China is a magical place, at once ancient and modern, as more and more American tourists are discovering. There are innumerable reasons to get a Chinese visa and go exploring, but here are 5 of our favorites:
- The Great Wall– Yes, visiting the Great Wall may be something of a cliché. But it’s still impressive.
- Tomb of Qin Shi Huan: The tomb of Qin Shi Huan features thousands of terracotta soldiers and horses, each one unique. If Qin Shi Huan got in a fight in the afterlife with an Egyptian pharaoh, the Chinese emperor would most likely win.
- Tiger Leaping Gorge: If you are the outdoorsy type, Tiger Leaping Gorge offers what is quite possibly the best backpacking trip in all of China.
- Chinglish- Chinese and English are too very different languages. When attempting to translate between them, hilarity often ensues. This article from the New York Times has some great pictures of “Chinglish” signs from Shanghai. Please keep in mind, though, that if Americans tried to write signs in Chinese for Chinese tourists without the assistance of a professional interpreter or someone who knows both languages really well, the results would probably be equally amusing.
- REAL Chinese Food– After years of Chinese takeout, the sheer variety of Chinese food in China will be a revelation. Depending on the region you visit, you might find crispy, delicious duck, boiled scorpions or even “thousand-year” eggs preserved for a rainy day in ash and straw.
American citizens who want to visit China must first obtain the appropriate Chinese visa. China does NOT issue visas on arrival, so make sure you apply in advance.
If you’re traveling to China as a tourist, you’ll want to apply for an “L” visa. You can choose to apply for apply for a single entry Chinese visa valid for 3-6 months, a double-entry visa valid for 6 months or a multiple-entry visa valid for 6 months, so double-check and make sure that the visa you are applying for gives you enough entries to accommodate your itinerary.
For more information on how to get a Chinese tourist visa, see Chinese Visa Requirements for Tourists.