Ni-hao, Shanghai! U.S. passport holders can now do visa free transit through China!
Recently, the Chinese government changed the rules for visa entry. They now permit a Visa-Free transit for passengers who are making an onward third country connection through Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and a few other airports. Now, transit passengers have up to 144 hours to spend in the city which could mean a great mini vacation without the hassle of applying for a tourist visa. Let’s take a look at 5 fun things to do with just 144 hours!
Shanghai is one of China’s financial hub boasting a very impressive skyline and a vibrant energy that is reflective of the western influence from the past. The city is conveniently connected to Pudong Airport through Shanghai Metro which offers a clean, efficient and inexpensive ride to city center. For example, the ride within zone one to East Nanjing Road, the historical shopping road in Shanghai is 7 RMB which is equivalent to 1 USD. Not bad with the exchange rate around $1 USD to $6.4 RMB. As you can see Shanghai is a very affordable metropolis.
With only 24 hours to spare, whats there to do? Here’s my top 5 things to do in Shanghai:
Number 5: Visit Bund or Waitan
Head over to the Bund or “Waitan” a waterfront area in central Shanghai. For architectural buffs, the Bund houses 52 buildings with various styles ranging from Baroque Revival to Romanesque Revival. This area’s a great place to capture the impressive skyline of Pudong AND people watch on the promenade.
Number 4: Visit a Chinese Garden
Yu Garden is an extensive Chinese garden located on the northeast of the old city of Shanghai. It was first built in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty. If you’re a Chinese history and art enthusiast, you could easily spend an entire day there!
Number 3: Get your bargain on!
Bargain hunters beware! If you enjoy “bargaining” for a bargain head to Xinyang Market at the Shanghai A.P. Xinyang fashion district for an affordable shopping experience. There you can find traditional and fashionable souvenirs, have a dress made and bring home some electronic gadgets without breaking your bank.
Number 2: Be social!
Fancy a cocktail? The FLAIR rooftop bar and restaurant at the Ritz Carlton is a must visit! If you’re feeling peckish, the menu offers favorite dishes from Vietnam, Thailand and Japan served tapas style. Step outside for a picture and you’ll be greeted with a nice view of the Pearl Tower.
Number 1: It’s all about the view
Jade Bar on the 36th floor of the Shangri La (which is across the street from the Ritz) offers a great view of the Bund and the Pearl Tower. The drink menu offers fun cocktails and “mock”tails but also an extensive wine list as well. Enjoy the view down below while listening to live jazz.
Shanghai is a vibrant city that cannot be seen and done in just one day. But with a more relaxed Visa-Free transit, why not get a taste of this wonderful city? I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it enough to go apply for a tourist visa!
Have you been to China lately? How was your transit without a visa experience? Let us know in the comments! Like and follow us @seat2asuite on Facebook, Instagram and on our site at Seat2ASuite.com