China is generally very safe, and per capita, one of the safest places in the world, however, westerners are often preyed upon by cheats and touts. Be especially cautious in the inner city and on the tourist-crowded routes.
Always ask for a receipt from a taxi driver so that you can complain if you have been cheated or for tracing purposes if you happen to leave your phone or camera behind in the taxi.
Make friends with the Chinese whenever you can. They love to meet foreigners and will make good tour guides. Just buy a small present as a small token of appreciation. They will be available 24/7 to help you when you get in trouble.
Sneaky tip: When visiting tourist attractions, hang around a group that has an English speaking guide if you cannot afford one!
Take care about meeting “students” who direct you to tea sampling shops. It is free to sample tea for locals, but for tourists… you should ask. In one incident, after sampling 5 types of tea with two “students”, a group of tourists were confronted with a bill for RMB 1,260 (126 Euro). They even produced an English Menu with the extortionate prices for sampling.
Bars, KTV and some beauty salons are largely places for prostitution (male or female) and often, paid through “bar bills” or “beauty treatments” that can easily top several hundred dollars if you let it.
The rule of thumb I use is the price is too good to be true, it’s generally fake. If the product (particularly food and