I’m off to Beijing soon… what should I take?

Img214070916Once this month’s warm-up event in Beijing is tidied away some of the most exciting sport you’ll see will be coming to you from Beijing… the Paralympic element of the 29th Olimpiad.  Your intrepid reporter will be with Team GB’s medal-winning wheelchair basketball team reporting live – I’ll also try to give you the low-down on  the other sports going on.

However, right now the question is what mobile tech should I take to use and test?  On the list so far:

  • Truphone and Rebtel for cheap international calling
  • A local China Mobile SIM possibly with some mobile data
  • A SIMable chip so I can swap SIMs into any phones I like
  • iPhone for music and a simple Mandarin language course
  • Some offline maps with Olympic venue POI such as Garmin’s
  • An N82 for pictures
  • Several Proporta backup batteries
  • A netbook for mobile blogging (which one?)
  • The Macbook Air for proper computing
  • A decent gadget bag – something that doesn’t scream ‘laptop’!
  • Some high quality headphones for the flights – perhaps Entymotics?

Any other recommendations / options?  Have you been to China and what was useful / rubbish?

By Ben Smith

Ben is an expert on enterprise mobility and wireless data products. He has been a regular contributor to Mobile Industry Review since 2007 and is also editor of Wireless Worker.

17 replies on “I’m off to Beijing soon… what should I take?”

I’m off to China in a couple weeks too, not in Beijing long though, mainly at the Great Wall, X’ian, and some national parks. I’ve traveled in the past and like to keep my luggage as light as possible, so the only gadgetry I’m taking is my N82 and a spare battery (should suffice between chargings), which I’ll use mainly for it’s camera and GPS (will use Nokia Maps for navigation), I don’t expect to be making many phone calls or texts (although that China Mobile article was VERY helpful), and I might upload some tunes on to it but don’t want to sap the battery so won’t listen very often.

Didn’t realise Garmin provided China maps though, are they better than Nokias?

In addition to the tech stuff, take lots of toilet roll. Keep it in the fridge for when things get really bad. I am still very jealous though.

I've just got myself a Celly Laptop case – love it, and it doesn't scream 'laptop' lots of pockets – and waterproof too! Ideal for random rain showers! Lots of cubby holes too..


A little stovetop coffeepot because the local stuff is terrible. When you see the ladies selling the thing that looks like a giant egg roti get it! The fermented red date tofu on it too if your stomach can take it. I think the name is something like jen-ming-gwa-za. Man it’s incredible. Sometimes all you have to say is “ebay” for an 80% discount. I stayed in Yizhuang, around the 5th ring on the south side, last year. It’s beautiful. Technology? If needed you’ll see a China Mobile kiosk before you exit the Airport. I never noticed if the prices are inflated.

Are those Entymotics any good?

You also might want a FlipVideo? Quick, cheap easy video recording — and it uses batteries.

Solar charger? Might not be that sunny though.

The ones I tried were – have some coming (hopefully) for review.

Yes – flip would be good.

May go for a solar charger, although I will be inside the stadiums a fair bit so majoring on battery solutions.

Ben, it's a shame both you and my sister aren't single – she'll be in Beijing at the same time and you could've compared iPhone 3Gs or something. 😉

Apparently they do, although I won't be able to tell you about it as Garmin PR ignored my request to try it out… 🙁 I will have some other GPS gadgets hopefully to play with tho'

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