Bring Your Own Towels

Chinese hand/bath towels
Itsy-bitsy Chinese hand towels
If you must have a big, super-sized, fluffy bath towel pack your own–and a spare–as large bath towels are not regularly used or sold in China.
My first two weeks in China I used a hand towel that had been left by previous teachers. Don’t ask why I didn’t bring my own, but when you’re limited to 150 pounds of luggage I guess things like towels don’t seem so important. Finally we made a trip to Beijing and after hours of searching found what could best be described as a light beach towel. It was big, but wasn’t plush and ended up thoroughly wet after each use. On the plus side, dryers are rare so everything gets air dried and my second towel is still going strong after nine years of near daily use and weekly washings!
Fast forward two years. I move in with my husband and see that he has no bath towel. He uses the small hand towel to dry off, one section of his body at a time and ringing out the excess water as he goes. He laughed, and still does, at my use of a bath towel.
Chinese washcloths
Three colorful washcloths that are in our bathroom at the moment.
Every time I go swimming the women in the locker room are drying off with their little washcloths or hand towels and pay even closer attention to me when I pull my plush bath towel (left behind after my mom’s visit) and wrap it around my body in an attempt to maintain some dignity.
So with that, I suggest that you at least bring one towel that you like if you’re going to be living outside of a major city. When it’s 45 degrees in your house in early November, before the heat gets turned on, you’ll be glad you’re wrapped in warmth after your shower rather than blotting your body dry one 5-inch section at a time!