My first trip to mainland China was quite the experience. Kate and I stopped over for three days en route to Hong Kong. Recently, (maybe one or two years ago?) China has started allowing 72 hour layovers without requiring a visa. Great! The hassle of applying (and paying for) a visa was one of the main things deterring me from taking a trip in the past. As an american, I pay roughly double that of other nationalities. Keep in mind that there are some rules to the new 72 hour regulation, so do your research before you book a flight:
- You can only visit selected cities
- Only selected nationalities are eligible
- Your ticket cannot be round trip. You must be on your way to a third location (Hong Kong counts). For example, I went from Seoul->Beijing->Hong Kong->Seoul.