Many people arrive in Xinjiang, China thinking that they can buy what they need instead of taking it with them. For some items this may be the case…but certainly not all.
So what can you buy in Xinjiang…and what can you not buy here?
It’s also worth noting what imported items are sold at a ridiculous markup, as it’s usually not worth buying these types of items once you get here. So without further ado, let’s list out a few of the major items you might want to have for an adventure tour in Xinjiang.
What You Can’t Buy
We’ve had numerous people email asking about different products and we’ve done our best to compile a list of the most common items that can’t be bought here in Xinjiang, China. Feel free to contact us if you have any specific questions prior to your trip.
- Energy Bars – If you prefer to have energy bars for your trip, you’ll need to take them along yourself. Currently, there is no market for energy bars here in Xinjiang.
- Name Brand Outdoor Gear – There are a number of stores in the capital of Urumqi that cater to the outdoor market here, but since that market is small it’s not a big selection. On top of that, any products they do have are unreasonably expensive. If you want your own sleeping pad or bag, you’ll be better off buying it at home and bringing it along.
- Good Medicine – All Altus Expeditions tours are equipped with standard medical supplies and medication, but if you require a specific medication it’s best to bring it along instead of trying to find a good pharmacy and translate the drug you need.
- Large Clothes/Shoes – Buying clothes as a foreigner can be difficult in Xinjiang, particularly if you’re tall or well-built. Anybody with a shoe size greater than US11 or UK45 will also find it difficult to buy.
- Quality Sun Screen – Most of the sunscreen you’ll find in China is labeled as “whitening” – a testament to the culture here that values milky white skin. Besides that, though, the quality of the sunscreen you can buy here is debatable. Bring your own from home.
What You Can Buy
While we’re at it, we might as well mention a few things that you can buy should you absolutely need them.
- Extra Memory Cards – If you’re a photographer and you run out of space, memory cards are easy to find in the major cities and aren’t that expensive.
- Bottled Water – Many people are worried about the water safety in Central Asia – and for good reason – but we’re happy to tell you that bottled water is readily available here in Xinjiang.
- Fuel Canisters – Although this is a specialty item that only a few stores carry, they are available. All Altus Expeditions Tours will already be outfitted with enough fuel to make coffee and cook food during the trip but if you want your own canisters we can help you make the purchase.
Again, if you have any questions please let us know. We’ll be happy to assist you!