China is a huge country in Asia.
- Airline: AirAsia
Couchsurfing is common in many cities and becoming more and more popular. Students usually sleep in dormitories in the campus and cannot host or fell that they cannot. Often it is still possible to just come as a visitor and stay over night. Still, most students don't want to risk it.
The hospitality in China is remarkable. Often people can invite you to their houses or pay hotels for you. Spontaneous hospitality works pretty easy when meeting people in public places.
A common method also for locals is to sleep in hotel lobbies. Ask at the reception if it is possible (maybe give them a reason - too cold to camp...) and in many cases you can sleep on the lobby couches. The better the hotel, the higher the chances usually. It can also happen that the hotels will just give you a room for free or somebody pays the entrance for you.
Eating while on the road is not too difficult in China.
When hitchhiking, it is very common that the people take you for meals.
It is possible to ask in restaurants for a work/food exchange - 1 hour work for a meal. Nobody will have heard about that concept, but some might appreciate the idea. Many restaurants will serve you food without wanting the work in exchange.
In restaurants, it is also possible to come during times before the restaurant is closing and asking for leftovers. Often you can eat together with the staff for free, which can be an experience with great atmosphere. For that you need to come when shifts are finishing / in the eating times. Just check from the outside. Eating times in China: People like eating at the same time and in China that is quiet early. Lunch is at 12 and Dinner at 6 o'clock.
Asking for leftovers or food from the day before is quiet hard, but possible in the right places. Many restaurants throw the leftovers directly into a big pot where it won't be edible afterwards. Many food chains will not feel responsible enough and will say no before thinking more further. In fruit and vegetable shops asking for leftovers at the end of the day works pretty well. When staying longer in a place, it's possible to make a deal of coming every day at a certain time. In bakeries, the chains often have a system of the old food being picked up in the evening or on the next day to be returned to the factory. More lucky you will be in smaller shops where you can speak to the owner directly. A translator app works well enough to communicate all this.
wifi is available pretty much everywhere in china. People can share their connection from their phones and it is not weird for them to be asked.
Most visitors still need to apply for a visa before traveling to China. The best time to apply for your visa is within 90 days before your departure. Chinese visa is valid immediately once issued, expires in 6 months, 12 months or 24 months respectively, depending on the visa granted.
Passports must be valid for at least six months for a single or double entry within three months of the date of visa issue; at least nine months for multiple entries within six months.
- Ordinary passport holders from Singapore, Brunei and Japan can gain access to China without applying for visas for up to 15 days for business, sightseeing, visiting relatives and friends, or transit.
- Citizens of all other countries need visas to enter into China. If travel in group, the visa will be kept by the accompanying guide and for individual traveler, visa, which is insert into the passport, should be kept by himself.
- Applicants travelling to Tibet now require a permit issued by the Tibetan toursit bureau before applying for a visa.
Types of visa and cost
- Visa D: issued to aliens who are to reside permanently in China. A permanent residence confirmation form shall be required for the application of Visa D. The applicant shall apply to obtain this form himself or through his designated relatives in China from the exit-and-entry department of the public security bureau in the city or county where he applies to reside.
- Visa Z: Issued to aliens who are to take up posts or employment in China, and to their accompanying family members. To apply for a Visa Z, an Employment License of the People's Republic of China for Foreigners (which could be obtained by the employer in China from the provincial or municipal labor authorities) and a visa notification letter/telegram issued by an authorized organization or company are required.
- Visa X: Issued to aliens who come to China for study, advanced studies or job-training for a period of six months or more. To apply for a Visa X, certificates from the receiving unit and the competent authority concerned are required, i.e., Application Form for Overseas Students to China (JW201 Form or JW202 Form), Admission Notice and Physical Examination Record for Foreigners.
- Visa F: Issued to an applicant who is invited to China on a visit, on a study or lecture, business tour, for scientific-technological and cultural exchanges, for short-term refresher course or for job-training, for a period of no more than six months. To apply for a Visa F, the invitation letter from the inviting unit or the visa notification letter/telegram from the authorized unit is required.
- Visa L: Issued to aliens who come to China for sightseeing, visiting relatives or other private purposes. For a tourist applicant, in principle he shall evidence his financial capability of covering the travelling expenses in China, and when necessary, provide the air, train or ship tickets to the heading country/region after leaving China. For the applicants who come to China to visit relatives, some are required to provide invitation letters from their relatives in China.
- Visa G: Issued to aliens who transit through China. The applicants are required to show valid visas and on-going tickets to the heading countries/regions.
- Visa C: Issued to train attendants, air crewmembers and seamen operating international services, and to their accompanying family members. To apply for a visa C, relevant documents are required to be provided in accordance with bilateral agreements or regulations of the Chinese side.
- Visa J-1: Issued to foreign resident correspondents in China.
- Visa J-2: Issued to foreign correspondents who make short trip to China on reporting tasks. The applicants for J-1 and J-2 visas are required to provide a certificate issued by the competent Chinese authorities.
- Multi-border points are Khorgos, Dostyk, Kolzhart, Bakhty, Maykapchagay (2010).
Khorgos border crosing: the only allowed way to cross border is by bus. Buses are paid, but z-z-z88 (talk) managed to get a free ride without seat from China to Kazakhstan in 2016. In China without bus ticket you are not allowed even approach border, but bus leader can take you through these pre-border checkpoints. Border is very serious: dogs, watchtowers, barbed wire, walls, soldiers, about 4 checkpoints between countries, scanners, walls, walls... Crossing border takes about 2-3 hours. It looks like border between worlds and it really feels like that from the cultural point of view.
To South Korea
- You can hitchhike the ferry. It is very difficult especially when not speaking the language but possible. It has been done.
Note: there is no Chinese/Russian border post where you are allowed to cross by foot, and the Heihe crossing is by boat from west to east:
China Embassies and/or Consulates
Chinese Embassies in the USA
Office hours: 10am-12.30pm and 1pm-3pm Monday-Friday. Visa pickup PM only. It is no longer possible to make a postal visa applications, but you can apply through an agent.
- Chinese Consulate General in Chicago, IL
100 West Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60610 Tel: (312) 803-0095 Fax: (312) 803-0110
- Chinese Consulate General in Houston, TX
3417 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX 77006 Tel: (713) 520-1462 Fax: (713) 521-3064
- Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles, CA
443 Shatto Place, Los Angeles, CA 90020 Tel: (213) 807-8088 Fax: (213) 807-8091
- Chinese Consulate General in New York, NY
520 12th Avenue, New York, NY 10036 Tel: (212) 244-9392 Fax: (212) 465-1708
- Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco, CA
1450 Laguna Street, San Francisco, CA 94115 Tel: (415) 674-2900 Fax: (415) 563-0494
- Chinese Embassy in Washington DC
2201 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20007 Tel: (202) 338-6688, (202)5889760 Fax: (202) 588-9760
Chinese Embassies in the UK
- Chinese Embassy in London
31 Portland Place, London W1B 1QD Tel. 020-76311430
- Chinese Consulate General in Manchester
Denison House, 49 Denison Road, Rusholme, Manchester M14 5RX Tel: 0161-2248672 Fax: 0161-2572672
- Chinese Consulate General in Edinburgh
55 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh EH12 5QG Tel: 0131- 3373220 Fax: 0131-3371790
Chinese Embassies in Canada
- Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Ottawa
515 St. Patrick Street, Ottawa, Ont. K1N 5H3 Tel: 613-7893434 Fax: 613-7891911 Office hours 9am-1pm
- Chinese Consulate General in Calgary
1011 6th Ave. S.W., Suite 100, Calgary, AB T2P 0W1 Tel: (403) 2643322 Visa section: (403)5371247 Fax:(403) 2646656 Consular District: Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories Open 9am-12pm
- Chinese Consulate General in Toronto
240 St. George Street, Toronto Ontario M5R 2P4 Tel:(416) 9647260 Fax:(416) 3246468 Consular District: Provinces of Ontario and Manitoba Open 9am-12pm & 1pm-3.30pm
- Chinese Consulate General in Vancouver
3380 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3K3 Tel:(604) 7365188 Fax:(604) 7370154 Consular District: Provinces of British Colombia and the Yukon Territory Office hours 9am-1pm
Chinese Embassies in Australia
Office hours are 9am –12pm.
- The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Australia
15 Coronation Dr, Yarralumla, Canberra A.C.T. 2600 Tel: 02-6273 4783 Fax: 02-6273 5189 http://au.china-embassy.org
- The Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Sydney
39 Dunblane St.,Camperdown NSW 2050 Tel: 02-8595 8002 Fax: 02-8595 8021 http://sydney.chineseconsulate.org
- The Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Melbourne
75-77 Irving Road, Toorak VIC 3142 Tel: 03-98220604 Fax: 03-98220320 http://melbourne.chineseconsulate.org/eng/
- The Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Perth
45 Brown St., East Perth W.A. 6004 Tel: 08-92220300 Fax: 08-92216144
- The Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Brisbane
Level 9, 79 Adelaide St., Brisbane QLD 4000 Tel: 07-3210 6509 Fax: 07-3012 8096 Website:http://brisbane.chineseconsulate.org
- Chinese Embassies in New Zealand
Office hours 9am-12pm.
- Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in New Zealand
2-6 Glenmore Street, PO Box 17257, Karori, Wellington Tel: 4721382-600 or 4749649 Facsimile: 4749632 www.chinaembassy.org.nz
- Consulate General of the PRC in Auckland
630 Great South Road, Greenlane, Auckland, New Zealand or P.O. Box 17123, Greenlane, Auckland, New Zealand Tel: 09-5265680 Fax: 09-5794288 www.chinaconsulate.org.nz
language: Chinese sounds very difficult, but with some basic words getting around and connecting with people will be much easier.
A must-have app: Baidu translate. With wifi it translates sentences and texts as well as voice (English and Chinese spoken, directly translated). There it is possible to save sentences and texts (using the little star - you find the saved ones in "me"). Prepare texts of introduction, asking in hotels, restaurants, for hitchhiking... Offline it has a dictionary. Almost anyone has internet on their phone so you can use their internet to translate.
Remember that Chinese people are very obedient, like to follow rules and being honest about them. Make sure whatever you do, to let them know that this is perfectly fine and right to do by the rules.