5 things to pack when moving to China

You’d be surprised by what you’ll need to bring

5 things to pack when moving to China

China is a country with a highly unique culture that can be challenging for even the most hardened expats. Though it is becoming a lot more globalised, there are certain products that will be extremely difficult, or even impossible, to find. Here are the five most important things every expat will need when relocating to China.


Yes, you read that correctly. Searching for deodorant in China is a battle not worth fighting.  The reason behind this is apparently because East Asians have underdeveloped sweat glands , meaning they don’t tend to sweat like everyone else does. What’s more, sweating is generally seen as a sign of poor health, so if you want to fit in, make sure you bring a hefty stock of antiperspirant with you when heading to China.


The Great Firewall of China  blocks access to some of the world’s most popular websites, including Facebook and Google. If you want to keep up-to-date with what’s going on back home (or in the rest of the world in general) it might be useful to find a trusty VPN before you go.

Clothes and shoes

Sounds pretty obvious I know. Of course you’re going to bring clothes and shoes with you when you move country. But bear in mind that you’ll need to bring more with you to China than if you were moving to a Western country because of the sizing difference. Unless you’re moving to Shanghai (where they cater to Western sizes), finding clothes above a European size 40 or shoes larger than a European 40 for women or 43 for men is extremely difficult.

Cosmetics and make-up

Many large cities do have Western make-up stores but the range of brands is quite limited and the products are likely to carry heavy import taxes. It’s also important to remember that having pale skin is very fashionable in China, so many cosmetics contain whitening agents, including foundation and face creams. Do some research to find out if your preferred products are available and, if not, get stocking up!  

Hand sanitizer

Maybe not the most essential item, but it is incredibly useful. You’ll soon learn that public bathrooms in China are not the most hygienic WCs you’ll come across . Most are squat toilets, without either toilet paper or soap, so having a handy bottle of sanitizer (as well as a packet of tissues) will make life a lot easier.

Having trouble closing your suitcase?

With everything you already need to pack for the big move, adding all these items in large quantities might sound like an expensive nightmare, but we promise it’ll make all the difference.

The key to making the move as cheap and easy as possible is to use an international removals company that’s equipped to deal with such large loads. Companies like AGS Movers  tailor the move to the client with shipping cartons in a variety of sizes, meaning a better use of space in the container, and a lower overall cost for the client. Remember: when moving to a country like China, it’s better to pack too much than too little.

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