China is far from being the wild wild east you might have imagined. Actually, on the whole, China is quite safe for foreigners. But still, you should pay attention. Spending your Saturday night at the local police station, filling a complaint against the teenagers who stole your brand new clutch while you were spacing out in the street (and a bit tipsy, let’s be honest), is not funny. Trust me.
So here are some safety tips for you to stay away from trouble.
- Water from the tap is not drinkable in China. But bottled water can be found everywhere.
- Always carry a copy of your passport in case of a random check from Chinese authorities
- Always be cautious where you’re walking on the streets. Look before turning around the corner and crossing the road, even if you are on the zebra. Or in the sidewalk. Actually, start being cautious as soon as you’ve stepped outside. In China, danger not only comes from cars, but also from buses, motorcycles, bikes, cart, and tuk tuks. Might is right is China rule of the road.
- Take care of your belongings when you’re shopping, dining in a restaurant or just strolling around. Pickpockets are never far from big cities and tourist attractions. These “money belt” with zippers on the reverse side are quite handy for example.
- Always carry with you the address of you hotel/apartment/ company, along with some phrases you need on a daily basis, written both in Chinese character and pinyin. A lot of Chinese people don’t read nor speak English. You can also download the China Taxi Book I-phone application which will help you communicate with the locals, and find whatever you need.
- Lately, counterfeit 100 RMB banknotes have been more and more common. If you want to change money, you’d have better to do so at the airport’s changer or in banks.
- Tummy will probably not be your friend during your stay in China. Unfortunately, there’s not much to do about it. Take a stock of medicine with you before leaving your country. Just try to stay away from too weird looking dishes and meat that has been hanging around for days. And if you’re too adventurous to give up on such culinary experience, well, just stop complaining. You’ll get used to it.