Is it safe at night in China?
Ray Williams, lives in China (2014-present)
Originally Answered: How safe is China at night?
I live in China, in a fairly large city but nowhere near the ‘mega cities’ like Beijing or Shanghai.
Let me put it this way.
In my small town back in the US I would go for early evening runs. The sun was still mostly up and the streetlights hadn’t even turned on yet. I was on edge the entire time, wouldn’t even wear headphones. I was constantly checking my surroundings. Probably made me run faster.
In China I have walked home from KTV at 2 am in the morning and never had the slightest sense of being in danger. I’m not saying it is a great idea to do that. But if I, as a woman, feel safe enough to walk alone in the middle of the night for the better part of an hour, it’s safer than most places.
Keep your normal street smarts about you and you will be fine.
(Also you can call a cab directly to you using the ‘call a taxi’ feature on the app WeChat.)
Peter Herfort, lives in China (2009-present)
Crime in China
Since 10 years I am living my fancy life in China and never was afraid anywhere! Not.even.once! Folks, here is experience totally speaking out of me and I won‘t hold back!
China is one of the safest countries in the world in terms of crime rates. I lived in cities like Ningbo, Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen, as a tourist visited many more places like Hunan Province, Inner Mongolia, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. In my experience all these places are safe.
Unlike in the US, people in China are not allowed to own weapons, this interesting fact you probably might know already.
Gangster‘s fancy hobbies like prostitution, pornography, gambling and drug trafficking are also illegal, which prevents the traditional fields of organized crime from becoming public for open season and the Communistic Party is doing a lot for crime prevention.
In addition, many nasty crimes can and will be punished with death penalty, this includes murder, drug trafficking and rape. In these circumstances, China is more than safe
Crime against foreigners is very uncommon. And acts of violence against foreigners, such as rough robbery and rape, occur only in the rarest cases and I never even heard of one case in my surroundings.
I am a German and I would think twice to let my wife at night walk alone home from train-station, which is a 20 min walk per foot in my small German hometown. China is a different animal and completely incomparable with Germany. A twenty minutes walk home 3am in Ningbo? No problem at all! Be my guest and enjoy your walk home alone! Even as a female.
Picture: view from my home‘s balcony.
Pickpockets usually work in crowded areas, such as the public bus, in tourist centers or train stations. Unfortunately Guangzhou is somewhat famous for pickpocketing, but not for hard crimes. As a foreigner or tourist it is advised not to carry a lot of cash when entering the public and crowded places.
Although once my mobile phone was quietly stolen from my pocket while standing in traffic bus and I recognized it missing during getting off the bus, anyway I never felt threatened in any way.
China is much safer than all other countries I know.
See you in China
Damien Defranco, Serial Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, Consultant & Mentor
Overall, China is extremely safe, even at night.
China in my opinion is one of the safest countries in the world.
China puts in a lot of extra effort into tourists protection, and safety then they do their own citizens. A lot of work, and money goes into tourism.
Tourist areas in China have the highest police presence. With many really popular areas having police posts and stationed people at almost every intersection.
China also has a very friendly attitude towards foreigner visitors. It’s called positive discrimination.
There are a few exceptions;
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1.If you get drunk and cause a fight/scene
2.If you cheat/scam someone or steal
3.If you are spewing out racist remarks
4.If you are involved in any drug selling, trafficking, etc
Don’t do any of that, and you’ll be fine.
The only thing you’ll ever have to worry about, is pick pockets, and that’s rare on itself. And getting run over by a car, or bus if you decide to Jay walk. And your basic scams that are everywhere. Once you understand the scams, they are all avoidable.
China overall is very safe everywhere as a tourist, even in non tourist areas. But more so more safe in tourist areas.
Guns don’t really exist in most of China. Only military, private security, certain government, and triads (only when they need it), and licensed hunters have access to guns. Low level criminals, gangs, street thugs, and regular citizens have 0 guns. China is very strict on guns. You don’t have to worry about triads as a tourist. They’re very friendly and don’t get involved with that level of criminal activity. In fact, a triad member would most likely protect a tourist if a tourist was in danger from another local. It’s in their best interest.
China is full of cameras, more so in tourist areas. I’ve had two phones pick pocketed since 2010, and both times it was caught on multiple cameras each instance. Police were able to catch one of them. Police will go the extra mile to help a foreigner/tourist out more so than a local.
Even at night these cameras work perfectly.
I have been in and out of China myself more times than I can count since 2010. I have factories, warehouses, retail stores, and even rural farm land there now. I have lots of friends, business partners, and staff/employees there.
I’ve visited every region, every major city, every tourist city, every business city. And many areas over the last 8 years.
There are certainly some areas less safe than others, as is with all countries. But generally, China is very safe at night.
Violence just doesn’t really exist as long as you don’t start it. You are more apt to get hit by lightning 3 times in a row, then win the lottery, then give birth to 10 kids at once then you are of getting hurt by a knife or gun.
You can go out just about anywhere at night, in any major city, any tourist city, or any business city. Whether it’s 11pm, 3am, 5am, and you’ll be very safe.
If you don’t go purposely looking for trouble, trouble isn’t going to find you.
Stuart Bunt, Professor of Neuroscience/anatomy (1996-present)
I just got back from Guangzhou, population about 22million, my wife and I walked around often late at night, including through some seedy backstreets where they were loading containers. Never felt scared or worried, partly because the streets are ALWAYS busy, so there were lots of people walking around, but also because Chinese people are not stupid, there is much more sense of community. If someone mugs someone it means they too will be less safe. If they break a glass window they know someone will have to pay to repair it.
This may be both a Confucian and Communist thing, with much emphasis on community. You see it across Asia from Viet Nam to Japan. In many of these countries there are push bikes left around that you can hire. When this was introduced to Melbourne (I am Australian) the bikes were thrown in the river, stuck up trees. Eventually the company was told to stop as the bikes were creating too many problems, This is why we cant have nice things!
There is an emphasis on community and mutual and self respect versus the emphasis on individuality and competition. Apart from the Oligarchy there is generally a flatter income structure in many of these countries. In most (outside of Japan) there has been a rapid steady growth in income from a low base which also keeps people happy. The destruction of union power in the West is leading to greater and greater inequality. People are bombarded with media emphasising wealth and individual success. Margaret Thatcher famously said “there is no such thing as society”.
The Western system has its advantages, it can lead to greater creativity and personal freedom but at the loss of the freedom to feel safe, to walk anywhere at night, to leave your wallet on a table and for it to be there when you get back. Both systems have pros and cons but have to say at the moment it looks like the “socialist” systems are working better for most people. But it comes at the cost of great state control.
It is interesting that the most successful Western countries by most social measures (number in prison, education and health etc.) are the Scandinavian countries with a rather conservative, monocultural, tightly controlled capitalist system with high levels of social cohesion and high taxation/high government spending.
We waste so much time and effort in the West on police, prisons, graffiti removal, repairing vandalised bus shelters, putting guards and razor wire around power stations, anything of value. This is even more obvious in the South American Countries and South Africa where anything of even the slightest value is protected by razor wire, CCTV cameras and electric fences. The common denominator is the huge income disparities and the emphasis on “unrestricted capitalism”, the corruption this leads to and poor government control. The USA is rapidly heading the same way.
Ervis Micukaj, Living in China since September 2013.
I live in Shanghai.
Shanghai is VERY safe at night.
Since September 2013 I have had different nights I have gone out with friends. Some times very late (I pulled a couple of times when I did go to work without sleeping, I do not recommend it any longer), some times only until 22.
Never ever I felt fear going back home.
There is police roaming everywhere.
There are cameras everywhere.
I have seen plenty of ladies / girls walking or riding home late at night.
Plenty of old ladies taking their grandsons or dogs for a walk and no one cares about them.
Why would anyone be bothered or concerned?
There is ONLY 3 things you need to worry about:
Athey happen like in any other country
Bfocus more on your phone, rather than your wallet (fewer and fewer people have a wallet with them now in China)
2.Streets — Ebikes / Bikes / Cars
Cpeople riding or driving and their lackadaisical interest in the street rules can make for surprises. Day or night, same behavior
Dimitri Vallette, Director of Events at Mars Media (2014-present)
I have been living in Shanghai for three years, and one word I would most likely use to describe the city is safe.
Before moving to China, I was living in my hometown of ~4,400 inhabitants in the north part of France. One may think that it would be pleasant to go out at night, and have a walk. It isn’t.
Whenever I would leave my home, and ride a bike to the gym, I would constantly wonder if I would meet those little groups of 15-year-old kids who like to play gangsters in the city when their curfew should be at 22:00. Despite living in a small city, I didn’t feel safe at all.
Now, this isn’t only about my hometown. I have traveled a lot over the years, and I didn’t feel safe in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, London, Manila and so on…
Shanghai, however, is the safest city I have ever been to, and I can’t wait to go to Japan because I’ve heard it’s even safer. Shanghai has a great nightlife, and while I was a bit skeptical about going out at first, I can tell you that going back home at 2–4AM on a Saturday from a nightclub or KTV doesn’t worry me in the slightest. Of course, you may meet some drunks on the way, but you will not be followed by a hobo with what looked like a gun in his coat like I did while I was in Boston.
I went to several other large cities in China such as Beijing, Xiamen, Hangzhou and Shenzhen just to name a few, and I felt the same way…
China is safe during the day and night, and that’s one of the reasons I absolutely love living there. The less you worry about, the better your life is. That’s the feeling China kind of gives me.
Kate Yasmin Koppen, Ruhr-University Bochum
It depends on where you are.
In the touristy areas it is mostly no problem. People are busy, there is a lot of security and you only have to take care of the trick frauds and pickpockets (who are everywhere). Also, beware of scam taxi drivers who prefer to charge helpless looking tourist at night double to four times the amount of a normal fare.
China is definitely one of the safest countries to travel alone, even as a woman.
Glo San, lives in China
Picture taken by me- Night market, China
I have lived in a few countries in Europe, South America and Asia. And without a doubt China is the safest country I have EVER been to!
In terms of safety no country can be compared to China!
Another good point is that although, the majority of Chinese people do not speak English, some of them have translation apps on their phones. So even if you do have some problems, people will be able to help you.
I remember, when I was in China and my Chinese teacher told us a history…
Few years ago, a foreign guy (I think he was from German) lost his bike and he went to the police and made a report about it. This was such a rare event that appeared on the news!!! The police eventually found his bike and gave it to him!!!
So, if you are planning to go to China, but are concerned about your safety, please don't be or let this stop you from going to China!!
China is a safe country!