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Q: Any advice about what I should bring to Suzhou?

Hello!

 

I'll be arriving in Suzhou next week. I was wondering if anyone had any advice regarding what to bring with me from the UK. I've done the usual searching and found out that I should bring my own moisturisers as Chinese ones have whiteners in them, and clothing because even though I'm short and fairly slim, Chinese fittings are very different to European ones.

I've been checking the weather online for the last couple of weeks and it seems to be exactly the same as back home, both the degrees and the humidity, although I know this will change as the year goes on.

Food wise, I'm quite experimental, so I'm sure I'll manage. Drinks wise, I'm British, so I like my tea. I know China is famous for it's tea, but I think what I like is African or Indian and I do need decaf. Can you get decaf. tea and coffee in China? It's a silly question I know. But if you don't ask, you never know.

7 years 37 weeks ago in  Lifestyle - Suzhou

 
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Posts: 17553

Emperor

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I never heard of 'decaf' in China. Even if somebody will understand you, please don't believe you really drink decaf tea.   

I am enjoying Chinese black tea, and here in Liaoning is the best one I ever drank in China. I like Pu-erh cha too, but it is rare here up North.

 

All clothing in China is more expensive than in UK. 100% Cotton is rare and expensive. Leather shoes cost 400 UK Pounds and up, and I am sure you can get them for less than 100 Pounds anywhere in UK.

 

I will hit Europe by the end of May, after living more than 2 years in China. I am making my shopping list ready.

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7 years 37 weeks ago
 
Posts: 29

Governor

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If you like reading, definitely bring a Kindle. Bring a laptop. If you like Indian food as much as I do, bring some packets of spices so that you can cook your own curries. If you have big feet, bring plenty of pairs of shoes and trainers as buying footwear can be a real nightmare here. If you have a sweet tooth, bring a lot of your favourite chocolate as good chocolate can be hard to find and is relatively expensive.

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7 years 37 weeks ago
 
Posts: 29

Governor

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Oh, and definitely bring a supply of Western medicine, aspirin and paracetemol etc.

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7 years 37 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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Thank you both!

 

Oh, yes! The Kindle and the Laptop are indispensable. Thanks for the tip about medicine, I'll have to stock up.

The price of shoes shocked me, especially as I actually do need to get some. Also the lack of cotton. I just don't get it, why do countries with warmer and more humid climates make the majority of their clothes out of synthetic materials? I was in Kazakhstan last summer. The temperature was 42 degrees celsius and yet all the clothes in the shops were nylon or polyester.

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7 years 37 weeks ago
 
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Hey, and welcome!

 

I'm not in Suzhou, but down the road in Hangzhou.

 

As you probably know, Suzhou is a pretty nice place, although it will depend on where you actually will live. If you're in the SITP (Industrial park), you'll apparently love it! It's not all that 'industrial', and there's lots of expat stuff available, especially shopping-wise.

 

As for decaf... Taobao (if you haven't already found out, it's China's equivalent to ebay... though deliveries tend to be faster, and you can get FAR more than normally on ebay... eg, butter, cheese, etc!) www.taobao.com - it will accept most English, but sometimes you'll need the Chinese phrase or word!

 

Chinese medicines (aspirin, etc) tend to be about half the strength of what we're used to, but otherwise fairly available. If you have any conditions, better to ask first. Strong painkillers can be a little harder to get (eg, codeine). But other meds aren't a problem (I get gout sometimes, and the meds for that - colchicine - is OTC and in most pharmacies). Same also with anti-inflams.

 

Clothes - I actually imagine you won't have that much of a problem getting! I usually find with shoes, they have US, UK, and Chinese sizes on them!! The bigger problem with clothing is quality.. but you can find good enough stuff around, if you want to spend the money...

 

Lipton is the standard black tea (which is 'red tea' in China - 'hong cha'... confusing til you see it in glass Tongue), and Twinnings is also around in some supermarkets - English Breakfast and Earl Grey usually. Occasionally you'll see others.

 

Coffee is easy... just depends how picky you are Smile

 

One thing no-one EVER tells you... public toilets (including restaurants) don't have toilet paper, so you carry around little packets, like tissues! It would be very bad for you to find this out the hard way Tongue

 

Also, sun lotion... (I don't recall seeing much of it around, tbh!)

 

Deodorant is a commodity many expats would kill for!

 

That's all I can think of for now... Smile

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7 years 37 weeks ago
 
Posts: 39

Governor

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Hairy Crabs. indecision

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7 years 35 weeks ago
 
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