Top 10 Most Essential Things to Pack for China

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So you are going to pack your trip to China. My short post here is not going to repeat a boring and stereotyped list of things you should bring on your China trip. Rather it is focused on the unique things typical of Chinese customs and culture, which are often neglected. Hope the top 10 list will give you some help having a smooth trip to China.

Tip 1: Take a Chinese Phrasebook

There is such a wide varity of Mandarin phrasebooks on the market. You may choose a useful Chinese phrasebook for Chinese travelers.

If you meet any difficulty on your trip without any English speaking people around, you can turn to your Chinese phrasebook for help. Check out Learning Useful Chinese Phrases for Travellers for some useful information in this regard.

Tip 2: Bring some cash on hand

Cashless payment ( smart phone payment) is widely used in China though credit cards still have their positions in China. Some restaurants and stores don’t accept credit cards.

If you travel to some remote area, you will find paying cash is the best way of local payment. Bring some cash on hand wherever you go in China. Check out How to Recognise Chinese Currency for some useful information.

Tip 3: Take Hand Sanitizer & Wet Wiper

It is very useful to have hand sanitizers and wet wipers on hand to clean your hands after dining, going to toilet or traveling in some crowded public places.

It is advisable to carry alcohol pads to clean the ones in the restaurants.

Tip 4: Prepare for a Electrical Converter and Adapter Plugs

China uses generally 220V, 50HZ, AC (Hong Kong is 200V; Taiwan is 110V). A standard socket in China has two pins on the upper part and earthed three pins on the lower part.

You may buy a portable plug adaptor at your home country or here in China. Some of your hotels in China offer free use of plug adaptors. Check out Plugs and Sockets in China for some useful information.

Tip 5: Do not Drink the Tap Water in China

Some hotels provide bottled water for free, use that even for brushing your teeth. Buy bottled water, or boil your own using the electric water heater found in every hotel room.

Tip 6: Bring Toilet Paper

Always bring tolet paper with you since most of the restrooms in China don’t offer toilet paper except hotels.

Tip 7: Prepare for A photocopy of China Tourist Visa

Always prepare for a photocopy of your China tourist visa in case you lose your passport.

Tip 8: Always Carry one of the Hotel’s Business Cards

Most hotels in China provide business cards (contact cards on the front desk). Please always take it for an easy return to the hotel.

Tip 9: Don’t Forget to Ask for a Local Tourist Map from your Hotel

Most hotels in China provide free tourist maps. These maps are basically more informative than the maps in your China guidebook. But usually your hotel doesn’t put them on the hotel front, you have to ask for it!

Tip 10: Carry your Notebook

Always carry your notebook which records your contact number for your country’s embassy in China, your hotel number or your travel agency’s emergency number.

You may put all the contact information your mobile or laptop. Check out Foreign Embassies in Beijing for some useful information.

Hassle-free China Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for China guided tours:

Top China Private Tours
Top China Small Group Tours
Top China Train Tour
Top China Yangtze Cruise Tour
Top China Silk Road Tour

Further Readings


Top 10 Places to Visit in China
How to Pack for your China Trip
Plugs and Sockets in China
Learning Useful Chinese Phrases for Travellers 
How to Recognise Chinese Currency

Top 10 Travel Experiences in China
10 Most Scenic Drives in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Mountains in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Lakes in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Grasslands in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Rivers in China
Top 10 most beautiful waterfalls in China
Top 10 Places to See Autumn Leaves in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Villages in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful old towns in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Museums in China
Top 10 China Tourist Scams
Top 10 Souvenirs in China

Any questions, just drop a  line.

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