Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: You might want to bring pants that either have drawstrings on the bottom so they can be rolled up and stay that way or zip-off bottoms (they become shorts), some bathrooms are really, really nasty and you'll want to make sure the bottoms of your pants don't fall down.
Bring an umbrella or buy one there to block out the sun (many Chinese do this) as well as for rain. Sunglasses are important too.
Bring good walking/hiking shoes; don't plan on buying them there - I couldn't find shoes that fit nor could any other westerner I knew there.
Also, some kind of bandana or scarf for the dust storms is good to have.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: I had a really hard time finding band-aids there, so bring those and some neosporin.
Diarrhea medicine is a must - I don't know anyone there who didn't get at least one serious bout of something. I don't know that they sell it there so bring your own, and lots of it. Same thing for antacid.
Pain relievers and cough medicines are better brought from home - I just trust things better whose labels I can read. Be careful of some cold medicines though, some places (like Japan) consider Sudafed a narcotic and you can get it trouble - I didn't want to risk it coming to China.
Photo Equipment: APS film (advantix) is really hard to find, so bring your own. Kodak is everywhere but you don't always know how long it's been sitting out or if it's real or counterfeit so buy it from the Kodak places, not the street stands.
Digital cameras are fun - many Chinese have never seen them and since they love to see pictures of themselves, they love the fact that they can see the results immediately - it's a great conversation starter when they see you shooting with one.
Bring extra lenses for an SLR camera. I shattered one (still hurts to say) for one of my Pentaxes and couldn't find a good replacment. Also it's a good idea to bring a glare shield, a polarizer and a yellow filter to cut some of the haze there. Obviously any toys you can bring you should - it's a great place to take pictures.
Miscellaneous: Don't bring white clothes - they will get really dingy from the horrible air quality.
Bring batteries, especially if you're going to want music on long train rides. Chinese brands last maybe 2 hours for a Discman, and the Energizer and Duracell are sometimes knockoffs and sometimes pre-used I think so they're not always reliable.
Bring pictures from home to show Chinese friends - they want to see how you live. It's nice to have gifts on hand as well - I brought some baseball hats (wouldn't recommend it, I don't think they'll get worn) and picture books of US national parks and cities and my state.
Bring things like journals and notebooks and paper from home - paper quality is often really bad there and notebooks are strange - odd little badly translated expressions in English written all over them and stuff like that.
DON'T bring a bike - bikes there are about $10 tops so anything more valuable than that (which yours would be) would find itself stolen in about 3 minutes.
Luggage and bags: Night bag ONLY. You can buy luggage in Beijing very inexpensively. It will probably fall apart after a trip or two, but is still a good deal.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Bring what you have on you, nothing else. Buy the rest in Beijing, I regret bringing anything, period. Shoes, shorts, pants, jackets, backpacks (well, serious backpackers might only like their own packs and shoes etc. still worth a long hard look though)are available near Sanlitun or at Silk Alley near the Friendship store at rock bottom prices. You do have to haggle a little to get a really good deal though. You can also have great suits and shirts tailored very inexpensively. It helps if you can tell a welltailored suit from one of lesser quality.
Photo Equipment: Ok, do bring a camera and camcorder.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It can be quite cold and windy at The Great Wall so bring along a windy breaker and/or warm jacket.
This picture was taken in May, 1986. The weather was warm in Beijing but when we arrived at The Great Wall, it was too cold so I bought this sweat shirt from one of the souvenir stands. It says 'I climbed The Great Wall'. It was also very windy, which explains the bad hair.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: in december, it can be very cold, and with the wind chill factor...dress in layers, heavy coat, under layers, thermal underwear. gloves, hat, scarf, sunglasses, good walking/hiking shoes waterproofed.
Photo Equipment: no problems there. i bought a lithium battery at one of the souvineer shops at the summer palace!
Miscellaneous: Take power plug adaptors for all regions. China itself has at least 5 different types 2 pin round, 2 pin flat straight with earth and 2 pin flat angled etc. The big hotels (Shangri La) use the British style 3 pin. Some apartments use the US 2 pin They can be bought quite cheaply in Beijing at any market (Shang Chang) or electrical shop. Outside of Beijing it's more difficult.
Don't forget the travelogue 'A Year in Beijing'
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The weather in Beijing is so dry and windy almost all the seasons. So, some body lotion is needed. In summer, it is pretty hot, T-shirt can be nice then. And winter it is so cold and sometimes snows too, don't forget your coat then. And yes, usually you have to walk a lot while visiting places, so, sport shoes are really needed.
Miscellaneous: DON'T forget to bring along your much-treasured ATM card to withdraw cash. Yes, no need to rush to the money-changers to change all your currencies into Chinese Renminbi (or Yuan, as the locals there call it) before your trip. Once you adhere to the following steps closely, you should be fine:
- Flip to the back of your local ATM card now, do you see the logos 'Cirrus', 'Plus', 'The Exchange', 'Maestro' etc on it?
- If the answer is 'yes', then you have absolutely nothing to worry about!
- Why? Because you can withdraw cash from any ATM machines in China, no matter how obscure the town or village you're at is.
- If you use this method, you'd also save alot on the interbank exchange rates. Money changers will charge you much, MUCH more compared to a bank.
- DO NOT withdraw cash from your Visa/ Mastercard. This is considered a CASH ADVANCE and you'd be slapped with a very hefty fee! Not worth it. :-(
I've used this method many, many times before and so far, no ATM machines in this world have failed me.... Yes, even at the remotest village in China! :-)
So, happy travels!
'Every land has its own special rhythm, and unless the traveler takes the time to learn the rhythm, he or she will remain an outsider there always!' - Juliette de Baircli Levy (English Writer); b.1937
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Winters in China can be very harsh. When we were there, it was even snowing in Beijing! So bring along some heavy duty woollen jackets if you're planning to go in winter.
Their summers can be hot and humid. You'd also notice lots of flies swarming towards you during this season. Not a good time to visit if you're not particularly excited about flies!
Photo Equipment: I usually bring along THREE types of cameras with me these days and load them with different types of films i.e. ASA200 film (for day) and the high speed Kodak 800 film for museums or places that do not allow flash photography. So, the cameras that I'd bring are: the Olympus mju Zoom (with wide-angle lens). I usually use this camera for day photography.
I also bring along my Pentax Zoom which I use for places that does not allow flash photography...AND my ultra-small Canon IXUS Zoom camera - smaller than the size of my palm. This camera requires a special type of film (APS) to be used.
Luggage and bags: Don't take too much luggage with you...it happend to me that I found nice and very cheap backpack and suitcase overthere and had to trough old ones away.... I also decided that next time I go to China I won't take big luggage with me at all....I can buy all I need when I get there
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: good shoes to walk with and if you arrive before april, take some warm clothes with you
Photo Equipment: Beijing - albeit photogenic - is rather heavily polluted and you shouldn't expect blue sky and sunshine too often. Choose your film accordingly.
Miscellaneous: Lonely Planet's new book on Beijing (ISBN 1-86450-144-8) was published in January 2001. I've found it quite useful and so would you I guess.
Miscellaneous: If it’s hot when you go to visit, buy an umbrella when you get there. It’s a life saver in that sun. We also had water spray..one of those things I almost didn’t bring that ended up being invaluable!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: For climbing the Great Wall it is nessessary to have good shoes or boots with you! The steps are steap and unregular and you don't want to break your legs!
- Historical Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Masks,antibiotic clothes,gloves,eyepatch,even gas mask......&more carefully things!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: disinfector ,sterile gauze,soaps,&more medicine to buildup one's resistibility ....
Luggage and bags:
The Dragon carved on the wall here is beautiful. Each one is different.