Being Safe in China
Generally speaking, China is a very safe place to travel in. The percentage of violent crimes is much lower in China than other parts of the world, and women can travel in China alone, with relative safely. It is important though to make sure that you use common sense, and follow some tips to ensure that your China tour goes off without a hitch.
- Pick a hotel that is modern and clean. There are many cheap little hotels on side streets. These hotels tend to be dirty little places with virtually no amenities. Their cheap prices may be tempting, but they are generally not that safe.
- Tell your family or friends the name, address, and phone number of the hotels you plan to stay at, so they can get in contact with you if needed and so that if anything does happen, they can give that information to the authorities
- Find out where the emergency exits are in your hotel and make sure that the door and window locks work and lock securely. Before going to bed it is recommended that you double check all the locks to make sure you are locked safely in your room.
- Do not let strangers into your room. If a person that you do not recognize comes to your room, call the front desk to see what is happening and who the person is. If someone says they are from room-service or any other sort of service that you have not ordered, do not let them in.
- Do not leave valuables, itinerary, or personal information in your room when you go out. They should be locked in the hotel’s safe.
- Take a business card from each hotel you stay at. The back will have a map to the hotel and if you go out on your own, you only need to show it to a taxi driver and they will then be able to take you back to your hotel.
- It is very easy to get dehydrated, or have low blood sugar when traveling. Many people do not even notice it until it is too late because they are so busy on their China tour. Bottled water and snacks should be brought with you each day.
- Drink only bottled water, unless you are in nicer restaurants to ensure the water is safe to drink. Never drink from water taps! The water is not potable.
- Take care of your bags and valuables when eating in a restaurant.
- Do not accept food or drinks from strangers.
- Do not overindulge in alcohol on your tour of China. Most issues visitors have in China happen while they are intoxicated.
- Carry medicine for diarrhea with you. Never accept medicine from strangers.
While on the move:
- Note the license plate number and face of your vehicle and driver to ensure you return to the correct vehicle. Most tourist destinations will have dozens of vehicles and busses and it is surprisingly easy to forget which one is yours.
- Have the contact information for your tour guide, driver, and travel advisor, so you can contact them in case you get lost, or away from your group.
- Try not to do too much. If you need a break, make it known.
- Make sure you know when and where you are to meet your group, guide, and/or vehicle each time.
- Some areas and sites in China do not allow photography. Ask your guide before taking photos just to make sure.
- If you have a free day on your itinerary, let your guide know what your plans are, and please be exceptionally mindful of safety and watch your children carefully. Contact your guide if you have any issues immediately.
- You should carry a money belt to keep your money, documents, and passports in. Small amounts of money should be kept in your pocket.
- Avoid traveling to places not open to tourists.
- Keep all valuables not in your money belt, in a single front pocket, so you can keep your hand on or near that pocket. That makes it much harder for a thief to get your belongings. Many visitors to China do not bring wallets or purses, so that they do not lose everything in case they are the victim of a pick-pocket.
- Do not discuss your travel plans or itinerary publicly.
- Do not voice your opinion of China’s laws and policies.
- Your passport is ONLY needed when checking into your hotel, exchanging money or cashing traveler’s checks, going through airport security, and boarding your plane.
- Do not show off your money in public.
- Do not wear any jewelry that may draw a thief’s attention to you.
- When using a credit card, make sure that the credit card returned to you is truly yours.
- Only exchange money in banks and hotels.
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