Is China safe for tourists?
Jordan Boyd-Graber, 我什么都不知道
I visit China a fair amount for both work and to visit family.
The biggest physical threats in China are crossing the street and breathing the air, which affect tourists and natives alike.
The biggest differential threat to tourists is getting overcharged for stuff and getting approached by street merchants: a threat to the pocketbook, but not to your person.
Takeo Eda, Tech professional, veteran and returning to aviation as a student pilot
My experience says, yes it is from a PEOPLE perspective, however if you have respiratory problems it's probably best to stay way from the big cities as the air pollution is unreal.
For the most part I, as an American of Japanese heritage had few problems, and was generally treated well in both Beijing and Shanghai. Being able to write Kanji came in handy as it meant I could express simple concepts by writing (example in a restaurant, I'd break out my iphone and type 水 and be served water, or 茶 and be served tea)
I even managed to trade stories of the the difficulties leading young men with a young PAP officer at the Forbidden City through a translator.
My trip to China was a mostly positive experience.
Jon Vasco, Developed the core image processing algorithm for a startup
I felt safe in Chengdu, China and every place I visited (Jiuzhaigou, Hailuogou, etc) during my study abroad semester program. I felt safer there than I have ever felt in the United States of America.
I think, depending on your ethnicity or nationality, Chinese might treat you differently.
I believe, the main reason China is safer than the US is because they have a strong ethical believe in doing what is better for society as a whole. In general, they are very friendly and respectful (as I experienced).
Another reason for China to feel safer than other places is because the punishment for breaking the laws are very harsh on Chinese citizen. However, as I said it, they are not even violent to begin with due to culture and their beliefs.
P.S. If you travel to China, be mindful of Chinese friends and try to not get them in trouble. You would be way better off then they would if you were to get in trouble. Usually foreigners are treated with privilege and it is easy to become an ass sometimes.
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Mervyn Locke, Enlightened laowai/Decade-long China resident/Permanent China bull
Originally Answered: Is China safe?
The safest place I’ve ever been to after Korea and Japan. Never heard about anybody in my community who has ever got a hair curled on his/her head - worst crime experienced has been pick pocketing. Gun related violence basically unheard of, so is the case with gang related violence and street violence.
Indeed, Guangzhou has had some problems in the past, but apart from that, as a country as a whole, it’s tremendously safe.
Even as a woman, you can basically walk the darkest alleyway you can find in the middle of the night without fear of getting mugged or harassed. I do have met women occasionally who has been sexually harassed, but the perpetrators in these cases were foreigners.
Arvin Chang, Photographer, Snowboarder, Involuntary Self-Biographer
Yes... in general, China is as safe for tourists as any country in Europe. Muggings are basically unheard of, which is not surprising since the punishment for armed robbery is often execution and the conviction rate is a clearly manipulated 99.9% (the Chinese government protects the tourism industry). Pick-pocketing is possible, but not very common, unlike in Italy.
Oh, one thing I would be wary about travelling on the far western areas... such as the border with Afghanistan. A friend of mine who was bicycling across China went there and the local police firmly "escorted" her away from the border region since they felt like two fair-haired women walking around was a bit of a security risk (for the women).
Henry Brice, Ph.D Cognitive Neuroscience, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2020)
Having travelled extensively in various parts of China, I can definitely say that it is one of the safest places I have travelled, definitely safer than most other South Asian countries, or South American countries.
Just as an example - if you travel on a sleeper train - you can get on, put your bags on the rack and go to sleep. When you get up, your bag will still be there, untouched. Compare this to India - where on an bus ride you padlock your bag to yourself, hug it close, and someone is still likely to slit the side open and steal something. Female friends of mine have walked alone at night in China, and felt completely safe in a way they wouldn't in 90% of cities in Europe. I never once felt at risk while travelling there.
That being said - there are still some scams that are run, especially against tourists. I had one friend who paid for a taxi in Beijing with a 100 yuan note. The driver said that he didn't have change, and he would pop into the shop nearby. He came back with a policeman, claiming that my friend refused to pay. My friend was forced to pay twice, or else be arrested. I'm pretty certain the cop was in on the scam. I have heard of some similar stories with people demanding payment on the way out of a park, even when you've already paid on the way in. This isn't in proper parks with a real entrance and tickets, but places where there is some walking trail with someone standing at the entrance, and someone else standing at the exit.
Very safe indeed. The streets are safe all the time, even in the night time. The Police and security are in full presence, but in a very laid back way. It isn’t oppressive, but you can see that there is plenty of security. However, the people in China are very nice and law abiding. I once, foolishly lost my wallet. I admit, I’d been drinking, and didn’t know where it was. A knock at my door sounded and I opened my door and one of my neighbours handed my wallet to me. I’d foolishly left my wallet on the fire extinguisher outside in the corridor of my apartment block. I was so grateful.
You can never guarantee 100% safety anywhere, but China is the safest place on Earth in my relatively well travelled experience.
Shrey Garg, Did my internship in South China for 6 months
I have travelled to many cities in China. I had travelled for a month there and also recently stayed there for 6 months for my internship in which time i also travelled in this beautiful country.
I can safely say my experience and travel in the country was simply amazing. Its very safe for tourists. I was very surprised with the people approach and behaviour for foreigners and they treat you with lot of affection and help you even if they have to go out of their way. Its very safe country, i have seen girls walking alone in midnight. I have taken taxis, metro and buses at very odd hours and odd places, and it was a pleasant experience. I felt very safe. Even scams are very less compared to the big population they have. People are very honest and rarely cheat you except in big touristy places, bot otherwise murders and physical violence is almost negligible. So, just go there and enjoy the country, don't worry of the safety and enjoy travelling there with amazing people there. Good luck.
China is a safe country to travel to. From what I have heard from friends who have gone there for trips say that overall it was an excellent experience, and they would love to go again. When I asked them how they were treated over there they all said that the locals treated them with the utmost respect, and wanted to ensure that they had an enjoyable time. Part of this may have been because they went to locations structured around tourism, but since in your question it seems as though you would be going to the same areas as they did I am sure you would have an enjoyable experience as well without having to worry about your safety.
One thing to be careful of though is that many street vendors will try to sell you fake products, and since they will notice that you area tourist they will target you. Not that this is a threat to your personal safety, but it could cause an unwelcome intrusion to your personal space, but can be avoided if you travel with others.
In some research I did I also found that traveling in China is safe as well. Although traffic can be horrendous at times using public transportation is as safe as any place in the United States. You may get a dangerous taxi driver, but you can tell them to slow down if you prefer so that you feel safer in the car.
Although I have never been to China myself I would highly recommend taking the trip from what I have read online, and also from what I have heard from friends that have traveled there. It is probably safe to assume that travelling there is just like travelling to any other foreign Country, and that is as long as you travel with another person or a tour guide, and stay areas geared towards tourist then you should never feel unsafe during your time in China. Another thing that might help you to feel even safer is that China has some very strict laws on thing such as drugs so running into issues with that should not be a problem. Also China has a low homelessness and jobless rates which translates to a lower crime rate. Overall China seems to be a very safe country to go to, and form what I have heard it looks like it would be a great experience.
Nargiz Kazhybekova, studied at Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK
Depends on how you define safe. Generally speaking, it feels safe, when you walk down the street people seems nice and friendly, the crime rate is low, but if you are a tourist you can become a victim of various scams.
Before coming to Asia (China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines) I didn’t know that the scams are such a common thing there. So you’d better be familiar with them and the ways to avoid them before being trapped.
So among the most popular China scams there are:
Tea House Scam, Tour Scams, Taxi Scams, Rigged Taxi Meter Scam, Massage Scam, Counterfeit Money Scam, Card Scam.
So, China is safe but just be careful !
Giovanni Di Rosario
I used to live in China, extensively. It is an extremely safe country, provided you don't go to dirty zones(they are usually inaccessable by tourists anyways). There is little crimes, and probably no crime at all. Living in China for 12 years, I have never been a victim to any crime. Ironically, English is a mandatory subject in the Chinese curriculum, however maybe 5% of the general population could use English "competently". Odds are, you might not find anyone speaking proper English at all outside Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Tip: do not go to Afro-Chinese settlements in Guangzhou, it's the most dangerous place in China. No offence to Afro peoples but it's the reality.
Jesmin Shumi, MBA Finance and Economics & Music, Yunnan University of Finance and Economics (2019)
In my opinion, China is safe for tourist. I am living in Kunming from 2015 to till now. Undoubtedly, it's a great experience for me to stay and travel throughout China. I have lots of friends there; they are very favorable and willing to help at any time.
I want to share a part of my personal experience that helps me to believe that China is a safe country.
In 26th August 2015, I came to China. That was the first time I went out of my country, and I didn't know anything about this country. On the other side, my flight landed at 8:30 pm and I went out like 10 o'clock that time I was very much terrified because I didn't know where is my University and how long it will take. I didn't have any sim card or internet connection that's why I couldn't be able to see the map and one of the big problem was I didn't know their language. I can not explain, how much I was scared off. I was feeling better after way out because one Chinese people came to help me to fix taxi, but before I reached my university, it was uncertain for me that am I reached safely or not. After one hour like 11:30 pm arrived safely. Then I thought this country is secure for anyone.
Though there have different types of person, who may try to take benefits from foreigners because when I traveled to another city that time I was facing that problem but its number is deficient. The most important part is that people are very much gracious and favorable. The traditional danger is not a real concern for tourists traveling in China because they are genuinely very polite and try to avoid inconvenience.
There are lots of people who are not interested to visit China because of a lack of language skills; on the other hand, it's hard to find someone who speaks English. I would strongly recommend to travelers to carry a notebook and download Baidu translator that will help you to communicate with Chinese people
I've traveled to lots of country and China is one of the calmest, culturally developed and native countries. I highly recommend foreigners do not worry about imminency -- it is a very safe and secure place for the traveler, but always be ready for the uncertainty.
Prajod Chemmarathil Prasad, Love travelling and visiting the world, Virtually
Yes and No.
China is on a development spree like the world has never seen before. You know, Maglev (500 kmph, the fastest in the world) is only one of the trains used in China. It has gained more recognition than the SanFransisco and Japan one which are comparatively slower than Shanghai's. They have one of the largest roadways in the world surpassing the US's. They are more traffic crowded and that makes it very urbanly developed. China's major cities have a lot to offer, from various cuisines to modern infrastructure. It has a HDI score of 0.727 which is in the High development table. It is second on GDP after the United states but stays on the 92nd rank on the GDP per capita, only due to the poor population. China is also one of the few countries where the major cities have more than 1 airport, like, Beijing has 4 airports, the main one being Beijing-Capital International airport. Shanghai, has the Shanghai-Pudong (main) & the Shanghai-Hongqiao airport, so, travelling is not at all a big deal at all. The country is also home to technology companies like Huawei, Lenovo, etc. The largest buildings are also going to sprout up in China.
Robert Garmong, I've lived here for 7 years, speak decent Chinese, and read incessantly about it
There is essentially no violent crime in China. Of course it happens, but in 7+ years living here I've neither experienced it nor spoken with anyone who has. (I'm excluding the occasional drunken fights I've seen in the outdoor barbecue restaurants.)
What you will find is a huge amount of nonviolent crime: pickpocketing, fraud, and other forms of cheating. You definitely have to be on your toes here. I lost two cameras, an iPod Touch, and one wallet before I finally learned some of the key tricks to keeping my possessions in my pocket.
But to me, when you say "safe," I think in terms of violent crime. And in that sense, China is far and away the safest country I've ever visited.