Top 10 Things to Bring to China

Top 10 Things to Pack for China

As I am waiting for my work permit to finish processing, I am thinking about things I should bring back to China. This is my fourth time embarking on a trip to China and will be my second full year of teaching.

Top 10 Things Tyra is Bringing to China

1. Deodorant

There is only roll-on deodorants in Jinan, not much options. So I will be going to Sam’s or Costco to buy a year’s supply.

2. Bras/ underwear

Chinese bras tend to have this thick lining at the bottom that annoys me. Also, their bras are not attractive at all. I like to feel good in my underwear so I bought some here.

3. Tampons

Particularly the ones with an applicator. Ob brand tampons are not for me.

4. Facial cleaning products

So many products in a China has whitening in them. I am a proud black woman, I just want to clean my face not whiten it.

5. Makeup foundation

Chinese women do not like to be dark, so the makeup foundation options are limited. The darkest color I have found was like natural beige. This is very light for my skin.

6. Medication

It takes about 8 Chinese ibuprofen pills to equal like 1 western pill, so I’m bringing my mess, especially for cramps!

7. Hair products 

I’m fortunate to have found online vendors on taobao that sells hair, but hair products for ethnic hair is sparse and expensive in China, so I’ll be stocking up on my coconut oil, hair brushes, grease, etc.
8. Body towels

80 yuan for a body towel in Chin! Our house has ton of towels at home. I just need to steal two and take it with me…or I can purchase a microfiber one, but I’m a cheapo.

9. Sunscreen

Can you believe sunscreen in China has whitening in there! TF?! The purpose of sunscreen is to protect my skin, not to whiten it!

10. Teaching Supplies

Dollar Tree and Target have tons of useful English and Primary School materials which are more useful then the Chinese made ones.

MISC stuff I already have in China but would be useful for first-timers

Travel adapter, shoes if your size is above 9 or 10, snacks from your home country. I was going to put razors, but you find some at Miniso in China.


don’t bring any valuable clothes. It will get ruined in the washers, cause there washers on China aren’t the best. There are also no dryers…..but dry cleaning here is CHEAP!

Let me know in the comments if I’m missing anything!

Missing China


我想念中国的三大事情。 Top 3 things I miss about China.

1. 我学生们和朋友们。My students and friends

2. 我跟中国人聊天。 Speaking Chinese

3. 美团外卖。Takeout food 

Two Months of Traveling: 中国


Another reason I was MIA on this blog during March and April is because I was travelling every weekend. I didn’t know if I was going to be staying for another year so I crammed four trips in one month to Linyi Hot Springs, Zhangjiajie Mountains, Chengdu, and Beijing of course. These were the most exhiliterating yet stressful months of travelling. For the remainder of April, I went to Tokyo and then Shanghai Disneyland before returning to the US. I’ll write about those trips on the next post.

Linyi Hot Springs

BEST Rexalaxing Weekend Ever. Did not expect the hot floors room, this many spring baths, a water park and TOWELS on TOWELS on TOWELS. You can find this place in the Shandong Province, home of many natural hot springs. Comment for the name of the resort we went to. 

Zhangjiajie Mountains

Arguably known as the Avatar Mountains because the director of the movie denies he got the inspiration for Pandora from this mountain range. Yet, China has embraced it by putting several statues of characters from the famous movie. It looks identical to me.


Roughly did the the same thing I wrote about last time but got to experience it with different people. BUT we found donuts🍩 and a beautifully lit tower!


I’m always down for another section of the wall, art, and delicious food. Stayed in a new area and managed to sleep comfortably in a 10 person hostel.

Look forward to the post about Shanghai Disneyland and Tokyo and also some tips about how I managed 6 trips in two months 😀

Blast from the Past VIII: Guilin and Yangshuo



I forgot a subject in the email- 04.18.2014

“After Chengdu, I went to Guilin to meet two other of my classmates. We took a motorized bamboo raft cruise down the Li river. It was a bit misty because it was raining a bit, but the pictures came out gorgeous.

It was still pretty though however I would have to say we let ourselves get ripped off on the next tour after the Li river. We were supposed to go to the Yulong River and ride a legit bamboo raft, the one not motorized, but because it was raining the water level was too high. So, the tour guide hyped up this other place called Shangri-la. “It’s a place of clear water where you can see the fish, and you can interact with local people . It’s very beautiful village.” It was the fakest part of China I ever been in. It’s a man-made destination for tourists.

For example, we rode another boat and as we approached what I call a “station” these young highschool boys in flintstones wear will start dancing. However, it was terribly synchronized and when we passed them up they would stop and wait for the next boat.


There are other “touristy” incidents that happen, but I’ll keep them for another time. Long story short, Li river was amazing the last part horrible.

After that long day we went to Yangshuo and did bike riding. Yangshuo is a beautiful small city with mountains as their background. When we were riding the bikes, we decided to vacate from the street and go to a trail where you can see the countryside. It was beautiful! At the night market I did buy a few souvenirs like these hand woven scarves, but then I ended up accidently leaving the bag on the bus back to Guilin. I’m now trying to figure out where I can have another chance to get scarves for 10 元 ($1.50).

My trip in Guilin ended at the Longji Rice Terraces. I am very glad we decided to hike the trail rather than take the cable car. It was stacks on stacks on stacks of rice fields. Have any of you seen the camera pan over these rice terraces on a Chinese documentary? I have and I’m still excited that I was able to go. It’ll be a while before I experience a scenery that beautiful again.
Chinese is kicking me around a little bit because the level is increasing. I feel like I’m going through the elementary school to middle school transition. I’m now learning how to connect sentences, write full-length paragraphs, my essay word limits are expanding, etc. However, I do catch myself forgetting some English words. o.O.

Well, I have been hearing a lot that has been going on in the other side of the world! Keep sending me updates. I do read them Well I’m signing off now because this update is 950+ words, almost as long as Part A of my econ assignment has to be. I shouldn’t be worried about that then. Enjoy the pictures. Oh wait I leg got grabbed by a monkey
43 days left…”

BTW, the Li river is on the 20 yuan RMB note 😀 I’ve been to three places on the RMB notes. Guess.

Reconstructing Life


These past few months have been H E C T I C!  During the whole month of March and the beginning of April, on the weekends I was travelling, and during the week I was preparing for the big move and my trip to the United States.

Spoiler: I bet after you guys saw that photo of me on the Great Wall, you may have assumed that I was moving to Beijing maybe. Nope! I’m just moving to the other side of Jinan, however I am moving to a different company! Sayonara to Best Learning and Hello to AMIO. I’m excited!

Since I am home in the US for a month, I should take advantage of nice computers, and fast internet. So please expect 3 things.

  1. Blast from the Past posts
  2. China Year in Review
  3. Posts about all these trips I’ve been having

Hopefully I get all these things done. A bonus would be developing a schedule and a better format for this blog. I’m even contemplating buying a domain and getting more serious about this. However, for now. Let’s start with these three things. Keep me motivated! Thanks.

Below are some pictures of my new place. Uh, it’s still a bit dirty and I haven’t even got to unpack that much since I moved in literally 3 days before I was leaving China.

I’m moving!!


Where? I’ll tell you later, but my contract is up tomorrow and I’ll be in Japan and America soon.   

Life is a Rollercoaster


It’s been two months since I last posted. Life, worries and bit of laziness played a key factor. These two months after Spring Festival holiday had many ups and downs. I had to make many huge life decisions as a 22 year old expat in China a midst trying to enjoy my time here in China. I went on several trips and had a great time, but I still found it hard to fully enjoy them and write about them because I couldn’t sleep.

As I was making these decisions I had to weigh what I needed to do my life, what people said I should do, and what I wanted to do. After much tossing and turning I think I figured something out…
Which I’ll reveal soon hehe. I hope to write more posts when I go in vacation in April. Stay tuned, still alive.