China is one of the most visited countries in the world. It’s no wonder, as the ‘Middle Kingdom’ has something for everyone with a world of sights, cultural and natural experiences.

The capital Beijing, the Great Wall, the Terracotta Army, Lijiang, the Giant Buddha in Leshan, Xihu and the Potala Palace in Tibet – the list of incredible sights is endless.

However, planning a trip to China can lead to some concerns. What should you put in your suitcase? Luckily, we’re here to help you with your packing list for a trip to China! Pack right and light and you’re set for a great holiday.

Packing list for China – what you need

Here we present packing lists for China with everything you might need on your trip. You can see what you should pack for cold and warm temperatures, what your kit should contain, what nifty gadgets you might need and much more.

Go through the packing lists and see what you might need to pack and possibly buy extra. Please double-check your finished packing against the lists so that you don’t forget anything. We wish you the best of luck on your incredible adventure in the Middle Kingdom.

Clothing – the basics

Clothing for cold temperatures

  • Underwear
  • Warm socks
  • Warm long-sleeved sweater
  • Fleece sweater
  • Winter jacket
  • Neck scarf
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Buff
  • Boots/lined walking shoes

Clothes for summer

Pharmacy and hygiene

  • Oral hygiene
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hair care products
  • Brush
  • Hair ties and more
  • Skin care
  • Things for shaving
  • Detergent
  • Melatonin/sleeping pills
  • Medication for an upset stomach
  • Axiety pills
  • Painkillers
  • Hygiene articles
  • Plasters
  • Chafing plasters
  • Makeup (Buy at a great price with an AllBeauty discount voucher)
  • Medicines (with prescription)
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Wet wipes
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Toiletry case
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • First Aid Kit

Good to have/smart gadgets

  • Travel adapter (multiversion)
  • Camera (don’t forget the charger)
  • Surfboard/tablet
  • Face masks
  • Prepaid SIM cards for mobile phones
  • Ear plugs (China is loud!)
  • Sleeping mask
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Fanny pack
  • Headphones
  • Guide books/travel guides to China (Buy at a great price with a WhSmith discount voucher)
  • Dictionary
  • Extra fabric/plastic bags
  • Padlock
  • Flashlight
  • Sticks (for hiking/walking)
  • Lightweight backpack for hiking
  • Quick-drying towel

Documents and more

  • Passport
  • Copies of passports (preferably also digital)
  • Visa (apply well in advance!)
  • Tickets (print or online)
  • Library book/card holder
  • Credit/debit cards
  • Cash (Yuan)
  • Travel insurance
  • Addresses in Chinese characters

Five bonus tips for your trip to China

Packing suitcase

Now you’re ready to get on a plane to China and discover all that the vast country has to offer! Or, there are some additional things we’d like to suggest. It’s about some pretty important stuff, so prick up your ears and read carefully.

Social media and news apps

There are a number of apps and news services that are completely blocked in China. These include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google. It is simply not possible to access these sites via the hotel’s WiFi, for example.

Can you manage without your social media and the like on the road? Then you just have to enjoy the situation. If you want to be able to use your Gmail and check your Facebook feed, you can do so by using a VPN app. Download one in advance so you’ll have everything in place when you land in China.

China has three standards for electrical outlets!

There is quite a lot that is special about China. One thing is that there are no less than three different types of electrical outlets in the country! Exactly how the Chinese have thought is unclear and as a tourist it’s easy to get a bit confused.

The standard is the three-pin socket, but there are also two types of ungrounded sockets, one of which is the standard in much of Europe.

We recommend to bring a multiadapter. So you can charge your electronic gadgets wherever you happen to be.

Bring your own hygiene products

To pack light, it’s often a good idea to buy some things on the spot at your destination. Hygiene products are good examples. However, for a trip to China, it’s rarely a good idea to leave your hygiene products at home.

There are several reasons. One reason is that the tables of contents are usually only in Mandarin. So you have no idea what the products contain and taking chances with skin and hair care is rarely a good idea.

Another reason is that China is no stranger to animal testing and maybe that’s not something you want to support?

Another reason is that many products, such as sunscreen and make-up, contain substances to brighten the skin. We’re guessing that’s not something you’re looking for in skincare products.

China is big and has many different climates

The general image of China’s nature is that it is green, lush and leafy. Imagine a picture of the Great Wall of China. Here it’s green as far as the eye can see.

However, China is a huge country with many climate zones, each with different seasons. China has warm-temperate regions, deserts, rainforests, mountain ranges and vast plains. As you can see, your packing list should reflect where you’re going and when you’re going.

See our packing lists for cold and warm temperatures and mix and match as needed to get the perfect set of clothes for your trip. Google your destination to see temperatures, rainfall and more.

Make sure you always have wet wipes and toilet paper ready!

One thing that is very good to know before your trip to China is that a toilet visit doesn’t really work as you are used to. Public toilets in China can seem extremely foreign!

Sure, most hotels have Western-standard bathrooms with toilet seats, running water and soap, but these are certainly exceptions to the general rule.

The most important rule for a tourist in China (according to us!) is to always have something to wipe yourself with. The second most important rule (in our opinion!) is to bring something against bacteria and dirt.

The recommendation is to carry the following in every bag (suitcase, backpack, handbag – and preferably in your back pocket!):

  • Toilet paper
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Wet wipes
  • Antibacterial wet wipes
  • Hand sanitiser