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Unusual but Effective Packing List for China

Unusual but Effective Packing List for China

Old May 4th, 2010, 12:10 PM
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Unusual but Effective Packing List for China

My husband and I just got back from spending the month of April in China. After reading quite a bit on Fodor’s of what to expect, I developed this unusual packing list. It worked out well. We used almost everything we brought. We met some Americans traveling in the opposite direction from us and they described some of their problems with travel. When I told them what I packed they said they wished they had my list in advance. So in case it helps someone, this is what I brought:

1. Thin inflatable mattresses used in the pool. http://www.toysplash.com/Product/76I...lePoolMattress
My DH and I cannot sleep on a hard bed. We have trouble in US hotels if the mattress is hard. These were tremendously helpful. Most times we put them under the bottom sheet.
2. Foot Pump. We had to inflate the mattresses every time we changed hotels. This was a quick way to do it. It also helped with the last of the deflating. I also made silk sacks to store the mattresses and foot pump in.
3. Bed liner. Have you seen the silk bed sacks they sell on tv? http://www.dreamsack.com/store/dream...dreamsack.html I made one. Actually I made 2 twins with snaps down one side and across the bottom so that you could convert it to a king by opening them both up and snapping them together. This came in handy because the Chinese do not use top sheets. Basically you get a thick comforter. If it was too hot, there was nothing to cover you up. These bed liners came in handy as a blanket and also as peace of mind if the linens were not lily white. I also made silk pillow cases.
4. Net book. Almost everywhere had free internet which came in handy for communicating with home and for making airline/hotel reservations while traveling. We also uploaded our photos every day. We will never travel without this again.
5. Electrical adapters. Almost all of our appliances (mostly battery chargers) are international meaning they automatically take 240v. The Chinese wall sockets take just about any plug except polarized or three prong. We had a three socket expander plug that we got at home depot. It was polarized but we ground down the wide side to match the thinner side. (This was easy because of the way the wide end was made wide). Then we could put any of our polarized plugs into that. We also bought a three to two prong adapter at home depot for our netbook charger.
6. Gortex suit and hat. These water proof pants, jacket and hat came in handy when it rained and when it was cold. We wore the pants over our street pants. The brim of the hat extended over our collar in the back. You don’t get wet. We also had super mini folding umbrellas that had decent coverage when open.
7. We brought all quick drying clothes. (3 undies, 2 pants, 2 short and 2 long sleeve shirts we could layer, 3 pairs of socks, 1 sweater, 1 night shirt) We did some amount of laundry in the sink every day. They dried overnight in the bathroom. We got them at Magellans and TravelSmith. We had three small bottles of liquid laundry detergent we found in the travel/sample section at a store like Walmart or Target.
8. Go Girl. http://www.go-girl.com/?gclid=CNSZ1M...Fc5i2godaxpRUg
Check it out at Magellans. This is a device for women to allow you to tinkle standing up. It was very helpful if you had to use a squatty potty.
9. Street maps of the cities. Enormously helpful in navigating. We even had a few taxi drivers ask to see our map once they spotted it hanging out of my bag.
10. Hand Sanitizer. This is kind of a no-brainer. However our friend in Shanghai told us that this is not liked by the Chinese. We still used it under the table in restaurants.
11. We brought 2 pairs of walking shoes each. We used both but we could have lived with one.

Things we brought but did not use:
1. Unlocked phone. This probably would have come in handy about 3 times for local calls, but we never could find a sim card. A few times when we found the card, the person didn’t speak English and we couldn’t understand what we were getting, so we didn’t bother. We lived without it.
2. Steripen. I thought it would come in handy in making tap water drinkable. Never used it. Bottled water is cheap and readily available. Some hotels even give it to you.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 03:30 PM
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Very helpful information - thanks so much!
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Old May 4th, 2010, 05:56 PM
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Cool ideas.

My favorite universal packing list is one on the Central American board written by Hopefulist. I prefer natural fibers - linen, cotton, ultralite wool by Icebreaker - to some of the quick dry polyesters and nylons.

Favorite packable travel hats are from Lillie and Coho. I like the colors and that some styles have a real brim for sun protection, especially the hat named Mountain High.

A great powder form of soap is Forever New. It goes a long way, smells fresh and you never have to worry about spilling it.

After a bug detoured down the tunnel of my trachea and my over reaction to its presence, I am considering adding an Epipen to the current list.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 06:31 PM
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sounds like a lot of extra gear to me....
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Old May 4th, 2010, 06:34 PM
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I think we may have had more gear than clothes....however, we slept well and that made all the world of difference on the trip. An our suit case only weighed 35lb before we started buying souvenirs. The gear didn't take up much room.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 01:33 AM
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sounds that many thing to enjoy
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Old May 5th, 2010, 06:46 AM
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I agree with Bob... I do take a Dreamsack (although for night trains more than hotels), and drip-dry clothes, and Purell, and sometimes street maps (mostly my guidebooks are good enough). I did take a netbook to France, but thought it added too much weight.

I suppose the mattresses and pump are a good idea if you have serious trouble with hard beds, but fortunately I don't, as I really don't want to carry any more than I already am - my backpack weighs in at 20 lbs plus maybe 6-7 lbs in my day pack. (My packing list in in three posts on my blog: http://tinyurl.com/23mkbh5 )
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Old May 15th, 2010, 07:57 PM
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I had not heard of the "Go Girl", but I am intrigued.
Thanks for the ideas!

I also take my laptop and love having it to access the internet, download photos, and then on the plane ride back I get to look at all of the hundreds of photos I've taken and get a jump start on organizing them before I even get home!

Happy, safe travels

www.luv2globetrot.com
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Old May 15th, 2010, 08:13 PM
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luv2globetrot: I looked at your website. Your photos are great! Interestingly, I have been to all 50 states and 33 countries. We also don't like to return to the same place since there are so many more placed to see, but we have been to Hawaii 7 times (thanks to timeshare trades.) We are going again in December. How do you like smugmug? I use shutterfly, but viewing has been slow lately. Is smugmug fast? Worth the price? Thanks. You can see mine at www.garyandsusan.shutterfly.com. I am in the process of posting my China photos. It will probably be another week.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 06:09 PM
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Thanks sdtravels!!!
Just looked at your photos and they make me so excited about our trip in September!!!!
We only have 14 nights in China, 4 of which we will spend with family (expats living in China for 3 years) in Shanghai/Suzhou, which doesn't give is much time left to do China.
We are planning 4 nights in Beijing, 2 nights Chengdu (I really want to see the pandas!), 2 nights Yangshou, and our last 2 nights back in Shanghai before our trip back home.
I was really interested in Datong Yungan Grottoes once I saw your photos! How far was that from Beijing? Did you do it in a day trip?
BTW, you guys look like a great couple!!!
Hope to catch up to your count soon
Happy, safe travels

www.luv2globetrot.com
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Old May 19th, 2010, 06:20 PM
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Oh, as for smugmug....
I DO like it, but it does have it's share of cons. I wish that when you choose to see the larger image, that the next images would be pre-loading while you are looking at the current one...in other words, now you have to wait a few seconds on the larger image for each photo to load.
BUT, I personally have not found another sharing site that I think is as aesthetically pleasing....THAT part, I do like. Do I wish there were more theme choices and layouts?? Sure!
But I still don't see another site that seems to have more options.
As for the price...I kind of consider it my splurge for myself, since this is one of the things that brings me the most joy! So, to me, it's worth it
Glad you liked my photos!!



www.luv2globetrot.com
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Old May 19th, 2010, 06:22 PM
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Thanks! We spent 2 nights in Datong, but I think that both the Yungang Grottoes and the Hanging Monastery can be done in one day. I read that the train trip from Beijing to Datong is pretty long, so to make the most effective use of time I would suggest flying. Check the schedule on Ctrip. It's a short flight but there aren't many of them per day, if I remember correctly. Both were fascinating and well worth seeing.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 06:01 AM
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Thanks for all the info!
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