10 Tips On How To Stay Safe And Healthy While In China

I been lucky enough to travel to quite a few places around the world including many cities in China, but I also experienced and seen some unfortunate situations during my time. Here are my top tips for how to stay safe and healthy during your trip to China!

#1 Don’t drink the tap water


The tap water in almost all parts of China is undrinkable. If you plan on drinking any tap water, you have to boil it before drinking. But fear not, water bottles are available everywhere from local convenient stores to vending stations.

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Be careful of iced beverages as well! Try to only drink bottled or canned drinks, unless you’re sure that the ice has been made with clean water.

#2 Be careful of street food


One of the great pleasures of traveling is eating new local food. Street food is a big part of the food culture in China and it would be a crime not to try some. However, be smart when consuming street food. Pick items that are cooked thoroughly and have no risk of uncooked meat or raw eggs. Also before you eat, make sure to wash or sanitize your hands. Even if the food is clean, if you’re eating on the street who knows what your hands picked up throughout the day.

#3 Wash your hands often


Not only before you eat, but in general try to wash your hands often. Major Chinese cities are one of the most populated places in the world. With so many people passing through the same areas every day, you never know what you touched or who you touched.

#4 Carry tissues


This is a must! The majority of washrooms in China do not provide toilet paper, sometimes not even in major malls or public areas. Same thing with if you’re going to be eating street food or even at a cafeteria style food court, it’ll be hard to find a vendor that will give you paper napkins. In any case, there are probably going to be tons of situations where you’ll need to wipe something off yourself, so make sure to carry a few packs of tissues.

#5 Bring sanitary wipes

sanitary wipes

Baby wipes, hand sanitizer, etc… anything you can use to clean. You should always wipe your utensils before you use them. You can use it to clean your seat or in general wipe yourself off after a sweaty day outside.

#6 Wear closed toe shoes

converse shoes

Although in major cities the streets get cleaned regularly. Due to the sheer amount of people in these cities, it’s safer and cleaner to wear close toe shoes. Protect your feet from the grime of the road and also from passersby who might decide to step on you.

#7 Medicine


Pack some of the basic over-the-counter medicine like, Advil, diarrhea medicine, cold medicine, fever reducers etc…. If you have other medical conditions that require you to bring in prescription drugs, make sure you check with the customs regulations before packing them.

#8 Medical Record


In the case of emergencies, you should always carry a copy of medical records, even if you feel you may not need it. If anything were to happen, the doctors would be able to see your medical history, blood type, immunization records, allergies, etc… readily.

#9 Don’t take “Black Taxis”

black taxis

In China, you might be approached by random people in their cars offering you a cheap ride while you’re looking for a taxi. In Chinese, they’re called “hei che” or black taxis. Usually, they are locals trying to make extra money if your destination is on the way. Although you may see many other locals taking them, if you are new and unfamiliar don’t go for it. It’s generally not safe, they’re not regulated. You never know what will happen and you will have to negotiate the price if you don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re being asked to pay 100 yuan for a 5-minute ride.

#10 Take care of your belongings


Like in many popular tourist areas around the world, theft is very prevalent. You probably have seen videos online of slick pickpocketed stealing cellphones and wallets out of back pockets and wallets with ease. Don’t fall victim! Always keep your belongings close to you, and in a bag that can be zipped up or firmly closed.

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Monica Guan

Monica is a Canadian-Chinese travel blogger and marketer that has spent time in beijing, nanjing, guangzhou, shenzhen, hangzhou,and xitang, shanghai. When she isn't watching YouTube videos, you can find her writing or creating videos.
Monica Guan