Travel country A to B, with 2 or 3 stops in China. Is Visa needed?
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Oct 14, 2013 8:54 AM Last Post By: jiejie
Oct 5, 2013 9:08 AM
Travel country A to B, with 2 or 3 stops in China. Is Visa needed?Yes, there was a a thread entitled 2 stops in China, but this is slightly different and just double-checking.
Passport EU / North American. Do have 1 entry remaining to China, but do not want to use it during this trip.
Please see itineraries ##1 and ##2 below, both from Mongolia to Nepal, and each itinerary has the same airline all the way through. Only difference is: one trip layover PEK: Beijing, China 19h 00m
Air China Flight 4112 Take-off: 9:00a Landing: 11:50a PEK: Capital CTU: Chengdu 2h 50m
-> layover CTU: Chengdu, China 21h 50m
Air China Flight 437 Take-off: 9:40a Landing: 10:30a CTU: Chengdu KTM: Tribhuvan
Oct 5, 2013 9:27 AM
1something strange in how the posting appears - it had both itineraries, etc ... try again
Yes, there was a a thread entitled 2 stops in China, but this is slightly different and just double-checking.
Passport EU / North American. Do have 1 entry remaining to China, but do not want to use it during this trip.
Please see itineraries 1 and 2 below, both from Mongolia to Nepal, and each itinerary has the same airline all the way through. Only difference is: one trip <24hrs and the other ~ 49hrs.
I believe no Visa is required for ##1 itinerary (as total travel time is < 24hours, ie < 24hrs in China) - is this correct?
1. Total travel time < 24 hrs
2. Total travel time ~ 49 hrs due to long layovers within China
Edited by: Expatriate_LP
Oct 5, 2013 9:32 AM
2something to do with embedded webpage codes affecting display of itineraries.
Here's an itinerary with THREE (3) stops in China, whilst going from Mongolia to Nepal.
ULN to KTM – 3 stops 22h 05m
Air China – Flight 902 2h 05m
Take-off Mon 3:30p ULN Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Landing Mon 5:35p PEK Beijing, BJ, China
Boeing 737-800 (Narrow-body Jet) | 2h 05m | 9+ seats remain
PEK Beijing, BJ, China
Air China – Flight 4106 3h 05m
Take-off Mon 8:00p PEK Beijing, BJ, China
Landing Mon 11:05p CTU Chengdu, SC, China
Airbus A330-300 (Wide-body Jet) | 3h 05m | 9+ seats remain
CTU Chengdu, SC, China
Air China – Flight 407 2h 20m
Take-off Tue 8:35a CTU Chengdu, SC, China
Landing Tue 10:55a LXA Lhasa, XZ, China
Airbus A319 (Narrow-body Jet) | 2h 20m | 9+ seats remain
LXA Lhasa, XZ, China
Air China – Flight 407 1h 40m
Take-off Tue 11:55a LXA Lhasa, XZ, China
Landing Tue 11:20a KTM Kathmandu, Nepal
Airbus A319 (Narrow-body Jet) | 1h 40m
Oct 5, 2013 10:52 AM
Oct 5, 2013 11:10 AM
Oct 5, 2013 12:33 PM
5Two stops in/across China is common (eg. Shanghai-Kunming), three stops less so. If you can do the three in 24hrs from first landing to last takeoff (airline scheduled times, rarely is actual enforced) it should be legal. I'm not sure, but I think the middle of the three should also be an airport with transit facility for international travellers, which in your case appears to be true.
If you made up an itinerary like this, more than 24hrs and needing a visa, you would be forced to use the remaining entry in your passport.
Oct 5, 2013 2:59 PM
6As near as I can make out, the itiinerary of post #2 is legal as it's within 24 hours, but a potential nightmare in case of any sort of delays. Cancellation of that evening PEK-CTU flight throws everything out of joint. Also, flying via Lhasa is always sticky--and you would be confined in the airport awaiting your onward to KTM.
The smart money wouldn't tempt fate with this sort of routing, but would fly ULN - ICN - KTM on Korean Airlines or combo of MIAT/Korean and skip China. Assuming a one-way flight sequence, often the Korean routing is only about USD 70 more than the China routing to KTM. I'd say for any differential under $200, I'd pay the extra money and do the Korean routing in a heartbeat.
Oct 6, 2013 6:03 AM
7Thanks for all the replies.
These itineraries came up on Kayak.com, using origin ULN and destination KTM, and were the lowest priced itineraries at approx $500.
(i've used Skyscanner since 2007 for searches as i'm usually quite flexible and it gives ideas of itineraries, but in the past 1 to 2 months it hasn't been working properly - Skyscanner is working on it - we've been exchanging emails)
The itin w/ 3 China stops including Lhasa: (1) stop is only 1 hour (2) no change of planes , so i think passengers just stay on the plane and therefore believe there is no issue abt entering Tibet(Permit, etc).
It does make sense that 24hrs total transit is based on Scheduled times (vs including delays, etc) as this is "determinable" (controllable) in advance.
BTW, I'm in Mongolia (near to 150th country visited, and many countries i've visited multiple times) and have been considering options going south
(A) by land through western China to Kunming, fly to Nepal
(B) by land UB to northeast China to Korea then to SE Asia (Philippines/Singapore/Malaysia/Indo)
(C) by air from UB Mongolia to Korea, then continue approx due south to Philippines/Indonesia, saving the remaining China entry for the Ice/Winter festival in NE China (Harbin) in January OR use air miles and continue on to NZ-French Polynesia-Easter island - Chile OR to Sri Lanka/Maldives as "return" in direction of Europe/Middle East
... lots of possibilities ...argghhh
Oct 6, 2013 9:22 AM
8Try going to a local travel agent in UB. I'm unimpressed by kayak and skyscanner offerings on Asian journeys of this ilk. Often online engines marry segments in ways that aren't advantageous out there in the real world and are not programmed to deal with the full range of possibilities. Or use your visa and go overland at least part of the way.
Oct 12, 2013 5:31 PM
9@jiejie, took you advice and went to travel agent - 2 of them. First one spoke most of her thoughts as she was thinking, so it was useful to understand how she would piece together a flight from Mongolia to Nepal ... she tried connecting through thru HKG .... but not Thailand or China (until i suggested). I explained the "in transit" rules to the second travel agent. Well, it was useful to understand they could not even get fares as low as i found for a simple Mongolia to South Korea (ULN to Seoul) segment.
So, from Mongolia, i have 3 choices still .. of course depends on my purposes (visit country when climate still good, attend interesting festivals at time when they occur, go more south to get away from dull season inbetween autumn and winter, make a cool interesting route eg. NZ to Easter Island to Chile vs go south near to NZ but return north to countries missed and en route to ice festival in Harbin China in January and be in Russia in some atmosphere during the Olympics in mid February, oh and it would be interesting to experience a real traditional USSR/Russian orthodix Xmas and maybe new year)
1. go by land south through China, then fly to either Korea or Nepal ... Benefit: see a few other areas/regions of China and if do not use this second entry now, might not use it later
2. fly from Mongolia to Korea. Benefits... actually cheaper to fly from Mongolia to Korea than to go by land through China and take ferry or airplane to Korea! go figure! save a bunch of days of uncomfortable long bus/train rides. Visit couple of people in Korea. Cross over to North Korea (DMZ). Then quite interestingly , flight prices from Korea going south to Philippines and Indonesia are really cheap... so could get quite far south and way cheaper,from Korea (vs. going from north of China through central China to southern China and trying to fly to those same places ... waaaayy higher price via China!
Another beenfit of this route is ...IF return northward after Indonesia/Timor/PNG area to Singapor or Malaysia, then prices to Sri Lanka and Maldives are quite noticeable lower price than going there from Nepal or Bangladesh or India.
3. fly from Mongolia to Nepal, on one of those interesting routes for $500 (as a single one-time amount of money it seems a lot, but going by land from Mongolia to China and then trains/buses until Kunming where it is still about $230-275 for a flight to Nepal -- and Kunming is the cheapest flight from China to nepal), then again going through China will cost at least $500 or more, so again it's cheaper to take the flight from Mongolia to Nepal.
Benefit of this is to get to Nepal during good climate season of late Oct/early Nov and get to a few other countries (Bangladesh, maybe Bhutan) en route southward and if go that cool route from NZ to Easter Island to Chile then i would not have missed Nepal and few other nearby countries.
arrgghhh.... torn between these routes ... need to prioritize ... i guess it boils down to ... for winter time, do i want to return back north OR do i want to be in NZ and Pacific Islands going across to Chile
Oct 13, 2013 10:50 AM
10OK, you tried. In most places around Asia, local travel agents can usually find at least the same deals as online, if not better. Mongolia appears to be an exception to that rule, so your "guinea pigdom" was not in vain and you've at least provided a valuable data point useable by future travelers in UB. :-)
I think your last paragraph says it all--prioritize. There's too many moving parts in this itinerary for most us to be of much use to you. But I will impart one observation: so much of Asia is changing so rapidly that many currently nice, charming, peaceful, traditional places are at risk of becoming much less so in the next few years. The cities and more developed parts are what they are, since their metamorphosis is already behind them. Therefore, you might look at your voluminous wish list and give extra priority points to those "at risk" countries/places.
Oct 13, 2013 4:46 PM
good point about the changing nature of the region. Taking the bigger travel picture and breaking it into smaller time frames/steps.
Are there any special events during Dec/Jan/Feb in ... ??
(a) SE hemisphere ie,. Philippines, Indonesia, Timor, PNG, NZ, Easter Island, other Pacific Islands, or
(b) Indian-Asia region , ie Maldives/Sri Lanka/Bangladesh/Bhutan/Nepal
Here are the elements i look at in travel for leisure (some of which can be used for business purposes, if so desired)
1. People - "people make the place".. for the "medium" to "longer" term (my own quote or did i read that somewhere?)
2. Time/timing -- special events make the place ...temporarily. Example ice-festival in Harbin CHina - that city would become more alive during that short period and at other times not be as interesting/so different than other cities. Climate .. warm vs cold, dry vs wet, and natural catastrophe/storm seasons
3. Traditions/culture ... as you mention, many places are changing, and certainly cultures/traditions are being lost as globalization or tsunami of economic stimulus takes place in China.
And again about China in particular, as the cities are newly (re-)bulit, they are too manicured, too much like Disney-world, and relatively high fees are charged for entrance,.. so visiting these such places today and in 2 to 4 years time are rather different experiences
4. Foods and Beverages - if unique to an area
5. Music - national/regional (vs pop music in a different language)
6. Nature / fresh air example hills/mountains, autumn leaves colours, etc
7. Fitness ... in nature
8. Cost ... of course i
9. Visas ...of course need permission to enter a country, region, zone, and is first consideration.
Some interesting (to me, and that i know about) timing/special events:
January - ice festival in Harbin China
February (mid-late) - Winter Olympics in Russia... and i speak enough Russian (unplanned learning as travel)
Oct 13, 2013 7:30 PM
Oct 14, 2013 8:53 AM
13With respect to China specifically:
--As JP said, if possible avoid travel in the New Year period and particularly January 24 - February 8.
--Entrance fees are highest at China's national scenic parks. Lower and better value at most city and cultural sights.
If you're talking about visiting the Olympics, the entrance fees in China shouldn't be a budget issue for you.
--China's cities have different characteristics and different levels of interest for the visitor. I don't find any of them Disneylike. Choice of cities to visit and length of time doing so is up to the traveler, but there are some general time frames that seem to work per city, to accommodate seeing the highlights and getting the flavor of the place.
--I would not rank the Harbin Ice/Snow festival as epic and unmissable. It's become very expensive and while interesting for a day, doesn't even rank up in my top 50 (maybe 100) Great China Experiences. In short, don't craft a special itinerary jog just for this.
--I assume winter is the only time you have for China. Given the other places on the list, I'd be tempted to give China a miss this time around, or limit it to Beijing, Sichuan, Yunnan then move on to SE Asia before Chinese New Year sets in.
Can't answer questions about other locations. Olympics in Sochi is a completely separate order of magnitude of planning and cost. If you haven't been to an Olympics before and aren't up to speed on event ticket procurement and cost, you might want to research quickly to rule this in or out before trying to configure routes and visa to accommodate it.
Again, you are having an open conversation on the forum and seem to be asking for others to push or pull you in one direction or another. You're going to have to cut through the fuzz and the lack of focus yourself, and just make some sort of decisions. The answers you seek are not here, they are within yourself.
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