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Old 08-21-2006, 11:35 AM   #1
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Hey, everyone. My question is a little on the serious side this time. I'm China-bound in two weeks, and I've been giving more and more thought to getting out of the city and really exploring some of the more bucolic areas of the country. However, as we all know, China is NOT Australia or the UK or Canada or America (you get the point), and scary shit has been known to occur. I just wanted to get some feedback on backpacking through China. Is it safe? Will my being a Westerner be enough to keep me out of too much trouble, or will it make things worse? Should I scrap the idea altogether and just stay in the cities? Of course, I have no intention of doing anything but keeping my head down and staying out of trouble, but (as you already know) that isn't always enough. If anybody has some general remarks or advice, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.

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Old 08-21-2006, 11:50 AM   #2
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I haven't been everywhere in China, but the only place I felt a little uneasy was on the Zhuhai/Macao border and I also heard Shenzhen could get a little dangerous. Also I've heard some stories in Yunnan of guys getting drugged (locals, not foreigners), etc. Note that Yunnan lies on the edge of the Golden Triangle of drug-smuggling.

Basically, there's a little shadiness on some of the southern border zones or SEZ (special economic zones) flush with cash.

But as far as most other small towns, though - most are very rural and nonthreatening... Your main threats will be pickpockets, scam artists or vendors trying to price-gouge you. Not really bodily harm.
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Old 08-21-2006, 12:51 PM   #3
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Hey, thanks for that information; I can start to plan a route now. Do you (or anybody else reading) know anything about trouble from the Chinese government? The CCP is a pretty shady entity (and not exactly open-minded when it comes to all varieties of Buddhist, either, from what I've read). Again, truly any information would be a blessing. Much obliged.

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Old 08-21-2006, 12:56 PM   #4
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I have not been in China (that I remember) so I won't be able to help you on this one, but dude I wish you the best of trips and I hope you stay safe!
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:05 PM   #5
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My experience in China has been limited to the Guangdong province area in the south (Shenzhen/Dong Guan city area). I would concur with the above in that most risks are generally made up of possible scams, pick pockets, vendors/taxis overcharging, etc. I have also been told that westerners are less of a target because they are so visible and that authorities would be sure to investigate any crimes against a westerner, but I am not sure how accurate this is. In many of the more rural parts of China, even just outside of Shenzhen, westerners are quite a novelty and people literally will stare at you like you are from outer space. It's a little strange at first, but don't let it bother you. I have found most people to be very excited to try out their english and generally very helpful. Keep a low profile, act polite, don't do anything that you wouldn't do in any other urban area in the West and I would imagine you will be fine. Good luck and enjoy your trip!!
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