Safety While Traveling in China

China is a very safe country – the chances of being involved in a violent mugging are extremely rare, and even pick-pocketing is uncommon. Still, there are occasional reports of travelers having their valuables lifted or having their bags cut open with razors. Occasionally whole suitcases or backpacks can be stolen from a bus or train. It’s not something you really need to worry about, but you should be aware of the possibility. In particular, you should be careful of any beggar children who swarm around you or attach themselves to you. Keep an eye on the pocket where your valuables are stored when they’re around.

General Safety and Security Advice

General safety tips that apply everywhere in the world should also be exercised in China, even though it is safer than many other destinations:

  • Try not to walk alone through dark, empty areas in cities during the night.
  • Make at least one photocopy of all your important documents (passport, visa, credit card, etc) and store them separately.
  • You should also have a list of emergency phone numbers such as the number to cancel your credit card in case of loss or theft and the number of your embassy.
  • Don’t flash your valuables around and don’t carry large amounts of money unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • It’s important to keep your bank card secure at all times, as this is likely to be your principal source of cash. Use a money belt if you don’t find them too uncomfortable.
  • If you were robbed, you should go to the police station to report the theft. You will need the police report to be able to make a claim on travel insurance.
  • Muggers have been known to occasionally target solo walkers on some of the more secluded hikes in China. It’s best to always trek with a partner if possible.
  • Read about common scams operating in China.