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Health & Safety in China

How to stay health and safe in China may be your first priority during your trip to China. To make sure you will enjoy a healthy and safety trip in China, here are some suggestions to help you enjoy a worry-free trip.

Health in China

Vaccination

Before you come to China, it’s better to get vaccines or medicines from your doctor (4-6 weeks before the trip will be perfect) to prevent illnesses you may get during the trip. Generally, except Yellow Fever vaccination (if you are arriving from a country with risk of Yellow Fever), China don’t require any other vaccinations for travelers.

However, it’s important to keep your routine vaccinations up to date. That may include Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Hepatitis B, measles (MMR), Varicella and Flu. It’s also suggested to get Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations for you can get them through contaminated food or water, regardless of where you are eating or staying. If you will stay for a long time and spend most time in the rural areas or outdoors, then you may need Japanese Encephalitis vaccination. Rabies is also recommended for children who love to play with animals or outdoor travelers who will have a higher risk to be bitten by animals. If you are going to visit rural places, like Auhui, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hainan and Yunnan, and if you are going to stay a lot of time outdoors or sleep outside, then you need to avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. At present, there is almost no malaria in China, however, take precautions are always better than no prepare.

Food & Drink

In China, tap water is not safe to drink directly, unless you boil the water first. Almost every hotel will supply water boiler for traveler, so if you’re going to drink the tap water, please drink after you boil it. Iced cubes made of tap water are also not drinkable. It’s very convenient to get bottled water in China, and most hotels will also provide bottled water to their clients. Carbonated drinks, hot coffee or tea and pasteurized milk are also good choices for travelers.

As for food, unclean or undercooked food may cause diarrhea or other diseases. So stick to safe food seems rather important in your trip. Thumb rules for choosing food: food is cooked and served hot; hard-cooked eggs; fruits and vegetables washed in clean water and peeled yourself; pasteurized dairy products. Street vendors are not recommended for fragile stomach. If you are kin to street food, please find sanitized places to eat.

Essential Methods to Keep Health

  • Prevent Insect Bites & Bug Bites: mosquitoes, fleas and ticks, etc. can spread certain diseases in China. To prevent bug bites, travelers can first get a vaccine for some certain diseases spread by these bugs in advance. When in the rural area in China where travelers are easier to get bitten, travelers can wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and hats to cover the exposed skin; use insect repellent; wear permethrin-treated clothing and gear; use a bed net when sleeping outdoors.
  • Keep Away from Animals: it’s better to keep away from animals for if they bite or scratch you, it may lead to serious illness, like rabies. Keep your eyes open when you are near dogs, bats, monkeys, snakes and sea animals like jellyfish. Once you are bitten or scratched by an animal, then you must wash the wound with soap and clean water immediately and go to see a doctor at once.
  • Bring Your Hand Sanitizer: wash hand with hand sanitizer whenever you touch something dirty can reduce your exposure to germs.
  • Avoid Sharing Body Fluids: many diseases, like HIV and Hepatitis B, are spread through body fluids, such as saliva and blood. Make sure you remember this in your trip.

Medical Care

If you need any medical care in your trip, then the first thing is that you need to get a list of the local hospitals at your destination. For our customers, you don’t have to worry about that, if you need any medical care, our tour guide will take you to the hospital and help you through the medical procedures. Then, check your travel insurance plan to check what kind of medical service will be covered by the insurance. Make sure the insurance plan cover the situation you may encounter in the trip. For independent travelers, translate your blood type, chronic conditions, allergies and generic names of the medications you are taking into Chinese in advance in case you will need them in the local hospital. Before your departure, make sure you bring enough medications for your trip (bring extra amount in case of a delay). Check with your doctor to see if there will need any other medicines for your trip in China.

Safety in China

China is a very safe country to visit. Comparing with other countries, like U.S. and some European countries, China is an extremely safe place. Crime rate is very low in China, and crimes conducted to foreigner travelers are exceedingly rare. In fact, the biggest threat you may encounter is traffic accidents.

Traffic Accident

Though traffic accident is the biggest threat when you visit China, the road death of China is still much lower than many other countries, like India. So don’t worry too much about this problem. If you travel with us – China Discovery, we will make sure your whole trip is safe and sound.

Basic road rules in China: for mainland China, driving is on the right-hand side of the road, while in Hong Kong and Macau, driving is on the left. Drivers are required to stop at red traffic lights in accordance with law. Seatbelts shall be worn when provided.

Here are some tips to avoid traffic accidents in China:

When you travel on foot, always check the traffic around, even if you cross road on green light, you need to check both sides of you to make sure there no cars.

If you take a bus or taxi, try to choose official taxi or public transportation and avoid overcrowded bus. China has many motorcycle taxis, and that’s not safe as car taxi, so try to avoid these motorcycles.

If you are going to hire a local driver, pleas hire a trained driver who is familiar with the area. Remember to wear your seatbelt and try to sit in the back seat of the car.

Notice: if you encounter any traffic accidents, if seriously injured, then please call 120 to the emergency center first, then call 122 to report the traffic accident and the traffic police will arrive at the scene in several minutes.

Theft

Though violent crimes are extremely rare to foreigner traveler, you still need to pay attention to theft act. Cash, valuables, jewelries, watches, cellphones and cameras are all targets for the pickpockets. Crowded streets, crowded restaurants, bus stations and railway stations are favored by the pickpockets. Travelers need to take care of the possessions especially in those places. Take your bag with you when you purchase, eat or go to the toilet. Don’t put any valuables in your backpack which is easily cut by pickpockets. You can carry a small bag in front of you and put valuables in there. If you don’t have any small bags, just carry your backpack in a reverse way (see the picture on the right).

Notice: if you encounter any theft, please call 110 and inform the police. Keep the theft evidence and you will need it when you back home to claim on the insurance.

Frequent Asked Questions about Travel Health & Safety

  • 1. Are Tibet's streets safe?

  • 2. How to avoid and treat the high altitude sickness?

  • 3. In case of medical emergency please let me know what back up plan you have?

  • 4. Please let me know what arrangements you have in place in the event that our vehicle breaks down during the trip. What back up plan do you have?

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