A Traveler’s Guide to Visiting China

in 2019, China had 145 million tourists flocking into the country to visit its magnificence. It is said that if you want a whole new stimulating experience, a country that’s different from what you are used to, China is the best place to visit.

China is home to the world’s richest breadth of culture, impressive ancient heritage, different natural wonders, but at the same time, also a country where you technology and innovation grow every passing day. 

Did I manage to convince you to visit the dragon country? If I did, there here is what you need to know before you travel to China. 

China’s Visa Requirements

visiting china

How to apply for a Chinese Visa?

  1. Complete the following documents: 

Original Passports

  • You must have the original copy of your current passport that has at least 6 months validity and 1 blank page. 
  • A photocopy of the passport’s bio page and emergency contact
  • You must also submit your old passports (in the case you don’t have one or have lost your old passport, make sure to declare it on the application form.)

Accomplished Application Form

  • Must be computerized and filled out digitally. Handwritten forms are not accepted
  • Typed in uppercase letters
  • No blank fields. If an item doesn’t apply to you, type N/A
  • If minor, the form needs the signature of the parents or legal guarding
  • You can download the form here. 

2 Recent Photographs

  • Photo size must be 48mmx33mm
  • White background, front view, and no headcover
  • Must be taken within the last 6 months
  • One of the photos must be pasted on the application form. Stapled, clipped, or taped are not accepted. 

Travel Itinerary

  • The travel itinerary must coincide with the dates indicated in the application form

Flight Reservations or Tickets

  • Include your outward and return tickets and make sure your document contains a Passenger Registration Number or a reservation number. 
  • If your flight is already booked, you can submit the confirmed flight from the airline
  • If you didn’t book a flight just yet, consider submitting a flight reservation instead. You can cancel this, just in case you are denied a visa. 

Hotel Reservations

  • Submit hotel reservations under your name. You can reserve a hotel room online without any charge.
  • Tip! Choose a hotel that allows free cancellation, so you can cancel anytime if you are denied a visa

Always prioritize documents that take time to procure such as passports, employment certificates, or bank statements. If you have other documents that you think will help your case, bring them with you just in case they ask for supporting documents. 

Do not submit fake documents. 

2. Submit your Application

Once you have secured all of the required documents, it’s time to submit your application. Go to the Chinese Embassy in your location and ask for assistance in submitting your documents. After your submission, you will be given a release slip as to when your passport can be claimed. 

Applying for a Visa for the first time

If this is your first time applying for a Chinese visa, one of the major things you need to prove is your financial and employment status. You need to submit these documents:

  • Bank certificate with bank statement for the past 6 months and official receipt
  • Income tax return
  • Certificate of Employment (if employed)
  • Business Registration Certificate (if self-employed)
  • Current school ID (if student)

Flight Cost to China

The airfare varies, all depending on the airlines, according to dates, departure city, and entry city.  

Typically, a round trip to China from the US is roughly $1,500. Traveling during the summer months is more expensive than visiting China during the winter and is even cheaper during the low season. 

Flight Duration to China

From Asia, flight duration to China can range from 3 hours (from Korea to 11 hours (from Kuwait). If you are traveling from the United States, the flight duration is between 14-15 hours while Australia to China is 9-10 hours. If you are from the European countries, it could take 8 hours (from Estonia) up to 14-19 hours (from Paris). 

Important Apps for Tourists

If you want a smooth sailing journey to China, make sure you have these apps installed to your phone. 


WAYGO is not your usually translating app. It is an award-winning offline visual translation application that helps tourists overcome the language barrier. Unlike other translating app that translates character by character, WAYGO allows you to translate menu items, street signs, and more. 

You can simply hover your camera over the Chinese characters and using optical character recognition, WAYGO translates it into English. The best part about this app is that is works offline. 


Social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and whole others are inaccessible through Chinese networks. However, you can work your way around this by using a virtual private network (VPN) that modifies your IP address and lets you surf the net freely. 

There are a lot of VPNs that you can download but VPNExpress has some excellent security, speed, and encryption. You can choose between its different payment plants to find out what’s the best for you. 

Baidu Maps

Google Maps doesn’t work in China. But, you really don’t need it when you have Baidu Maps, a one-of-a-kind essential app. 

Baidu Maps has some advanced features that you can’t seem to find in other map applications. This application has a 3D map search option, public transport routes with waiting times (it’s accurate too), traffic status, and even a heat map that shows you which areas are flooded with crowds. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is China expensive?

Compared to other places in the world, China can be considered affordable to travel to. Prices are cheaper, from meals to train or plane tickets. However, prices are steadily increasing every year. 

According to the expenses of other travelers, an average tourist would spend around $71 (¥459) a day. Food is delicious and cheap in China, even in high-end restaurants. And both budget and luxurious hotels are also affordable. The most expensive thing you’ll spend when you’re in the country will probably be your plane ticket. 

Public transportation costs are reasonable but taxis might be a bit pricy. Taxi fares differ from city to city. 

  1. How’s the weather and climate in China?

China is a huge country and has different weather and climate, depending on your location. If you’re in the north, you’ll experience a temperate climate with summer temperatures, around 25 C and very cold winters. In the south, you’ll have a subtropical climate, hot summers and mild winters. 

You can read more about China’s weather and climate here: When is the Best Time to visit China?

  1. Is China safe?

China is generally a safe country to travel to. Chinese are friendly, honest, and trustworthy. Of course, there will be petty crimes and accidents so it is still recommended that you look out for your own safety. 

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