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The Traveller's Magazine
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The new year brings good news for travellers heading to China in 2013. As of today, the government has lifted the short-stay visa restrictions for both cities allowing 3-day visits possible without a visa. Three hips and three hoorays for that!

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Short-stay visas no longer required

Travellers in transit in China are now able to visit either Beijing or Shanghai for up to 72 hours without a short-stay visa. This new regulation is applicable to visitors from 45 countries including Britain. Shanghai previously allowed short-stay visitors to stay for 48-hours without a visa from selected countries but this was not the case for Beijing. The capital will certainly welcome the new wave of tourism from passengers who plan flights to Beijing with longer stopovers to experience this exciting city.

The visa-free travel is applicable on all flights from the UK to Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK), Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA).

The only clause is that travellers will require proof of an outbound flight ticket to another country with a departure within 72 hours as well as valid travel documents to visit that destination country. Besides that, you’re golden. So what is there to see in Beijing and Shanghai in 72 hours?

Beijing

great-wall

Planning to visit Beijing for a few days? Start your whirlwind Beijing tour in Tiananmen Square, a huge plaza with pretty grand surroundings. Next is the Forbidden City through the famous red gate. The Palace Museum is a must-see and then it’s on to Beihai Park. At night the Donghuamen Night Market is a pretty exciting place to visit. Allot at least one full day to visit the Great Wall. Book a tour with no unnecessary stops like shopping and make sure it includes a stop at the Ming Tombs. Day three, why not go temple hopping? Lama Temple (Yonghegong), Confucius Temple and the Drum and Bell Towers are particularly interesting.

[see]China’s Great Wall is getting greater by the minute[/see]

Shanghai

shanghai

There is a lot to see in Shanghai so pick your districts and stick to them. Start day one off in Pu Dong, where most of the city’s most famous sights are located like the Jin Mao Tower (5th tallest skyscraper in the world), Lujiazui (Shanghai’s “Wall Street”) and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Day two is all about culture. Start in People’s Square and then head to the Shanghai Museum. For shopping, Nanjing Road is sure to please. For nightlife, Xin Tian Di is popular, especially for live music and karaoke. Day three spend exploring the city’s gardens. Yuyuan Garden is a must.

[see]Skate or die: best skate parks in the world[/see]
Imgs: maimai_79, kk+ / Flickr cc.

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