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The Great Wall of China, to the north of Beijing, is one of's Top 10 Must-See Travel Destinations of 2013

The Great Wall of China, to the north of Beijing, is one of’s Top 10 Must-See Travel Destinations of 2013

The doors to two of China’s hottest destination cities have just swung open a little wider. Now, travelers staying 72 hours (three days) or less are welcome to Beijing and Shanghai without the hassle of obtaining a Chinese visa — that’s an entire day more of sightseeing than the previous visa rule allowed.

For visitors to Beijing, this means an extended layover could include visits to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China, without the stress of embassy bureaucracy.

This new 72-hour visa-free transit program applies to citizens of 45 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia and England, provided travelers hold a ticket to a third, and final destination outside of China.

Travelers must also arrive at and depart from either Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK), Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) or Hongqiao (SHA). In response to this development, airlines such as Air China will be scheduling more flights to these airports.

To find out if you qualify for this visa-exempt travel opportunity, check with your booking airline. For more information, visit


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