How Safe Is China for Travel?

China
Safety Index:
66

China, officially known as the People’s Republic of China is a huge country located in Eastern Asia.

The country is actually about the same size as the United States of America, and it has the world’s largest population.

In total, it borders 14 nations: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam to the south; Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan to the west; Russia and Mongolia to the north and North Korea to the east.

This impressive number of neighboring states is equaled only by China’s neighbor to the north, Russia.

The world’s oldest continuous civilization offers a unique mix of history, culture and contemporary technology: expect breathtaking sections of the Great Wall, temple-topped mountains, forgotten villages, absolutely unique and beautiful Buddhist grottoes, and ancient desert forts.

Most major cities in China are extremely safe.

Violent crime remains rare and it is generally safe even for women walking alone at night.

There are some scams, as in any country and petty crimes can happen especially in crowded areas.

However, Chinese people are very warm and ready to help, so it is likely that your trip will end without any incidents whatsoever.

Warnings & Dangers in China

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Overall, China is safe to travel to, but crime rates vary depending on the area of the country. Some cities are very safe, while in some there are areas that are best avoided, but in general, you should be wary of petty theft and look closely after your belongings which will minimize the chances of anything going wrong.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Taxis can be unsafe in China, because it is filled with unlicensed taxi vehicles that don't use meters and might try to rip you off. Always negotiate everything in advance and never pay upfront. Transportation stations are also risky, as they are known to attract criminals, often at the ticket booth, as do overnight train cars and Trans-Siberian express lines.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

There is high risk of pickpockets in China. They frequently operate in packs by having one member distract you while another steals your wallet or purse.Take extreme caution when in China, be twice as vigilant in Chine as you'd be anywhere else - don‘t leave anything valuable in your back pockets. If you do encounter a pickpocket, be very loud in order to attract attention and, hopefully, the police.Thieves in China also tend to operate in restaurants, so keep your bag on your lap.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

There are threats from earthquakes happening, but they are typical for non-tourist areas. In southern parts of China, especially around Yangtze river, there's a risk of flooding or landslides due to heavy rain during the rainy season. Other risks are typhoons along the southern and eastern coastlines, and extremely high air pollution.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : LOW

China on the whole is extremely safe. Crime against foreigners is rare, and violent crime, and incidents such as mugging and rape, against foreigners is extremely rare.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in China. Even though foreigners haven’t been targeted, these attacks may be executed in places frequented by visitors. You should take particular care during national holidays.Most attacks take place in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region and, according to the Chinese government, are carried out by Uyghur separatists with possible links to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : HIGH

Like in any other tourist destination, China is a place where there it's likely you'll get scammed or someone will try to scam you. It is actually extremely likely. Have your wits with you and double check your change or try to use small bills.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

China is safe for solo women travelers. Just use your common sense and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid wearing purses and do not walk alone or ride in taxis at night.

So... How Safe Is China Really?

China is a huge country with extreme variations in crime rates depending on the area.

Violent crime rates are mainly low in this country, but it is advised to avoid some areas.

Petty theft is common and expected, mostly near tourist attractions, Beijing International Airport, expat bars at night or street markets.

Yuyuan Garden, a major tourist and shopping area in Shanghai can be a risky spot when it comes to pickpocketing.

Avoid carrying anything in your pockets or purses in general.

The petty crimes seem to be on an increase during February (Chinese New Year), and only rarely do they turn serious, with reports appearing every now and then of violence or committed against tourists.

Another issue is that you must carry your passport with you at all times when you visit China since there are random checks performed on tourists.

The tricky thing is that when you carry your passport around, there is a greater chance of it being stolen, so be very careful when carrying it.

Another common issue is beggars, who may turn aggressive or sometimes follow you for a block or more even if you choose to disregard them.

Child begging is another problem in China, and there is a general suspicion that the country‘s high rate of missing children has to do with this fact.

Useful Information

  • Visas - Visa is required when traveling to China. Your passport needs to be valid for at least six months after the expiry date of your visa. Citizens from 51 nations (among which are US, Brazil, Canada, France, the UK and Australia) can stay in Beijing for 72 hours without a visa as long as it is a layover, they are traveling outside of China, and have a ticket out of Beijing. The similar thing applies for Shanghai. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
  • Currency - Renminbi or "yuan" is the official currency in China. ATMs are widely used, but credit cards are not as commonly accepted and used as you would expect.
  • Weather - The climate in China varies depending on the area of the country, since it is massive. Rainy season generally lasts from February to September, and July and August are scorching hot. The best months to visit China are September and October. Places like Xinjiang, which are usually extremely hot in the summer and still a bit too cold in spring, are in perfect season.
  • Airports - Beijing Capital International Airport is the busiest airport by passenger traffic in China and the second busiest airport in the world. Other major airports are located in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to China, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

China Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -3° C
Feb -1° C
Mar 6° C
Apr 15° C
May 21° C
Jun 25° C
Jul 27° C
Aug 26° C
Sep 21° C
Oct 14° C
Nov 5° C
Dec -1° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
251221273031302619104
Low
°C
-8-608141922211580-6
High
°F
364154708186888679665039
Low
°F
182132465766727059463221

Where to Next?

29 Reviews on China

  1. A
    Anonymous says:

    great

    Very nice, safe in general.

  2. A
    Anita Hesslar says:

    Tianjin Polytechnic University

    Wow! This could be one of the most useful blogs We have ever come across on the subject. Actually a fantastic article! I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  3. G
    Gregory Rhimes says:

    A mixed bag

    While China is not the safest place to travel, if you respect the laws, you will not have much to worry about. At this time though, I do not recommend visiting as there is a lot of problems going on there politically. I went back in 2010 and again in 2012 for work. I loved it there but at the time, things were a bit different.

  4. Great article

    Love China and the people! Great article, I’m planning a trip this 2020 summer.

    1. B
      BE AWARE OF THE DANGER IN 2020 says:

      Don’t go! Haven’t you heard about the virus! It’s contagious and it already killed more than 41 people! And I think over 33 million people are affected!

      1. D
        Dean Todd says:

        Amazing place!

        Just come
        back From Beijing was there for Christmas and New year,
        What a amazing country!
        Travelling in Beijing was easy, taxi drivers had a machine that spoke in English,
        I travelled a lot on the tube, sooo easy! Again all in English as well!
        They have a lot
        of Green Battery powered vehicles!
        More than in New Zealand! i was very impressed!
        Food …. oh my god the restaurants!
        They show London, Paris, Auckland, New York! up totally! the food was amazing, the actual restaurant establishment…. well they put the above countries to shame.
        The people were very warm!
        I had a shocking experience at the Great wall, some Chinese blokes wanted Photos of me with them….. they never seen a white fella before! funny! and strange at the same time.
        Shopping for clothes and gifts was easy and enjoyable.
        Would i go again? To right already booked for my birthday!
        Go! its a amazing place!

        1. Your experience

          All races and skin colors have traveled to China and especially Beijing and the Great Wall. I think they wanted you to feel special.

      2. A
        Anonymous says:

        ITS CALLED THE CORONAVIRUS !

        1. A
          Anonymous says:

          It’ll be gone soon, this article is for overall travel

      3. Yes, the coronavirus origanated in Wuhan, China.

      4. Beautiful, just follow rules and precautions

        Aside from the Chinese government, China is a fairly safe place to visit. If you follow the rules and avoid doing risky things, you’ll most likely be fine.

    2. *
      ***CHINA says:

      LOL HOW IS THAT TRIP TREATING YA ??? XDD)))))

      ya china is a wonderful place… you can get arrested for thinking the wrong thing, if you are a black resident or tourist there you will be refused service, food, and room and board. You may potentially be held as a bargaining chip to get criminal CCP members back from abroad. lOL shame on the journalist and this article !!

  5. C
    Ckaizen says:

    Very safe to travel especially major cities.

    Malaysian woman, lived in Beijing for almost 10 years. Apart from fake money incident never got pick pocketed or experienced any crimes. Safe to walk home even past midnight, 3~4am in the morning. Ripping off tourist is normal everywhere in the world, always ask first before committing to anything.

    1. L
      Love Asia! says:

      I love Asia!

      I had the same experience. I absolutely love Beijing!! My daughters and I walked to our apartment after karaoke at 4am and felt very safe. It’s a beautiful place with many beautiful people. My daughter has lived there for 3 years and loves it.

  6. Beggars issue

    For the beggar issue, just ignore them! They prefer to beg foreigners(generous and know nothing about the place) and women(sympathy). When you see them on the street, do not make eye contact, just walk like there is no one there. If they are on the subway(sometimes happen in Shanghai, but policies have made to stop these), IGNORE them! They might come very close, just act like you are blind and deaf.

  7. Safe! Warming and so cool

    Oh my !
    The buildings are sooo cool! I am a carpenter so a big wow!
    The Forbidden city was out of this world!
    Went to a mall, 11 storey!
    3 were just for food!
    People in Beijing and Shanghai.. warm Hospitable!
    Never had a negative experience at all! !!
    Food was very affordable!
    Travelling i found easy!
    Loves taking the tube was fun!
    Taxi was cheap, Overall thoroughly enjoyed my time there!

  8. M
    Marshall says:

    Love China and Chinese!

    The infrastructure and skyscraper in China are so so amazing and surprising to me!!! United States is way behind many years…..

    The high-speed railway can drive at almost 200miles/hr while the full water in a cup will not spill out!! So amazing. What if California has that railway between SF and LA.!!!

    People are very friendly and warmly. Unlike US, the downtown in their big cities are extremely safe for anyone – even women and children alone walk there is normal, because Chinese crowd likes evening life. I cannot imagine a country which is more safe than China.

  9. Water will not spill out?Tell you what. Even a small coin will not fall down

  10. F
    Florence Gibbs says:

    This needs to be updated!

  11. J
    Jessica says:

    Some advices

    If you will use China’s Alipay and WeChat for mobile payment, you only need to bring a mobile phone when you go out, you don’t need to bring a wallet, and you don’t need to worry about fake money and pickpockets, and then you will find that everything becomes very serious In terms of cars, you can use Didi taxi, a taxi software similar to Uber, so that you will not be charged more.

  12. Virus Factory China

    virus factory China Chinese virus corona No 1 Risk Place in the world No 1 Fraud Duplicate Country

    1. Very safety and friendly

      you stupid thing, have you been to China and LIVE for a time? China is a very safe country! the fact that talk doesn’t need to pay makes you so shortsighted

      1. R
        Revealer says:

        China culprit

        China is a country of copycat, they like to copycat products of standard brands and they are merciless killers of animals

    2. You are a moron Maddy. Get out and see the world 🌎 and out of your moms basement. China is amazing 😉

  13. M
    Muhammad says:

    Dangerous

    Might be safe if you are communist and follow the laws. If not, bad, bad time. They will cut your head right off.

    1. China will be the best place you visit

      Go back to derkaderkastan Muhammad as in Muslim countries they stone people and if a woman is raped they kill her because it’s somehow her fault. China is amazing. Glad they keep the religious garbage out

  14. E
    Emperor of china says:

    Not safe they will put u in jail for espionage
    Don’t believe this site

  15. China is safest country on earth

    This site and some of the commenters are pure b/s fantasy. I reside in China as an expat. This is the safest country on earth: no guns, no knives, no drugs, no gangs, no rapes. None of the dangers noted on this site are present. Pickpocketing is extremely rare and will never be a danger to your safety should you ever be so unfortunate. China has defeated the covid entirely: the only cases currently are those brought by foreigners! The only danger a foreigner may face is the traffic: due to your ignorance of the rules and customs. Behave civilly, show respect, and you will be entirely safe anywhere any time.

  16. Z
    Zoya bharach says:

    one of best country in the world, where I went, lots of love from pakistan

Rated 4 / 5 based on 29 user reviews.

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