Violent crime involving foreigners is very rare in China. The streets of the major cities are safe to walk day and night. Occasionally we hear stories of pickpockets but not often. Theft of items from hotels and cars is pretty much unheard. Gun control is strict and anyone who is not military or police cannot own a weapon. Crimes against foreigners are strongly punished and thus the deterrent is strong.
This is not to say China does not have its dangers. The main risks are in cultural differences in general safety. In the west we expect the government, corporations and those around us to look out for our goodwill. This is not the case in China. You must look after yourself and think about your own health and safety.
The dangers exist in crossing the street, getting too close to construction, stepping in a hole, getting burned by hot water at a tap and other things not so closely regulated.
Some safety suggestions:
Look both ways when crossing the street. Keep watching, people may not stop for red lights or they quickly turn right without stopping for pedestrians who may be in a crosswalk with a green light. Hold the hands of your children. Make sure they do not run into the road. Watch for bikes and cars driving on the sidewalk.
Food and water
While food poisoning is not common, if something looks, tastes or smells bad, then don't eat it! Although the food is good, you should avoid over eating at meals, especially oily or spicy dishes. Drink only bottled water, tea, soft drinks or beer. Our tours will give you unlimited bottled water in your vehicle. Ice cubes in drinks are normally fine.
The Great Wall
The Great Wall is huge and its construction and maintenance varies. We avoid taking clients to the most dangerous parts. However you must watch every step you take while walking on the wall. There are loose rocks, oversize steps and ledges with no handrails. I don't want to make it sound overly dangerous, as its fine for kids and adults, but caution is a must.
China really is a safe place to travel if you use your common sense. Make sure you have your own international travel insurance in case you have a problem. Also carry credit cards and your passport on you at all times, if you need to see a doctor you will need both.
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