Is China safe for tourists?
Ervis Micukaj, Living in China since September 2013.
I can walk around after midnight in any eastern city (the places I have been mostly) and know that nothing will happen to me.
My parents were in Shanghai for 8 days and they speak no Chinese whatsoever. They went to all the main scenic spots in Shanghai by themselves and did not need my guidance. They even managed to bargain some good prices at some local stores. Their only fears? Are they serving us dogs or cats? Preconceptions need time before fading off .
Parks: there is a 24 hours park in front of my apartment. I have gone running there at any time. Day and night: it does not matter. Have I ever been scared? Hell no. Have I interrupted some couples? Some times…that is why now I go running in the morning.
Can I say the same about running in a park in Europe? No.
Guns:In China you are NOT allowed to have guns as easily as in Europe. USA freedom of guns: NO.
Police: literally everywhere (at least for big cities). There are so many different police man every where that you can simply ask them for help. They are not always helpful (as it happened to me in Shenzhen my second time I was there…), but they are present.
Cameras: in China you can find a camera observing you every single place you go (at least in the cities). Everything is registered and everything can be found easily. If you are a normal citizen.
I have been in China for 4 years (mostly in Shanghai and travelled to other cities), but I have never lost anything due to thieves or have never felt threatened by locals.
When I see locals arguing, I find it “funny” for 2 reasons: you hardly see anyone pushing or shoving and a crowd grows very quickly. Everyone wants to enjoy the show and everyone knows nothing will happen. Besides videos and pictures to be shared on the social media.
Having said this, let me warn of you some of potential threats:
1.Crossing the road
AIn China roads can be very dangerous for the number of cars — more people — more chances to find people who cannot drive properly
BPeople walk without caring about red lights
CDrivers cross without caring about red lights
DBikers cross without caring about red lights (I see a pattern here…)
EThe police is working to change some rude behaviours, but the fines are so small that drivers do not care
FSome of them can be very nasty and the police does not care so much about them
GThis happens mostly in big cities where you can find foreigners and they may feel too much entitled
HIf a stranger asks you to go and have tea with them in a tea house, just say NO!
4.Broken vase scams
Isome people will cross your way and pretend to get hurt, do NOT help them! (unless you want to be sued by them) (there are some rules being changed and hopefully they will implement the rule of the good sammaritan, but I am waiting for effective examples)
Jif someone crosses your way and “falls by chance”, just go ahead; you will avoid a lot of headache because these people are just trying to scam you or local people
KThis is an ongoing issue and it is improving slowly. Higher standards hopefully. As usual, buy food from trusted sources.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.gremelin.com/47600.html 译者：Joyceliu
Meaghan Barbin, Lived in Shanghai, China in 2009. Traveled extensively throughout the country.
Absolutely. I'm an American and I lived in Shanghai in 2009 but traveled throughout China. During my time there, I encountered many people who were friendly and willing to help, especially if you're open to helping locals practice a little English, which is a very valuable skill that most Chinese people I met aimed to cultivate.
While there is the occasional person who may try to take advantage of foreigners, but this is actually much less significant than a similar sentiment which I've encountered in Paris and Rome. For the most part, people are kind and fair.
My opinion is that traditional danger is not a real concern for tourists traveling in China. As others note, the average Chinese person does not have access to guns, reducing risk of massive scale murders, but also, I heard of many strict punishments given under the PRC's reign that act as severe deterrents to crimes that might impact any tourists.
I have found from people who hesitate to visit that the biggest fear comes from lack of language skills. China is not like Europe, in that sometimes it's hard to find someone who speaks English. I would strongly encourage travelers to carry a notebook, as sometimes people have better abilities with written words as pronunciations vary widely. Also people were always willing to write down Chinese characters, which you can show time and time again to help you communicate. And of course, when all else fails, a notebook speeds up a game of pictionary.
I've traveled all over the world and China is still one of the most diverse, expansive and beautiful countries I've been to. I strongly advise tourists to not worry about danger -- as it is a very safe place, but instead plan for the wonders ahead and be prepared for the occasional miscommunication and spontaneous detour.
Yuta Aoki, Japanese blogger. Author of "There's Something I Want to Tell You: True Stories of Mixed Dating in Japan"
Look, I'm Japanese, and Japanese media often shows angry Chinese anti-Japan protesters burning Japanese flags or attacking Japanese restaurants. As a result, some Japanese people are worried about going to China, but that's ridiculous. The protesters are a infinitesimally small percentage of people, considering the whole Chinese population.
The image of China we often see in the media is heavily distorted.
As somebody who's been to 30 countries, I can say that China is not even remotely dangerous. I enjoyed my time there. You just have to watch out for scammers in big, touristy cities, but they are easy to avoid.
Go and visit China; it will be an interesting experience.
Malcolm Mathews, lives in Shanghai
So I am an American,who has now been living in China for about 12 years. Similar to many other Americans, Europeans, Asians outside China, we have made China home. I have a family with kids.
I came here to work for a couple of years, and then as a family, we decided to stay for the long haul. What I would say is that the main reason I stayed is that I found China to be so much more safe than the US, especially for my kids. if you are an ordinary citizen living an ordinary life, going to work, wanting good things for your kids, this is (similar to many such places in Asia) one of the best places to live. I would say the same for Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Seoul, Tokyo (all places I have been to extensively over the last 12 years).
It's different than the US. I had not a fear when my daughter was out at 1am with her friends and walking home alone in the dark in this big city that is like New York City. Not a fear. If even in a small town in the US, she was out alone at 1am, I would be terrified of her being shot, kidknapped, drug dealers…whatever. The fact that I can raise my kids with no fear whatsoever and have them experience a great life - I am willing to give up some ‘rights’ to do so.
Come and enjoy this part of the world. It’s not what they say in the news in the US.
Jay Kim, studied Business Administration & Technology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2001)
The first time I ever visited China was back in college.
I was visiting some close high school friends in Hong Kong and we decided to take the train up to Shenzhen for the day to play a round of golf at the new Misson Hills Golf Club, accredited as the world's largest golf facility by the Guinness World Records.
I remember getting on the short 45 minute train ride from Hong Kong up to the border of Shenzhen and then having to clear customs and immigration at the Chinese border.
As I entered the immigration hall the “foreign visitors” line extended the entire length of the waiting area and I was forced to wait nearly an hour (which was longer than my actually travel time) to get my visa stamped and continue my journey.
The immigration officer eyed me suspiciously as I handed him my American passport but my visa checked out and we were well on our way.
I was always intrigued with China... but the process of obtaining a visa and crossing the border was much more of a hassle than anything which deterred me from frequenting China even though I was based in Hong Kong.
Fast forward 10 years later and my border crossing experience was massively different.
A close friend of mine who I originally met through my high school friends here in Hong Kong was getting married and was having not one but two wedding celebrations.
I knew he was “well off” but never really knew what his family did, other than that they were involved in real estate.
He of course was very low key and never flashy about anything, always sporting his signature shorts and havaianas look.
But...as a groomsman at his wedding, I experienced a whole new level of Asian wealth.
After having the Hong Kong celebration at the Four Seasons in town, the next weekend we were all summoned up to Guangzhou, China where the 2nd celebration would be held.
I joked to the groom at the time about the hassles of border crossing and he just laughed it off saying “don’t worry about that.”
That Friday evening we all congregated at the designated pick up location in Hong Kong.
To my surprise, it was not a train station.
We showed up to a series of luxury Toyota Alphard 7 seater vans, all with dual Hong Kong/China license plates.
A wave of relief immediately washed over me as I knew from the plates that I wouldn’t have to stand in the immigration line on this particular trip.
And it got better...
Our 4 car entourage proceeded to drive to the Hong Kong border.
When we got there, the scene was the automobile version of the “immigration hall” I described earlier.
Long lines of cars stretched out nearly half a mile out leading up to the border. But before we knew it our caravan veered off to a small, discrete toll booth on the far left of the highway.
It turns out this was the “diplomatic lane” version of going through immigration at the airport.
We didn’t even have to leave our cars. We simply drove up to the window, handed our passports through, got clearance and were waved through into China.
Pretty cool right?
But what happened next was nothing short of surreal...
I turned to my friend and asked him “how long is the drive up from here to your house?”
Once again, with a smirk on his face he replied “usually it takes about 2 and a half hours...but we’ll make it in 90 minutes...”
Huh? I was confused.
And then I was hit with shock and awe.
About 100 meters ahead of us, just after the border crossing, I see a group of 6 police cars with lights flashing.
The police cars escort us from the border straight up to Guangzhou, often using their police horns to circumvent traffic and with sirens running the entire time.
With no “traffic”to worry about, the next 90 minutes was a smooth journey up.
So who was this guy, and how was he able to get us through the diplomatic lane at the border and then have police escorts usher us to his home? Anywhere else in the world I would have assumed he was a diplomat or royalty.
It turns out, he was just an extremely well connected civilian...a businessman. One of the largest private (not listed) real estate developers in China who consistently “pays” to stay OFF the Forbes rich list and remain under the radar.
I was fascinated how a simple business man with connections could enjoy the benefits of royalty.
From that moment on, I fell in love with China and have never looked back.
So yes…China is safe for tourists…and EVEN SAFER if you know the right people :-)
Dimitri Vallette, Visited over 20 countries across five continents.
Originally Answered: Is China safe?
I have been living in Shanghai for three years, and one word I would most likely use to describe the city is safe.
Before moving to China, I was living in my hometown of ~4,400 inhabitants in the north part of France. One may think that it would be pleasant to go out at night, and have a walk. It isn’t.
Whenever I would leave my home, and ride a bike to the gym, I would constantly wonder if I would meet those little groups of 15-year-old kids who like to play gangsters in the city when their curfew should be at 22:00. Despite living in a small city, I didn’t feel safe at all.
Now, this isn’t only about my hometown. I have traveled a lot over the years, and I didn’t feel safe in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, London, Manila and so on…
Shanghai, however, is the safest city I have ever been to, and I can’t wait to go to Japan because I’ve heard it’s even safer. Shanghai has a great nightlife, and while I was a bit skeptical about going out at first, I can tell you that going back home at 2–4AM on a Saturday from a nightclub or KTV doesn’t worry me in the slightest. Of course, you may meet some drunks on the way, but you will not be followed by a hobo with what looked like a gun in his coat like I did while I was in Boston.
I went to several other large cities in China such as Beijing, Xiamen, Hangzhou and Shenzhen just to name a few, and I felt the same way…
China is safe during the day and night, and that’s one of the reasons I absolutely love living there. The less you worry about, the better your life is. That’s the feeling China kind of gives me.
River Bublanski, travelled to China for multiple times
However one thing has to been mentioned that different nationality may bring you different stature in China -- which is unfortunate but realistic and might help you to understand better how exactly Chinese people think of you even though they look friendly. (No offence, just wanna show the bloody truth)
- Tourists from Northern and central Europe, Germany, Israel, Canada, Australia and New Zealand: You will be receive the highest respect since you come from a developed country which doesn't have any conflict with China at all(Germany as an exception)
- Tourists from America, France and Britain: You will be welcomed everywhere since your country enjoys the highest global stature even Chinese government is having some issues with your country.
- Tourists from Russia and Japan: You are the kind of people that Chinese love and dislike at the same time. Generally they like you more than they don't. You will still be welcomed everywhere but you might hear they saying"look at that motherfucker" in Chinese when they are out of your sight.
- Tourists from rest part of Europe and South America: Many Chinese don't know much about your country, but they still treat you good, and you don't have to worry about being saying" motherfucker".
- Ethnic Chinese, Taiwanese, people from HongKong, Macau or tourists from Singapore, Korea, sometimes from Mongolia and Vietnam: Chinese will treat you as a Chinese or half because your country is said to be under influence of Chinese culture or was once under the rule of a certain Chinese Empire. Chinese may sometimes show a little arrogance. (Taiwan, HK and Macau are exceptions)
- Tourist from other Monsoon Asian countries: Chinese won't treat you as if you are superior anymore, sometimes unpleasant words towards you can be heard.
- Others: The only difference is you have another country's passport, and that's it.
Just present those with exaggeration but some are really true.