SAFETY AND SECURITY You’ll hear and read a lot about security in Shenzhen. All we can do is tell you our own experience. We have worked regularly in Shenzhen since 1987 and lived there eight years. During that time we had never felt even slightly threatened. We can only recall one or two times that a taxi driver hasn’t turned on the meter or taken us by a roundabout route. We think that physically it is a very safe place.

We had a bag stolen once. It was in one of the best hotels. In that vein we warn that the worst that is likely to happen to you is having your pocket picked. We keep a close eye on our valuables in crowded places where you are likely to encounter new immigrants. This means border crossings, outside theme parks, at ATMs and at ticket stands at the Metro. It is essential to hold on to your wallet or bag at all times Never let go of it!. It’s a good precaution to carry some emergency money and keys separate from your wallet, as a backup.

Because not many people speak English, it is also a good idea to carry together with you back-up money and keys, some telephone numbers with you for contacts you might ring during an emergency. e.g. Your company, hotel or Consulate and any telephone numbers for medical help. Carrying spare money and contact phone numbers for example in a money belt will ensure you are not put in this situation, even if you leave your bag in a taxi. It may seem disappointing but as a practical matter, getting help from police or bystanders is not something to be taken for granted.

The usual precautions for travellers anywhere apply:

Secure valuables in your hotel safe

Keep a set of photocopied travel documents

Avoid dark places if you are alone at night and keep to busy areas with good lighting

Examine your change for fake $50 and $100 notes See MONEY

In addition to these general precautions, make sure you only get into licensed taxis. See TAXIS This is not because anything really serious is likely to happen but more because you have little recourse against unlicensed drivers. There have been cases of them trying to give travellers fake notes, claiming the notes paid with are fake or otherwise being tricky about the taxi fare.

Another good procedure in China is to keep your receipts. Whenever you are given a receipt, keep it because Chinese love to give multiple receipts and then to ask for one or two of them back. Even in Wal-Mart, you may be asked to show a receipt on exiting. For any problems you may have with purchases, you will need to show a receipt even to discuss the problem with the relevant store. Also receipts may be asked for in circumstances foreigners might not expect, so our advice is that if you are given a receipt, keep it until you are absolutely sure that you will not need it. Similarly for bus tickets and any other type of ticket.


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