Home to the marvelous natural sceneries, cultural and historical sites as well as impressive landmarks, China is a destination that travelers are eager to check in their bucket lists. However, traveling to the most populous country in the world may raise some concerns for visitors, especially the safety issue. Then if you are asking yourself Is China safe for travel? What are extra precautions that tourists should take when setting their foot into the Middle Kingdom?, find the answers below and have better preparation for a wonderful China tour.
How Safe is China?
It can be stated that China is now safer to visitors than it has ever been in the past. The country has paid more attention to tourist safety, especially in its top attractions. The magical economic growth during the last decades has reduced the unemployment and homeless in the country, benefiting the visitors with a decreased rate in crime. Rare violence crimes toward tourists and the friendliness the locals show to expats are the good signs for travelers. The government has deployed strict rules to control pollution, making the level of air pollution decline since 2014.
On the other hand, China is not immune to travel problems. Accidents can happen just like anywhere else on earth. Due to the vast territory, there are varying levels of safety in different cities and regions. Thus, making research on the safety of cities you would love to visit before jumping on the adventure is necessary. Traffic and road safety in China is also a growing issue. The high rate of traffic fatality with the highest risk to pedestrians, bicycle and scooter riders as well as the crazy traffic might be tourists’ concern. Besides, visitors should be aware of the pickpockets and scammers in both larger, populated cities and the rural areas.
In short, as a country with such a sheer size and population, it is impossible to say point-blank whether China is safe or not. However, a large number of travelers have had a wonderful experience in China without any trouble at all. It is necessary to get prepared well for any safety issue that can arise during the trip.
Some China Travel Safety Issues
Water Safety: Even in big cities like Beijing or Shanghai, the water quality is not well regulated. Despite the crystal clear look, it is still the risk that water could be contaminated with bacteria, sediments, or other hazardous materials. Tap water should always be boiled before drinking and bottled water is a completely safe choice available almost everywhere.
Food Safety: In such a gastronomic country like China, tourists impossibly skip its cuisine. Generally, it is safe to eat in many places throughout the country and food quality has been improved. However, take some cautionary steps will protect you from the risk of visiting the hospital with an angry stomach. Be aware that food can be poisoned with tap water or let out for a long time.
Petty Thief and Common Scams: Whenever you are outside in a crowded bus or street, the threat of pickpocketing arises. The pickpockets can work individually or in a gang using distraction techniques. Moreover, visitors can be on the watch of scammers in tourist destinations. Claiming the item is authentic to charge the high price or simply rising the prices to expats is popular. Next, the trap of ceremony tea in which scammers pretend to a group of students will swindle you hundreds of dollars after a few cups of tea.
Safety Tips for Travelers to China
Tip 1: Watch out Everything in Your Mouth
The Chinese cuisine is excellent and the dream to all food enthusiasts. However, the fact that some tourists do have problems at one spot during their eating experience in China. Thus, cautionary steps should be taken. The street food is at your own risk so reference your tour guide or hotel for a reliable destination. A tip for choosing a clean restaurant is apart from the clean and sanitary look, prioritize one with lots of customers as it is a good sign for its quality of food. Certainly, be sure that hand sanitizer is always with you during the trip.
Tip 2: Cross the Street with Caution
Crossing the street in China can be different from your country. Sometimes, the notification showing it is your turn to cross the street does not mean that you are prioritized to go. Therefore, always bear in mind to take caution and scan for cars whenever you are crossing. Get familiar to the honks on the street and although it is a nuisance, take it as a reminder to stay alert from a car coming to you.
Tip 3: Be Cautious of Petty Theft and Scams
To protect your possessions from the pickpockets, take these precautions including leaving the valuable things in the safe, keeping an eye on your belongings, putting your wallet in the front pocket, keeping a limited amount of cash, etc. Take a glance at the common scams in China in order not to fall into the trap.
Tip 4: Familiarize with China’s Local Laws and Customs
Get a quick review of the legal system of China, which is complicated and probably different from the rules in your home country. Familiarizing with the regulations as well as Chinese social etiquette will make your trip run smoothly and keep you away from unnecessary troubles.
Tip 5: Make a Good Choice of Taxi
Although a taxi is considered as safe transportation, it makes no harms to practice some precautions. Take the officially-marked cabs only unless you might be cheated with increased fees. Ensure that the taxi has the mater so that you will be charged fairly. On the other hand, if you have no other choice but an illegal taxi, remember to negotiate the charge before entering. You can reference the local the reasonable fee.
Tip 6: Buy Travel Insurance
Travel insurance should be purchased no matter wherever in the world you travel to. As plans may change and accidents can happen, it is essential to have travel insurance at your side. When your belongings are stolen, the airline loses or damages your luggage, or you have unexpected injuries or illness and more, you will be thankful for having purchased excellent travel insurance.