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China Travel Tips


The Chinese Government issues different types of visas according to the purposes of the visitors. Foreigners wishing to travel to China should apply to a local Chinese embassy or consulate for tourist visas (L). In the event of a group tour of more than nine persons , the organizer has to apply for group tourist visas (L). Foreigners requesting to visit Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Xiamen Special Economic Zones may apply directly to visa authorities in these zones for tourist visas to special economic zones. Foreign tourist groups from Hong Kong for a 72-hour visit to the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone are exempt from entry visas. When applying for a visa, foreigners are required to answer certain questions and go through the following formalities: 1)providing a valid passport or any document in place of a passport; 2)filling in a visa application form and handing inup-to-date passport photos; 3)submitting documents needed for visa application and documents which explain one's reason (s) to enter China. A foreigner holding the tourist visa (L) should go to an appointed port of entry or one which is opened to foreigners, receive the examination by a frontier inspection station, submit a valid passport and visa for inspection, and fill in an entry card; entry into China is granted only after the frontier inspection has approved all the documents and stamped them with an entry seal.

Foreigners may travel in places opened to them in China with a valid passport and tourist visa (L). By March 1996, China had opened 1, 220 cities and counties to foreign visitors. Foreigners travelling with their own transport vehicles should apply for approval before they enter China. These include bicycles, motorcycles, cars, boats and aircrafts.

Foreign tourists are not allowed to enter areas not opened to foreigners; violators will be penalized according to law. Foreigners who want to visit an area on business not opened to them should apply to the local public security organ for a Foreigners Travel Permit . When they apply for such a permit, they should show their own passports and valid visas, provide letters which explain the reasons for such a visit , and fill in the Application Form for Foreign Travellers. Only after approval is granted, can they enter the area not opened to foreign visitors. The Foreigners Travel Permit should be used along with the passport.

When applying for lodging in a hotel, guesthouse, school or any other Chinese establishment , a foreign visitor should provide a valid passport and fill in a registration form for temporary lodging. A foreign visitor staying with a Chinese family should apply to the local public security organ within seventy-two hours after arrival with valid identification documents of both the guest and the host. A foreign visitor staying with a Chinese family in a rural area should apply to the local police station or residential administrative organ within seventy-two hours after arrival. This stipulation also applies to a foreign visitor staying in a foreign establishment or with a foreigner's family in China.

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  Information provided by China National Tourism Administration.


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