I wrote this when I had two friends visiting me in Beijing from the UK.
They’d been asking me what to bring with them for their trip to China which saw them stop in Beijing and Shanghai for a combined total of two weeks. So I thought I would put together a handy list of basic things you need to pack when visiting the Middle Kingdom for two weeks.
So let’s start.
Handwash. Just something to carry around in your bag with you. Chinese food can be a bit messy so it’s always good to be able to wash your hands before and after eating.
Tissues. The bathrooms here don’t often give out toilet tissue so always make sure you carry a pack with you just in case!
Phrase book or addresses of where you want to go. Shanghai shouldn’t be too bad but sometimes taxi drivers in Beijing don’t really know where they’re going and most of them can’t and won’t speak a word of English so it’s good to have the address of where you want to go to hand preferably in both pinyin and Chinese characters. And if you want to try your hand at some Chinese then definitely bring along a phrase book.
Pepto Bismol and Immodium. I’m not saying you will get sick but you can’t trust all the food especially if you’re like me and want to try all of the food.
A card that works！Check with your bank to make sure that your credit card works in China as some do and some don’t. You don’t want to be stuck without any money!
Clothes. Check the weather forecast before you go. It’s a good idea to bring a light raincoat especially during winter and summer as the weather can change quite quickly and there’s nothing worse than using an umbrella in a crowded place!
Sturdy shoes. As nice as it is to wear sandals in summer, Beijing isn’t the type of place you really want to do that. So bring with you a pair of light pumps or trainers for all of the walking you’ll definitely do!
Things you can buy here:
Face mask. You might not have to use it while you’re here – sometimes the air is wonderful. Honest! But there are other times where you will definitely need to use one. They’re available for purchase in all convenience stores. The best ones are the ones with filters on them.
Small change. Keep the small change you get for the subway so that you can skip the long queues and head straight for the self service machines which also operate in English.
I think that’s enough for now. I don’t want to scare you and make it too over the top so I covered the essentials. China is a great country to visit and you’ll have a lot of fun. Taking these things with you though will make everything run a little smoother.
Did I miss anything? Have you traveled before with or without these items? Let me know in the comments below.