For all those who always wanted to visit the enchanting land of China but somehow never could find the time to apply for a visa, your wish just came true. That is of course considering you’re a resident of a select few countries. This is because, starting January 1, 2013, citizens of these select few countries will be able to gain a visa-free entry into China for a 3-day period by obtaining an on the spot permit on arrival. Travellers arriving at the cities of Beijing and Shanghai will only be eligible for this visa-free entry facility.
The countries whose citizens are going to be benefited from this change of entry policy are – Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta,
Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Singapore,
Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Ukraine.
If you are having an onward ticket and a valid visa for another country then you may also apply for a transit without visa (TWOV) at the following airports – the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA), the Beijing Capital International airport (PEK), the Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG). This will allow you to enter China for a maximum period of 72 hours without a visa. However your time will start right from the moment that the TWOV permit is handed out to you at the entry / exit administration desk at either of the above three airports. A small caveat about the TWOV permit is that you will not be permitted to leave the city. That means in case you have received the TWOV permit at the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) or the Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) you will not be able to leave the city of Shanghai.
China Guide has come up with some specialised tour packages keeping in mind the needs of travellers with a small 3-day window of opportunity to experience the country. Their website has a list of itineraries that can be fit into a three day window and which offers ample opportunities to experience the country.