Visiting Kunming is soon to become much more convenient. From January 1, 2019, a total of 53 nationalities will be able to enjoy 144-hour visa-free entry when transiting through Kunming Changshui international airport. Eligible passengers will be allowed to stay in the same city for up to 144 hours before they need to exit the country. This is a great option for people who want to visit China without having to apply for an extended visa. The guidelines are fairly straightforward and painless as long as one plans ahead and provides the required documents.
When checking in at your departure airport, let the airline know you wish to take advantage of the 144-hour permit. The airline will then pass on your request to customs before you land. An Arrival/Departure Card must be filled out on your flight. Flight attendants will usually pass these out within an hour before landing.
After landing, pick up your luggage and visit customs. There are special lanes specifically for 144-hour permits that will be clearly marked in the customs area. The immigration officer will stamp your passport and write down the length of time you can stay. Passengers are required to register with the local police station within 24 hours of arriving if they wish to stay longer than 24 hours. If you are staying with friends or family or at an Airbnb, they must accompany you to the police station and check-in in person. If you have already booked a hotel, this will all be taken care of for you automatically.
At the moment, visitors must stay within the city administration area. In Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Qingdao, visitors are able to travel throughout the entire province, and it is hoped that this will be introduced here in Kunming shortly, especially as other western China cities such as Chongqing and Xi'an are all hoping to introduce this scheme soon.
In the meantime, there is still plenty to see and do in and around Kunming. Visitors can explore the amazing fantasy landscapes of the Stone Forest, which is more than 60 km outside the city, or they can enjoy a round or two at one of three golf clubs in the city, all ranked in the top ten courses in all China. Here at Wonders of Yunnan, we are introducing a number of short city breaks, designed to make the very most of this new policy.
As well as top quality golfing breaks, we have a selection of specially designed stopovers to cater to a wide variety of different tastes. Our Chinese Culture City Break, for example, features a culinary adventure through Yunnan’s largest food market, as well as a day out experiencing traditional Chinese field archery. Adventure sports fans will be able to try their hand at rock climbing in the Western Hills, as well as some exhilarating downhill mountain-biking on the outskirts of the city.
Couples will be able to enjoy a romantic city break, complete with picnics, candlelit dinners and even a professional photo shoot in ancient Chinese costume. Camera enthusiasts will have special access to some of the city’s most photogenic spots, in the company of one of our resident photography experts. Here at Wonders of Yunnan, we have a large number of specialist guides, experts in subjects ranging from tea culture to birdwatching. If you would like to know more in advance about these specially arranged tours, please contact us now.
One more useful thing to be aware of is that the 144 hours does not actually begin until 12:00 midnight the day after arriving in Kunming. For example, if you arrive on January 3rd at 9:00 P.M., you actually have until 11:59 P.M. on January 10th to enjoy all that the city has to offer.
This new opportunity is available to passport holders from a total of 53 different countries. These include:
24 Schengen Agreement Countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
15 Other European Countries: Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Belarus, Monaco
6 American Countries: the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile
2 Oceania Countries: Australia, New Zealand
6 Asian Countries: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar
We very much look forward to welcoming you to China’s “Spring City” and showing you all that Kunming has to offer.