So while some of us are struggling with our visas, fearful that the 60th anniversary might screw up our chances of staying in this country somehow, a newspaper has informed us that maybe there was a way for us to enter Shanghai without that coveted, gov’t-stamped document.
According to The West Australian, European (and American and Canadian … 21 nations total) travelers on a trip to China can enter Hainan without a visa. That policy’s been in place since around 2002 – what’s interesting is what they say next:
Travellers may then fly on to Beijing or Shanghai without a visa stamp in their passports, according to Hainan’s tourist representation, which attended the ITB tourism trade fair in Berlin.
By entering China via Hainan, travellers can save the $US45 ($A64) visa fee, according to Hainan’s tourism representative Norbert Pfefferlein.
What?! So all we had to do to sidestep all our visa troubles was to go through Hainan Island? It sounded fishy to us, and after a little more investigation, it seems like the West Australian may have mistranslated something or the Hainan reps simply misspoke.
You can still enter Hainan without a visa, but only for 15 days and only as part of a tour group. Anywhere else you want to go in China requires you to apply for a visa after all. At least that’s what it says according to the most recent article we could find – from March of last year.
While regulations could have changed over the year, we doubt it would’ve gotten looser.