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What to Pack for your Stay in China

I know that I for one panicked about what to pack for my trip to China, knowing that I would have only 25 kilos to pack up my wardrobe and all my essentials to get me through the next six months in this foreign country. Here are some tips from what I've learned on what you'll need and what you won't need to bring to China.

The long flight to China

I would definitely recommend taking some movies to watch on your laptop, a good book to read or some magazines. Most airlines will have movies on board but generally only one or two interesting ones. If you're a keen reader it is definitely worth spending some extra weight on books you would like to read during your stay. English or foreign books are hard to find here and when you do find them they are often very expensive.


The fashion in China is similar to that in Europe and America especially for girls between the ages of 18 and 29. Of course there are some specific trends but in general you can wear here what you wear at home. There are just two rules: skirts and shorts can be as short as you want (some shorts are smaller than average size underpants) and the second rule cleavage is not done here, so don't bring tops which are too low cut because you will be stared at and feel rather naked. But before you pack up your whole wardrobe, do remember that clothes here are very cheap and you can buy almost anything from any brand. Though if you clothing size is unusually large it won't be as easy. 


Tissues are a must here because many public toilets do not have toilet paper. Although it is sold by the bucket load here, you will need some for your journey over so don't forget to stick some in your hand luggage, as you wouldn't want to be caught short. A good phrase book will also serve you well, especially one with food phrases, they are hard to buy here so you'll be better off taking one with you. You don't have to bring more than one or two adaptor plugs as you can buy them here and they don't cost that much. 


Make sure that you have got enough of your prescription meds to get you through your stay, as you won't be able to get it here. It may also be wise to bring some painkillers and any other over the counter medication that you take when you have a cold or flu. Medication here can be hard to get and won't be the same trusted brand if you do find it. Taking it with you also means that you don't have to go searching for it when you need it the most. 

Gifts for family

In China it is custom to have a small gift as token of appreciation. So you could bring a little present for each member of your Host Family. 

Therefore there is not so much to pack after all as most things can be bought in China. Generally it will be the same quality as at home and not too expensive. Some websites urge you to bring your own shampoo and toiletries, but I personally wouldn't recommend it. They are heavy and do sometimes burst all over your lovely washed and folded clothes when your suitcase is being thrown around. So my tip would be to buy some travel size bottles of the necessities and buy the rest once you arrive at your destination. We would be more than happy to show you where you can get what you need. And of course, don't forget your camera!

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