Most of us Westerners who have never traveled across the world have a distorted and incorrect view about how the rest of the world lives. Stuck as we are in our own little worlds, we might have a vision of pre-industrialized countries where we would be hard pressed to find the basic necessities of life. For the vast majority of places around the world, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Temple of Heaven Beijing China

During the last decades, China has experienced enormous amounts of economic growth, pushing it towards the standards of living experienced by the rest of the developed world. If you have been planning a trip to China, don´t be one of those travelers that ends up trudging through airports with several more suitcases that what you need. Instead of overpacking, most of the stuff you need can be found in any major Chinese city.

Furthermore, Chinese culture is renowned for its hospitality and most people will be more than willing to help you find any of the necessities you might need have left behind while packing. Nonetheless, it is always good to come prepared. Below we offer a packing list for visiting China so that you can best enjoy this incredibly varied and beautiful country.

1. A Bottle of Pepto Bismol

Chinese cuisine is absolutely delicious, and one of the treats of exploring China is that after a long day on the road, you might be lucky enough to come across a small town where the smell of fresh food promises a filling meal. While Chinese food is definitely enjoyable, there are a number of different tastes and textures that might take some getting used to. It is not uncommon for visitors to China to experience an upset stomach, especially during the beginning of their trip, and having a bottle of Pepto Bismol is a good way to relieve any stomach issues you might be having so you can get back to enjoying your travels.

2. The Right Clothes for the Right Season

China is a huge country, and depending on where you are heading, you will want to pack for the right season. For example, you would pack much different clothes if you were planning on hiking in Florida instead of Minnesota, and the same goes for China. Shanghai, to name just one city, is extremely hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. Make sure to take the time to search the weather and climate for the places where you are planning to visit and pack accordingly.

3. Quick-Dry Clothing

After several days of travelling through China, you will most likely be running short on clothes and carrying along with you a pretty decent stench. If you don´t have an off day during your itinerary for washing your clothes, it can be extremely helpful to have a pair of quick-dry clothing items.

With these special fabrics, you can wash them in the shower at night, hang them on the balcony of your hotel, and they´ll be dry in the morning. The folks sitting by you on the train the next day will certainly appreciate it.

4. An Extra Roll of Toilet Paper

Toilet Paper can be found in pretty much every store in China. However, it is worth noting that most public restrooms in China don´t have toilet paper, so it is a good idea to carry around an extra roll or two with you during your travels. Some hotels also don´t offer toilet paper, so you will want to stock up wherever you are headed.

5. A Lightweight Travel Backpack

One of the nice things about travelling in China is that you usually come across small towns every day or two, even if you´re out in the wilderness. This makes it easier to stock back up on food, water, and other essentials that you will want to carry with you wherever you are headed.

While there are virtually hundreds of different backpacks to choose from, you will want to consider a pack that is the right size for your travels, combining lightweight options with volume capacity. This review from Live Once Live Wild about travel backpacks, it’s a pretty good overview of what you may want to bring.

6. Enjoy Your China Trip with Just the Right Amount of Stuff

There is nothing more annoying during an epic travel adventure than having to lug around an extra twenty pounds of gear that ends up being unused at the bottom of your pack. Instead of overpacking, and burdening your back and shoulders with too much extra weight, we recommend only bringing the minimum essentials when you visit China.

We have listed above a few items that you will want to bring with you due to the reality of Chinese context. However, there´s no reason to pack an extra tube of toothpaste or three bottles of Ibuprofen just in case. You will be able to find most of the essentials in any city in China, and that will save you several pounds in your pack.