Are you wondering if it is safe to travel to China?
The simple answer is yes. It is generally safe to travel to China.
But whether it’s safe to travel to China depends on where you intend to go and what you intend to do in the country. Your China travel can be quite enjoyable and safe so long as you practice common sense and follow the government rules and regulations. Also, ensure that you observe and respect the local customs of the region that you visit.
Here are some tips that will ensure your safe travel to China:
1. Avoid Troublesome Border Places
China borders 14 countries. And sometimes, there are skirmishes along those borders. It will be safe to travel to China if you know where these borders are and the troubles within these areas. That way, you can stay alert or avoid them altogether.
Currently, there are tensions between India and China along the Himalayan borders. The Chinese-Indian border is disputed on multiple points. And there is a military standoff between those two countries. It would be in your best interest to avoid visiting Chinese regions near that border. In times of war, nobody can guarantee your safety. Therefore, commonsense dictates that you should avoid such places if you want a smooth China travel trip.
When visiting the remote area of Xinjiang you also need to be careful. The area has a large Muslim population and ethnic Chinese are a minority there. The recent withdrawal of some of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan is likely to bring issues along the border China shares with the country. And Xinjiang is most likely to be affected. The area has some people with links to Al Qaeda. And if you choose to visit the region, your nationality could prove risky. Terrorists follow no laws and you could end up being kidnapped or attacked.
China also has issues with the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, and Indonesia. The tensions are a result of the claims each country is making on the South China Sea. So, if you visit the areas on the South China Sea region, you need to be on the lookout for any skirmishes. Listen to the local news and take heed of any warnings that you receive from the Chinese government.
The border that China shares with North Korea would be appealing to any adventurous tourist. However, while North Korea has come a long way in how it relates to the world, you still need to be wary. The alliance between China and North Korea is weak at best. And the latter is an unpredictable country.
Geographical boundaries can offer unique attractions. But even though it is generally safe to travel to China, be on the lookout for border skirmishes. Listen to any local and government instructions about how to conduct yourself when you visit border regions. They know more than you do. If you listen to their advice, you are likely to enjoy your China stay.
2. Safeguard Your Valuables
No matter what steps any country takes to safeguard its tourists, chances are that there will still be criminals lurking in the shadows. And China is not any different.
No matter how safe to travel to China it is, you are still likely to encounter petty thieves and pickpockets. As a foreigner, people may assume that you are wealthier than the average Chinese. If you are careless with your stuff, you may lose some of it. Therefore, you need to do your part to make yourself less of a target.
Here’s how to safeguard your valuables while in China:
- Try to keep your valuable items like an iPhone or a camera close to you. Instead of keeping those things hanging off your shoulders or arms, keep them in a bag that you can hug close to you. The goal is to make it difficult for a pickpocket or petty thief to snatch your items quickly and without your knowledge.
- Do not put your purse or wallet in your back pocket. Instead out a little bit of cash in a dummy wallet or purse then keep the rest of your money and credit cards in a secure bag or pocket close to your body where it cannot be seen. That way, if you end up dealing with a violent thief, you can hand over the little money in your wallet or purse and get to keep the rest of it.
- When traveling on public transport keep your backpack on your lap, and not on your side. You can even lock your bag to the rack on the train.
- You need your passport to travel to and from China. You may even be required to present it at the entrance to some of the Chinese tourist attractions. To safeguard this important document, you can keep it in your money belt under your clothes. Alternatively, you can make a copy of it or your national ID. Then present that copy when the need arises wherever the original is not needed.
- Even though it is safe to travel to China, avoid wearing flashy jewels during your China travels. It makes you appear wealthy and thus turns you into a target for petty thieves. So, either avoid traveling to China with extremely expensive jewelry. Alternatively, ensure you leave your more expensive pieces in the hotel safe when you go out sightseeing.
3. Practice Commonsense
Never underestimate the power of commonsense in making it safe to travel to China and other countries around the world. It helps if you take sensible steps to make yourself less vulnerable to attacks and trouble of other kinds.
Here are some of the things that you should consider doing during your China travels:
Safeguarding your data
The Chinese authorities do censor and keep track of what people say or do at times. This is a normal thing in China. But you may not be used to it.
To safeguard your data, ensure that you don’t travel to China with any electronic equipment that will bring trouble to your doorstep. If you have sensitive data in your devices, get an alternative device with minimal data. Or you can store that data in the cloud so that you can access it later on when you need it.
You should also update all of the software that you need to use. Then ensure that your firewall has been installed and works well. Secure all your accounts with unique and secure passwords. If you are afraid you won’t remember them all, get a reputable password manager to keep track of them all.
Also, ensure that you download a VPN for all the devices that you intend to use in China. It will ensure that you can remain anonymous while using the internet.
And don’t use your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi while traveling across China. Keep those connections off until you go back home or find a secure place to access them.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. So, while it is safe to travel to China, do obey all the government laws as a way to safeguard your data. And whatever you do, avoid involving yourself in anything that will bring you to the attention of the Chinese authorities.
Certain actions can be considered stupid no matter where you are. It will be safe to travel to China if you avoid these actions.
Here are some of the actions that you can take to stay safe during your China travel:
- No matter where in China you are, avoid poorly lit areas. Darkness gives criminals the chance that they need to work. So, why make it easy for someone to assault you by being careless?
- Stay in control of what you drink at all times. Do not drink more than you are used to. Being drunk lowers your inhibitions and makes you less coordinated. You are more likely to make stupid personal decisions that will possibly endanger your life. Also, when you are drunk, it becomes harder to fight off an attacker. Just because it is safe to travel to China doesn’t mean you should let your guard down.
- Don’t trust people just because they foreigners like you are. The foreigners you trust may end up being hardcore criminals who are in China for their sinister reasons. And you could end up being attacked by someone with whom you share a nationality.
- Whether you are in China for business or personal reasons, stay away from political protests. They are a recipe for disaster. The Chinese authority takes them very seriously. The last thing you want is to be rounded up with the rest of the protestors. What if your country chooses not to get you out of the political mess you get yourself into? Who would you blame?
- Do not assume that if you take illegal drugs, other countries will tolerate your behavior. China has a strict anti-drug policy. It is safe to travel to China if you are a teetotaler and don’t do drugs. The Chinese police usually do random drug tests on foreigners. You will stay out of trouble if there is nothing in your system.
- You will also be safe to travel to China if you don’t make the mistake of trafficking drugs. The Chinese government considers this a huge crime. And it takes this issue seriously because it is often accompanied by other drug-related crimes that make life unsafe for anyone. If you use or traffic illegal drugs, you may end up being fined, detained, deported, given lengthy prison terms or the death penalty. Do you really want to put yourself in such a legal position?
- Human trafficking is a serious international problem. And China grapples with this problem like many other countries. The areas bordering Myanmar, in particular, have a bride trafficking problem. So, if you are female and of Asian origin, you need to be very cautious when visiting these areas of China. If possible, visit the places you want to see as part of a group. If it’s not possible, stay out in the open and steer clear of anyone who seems suspicious.
- When booking yourself into an accommodation facility in China, ensure that it is safe. You can do this by checking out its location and the measures put in place to make its guests safe. Also, research its ratings online. Read the reviews on multiple platforms. You need to know what the guests who have been there have to say.
- To protect yourself from receiving fake Chinese money, ensure that you withdraw what you need from an ATM attached to the bank. You should also ensure you withdraw money from reputable banks in the areas that you visit. Use the smaller notes, which are less likely to be forged. And avoid handing over large amounts of money for smaller financial transactions. Your money may disappear. And don’t wave it around when sightseeing.
- Observe the local customs of the places you visit. That way you won’t offend people and bring danger to yourself.
- Trust your gut. The average human being has good instincts. If you trust what yours say about a situation or person, it will be safe to travel to China and other parts of the world.
4. Keep Yourself Healthy
Parts of the safety measures that you should institute while on your China travel involve your health. There are several things that you can do to ensure it remains safe to travel to China:
- The Covid-19 pandemic has affected most of the world in some way. And each country has put measures in place to prevent its spread. Ensure that you get a Covid-19 test before visiting China. And if you are expected to self-quarantine, follow the instructions you are given and do what’s needed of you.
- You need to be prepared for the possibility of being infected by Mosquito-borne diseases such as Dengue fever and Malaria. Both are very treatable. But when ignored, they can become deadly. You can carry preventative medication from the U.S. if you like. But you can always get treated in China if you get sick. Just get onto a taxi or some other means of transport and go to the hospital.
It is generally safe to travel to China. Of that, there is no doubt. So, you don’t need to ask yourself that question repeatedly.
However, the steps that you take to safeguard yourself and your property will ultimately determine the level of safety that you experience during your China travels. If you stay from troublesome border regions that have tensions, make sensible decisions about how you behave, and protect your valuables, you will be fine. It also helps if you take the needed measures to safeguard your health as well.