We are back in Beijing after a couple of years. A lot has changed since then. The Olympic Games, more smog, more cars, more hotels, more business,.. despite all this, tourism went down the first quarter of 2013 with 5%. So China, I guess you have to work a bit on your complicated visa-policy. The 72-hour visa-free entry for a lot of nationalities is already a good start. (You can now enter China for free and easily when you fly to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guanghzou) and if you can show you are flying out to another international destination within 72 hours). But to attract more tourists, it would be good to have an even better and easier visa-policy. Via this website you will find a bit more info about the 72 hours for free concept.
If you would ask me what I would do when I am 72 hours in a Chinese major city?
Easy! Book yourself into a very nice hotel (splurge if you can) and relax. Especially in Beijing you get value for your money when it comes to hotels. But more about this in our next post. Why relax? Well, you probably had a long flight before arriving here so you need to adjust to the time difference, the climate, the Asian way of life,…. So rest, relax and if you feel like it explore the city. If you think you are not going to spend much time exploring and just chilling, book yourself a club floor room in one of the nicer hotels.
When exploring, consult the LUXE Guides. Our favorite and very handy city guides that mix luxury addresses with local joie de vivre. We would recommend to go and try some local food, maybe in the evening, when in summer it cools down and you can sit outside. You might want to check out the major sightseeing sights in Beijing or Shanghai in these 72 hours. To save time, hop in a taxi but make sure they put on the meter, if not, get out and take another one.
If you feel really beaten after a long flight, try a nice spa. I myself had just an amazing Chinese masage at the Peninsula Beijing and I feel reborn. Even in fancy hotels like this 5-star bastion of luxury it is still affordable. 72-hours in China? Yes please!