Yunnan is a province in southwest China bordering Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. Some people in China think that Yunnan is not secure because Yunnan has a large minority population and is a border province. Actually, Yunnan is as safe as other places in China, especially in Kunming, Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-la, tourism in these cities is relatively mature. As long as you respect the local minority culture and obey the local law, you will have a pleasant trip in Yunnan.
Precautions When Travelling in Yunnan
Generally speaking, China is a safe country to travel around, and most of people you meet are friendly, honest and trustworthy. Crime rates are relatively low, and authorities tend to impose harsher punishment against crimes committed to foreigners. As a result, it is generally less likely to suffer serious harassment while traveling. However, their culture and living conditions are different from that of your home country, so be alert. By taking certain precautions, you can make your trip safer and more enjoyable.
- Local Laws and Penalties: Be aware that local laws and penalties, even those which may seem harsh by your home country standards, do apply to you. For example, there are strictly enforced laws which prohibit demonstrations unless they have prior approval from the government. Penalties for drug offences are severe, and include the death penalty, as do certain other serious crimes.
- Weather Tips: The rainy season occurs from June until August or longer in Yunnan Province. You should bring umbrella or other rain gears when travelling in Yunnan. During this period, severe rainstorms can cause landslides in Shangri-la. Other natural disasters like flood may also occur due to the heavy rainfall. You should monitor weather reports if travelling in affected areas. Try to avoid going to mountain area when raining. If a natural disaster occurs you should follow the advice of the local authorities.
- Join a Tour Group: When you are first time in Yunnan, you are suggested to join a tour group. Travel agency can arrange the vehicle, accommodation, meals and guide according to the need of tourists. Your travel consultant and guide can tell you some tips when travelling. You can contact them when you get some questions and problems. If you have joined a tour group, bring your travel schedule and contact information of your travel consultant. Make a copy of your itinerary and contact information of your travel consultant, and leave a copy for your family or friends. Contact your family from time to time and tell them you are safe.
- Dressing: With a pleasant weather, temperature in Yunnan is moderate in summer, and coat is not needed. Dress rather more conservatively, especially as a woman. Do not wear over-revealing clothing or expensive jewelry, which may draw unwanted attention. Avoid walking alone late at night or in places where you don’t feel comfortable.
- Luggage Security: Keep an eye on your baggage. Don’t get out of the control of your baggage. Keep your valuables such as purse, cell phone and camera in a safe place and always pay attention to prevent pickpocketing. Don’t leave your luggage with strangers. Try not to eat or drink anything from strangers.
- Outside the scenic areas or on the road, there may be some vendors following you, trying to sell you something. If you’re not interested, just ignore them and move on. In this way, they usually stop annoying you very quickly.
- Ticket Purchase: In most cases, people who want to buy tickets(no matter train ticket, bus ticket or admission ticket) should stand in a line. Some may buy online. You are supposed to buy ticket from the formal organizations like scenic spot ticket office, railway station ticket window, bus station ticket window. Today, there are many self-service ticket machines at bus terminals and train stations in Yunnan.