Planning your trip to China

This article especially targets people who has never been to China. As a European girl, I realized that travelling to China needs specific preparation and most of all… time. For some of you all the tips I will give would seem quite logical to you, however I know that before leaving we always have the […]

This article especially targets people who has never been to China. As a European girl, I realized that travelling to China needs specific preparation and most of all… time. For some of you all the tips I will give would seem quite logical to you, however I know that before leaving we always have the impression that we forgot something but we don’t know what. This is a list on which you can check on before taking your China flight.

Most important things (in the order)

1. Passport
Of course without a passport you can’t travel anywhere. Make sure it will be still valid 6 months after the return date and check if there are 2 blank pages left. If it isn’t the case you must anticipate and have a new passport, in some country it can take until 2 months to do that.

2. Flights
Book a flight to China. The cheapest flights are online, try to book them several months before your departure. It will cost you between 500 and 1,000$ for an economic round-trip flight depending on the season and the duration. You will have great chances to travel with Air China, China Eastern Airlines or China Southern Airlines. All the meals and drinks are free (no additional fee) and of course you will enjoy Chinese food. Chinese and other international movies will be displayed with English and Chinese subtitles.

3. Visa


You should go to the nearest Chinese Embassy or the Chinese Consulate to have a visa. Check on their website or call them first to know all the documents they need in addition of the application form so you won’t waste your time by getting there just for that information. In general you will be given your visa within 5 work days, or if you pay to speed it up within 48 hours, yet as we are insightful people the better would applying at least 2 weeks before the departure just in case, and not 2 days before.

Other tips

Make sure that your credit card has the logo “Visa”, so you can withdraw your money on some random ATM machines once arrived and not take all the money with you. And don’t be surprised most of the shops in China don’t have card machines, so check with your bank before leaving if you have a withdrawal limit per week or months since you’ll have to pay almost everything with cash.

Bring your own cellphone or an old one, it will always be useful to be contacted and to contact other people since your sim card won’t probably work in China. A lot of people think that buying a mobile phone is quite cheap here, but I think that it’s even more expensive that in your country, it is in my case. More over the cheapest phones, the one you had like 10 years ago, will cost you 200yuan if you really need one. Besides, the sim card and calls are very cheap; with only 30RMB you can text and call for 2 weeks if you don’t have any particular big needs. And be careful once your credit is over, you can’t receive any call, you have to recharge to be contacted.

My personal advice if you can’t speak Chinese or only few words: since Chinese people are not very good in English and only few of them can speak a foreign language, take pictures of toilets, food, water, bus, bed, fork, chopsticks… before leaving. You won’t waste time to look for the word in a dictionary and pronounce it in a weird accent, pictures is a language that anyone can understand!

These were the basic things not to forget before doing China tours. I hope you to enjoy your trip the best way as possible and send us a picture of your best memories in our Facebook to share your experience!

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Tips on Using ATMs in China

On March 4, 2011, in China Travel Gossip, Cultural Experience, by Jack Li

While traveling gives you fun, it means spending money. So before you go on your China Tours, get to know how to withdraw money in China. Take Beijing for instance; you’ll find many banks with many ATMs around every corner of the city when you Travel to Beijing. However, only about 60% of these accept […]

While traveling gives you fun, it means spending money. So before you go on your China Tours, get to know how to withdraw money in China. Take Beijing for instance; you’ll find many banks with many ATMs around every corner of the city when you Travel to Beijing. However, only about 60% of these accept foreign cards.  

The main foreign friendly ATMs are controlled by the Bank of China. Bank of China ATMs work in both Chinese and English, use the latest equipment, and are pretty easy to find. But the connection to the overseas banking network tends to have a high down time.

If you are told by a Bank of China machine that your transaction has been declined and to contact your bank, do not panic. This often just means that the International network is unavailable. You should try the other two banks mentioned or return the next day.

If the Bank of China ATMs are not working for you, the next best bet is a Merchants Bank outlet. Their network seems to be a bit more stable, and seem to run out of cash less. The problem is that Merchants Bank branches are few and not as easy to find as Bank of China.

Another bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, has recently opened up most of its ATMs to the international network, allowing VISA or Mastercard transactions. ICBC is a very common bank in Beijing and seems to have branches almost everywhere. These banks are very popular however, and you may end up waiting in line to use one of these ATMs.

Using the ATMs

When you put your foreign bank card into a Beijing ATM it should give you the option to display English, or display both Chinese and English. There are various different methods the banks employ to let you select language. The Bank of China ATMs give the password screen in both languages, then on the select account screen, the options are given in two languages, English to the left, and Chinese to the right. 

On the select account screen it is essential that you use the left buttons to select your account as this is what determines the language you will be using from that point on. If you mistakenly press the buttons on the right, you will be in Chinese from that point onwards.

Transaction Limits

Other banks, like ICBC, have a separate screen near the beginning of the process which lets you select your desired language. At the end of some ATM transactions you will be given the option to continue or take your card. This is because the transaction limits on most bank accounts is set pretty low. The maximum you will be able to withdraw in one request is about 2500 RMB usually. You can press the continue button and try to get more cash out up to the ATMs daily limit. Most USA banks allow you about 5500 RMB per day, but this is controlled by your own bank.

There are a couple of other banks which may accept foreign cards around Beijing, namely HSBC and Citibank.  These ATMs are extremely rare however. Other internal Chinese banks almost certainly will not process your overseas transaction.

Commission and Transaction Charges

The ATMs mentioned here dispense Chinese RMB currency. The money will be taken from your foreign bank account. It will be converted to your home currency at a quite reasonable rate usually. The commission and transaction charges will be dependent upon your own bank’s policies.  If you are using an ATM/Debit card, usually the charges are comparable to drawing money in your own country. If you are using a Credit Card, you are usually talking about a “cash advance” which can be extremely expensive depending on your bank and how long you take to pay back the money. Hope this is helpful if you’re now already in the middle of packing up for your China Tours.

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Get Your China Visa and Start Your China Tours

On January 11, 2011, in Cultural Experience, by Sandy Li

Because of the long history, China has always worn a magical and mysterious veil to the Western World. Nowadays, China opens her door and let many people from all over the world start their China Tours. If you want to travel to Beijing, the China Visa is absolutely necessary. China Visa is a permit issued […]

Because of the long history, China has always worn a magical and mysterious veil to the Western World. Nowadays, China opens her door and let many people from all over the world start their China Tours. If you want to travel to Beijing, the China Visa is absolutely necessary.

China Visa is a permit issued by Chinese visa authorities to non-Chinese citizens for traveling on their China Tours. The Chinese visa authorities may issue a Diplomatic, Courtesy, Official or Regular Visa to an alien according to his/her status, purpose of visit to China or passport type. The overseas Chinese visa authorities are Chinese embassies, consulates, and other offices authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. If a foreigner intends to enter into, exit from or transit through Chinese territory, he/she shall apply for a Chinese visa to the above-mentioned Chinese visa authorities.

There are eight categories of ordinary China Visa, which are respectively marked with the letters C, D, F, G, J-1, J-2, L, X and Z.

C Visa or China Crew Visa: Issued to crewmembers to perform duties on board an international train, airliner or other vessel, and their accompanying family members.

D Visa or China Resident Visa: Issued to an alien who comes to reside permanently in China.

F Visa or China Business Visa: Issued to an alien who is invited to China for a visit, an investigation, a lecture, to do business, scientific-technological and culture exchanges, short-term advanced studies or internship for a period of no more than six months.

G Visa or China Transit Visa: Issued to an alien who transits through China. American passport holders do not need a transit visa to transit through Beijing International airport if the layover time is less than 24 hours. They can also transit through Pudong International Airport in Shanghai if they stay for less than 48 hours.

J-1 Visa or Journalist Visa: Issued to foreign resident correspondents in China.

J-2 Visa or Journalist Visa (Temporary): Issued to foreign journalists who make short trips to China on reporting tasks.

L Visa or China Tourist Visa: Issued to an alien who comes to China for sightseeing, family visiting or other private purposes.

X Visa or China Student Visa: Issued to an alien who comes to China for study, advanced studies or internship for a period of more than six months.

Z Visa or China Work Visa: Issued to an alien who comes to China for a post or employment, and his or her accompanying family members.

The tourist visa is usually valid for a period of 90 days. The exceptions are that individuals traveling through China with an expectation of remaining there less than 24 hours are exempt from requiring a passport provided they do not leave the airport. Also, U.S. citizens are exempt from the visa requirement when traveling to Hong Kong or Macao for less than 90 days. However, if you travel beyond Hong Kong, even for a few hours, you will need a China visa. In fact, visas are required for visitors from most foreign countries to Mainland China. Besides, visa applicants must have six months of validity remaining on their passport and at least one blank page. The visa application, a recent 2-inch by 2-inch photo and all applicable fees must be submitted as well. 

Now, please get your China Visa first and take your China Flights, then start your China Tours.

 

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Get a Visa to Visit China

On November 29, 2010, in Cultural Experience, Tips & Ideas, Travel Info, by Jack Li

You’ve planned a trip to China. Before book your China flights and China hotels, there’s one thing you should pay attention to. Generally speaking, In addition to a passport, as a foreigner, you will need to get a visa for China. Whether you need a visa and what kind of visa you need depend on […]

You’ve planned a trip to China. Before book your China flights and China hotels, there’s one thing you should pay attention to. Generally speaking, In addition to a passport, as a foreigner, you will need to get a visa for China. Whether you need a visa and what kind of visa you need depend on what kind of trip you are planning.

Step 1: make sure whether you need a visa

Foreigners who visit China are generally required to apply for a visa before departure, but some are exempt from a visa to Mainland China, for example, ordinary passport holders from Singapore, Brunei and Japan enjoy visa free access to Mainland China for up to 15 days. For more detailed information, you can see the Chinese Visa Exemption.  

After checking the information above, if you are sure that you actually need a visa, the next step is to decide what kind of visa you need.

Step 2: what kind of visa do you need?

There are eight categories of ordinary Chinese visas, which are respectively marked with the letters C, D, F, G, J-1, J-2, L, X and Z.

L Visa: The most popular type of China visa, an L visa is also known as a tourist visa. It is issued to those who visit China for tourist purposes, family visit or other personal matters.

F Visa: Also known as business visa, an F visa is issued to applicants who are invited to China for business, research, lecture, scientific-technological and culture exchanges, short-term advanced studies or intern practice for a period of no more than six months.

Z Visa: A work visa, it is issued to those who are hired by Chinese companies to work or teach in China, and their accompanying family members.
X Visa: A student visa, issued to applicants who go to China for the purpose of study, advanced studies or intern practice for a period of more than six months.
C Visa: Issued to crewmembers on international aviation, navigation and land transportation missions bound for China.
G Visa: Issued to those who transit through China. American passport holders must obtain a transit visa to transit through all Chinese airports except Pudong International Airport in Shanghai.
D Visa: Issued to applicant who is to reside permanently in China.
J-1 Visa: Issued to foreign resident correspondents in China.
J-2 Visa: Issued to foreign correspondents on temporary interview missions in China.

Based on the information above, decide what kind of visa you need.

Step 3: apply For It

Preparation work: your original passport with at least 6 months validity and two blank visa pages, one legibly, completely and truly filled Visa Application Form( download it from the internet), one recent passport photo affixed on the application form, and additional documents for the specific category of visa you are applying for.

Submit those to a Chinese embassy or consulate.

More than 98% of Chinese embassies and consulates don’t accept visa application by mailing. You should visit the official website of Chinese embassy or consulate to check whether it accepts application by mailing or not. Even though the visa mail service is available, the embassy or consulate is not responsible for the loss or damage of your passport and other documents due to mishandling by mail service. It is strongly advised that you go to the embassy or consulate to submit the materials and pay the fees.

Step 4: pick up your visa

Generally speaking, 3 or 4 days later you can go to pick up you visa. Make a phone call to see whether the visa is ready before you go there is much wiser.

You made it! Congratulations on your new visa. Now with it you can carry out your China travel plan at any time.

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Tips on Tourist Visa to China

On November 26, 2010, in Tips & Ideas, Travel Info, What's Our Specialist Say?, by Jack Li

For tourists who come to China Tours for the first time, there are many preparations they need to take into account, such as the flights, hotels, the travel agencies, the itineraries, etc. However, today I decided to come into the other topics. First comes to the passport, which is one of the needed travelers have […]

For tourists who come to China Tours for the first time, there are many preparations they need to take into account, such as the flights, hotels, the travel agencies, the itineraries, etc. However, today I decided to come into the other topics. First comes to the passport, which is one of the needed travelers have to own. In addition to a passport, you’ll need a need a visa for business trips or leisure travels to mainland China. If your company’s travel agency isn’t handling the process for you, this tutorial will walk you through the (occasionally confusing) steps and I hope it will be helpful for your china travel.

Firstly, you need to download the visa application from the Chinese Embassy website and complete the visa form, and keep in mind to attach one passport photo to the application. Then make a copy of your hotel and flight information. After have done those, you will obtain an invitation letter from an authorized Chinese business, and then you need to deliver all materials to the Chinese Consulate nearest you. No appointments are necessary. Provide a self-addressed, prepaid envelope to have documents returned to you via mail.

When you come to the visa issues, there are things you need to prepare in advanced. Firstly, passport with at least six months of remaining validity and one blank visa page; secondly, the completed Visa Application Form; thirdly, an invitation letter from an authorized Chinese business/organization; lastly, fees for the standard services. However, there are tips on the Visa issues. The same day and rush service are available for extra fees. There is an exception that you do not need a visa for trips to Hong Kong less than 30 days. If you are traveling to Hong Kong prior to China, it is possible to apply for your visa there. You can ask the hotel concierge for assistance.

When finished the visa, you can come to China directly. Before your departure, I have something to tell you about the travels in China. If you a green hand, I recommend that you should go to a China travel agency for help. China Youth Travel Service (CYTS), which has a long history of good reputation, will give your more suggestions on China Tours. In fact, you can find flights, hotels, tour packages information here and compare all the prices which is offered by different airlines or hotels, so that you can get the most competitive prices. By doing this, you can save big on your travel expense. In addition, the most attractive service of CYTS offered is the tour packages, such as the Multi-City Tours, the Single-City Tours, Join-in Groups Tours, and so on. I will give you an example to make it clearer. The Beijing Post-Olympic Memories, which is one of the Single-City Tours. For this itinerary, you can experience the most popular historical city and see both ancient civilization and modern progress. Moreover, you will have to opportunity to walk on the largest Square in the world Review 29th Olympic Games at Olympic Park. The highlights of this itinerary are the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City, the Hutong Culture, the Bird’s Nest, the Water Cube, and many other attractions. It is sure that you will have a better view to Beijing.

There are all kinds of tours waiting for you, travel to Tibet—the holy palace; travel to Shanghai—the metropolis; travel to Guilin—the famous landscape, etc. China will never disappoint you. So, are you going to join us on China Tours? Come to book your China Flights and explore yourself.

FAQ about Travel to China Visa

On November 26, 2010, in China Travel Gossip, Travel Info, What's Our Specialist Say?, by Jack Li

When foreign visitors want to come to china travel, one of the most important things they need take into account is the Visa Card. In the following article, I will show you some FAQ about China Visa Application and I hope it will be helpful for your China Tours. Firstly, some foreign visitors asked if […]

When foreign visitors want to come to china travel, one of the most important things they need take into account is the Visa Card. In the following article, I will show you some FAQ about China Visa Application and I hope it will be helpful for your China Tours.

Firstly, some foreign visitors asked if they need a visa to China, except Hong Kong and Macau. The answer is yes. Foreigners who visit China are generally required to apply for a visa before departure, but some aliens are exempt from a visa to Mainland China, for example, ordinary passport holders from Singapore, Brunei and Japan enjoy visa free access to Mainland China for up to 15 days. Secondly, the place where you submit your visa application is Chinese Embassy.  For entry into China, aliens should apply for visas from Chinese Embassies or Consulates. Each Embassy or consulate has its own consular districts. Usually, applicants are required to lodge their application to the relevant Embassy or Consulate according to consular districts. For example, if you live in Idaho, you should submit application to Chinese Embassy in USA. Applicants who reside or travel away from their country can apply for visas at a local Chinese Embassy or Consulate. By the way, Shenzhen and Zhuhai are the Special Economic Zones; they can issue a special economic zone tourist visa to aliens at the entry ports. Shenzhen issues Single-Entry Tourist Visa with 5 days of stay in Shenzhen at the entry ports. Aliens can also apply for Zhuhai Single-Entry Tourist Visa with 3 days of stay in Zhuhai at the entry ports. The best time for you to submit your visa application is only 1 or 2 months before your planed date to enter China. Of you apply for the visa too late, you may not have enough time for the application. If you apply for the visa too early, the visa may become invalid before your departure for China. Generally, the validity of a single-entry visa is 3 months, counted from the date of application. Thirdly, the easies way to get the visa application form is download it from the internet; moreover, the application is also offered by the embassy or consulate for free. Fourthly, if you can’t go to the embassy or consulate in person, the visa application can be presented by someone else, such as your friends, relatives, visa agency or travel agency, but the visa application form should be completed and signed by yourself. Someone else can pick up your visa for you as long as he can show the “Pick Up Form”. And keep in mind that most of Chinese embassies and consulates don’t accept visa application by mailing. You should visit the official website of Chinese embassy or consulate to check whether it accepts application by mailing or not. Even though the Visa Mail Service is available, the embassy or consulate is not responsible for the loss or damage of your passport and other documents due to mishandling by mail service. Generally speaking, it takes 4 working days for processing the visa application. Many embassies or consulates also provide 1 working day service or 2 – 3 working days service, but you need pay extra money for the service.
fifthly, the visa fees vary greatly according to your nationality, the number of entries, the country you are applying in and whether you need an express service or not. Generally speaking, the visa fees are more expensive if the visa has more number of entries.

After getting your visa card to China, you can take China Flights and explore the amazing country yourself.

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Frequently Asked Questions about China Visa

If you want to Travel to Beijing in China, you will definitely need to get a Chinese visa. But what is a Chinese visa and how can you get it? Here are some frequently asked questions about visas and China Tours. 1. What is a Chinese visa? A china visa is a stamp on a […]

If you want to Travel to Beijing in China, you will definitely need to get a Chinese visa. But what is a Chinese visa and how can you get it? Here are some frequently asked questions about visas and China Tours.

  1. 1. What is a Chinese visa?

A china visa is a stamp on a passport which allows you to visit China. If you need to enter a country, such as for business, as a tourist or in transitory, you need to get a visa before you enter. Your type of visit and length of visit will influence the type of visa you get.

2. Are there different kinds of visas?

Yes, there are. In all, there are six types of China visas: tourist visa, business visa, student visa, work visa, transit visa, crew visa, resident visa and journalist visa.

 Tourist Visas (L) are issued to foreigners who are going to China for tourism, visiting family or other private affairs.  Business Visas (F) are for people who are invited to China for a business visit, such as an investigation, a lecture, scientific-technological & cultural exchanges, short-term furthering studies or intern practice for less than six months. Student Visas (X)  are for foreigners who are going to China to study for a period of more than six months. Work Visas (Z) are for foreigners who are going to China for a post or employment, and to their accompanying family members.  Transit Visas (G) are issued to foreigners who are going to a third country in transit of China. Crew Visas (C) are for crewmembers travelling on international-based transportation, such as trains, airplanes and ships and family members accompanying them.

3. When shall I apply for my Chinese visa?

The best time to apply for a Chinese visa is about one month before your travel date. But if you need a visa immediately, you can get the rush service by paying an extra fee.

4. How can I get a China visa?

The tourist (L) and transit (G) visas are the only ones that you can apply for without assistance from a business, government or academic institution. For the rest, you have to ask others for help, such as a travel agency in China or in your own country.

Please note that no visa is required if you go to Hainan Province for travel with an organized group or travel to Hong Kong under 30 days.

5. What does it requires?

(1) One Visa Application Form of the People’s Republic of China.

(2)Applicant’s passport with at least 6 months remaining validity and available blank pages for the visa.

3) A recent passport-size color photo with white background stuck onto the visa application form.

(4)In some cases, the original and a copy of the Chinese Hotel Booking and Return Air Ticket are required.

6. How long is a China visa valid?

There are of two types:

A Single and Double entry China visa is valid for 90 days from issuance. Within 90 days (please pay attention to the time difference between China and your own country) you can enter China. And from the date of your entrance, you can stay in China for 30 days (the duration period is written on the visa label).

A Multiple entry China visa (Business Only) is valid for 6 months from issuance.  Within 180 days (please pay attention to the time difference between China and your own country) you can enter China. And from the date of your entrance, you can stay in China for 30 days.

I hope you have a great time with china travel.

How To Get A Visa For China

On November 19, 2010, in Tips & Ideas, Travel Info, What's Our Specialist Say?, by Jack Li

If you are planning a trip to China and you are an international traveller,  you will need to get a Visa before you go. I would recommend a trip to  China as the local people, the culture, the food and the sights are definitely  worth seeing at least once in your life. Suggestions & Introductions: Step1. Start applying for a Visa plenty of time in advance so that your travel to China  will go more smoothly. Firstly, make sure that your Passport is valid for atleast  six months. In addition to a Visa for China, you will need a valid Passport for any  other international travel. Step2. You will need to know which type of Chinese Visa you need. There are numerous  types of Visas available to non-Chinese residents (foreigners) when visiting China,  depending on the purpose of your travel. Here are the most common Visas for China: C Visa – for international crew members, who must perform onboard duties on trains,  airplanes and other vessels. D Visa – for foreigners who will reside in China permanently F Visa -for foreigners who are invited to China for less than six months for an  investigation, a visit, a lecture, scientific or technological and cultural exchanges,  business, short-term advanced studies or an internship G Visa – for foreigners who travel through China J-1 Visa – for foreign resident correspondents in China J-2 Visa – for foreign journalists who make short trips to China for a reporting job L Visa – for foreigners who visit China to sightsee, visit family or for other private  reasons X Visa – for foreigners who travel to China for study, advanced study, or internships  longer  than six months Z Visa – for foreigners who travel to China for a post or for employment, and their  family members Step3. Most visitors to China apply for a Tourist Visa (L Visa) .If you need a different kind of Visa,  refer to the Resources section below for more specific advice. Make sure you have the following documents to apply: – Passport which is still valid for at least six months and with at least one blank Visa page – completed Visa Application Form – one 2×2 inch (either black and white or color) photo stapled or glued to the application  form Step4. You must then hand deliver the completed application to your state’s Visa Office of the  Embassy or Consulate. If this is not possible, use the Application Mail Back Service. The following are specific requirements for the return envelope for the Application Mail  Back Service:  – include a self-addressed prepaid return envelope with the correct return postage using  a tracking number or bar code  via the U.S. Postal Service Express Mail, FedEx, or another delivery service – do not use a metered or stamped envelope – do not use a certified or registered mail service – as the applicant, fill in your name and address as the sender on the return envelope Allow seven business days for processing. Rush service is not available to get a Visa  for China. Step5. Include the application fee of $130 and a $5 handling fee per envelope per person.  Pay […]

If you are planning a trip to China and you are an international traveller, 

you will need to get a Visa before you go. I would recommend a trip to 

China as the local people, the culture, the food and the sights are definitely 

worth seeing at least once in your life.

Suggestions & Introductions:
Step1.

Start applying for a Visa plenty of time in advance so that your travel to China

 will go more smoothly. Firstly, make sure that your Passport is valid for atleast 

six months. In addition to a Visa for China, you will need a valid Passport for any 

other international travel.

Step2.

You will need to know which type of Chinese Visa you need. There are numerous 

types of Visas available to non-Chinese residents (foreigners) when visiting China, 

depending on the purpose of your travel.

Here are the most common Visas for China:

C Visa – for international crew members, who must perform onboard duties on trains, 

airplanes and other vessels.

D Visa – for foreigners who will reside in China permanently
F Visa -for foreigners who are invited to China for less than six months for an

 investigation, a visit, a lecture, scientific or technological and cultural exchanges, 

business, short-term advanced studies or an internship
G Visa – for foreigners who travel through China
J-1 Visa – for foreign resident correspondents in China
J-2 Visa – for foreign journalists who make short trips to China for a reporting job
L Visa – for foreigners who visit China to sightsee, visit family or for other private 

reasons
X Visa – for foreigners who travel to China for study, advanced study, or internships

 longer

 than six months
Z Visa – for foreigners who travel to China for a post or for employment, and their

 family members

Step3.

Most visitors to China apply for a Tourist Visa (L Visa) .If you need a different kind of Visa, 

refer to the Resources section below for more specific advice.

Make sure you have the following documents to apply:

– Passport which is still valid for at least six months and with at least one blank Visa page
– completed Visa Application Form
– one 2×2 inch (either black and white or color) photo stapled or glued to the application 

form

Step4.

You must then hand deliver the completed application to your state’s Visa Office of the

 Embassy or Consulate. If this is not possible, use the Application Mail Back Service.
The following are specific requirements for the return envelope for the Application Mail 

Back Service: 
– include a self-addressed prepaid return envelope with the correct return postage using 

a tracking number or bar code

 via the U.S. Postal Service Express Mail, FedEx, or another delivery service
– do not use a metered or stamped envelope
– do not use a certified or registered mail service
– as the applicant, fill in your name and address as the sender on the return envelope

Allow seven business days for processing. Rush service is not available to get a Visa 

for China.

Step5.

Include the application fee of $130 and a $5 handling fee per envelope per person. 

Pay using one single money order, cashier’s check, or company check only. Make it 

payable to 

“Chinese Embassy” for both fees.
Note: Do not use two money orders or checks

Tips & Warnings

Check the Chinese embassy’s website for Visa guidelines for non-U.S. citizens.

Don’t rush this process. Make sure you allow enough time to get a Visa for China.

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Handbook for International Travel Tours to China

On November 16, 2010, in Tips & Ideas, Travel Info, What's Our Specialist Say?, by Jack Li

International travel is always complicated, especially if your destination is China. First, you need to apply for an entry VISA for mainland tour and another special entry permit to Travel to Tibet. Secondly, you may be refused by some low-cost China Hotels if you just show up at the counter, because several hotels are not […]

International travel is always complicated, especially if your destination is China. First, you need to apply for an entry VISA for mainland tour and another special entry permit to Travel to Tibet. Secondly, you may be refused by some low-cost China Hotels if you just show up at the counter, because several hotels are not available for foreigners. Thirdly, most of the time you need to join a travel agency that provides services for international travelers, as people are speaking Chinese rather than English. So this article is going to introduce some information about these concerns.

Apply for the VISA. The exceptions are Hong Kong and Macao, otherwise you need to apply for the entry VISA before entering China. You can apply for the VISA in local Chinese consulates and your passport should be valid for at least 6 months. The type of VISA is usually L, the travel VISA, which is valid for 3 months. The process duration is usually a week. Moreover, you need to get Tibet Travel Permit, or Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) for entering Tibet area. You will need an additional transit permit to go to certain cities in Tibet, such as Mt. Everest Base camp. These two permits can only be applied through travel agencies, excluding the government officers, diplomats and journalists. It generally takes 1-10 business days. If you travel to Tibet by air, you need to show these document when check in.

Hotels. Some of the hotels are not available for foreigners. One of the reasons is that they do not have the system to check your passport information. There are many motels or express hotels popular among

Chinese and their prices are relatively low. However, some branches in sensitive areas cannot accept foreigners. Such as Shanghai Home Inn in Railway station is not available for foreigners, while other branches in Shanghai can accept foreigners. This is because the railway station is sensitive and restricted by the government. My suggestion is to book your reservation through the online agencies. For example, you can go to tripadviser.com and search the hotel information, reviews, and the online providers. Chinatraveldepot.com is run by China Youth Travel Service company, and this website provides service mainly for foreigners. Therefore, they have already screened those improper hotels and information for you.

Travel Agencies. If you are not a backpacker type of traveler, then the quality of your vacation in China largely depends on the travel agency you have chosen. The professional level of guide, the arrangement of tour

packages, the vehicles and restaurants provided are all essential part of choosing a travel agency. On chinatraveldepot.com, you can get these things customized. You can just pick the general 7-day or 2-week tour package, then replace some of the items with your own interests. You can also rent cars on this website like you do in your own place. The difference is that renting a car through this website, you will get a driver and translator as well. So it is more like a private tour. If you decide to follow a travel agency, you do not need to worry about the domestic flights, the hotels, places, schedules. But you still need to get your VISA to enter China at first.

International travel needs much more preparation than domestic travels, especially the china travel where you speak completely different language, and you need VISA to get in. Despite some sensitive issues, it is still worthy once you start your journey in this ancient cultural land. If you are interested, please go to the travel section for more details.

Tourist Visa for China

On November 2, 2010, in Cool Places, Cultural Experience, by Jack Li

You may everything is wonderful in China, since it has the most beautiful and grateful heritages, such as the Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, etc. Before you book a China Flight for your China Tours, please check on the travel visa of People’s Republic of China clearly. Visa Application Chinese visa is a permit issued by visa […]

You may everything is wonderful in China, since it has the most beautiful and grateful heritages, such as the Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, etc. Before you book a China Flight for your China Tours, please check on the travel visa of People’s Republic of China clearly.

Visa Application

Chinese visa is a permit issued by visa authorities of China in accordance with the laws and regulations of China to a foreign citizen for entry into, exit from or transit through the territory of China. The Chinese Visa Authorities issue Diplomatic Visa, Courtesy Visa, Service Visa or Ordinary Visa to a foreign citizen according to his or her status, purpose of visit and type of passport.

Chinese embassies and consulates general do not extend the period of validity of an issued visa. Holder of an issued visa should apply for a new visa if he or she intends to visit China after the expiry of the issued visa. Foreigners holding an expired visa shall be refused entry into China. Make sure the visa is valid before you set off for China. Duration of stay of a visa refers to the longest period the visa holder is allowed to stay in China from the date of entry into China on each visit.

After entry into China, a foreign citizen who needs to stay in China longer than the duration of stay on the visa must apply for an extension of stay at a local public security bureau before the expiry of the duration of stay on the visa. This does not necessarily mean your application for the extension of stay will for certain be approved. The applicant shall bear any consequences arising there from.

Travel Information

For foreign people who visit China and its cities after 2008 Beijing Olympiad, most of the famous places printed several foreign languages tour information guide, so that you can be relax and get one for free at the entrance. Cell phone and Chinese civil passenger train are very important to people who come to China for visit at very first time. After September 1st, 2010, you can but cell phone SIM card at any mobile stores or vending stores on the street by your ID card or passport. Three major mobile companies are holding the services for cell phones, they are China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. All these three companies have different packages for varieties of customers. 2G and 3G network are all can be used in mainland China now.

China is currently redeveloping its entire railway network to produce a modern high-speed network. By the end of 2009 China expects to have a railway network length covering 89,000 km, which includes both freight and passenger railway lines.

There are seven types of tickets that may be purchased, First Class Seat used for CRH series EMU trains. There are 4 seats per row, just similar as soft seat; Second Class Seat used for CRH series EMU trains. Similar as hard seat, there are 5 seats per row, the sitting area is relatively small; Hard seat is the basic fare, somewhat similar to the economy class on an airplane. On busier routes, passengers who cannot arrange for better seats because of overcrowding must also purchase this type of ticket. In some cases, tickets are sold with no seat assigned, which allows the railway to sell more tickets than there are seats in the car. Still, even the number of “no seat” tickets offered for sale is limited, to keep overcrowding within limits; Soft seat is one level above the Hard Seat. There are 4 seats per row, so it has comfortable seating similar to business class on airplanes; Hard sleeper is the basic accommodation for an overnight train. Despite the name, the bunks comfortably accommodate anyone below six feet. Bunks are arranged three on a side in a compartment – indicated by top, middle and bottom on the ticket. But there are no doors for the compartments; Soft sleeper contains a wider bunk bed in an enclosed cabin, two bunks to a side, and an entertainment system where movie channels are available for viewing through headphones and an LCD display for each bunk. These tickets are usually reserved more than a week prior to departure. Now some CRH series EMU trains also have soft sleepers, such as CRH1E and CRH2E. Luxury soft sleeper is the top level sleeper that is only owned by a few trains. The ticket is also much more expensive than that of soft sleeper. It only contains two beds in a cabin, and there is an independent toilet in every cabin. Some of them has a shower cubicle in the car.

You can just visit chinatraveldepot.com for more information, and we sincerely welcome you to China for your China Tours.

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