As you prep for our trip, remember–you’ll thank yourself for packing light! We’re covering a lot of ground, so being able to comfortably carry your packs on your own is essential. With that said, here are a few items we’d like to emphasize the importance of for your overall safety and comfort.
WATER BOTTLES – In China, water is most often consumed hot–boiling hot!–for safety and due to common philosophies around health. The weather will be quite hot in June, and it’s often nice to plan ahead to have cool water to drink. Filling bottles up alternately to let one cool while you sip on the other is a great trick.
INSECT REPELLANT – Sichuan province is a haven for a vast array of flora and fauna, including the more annoying types. Mosquitos are particularly active at dawn and dusk, which are also great times for strolling along the Jin Jiang river, joining in with a public dance troupe, or relaxing into an outdoor tai chi session. In order to keep ourselves mentally present and minimally itchy, we highly recommend bringing along your mosquito repellent of choice.
RAIN JACKET – In June, it’s common to run into impressive thunderstorms or rain showers without much advance warning. Carrying a light, waterproof jacket in your day pack at all times is essential. This can also double as a warmer layer for cooler nights in La Yue Village.
HAT and/or SUNGLASSES – It’s generally going to be HOT everywhere in June, and while it may not always be sunny, we’ll be at altitudes that make any potential rays all the more intense.
HEADLAMP – La Yue Village is very dark at night, and paths between houses can be somewhat steep. Power outages are frequent, especially during the rainy season. Please be equipped with a fully-charged headlamp for your stay.
A note on clothing – as you peruse the weather reports for Chengdu and Beijing, please remember that even though it can be quite hot and humid, light, loose clothing with long sleeves or pants are your friends for a few different reasons. Firstly, La Yue Village is quite traditional in many ways, and most villagers will be completely covered even in extreme heat. Not only would we like to show our respect for their culture through our own dress, but sunburn is also a risk at the higher altitude (around 6000 feet). T-shirts are not a problem, but please plan to avoid showing too much skin in general, and especially during the rural homestay portion of the course. In the cities, sun exposure and mosquitos will be significant concerns. Shorts of a reasonable length are totally fine in urban areas, just note that you may actually be more comfortable wearing light, loose, full-length pants instead.
Julie & Petal