Beijing Travel Guide

Stay healthy

See the Chinese Stay Healthy article for general health and food advice.

See Chinese Smog for air pollution issues.

Tap water in Beijing is generally not safe for drinking. Locals always boil the tap water before they drink it, and you should too. Hygiene for cooked food is generally not an issue. Chinese people place a lot of emphasis on the freshness of their food, so any food you eat is usually cooked to order. However, be wary if you plan to eat cold or raw dishes.

Air pollution and Smog has traditionally been a big problem in Beijing like any other big city in China. Car exhaust, coal burning, and dust storms from the Gobi desert combine to make some of the worst city air on the planet. Winter is the worst time as the cold air creates an inversion layer and traps the pollution in the city. In 2013, Beijing was in the news for a sudden spike in its smog. The air quality was "beyond index", which can be fatal to those who are sensitive to air pollution.

There are many hospitals in Beijing, but the public hospitals that most locals visit are generally not up to the standard that foreigners from Western countries are used to. In addition, it is unlikely that any of the doctors or nurses would be able to communicate in English. Ambulance services are unreliable, and in the event of an emergency, taking a taxi is usually much quicker. There are also several private hospitals in Beijing that are set up specifically to cater to expatriates, the most well known one being Beijing United Family Healthcare. The doctors and nurses at these hospitals are able to speak English, and the standard of care is usually far superior to what the local Chinese have to put up with. However, they are generally very expensive if you are not covered by insurance.


source: Wikivoyage

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