Is Xiamen Safe For Tourists? Crime Rates & Safety
Wondering if Xiamen is safe for tourists? This beautiful island one of the safest places to visit in China or any other part of the world. It has one of the lowest index scores for safety risk in all of China. Due to its relatively old-fashioned lifestyle and beautiful coastal location, it has become an ideal place for a vacation or to settle down permanently for local Chinese people as well. Xiamen was ranked the 2nd most suitable Chinese city to live in back in 2006. In 2011, it was voted as “China’s most romantic leisure city” as well.
Due to its coastal location, Xiamen is known for some of its exquisite islands, beaches, Hokkien culture, and low pollution level. Gulangyu Island is the headline of the city. Every year thousands of tourists, as well as Chinese locals, come to visit the island. The island is unique as there are no cars and it has some of the most exquisite colonial buildings.
There are, however, some minor criminal activities that tourists should be careful about while visiting Xiamen.
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Safety In Xiamen
Pickpocketing continues to be the primary threat for tourists visiting China. Although the problem of pickpocketing in Xiamen is relatively lower than other cities such as Beijing, Shanghai or Hong-Kong, tourists have to be extra vigilant with their wallets, especially in railway/ bus stations and other places where tourist visits are frequent.
Some of the places to avoid or stay alert with your wallets in Xiamen are Xiada Xicun stop, Fuhuan Dasha Stop, Taihe Huayuan Stop, Houpu road, SM shopping mall area, Lvling road, etc.
The metro system is currently being built and soon to be finished, so the only way tourists can navigate around the Island is either by public transport or taxi.
There are always some chances that a tourist will run into a taxi that is not properly licensed. Although China, in general, do not allow unlicensed drivers to function as a taxi, there are some people who target tourist and exploit their limited knowledge.
A taxi can be booked online, and the payment can also be made through the WeChat mobile app. It is best if tourists book a taxi online to reduce the risk of paying too much for a limited ride.
The public transport system and quality are not on par with other cities such as Guangzhou or Beijing; however, they are extremely cheap and relatively safer for a tourist as well.
Xiamen is an extremely safe city in terms of any kind of terrorist activities. In fact, Xiamen must be amongst the safest cities in China in terms of rare frequency of any kind of violent criminal/terrorist activities.
Except for some minor scams and pickpocketing incidents, the risks of mugging in Xiamen are extremely LOW as well.
Women’s safety is again another area where tourists do not have to worry about while planning a trip to Xiamen. It is majorly a women-safe zone; however, precautions have to be taken if one decides to take a solo walk at night. Women traveling alone in Xiamen will be safe and comfortable.
Scams In Xiamen To Avoid
Scams are another security measure that is significantly lesser in Xiamen as compared to other cities in China. Such as counterfeit currencies, where the person approaches the tourists to exchange their currencies for Chinese Yuan with minimal complications.
It is, therefore, best to exchange one’s currency only in genuine offices or airports where the chances of receiving counterfeit bills are minimal.
Other scams may include people volunteering to help tourists explore the Gulangyu Island only to extort money from them later or take them to bars around the city and let them buy drinks/ food for them.
Overall, Xiamen Island is significantly safer than most modern Chinese cities. There are minimal precautions to undertake, and the place offers a better vacation option with beaches and exquisite Island experience as well. Xiamen is safe for tourists with very little to worry about.