is an excellent large Beijing guide book measuring 25cm by 26cm with lots of beautiful photographs of Beijing major tourist attractions. The book is illustrated in several languages including English and contains 96 pages. It was printed in 2002 and reprinted in 2008. It costs just 20.00 rmb from many souvenir shops. Make it a point to get a copy before you leave Beijing - an excellent souvenir book as well! You may read the website below for more information regarding Beijing's guide books..
Toiletries and Medical Supplies:
Deodorant is not available in most parts of China, so be sure to bring a good supply. Most other toiletries and medical supplies are available across China, however some of the prices can be high. Razors in particular can be quite pricey.
Miscellaneous: A good phrasebook is a must! A great little phrasebook is available from China Compass(www.chinacompass.com.hk), which is the only one I know of that is especially suited to missions work. Make sure your phrasebook also has lots of food items in it - China has so much great food you don't want to have your menu limited!
Most newer PRC outlets support 3 types of 220v 50hz plugs
The plug types are:
1. The two round pin like in the EU.
2. The 3 prong flat angle blades like in Australasia.
3. The two parallel un-polarized flat blades. This is like the US but will not support the third ground pin and will not accept polarized flat blades. Polarized is when one blade is a little bigger then the other, vary common in the US.
See the below URL for additional plug/socket information.
I have several cords, batteries and chargers for my electoral items. I want to charge then simultaneous so I do not have to change them in the middle of the night. The following is what I did to reduce the bulk and allow this.
I purchased electrical cords/extensions and non-polarized plug. I cut the cords to make then shorter and wire several of them together making my own, short, compact cords.
I also take extra compact chargers for the above simultaneous charging.
Please rate this and my other tips when you find them interesting, useful, or like the photos.
Luggage and bags:
You should have a suitcase that is big and easily can handle 50 lbs. worth of clothing if you're on a trip for over 7 days. Bring a backpack when you're out on excursions with groups but careful with the pickpockets. If you don't plan on shopping a lot when you're around in the cities or towns, don't bother lugging around a backpack.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I was so ignorant when it came to packing for my trip to China. I ignored the warnings of my parents to bring more warm clothing and I suffered for a bit. My visit to China was in the middle of March. I looked at a weather report and thought I could handle it. My trip would've been even more enjoyable had I brought warm clothing. China around this time of years can be many things. Cold, windy (in Beijing they had a sandstorm my second to the last day there) rainy and mild. Make sure you bring a good winter jacket, sweaters, long underwear and gloves. Good shoes are also a must.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: A bottle of sanitzier is a must. I wish I would've carried the one I packed with me more though. I came back with a cough and it could've been from not sanitizing enough.
I wore thermal leggins and thermal long-sleeved t-shirt. Over that, I wore two further long-sleeved t-shirts, a sweater and a goretex coat I bought in Eastern Europe. I wore regular jeans over my thermal leggins, but my legs did start to slow down after half an hour or so. I would consider wearing another pair of trousers over your jeans for the Ice Lantern Festival at night. Temps got down to -35C in the wind.
I wore hiking boots with two pairs of socks. My feet still got a little cold at the Ice Lantern Festival, but not at other times.
I wore regular glasses to keep the icy wind out of my eyes. A hat and lgoves are essential.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Skin moisteriser and lip balm.
Photo Equipment: Regular
Miscellaneous: This is a superb souvenir bronze plate "I have climbed the Great Wall" from the Great Wall of China outside Beijing. You may purchase this wonderful souvenir bronze plate from several souvenir shops or stalls at the Great Wall of China after climbing the Great Wall. The plate is carved with the following inscriptions in Chinese and English: "This is to certify that ____ did climb the Great Wall on _____" Of course you can have your name inscribed into the plate with the date of your climb by the craftsman at the stalls. The plate is sold with an elegant red presentation box measuring approximately 12cm x 8cm x 3cm. It costs approximately RMB 100.00 each. It certainly is an excellent souvenir to take home from China!
I had never used this card before, but all my research seemed to say that it was the way to go. I had decided to take half AUD cash and half my money on the card, which is a Visa Debit Card.
What I discovered that it was much much easier to access Chinese currency via my Card than trying to exchange my Aussie cash. Only 2 of our Hotels accepted Aussie cash to exchange, and our only other real alternative was to cash it at one of the Banks, this process was complicated, and took a long time with lots of forms to fill out, but it was fee free.
To use the Cash Passport card was dead easy. Just locate an ATM that accepted Visa cards (and about 90% of them did) and withdraw your money. All ATMs had instructions in english and it was very easy to do. Main Banks we used it at was Bank of China and ICBC. If you set your account up on-line (once again, easy to do) then you can log on and check your balances and also what exchange rate you were getting. The whole 3 weeks we were in China, our exchange rate kept going up and up, so that was good.
Miscellaneous: I always take a calculator with me on overseas trips, but lately Ive found my little wallet-size conversion chart to be even better. It is simply a small chart with exchange rates and conversions from CNY to AUD and on the other side from AUD to CNY. Simply log onto oanda.com and locate your currency of choice, go to cheat sheets and print it out. I then just cover it in plastic contact to keep it safe ... and off I go!
When Tracy and I travel, we tend to pack a bit differently to most people. For the months before we leave, we start putting aside old clothes that we will take away, wear and then throw or give to the people that clean our room usually. We feel we are doing our bit by recycling our stuff. About 3/4 of the clothes we take to a country stays there, making more room to buy new stuff. We dont like to do a lot of washing of clothes, while on holidays, so this packing method works well for us!!!
Also, we tend not to buy many clothes for ourselves while away in Asia, mainly due to the sizing! We are both not HUGE ladies, probably a size 12 or 14, however, in Asian sizing we are an XXL!!! We have been told many times that there is not clothes big enough to fit us! And so therefore our packing method works doubly well for us. We re-use, recycle and give away!
Miscellaneous: The Memory of the Great Wall is simply a great souvenir to cherish forever. You can have your photograph taken at the magnificent Great Wall of China on the outskirts of the city of Beijing for just RMB 50.00 per copy. The momento is in A4 size quality paper with your personal photograph, date of visit and your personal signature on it. Consider buying this wonderful and lovely souvenir when you are at the Great Wall of China on your vacation!
Miscellaneous: An excellent souvenir to bring back to your country from Beijing is crystal ball with your name written in English or Chinese inside the crystal ball by master craftsman at showrooms in Beijing. However these are expensive souvenirs. A large crystal ball can cost up to US$200.00 each. Crystal balls are excellent items for display in your cupboard at home. They are said to contain some magical power as well as to bring the owner good fortune and good health! Nevertheless buy only the genuine crystal balls from well-known dealers in Beijing.
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