Similar to any other insurance product, travel insurance comes with a set of common exclusions and doesn’t usually cover:
If you’re travelling to China as an Australian citizen, you should make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned return date, or you risk being refused entry into the country.
You also typically need a visa to travel to China.1 Sometimes, you may be able to get a transit visa on arrival in China for short visits, but you’ll otherwise need a full and valid visa if your trip is longer than three days. You’ll also need to have your visa before you depart from Australia. There are numerous types of visas, so you’ll need to check what type you need (you can find a list on the Chinese Embassy’s website).
There are also different visa rules and requirements for areas like Hong Kong and Macau, and you require permission from the Chinese government to enter Tibet.
The Australian Government offers advice, alerts and the latest updates for more than 170 countries to help Australians avoid difficulties abroad. By having a travel insurance plan, you’re covered in the case of natural disasters, as long as they occurred after you purchased your policy. Regularly check the advice for China in the time before you leave on your trip, so you’re not caught out if the situation suddenly changes. You can even subscribe to Smartraveller to receive updates via text or email.
While major credit cards are widely accepted in China, you should know that some smaller cities may not.1 As such, it might be a good idea to keep some cash handy just in case or be prepared to take regular trips to the ATM to withdraw Chinese yuan (renminbi).
Also, be sure to consider a credit or debit card with low or 0% international transaction fees, so you don’t get charged for making transactions overseas.
Tourists have been targeted by scammers in China as well.1 Common scams include credit card skimming, but some more elaborate scams involve tourists being invited for a massage, teahouse service or a café before being given an inflated bill they must pay before they can leave. Travellers have also been drugged and robbed. It’s important to remain vigilant and look out for suspicious activity.
You’ll be bound by China’s local laws and penalties the moment your plane lands in the country. Some may appear harsh by Australian standards, but some of their legal traditions have been in place for centuries, and you’ll need to obey them all. A person aged 14 years and over is considered an adult under the law in China.1
So, do your research around what acts are forbidden and punishable by law. Sanctions for serious drug offences are especially severe in China.
The following activities are also illegal in China:
The internet in China is also censored, so you may not be able to access common websites like Google, Facebook or YouTube.
1 Smartraveller – China. Accessed May 2022
2 Civil Aviation Administration of China – Statistical Bulletin of Civil Aviation Industry Development in 2020. Accessed May 2022.