I tried to get a Visa for 3 months, but failed big time.
Of course I excited the office with big frustration, but still was happy having at least 30 days in China. If I would have known an extension would be so easy, I wouldn’t have done the effort of making fake bookings for hotels and flights and just apply like normal people. Once you are in Beijing, you can easily step into the PSB (Public Security Office) office with a good story and your extension is in the pocket. I told them I forgot my purse in a taxi on arrival and needed to wait for a package from my bank to get me a new card.
What do you need for an extension?
- recently taken passport photo (you will also have to take a digital one on arrival)
- register in the local police station (hostel can do this for you, or ask your host)
- get your story straight
- plan an “itinerary” and fill in the visa application form
Once you have all this, go to:
No.2 Andingmen Avenue (East),Dongcheng District, Beijing (Southeast of BeiXiaoJie Bridge, No.2 Ring Road)
Or by public transportation: Lama Temple Station by Under ground line 2 / line 5 .
Another fun fact in China is that, foreigners are called Aliens. I am not green and live on the same planet, but everything that is not China must be from outer space, apparently.
If you have all you documents assorted, go to the PSB with a good portion of optimism and try to make it an extra mission to make the person at the counter smile. They are mostly frustrated, having a bad day and hate their lives, but they are human too and deserve some non-boring attention once in a while too 🙂
I was lucky enough to be able to borrow a bike from a friend. Don’t join the pollution and get your body moving. Most of the sights are bikeable and your ass will be grateful.
I have not taken the Metro, hence I don’t even know how they look like down there.
Since I am a small-time-hero concerning metro’s and always disorientated when I come from underground, I prefer to walk or bike. I would rather have my legs falling off than to get lost on a Chinese metro and who-knows end up on Hulste Platse.
The train network in China is quite easy for aliens like you and me. You can use C-trip to check the availability and simply write down the number and sort of seat. With this information you can go and book your train in the small offices close to some metro stations.
I have paid 16 euro for a 37 hour train ride from Beijing to Chengdu.
I booked a hard seat, even though I had no idea what it was.
I still have no clue actually, the only thing I know is that I had a bed, but I believe this was not the intention of my ticket.
When I found my seat, it seemed to be in a 4-person compartment. I embarked at night, and there was only a small family of three present in the small space. I should have slept on the lower bed, but motioned that I preferred the upper, so they could have their family time together.
In general in sleep trains, you always want to have the upper bed, because during the day, people will sit on your bed which is annoying if you prefer to chill in bed all day. (like me 😉 )
I have gotten myself a Chinese Sim-card from Unicom.
You can ask for 3G and say Sim Ka, Chongzhika. You will pay about 190 Yuan (25 euros) for unlimited internet (no phone number). This is really handy to navigate in the city and make phone calls online.