if you take a monopod use it as a walking stick and walk with a limp... its worked for me multiple times and I've never been stopped once including using it as a walking stick to go on planes, sporting events, concerts, china, and multiple other places. If you really want to hide the monopod concept get someone to drill the appropriate hole into a wood ball and screw it on the top to make it look like a cane head... I know several ppl who do that as well...
I was in china for 8 months 5 years ago and if you got caught at that time they confiscated your tripod as well as all camera gear if they deemed you where taking pics of sensitive objects or activities. .... I've had that happen to me in a not to be mentioned country 2 years ago and never saw my gear again even though it was only a SX5IS and a makeshift tripod.
you need to keep in mind that they wont always bother you but if they deem you are taking pics of something which involves national security they will bust you and confiscate everything... and national security to them covers a wide variety of things including demonstrations or anything deemed harmful to their culture or could be percieved as such. Taking a pic of a guard or a police officer can well fall into this grouping.
Besides all that the ppl are some of the nicest you will ever meet and the culture and history are totally amazing. You'll have a blast
Canon 7D + 50D + EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM + EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM + EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Pelican // Black Rapid // Think Tank // Manfrotto // Garmin
Reflections On Canadian Wildlife