Getting Prepared to Travel to Beijing
No vaccination requirements exist for entry into China now, except for yellow fever if you are coming from an infected area. Immunizations against cholera, diphtheria and tetanus, hepatitis A and B, Japanese B, encephalitis, polio, rabies and typhoid are considered essential. Malaria is not a risk in Beijing.
Dangers & Annoyances
The consequence for serious crime against foreigners is severe in China (the sentence is often execution), so you are generally very safe and given little attention by criminals. Nevertheless, as with any large city, Beijing has its fair share of pickpockets. In crowded places, carry your bag in front of you and keep small change in your pocket to avoid opening your wallet. Pickpockets tend to slice open bags with razors, so a money belt is the safest way to carry things.
You'll encounter beggars around temples and in neighborhood frequented by foreigners. They are often mothers or children, many of whom, can be aggressive; they're desperate, but usually not harmful.
may also be approached by art students, who will invite you to an
exhibition. While some people enjoy meeting the students and going along,
most people come away feeling ripped off and bullied into buying
Nationals of all countries require a visa to visit China (with the exception of those from Hong Kong and Macao). Visas must be arranged at embassies or consulates before arriving in China.
Chinese visa is a permit issued by the Chinese visa authorities to a
foreigner for entry into, exit from or transit through China. The Chinese
visa authorities may issue a Diplomatic, Courtesy, Service or Ordinary
Visa to a foreigner according to his status, purpose of visit to China or
passport type. The Ordinary Visa consists of eight sub-categories, which
are respectively marked with Chinese phonetic letters C, D, F, G, J-1,
J-2, L, X and Z.
: Tourist/Family visits. Issued to a foreigner who comes to China for sightseeing, family visiting
or other private purposes, which is valid for 30 to 60 days.
Business visits. Issued to a foreigner who is invited to China for a visit, an
investigation, a lecture, to do business, scientific-technological and
culture exchanges, short-term advanced studies or intern practice for a
period of no more than six months. They
are good for single, double or multiple entries. Those seeking business
visas must obtain official invitation from a government office or a
company authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Study. Issued to a foreigner who comes to China for study, advanced studies or
intern practice for a period of more than six months.
Z Visa: Employment/Work. Issued to a foreigner who comes to China for a post or employment, and his or her accompanying family members.
G Visa: Transit. Issued to a foreigner who transits through China.
Visa: Issued to crewmembers to perform duties on board an
international train, airliner or other vessel, and their accompanying
Visa: Issued to a foreigner who comes to reside permanently in China.
J-1 Visa: Issued to foreign resident correspondents in China.
J-2 Visa: Issued to foreign correspondents that make short trips to China on reporting tasks.
The overseas Chinese visa authorities are Chinese embassies, consulates, and other offices authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. If a foreigner intends to enter into, exit from or transit through Chinese territory, he/she shall apply to the above-mentioned Chinese visa authorities for a Chinese visa.
“valid until” date on the visa is the date by which you must enter the
country, not the date upon which your visa expires.
Information and printable visa application forms can be found here: Chinese Visa.
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