While water quality is improving, drinking tap water still isn't recommended in China due to the presence of pollution and natural contamination of water supplies.

Bottled water is readily available in China and is usually very cheap, but for environmental reasons, consider other options to save on plastic waste. Bring a reusable bottle or canteen (we recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity) that can be refilled as needed, or buy some water purifying tablets or a sterilising kit to treat your on water on the go. Some hotels you stay in may have drinking water available in large drums. Your local leader can tell you the best and most sustainable source of filtered water, and where to find it.

Click to read what to drink in China

Click to return to China FAQs

Our tours in China

9 Days From 965

Travel between Shanghai and Beijing, visiting the Great Wall and Terracotta Warriors...

20 Days From 3005

Travel through Russia, China and Mongolia on this 20-day tour. Ride the Trans-Siberian...

23 Days From 3295

Explore China, Mongolia and Russia on a journey from Beijing to St Petersburg via...

12 Days From 1080

Discover China’s northern hotspots with Intrepid on a 12-day Lonely Planet Experience...

12 Days From 1695

Discover China and the tantalising sights, culture and food of Beijing, Chengdu, Xi'an...

Tailor-Made trips

Take two or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

16 Days From 2440

Travel to China, Mongolia and Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway from Beijing to...

32 Days From 4635

Embark on an epic 32-day Silk Road adventure through China, Kyrgyzstan and into...

19 Days From 2535

Travel to China and tour Beijing, visit the Great Wall of China, see the Terracotta...

20 Days From 1890

Tour through Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai and Hong Kong to experience the Great Wall of...

12 Days From 1170

Discover one of China's most culturally diverse provinces – Yunnan. Hike through jaw...

12 Days From 2225

Travel to the Land of the Dragon and explore Beijing, Xi'an, Yangshuo, Chengdu and Hong...

12 Days From 2160

Spend 12 days exploring northern China from Shanghai to Beijing, including Luoyang, the...

12 Days From 936

From Great Wall to Terracotta Warriors, pandas to picturesque Yangshuo, this 12-day...

15 Days From 2175

Retrace the path of the ancient Silk Road from Beijing to Xi'an, Zhangye and Turpan...

9 Days From 775

See the best of South China with Lonely Planet and Intrepid on a nine-day adventure...

7 Days From 1000

Come on an active adventure that takes you to hiking the Great Wall of China, cycling...

41 Days From 6290

Embark on an epic 32-day Silk Road adventure through China, Kyrgyzstan and into...

9 Days From 1045

Experience the eclectic allure of China on this adventure from Hanoi to Kunming....

11 Days From 3210

Traverse through the mountainous beauty of Tibet. Beginning in Kathmandu, explore Lhasa...

12 Days From 1720

Embark on a 12-day adventure from Beijing to Hong Kong, exploring key highlights...

15 Days From 3010

Cross from Beijing to Kathmandu on an epic overland journey, seeing the temples and...

5 Days From 855

Brave the sub-zero temperatures of Harbin and you’ll be rewarded with the most...

16 Days From 2960

Take an active adventure hiking the Great Wall of China, cycling Old Beijing, learning...

9 Days From 1510

Enter a world of both natural wonder and big city glamour. Admire the majestic beauty...

29 Days From 2980

Embark on a 29-day natural escape to northern Vietnam and southwest China, passing...

20 Days From 2190

From the hundred-year old Hani people's rice terrace to the jaw-dropping Tiger Leaping...

18 Days From 1780

Explore the best of rural China and Vietnam on this 18-day adventure including Yuanyang...

13 Days From 1780

Get a taste of China on this cultural and ice-filled adventure.