If you are planning a trip to China there are some things that you need to be aware of. We have provided some tips on how to have a hassle free trip to China, and things that you should know about before you go.
- In China crime against foreign nationals is rare. Please be aware however, that there have been increasing reports of petty theft both in major cities and across the countryside. Travelers should be vigilant and watch out for pickpockets, special care should be taken when visiting street markets or crowded venues.
- China is a mono-political system. Chinese law dictates that you should have prior approval for any political demonstrations or public dissent. Violators have been imprisoned or deported in the past. It is recommended that you do not participate in any politically related forums while in the country.
- If you are in Beijing you should be wary of using pedicabs as there has been an increase of muggings and demands for money by pedicab drivers. If you do use a pedicab, make sure that you have negotiated a fee before using the service. Female foreign nationals may be at higher risk than males.
- If you are traveling around China by car, please be aware that there are generally lower driving standards than in western countries. This has lead to some serious accidents. There have also been cases of ferries sinking due to overcrowding. Make sure that you are traveling with a reputable organization and that you take all appropriate precautions.
- Drug related offences carry severe penalties. In some cases a drug offence can be dealt with by execution. While in China do not partake in drug related activities.
- Most foreign nationals entering china require a visa. If you plan to stay in the country longer than 6 months you may be required to take an HIV test.
- From 1 January 2013 nationals from more than 45 countries (including the UK) will be able to visit both Beijing and Shanghai, whilst in transit to a third destination, for up to 72 hours visa-free.
- 72-hour Visa-free Transit Policy is valid for passport holders from the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar.
- Do not bring cold meats or fresh food into the country, as customs regulations forbid their import. If you purchase any jewelry, gold or silver ornaments, or cultural items while in the country, they may be classified as “cultural treasures” and confiscated upon leaving.
- Do not bring any films, tapes or printed materials that may be classified as “detrimental to the society and economy of China” into the country. Certain books, such as guide books and reference materials have been confiscated in the past because they do not include Taiwan as a part of the Peoples Republic of China.
If you require more information about traveling in china or international medical insurance policies, or you would like to receive a free quote, please contact one of our expert advisers.