Best Tourism Villages & Visa-free Transits
The United Nations World Tourism Organization has released their list of the ‘Best Tourism Villages’ of 2022. The recognition was awarded to 32 villages from 18 countries across the world, with two spots going to villages in China.
We are delighted to see two traditional Chinese villages selected for the list. The first of these, Dazhai, was used as the cover image for the UNWTO article, and is a bucolic settlement in the remote and rugged mist-wreathed hills of northern Guangxi province in southern China. The village is noted for the spectacular Longji – or Dragon’s Backbone – rice terraces that cascade in great stairways down the surrounding hills, attracting visitors from across China and the world. The timber dwellings of the Red Yao, with their eaved roofs of tiled gray stone, complete Dazhai’s picturesque ensemble, while the unique culture and customs of this minority people are themselves a major draw for tourists.
The second village recognized by the UNWTO this year is Jingzhu, nestled amid the fairy mountains of Wulong in southwestern Chongqing, a municipality located deep in China’s interior. Jingzhu is known for a range of well-preserved traditional crafts, such as wax printing and bamboo weaving, as well as the use of traditional wood and leaf instruments. Both villages have successfully managed to preserve historic forms of agriculture, architecture and folk customs, while at the same time harnessing their attraction to the outside world to improve the economic livelihood of local residents.
Dazhai and Jingzhu join two other Chinese villages to have been recognized by the UNWTO since the organization began selecting the world’s best tourism villages in 2021. Yucun, in Anhui and Xidi, in Zhejiang, were selected in the inaugural year, and make up a contingent that will no doubt continue to grow as China’s tourism industry moves toward a sustainable future.
The visa-free transit policy in China, offering 24-, 72- and 144-hour periods of visa-free transit has officially resumed.
The announcement was made in a January 2023 press release the by the PRC’s National Immigration Administration. The program is available to travelers who are transiting through China to a destination that is different from their country of departure.
Overview of the different visa-free time periods:
- 144-hour visa-free transit is available to passport holders from 52 countries* and allows for transfers between various transportation methods.
- 72-hour visa-free transit is available to passport holders from 52 countries* and allows for transfers between flights only.
- 24-hour visa-free transit is available to most nationalities and allows for transfers between various transportation methods.
Locations and duration of visa-free transit in China:
144-hour (including 72- and 24-hour) visa-free transit is available in the below regions:
- Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei
- Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang
72-hour visa-free transit is available in the below regions:
24-hour visa-free transit is available in all of China’s international airports except:
- Fuzhou Changle Airport
- Huangshan Tunxi Airport
- Mudanjiang Hailang Airport
- Yanji Chaoyangchuan Airport
- Urumqi Diwopu International Airport
*74- and 144-hour visa-free transit is open to passport holders from the below countries:
Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Qatar