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Author: bernibarberjohns...

Joined: 5/6/2011
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2004

January 28, 2013

I am attending 2 large wholesale jewelry shows in Bangkok and Hong Kong before meeting you all in Beijing.  Need business casual attire.  Have 24" suitcase. Starting trip Feb 22 in Tokyo (probably cold) Bangkok (probably hot).  On another subject---My daughter in law is in the health insurance field.  She says she has had reports of problems due to the air quality--pollution in Beijing.  Any words of wisdom about this?

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

January 29, 2013

If you've been following the news coming out of China, you must have seen pictures of the smog.  There's a dark gray cloud covering everything, especially in Beijing.  I would take face masks, but speak to a travel clinic or someone to advise you so that you get the most effective ones.  They've been burning soft coal for many years in China.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 493
Trips Taken: 15
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

January 29, 2013

 For long distance flights and exotic vacations of any significant duration,disposable face masks are worth having to reduce the chances of infection. They sell on Amazon for about $5.00 for a box of 50, and also serve as dust masks. Yes, as Pauline said, ask your doctor if he/she has any recommendations, but boing on a plane for 12 or so hours near a coughing or sneezing fellow passenger puts you at risk of catching what they have. I caught pneumonia on a flight from Russia a few years ago and went through several weeks of treatment and Xrays. If I had caught this going instead of coming home it would have ruined my vacation. Unless there is a wide spread contamination you don't need to wear one all te time, as they say, an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure. We are going to India in a few weeks and have hospital style booties as well, because you need to remove your shoes to enter temples, as you will in Thailand, and mosques. Also have alcohol based hand cleaner, such as Purel with you at all times and use it frequently. Bottles of 3 oz. and less are available and can be refilled from a larger bottle.

I realize that this thread is about air polution, but the same masks work for both. For the air polution, have some sort of eye drops as well, maybe just artificial tears to reduce irritation. We had no adverse affects from the polution when we were in China in 2007, but others did.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 535
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

January 29, 2013

I wouldn't go to China without a face mask. It was so bad in Beiijing yesterday that flights were canceled. Other parts of China were also affected. The US Embassy issued the following:

"The U.S. Embassy reported an hourly peak level of PM2.5 — tiny particulate matter that can penetrate deep into the lungs — at 526 micrograms per cubic meter, or "beyond index," and more than 20 times higher than World Health Organization safety levels over a 24-hour period."

This is the second time in two weeks that air pollution went off the charts. It might be much better when you go, but check with your doctor and get a couple of the recommended masks just in case..

Author: wattsed

Joined: 3/30/2010
Posts: 138
Trips Taken: 3
Countries Visited:

All seven continents, 113 countries and all states except Hawaii and Idaho.Plus some interesting places that are not countries such as The zores, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, etc.

Traveler Since: 2010

January 29, 2013

It is funny but I have been in Beijing three times in the last few years, one time right after the Olympics and each time it has been as clear as a bell, bright sunny days for three or four days a time---I am sure that it was just the luck of the draw...That said, I still went prepared, and although I did not have to use masks, you never know with Beijing...In addition, with the bad strains of flu and other stuff going around nowdays and the closed environment of a long plane ride, you can never go wrong at such a small cost...  

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 241
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

January 29, 2013

You said you were starting  your trip in Tokyo.  I lived in Tokyo area from 1989 to 1995 and 1995 to 2001 in Singapore and  had to come back to the States quite a few times.  This was at a time when the Japanese were traveling to the US a lot and all the planes to and from Tokyo were filled with coughing, sniffling, stuffy nose people.  If I wasn't sick, I got sick when I got off the plane.  The Asians from most countries wear masks in public a lot and are pretty good about not coughing in your face.  Even so, it would be a good idea to wear face mask in Tokyo, Bangkok, and China as the others suggested and using antibacterial gel often. 

In Asia, 99.9 percent of public toilets do not have warm water for washing your hands, nor soap dispensers.   And no paper towels; the women always had little terry cloth hand cloths about  half the size of a wash cloth they tucked in their purse; I still have a few.  These are available usually at the kiosks in airports stores, or any what not store in Tokyo. 

Happy travels but play safe.

Author: ddalexa

Joined: 12/12/2012
Posts: 19
Trips Taken: 16
Traveler Since: 2003

February 23, 2013

When going on the OAT trip to Yunnan Province in China last September, I showed my doctor the face mask we were given as we exited the plane in Japan on a prior trip.  (The start of the H1N1 epidemic).  My doctor just laughed and said it wouldn't be very effective, and no, I didn't need it in Yunnan. 

For the upcoming GCT trip, which includes a few days in Beijing, I bought N95 masks from Amazon with breathing valves.  The breathing valves are apparently cooler, don't fog eye-glases, and are eaiser for people with asthma to breath in, than the masks without such valves.  This is from various reviews, not from experience.

Read many reviewsand checked other sources before choosing.  Purchased a set that is primarily for for dust , sand and similar pollution but some readers said they also fended off respiratory illinesses when near sick people on long airplane flights.. They do cost more than $5 for a box of 50.   Hope the pollution will have cleared by then, but my husband and I will be prepared.

Author: richinct

Joined: 10/23/2012
Posts: 14
Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2013

February 23, 2013

 How often do theses masks have to be changed.  If using when flying and also touring, we are trying to determine how many to buy for the two of us for this trip.  Better safe than sorry.  Out trip isn't until the end of April.

Author: ddalexa

Joined: 12/12/2012
Posts: 19
Trips Taken: 16
Traveler Since: 2003

March 02, 2013

Not sure how many are needed.  We got a pkg of 10 for the 2 of us.  Our package insert says they are re-usable.  Each comes in its own sealed package.  Check after each wearing to make sure there are no tears at the staples, in the foam, or elsewhere.  Be sure the two straps are tight (apparently they can loosen with multiple uses).  Do not wear with beards or facial hair (can't get a good seal).   Check to make sure they are not getting dirty from the pollution.  Check with your doctor before using if you have asthma.

BTW - if you are very worried about infection instead of pollution, a friend just said she got some that stop 99% of the airborn particles from our local CVS drugstore.  Our N95 says "This respitrator can help reduce iinhalation exposures to contain airborne biological particles (e.g., viruses, mold, ... etc.) but cannot eliminate the risk of contracting infection ,,,,,."


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