Everyone traveling more for more than 3 days or outside of Beijing and Shanghai must have a visa, even if you are arriving for just a day. Normally a tourist visa is for a 30 day stay but you may be able to get up to 90 days if you ask. You can also get double entry visas easily for a little more money while a multiple entry visa may be more difficult. You can normally get your visa extended while in China so if you think you don’t have enough time don’t worry too much.
Unless you are traveling as part of a group, you will normally need to arrange your own visa. It may be that your travel agent can help you for a fee. Search on the internet for the Chinese embassy or consulate in you country nearest to you. Some countries such as the USA also have visa agents but this adds substantially to the cost. If you can go straight to the embassy/consulate it will be cheapest.
Apply for your tourist visa 30 to 60 days before departure. If you apply too far in advance the visa will expire as it has an “enter by” date. Details and application forms can be found on the web site of the Chinese embassy for your country. Visas are normally processed in 3-4 working days but you can pay extra to rush it. If you go to the visa office you may be able to get a visa on the same day for a fee.
You normally need one photograph, a filled in form for each person and a bank check or credit card. Fedex or other courier can handle the transfer and return.
Application fees vary from country to country, as it's a tit-for-tat on the costs. If your country charges Chinese citizens a lot in visa application fees, then they charge you a lot back. Thus a Chinese visa for an Australian passport holder is less than half the cost of an American.
Visas are generally easy to obtain in Hong Kong and other Asian capitals in 1 to 3 days, so if you are traveling this is an option. Make sure to show up at the right time to apply (usually before lunch), with cash and be ready to wait in line (bring a newspaper or book!).
Beijing and Shanghai 72-hour visaFrom January 1st, 2013 citizens of the following countries will be granted 72-hour visa-free entry to the cities Beijing and Shanghai:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia,the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar
If you are in possession of a valid third country visa and confirmed onward plane ticket, you may apply for a transit without visa permit (TWOV) at Beijing Capital International airport (PEK), Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA).
This will allow you to enter China without a visa for up to 72 hours. Your 72 hours will begin to be counted from the moment you receive your TWOV permit at the Exit and Entry Administration desk at each of the above mentioned airports.
This 72-hour permit will allow you to remain in the city you entered through only (for example, if you fly into Shanghai Pudong or Shanghai Hongqiao International Aiport, you are not allowed to leave the city of Shanghai).
For more details, please check with your local Chinese Consulate or Embassy.
An ideal itinerary for families or those who want to see natural beauty and Chinese countryside. We can adjust the active components of this itinerary such as biking, caving and river rafting to your preferences. This itinerary starts and ends at the Guilin airport. It covers all the major sights in Guilin and Yangshuo. We do not include hotels as there are many options and we can add this...
Guilin → Li River Cruise → Yangshuo
When most people hear the words ‘Beijing art scene’, they imagine ancient architecture, Chinese calligraphy and ink paintings; but there is so much more going on than that. Beijing is home to over 10 art districts, each full to the brim with incredible contemporary art. We will take you to one of Beijing’s most celebrated art districts, known simply as 798. The galleries and...
If you need to escape the hustle and bustle of Beijing for a little while, this hiking and hot spring trip is just what the doctor ordered. Spend the day hiking at Jinshanling Great Wall, followed by a relaxing evening at the 5-star Chunhuiyuan Hot Spring Resort. Stay up late making the most of the seemingly endless hot spring pools before returning to the city the next morning.
1 day • CNY 360
This tour will give you a look into early 20th century Shanghai. First, you will stroll along historic Duolun Road, home to many of the most famous Chinese writers and revolutionaries of the 1920s and '30s. Next, you will visit the sights of Shanghai's American concession, home to many Jewish refugees during WWII. Spend the afternoon exploring Shanghai's elegant French Concession,...
This tour captures the essence of Lhasa, Tibet's crown jewel. Here you will experience the sounds, smells, and soul of Tibetan culture. Visit the area's most mystical monasteries, including Drepung, Sera, and Jokhang. Experience the Barkhor pilgrim circuit where people from all over Tibet blend together in a maze of stalls winding up to the Johkang monastery. This trip to Lhasa will...
Tibet / Lhasa
For those who do not have a lot of time, but want to see as much of Huangshan as possible, this one day tour with cable car up and down the mountain is perfect. It includes all the highlights of the peak with the West Sea Canyon loop as well. Train tickets, flights, and hotels can all be added upon request.
Jiuzhaigou is an area of superb natural beauty, featuring colorful lakes and multi-level waterfalls, is part of the Min Mountains and is on the edge of the Tibetan plateau. This tour takes you to the two major national parks in the area and accommodates you in a unique Tibetan village. The hotel is in an open valley where you can hike or go horseback riding. If you want horse riding added to...
See the highlights of Lijiang without cutting corners. We give you free time to explore the pedestrian streets of Shuhe and Lijiang to shop and dine. As there are many interesting and accessible cafes and restaurants in Lijiang, we have not included most meals. Its a chance to try some cuisine according to your taste and budget. The cultural shows of the Naxi people are featured in the...
Visit the Shaolin Temple near Luoyang and have an immersive Kungfu day. We pick you up and return you to your hotel in Luoyang on this private no shopping tour. Your time is maximized at the Shaolin Temple complex, with a tour, Kungfu show and Kungfu lesson.
Take a step back in time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life as you experience this three day tour in some of China's most picturesque ancient villages nestled in between rivers and mountains. During this tour, you will visit four Huizhou Villages: Tachuan 塔川, Hongcun 宏村, Xidi 西递, and Tangyue 棠樾. We recommend staying overnight in Tachuan Village, which is very...
Huangshan → Huizhou Villages → Huangshan