In China it is not advisable to drink the tap water without boiling it first. Boiling kills bacteria that your body is not used to. Tap water can be used for brushing teeth, showering, washing hands and so on.
Drinking Water in Hotels
Hotel rooms often feature a water dispenser that delivers both cool and hot potable water. However, some hotels have no water dispenser, but are instead equipped with a water heater or thermos. You can use the heater to boil water or use the water directly from the thermos. If the water in the thermos has run out, you can ask a waiter to refill it. In some cases, four- or five-star hotels may supply high-quality mineral water for free or for a minimal charge. The tap water in the hotels can be used to brush your teeth.
Drinking Water in Restaurants
In most Chinese restaurants, water is served for free before the meal, although some will offer tea or noodle soup instead. The water offered has already been boiled, so you can drink it without worry. Most restaurants also have bottled water or other beverages on their menu for sale. Some restaurants may sell cold drinks, but without ice.
Drinking Water Outside
You won’t have to worry about finding water when you go out, as it is quite easy to buy bottled water anywhere in China. Several popular brands of bottled water, such as WaHaHa, Nestle, and Nongfu Spring, are available for purchase, while bottled tea and juice are also avaiable. Ordinary bottled mineral water and various beverages are sold in street shops, supermarkets, restaurants, and hotel stores. Foreign brands are available in big city supermarkets, while local brands are sold in smaller cities and rural areas.