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  The Chatter Box : Travel
visa china by verena on 13 March 2006 4:00pm
hello everybody,
i had a look at the online application form for a visa to china. I intend to go backpacking there, i.e. I have no specific dates yet. they want the dates of entry into china for the form though, and since I intend to go to china twice (from hongkong and later from laos), I can't give them the exact dates, for I don't know when exactly I'll be doing it. does anyone know, whether you have to stick to the dates you give on the form or whether you can change your itinerary while on the road? does it say those dates on the visa, or does it just generally say double entry on there, without the dates given on the application form? thanks for your help
Re: visa china by Blairhoyle on 13 March 2006 4:09pm
you do have to tell them exactly what date you intend to travel in, the duration of your stay etc, you can get a visa in Hong Kong, you have to send them your passport (you must have at least one clear page) copy of your itinerary, and up to date passport photo.

If i were you i would go to Hong Kong first, then China then Laos
Re: visa china by verena on 13 March 2006 6:41pm
I fly in to hongkong, that's why I need the double-entry visa. how can I send them a copy of my itinerary i I don't have one - after all I will be backpacking, I don't know in advance when I will be where! that's why I don't know when exactly i am going back into china from Laos, for I don't know when exactly I will be there, it all depends on how quickly I can move forward once I am on the road! what shall I do?
Re: visa china by claire83 on 14 March 2006 12:28pm
You don't need a visa for Hong Kong so i suggest you fly to HK, go to a reputable travel agent in Kowloon and apply for a multiple entry chinese visa. The multiple entry visa is valid for 6 months. The beauty of doing this is a) its cheaper to get a visa in hong kong, if you use a postal service in the UK its about £85 whereas it works out at about £45 in HK and b) it gives you some flexibility as to when you travel. I'll be in Hong Kong on May 28th probably queueing up somewhere for my visa. Good luck
Re: visa china by Faustus on 9 April 2006 1:43pm
What Claire83 said. Don't bother getting a visa before going to Hong Kong- you can get one from the CITS (that's China's official tourism service, so they're reliable and quick) office in Kowloon, located across from the Chungking Mansions and near the shady electronics stores. If you have a Lonely Planet for HK, it's mentioned right in there. When I was there, they had a big, red sign with a star on it- fairly easy to spot.

You just go in and fill out some forms they'll give you, get your picture taken, and give them your passport, and you can get a visa in a day or two. It's pretty straightforward, though you'll pay more by going through a service than you would trying to navigate Chinese bureaucracy on your own. If you're American, BTW, Chinese visas cost more than for other nationalities (this is across the board, not just at CITS).

You'll only need a double-entry visa if you enter China via HK, go to Laos or something, and then try to reenter mainland China (i.e. not HK or Macau, but Beijing or somewhere). Have fun in Hong Kong- I loved it there when I went.

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