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> Budget China 6 weeks
phalanx
post Dec 25 2008, 08:16 AM
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Hi!

On February the 23. I'm going to visit China for roughly 6 weeks (5 weeks and 4 days) and I was wondering if you had any pointers on budget etc.

I think it's quite important to say that as I'm a student at a non-degree granting college here in Norway, which means that most of the expenditure is paid through the fee we pay to go to the school. (accomodation, transportation, breakfast, lunch, 1/2 of all the dinners, entry fees to the sights are paid in full)

And in addition, as we are going with our school, which has a policy for no alchohol, apart from one or two alchoholic beverages to accompany dinner, there will be almost no money spent on drinking and going out clubbing.

So apart from the 20-25 dinners we have to cover for ourselves it's almost all money to use on gifts and just stuff.

"Planned" expenses: As we are going to Shanghai for a couple of days I will probably buy one or two tailored suits, but one problem occurs right here; How to get it back home in good shape? I'm going to travel with my backpack, so the only option is seemingly to ship it home either through boat or air freight, or? And how much will it cost to ship it to Norway? (an approximate prize for both freight through boat and air and shipping time would be most appreciated.

Secondly as I've recently "discovered" the fun of rock climbing, I was thinking of "investing" in some quality rock climbing shoes, a set of quickdraws, chalk bag and some other equipment, and I was wondering if you guys know what the prizes are for outdoors equipment and where is the best place to purchase it.

Concerning camera equipment, I have a quite decent compact camera, but I was wondering if I should buy additional batteries for the camera, as most of the time we won't be in the big cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an) and I wouldn't want to run out of battery with no means to charge it when something comes along well worth taking pictures of. And.. I have a 4gb memory card, which gives me about 1200 pictures on the "superfine" setting, should I get another one?

Another small part of my topic here is backing in a backpack. Do you have any general packing tips for how to pack (where in the backpack to pack x item etc) and what clothes to bring and would a 80L backpack be sufficient?

And for the trip itself we are going to, amongst other cities, Xi'an, Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin, Jianshui, Chengdou, Kunming and Dali. I can't really put in words how excited I am about this trip, I really think it's going to be an amazing trip and I'm so looking forward to it. hyper.gif
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starlagurl
post Jan 7 2009, 11:45 AM
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I'm not sure who deleted this topic, but I think it's a good one, so I took it out of the TrashCan.

Hi Phalanx, I have never been to China, but I can answer some of your general questions.

Tailored suit: I bought one in Thailand and just crammed it in my backpack until it was time to go home. I simply wore it on the plane home, and it looks just fine.

Outdoor equipment: Not sure

Camera battery: Yes, definitely bring an extra one if you feel you won't have access to electricity.

Backpack: 80L will be TONS! If you roll your clothes and put them in ziploc bags if you have the time, it will compress them and keep them dry, in case your bag gets wet. There are also special compressor accessories you can buy. I know that ScottWoz swears by them.

I'm sure you'll be buying clothes there, so don't pack too much. A good tip is, pack everything at least a day before, then the night before, take out HALF of your clothes. Honestly, you only need half (or less) of what you are taking.

It sounds like you will have a lot of fun! Make sure you let us know when you update your blog.


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shangguan
post Jan 8 2009, 12:20 AM
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Hi Phalanx,

I'd suggest you simply mail your suits home. When you go to the post office, they will supply the boxes. You have no choice, you must use theirs. Fold the suits neatly and mail them to yourself that way you won't have the fear of damage, and you won't have to be so gentle with your backpack then. It'll make your trip a lot more fun. I'm not sure about the prices to Norway, but for me to mail a box of t-shirts comparable to a couple suits to the US only costs me about 200rmb. This is if it is shipped by air. It is not the quick delivery, just the normal air postage. I wouldn't risk sending it by ship. I've had only bad experiences with that.

I would highly suggest you bring many batteries and a whole lot of memory cards. If you like taking photos you will be amazed at how many you take every day. There is nothing worse than running out of batteries or space in China. I'm not sure if Norway uses 220 or 110v. In China we use 220v, so keep that in mind in case you need to buy a converter. If you do buy an expensive one. Cheap ones tend to burn out within days.

Whenever I travel around China I only bring two changes of clothing plus the one I am wearing. In the evening I hand wash my clothing in the shower and hang them to dry. You can just rotate them that way. Your backpack will be much lighter and easier to deal with, and you can have extra room for purchases. I would suggest not packing any towels, shampoo, or toiletries of any kind. They are so much cheaper here and you can find the same brands you'll find in Norway. It'll save on weight and possible messiness.

Oh, never keep your camera in your backpack. It is too easy to have it stolen, and too difficult to pull out when you need it. I always keep mine easily acessible.

Which sites and destinations are you visiting? I hope you have a fantastic trip.

Scott


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shangguan
post Jan 8 2009, 12:21 AM
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If you let me know when you are going to come to Guilin I could take you out for dinner at a local restaurant. I know all of the best places for real Guilinese food.


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happysheep
post Jan 8 2009, 10:10 AM
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Camera: take spare batteries if you need to; most towns you can download your pics to DVD at a photo store.

Packing tips: take less. Don't fill up your 80L bag unless you like looking stupid carrying a huge load, or are planning on smuggling out a body. Smart travelers travel with a day-pack bag.

Have a good trip.
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