Lonely Planet Writer

101-year-old Chinese grandma gets first passport and plans to travel

A 101-year-old grandmother from China has made headlines by applying for her first passport and planning to travel abroad. Liu Chengxin, who hails from Jiangsu province in eastern China received her passport in the post this week, becoming the oldest person in her city – Wuxi  – to ever apply for a passport.

Liu Chengxin with her new passport.
Liu Chengxin with her new passport.

In addition to her new passport, Liu also received a travel permit to visit Hong Kong and Macau. Mainland Chinese nationals are required to apply for a special Two-Way Permit for short visits to Hong Kong and Macau.

Liu’s 10 children have plans to take their mother – who they say is in excellent health – travelling around Asia, including a cruise to Japan and South Korea as well as to Tibet and a domestic trip to see the sights of China’s capital city in Beijing . ‘The world is so big, you must go and see it,’ Liu told the Beijing Morning Post.

Liu Chengxin’s new passport.

When asked about the secret to old age, Liu said that she goes out for a walk every day with her son and eats mixed grains, taro, potatoes, braised pork and sesame dumplings. ‘I can eat a big bowl of wontons and two steamed buns each meal,’ Liu said.

According to the Beijing Morning Post, there is no upper age limit for Chinese nationals applying for new passports. However, some Chinese travel agencies and carriers may refuse travel to passengers if they feel the individual is not in good enough health.