Wherever you travel, you need to take safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings. China is no different. Here are the four most important things you need to remember while traveling China. Safe travels!
1. “110” is the “911” Emergency Equivalent
In an emergency, the local number to call is “110”, however you will need a Chinese speaker to help you as the hotline doesn’t cater for English speakers. In the case of a crime, call “110” from the crime scene to contact the local police. If your passport has been stolen, report it to the local police station and then apply for a new passport and a new visa.
2. Most Hospitals Ask for Cash Before Any Treatment
In an emergency, consider taking a taxi or other vehicle to the nearest hospital. Ambulances are usually slow and lack sophisticated equipment and trained staff.
Hospital admission fees must be paid first and usually with cash. Be sure to ask medical staff to use sterilized equipment to avoid contracting diseases such as hepatitis. Medical supplies, including syringes, are commonly reused in Chinese hospitals. You may be charged for new needles.
3. Tourists Are Targets for Petty Theft
China is generally a safe country for travelers, but pickpockets do target popular tourist destinations. Items in backpacks, back pockets, shoulder bags or bags sitting beside you are the most targeted, particularly in crowded streets and transport. Be vigilant at all times. Avoid traveling alone if you are unfamiliar with your surroundings and never open your door to a stranger until they have clearly identified themselves.
4. Over 180,000 Protests Take Place Every Year
Violent crime is not common, but protests can erupt without warning and can lead to violence. More than 180,000 protests are said to take place each year and Chinese authorities spend more on combating the civil unrest than it does on its own military. Local incidents are usually related to protests over land seizures by local government, employment disputes, environmental damage, and human rights abuse among others. Should you find yourself amidst a protest, try to stay calm and move away as quickly as possible.