Drinking Water in China
Tap water in China is undrinkable, but safe to be used to brush teeth or wash up. Travelers can drink boiled water or easily find bottled water in convenient stores everywhere.
|Tap water is not drinkable.|
Can I drink the tap water in China?
No, the tap water in China is undrinkable. Unlike in most western countries, people get easy access to safe tap water, while in most places in China the tap water is not safe for drinking before it is boiled, although it looks clear. Even in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, water from the tap is not well filtered, sterilized, or purified, which may carry hazardous contaminants like sediments, rusts, bacteria, virus, chlorines, and some other heavy metals. Sickness like diarrhea caused by drinking unclean water may spoil your trip.
Is it ok to brush teeth with tap water in China?
Yes. There wouldn’t be any problem using the tap water to take a shower, brush the teeth, wash face, hands, or clothes. You can be at ease when doing such washing just like all Chinese do.
If you are still worried, you can use the boiled water or bottled water to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth. In addition, you’d better peel the fruit even though you have washed it with the tap water.
Where can I get potable water?
For drinking, one can easily buy bottled mineral water at a price as low as CNY 2, cheap and safe. Quality and popular brands include Nongfu Spring, Nestle, C’estbon, evian, Kunlun Mountains, and Wahaha. Various kinds of bottled tea and juice are also available.
Otherwise, you can use the boiler provided in the hotel rooms to have the tap water boiled, and wait for it cooling down to be drinkable, or bring some in your thermos when you go outside.
1. Drinking Water in Hotel
2. Drinking Water in Restaurants
3. Drinking Water in Tourist Sites
4. Drinking Water in Airports & Railway Stations
1. Bottled drink is mostly contained in plastic barrel. Once it is opened, it's recommended that you drink it up within one week. When the date range spans more than 7 days, the water can cause health problems as bacteria may become present, especially in summer.
2. When buying bottled water, make sure the water is transparent, free of any form of deposits, and the bottle is smooth and clear. Also check the date of production, shelf life, and whether the seal is intact.