passport must be valid for at least six months after the expiry
date of your visa and you’ll need at least one entire blank page
in your passport for the visa. You may be required to show proof
of hotel reservations and onward travel from China, as well as a
bank statement showing you have $100 in your account for every
day you plan to spend in China.
A standard 30-day single-entry visa can be issued from most Chinese embassies abroad in three to five working days. Express visas cost twice the usual fee. In some countries (eg the UK and the US) the visa service has been outsourced from the Chinese embassy to a Chinese Visa Application Service Centre, which levies an extra administration fee. In the case of the UK, a single-entry visa costs £30, but the standard administration charge levied by the centre is a further £36.
A standard 30-day visa is activated on the date you enter China, and must be used within three months of the date of issue. 60-day and 90-day tourist visas are reasonably easy to obtain in your home country but difficult elsewhere. To stay longer, you can extend your visa in China at least once, sometimes twice.
Visa applications require a completed application form (available at the embassy or downloaded from its website) and at least one photo (normally 51mm x 51mm). You normally pay for your visa when you collect it. A visa mailed to you will take up to three weeks. In the US and Canada, mailed visa applications have to go via a visa agent, at extra cost. In the US, many people use the China Visa Service Center, which offers prompt service. The procedure takes around 10 to 14 days.
Hong Kong is a good place to pick up a China visa. However, at the time of writing only Hong Kong residents were able to obtain them direct from the Visa Office of the People’s Republic of China. Single-entry visas processed here cost HK$200, double-entry visas HK$300, while six-month/one-year multiple-entry visas are HK$500. But China Travel Service (CTS) and many travel agencies in Hong Kong can get you a visa in two to three working days. Expect to pay HK$650 for a single-entry visa and HK$750 for a double-entry. Both American and UK passport holders must pay considerably more for their visas.
Be aware that political events can suddenly make visas more difficult to procure or renew.
Chinese law requires foreign visitors to carry their passport with them at all times; it is the most basic travel document and all hotels (and internet cafes) will insist on seeing it. You also need it to buy train tickets or to get into some tourist sights, particularly those which are free.
It’s a good idea to bring an ID card with your photo in case you lose your passport. Even better, make photocopies, or take digital photos of your passport – your embassy may need these before issuing a new one. You should also report the loss to the local Public Security Bureau (PSB).
Things to do in Chengdu
Visit Giant Panda
Located just 6 miles (10 km) away from downtown Chengdu, this is the most convenient place for visitors to see the giant pandas at a close range.
2. Watch Magical Face Changing
Face changing is a magical art. Actors change more than 10 masks in less than 20 seconds! By raising the hand, swinging a sleeve or tossing the head, an actor uses different masks to show different emotions, expressing invisible and intangible feelings through visible and tangible masks. From green to blue, red, yellow, brown, black, dark and gold, these masks show fear, tension, relaxation, slyness, desperation, outrage, and so on.
3. Visit Leshan Giant Buddha
The Leshan Giant Buddha is a statue of Maitreya (a Bodhisattva usually represented as a very stout monk with a broad smile on his face and with his naked breast and paunch exposed to view) in sitting posture.
4. Visit Historic Sites
Wuhou Temple (Memorial Temple of Marquis Wu) was built in the 6th century in memory of the Emperor Liu Bei and the Prime Minister Zhuge Liang of the Shu Kingdom.
5. Visit Mount Qingcheng
It is a Taoist mountain located about 20 kilometers southwest of Dujiangyan City. It is also a very attractive and intriguing scenic spot that is covered by luxuriant and verdant trees.
6. Relish Chuan Cuisine
As one of the eight major Chinese cuisines, Sichuan cuisine has a history of as long as two thousand years, and occupies an important position in the Chinese history of culinary art. The modern Sichuan cuisine with its hot flavored dishes, however, was just introduced into China and became recognized worldwide in the last century.
Nowadays, the hot and spicy Sichuan cuisine has become internationally popular for being distinctively flavorful. There are many regional sub-styles of Sichuan cuisine, four best known among which are Chongqing style, Chengdu style, Zigong style, and Buddhist vegetarian style. The balance between the dishes' color, smell, flavor, shape and nutrition are very carefully maintained so that its dishes not only look nice and taste yummy, but are also nutritious.