Although China is a relatively low crime country and most Chinese are helpful and honest, petty crime and tourist scams are on the rise. As with anywhere else in the world, use commonsense and stay alert to your surroundings.

  • Be aware of all personal belongings in crowded places such as markets or heavily populated tourist areas.
  • Don’t carry money, wallets or your phone in your back pocket.
  • Stick to well-lit areas at night
  • Do not trust people on the street who offer money exchange services. Do this in places such as the Bank of China.
  • Beware of the Teahouse scam, where people (usually a good looking lady) invite you inside a teahouse or a bar to “practice English” in exchange for some drinks. It will actually be you who is left with the bill.
  • Do your research on the average cost of a meal. Many restaurants have English menus available, though with ‘foreigner’ prices.
  • Avoid black taxis when in China! Drivers are not licensed, and theywhimage144 prey on tourist areas, airports and hotels. Once you have been taken to your destination, you will be charged double for your journey. For example, in Beijing, all licensed taxis have 北B on their number plates. And another tip if taking a cab, make sure you have small notes.
  • Be wary of people approaching you at airports with offers of “special discounted 5-star” hotel rooms. They don’t even have a single star rating, let alone 5. People will also try to sell you hugely discounted ‘tours’ of local sights. These scammers make their money from commission made in all of the shops that they take you to along the way.
  • You will probably come across beggars in the bigger cities or around tourist attractions. Most child beggars are a part of a ring and are a set-up, probably earning more for their bosses than the average office worker.
  • If taking a Pedi-cab ride, do your research on what prices whimage174are normal and ALWAYS negotiate the final price up front. Walk away from overly aggressive drivers that seek you out and don’t rely on locals trying to help you out as they will not get involved.
  • Temples in China don’t send their monks out onto the streets to ask for donations, so don’t give what you think may be one any money.
  • Don’t drink the tap water in China! Use bottled, and take some with you everywhere.
  • Pollution is terrible! It can even burn your nose and sting your eyes, so you will not look out of place wearing a mask.
  • This one’s more of a personal hygiene tip, but make sure you always carry a pack of tissues or wipes with you at all times – the Chinese are not fond of toilet paper in public bathrooms.
  • Dial 110 for emergencies in China. This will put you through to Police.