12.03.2013

72-hours in China's best cities without a visa

Dalian by ashley wang
A growing number of Chinese cities are deciding to allow tourists to visit for a weekend without a visa.    Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, the boomtown (and corruption capital) of Chongqing, the northeastern hub of Shenyang, and Dalian, one of China's most user-friendly and pleasant metropolises, are all on the list of cities offering 72-hour visa-free stays to international tourists.

Travelers from most major EU countries, Australia, the US, and Canada are all eligible for these extended visa-less layovers.  This new policy might entice people to take an extended layover or to add a China leg onto their East Asian itinerary.  Hey, if time and money allow, why not add a weekend in Shanghai or Dalian (my personal favorite) onto your Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Singapore vay-cay.

For a vast majority of travelers, though, getting a standard Chinese tourist visa, while an extra pre-trip step, is not nearly the headache it once was.  So if you want to spend a longer time in the Middle Kingdom, it's easy to do so.  But if you want to introduce yourself to China for the first time or discover a city besides Beijing and Shanghai, the new visa-free policy could make a quick stopover feasible and convenient.

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