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Old 05-19-2012, 07:20 PM   #1
engle
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Off the Wall Questions about Enchanted China...no pun intended.

1. Did you carry your own toilet paper places? Was it necessary?
2. Did you have opportunities to do laundry or did hotels have laundry service?
3. Were alcoholic beverages readily available at most meals?
4. Were there alot of opportunities to eat "strange" new foods?
5. What is your packing advice if you have been....did you follow the packing list...was it pretty much right on? Is there anything you wish you would have brought/not brought?
6. If you bought alot of souvenirs, how did you get them home?

None of these are ISSUES, just want to know what to expect....
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:14 PM   #2
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Great questions! We leave July 14th. Anxiously awaiting the answers to your questions
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:47 PM   #3
engle
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And one more...how much money in RMB and HK$ did you bring? Did you do that before you left home or did you wait until you got there??
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:44 AM   #4
abdmom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engle View Post
1. Did you carry your own toilet paper places? Was it necessary?
2. Did you have opportunities to do laundry or did hotels have laundry service?
3. Were alcoholic beverages readily available at most meals?
4. Were there alot of opportunities to eat "strange" new foods?
5. What is your packing advice if you have been....did you follow the packing list...was it pretty much right on? Is there anything you wish you would have brought/not brought?
6. If you bought alot of souvenirs, how did you get them home?

None of these are ISSUES, just want to know what to expect....
My trip was 4 years ago, on one of the first trips, so some things may have changed, but here was my experience.

1. I carried Kleenex. I only used it once or twice.
2. If the hotels had laundry service, we were not in one spot long enough to use it.
3. No
4. I was looking forward to "authentic" Chinese food. I was quite disappointed. Most of the food was westernized. I can get better Chinese food at home.
5. My one favourite item that I brought was my big floppy hat. T shirts and shorts or capris will get you through the days.
6. I didn't buy a lot of souvenirs. Those I did get just went in my luggage. The shopping was much better in Hong Kong that in China.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by engle View Post
And one more...how much money in RMB and HK$ did you bring? Did you do that before you left home or did you wait until you got there??
I didn't take any. There was an ATM in our first hotel in China where I got all the RMB I needed as well as the hotel in Hong Kong. Be aware though that not everybody's debit card seemed to work in the ATM's. I was lucky.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:49 AM   #6
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THANKS ADBMOM!!! Anyone else out there with different experiences or anything to add? Feel free to chime in!!!
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:20 AM   #7
abbyjt
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We went last year. I have similar answers. I carried Kleenex and there were a few times I used them and handed one to each women in our group. In some of the public restrooms, the toilet paper is in a common area, and you take some into the stall with you. Do try the squatty potty(as we called them). There are usually one or two western toilets and a bunch of the other. All the hotels are beautiful and western.
We got money at an ATM right near the hotel. We found it difficult to use credit cards in stores even thought we were told we could. You could use a debit card, but they didn't want our credit cards at restaurants either. The food was fairly similar to our Chinese food, and I think that is because Disney arranged it that way. It was not the same, but not so unusual. Some of those on the trip found the food too weird and ate a lot of McDonalds. On our night out alone in Beijing, we ate at Made in China, which is a fancy restaurant recommended by a cousin who lives in China and travels to Beijing often. They are famous for Peking Duck and if you want to have Peking duck, you must pre order it with your reservtion. They encourage you to order way more food than you can eat. We never found out if this is for everyone or just American tourists or a communication problem but it happened every time we were on our own. Disney serves you unbelievable amounts of food too. Dessert is interesting.
I'm pretty sure there was alcohol available for purchase in most of the places they took us. I only had a beer in Cheng Du and a glass of wine in Guilin (which they way overcharged us and we had quite the problem with the hotel staff and our guides tried very hard to fix they problem, but couldn't-they don't go to that hotel anymore).
We also didn't buy too much, or at least nothing big, so we just packed it.
For clothing, it was pretty hot and humid. Shorts and tshirts were fine. There was a nice dinner in Shanghai that we dressed nicer as most did. We didn't use hotel laundry, but I'm sure they had it, the hotels were REALLY nice. Shanghai Pennisula was probably the best hotel I have ever stayed at. My husband is the king of travel clothing (kids and I are not royalty in that area). He buys quick drying clothes and washes them in the sink at night and lets it dry to wear again a day or two later. I ended up doing the same since I sweated up all my clothes more than planned. One thing to bring is a small travel sunscreen. When you fly into Xian, you just stay for the afternoon and fly out that day, so our sunscreen was packed and we didn't have any under 3 oz size one that we could bring on the plane. We weren't outside a lot, but it was very hot and we burn easily. Chinese women carry these beautiful silk umbrellas and use them for sun protection, I wanted to get one, but never did. We had and needed light raincoats in Hong Kong, so those are good to bring.
If you are coming in early, hire a guide to show you some of the sights that Disney misses. Try the subway in Beijing, it is very clean, easy and cheap (like 30cents I think).
I'm happy to answer more questions. The trip was fantastic.

Last edited by abbyjt; 05-21-2012 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:24 PM   #8
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1. Did you carry your own toilet paper places? Was it necessary?
I took lots of small packets of kleenex and used them often.
Most surprising to me was how many 'squatty potties' there were - our then 5 year old and I were happy to use them, but lots of people were not
2. Did you have opportunities to do laundry or did hotels have laundry service?
Hotel laundry was expensive, so we did not ever use it. We did lots of 'sink washing. We went in July and it was super hot everywhere - it was tough to wear clothes even two days.
3. Were alcoholic beverages readily available at most meals? Definitely at dinner, not sure about lunch
4. Were there alot of opportunities to eat "strange" new foods? The included meals were not really 'strange.' Most strange is at the night market in Beijing. Must admit, our free night in Shanghai we went to Pizza Hut with another family
5. What is your packing advice if you have been....did you follow the packing list...was it pretty much right on? Is there anything you wish you would have brought/not brought?
I don't recall the list and can't remember wishing I had something - bring swimsuits for everyone - the hotels all have great indoor pools.
6. If you bought alot of souvenirs, how did you get them home?
Jammed them in the suitcase! - everything we got was pretty small, and not really anything fragile. I did take some bubble wrap in case I got fragile things.

Happy to answer questions - it brings back great memories!
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:16 PM   #9
engle
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Awesome!!! Thank you everyone who responded! How much spending money did you take/use? I assume you bought meals that weren't included in the trip plus some souvenirs. It would help me greatly if I could get an estimated amount of what to expect!!
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:52 AM   #10
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I cannot recall how much we spent, but it was our first ABD and we spent much less than we expected:
- all drinks and snacks were included;
- the meals on our own we did not do fancy (mainly because we had a 5 year old....)
- souvenirs were really cheap - especially at the Great Wall and in Shanghai - I really get into the bargaining though! Hong Kong the shopping was 'easier' but more expensive
We did not take any foreign money - just used ATMs, and took some US$ for guide tips and if we couldn't use an ATM and needed to exchange money.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:23 AM   #11
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Thanks for all of the help. I will plan to use an ATM machine. I haven't used one in 20 years!! I am concerned that I have heard that certain machines don't take certain cards, etc....any advice?
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:12 AM   #12
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Check with your bank. On the back of the atm card are a bunch of symbols. You have to find a machine that has one of your symbols. They are star network or cirrus or some other. Most major banks atm cards can be used internationally. Tell you bank what countries you will be in and for what dates. Also tell your credit card companies.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abbyjt View Post
Check with your bank. On the back of the atm card are a bunch of symbols. You have to find a machine that has one of your symbols. They are star network or cirrus or some other. Most major banks atm cards can be used internationally. Tell you bank what countries you will be in and for what dates. Also tell your credit card companies.
Good advice. We're getting ready to do the ABD China trip. Our bank (Bank of America) requires us to notify them of our travel dates so that our account can be flagged and the debit card will work there.
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:39 PM   #14
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We have been to China four times, and on the ABD China trip twice (its a really long story...). I would certainly recommend to take toilet paper with you. Every time we have been to China it has been EXTREMELY hot and humid so dressing for comfort is a must. My advice would be to try everything and relax and enjoy. The Chinese people are smart, loving, friendly and fascinating. If you are interested in trying new things there will be plenty of opportunity. If you are interested in "playing it safe" you can be very conservative with ABD. I encourage you to explore on your own and meet as many people as possible.

We did laundry several times on our trip. We used the laundry facilities in the hotels and although it was expensive, we really thought it was worth the price to wear clean clothes after being so hot and sweaty during the day. We only took one "dressy" outfit and wore it in Shanghai. We exchanged money at the hotel. There was typically an opportunity to purchase alcohol with the meal.

I hope you enjoy your adventure. We love China and the people of China. The ABD trip is a fantastic way to explore China. Have fun, enjoy and explore, you will be very happy you shared yourself with China!
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:43 PM   #15
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I forgot to mention about things we purchased. We bought some beautiful silk, pearls, jade, chopsticks, name chops for our kids, a majong set, silk dresses for the kids and some other little things. I'm very glad I bought the silk because I use it for decorating in our house. I'm also glad we bought the jade because we learned it was a traditional gift for parents to give their children. So we bought our kids jade bracelets we put away for when they are older. We liked shoping in Shanghai and Hong Kong the best.
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