Is China safe for tourists?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 29, 2020 06:42 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 29, 2020 06:43 AM

Morning, everyone.

It’s 1:25 am in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province(southwest, near Tibet)

I am under the BRT, alone, after walking for half an hour, waiting for the night bus.

No, I don’t work at midnight. I just left one apartment of mine to another(older one) on foot,to lose weight, so that I can avoid sunshine.

It’s coming.

me and the driver. We are lonely.

No, I am not the only girl walking alone at this moment

That is not me

Every block, we have a uygur stall or restaurant selling BBQ like this, and a Uygur guy in my neighborhood told me he can make close to 800 a night. His major concern was not the Han suppression as you quorans imagine. He was very annoyed by the fact that my neighborhood is too poor and he can’t earn 600,000 a year like his Uyghur friend in Yulin neighborhood.

Mudassir Ali
- Feb 29, 2020 06:43 AM

Thanks for the A2A

Normally, I would say, “China is absolutely safe for tourists”, but then I realized that a Japanese is asking me to answer this question, lol. I may have to tweak a little bit. In general, China is probably one of the safest places I’ve been to: far safer than Mexico; generally safer than America, and safer than Canada, etc.

Violent Crimes

China is safe. There is no comparison. You do not have to worry about anybody suddenly pulling out a gun at you at any time of the day (*ahem* unlike America). You do not have to worry about homeless people that are clearly drug addicts that may assault you for no reason (unlike America, Mexico, and sometimes Canada). Violent crime is very low. It’s not as low as Japan’s, but it’s definitely far lower than most countries in the world.

I live in an upper middle class suburb of LA, but I’m going to be honest: I feel much safer walking the streets of Beijing at night than in the streets of my suburb at night.


This is one area that China is not so safe. Scams are abundant in touristy areas (although they are rarer in non-tourist locations). The most common one is the teahouse scam, where a group of English speaking locals “invite” you to a teahouse before billing you an exorbitant amount of money. Sometimes, taxi drivers may take the longer route or use other methods to rip you off.

In general, I would be very careful of anyone who approaches me in a tourist area. I would never buy anything from them, because I can 100% guarantee that you can find a shop selling the same items for much cheaper, but you’ll need a local to guide you there.

Traffic Safety

Japanese people will probably be horrified by Chinese driving! Japanese drivers are some of the most courteous I’ve ever met in the world; Chinese drivers are on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Honking happens nonstop (I didn’t hear any car honking during my week of stay in Shinjuku), and people run red lights all the time.

That being said, a lot of the traffic issue is mostly in your head. When you are crossing a street, be confident and keep walking. Drivers WILL honk and curse at you, but so long as you keep walking at the same pace (do not suddenly change directions, as that can throw people off), you will be fine. Drivers love to scare you by driving to you as close as possible, but they won’t actually run you over, so they’ll slam on the brakes if they get too close.

If you are riding in a taxi, just close your eyes if it gets too scary. Your driver knows what he is doing.

If you are driving a car, though (WHY?! Just why would you want to do that?), then I can’t help you. I would never drive in China.


This is the only area of China that’s really not safe and can’t be avoided. Although there are certainly days with blue skies (even in Beijing), on days when the air pollution is bad… it’s bad. Smog can be thicker than any fog that you’ve witnessed, and even walking for a few minutes will be very uncomfortable. Your eyes may suddenly start to tear up at all the pollution.

Pollution isn’t just air pollution, though. Food and water standards aren’t the best, either. Do not drink from tap water (not even boiled). Buy bottled water for that.

Try to eat at restaurants where lots of locals eat at to ensure safety. However, be aware that not even that may be enough. If you come from a country where food safety is hold to a very high standards, your stomach and immune systems may not be able to handle the food that local Chinese can stomach. The first time I visited China with a tour, a lot of the Westerners complained that they spent their first few nights on the toilets, even though their local tour guides ate the same food as them but were totally fine.


I would still say that China is safe, even for Japanese people. Your chances of being physically attacked is far less than if you would visit America. Traffic might seem scary and unsafe, but as long as you keep a cool head while crossing the street, and don’t drive a car yourself, you’ll be OK.

Pollution is the only dangerous thing that’s unavoidable, but I think you’ll be OK. Unless you have respiratory problems, then I’d recommend reconsidering going. But otherwise, a few days to a week’s stay in China is not going to negatively impact your health.

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