Could someone give me a quick list of things that I should bring with me from the United States to Kunming for an 8 month stay with my wife?
For example, I have heard that my usual deodorant is something I should be sure to bring with me, as the local stuff isn't quite the same.
Any other tips? Looking for practical advice. Also, if there is anything my wife should be sure to bring please let us know as well.
Can things like hair dryers be bought on the cheep over there? Should we just leave ours at home and buy a new one when we get there?
We'll be traveling with a couple of suitcases each.
Voltage here is 220-240 V - that will fry most of your appliances - so make sure ANYTHING electric can handle the voltage. Also - you can't bring anything with compressed air and you're limited on the amount of liquids you can carry-on or ship in suitcases (check the homeland security or airport regs before you fly). That said - we have walmart, carrefour (french version of walmart), and metro (for buying in BULK). - but you need a wholesaler's card (cheap and easy to get) - you can buy most foreign goods there. Most US electronics are made here anyway. bon voyage!
I would bring plenty of deodorant for sure. You can't buy it many places here and when you do find it it's not very good. You can get hair dryers here but I didn't find it cheap. However yours must be able to handle 220 voltage for it to be useful. If you take any medicine prescription or over the counter I would bring enough of that also. Welcome to Kunming.
if you are a light sleeper i would advice you to bring enough earplugs, their hard to find here
fitted sheets, vanilla extract, medicines like pain relief, pepto bismal stomach type stuff, vitamins are expensive here, any children's medicines, seasonings like lemon pepper and steak seasons..., a good coffee maker is hard to find and the crappy ones you do find are expensive. sunscreen is also expensive.
Tell your wife she can definitely buy a hair dryer for cheap at street side shops everywhere. She may also want to know that tampons are almost impossible to find here, and if there are any particular kinds of cosmetics she is attached to, get 'em in the states. Finally, I'd make sure you bring plenty of socks and underwear- the stuff they sell here is pretty terrible.
THANKS these tips are great!
Sweaters. You will often want a sweater in Kunming. They can be bought here, but no harm in bringing your favorites along.
An open mind.
Lots and lots of tolerance to none-american culture.
A fork (if you dont handle eating sticks).
A sense of self-humor and lack of self-importance.
More peanut butter.
Oh... and some corn chips.
Did I mention peanut butter?
Enjoy your stay.
And please... stay away from the western eateries... buy and eat local food from small places. Same with shopping... stay away from Walmart, Carrefour et sim and buy from the small "hole-in-the-wall" shops on the off-streets or at the local market. You get better quality and better price and feed the local people instead of foreign investors.
I second sunscreen.... it is easy to forget that at this altitude, the sun is very strong. I found good sunscreen here at same price as in Sweden, but it doesnt hurt to bring some. Minimum 25+. And when you get here, get some good sunglasses with proper polaroid function.
Oh oh... and some peanut butter :D
And corn chips.
And some corn chips
And peanut butter... :D
And sun screen... seriously... its really needed here.
But those are things to bring... the thing to leave behind is:
All preconceptions of what life, the world, culture, society, food, colors, smells, fashion, taste, etc is about. Just leave half your brain behind... its full of preconceived junk anyhow, however liberal and open minded you are. You just dont need it.
Remember... China has a culture that goes back thousands of years... USA is not even 300 years old... you will meet things you think are strange, but actually are very natural.... remember that YOU are the strange bird here... not the Chinese.
:) I really envy you to see all this for the first time! Its really great! Just set your mind to the "wow" mode, and you will be fine. :)
Be a child... accept and "wow" in everything... both the good and the bad and you will be in for the treat of your life time. :)