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What would you take to live in China?

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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What would you take to live in China?

Postby MrMan » May 5th, 2016, 6:25 am

I may have an opportunity to work in China. If I have a 40 inch waist and 10.5 shoes, what kind of clothes or personal items do I need to take with me? Can you find dental floss there? What about dress socks that hug the whole shin and don't just have a rubber band at the top. (Finding decent socks in Indonesia was hard. I could find super cheap ones the way I wanted under a bridge right off of Jl. Sudirman in Jakarta sometimes.)

When I lived in South Korea, I had my mom mail me a pocket comb from the US. There were plenty in Korea, but always made out of a brittle plastic and combs broke when I sat down. I eventually found out I could get dental floss at the pharmacy, so I was okay. Indonesian shoes went up to 42 or 43 cm, and I wore 44 or 45. I eventually found special places for the larger shoes without having to go to the fancy expat-oriented shoes. Pasar Baru had big shoes for local prices.

I know China makes all kinds of stuff. Do they sell the larger sizes domestically?

What kind of stuff like this do I need to know for China?
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Re: What would you take to live in China?

Postby The_Adventurer » May 5th, 2016, 8:21 am

I wear size 46 shoes and found one pair in one mall in Shanghai.

If you will be living there long term, you will surely learn the beauty of TaoBao and shopping online. You will not be lacking for anything.
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Postby Ghost » May 5th, 2016, 6:09 pm

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Last edited by Ghost on October 25th, 2016, 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What would you take to live in China?

Postby Yohan » May 8th, 2016, 5:08 am

It depends where you are in China.
In most cities you will not face any problems, you will all find what you need.
Be aware however the situation is very different outside in rural areas.

About pricing, imported goods, while available, are often very expensive because of high custom duties.
Many Chinese tourists from mainland China while on short vacation in Japan are always out for a shopping spree claiming many high quality Japanese goods are 2 to 3 times cheaper in Japan compared to China.
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Re: What would you take to live in China?

Postby Balmung » May 8th, 2016, 6:49 pm

MrMan wrote:I may have an opportunity to work in China. If I have a 40 inch waist and 10.5 shoes, what kind of clothes or personal items do I need to take with me? Can you find dental floss there? What about dress socks that hug the whole shin and don't just have a rubber band at the top. (Finding decent socks in Indonesia was hard. I could find super cheap ones the way I wanted under a bridge right off of Jl. Sudirman in Jakarta sometimes.)

When I lived in South Korea, I had my mom mail me a pocket comb from the US. There were plenty in Korea, but always made out of a brittle plastic and combs broke when I sat down. I eventually found out I could get dental floss at the pharmacy, so I was okay. Indonesian shoes went up to 42 or 43 cm, and I wore 44 or 45. I eventually found special places for the larger shoes without having to go to the fancy expat-oriented shoes. Pasar Baru had big shoes for local prices.

I know China makes all kinds of stuff. Do they sell the larger sizes domestically?

What kind of stuff like this do I need to know for China?


Great questions! It just so happens that I moved to China last week. (And I've previously spent several multi-month stretches there.) I'll run down some things, but there are a few questions that are relevant... how long will you be there? Where will you be? This matters in what you'll have to plan for, but also because Chinese people are not the same size in all places. In the north, Beijing and especially Manchuria (Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang), people are both taller and heavier, so you're more likely to find clothes and shoes. Also, are your wife and kids coming with you? Remember that even a child, if they are getting a seat on the airplane, will also have the luggage allowance, and you can use that to carry your overflow. Specifics:

1. Pants: I have a 42 inch waist, so I know how hard it is to find pants in Asia. I'd bring pants with you and don't count on finding them locally. I have heard that made to measure suits are cheaper there, so consider that.

2. Shoes: I'm in Shenzhen now, and I was in the Nike store here and they had shoes as large as 12 in some sizes, and 11 in many more, but the prices were similar to the US if not more. Cheap shoe sellers seem to have mostly even smaller shoes on display. I brought multiple pairs from the US, mostly because I wear size 13.

3. Dental floss, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, lotion: are very available in every supermarket.

4. Socks: I'm not sure, but the socks and underwear I've seen for sale all appear to be low quality. I'd take these from home if possible, but maybe you can find them, especially in larger cities (I'm assuming Chinese men making tons of money- and these do exist- aren't wearing cheap socks. But I figure they're wearing things imported, and are likely as expensive there as in the US.)

5. I'll second deodorant. It is available, but expensive. I think most Chinese don't use it, because they sweat less and have different body chemistry.

6. Do you have facial hair? Very few Chinese men wear beards- I do, so I brought my beard trimmer. Remember also the voltage converter to go from 220 to 110.

Anything else specific you need to know about?
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