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Gig in China (flying from USA) - What Do I Need to Bring, etc?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Quadzilla, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Hello all,

    So my band has a gig in Macau, China ("the Las Vegas of China") in June. The casino is supplying the back-line (PA, drums, guitar and bass amps, mics, etc). It's only for one big event there (1 night). I have an active US passport, so that's not an issue.

    I'm not a big effects guy. Ok with plugging into a tuner, then amp. I'm thinking of just bringing a passive bass (NOT one of my expensive ones), extra strings, a tuner, batteries for the tuner and a few instrument cables. I'll be putting the bass and the other items mentioned above in a flight case. Hopefully they will let me carry it on the plane.

    Anything else I need to bring? Any other pointers?

  2. fingerguy


    Aug 2, 2016
    I don't see you getting a full size bass as a carry on. There is a size specification. Bring a U-Bass.
    Wfrance3 likes this.
  3. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    They won't let you bring a flight case in carry on.
    You can buy it a seat, or try to take it on in a gig bag. I've done that successfully before but not on transcontinental flights.
    Make sure you have a Visa - China requires one (going there myself next month).

    Eat well. Try different stuff. Have fun. Wear protection.
    Bob_Ross and Quadzilla like this.
  4. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    Power converter for your amp?
    Quadzilla likes this.
  5. fingerguy


    Aug 2, 2016
    Now I think about it, you could bring a Steinberger. It's either that or a U-Bass. The Steinberger will have more frets.

  6. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    Does your bass have a Rosewood fretboard?
    Jeff Scott likes this.
  7. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    And this is just on the plane ;)
    Templar likes this.
  8. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    The one I am planning on bringing has a maple FB.
    JACink likes this.
  9. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    The casino is supplying the backline including the bass amp (I specified Markbass or Ampeg).
    Wfrance3 and Killed_by_Death like this.
  10. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Not sure about being from the USA, but you may need a work visa, which will require a letter from the employer/ venue.
    A thing I like to do before visiting any new place is download a google map of the area to my phone, especially if you like exploring a bit off the tourist trail.
    Also some sort of translator.
    As for HOPING to take a bass in a hard case on board, I wouldn't.
    Either buy a seat for it, or put it in a professional flight case.
    In fact, if you're not planning on bringing one of your best basses, why not arrange a hire there and avoid the hassle altogether?
    Quadzilla likes this.
  11. Hi,

    As previously said, you will need a visa, specifically a work visa. The people you are playing for know about the letter & should have no problem sending it to you.

    Look for a visa expediter. Being in Maryland, there is probably one in your area. I found that to be $100 or so well spent. They can help you with the paperwork, and get it taken care of & back to you much quicker than you can on your own. And the visa is good for 10 years, so you don't have to wait until the last minute to get it.

    I went to Shanghai for 3 days in mid-December. I had a great time.

    The only thing I might add is: give yourself an EXTRA hour more than you might otherwise expect to get thru the customs & immigration stuff on your way out of China. You really do not want to be stranded there if you should miss your flight.

    Have fun.

    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  12. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Great advice here thus far everyone. Thank you!!!
  13. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Oh, there's a fun app called "CamDictionary" - uses your camera to view Chinese word-characters and translates them.
    Quadzilla likes this.
  14. Skeezix


    Sep 28, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    Google translate will do this as well.
    Quadzilla likes this.
  15. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Obviously that's only a solution if the OP has access to a Steinberger, but I gotta say, the first time I flew with mine it instantly confirmed for me why I will never get rid of that bass:

    They fit in the overhead bin of practically any airplane.

    The whole "Should I Risk Checking It, Or Will I Be Able To Get Away With Bringing It Onboard As Carry-On?" issue just never comes up with a Steinberger L-series.

    But I think OP's concerns should be less about What Gear To Bring and more about What Logistics/Precautions To Pay Attention To So That I Don't Get Stuck Somewhere. Like, I dunno, is there a US Consulate or Embassy in China? If so, make sure you have their number...and, make sure someone else that you can contact -- or who knows that if you haven't contacted them by a certain date that perhaps something is fubar -- has that number also. Maybe I'm being paranoid.

    Maybe not.
    Oddly likes this.
  16. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Since it's a "one and done", meaning it's only one night, does I wonder if I still need a work visa or not. Anyone know?
  17. fingerguy


    Aug 2, 2016
    The only thing that sucks is they are not really manufactured. I did reach out to a company that specializes in them and they are asking at minimum 3k. I told them I don't want it that bad.
  18. FingerDub

    FingerDub Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2016
    If its a cheap passive bass, you could take the neck off and that way you may be able to get it on board?
    Quadzilla likes this.
  19. Goatrope


    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Sounds like a fun trip.

    Are you landing at MFM or HKG? I ask because some folks will fly to HKG for cheaper airfare then take the ferry or jetfoil to Macau.

    Language won't be a problem. English everywhere, also Portuguese, and of course Chinese.

    Even if you're not landing in HKG, I hope you get time to visit. Much more fun place, IMO.

    Use CBIT for expedited Visa. I love those guys.

    Hope you're going soon because it's going to get really hot in about two months.

    Have a blast!

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