Storing a violin in Beijing

September 6, 2016 at 11:06 PM · Hi,

I'm wondering if someone can give me some advice please. I'm working in China at the end of the year, after which I'll be taking a holiday, before flying back home from China. Ideally, I'd like to not have my violin with me for the holiday.

I've looked into giving my violin to a colleague to take back to the UK for me, but this might not quite work. I'll be starting and finishing my work in Beijing. Does anyone know anywhere safe I could leave my violin for about 2 weeks please? I thought about asking a violin dealer if they'd be happy to look after it for me, for a small fee, but I don't know who the reputable ones are. I'm nervous about not being able to retrieve it afterwards!

Thanks for your advice.

Replies (14)

September 7, 2016 at 02:44 AM · How about a bank with a safe-deposit box?

September 7, 2016 at 03:09 AM · If you do go with the dealer route, just make sure to have many pictures of the instrument and yourself holding it as well as a detailed receipt proving he was looking after your instrument.

September 7, 2016 at 03:50 AM · Assuming that you will not have too much time before finally leaving China, leaving instrument with a complete stranger gives you little elbow room in case anything goes wrong. This has to be someone you can trust.

Not sure if violin would fit in the safety deposit box.

Tough call.

September 7, 2016 at 04:57 AM · Do you have a coworker you trust, perhaps, who is staying in China?

September 7, 2016 at 07:47 AM · Hi,

Thanks for your advice. It seems that you share my concerns about leaving it with a dealer. Unless I can get a personally recommended one from a friend I think I'll rule that idea out.

I'm not sure a violin would fit in a safety deposit box either, but it's worth looking into.

As we're a UK orchestra travelling to China, most my coworkers will be travelling straight back to the UK, and a handful will be staying for a holiday, like myself. Normally I'd ask the organizer if they know of anyone, but the Chinese girl who deals with the Chinese organizers never returns my emails! That's something I can look into when I'm out there though.

The other option is to just take my violin around with me. I'm planning to visit HK and Taiwan. I've read online that Air China poses no restriction to allowing a violin in the cabin, even on shorter flights. Is that right? That was my main concern about taking my violin with me. I think HK would be ok for me to leave my violin in the hotel room, but I'm not sure how "off the beaten track" I can go with a violin in Taiwan! Do you think it'll be ok?

I am using my second violin for this trip by the way, and it's a modern violin. It's also insured worldwide. It would be nice not to carry it around though.

September 7, 2016 at 09:51 AM · I always fly to China using Cathay Pacific who allow violins on the plane with no problems. However, once inside China I have to use their affiliate airline Dragonair who do NOT allow violins in the cabin. But they do look after it : the flight crew carry it on board with them. It does not go in the baggage compartment.

I cannot comment on Air China but I have always found Chinese staff to be helpful. Can you not give them a call...perhaps somebody will be able to speak English ?

September 7, 2016 at 10:15 AM · Thanks for the information Brian. I don't mind them carrying my second violin into the cabin, as long as they're careful.

September 7, 2016 at 03:51 PM · For me, I'll leave my violin to local luthier for service at the same time. VSA awarded luthier can be found in Beijing, and the cost is little.

September 7, 2016 at 04:27 PM · Taiwan is very safe. I don't think you will have any problem leaving your violin in the hotel room.

September 7, 2016 at 05:37 PM · Thanks for the further advice. I'm not sure my violin needs a service, because I rarely use this one. Maybe I'll just take it around with me. It's insured anyway!

September 8, 2016 at 11:53 AM · Air China allows violin in the cabin.

September 8, 2016 at 11:53 AM · Air China allows violin in the cabin.

September 8, 2016 at 12:39 PM · Thanks Zack. That's what I gathered from looking through some forums. I think I'm leaning toward lugging my violin around and leaving it in my hotel room!

October 13, 2016 at 12:06 PM · Hi again.

The tour itinerary has been adapted slightly, so it'll finish in HK instead of Beijing now, which suits me much better. My plan is to spend about three days in HK then get a return to Vietnam, before (hopefully) returning to the UK from HK.

So my new question is, has anyone experienced taking a violin onto Vietnam Airlines, and have there been any issues?

Thanks again.


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