China 72-Hour Visa Free Transit Extended to Guangzhou August 1

Guangzhou is set to join Beijing and Shanghai on August 1 in launching 72-hour visa-free transit for nationals of 45 countries, including major tourist sources, Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States.

The key stipulations are, “Travellers seeking the visa must have an outbound plane ticket to a third country. Those returning to their country of origin will not be eligible, nor will those arriving by bus, train or ferry from Hong Kong or Macau.”

Travelers will be able to travel anywhere in Guangdong Province. Get whatever documentation you can upon arrival because hotels typically must register guests with the local Public Security Bureau by scanning/copying passports and visa information, and this will be new to hotels, especially in smaller towns.

China Daily has excellent selections for 1, 2 and 3-day itineraries in Guangdong, from the erect Danxia Mountain in Shaoguan (see here for a peek) to the UNESCO-listed Kaiping Diaolou homes.

Kaiping Diaolou

Photo by Kevin Poh

Guangzhou itself is primarily a business hub for manufacturers and traders, though has its tourist gems, such as Shamian Island and my favorite, right by the Canton Trade Fair halls, the Western Han Nanyue Royal Tomb Museum.

Sichuan’s Chengdu has been approve for visa-free transit though has not set a date; Tianjin’s application is pending.

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  • Mr. Cool

    used it 3 weeks ago in PEK for my 5-hour layover.. convenient

  • SgFm

    I used this in Bejing in May. Having a printed flight itinerary was crucial for both the airline and immigration. The check in agent told me the magic words are “passenger is in transit”, since ordinarily the airlines will not let you fly without a visa for China already in your passport.

  • Singapore Flyer

    I guess it is time to go visit the village and our farm.

  • Singapore Flyer

    I guess it is time to go visit our farmhouse and check the ancestral villages. After watching Andrew Zimmern’s episode on Guangzhou, i think it should be fun.

  • Phil

    Anyone know how the 72 hours is judged? My flights to PEK are below, whihc is literally 71 hours in the country…..like to not have to pay for a visa (for 4), but what if the flgiht is delayed or cancelled? Do they literally look at a time stamp when you enter? Any help would be appreciated

    Thu, 28NOV13 OZ331 X SEOUL, REPUBLIC OF SOUTH KOREA
    (ICN – INCHEON) 8:30 AM BEIJING, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
    (PEK – CAPITAL) 9:45 AM A-321 Breakfast
    Flight operated by ASIANA AIRLINES.

    Sun, 01DEC13 NH956 X BEIJING, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
    (PEK – CAPITAL) 8:55 AM TOKYO, JAPAN
    (NRT – NARITA) 1:25 PM 767-300

  • @Phil – I think they would judge by the intended schedule and I would not be worried about it. Even before this policy, such as the time of the Iceland volcano/ash cloud, Beijing may all kinds of allowances for stuck travelers with no visas.