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  • China IC Friendly?

    Hi Everyone:

    I have an unexpected invitation to travel to China for 15 days. I have never been but would quite like to go. I'd appreciate any information from any IC'ers -- especially about the food and water availability but any IC-relevant information would be great. I can provide information about the itinerary if needed.

    I have been doing quite well treating my IC with the protocol I've chosen. I'm well enough to consider going but not sure enough of the availability of things there to say 'yes'. Any information greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    <img src="graemlins/blink.gif" border="0" alt="[blink]" />

  • #2
    what a great opportunity for you, i think it's great you're going!!

    i went to china a few years before i.c. kicked in for me, but i have a few suggestions/pointers:

    1) buy lots of bottled water. most places serve tea that may bother your bladder.

    2a) china is not known for its lavish restrooms. you may have to pee into a trough in the ground (i hope you are coordinated enough to balance yourself!). so take along enough kleenex to get you through the day because restrooms rarely have toilet paper. also antibacterial wipes are good for your hands, since you may not want to actually wash your hands in such primitive facilities (the sinks can be gross).

    2b) even though the rural restrooms can be scary, never pass up an opportunity to pee. i usually held it until i got back to the hotels, and i ended up with a bladder infection a few days later.

    3) food? ohmy, that could be a challenge. chinese food in china isn't much like chinese food in the u.s. but, the chinese aren't big on tomatoes, so you shouldn't have to worry about that. i would avoid the fruit. there are many exotic fruits at the ubiquitous (sp?) fruitstands, but i don't think i'd try anything new to you on a vacation. there are always kentucky fried chickens and hard rock cafe's to choose from if you're feeling pensive. i'd take along a good supply of prelief.

    4) just my own suggestion: try and find a mongolian hot pot restaurant. you cook your own veggies and meats in a split hotpot---one side is filled with spicy, boiling water, and the other side is plain boiling water. it's a lot of fun, and the chinese patrons get to laugh at you at the huge mess you'll make!

    best of luck to you, i hope this helps!!

    whittany <img src="graemlins/jester.gif" border="0" alt="[jester]" />


    • #3
      What a wonderful trip....but......aren't the Chinese notorious for MSG, MSG, MSG????
      Anyway, you know you can always eat lots of rice.
      Have a wonderful trip.


      • #4
        Dear Whittany:

        Thank you for your post! It was very helpful. I wasn't even thinking about the bathrooms! I know what kind you mean; I saw them in southern Europe and had all but forgotten them! I'll be packin' the tissue, yes mam!

        Were you in rural or urban areas? Do you know if traveller's diarrhea is very common there? I've been assured by the tour guide that they can accomodate me but I'll feel better with a few direct references from Americans that have been there.

        Also, what specifically will be challenging about the Chinese food? The sauces? Are steamed plain choices very common?

        Thanks again,
        Terri <img src="graemlins/blink.gif" border="0" alt="[blink]" />


        • #5
          Hi Havehope:

          Thank you, yes I really want to go, chance of a lifetime, I think.

          Yes, I talked to the tour guide today and he is Chinese and said there is MSG in everything. &lt;Wonder why they do that?&gt; But he says we can get some things steamed or fried without it if I give him a list ahead of time.

          I haven't given the 'yes' to go yet. But I'm thinking I might be OK with this. There is a vietnamese place I go to once in a while because I love their vegetable soup &lt;Pho&gt;. It has MSG and I don't react to it, but I'm sure if I ate it everyday I might. I go there rarely, so not to risk it.

          Good point, thanks for mentioning it,
          Terri <img src="graemlins/blink.gif" border="0" alt="[blink]" />


          • #6
            It sounds like an exciting opportunity! I think if it were me I would take along some "Travel Johns" --- available from the ICN --- then if you really need to go and the facilities are horrible, you have an out. I find them very easy to use, too.

            Hope you decide to go and that you have a great time!.

            Stay safe

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            • #7
              hi again!

              we were in both urban and rural areas...we spent time in and around beijing.

              i'm not sure how to advise about the food. it really is so different than what we're used to here. absolutely nothing resembling the broccoli with garlic sauce that i could see! ask a lot of questions, i guess that's my best advice.

              by the way, even the restrooms in the airports are the crouch 'n' pee kind. unless they've updated since i was there.

              traveller's diahrrea....none of my family had a problem with it, but it could happen. just one more reason to drink bottled water!

              china is a beautiful country, and i'm sure you'll do well. i was going to add that you may want to see if your doctor would consider giving you a few days worth of antibiotics just in case. what with the really long airplane rides and such, you might want to be have something with you instead of trying to find a chinese doctor.

              best of luck and let us know how the trip was!


              • #8
                Dear Donna:

                Ohhh, good idea about the travel johns! How much do you want to bet I'll be the most popular gal with the other women when they get a look at the facilities?? [img]wink.gif[/img]

                Thanks for the idea and the encouragement. I really want to go. It feels so awful to say, 'no' to your lifelong dreams because of IC. It feels like the IC wins. No! Bad IC! I am leaning toward, 'yes'.

                I still can't believe that in five short months I have found a combination of things to make my life live-able again. All you veterans said I would and I did. I can't thank you enough for being here and for lending that much needed voice of encouragement to keep searching. I feel so lucky that my search was successful and relatively short.

                These are hugs for you &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;Donna&gt;&gt;&gt;& gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;

                Terri <img src="graemlins/blink.gif" border="0" alt="[blink]" />


                • #9
                  Dear Whittany:

                  That food does sounds mysterious! [img]confused.gif[/img]

                  I think you're right. The nurse practitioner that specializes in international travel preparedness that I'm going to see for the immunizations said he will give me anti's for potential diarrhea. I am almost off long-term anti's for my IC and will have leftover that I can bring. My mom says to get some Lomotil in case I get the travel trots -- says it slows it all down real quick, in-laws said the same thing after their trip to the Amazon. I need to look up Lomotil in the PDR and see just what it is.

                  Oh, this trip thing is shaping up. I am feeling much more positive about going. I've gotten one report from someone that picked up parasites while studying accupuncture there but I have a feeling she was there a long time in rural areas.

                  Thanks again so much for your reply. I know another IC'er knows about the anxiety you get with these kind of decisions.

                  Terri <img src="graemlins/blink.gif" border="0" alt="[blink]" />


                  • #10
                    Hi Terri,
                    How wonderful that you are going on your trip to China, how exciting! Please let us know what fun you have on your trip, when will you be leaving? It's always nice to know what to expect on a trip, and what a better place to learn than on this site.


                    • #11
                      Dear Christina:

                      Thank you so much for your friendly message! kissing

                      I hope to be going mid-April and will for sure let you know how it is. I am quite excited!

                      Hugs from, grouphug
                      Terri Q.


                      • #12
                        You go, girl! Take that trip. I'm planning on visiting Australia this summer (home), and then to Thailand for a week. I'm going to my favorite Thai restuarant (yes, I've actually managed to eat some recently and not kill myself), and ask the very nice owner to write in Thai for me some things like "not very spicey"..."no msg", etc. to help me with any language problems. Okay, so I'll look nerdy handing them a note everytime I eat, but I don't care. My husband is grumbling about my going (I'm going with a brother, sister, and my daughter), but like I told him, "I have no idea if I'll be able to travel down the road, so I might as well go now". Since I've had one brother pass away and another with cancer, life is too short to wait for later. Remember, you can always eat rice. Practice squatting to build up those quad muscles, so you can be prepared for any low johns. Enjoy your trip!!!