What To Do When Your Airline Shuts Down

It’s not every day that a massive inter-country airline shutdown, but that’s exactly what happened to Thomas Cook Air. The UK based airline suddenly ceased all operations midday, forcing planes to land and passengers to disembark planes ready for take off. With the airline now kaput, there was no one to pay for the plane’s lease or the fuel used for transportation. Lucky for the passengers, the UK government offers services to those who missed flights as Thomas Cook is a UK based company. The government requires that should an airline go out of business, the burden shall be picked up and paid for by the government of the UK. 

But if your airline isn’t based in the UK, you may have some trouble getting your reimbursement. So, what do you do if your airline goes kaput? Today we’ll be looking at the steps you can take to prepare for such an event, and what you can do should such a thing happen to you.

The Signs

First off, we should note that this is much more likely to have in Europe. Most of the airlines that end up going defunct are local airlines which focus on short economy flights to nearby airports. In the USA, we don’t have as many competing airlines as the entirety of the EU does. In the cases where two companies are competing in a similar niche here in the states, it’s much more likely that the companies merge and that flights continue you. But what are the signs of an airline on the verge of collapse?

Make sure that you’re keeping an eye on the news. A controversy rocking Delta doesn’t have the same effect that it does on a much smaller airline. The news is also quick to point out when an airline announces low earnings. Typically airlines rake in the majority of their earnings during the summer travel season, so if an airline announces consecutive low summer earnings you know they might be in trouble. Typically an airline will announce closure ahead of time and cancel flights before you arrive at the airport, but this isn’t always the case.

What to do if it Happens to You?

A canceled flight might mean wasted vacation days. This doesn’t always have to be the case though. In many cases, the airline will attempt to offer you credit with a competitor so that you don’t take any monetary legal action to acquire reimbursement. In some cases, competitors will offer discounted fares simply to lure in disgruntled fliers. These competing airlines might be taking advantage of the situation to acquire new customers, but in this situation it’s hard to complain.

Make sure to notify your hotels that you may be arriving late, and see if you can re-book your dates if your new flight is on a different date. You don’t have to miss out on your vacation if you stay calm and try to move things around a bit. Most will be sympathetic to your situation, especially considering you are not in control of the circumstances. Try to stay calm, stress will only make the situation worse as we all tend to make rash decisions while stressed. Decisions like blaming the airline closure on the now unemployed attendant trying to explain that their employer just went out of business. 

What if you have a Visa?

Unfortunately if your passport has a visa in it, it won’t suddenly extend because your flight got canceled. This can be especially troublesome if you’re attempting to enter a country with a particularly strict visa application process that only issues short term stay visas. In this case, having your flight pushed back a few days could mean permanently shaving a few days off your trip even if you’re able to re-book. If this is the case with you, you may not have any other choice but to reapply for the visa or request an extension from the consulate that issued the visa. While this rarely happens, it can if the reason is good enough. If this is not an option and you have sometime before your new flight, you can always reapply for the visa using an expedited service which can get you a visa in only a few days.

In some cases, you simply won’t be able to do anything. A small airline closing with no competitors offering cheap flights, and a consulate that refuses to extend your visa could always be your situation. If this happens to you, the most you can do is hope that the airline you are buying your replacement ticket from has good on flight snacks. In all seriousness, this can happen, and should it happen while you’re in a foreign country, it may be best to contact the local consulate servicing your nationality to see if some form of compensation can be agreed upon.

Need a Passport or Visa?

If you don’t want to wait a month for your passport, you can always apply with us, here at The Passport Office. We offer professional private courier services that allow us to get you your passport in as quickly as one day depending on your situation. You can apply online, or visit one of our many offices across the nation to get your application started today.

Likewise, we offer many visa services over at Visa Service Department, and we offer specialty services with China Visa Department. As veterans in the travel documentation industry, we offer you secure passport-to-visa services with some of the lowest rates in the business. All of our offices offer both passport and visa services, so give us a call, visit us online, or stop by in person to inquire about what you’ll need to travel or to get the process started today.

Visa Explanation: What are Visas?

A woman stressing over a computer, probably applying for a visa.

If you’ve never traveled before and don’t have a passport, travel to a country that requires a visa can be a long and confusing process. Even if you’ve had a passport, especially an American one, most countries do not require a visa so finally needing to obtain one can rattle one’s brain. First off, what even is a visa and why do you need one for some countries but not others? A visa is essentially a country’s government allowing you into the country. You need a visa to travel to countries which may have an unstable relationship with your country of origin. For example, ongoing tension between nations which once heavily leaned towards Communism (think China, Russia, Vietnam) all require US citizens to obtain visas to enter. Likewise, all citizens originating from the three aforementioned nations must obtain a visa to enter the USA.

Luckily, most countries do not require a visa to visit if you hold a US passport, and even some countries that do will allow you to apply for a visa on arrival. Regardless, when you do need a visa the shock of finding out can ruin a trip, especially if you don’t find out until the day you depart. Most airlines will allow you to book a trip to a country that requires a visa without having you confirm whether or not you hold a valid visa. This leads to situations where people book trips that they cannot attend due to not being aware of the necessity to obtain a visa!

What Countries Require Visas and Where Can You Apply?

As mentioned above, the list of countries that require visas change depending on your country of origin. We’ll be focusing on countries that require visas for US citizens though, in particular we’ll be looking at visas you’ll have to apply before arriving in the country. To begin, here’s a list of every country that requires a visa for entry for those entering with a US passport:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Australia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Chad
  • China
  • Congo
  • Cuba
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Eritrea
  • Gabon
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • North Korea
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Myanmar
  • Nauru
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uganda
  • Uzbekistan
  • Venezuela 
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen

A notable exemption from the list is Brazil, which recently waived visa requirements for US citizens. Applying for a visa varies from country to country. Some countries, such as India and Australia offer the option to apply online, which can take a few days. Other countries such as Nigeria require you to apply directly at their embassy and get your bio-metrics taken at a nearby facility. In the case of Nigeria, you don’t even have the option of applying through a third-party. Consequently, this means you’ll need to be physically present.

This rule does not hold true for all visa. China and Russia, two of the most visited countries on the list, allow you to apply with third-party services. These private couriers can greatly reduce the headache of the entire application process. While this does incur an additional cost on top of the base visa application fee, it does save you time and money.

How Can Third-Party Services Save You Time and Money

A Jurisdiction Map for the Chinese Consulates in the US.

So, how can applying through a third-party courier service will save you money on your visa? It’s a good question, one would think that doing everything yourself would be the most optimal way of applying as it gives you full control of the process. This isn’t always the case though. Unless the country allows you to apply for your visa online, you’ll most likely have to make a trip to the nearest consulate or embassy which might not even be in your state!

Let’s use China as our example. There are several Chinese Consulates dotting the United States, but you may only apply to the consulate that serves your jurisdiction, your jurisdiction is determined by the state which issued your driver’s license (or state ID). You can find a jurisdiction map for US citizens above. Let’s say you live in Utah, while the consulates in Texas, San Francisco, or LA may be closer to you geographically, you’ll still be required to apply out of the Embassy in DC because of where you dwell. As a result, third party couriers can come in hand.

A private courier is registered with the consulate and may take the application to the consulate on your behalf. Couriers are also permitted to pick up your application once it has been completed. Because of this, they are able to ship it to you using their preferred method of shipping. So while you may be paying a bit extra for shipping and courier fees, you save yourself a trip to the Consulate to drop off your application, as well as the return trip to pick it up. 

Do I Need a Passport to Apply for a Visa?

In most cases you will need a valid passport to apply for a visa. The reason why is because your passport information will be registered with the country you are entering with in order to obtain your visa. Not only this but, assuming you won’t be applying for your visa online, you’ll have to submit your physical passport. This does mean that if your passport is expired or if you are out of valid passport pages, you’ll need to either apply for a new passport or a passport renewal. 

If you don’t have a passport at all and are traveling to a country that requires a visa this does mean you’ll need to acquire a new passport as well as applying for a visa. Depending on how you go about obtaining the passport and which country you intend to visit, this process could take upwards of a month.

How Do I Get Started?

If you don’t want to wait a month for your passport, you can always apply with us, here at The Passport Office. We offer professional private courier services that allow us to get you your passport in as quickly as one day depending on your situation. You can apply online, or visit one of our many offices across the nation to get your application started today.

Likewise, we offer many visa services over at Visa Service Department, and we offer specialty services with China Visa Department. As veterans in the travel documentation industry, we offer you secure passport-to-visa services with some of the lowest rates in the business. Our offices offer both passport and visa services, so give us a call, visit us online, or stop by in person to inquire about what you’ll need to travel or to get the process started today.

Hong Kong Riots and What You Can Do to Travel Safely

Facade of claustrophobic Hong Kong apartments

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news you may be aware of a recent slew of riots that have been sweeping through the city of Hong Kong. The riots began as an extradition bill was introduced to the Hong Kong legislature which would allow the government of mainland China to extradite convicts from Hong Kong to the mainland. The reason why this issue is so hot is because of the implications it poses for Hong Kong’s future sovereignty.


For those not in the know of how Hong Kong functions and operates, the city used to belong to the United Kingdom. Even to this day many in Hong Kong still speak English, and entry does not require a visa which makes it a great gateway to visit Asia for the first time without going through all the rigmarole usually involved in a trip to mainland China. In 1997 the government of the UK handed over the ownership of the island to the PRC (People’s Republic of China) with the exception that Hong Kong would be allowed to self govern itself for the next 50 years. This means that in 2047 the border between mainland China and Hong Kong will be dissolved and the city will be expected to fully integrate into mainland Chinese culture and politics.

What Could This Imply For Residents of Hong Kong

2047 may seem like a far off date, however some of those who dwell in Hong Kong, we’ll call them Hong Kongers, have been noticing the gradual shift away from their generally Democratic system of governance for sometime now. The extradition bill to many Hong Kongers seems like another step towards their city’s independence being full striped away as intended. The bill would naturally allow the PRC to try criminals in their own court rather than allowing Hong Kong’s judicial system to bear the burden. This is a major issue as the PRC’s judicial system is often viewed as corrupt, unjust, and often cruel to those who find themselves accused. Just as recently as 2013, mainland China’s conviction rate was 99.9 percent, which means that if you stood accused of a crime you’d more than likely have to face the sentence.

What’s more is that certain things are legal in Hong Kong are illegal just a few miles away in Shenzhen. Things such as distribution of books or media which may disrupt the harmony or trust in the Communist Party, novels such as Animal Farm are banned. This means that those who operate book stores in Hong Kong are under close scrutiny from mainland officials, especially with recent attempts to smuggle books to mainland China.

What Does This Mean for You?

With all this historic context in mind you can see why the riots have involved hundreds of thousands, and even millions, of Hong Kongers have been marching in protest. However, what does this mean for those traveling to Hong Kong or mainland China? Well, be wary and stay out of the way of any protests if you are already in Hong Kong. While the protesters won’t do any harm to you, the real threat is being mistaken as a protestor when a fight breaks out between rioters and police or even worse masked gangs who have been targeting rioters.

If you plan on traveling to Hong Kong be wary that protests have taken to the airport in some cases lead to flight cancellations. It may be wiser simply to enter Hong Kong via the bridge between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. While this may require that you obtain a Chinese Visa, it does let you skip out on the possibility of losing a flight. Be warned however, military convoys do seem to be traveling via the road from Shenzhen to Hong Kong frequently nowadays, and military demonstrations are common place as shows of force by the PRC. During days when demonstrations are occurring, expect some major streets to be closed which may slow down commute times.

Ultimately the safest thing to do would be to avoid going to Hong Kong all together. If you plan on going despite the ongoing situation then exhibit great caution with where and when you go out. Keep in mind that governments the world over have been issuing notices to their citizens to avoid protest demonstration locations. These locations are the most likely place where you can expect to find danger during a stay in Hong Kong. If you can manage avoided marches, protests, demonstrations, or any other political event happening, you should be able to enjoy your trip unscathed. We cannot recommend participating in the riots based on the treatment protesters have been receiving by Hong Kong police.

Alternatives to Hong Kong

Macao Skyline by day

While the protests may be slowing down travel, don’t let that stop you from visiting the rest of Asia. If you want a city in a similar flavor to Hong Kong without having to worry about a random march blocking your passage to that coffee shop you just heard about, remember that Macao isn’t far off and also does not require a visa for entry. Even mainland China is relatively unaffected by the riots, aside from the military convoys you may see here and there heading south. 

If you do plan on heading to China you’ll be expected to acquire a China Visa which can take at minimum 4 days to acquire, this can be a pretty complicated process if you’ve never applied for a visa before, but let us worry about that. When you work with China Visa Department, we guarantee fast and professional handling of your China visa application. Not only will we make sure that your application is delivered securely to the Consulate of your jurisdiction, we’ll keep an ear to things to make sure the information you get is as up-to-date as can be.


Regardless of whether you visit Hong Kong or mainland China, you’ll be needing a passport in order to leave the country and eventually reenter. If you don’t already have a passport and plan to travel soon, now is the time to apply. With The Passport Office you can have a new passport in your hands in as little as two business days. We’ll walk you through all necessary steps required as well as providing you with our expert consulting which

China Visa Application Errors Cause Delays

Someone filling out a china visa application by hand.

Applying for a china visa is already enough of a headache, but there are small details that can bring a whole new realm of complexity to the process if you aren’t careful. Like any country permitting foreigners to enter, the government of China doesn’t want to let any potential risks slip through the cracks so they tend to be strict. Some of these rules may seem esoteric or even ridiculous, so let’s take a look at some of them and dissect why they exist and how you can avoid them.

Blacklisted Countries

Chances are that if you’re making the trip to China you’ve probably been to other countries around the world. While this is not usually an issue, the government of China takes issue if you’ve been to certain parts of the world. Most of these countries tend to be middle-eastern nations that have recently experienced a certain level of unrest, countries such as Afghanistan and Libya. Some countries that make the blacklist are pretty strange though…

France is the number one tourist destination in the world, particularly for the Chinese who swarm to France’s capital throughout the year. Despite this fact, China has issues with the country of France due to an anti-Tibetan occupation demonstration which took place in France during the 2008 Chinese Olympic games. Since this event, all French citizens must apply for China visas in person as they must willingly submit themselves for an interview.

 If you’ve been to France and have a stamp in your passport to prove it, you’re best off submitting a letter along with your application explaining why you went to France. This goes for any other country on the blacklist, if you’ve got a stamp in your passport go ahead and explain why you went via letter. Your visa process won’t be delayed if you preemptively submit explanation, but if you fail to initially you’ll be required to ship in a letter of explanation. Getting your application suspended by the Consulate or Embassy essentially resets the timer on your visa. If you were quoted a 4 day turn around but were forced to send in materials, go ahead and add an extra day of processing time for shipping plus another 4 days to get that visa turned around. Needless to say, check your stamps and make sure you submit a letter if you’ve been to any of the below:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Congo
  • Egypt
  • France
  • Ghana
  • Haiti
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Russia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan

Certain Professions

Journalists in many cases have a tough time when applying for chinese visas.

The Chinese Government is wary of some individuals who work in certain fields. For example, if you are a religious worker you may have issues with getting a standard visa, especially if it appears that you’re going to be doing any missionary work while you are in China. If it’s the case that you are a religious missionary and ARE going to China to spread the good news you can expect to be called in for an interview, you may even be asked specifically not to fulfill any missionary duty as leverage for entering the country.

It’s not just religious officials that China visas come hard to, federal government officials who are high ranking enough may raise red flags at the Consulate/Embassy. Again, if you hold a high ranking government position and list it on your application do not be surprised when you are called in for a  brief interview. 

Finally on the list of professions to avoid if you plan on entering China is anything related to the entertainment industry. Whether you work in the news or your just a blogger on YouTube, working in media scares Chinese officials. You may not be called in for an interview however, there’s a special form specifically for those who hold media positions that can get you past the application process without a hassle. The form essentially has the individual declare that they won’t document anything while they are in China and that if they do it won’t be in a disparaging way against the country or the communist party. While this form will get you a china visa without an interview, Chinese border patrol still reserve the right to deny you entry based on your vocation, be warned.

China Visa Application Errors

The china visa application itself offers a myriad of questions to those who are filling it out. The most common mistakes on the application are typically forgetting to fill out the application in all caps OR forgetting to put ‘N/A’ in spaces that do not apply to you. Besides these beginner mistakes, there are some other seemingly insignificant errors that you can make your application process hell. For example, claiming that your unemployed on your application is generally fine, however if you claim to be unemployed but also claim to be funding your own trip to China the consulate/embassy may inquire as to how you are affording this trip with your current job status. Instead of checking unemployed it’s preferable to check ‘retired’ or if you are yet to retire, simply state that someone else (such as a parent or spouse) is funding the trip.

Other issues on a china visa application that can slow you down your visa process include misspelling names or checking the incorrect box for your gender. To keep things simple make sure that all the information on the application lines up with the information provided on your government IDs. If your name on your passport and Driver’s License don’t match up completely, remember that there is a field provided on the Chinese Visa Application for your ‘other known names’.

Time to Apply for Your China Visa

Now that you’ve learned what it takes to whip up a masterful Chinese Visa Application without making any glaring mistakes, it’s time to apply. If you don’t live near one of the Chinese Consulates around the USA it can be hard to get your application started, in some cases people will driver hours to their nearest consulate. Instead of driving and bleeding precious time, just work with us at China Visa Department. We make the process easy by helping you assemble your application as well as taking care of all courier services. Get your China Visa in as little as 4 business days when you work with us.

If you are in need of a passport as well make sure to check us out at The Passport Office as well. Our private passport expediting services have been providing travelers with fast and secure expedited passports for over 20 years. Apply now and get your passport application started with the peace of mind knowing that trained professional will be guiding you every step of the way.

11 “Touristy” Places to Visit in China

China is one of the world’s most visited locations for a number of reasons, the culture, the food, the history, and the incredible landmarks that make China unique. If it’s your first trip to China there is no doubt you’ll want to hit up all of the famous tourist attractions we have all seen in so many photos and movies. Before you can begin your journey, make sure you have a China tourist visa. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about a China visa for US citizens, and how to get a visa for China. Plus, be sure to check out the top 11 places not to be missed.

Let’s dive in and explore the most popular spots China has to offer. Before you can begin, be sure your China tourist visa is in order and learn how to get a visa for China down below. 

1. The Great Wall of China 

Once you have your China tourist visa, it’s time to board your flight. Of course, the Great Wall had to be number one on the list. When many of us think of touristy places in China, our minds go straight to the Great Wall of China. While this is a sight not to be missed, be prepared for big crowds, but don’t let that stop you from visiting this iconic landmark. 

2. The Forbidden City

In the heart of China, lies the Forbidden City, constructed in 1420, during the early days of the Ming Dynasty. It’s not only China’s best-preserved palace but also the largest ancient structure in the world. Soak up the rich history of the ancient Chinese culture while viewing some of the most beautiful sights the country has to offer. It’s 961 meters long, and on average, people usually spend about 2 to 3 hours there. There is no time limit, you can spend all day in the Forbidden City if you wish. 

3. Jiuzhaigou

Often described as a real-life fairytale, because of the magical waterfalls, snow-covered mountains, and the crystal clear water that you can see right to the bottom. Seek tranquility in this stunning area, also home to the giant pandas. The park is quite large and with a large number of daily visitors you may not get lucky enough to see a panda, but then again, maybe it will be your lucky day. Keep reading to find out where you will be guaranteed to see one of these lovable bears. 

4. Yangshuo

If you are looking to meet other travelers on your trip, check out Yangshuo. It draws tons of visitors due to its laid back atmosphere. Go on a hike, make new friends, and stay in a cheap place all within Yangshuo. This is best for solo travelers, or people traveling in groups of 2 or 3. 

5.  Shanghai

The largest and most developed city in China has been the setting for countless movies and photo shoots. Located in East China with a skyline to rival those of NYC, their skyscrapers, luxury hotels, and shopping malls make for a luxurious vacation. The best place to go for a walk at night is at the Bund, the colonial riverfront along the Huangpu River. See the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and the Sprawling Yu Garden. While it may be busy, this futuristic city is not to be passed up. 

6. Guilin

Dubbed as one of the most beautiful places on earth, Guilin is just one hour west from Hong Kong by air. So, if you are already in Hong Kong, a tour can be easily added to your trip. While there the Li River is not to be missed, this stunning river is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails on the planet. A helicopter view of the Li River will give you an exclusive bird’s eye view of the stunning waters. While there be sure to taste some local teas and try some of the traditional foods. 

7. The Terracotta Army in Xi’an

For over 2,000 years, the Terracotta Army has been hiding underground. It wasn’t until 1974 that farmers digging a well, accidentally discovered one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world. What makes this place so unique, is the hundreds of life-size models with intricate details to represent the army that won against the other Chinese armies during 475-221 BC. This is your only chance to come face to face with the warriors of the past. Grab your China visa for US citizens and start packing.

8. Giant Pandas in Chengdu

These furry friends are not to be missed, the lovable pandas are native to China, and their distinct black and white fur is what makes these bears stand out from all the others. Chengdu is also home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a non-profit research and breeding facility for giant pandas and other endangered animals. Unfortunately, these beautiful creatures are becoming more and rarer, but thanks to organizations like theirs, we may be able to save them. It’s crucial for us to do what we can to help, and donations to wildlife foundations are always greatly appreciated, we have to be the voice for these animals.

9.  Gardens of Suzhou

Built by the Ming Dynasty in 1522, Suzhou is west of Shanghai in Jiangsu Province. The city is famous for its stunning gardens, rivers, and canals. Some even have dubbed it as the “Venice of the Orient.” Just an hour on the bullet train from Shanghai and you will be surrounded by the stunning gardens and foliage of Suzhou. While there, be sure to take long walks and enjoy the scenery, a boat ride along the canal, and visit one of their many restaurants for a delicious meal. 

10. Mount Huangshan 

This UNESCO World Heritage site is a once in a lifetime trek for many Chinese citizens and tourists. Also known as “Mount Yellow” has incredible rock formations and hot springs. Be sure to have your cameras ready when you head out here, you will want to capture the beauty of the mountain. This is perfect for those who like to be outdoors and explore nature in a whole new way. 

11. Summer Palace

Since 1750 the Summer Palace has been in the Qing Dynasty. Today, many people flock to the stunning gardens and palaces in Beijing to see these incredible structures. Most of this area is actually covered by water, some of the most beautiful lakes in the world can be found at the Summer Palace. 

China tourist visa

Looking into how to get a visa for China? First, know that a China visa for US citizens is a necessity, and without a China tourist visa, entrance into the country will be denied. A China tourist visa is an extension on your passport and usually lasts for 10 years. Although your China tourist visa will last a decade, if you stay in the country for more than 60 days at a time, you may be required to leave and come back. A China visa for US citizens may have different laws and regulations than a China tourist visa from other countries.

Keep reading to find out how to get a Visa for China, and learn about all the requirements for a China tourist visa for US citizens. 

China visa for US citizens 

Whether you are traveling to China for business or pleasure, a China visa for US citizens is a necessity. A China tourist visa will be granted within a few weeks after applying. Keep reading to find out how to get how to get a visa for China.

While there are multiple ways of how to get a visa for China, the easiest and most pain-free is by using a China visa service. A service like chinavisadepartment.com will make the process of obtaining your China tourist visa quick and easy. A China visa for US citizens will be granted after the proper paperwork is filled out, and this can all be done simply online. 

Always remember:

  • Apply for your China tourist visa in advance
  • A China visa for US citizens is a necessity
  • How to get a visa for China? A service is always recommended
  • Make a copy of your China tourist visa
  • Your China tourist visa will expire after 10 years
  • You can exit and enter multiple times on the same China tourist visa

What NOT to Pack when Traveling to China

What NOT to Pack when Traveling, You just applied for your new passport and you’re ready to travel to China. Remembering to bring your new passport and valid visa with you on your trip is not the only thing you need to think of, though. You also have to remember what NOT to bring.

Traveling to China

What NOT to Pack when Traveling to China, Whether you’re going for vacation, you’re visiting for work. Or you’re going back to your homeland to spend time with family, traveling to China can be a fantastic adventure.

To help ensure that your trip goes smoothly, you should carefully inspect your luggage before you go. While it’s essential to make sure you remember all the important things that you do need – such as your new passport, comfortable shoes, and select accessories – it’s also vital to make sure you leave some other things behind. If your luggage has any of these objects, you’ll want to be sure to fish them out before you leave.

Anything Expensive or Valuable

While you may have some possessions that mean a lot to you, and hold quite a bit of sentimental value, they have no place in your suitcase. What NOT to Pack when Traveling If you’re traveling to China, it’s best to leave anything expensive, valuable, or heirloom behind.

Not only does bringing flashy, expensive items (such as a designer watch or fancy jewelry) increase the risk of you being a victim of theft, it would be especially tragic if you lost them on your trip. Unnecessary, expensive electronics should also be removed from your suitcase before you depart for your trip to China. To be safe, it’s best to just keep your priceless possessions at home.

Inappropriate Clothing

A trip to China is neither the time nor the place to experiment with risky fashion. Depending on the time of year that you visit, you may experience a huge variety of weather patterns, too. To fully prepare yourself for your visit to China, you’ll want to forego any insensible, impractical, and disrespectful clothing.

Skimpy

Anything overly casual, skimpy, or impractical should also be omitted. Dressing excessively poorly can quickly attract negative, unwanted attention and raise your risk of an unpleasant encounter with locals.

Some tourist attractions have dress codes (such as temples or other historic places), so you’ll want to make sure you respect these cultural expectations, too. Sensible and modest clothes are ideal for Chinese travel.

CBD (Cannabidiol)

What NOT to Pack when Traveling ! Many people have started taking cannabidiol (CBD) for their general health and wellbeing. Studies have shown that CBD is excellent for a wide array of health concerns.

People have been taking it to help improve a large number of conditions, ranging from insomnia to chronic pain and even epilepsy. While CBD is completely legal in the United States, it is outright forbidden in China. To avoid getting your CBD confiscated, and to prevent yourself from getting arrested. It’s best to leave the CBD at home.

Your Toiletries

There’s a common and somewhat offensive misconception that China is a dirty, backwoods country. This could not be further from the truth! Depending on the part of China that you choose to visit, you’ll find many fully stocked pharmacies, drug stores, and shopping centers.

Because China has all of the toiletries that you may need on your trip (including hair, face, and cosmetic supplies). It’s best to not bring your personal toiletries with you. Not only will they weigh your luggage down, they may not even make it past TSA, anyway. Wait until you land, then stock up on your personal hygiene needs when you get there.

What NOT to Pack when Traveling

Packing for a stay in China doesn’t have to be a stressful endeavor. By knowing what to pack, and what to skip, you can help ensure that you have smooth travels. Stick with sensible clothing, leave your CBD and valuable possessions at home, and be sure to grab your new passport (including your valid visa) before you head to the airport.

No matter the length of your trip to China, you can be sure that by following our practical advice, you’ll be prepared for your trip abroad. With your new passport in hand, and all inappropriate belongings left behind, the world is now your oyster – starting with a journey to China!

11 Places to Visit in China to Avoid Tourists

Are you trying to avoid crowds and the usual hustle and bustle of China while on your trip? We get it; sometimes you want to have a more intimate adventure without having a crowd of people at the same attraction. Check out our list of the top 11 places to visit to avoid massive crowds but still get the culture and experience you want out of China. Ditch your average China travel guide and head off the beaten path to see China in a whole new way. Keep reading to find out how to obtain your China tourist visa, what are the best China visa services, and how to start prepping for your once in a lifetime trip. 

China Tourist Visa

Before any great trip can begin, a China travel visa is in need. After all, without a China tourist visa, you won’t be granted entry into the country. All US citizens are required to obtain a China travel visa. In most cases, a China tourist visa will be valid for 10 years and allows for multiple entries on the same China travel visa. A China visa service is the recommended way to go about obtaining your China tourist visa. Bear in mind, your China tourist visa will be an extension on your passport, but having a copy of your China travel visa on hand during your stay is recommended. If you are traveling as a family, each member must have their own China tourist visa. Keep reading for guidance on how to choose the China visa service best for you. 

China Visa Service

To begin the process first find a China visa service near you, and start the application for your China tourist visa. While you can obtain a China travel on your own, when you chose a China visa service, the process is much more straightforward and user-friendly. Sites like, chinavisadepartment.com is one of the top China visa service sites, and they will guide you through the whole process of obtaining your China travel visa. In order to start the process for your China tourist visa, you must have all of the paperwork, like passport, travel documents, proof of hotel stay, and a valid license. The China visa service you choose will guide you through the process. Traveling with children? A China visa service will also help you obtain a China tourist visa for minors. 

When will I receive my China tourist visa?

If you decide to go with a China visa service, on average, you should expect to see have your China tourist visa within a couple of weeks. There are other options if you are on a tight schedule though, inform your China visa service provider that you need your China travel visa expedited, and with an additional fee, expect your China tourist visa within a couple of days. The same goes for members of the family, let your China visa service know of any minors in need of an expedited visa, and they will likely be able to assist.

11 Crowd Free Places to Visit

Is your China tourist visa ready to go, have you already found the best China visa service near you? Time to think about all the places you’ll go in this once in a lifetime trip. For those of you who like to stay away from the crowd check out these 11 destinations below while on your trip, for a totally unique travel experience. After you have your China travel visa ready to go, start packing! 

1.  Luoyang 

Luoyang is located on the Yellow River in Central China. It happens to be one of the least traveled ancient cities in China. Learn about Chinese history, religion, and culture on a day trip to this enchanting city. Stop by the Buddhist pagodas and see the tens of thousands of statues of Buddha. Learn about this ancient city right from the source, and explore what this beautiful city has to teach us all. Ask your hotel for directions, or have them assist in finding a bus route to the town. 

2. Kangding

The best city to emerge yourself in the Tibetan culture is this city located in the valley west of Sichuan province. In the past Kangling was used as a trading center between the Chinese and the Tibetans. The small city is full of history stunning scenery. 

Tip: Go in May during the Walking Around the Mountain Festival to see something truly unique. 

3. Shaxi Old Town

Located about two hours from the crowded city of Lijiang Old Town, Shaxi is a haven for those who wish to steer clear of the dense crowds. Most of the buildings have remained untouched in years, and paying a visit to this town is like going back in time. Life in Shaxi hasn’t changed much in the last hundreds of years. 

4. Tung Wan beach

Surf’s up at Tung Wan beach located on the island of Cheung Chau. Locals and tourists come here to catch some of the best waves in the turquoise waters and beautiful views. It’s even home the training center of an Olympic windsurfing champion who brought back Hong Kong’s first Olympic gold medal in 1996. 

5. Hui Hang Trail

Between Anhui and Hangzhou lies the Hui Hang Trail. This hiking trail is 15 kilometers and can be completed within two days at a leisurely pace. Wild forests and the Xiaoyao River are the highlights of this one of a kind trail. The best part, this little known destination is never overcrowded with tourists. 

6. Harbin

A tip for all the cold weather fans, visit China during the winter. In the northeastern city of Harbin you will find a snow and ice festival, actually the largest in the world, from December to February, every year. People flock to see the magnificent ice sculptures and statues made solely from snow and ice. 

7. Yunnan Stone Forest

The Stone Forest is located about 120 kilometers east of Kunming. Many of the trees in this forest resemble stone, giving it an unearthly feel. Since 2007, the forest has been a UNESCO world heritage site. On average, it takes 3 hours to walk through this magical forest, but no rush if you want to make it slower to enjoy more of the scenery, there is no time limit. 

8. Jilin

Another top destination for cold lovers, Jinlin is a little known city in Jilin Province, in the northeast region of China. This is ideal for those who enjoy cold weather and less crowded attractions. Feel one with nature and be surrounded by mountains and snow this winter wonderland, just be sure to pack extra warm clothing. 

9. Private Tours

All over the country, guests can book a private tour alone or with a small group of people. Experienced tour guides will take you and your group to places the general public does not know about. This is one of the best ways to get a more personal experience and avoid popular tourist traps. Look up different tour groups that offer a range of unique activities, and choose the one that best fits your needs. There are plenty of companies in the US and China offering private guided tours. 

10. Shangri-la 

Shangri-la is located in the Himalayan foothills and is 11,000 feet above sea level. Go hiking, biking, or explore jaw-dropping scenery. This non-crowded area is perfect for those looking to relax in the hot springs and get away from the crowds. They even offer guided tours through the foothills if you don’t want to travel solo. Grab a few travel partners or go solo, whatever your preference, this will be a hike you will never forget. Don’t forget to make sure you have extra film too, with some of the most beautiful scenery in China; you will want to take plenty of photos. 

11. Hohhot

Hohhot is a non-crowded area that will save you on hotels and flights. Sleep in one of the huts, and you have gone back in time. The grasslands are not to be missed, and try going in the fall to avoid as many crowds as possible. 

Bonus tips and tricks:

  • Don’t go to the tourist traps to avoid mass crowds
  • Traveling during the offseason will be cheaper
  • Always keep a copy of your China tourist visa on you
  • Your China travel visa will expire after 60 days of staying in the country
  • A new China travel visa is not required to re-enter the country
  • Use a China visa service to make the process of obtaining your China tourist visa simple

China visa services can help get your China tourist visa faster

What Not to Do In China (To Avoid Chinese Jail)

Is visiting China high up on your bucket list? More and more American tourists are flocking to China to see the wonders the beautiful country has to offer. If you are a US citizen, you may be wondering, do US citizens need a visa for China? Well, the answer is yes; all American citizens need a visa for China. The most commonly issued visa for American tourists is a 10 year China visa.

The natural beauty of China's rice fields. See this today when you receive your 10 year china visa!

Because all US citizens need a visa for China, before any trip can even begin, all US tourists entering the country must obtain a 10 year China visa, following all of the China visa requirements.

With so many incredible sites to see, food to eat, and people to meet, sometimes tourists forgo learning about China’s strict and occasionally unusual laws. While taking a photo, or reading a book may seem ordinary and innocent to a tourist coming from the US, doing it at the wrong time or place, or reading inappropriate material could result in jail time. Keep reading to find out what not to do in China to avoid ending up in a Chinese jail.

Entering and exiting China – What not to bring:

First, entering China without a valid 10 year China visa is illegal, and any persons entering the country without all of the China visa requirements will be turned away. Be aware at all times of what you have in your luggage. Above all, keep your baggage on you at all times to avoid it being tampered with. The following items are not allowed in China and being caught with any of these items may lead to serious consequences.

  • Recreational drugs: They may be legal where you come from, but China has a zero tolerance, and there are particularly harsh penalties for drug importation, including jail time.
  • Wildlife: Hopefully, you won’t be bringing any live critters back with you, but if you are found with a species of Chinese wildlife in your possession, the punishments are stiff.
  • Inappropriate reading material: Any books, magazines, or newspapers deemed less than favorable toward China or their government, may be confiscated. While you won’t end up in a cell for bringing an anti-government book on board your flight, it will most likely be thrown out. In extreme cases, the official can decide to turn you back from entering the country.
  • Ancient artifacts: While it’s quite unlikely you will get your hands on a genuine ancient relic if in any case you do, it’s punishable by law. China has strict laws prohibiting the exportation of antiques.

What not to do on your trip to China:

If you are coming from the states, there are some cultural differences, laws, and general rules which need to be abided by. Some seemingly innocent things that China has banned could result in jail time for unknowing tourists. Follow these guidelines to avoid ending up in a Chinese jail. Always remember, Chinese culture is quite different from what we are used to in the states, so while something may seem harmless to you, to a Chinese person it could be offensive. All US citizens need a visa for China, so, if an incident occurs and you’re are being questioned or detained for any reason, always keep all proper documentation readily available.

Gambling:

Under Chinese law, gambling is officially illegal. However, a number of different organizations participate in the act, like unofficial lotteries, and clandestine casinos. This is particularly risky for a US citizen to dabble in, with the language barrier and strict Chinese laws, anyone caught gambling may face serious jail time. Always keep a copy of your passport, 10 year China visa on your person at all times, and keep China visa requirements documents easily accessible.  

Enter restricted military areas:

While it could be an innocent mistake stumbling upon military establishments, without warning, you may run into an angry military officer. Sometimes military areas can pop up unexpectedly, without any warning signs in English, often not even warning signs in Chinese. If this does happen, simply let the army official know it was a mistake and try to be as polite as possible. Hopefully, they will be able to find someone to assist in English. You may be asked to show multiple forms of ID, such as your passport, driver’s license, and proof of your 10 year china visa.

Another rule to abide by here is do not under any circumstances point your camera at a military establishment in China. Instead, walk past as if you didn’t notice or see a thing. Taking photos could result in harsh repercussions. Walking past a military establishment can be explained as an innocent mistake, especially for unknowing guests, but taking pictures of a military area is a direct violation of Chinese law, and is commonly reinforced.

10 surprising things banned in China:

Despite its popularity in the States, the Big Bang Theory is banned in China!

While what’s on this list may not qualify for jail time, it’s interesting what the Chinese government deems unfit, did you ever think a TV show would be banned in the US, or how about your favorite social media platform? You won’t find any of the following items on the list below during your next trip to China.

  1. Facebook
  2. “The Big Bang Theory”
  3. Snapchat
  4. Movies about time travel
  5. Twitter
  6. Siblings (In 2016, a law passed only allowing two children per family)
  7. Pinterest
  8. Foreign Films
  9. E-Books
  10. Casinos

So, are you ready to fly yet? All US citizens need a visa for China, do you have your 10 year China visa prepared to go? Did you fill out all of the China visa requirements? Remember, China is an incredible country with so much to offer. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, right? Well, in China always be sure to respect their strong culture, follow their rules, as odd as they may seem, and show your appreciation for their country. Most US tourists don’t run into trouble as long as they abide by the country’s laws and regulations. Whether you’re traveling around town, hiking, sightseeing, or eating at a restaurant, having your 10 year China visa, passport, ID, and China visa requirement papers on you is always recommended.

What to do if you run into trouble?

Always remain calm when talking to any government officials and offer your remorse. Feel safe saying it was an honest mistake, and you did not know any better. Of course, educating yourself on all the ins and outs of Chinese law is always the smarter idea. So, before your trip grab a book or two on Chinese culture, their rules, and social norms to make your trip to China go as smoothly as possible. The amazing country has so much to offer, and by taking the necessary precautions, all US citizens traveling to China should not run into any trouble.

Bonus tips for your trip to China:

  • Bring a copy of your passport, and another form of ID
  • Bring a copy of your 10 year China visa
  • Take copies of all China visa requirement documents with you
  • Don’t let your 10 year China visa expire, if you need additional time or another 10 year China visa, you must leave the country to obtain a new one, by applying and filling out the China visa requirement forms
  • Always be polite and ask for assistance in English if you run into any issues with a Chinese government official

How to obtain a 10 year China visa:

All US citizens need a visa for China, and while the process may seem daunting, it’s actually quite routine and easy. Several visa expediting services can grant your 10 year China visa within a couple of weeks. If you are going with an online service, sites like chinavisadepartment.com make the process a breeze. Upon entering the website, you will be asked to choose which type of visa you require, all US citizens need a visa for China, and all tourists require a 10 year China visa. Following the quick guidelines on the site, you will be asked to fill out all China visa requirement forms and submit for approval. If for any reason, you are missing any of the China visa requirement forms, your 10 year China visa will be declined. Note that all tourists traveling to China without holding a 10 year China visa will be declined entry to the country.

When will I receive my 10 year China visa?

On average, once you fill out all of the China visa requirement forms, pay the 10 year China visa charge, and any other fees which may occur, your 10 year China visa should arrive within a couple of weeks. If for any reason not all of the forms were sent, or you are denied a visa, you may try again. However, each time you request a 10 year China visa, the process starts from scratch. Check out our FAQ for more info on obtaining a China visa.

Cultural Customs (US v China)

Is China your next destination? If so, you’re in for a treat. China is the oldest living civilization that still exists today and holds the record for the largest population. Home to some of the greatest wonders of the world, it’s no wonder China has people buzzing. With their rich history and a plethora of natives in the country, age-old customs and traditions are still practiced today. However, before you can begin your journey, getting a visa for China must be number one on your list. Some China visa requirement documents will need to be presented before a China visa can be issued, but don’t stress, the process is not as daunting as it sounds. Well, getting a visa for China was the easy part. Now, it’s time to start researching some unique facts about China that may surprise you. There are some major cultural differences between China and the United States. Educating yourself before your flight could save you some embarrassment while on your trip. Keep reading to find out may be a cultural norm for some, and a shock to others.

A westerner wandering around the crowded streets of China.

Top 10 Cultural Differences Between China and the United States

1. Dating – In China, marriage is not encouraged until the mid to late twenties. Not only that but dating is also discouraged for teenagers and young adults. American culture is much more relaxed in this regard, and dating is seen as a regular part of early adulthood and adolescent life. Some say Americans could potentially learn a thing or two about dating from the Chinese.

2. Confrontation – The Chinese people try to avoid confrontation at all costs in an effort to save face. In their culture, shouting causes both parties to lose face and can lead to permanent damage to any relationship. Americans, on the other hand, are more likely to be direct and literal, and sometimes view the way the Chinese solve problems confusing and frustrating. In business, Chinese colleagues will never go out of their way to prove a point, as it could embarrass their co-worker, but to Americans, the final outcome is more important than saving face for the other person.

3. Respect – Some might say Americans lack in this field and put more emphasis on themselves than on others. The opposite goes in Chinese culture, it is expected that respect is given to those all around, and their needs are met at each encounter. This goes for all aspects of their lives, whether it be with someone in a store, a bus driver, their family members or a boss. Everyone should be treated with the utmost honor, even more so if the person is an elder.

4. Treatment of senior citizens – In China, elders are held in great respect, both in business and in personal lives. It’s not uncommon in China to find families with several generations all under the same roof. Most of the time, children are expected to care for their elderly parents, and there are even laws requiring children to visit their parents regularly. The same respect goes in the workplace, you won’t find anyone ageist to older people in the business world in China; instead, they are celebrated and honored.

5. Time management – For most Americans, if a report is due on a Thursday, it means by the end of the day, the report should be on the boss’s desk. In China, that report can show up a few days later and no one would bat an eyelash. The same goes for meetings if a meeting is meant to commence at 4 pm, most Americans would be sure to be there at least a couple minutes before, however, the Chinese are notorious for having time as more of a suggestion than an absolute. This can prove to be quite difficult for any Americans traveling to China for a business meeting.

6. Personal space – With China being the most densely populated country in the world, it’s not a shock personal space is limited. Most Chinese are used to cramped transportation, massive crowds, and small living spaces. In China, it’s not considered rude or offensive to be physically close to a stranger, as it would be in the states. Some cities contain over 10 million residents, so the Chinese are quite used to living in close quarters with one another.

7. Honoring the dead – The Chinese are notorious in their respect and recognition for those in their family who have passed. Once a year, family members visit the gravesites for each of their ancestors to pay their respects. This contrasts American culture, mostly because the majority of Americans don’t know where their ancestors have been buried, due to immigration in the early years of the country. Since China’s culture is so much older, and immigration is uncommon, family members can trace their ancestors back for generations.

8. Tipping – Tipping is not customary in China in restaurants and other service industries. The Chinese take pride in being able to provide and take care of themselves, and while Americans see tipping as a nice gesture, it can be offensive to a Chinese person. For example, a waiter who received a tip in a restaurant may feel the diner left them extra money because they thought they were poor, even though it could have been an innocent mistake to an American guest.

9. Staring – While on your trip to China, you may expect to receive a few double takes or stares. In some parts of the country, visitors are still uncommon, and it creates curiosity for the residents. Don’t be shocked if they even take a photo without your permission, or ask to take a picture with you.

10. Gifts may be refused – If you try to give a Chinese person a present, it’s common they will refuse it up to three times. This is in an effort to show humbleness and gratuity to the gift giver.

There you have it! Are you excited for this once in a lifetime trip yet? After filling the China visa requirement paperwork is out of the way of getting a visa for China is a breeze. Within a few weeks, you can be experiencing all the wonders this exceptional country has to offer. Think of all the food you will taste, the sights you will see, and the places you’ll go! Check out our list below for a few extra bonus tips and tricks before your big trip.

Bonus Tips:

  • Getting a visa for China should be your top priority
  • Bring a copy of your valid passport/ID
  • Bring a copy of your China visa
  • Bring copies of all China visa requirement documents
  • Follow the cultural protocol
  • Use a translating app
  • Educate yourself on uncommon Chinese customs and traditions

What are the China visa requirements?

You'll need a passport to even begin the visa application, so make sure you have one!

The process of getting a China visa is easy, but to ensure your China visa is granted, make sure you have all of the following:

  1. Passport
  2. Passport Photo
  3. Drivers License
  4. Proof of Travel
  5. Hotel Confirmations

Getting a visa for China:

In order to obtain your China visa, a few China visa requirements must be filled out. If your passport is expiring within 6 months from the time your China visa is requested, you may need to renew your current passport before your China visa can be granted. Getting a visa for China doesn’t have to be a hassle, a number of top rated visa expediting services, like chinavisadepartment.com, are here to guide you throughout the entire China visa process. The goal of these expediting services is to make getting a China visa quick, painless, and hassle-free. After filling out all of the China visa requirements online, you may be asked to send in copies of photos, proof of travel, and accommodation receipts. If you have already received a China visa in the past, you will be asked to provide the original previous China visa. If you are traveling to China for business, additional China visa requirement documents may need to be provided in order to grant a China visa.

When will I get my China visa?

The whole process of getting a visa for China from start to finish is around 8-10 business days. However, if you are in need of your China visa sooner, priority services are available and getting a visa for China can be accomplished in as little as 3 business days, granted all of your China visa requirement documents are in order. The same goes for a business China visa, if all China visa requirements are met, the process can be completed in 2-3 business days.

The 8 New Wonders of the World You Must See Before You Die

You’ve got your passport, the boss has approved your vacation days, and you’re ready to make some memories somewhere (hopefully) overseas. But where do you go? There are many places to visit in this zany world of ours. You could go to Pig Beach in the Bahamas and wade in the shallows with friendly pigs. While swimming with swine sounds fine and well, what about the great achievements of man? You may be familiar with the 7 ancient wonders of the world (one may even make an appearance on this list, hint hint). However, most of those no longer exist. Lucky for us travelers, a campaign that first began in 2000 and ended in 2007 decided on 7 New Wonders of the world. Today we’ll be guiding you through these 7 New Wonders as well as going into detail regarding what you’ll need if you’d like to make a trip to any of these countries

Great Wall of China (China)

A photograph of The Great Wall of China, probably taken by someone who got their China visa expedited

The Great Wall of China is well known the world over for its gargantuan size. While it isn’t visible from space like some popular rumors might have you believe, it is long coming in at an estimated 5,500 miles. To better visualize how long 5,500 miles is, the distance you’d have to travel to get from the east to the west coast of the USA is between 2,800-3,500 miles. Forget backpacking through the US, we’re backpacking down the Great Wall.

Jokes aside, the Great Wall of China is quite the impressive feat of human engineering. Originally created to keep out the Mongolian invaders from the north, the wall has outlived many Chinese emperors and dynasties. The wall was even at a time funded by a state-run lotto similar to the ones we have today. One of the ends of the wall, known as The Old Dragon’s Head, meets the Bohai Sea. Why the Mongol invaders didn’t just swim around this part of the wall, the world will never know.

In order to go to China to see this massive wall of a wall you’ll need a passport and a China Visa. More specifically a China tourist visa. I have to specify simply because there is a wide variety of visas that one can apply for when traveling to China. Visas can be tough to acquire, but the application process for a Chinese visa is rather straightforward if you’ve got an expert lending you a hand. In order to obtain a China Visa for tourist purposes you’ll actually need to first book your entire trip in China. While it may seem scary to book travel to a place you technically don’t have permission to enter yet, but– well– you don’t really have a choice. After booking, you’re free to apply. We recommend trying to book as far out as possible to mitigate any potential problems you may face while applying for your visa. The application typically takes 8-10 business days to process, after which you’ll receive your visa. If you’d like us to personally assist you with your Chinese Visa application that’s great! Just visit us at chinavisadepartment.com for more info. And remember, if you don’t have a passport yet, you’ll need one in order to get a visa (and to get on the plane) and you can go to thepassportoffice.com and get your passport in as soon as two business days.

Christ the Redeemer Statue (Rio de Janeiro)

The famous Christ The Redeemer statue set against the gorgeous Rio de Janeiro skies
Sitting above the scenic beaches of Rio de Janeiro is the image of Christ. This statute has become synonymous with Brazil and has become a beacon for the Christian faith throughout the world. Completed in 1931 by French artist Paul Landowski and Brazilian engineer Heitor de Silva Costa, this gargantuan effigy of Christ stands at over 125 ft tall when the height of the pedestal it sits on is factored in. Clearly visible from most of Rio, you don’t need to make the trek up the Corcovado Mountain to see this wonder of the world.

Like China, you’ll need a visa to visit Brazil to get a glimpse of this masterpiece. Also like China, we can help you with your Brazilian visa. You won’t need to book any hotels to apply for a Brazilian visa, but you will need to go ahead and book a flight. The part that’ll take the most time is getting a photocopy of your ID notarized along with a copy of your most recent bank statement. In case you were wondering, Brazil wants the bank statement to make sure you have money to spend when you arrive.

Machu Picchu (Peru)

Come for the ancient Incan ruins at Machu Picchu, stay because of the llamas
Keeping the theme of things that go on top of mountains going we’ve got Machu Picchu. Originally constructed in the 15th century, the structure was known to exist by locals but went undiscovered by foreign explorers until 1911 when American historian Hiram Bingham discovered the ruins and brought this knowledge back to the states with him.

The structure is sometimes referred to as “the lost city of the Incas” which is actually incorrect, the site actually functioned as a private estate for Incan Ruler Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui. While the estate was passed down Pachacuti’s lineage, the site was inhabited for only 80 years before being abandoned due to the ongoing conflict with the Spanish invaders. In addition to being a neat piece of history, you might find a friendly llama willing to take a picture with you, or it could just spit at you. Who knows!

Unlike our previous two entries onto this list, you won’t need a visa to visit Peru, so perhaps you should make this your first stop on your travels along with this next entry

Chichen Itza (Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico)

While this isn’t the only pyramid on our list (this is called foreshadowing, kiddos), it’s certainly the most intact pyramid here. Built by the Mayans sometime between 600 and 1200 AD, the structure serves as a reminder that triangles are every ancient civilization’s favorite shape. Unlike our previous entry, Chichen Itza was a city and probably the largest of it’s kind back in the heyday of the Mayan Civilization.

Chichen Itza (Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico)


Not unlike our previous entry, these ancient ruins were lost and then rediscovered. Pictured above is a photo of the ruins being consumed by nature. Being located in Mexico means that flights from the USA will be vastly more inexpensive than flights to any of the other countries listed here today. You also won’t need a visa to enter Mexico which makes travel to the country pretty easy for us here in the USA. Not to mention that if you live in the southern United States, it’s totally possible for you to drive there

The Roman Colosseum (Rome) – No visa

Here to complete the holy triangle of countries with wonders that don’t require a visa is the Roman Colosseum in… drum roll please… Rome, Italy! Colosseums were one of the Roman Empires selling points, they built throughout the empire to provide entertainment to their citizens. Who could protest the often cruel nature of the Roman Republic/Empire (depending on the century) when you’ve got a deathmatch to catch on your way back from the forum? No one, that’s who.

On display here, one can see the meticulous use of arches by the Romans. While we take the arch for granted nowadays, the Romans were among the first to pioneer the usage of this structurally sound method of construction. The structure is large enough to fit 50,000 people in it, which would’ve made for quite the gathering some 2,000 years ago. The colosseum is even so large that the arena basin was sometimes filled with water so that ship battles could be waged within the colosseum walls. The only thing better than going to Italy to see the Colosseum is the fact that you’ve just paid for a flight to Italy– And hey, looks like you’ll get to see the rest of Rome! What a steal.

Taj Mahal (Agra, India)

The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum originally built in 17th century India by the then ruler of the Mughal Empire, Shah Jahan. The structure was built in honor of Shah Jahan’s favorite wife, Mumtaz Muhal, her body as well as the body of Shah Jahan are both entombed within the Taj Mahal. A popular theory suggest that there was supposed to be a similar building opposite to the Taj Mahal which mirrored it’s ivory white with stark blacks. This black duplicate of the Taj Mahal would have served as Shah Jahan’s personal tomb. This theory has gone largely unproven and survives today mostly as a tale told to enhance the ambience of seeing the lone Taj Mahal.

Like with China or Brazil, you’ll need a visa to go to India. If you aren’t staying for more than 4 months you can actually apply for an Indian E-Visa, which is doable completely online. It’s important to note this must be done prior to your arrival in India. If you plan on making more than one trip or if you’ve plan to spend more than 4 months in India on any given stay you’ll have to apply for a normal Indian visa. This application process may be daunting like the others, but it’s doable. If you’d like help with your application process, we can actually help with that! Visit Visaservicedepartment.com and start your application today.

Petra (Jordan)

The Petra, capital of an ancient Nabataean civilization in Jordan
Located in Jordan and once the capital of the ancient Nabataean civilization, the Petra is a dazzling city carved into sandstone hills. The Nabataean people were a nomadic group of traders who prized Petra for its central location relative to the trade routes of their ancient time. Originally built around 312 BC, the city went on to be conquered by the Roman Empire and was eventually completely abandoned in 800 AD. That didn’t stop people from attempting to plunder the city… Even when there’s nothing to plunder. Solid stone urns can be found at Petra, covered in bullet holes from desert bandits and thieves who may have believed that these stone urns actually contained treasure of some kind.

While you can’t loot and plunder this once great city, you can visit it and take excellent selfies with it’s hillside facade. You’ll need a visa to enter Jordan, but unlike some of the other locations on this list, you can apply for the visa when you arrive in Jordan. You just need to make sure that your passport has pages available for the visa once you arrive.

HONORABLE MENTION – THE PYRAMIDS OF GIZA

The pyramids of Giza, set against the gorgeous Egyptian dusk
While not officially one of the 7 New Wonders of the World, the Pyramids of Giza gets an honorable mention because… Well… They’re THE pyramids. When most people think of Egypt, the pyramids are the first thing that comes to their mind. And rightfully so, these monuments have stood for thousands of years, echoing the accomplishments of a civilization long fallen into our modern era. This ancient wonder gets bonus points for being the only remaining ancient wonder of the world– surprising considering that the pyramids are about two thousand years older than the other six ancient wonders of the world.

Awe-inspiring tetrahedrons aside, you’ll need an Egyptian visa to actually go see the pyramids. Like the other visas mentioned on this list, we can help get your Egyptian visa sorted. These visas typically take around 8-10 business days to process and require that you have a roundtrip flight itinerary that shows you entering and exiting Egypt. The process is nowhere near as complicated as some of the other visas on this list, so don’t stress too much over this one.

That’s it! 7 Wonders and an honorable mention that probably should be somewhere on the actual list– My own personal opinions aside, what do you think about the list? Give it a share and let people know what you think

Explore The Asian Ethnicity With A China Visa From USA

Amidst the struggles of day to day life to earn a livable wage, an average American life is undoubtedly a rat race that can wear an individual very thin. If a person’s life is comprised of balancing all of their activities such as eating well, living comfortably, buying clothing, insurance, saving money, buying a house, fitness and participating in sports, education, travel, and entertainment, that is what we can call a healthy life. Lifestyle experts believe that none of these elements should be absent for a healthy life, nor should the ratio be weighted too heavily too much toward any one activity. However, it is alright for one area or another to take precedence depending on that area’s significance to the individual’s life at the time. After all, we only live once so we should be sure to experience life to the fullest! Although money is a key factor to a happy life, annual income is not the only thing necessary to achieve maximum happiness.