Don’t Leave Valuables in Your Hotel

If your hotel offers a lockbox you should use it. Typically hotels in China will not be responsible for items left in your hotel room.

Be Wary of Pickpockets Pickpocketing is a common crime against travelers in China. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t keep all of your money and cards in a single location.

Bring Your Own Medications In larger cities you can usually find what you need, but the quality and potency may vary from what you are used to. It’s also no fun to need something only to find out the pharmacies are currently out, or the price is outrageous.

Don’t Bring Illegal Drugs Drug smuggling is a capital offence in China, don’t risk it. If you’re unsure of the legality of a particular medicine check with the Chinese Embassy before your trip.

Don’t Drink the Water The water in China does not adhere to the cleanliness standards of the United States, Canada, and the European Union. Stick to bottled water, or risk an unpleasant trip.

Be Careful of Food That is Not Kept Hot or Cold Street vendors and smaller restaurants probably do not keep hot food hot and cold food cold. This can lead to bacterial growth and give you food poisoning.

Look Out for Counterfeit Goods A Rolex for $10? A Mont Blanc pen for $5? Counterfeit goods are rampant throughout China, and while it may not cause you problems in China it will when you return home.

Learn to Bargain Prices in most places (except department stores and supermarkets) are seldom fixed, and as a foreign visitor you are likely being quoted a price several times higher than the actual selling price of the item. Learn to bargain and you’ll get prices closer to the price paid by the locals.

Be Wary of Toilets Toilets in American fast food chains are usually clean, and may even include toilet paper. Other toilets, not so much, and it’s always a good idea to keep some toilet paper handy.

Be Aware of the Taxi Meter Taxi drivers may “forget” to start the meter, thus leaving you with a potentially high fare at the end of your ride. Always make sure the driver starts the meter at the beginning of your trip and pay the exact amount shown.