Asia Society

Staying Out of Trouble in China

If you are planning to visit China, you should know by now that some legislations enforced in the country are quite complex. First-time travelers may find themselves leaping over unforeseen hoops, have their travels constrained, advised to “report” their residence in the next 24 hours, and go through a lot of bureaucratic red tapes. One might find all these taxing, but you might as well follow the rules if staying out of trouble in China is your utmost priority. How are you supposed to conduct yourself as a traveler when in China?

Staying Out of Trouble in China

Let’s face it. There are a lot of laws being implemented in this Communist nation. However, it is evident that a lot of people, mostly the citizens, are not keen on following the rule of law. For instance, traffic laws are not conspicuous when you are on the road. It is a common sight that taxis get past patrol cars, overloaded trucks in major thoroughfares, and electric bicycles on the wrong side of the road. So you better be careful when you are crossing the streets or when you are on the road if you don’t want to find yourself getting involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Aside from the traffic laws, there are a lot of laws that are inconsistently enforced in the cities, towns and even villages. You are at the mercy of local officials who may or may not be scrupulous about Chinese laws. Just to be safe, here are some tips on staying out of trouble in China.

  • Always bring your passport with you.

This may be extra challenging, especially that there is a chance you will lose it. If that’s the case, we suggest that you bring a photocopy of your visa and your passport’s identification page instead. If it gets wet or ripped, you can always duplicate the original document. It is recommended that you visit an immigration consultant, if you are from there, for updating yourself on matters relating to visa’s etc prior to your travel as legislation can change with out notice and its better to be safe than sorry.

  • Do not transport drugs into and out of the country.

Some Western countries allow the use of recreational drugs. But in China, it is a big no-no. The country has zero forbearance regarding this matter, so do not bring recreational drugs at all cost. If you get caught, you might face execution.

  • Always be on your best behaviour.

Staying out of trouble in China involves being on your best behaviour at all times. Avoid public drunkenness, mouthing off a police officer, bribing a police officer, openly criticising the government, and of course, staying with an expired visa. There are a lot more dos and don’ts to follow when in China, so the best you can do is to research before setting foot in the country.