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China Health & Safety Advice

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Standards of medical services in China vary from place to place. Normally the medical services are provided by local hospitals, but major cities have now good clinics with international staff. Medical insurance is strongly recommended for all visitors. If you get seriously seek, the best way is to call the insurance company that will direct you to the nearest reliable medical facility.

Tap water should always be boiled or sterilized before drinking, brushing or for making ice. Bottled water is recommended (beware of "fake" bottled water sometimes sold by street vendors at a bargain price). Cook all vegetables and peel fruits.

Hygiene standards at restaurants vary. You should generally avoid meals that are reheated and not freshly cooked. The hygiene at street vendors selling meat and seafood meals is a particular concern, especially during hot days, as they usually donít have refrigerators.


Violent crimes against foreign visitors are uncommon in China. Petty crime is relatively low, but travelers may become targets of small thieves and pickpockets. The highest risks of having your valuables stolen are in crowded places like train and bus stations, public toilets, buses and trains, particularly the long distance ones when. Travelers should take normal precautions like leaving valuable things in hotel room safe (almost all hotels for tourists provide safes in rooms), carry only small amounts of cash or use a money belt, if possible, don't travel alone. Generally speaking, China is no more dangerous than any major western city.

Tourists should be aware of dangers posed by traffic in larger cities. Cars, although they should, donít yield to pedestrians and one should be very careful when crossing the street. Drivers also often ignore rules - speeding, negligent driving and even driving in the wrong lanes as well as failure to yield to pedestrians are causes of many road accidents in China.

There are some common scams targeted to tourist that foreigners should be aware of: luring tourists to "art galleries" and selling them fake art pieces, women that invite single men to bars, cafes or teahouses and then make them pay huge bills, inviting tourist for tea sampling that turns out to cost hundreds of dollars, etc.

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The Great Wall at Mutianu near Beijing, China Forbidden City (view from the Jingshan Park), Beijing, China Lama Temple, Beijing, China The Great Wall (Ju Yong Pass), Beijing, China 

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