You do not have a washer in your dorm as promised. We did find a laundry room in the building next to us.

IMG_0805These machines are small so don’t allow for a big load.

IMG_0807Of the three washing machines (on the right, the other two are dryers) only one was coin operated. The others use money from your WeChat wallet which we did not have access to. Sometimes you can find another student and give them money to purchase the wash using their WeChat so you can do more than one load. The dryers are free but don’t really work. They are warm wet when finished so they don’t dry as stiffly is about the only reason to use them.  Most people just line dry on their balcony.  This is common:

IMG_0802However for this you will need hangars and clothes pins which you will need to bring or buy when you get soap.

Missing things in our dorm

We were told we would have towels and bedding when we arrived. We had bedding but no towels. This was our mattress:



But the bedding was very nice as was the pillow.

We had all been traveling for 20 hours and when we arrived it was 90 degrees and all we wanted to do was shower and sleep. Since we had no towels we had to dry off with our t-shirts. This would not have been an issue had we simply been told to bring our own towels.  We also needed to buy hand towels for drying off after restroom washing or dish washing.

We didn’t have any mirrors, not a one.

We have a very limited supply of plug-ins.


As you can see they will take the American style of two flat prong or European style of two round prong in the top section.  European style used in China:


You will still need adapters and converters. Your laptop probably has a three prong for which you will need an adapter.  Here is what I used:

We just don’t have enough for 5 people’s cell phones, laptops, cameras, blow dryers and possibly iPads or Kindles.  The best thing I brought with was an extension cord. We still had to buy a power strip since each plug-in only has one we could use. The strip purchased here allowed us to use the different three prong on the bottom. They are inexpensive here and easy to find so purchasing more was easy. If you are here for a short period it may be easier to order it and bring from home.


You will need a power converter(not adapter) for heating devices such as blow dryers and curling irons. They will still work weird, but they do work and the 220v from the wall won’t damage them as they are only built for 110.

As mentioned previously you will need to buy your own toilet paper as well as any cleaning supplies and sponges you will need besides a mop.

A word about Chinese toilets and toilet tissue

This was a serious stress point for me as I prepared for my trip. After I had agreed to go I was told to practice my squats and pack toilet paper.  What??!!! Why??!!!  Because they have a lot of squat style toilets.

I did quite a lot of research regarding this. Not a lot exists about this. I am guessing because a) men don’t have to worry about it as much and b) women don’t talk about it as much.

Firstly I was told squat toilets would only be in the rural areas. Big cities and places like airports and train stations, tourist areas would have western toilets. Lie! Beijing airport AND train station both have squat toilets. Forbidden City, Great Wall, 2008 Olympic tour, all squatties. All the restaurants in Beijing and Jinan have had squatters and everyplace on campus has squat toilets with, blessedly, the exception of our dorm room.  This isn’t so much a deal breaker but I appreciate having the most and best information I can.

Men, it is my understanding that you will have the squat type as well and possibly no urinal. I think that is about 50/50. Also, 99% (not an exaggeration) of these toilets will not have tissue of any kind and you will need to carry your own.  They sell tissue here, of course, but I would bring a roll until you can purchase some. We stayed in a hotel in Beijing and were given about a third of a roll and no spare. I didn’t speak the language well enough to request more and had to use what I had brought for the public toilets!!

The public toilets will most likely not have soap or dryers. Most have a sink with cold water but no soap.  I carried hand sanitizer attached to my backpack to use after my cold water rinse off, thank you Bath and Body Works!IMG_0828

Most ladies carry around these tissue packets in their purse or pocket or just take the whole business with you if you will be gone for the day.

Side note: get a mini backpack if you don’t carry a fully size one or a cross body bag. A purse will not work well as these toilets typically do not have hooks and trust me, you don’t want to set it on the floor. Nearly everyone here carries a mini backpack.

I bought this on Amazon for $30 before I left and it has been indispensable!  You can get them all over China for $10 if you want to wait but I have had issues finding them with a big outside pocket for my cellphone.


I picked up this cute crossover one for about $5. I love it and it is big enough for a water bottle but not my umbrella, which everyone here also carries. They are great for portable shade and can often skip the sunscreen. Sometimes being a girl is ridiculously complicated.  However if you have read my blog you have probably figured out I am not the kind of girl that can grab a backpack and head out for two weeks,  keep that in mind as well LOL

IMG_0831Note for the ladies: it is my understanding they do not have tampons here, only pads.  If tampons are your preference you should be sure to pack what you need. Personally, I brought everything I use normally just so I didn’t have to deal with finding what I wanted in another language.  On the right side of this picture you can sort of see the selection

IMG_0639Upside is, after you use up your toilet tissue and feminine products you have more room for souvenirs!

Bring your own medicine

Obviously you will bring your own prescriptions however some members of our party have gotten colds or developed intestinal distress if some sort. We have not found anything like NyQuil, Imodium, Zantac, stool softener or even Aleve or Tylenol. We haven’t even located a Chinese equivalent.  So if you are prone to anything like that, it won’t take up much space in your bag to throw some in. Just make sure it’s in its original package. I didn’t have problems bringing any of it with me but you never know if you get a customs guy having a bad day.  So have it labeled.

Honestly I thought the food would be difficult for me to handle but I haven’t taken a Zantac the entire time I have been here. I haven’t had any other intestinal distress accept when I ate too many cherries 🍒.  To be fair I think that was a side effect of the cherries and would have happened in America as well 😂

Another thing I have noticed is you can find plenty of junk food easily enough. Lay’s potato chips, chips ahoy 🍪 cookies, Oreos, coke, sprite, chocolate, muffins etc. My point is if you are afraid of the food and live on the processed American crap, you will also have distress of some sort.

Lastly, most of our party complaining of distress are drinking the beer and alcohol 🍺. Like several per night. I have really enjoyed the food with no alcohol and no distress. You do the math.

My Noodle guy 🍜

This guy makes the best stir fry noodles I have found.  He is very friendly.  He doesn’t speak much English but he can say Hello and Noodles? Rice? As he makes both lol  He works very hard and is out there stir frying over that open flame when it is 100 degrees.  This bowl comes to you all the way full and is 7 yuan, about one dollar 💵.  He has the veggies chopped and the noodles and rice cooked so he tosses in what you want and can make up your meal in about a minute. You can see the noodles portioned on the shelves behind him.

Not certain why the Hello Kitty apron. Hello Kitty still has a very strong presence here in China.