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Public Toilets
Many public conveniences in China's major cities have undergone major facelifts in recent years, but plenty of horror stories still remain. It's said the Chinese like to do everything together, so don't be surprised if you wander into a facility that lacks cubicles, but not an audience. Even some of the highest-end establishments do not supply toilet paper (in case of theft), so bring your own when you can. In an emergency, small packages of tissues (架渚崕 C can jin zhi) can be purchased at nearly any corner store, cigarette vendor or convenience mart.

Crime and Safety
Despite China's massive size and population, incidents of violent crime remain relatively rare. However, petty crimes directed at unwitting tourists take place daily. Watch out for pickpockets in their usual haunts, and keep your passport safe.

Common Scams:

  • Airport and station ''porters'' that offer to take your bags and luggage to the departure area, but instead take it to another location and demand a fee or ''tax'' to return it.
  • Drivers of ''official'' airport taxis that approach you at Arrivals and solicit your business. These are privateers with no official status C leave them to locals who know the ropes. Even if you negotiate a fair rate, what will you do if the driver decides to rip you off? Do you have the language skills to handle the situation? Who will you complain to?
  • Be careful when buying drinks for beautiful strangers. You will either be overcharged for the drinks, or detained by her handlers who'll refuse to let you leave until you pay several thousand RMB for your ''time'' with her.
  • If approached by groups of young ''students'' that want to practice their English, move on. Otherwise you'll be taken to a ruinously expensive teahouse, and you'll be left to foot the bill.
  • Then there is the more or less harmless ''art exhibition'' scam: charming students invite the visitor to a nearby art exhibition, which turns out to be a sale of bad paintings. It takes delicate footwork to withdraw gracefully with your wallet intact.

Other tips:

  • Carry small bills with you at all times, and pay your taxi driver the exact fare, otherwise you might receive counterfeit notes in your change.
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