Safety [edit this]
Compared with many other countries, China is considered one of the safest countries in the world for personal security. But petty crime has increased in recent years, especially in and around the major cities.
However, serious crime against foreigners is relatively rare. Petty crimes such as pick-pocketing and purse snatching occur somewhat frequently. Especially in crowded areas such as stations, markets, shopping areas and sightseeing destinations, so it is wise to be careful with your personal belongings in public areas.
Following are some precautions to avoid possible problems:
- Do not show off your money in public.
- Always keep valuables in a safety deposit box at your hotel instead of leaving them in your room.
- Don't wear any jewelry, which might draw a thief's attention.
- Never wear a bag on your street-side shoulder in order to avoid becoming a target of the "snatch-and-ride".
- Never carry your passport/visa, credit cards, traveler's schedules or other travel documents in your shoulder bag.
- Ensure that you are aware of the values of different local banknotes to avoid being deceived.
- Be particularly cautious about your belongings in crowded areas such as local festivals, markets, tourist sites, railway, bus stations, on trains and buses.
- Always let your hotel or guides know where you are on your free days during your tour.
- Respect the customs of the local ethnic groups.
- Do not quarrel with anyone during your trip.
- Any disputes should be reported to your local guides for resolution.
- Avoid traveling in any areas or sites that are not open to foreigners.
Edit by: Vincent
Chinese Currency [edit this]
The Chinese currency is the RenMinBi (RMB), generally pronounced Yuan in written form, but spoken as Kuai. Paper money available in RMB1, RMB5, RMB10, RMB50 and RMB100. Today, China is suffering from numerous counterfeit notes. Fake notes are sometimes easily recognisable since the paper feels different and the Chinese will check several time when they receive a RMB50 or RMB100 to make sure it is not a fake. Old and tattered notes can be difficult to exchange so try not to accumulate them.
Most of the time, vendors and taxi drivers ask for a small note when you pass them a RMB100 note, sometime they cannot change it and sometimes are not willing to. So it is a good idea to stack up on RMB10 bills. If you have any problems with a note, exchange it for a new one or small change at a bank. A counterfake note will be confiscated.
Travellers cheques are the best way to carry money around in China, the exchange rate is fixed and it can be replaced if lost or stolen. Cheques can be cashed at the major branches of the Bank of China. Credit cards like Visa, Mastercard and American Express are useful in major tourist cities too. They can be used in most mid range to top range hotels, and some big department stores. You can get cash advances in the head branches of the Bank of China, however, a high commission will be charged (four percent).
Foreign currency can be changed in most banks and hotels. Exchange rates do not vary that much, so hotels are often the most straightforward place to exchange. Keep the exchange receipt with you in case you want to exchange any remaining RMB you have left over when you leave.
Edit by: Vincent