Tag Archives: China trip

China Visa Application for Philippine Citizens

Updated November 20, 2012

If you are a Filipino Citizen and you are planning to go to China this year, then I suggest that you gather all the requirements for the Visa as early as possible.

All Filipino Citizens are required to get a visa before they enter China. and unlike South Korea where getting a tourist visa is gratis or free, for China, you need to pay P1400.00.

You can apply for your Chinese Visa at least 1-2 weeks before your departure date, and you can apply as early as 1-2 months before your departure.

HERE ARE THE LIST OF REQUIREMENTS:

  1.  Applicant’s passport with blank pages and at least 6 months validity left before expiration. Do not leave any field bank, write “NA”only if the question does not apply to you.
  2. A truly and completely filled application form affixed with one passport-size or 2×2 colored photo, with white background, full-face front view, and no hat.  Photo must be glued on the application form. Stapled pictures will not be accepted. Scanned photos will also not be accepted.  U.S. passport holders must submit two application forms with two photos.
  3. Photocopy of the front (passport details page) and the back (emergency contact page) of your passport
  4. An invitation letter issued by Authorized Travel Agency, or from other travel agencies or individuals. Otherwise, you must provide a copy of return ticket and hotel reservation.
  5. If visiting Tibet, please contact a travel agency to apply for a Tibet Entry Permit issued by the Tourism Administration of the Tibet Autonomous Region in advance

IF NO INVITATION LETTER:

  1.  A copy of the round-trip plane ticket
  2. Hotel reservation / invitation letter with a copy of the inviter’s valid chinese residence visa and passport information page of inviter’s or Chinese national identity card
  3.   Previously used China visa in old or new passport (Only visa stickers will be accepted.  Those with stamped visas must submit additional documents for first time China visa applicants.

RE: INVITATION LETTER/ AUTHORIZED TRAVEL AGENCY

According to Pinoy Exchange Members, the authorized travel agency in China that they had contracted are as follows:

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR 1ST TIME APPLICANTS

For first time applicants to China (Philippine passport holders, 18 years old and above), they are required to provide the following:

  •  original NBI clearance valid for travel abroad (the green one)   According to the new requirements os of July 2012, NBI Clearance is no longer necessary
  • The emergency contact information page in the applicant’s passport should be filled out and photocopied.
  • original bank certificate with receipt/debit memo or original passbook, updated within the month that you are applying ONLY If you don’t have an invitation letter from an authorized travel agency.
  • detailed bank statement for a period of 6 months. This is a relatively new requirement, as stated by Ms. Karen Yang, as seen in the comment box below. original bank receipt are required. ONLY If you don’t have an invitation letter from an authorized travel agency in China
  • If visiting PRC for the first time, BIR-Stamped income tax return form ONLY if you don’t have an invitation letter from an authorized travel agency in China.

The bank certificate, as for the contribution of Ms. Karen Yang and Basya in the comments box below and from the requirements posted in the bulletin board. They stated that your bank certificate should conform to the following:

  1. You should have a bank account with opening date 6 months prior the application date, and it should be written in your bank certificate.
  2. You should present a bank certificate with a deposit of at least P100,000.00 ond an ADB of P100,000.00. and an ADB of P100,000 for the past 6 months. So, the ADB should not be lower than P100,000 for the past 6 months.
  3. issuing bank should be a Commercial Bank.Certificates from thrift banks, savings and loan banks  are not allowed. They are strict with this. My friend was refused application since their bank is a loan and savings bank.Regardless of the bank, the Bank Certificate should have the following information: (these requirements are in the Embassy’s bulletin board):

    •  Original copy printed on the bank’s letterhead.
    •  Account Name
    •  Account Number
    •  Account Opening date- account should be active for at least 18o days prior to applying the visa
    •  Type of Account– (savings or current account only; time/term deposits, mutual funds, insurance and any other type of investments are not accepted)
    • Current Balance of
    • Average daily balance for the past 6 monthsof at least P100,000 per applicant. (The “past 6 months” should be indicated; Ave Daily Balance/YTD will not be accepted). They are so strict about this!
    • With checkwrite
    • All Details in English Language
    • The official receipt/debit memo/Certification of waived fee must be stapled.
  4. Aside from bank certificate, they added another requirement: detailed bank statement or passbook for a period of 6 months with original bank receipt. The bank statement is a totally different document from a bank certificate and likewise cannot be substituted for a bank certificate. Both documents MUST be submitted
  • Present the original passbook or bank statements. (Should  include transactions for the past 180 days prior to applying for visa
  • Photocopy of just one page with the latest transactions. There is no need to photocopy all the pages.
  • The bank name, account name, and account number should exactly match the details in the bank certificate
  • Ending balance should be at least P100,000 per applicant (age 18 and above) This should be updated within the past 30 days; any amount less than P100,000 will not be accepted
  • Average Daily Balance for every month within the past 6 months/180 days should be at least P100,000 per applicant
  • All details in English Language

IF TRIP IS SPONSORED provide the ff:

A. If a company will sponsor the trip,

  • provide the company’s bank certificate,
  •  sponsorship letter from the company
  • company’s business registration.

B. If an individual will sponsor the trip,

  • provide his bank certificate,
  •  sponsorship and invitation letter,
  • copy of sponsor’s valid residence visa (if sponsor is a Chinese national/resident)
  • passport information page of the person sponsoring or if Chineseor Chinese national ID.

FOR EMPLOYEES:

  • employment certificate,
  • company ID
  • SSS ID and contributions,
  • TIN ID and latest ITR, BTW, if applicants have invitation letter from an Authorized Travel Agency, both income tax return form and bank statement are not required.

FOR STUDENTS:

  •  provide school ID
  • Personal appearance is required for those who are 16-21 years old
  •  sponsorship letter
  • bank statement and bank certificate of sponsor, not necessary if there is an invitation letter provided by an authorized travel agency.

FOR BUSINESSMEN:

  • provide business registration of company
  •  TIN ID
  • latest ITR, unless there is an invitation letter provided by an authorized travel agency

Below are the documents I passed during my application (April 2011):

FOR EMPLOYEES:

For my Mom and Dad (first time applicants)
1. Application Form (with 2×2 picture (ears should be seen in the picture) and white background, pasted not stapled)
2. passport
3. passport photocopy (information page (front), emergency contact and signature page (back))
4. NBI clearance
5. Photocopy of IDs (employee ID, Tin ID, GSIS ID)
6. Employment Certificate
7. ITR ( BIR 2316 for 2010)
8. Statement of Assets and Liabilities (optional)
9. BPI Bank Certificate with Debit Memo
10. Personalized itinerary with tour agency contracted
11. Round Trip airticket
12. Hotel reservations from Agoda and Sinohotel
13. Tour reservations and vouchers from tour agency contracted

FOR STUDENTS:
I submitted the following for myself: (Take Note I’m a Student)
1. Application Form (with passport size picture and white background, (ears should be seen in the picture) pasted not stapled)
2. passport
3. passport photocopy (information page (front), emergency contact and signature page (back))
4. NBI clearance
5. Photocopy of student ID (I submitted a cert. of enrolment but it was just returned to me)
6. Birth Certificate
7. Photocopy of ITR of parents ( BIR 2316 for 2010)
8. Photocopy of Statement of Assets and Liabilities of Parents
9. Personalized itinerary with tour agency contracted
10. Round Trip airticket
11. Hotel reservations from Agoda and Sinohotel
12. Tour reservations and vouchers from tour agency contracted
13. Photocopy of Bank Certificate of parents with Debit Memo

And to make sure… bring a copy of Affidavit of Support

FOR UNEMPLOYED INDIVIDUALS

I submitted the following for my brother who just passed the Nursing Board exam:
1. Application Form (with passport size picture and white background, pasted not stapled)
2. passport
3. passport photocopy (information page (front), emergency contact and signature page (back))
4. NBI clearance
5. Photocopy of ID (Philippine Nursing Association Member card and Tin ID)
6. Birth Certificate
7. Photocopy of ITR of parents ( BIR 2316 for 2010)
8. Photocopy of Statement of Assets and Liabilities of Parents
9. Personalized itinerary with tour agency contracted
10. Round Trip airticket
11. Hotel reservations from Agoda and Sinohotel
12. Tour reservations and vouchers from tour agency
13. Photocopy of Bank Certificate of Parents with debit memo

Tips in getting the visa:
1. Make sure that all requirements are intact, don’t go there if your requirements are not complete. It will only be a waste of time.
2. Arrive very early in the morning. I arrived 7:05 and I ended up at around 11:45 am. I’m the 90th person in the line already. The employees in the consul are quick in screening applications however what makes it to take so much time are the travel agencies who have a lot of applications to submit. These travel agencies arrive very early in the morning, so be earlier so that you will save up the hassle of waiting and being irritated by the travel agencies.
3. Bring with you anything that can entertain you. Cellphones are not allowed to be used inside the area, once you get caught you will be brought outside by the security guard
4. Eat your meal before going or bring food with you since it will take so much time and you don’t want to be hungry
5. Pray that you will be filing at counter no. 1. The guy there is so handsome! haha! And he don’t ask a lot of questions unlike 2 and 3. He didn’t even ask me a question, he just returned to me my cert. of enrollment– Update! The cutie guy is not working there anymore! 😦
6. Again, Go early so that you will not be cut by the 1 hour lunch break which is 12-1pm.
7. Before going to the counter, check your requirements and arrange it from the most important to the least important.

FYI: As far as I know, once your application was filed, then it will be 90% sure that you will be getting your visa.

The hardest part in getting this visa is getting all the requirements needed but after submitting this, there will be no problem at all.  Hope this will help those who will apply for Chinese visa in the future.

I uploaded a copy of the new application form. To get a copy of the new application form, click here. It can be edited and you can type there your entries. 🙂 And please print it in an A4 paper (back to back) preferably or short bond paper.

You can also get a reputable travel agency to apply for you (but take note, those 16-21 year old people should still be in the Consulate for their personal appearance). But I suggest you go there, it is quite an experience! 🙂

Here is one of the well-known agency that I encountered when I was filing my visa application, I saw them with a lot of application forms being filed in the counter.

Uniorient:
Phone no. (632) 2433333, (632) 2433888 (26 trunklines)
E-mail: unotra@tri-isys.com

And after waiting. I got my visa. Yey!

My approved China Visa 🙂

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT MY CHINA TRIP SUCH AS ITINERARY, COSTS AND PLACES TO VISIT,

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Shaanxi Nanfang Hotel: Okay Hotel for the Budget-Minded Traveler

The hotel allowed us to have an early check-in, which is very nice of them, we checked-in by 10am. The rooms are nicely decorated, simple yet comfortable.

The windows are huge; the hotel rooms are clean, so we had no problem at all.

Stuff for Sale in the Hotel

There are a lot of items which can be found on the desk and on the sink but almost everything is for sale, so watch out for those things which has a price tag on them, they also have complimentary toiletries so don’t be fooled of getting those that have tags on them… the free items are those usually with the hotel logos.

The location is nice, easily accessible to the bell tower. So it is really in the city center

I'm trying to figure out what the food is....

As for the breakfast, if you are Chinese then the breakfast is good for you but if you are not, if it is not complimentary then ditch it…. the breakfast is a typical chinese buffet, (no bread even except for the Chinese bread (the one which is color white)… they don;t even serve noodles! for me, the taste is not good but maybe for Chinese people it would be satisfactory (I just observed on how they go back and forth to the buffet table)

As for the staff, they are quite helpful but only few knows english which is quite frustrating… however, our stay end up pretty well, this is not really a big deal for our group since we have a Chinese speaking guide with us.

Overall, our stay is good since we just used the hotel as a sleeping place….I will recommend it if you have a tour guide or group when coming to Xian, since the location is quite good, but if you are coming to Xian alone and wanted to go touring, it will be harder for you to communicate with the frontdesk staff (I’m just assuming that you don’t know any Chinese)…. but if you know Chinese pretty well, this place is really recommended for you and you can save money too!

This review is originally from my tripadvisor account but what I did is to add another commentary and pictures.

Forbidden City: A once Forbidden Palace

It is nice to walk in a place once forbidden. This a city, a kingdom, which was always there but is not accessible for the common people. The place is characterized by common people as Heaven on Earth…

Got this from TravelNLife photos. Sorry, I don’t have good pictures for the entrance 😦

Words cannot describe how beautiful this place is. It made me think, what if I will be the emperor or even the empress of this wonderful place, what will happen? and what will I feel? Anyway, walking and standing in this great forbidden palace made me feel that I’m  one of them. It makes you go back to the pages of history itself! It has centuries of history written on its walls and hallways which makes you ponder more on how beautifully preserved this palace is. No words can ever describe my lovely experience in the Forbidden City.

The experience of walking in the old passageways makes me feel like I’m one of the royalties. Not only that, it gave my hollow imagination a chance to make me an empress in just one day. I just imagined walking its corridors in a red silk clothing while guards and eunuchs follow my every step. I imagined sipping tea while looking at the grandeur of each of the halls and knowing that I’m rich and I’m powerful….. (screech…. Imagination o..v..e..r)…Back to reality!… the real deal is that being an Empress is a hard job! and the politics inside and outside the palace is just head-spinning chaos… so I better stop imagining those stuff and just enjoy being a common person who has her own privacy and freedom to travel!

Well, one of the things the empress cannot do is that she cannot travel! Poor her!!! I cannot fathom being locked out for all of my life! Although who wants to travel in a war-ridden country which has full of enemies?!  if I will be her, I’ll just stay at home and be pampered by her eunuchs..

The Forbidden city is a PALACE. a grand and humungous one! With over 9000 rooms!  My tour group took 2 hours just to pass-by the grand halls. Remember, we just passed-by the halls or structures in the middle, we didn’t actually explore the whole thing but it took us 2 hours (2 grand hours of Walking), maybe if you wanna tour everything and see everything, it will take you 5-8 hours to finish this thing off!

The Forbidden City gives you a glimpse of how grand China is during those period and you will just pop the word “Wow” because the history of China and of this place is just amazing! It made me envy of such rich history of China, it made me think of what will happen if Philippines have also royalties in the past.

Well, the forbidden city is really a place to visit! It is a must see! if you have been to China and wasn’t able to see this, I’m telling you to go back and to see this sight! This is really wonderful! The biggest palace in Asia I’ve ever seen! Much bigger than Korea’s Gyeongbokgung palace and much more lively!

We booked our tour with Sinohotelguide for $28USD or P1027.00 which also include tour in Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. But you can always do it on your own.

Downside is: There is a lot of people! It is really crowded!! No pictures taken without other person being there. All pictures have strangers on it. This is the downside! However, it is still a beauty, so go there in the afternoon, when it is near closing time. We went there in the morning, it seems that tour groups go there in the morning And it became really crowded. You can always see a lot of tour groups and their flags waving in the air.

Just look at the crowd!!!
My brother in one of the halls

Tips:
1. Go late in the afternoon
2. Don’t go there during Chinese holidays
3. Watch the Last Emperor of China to feel something about the place
4. Hire a tour guide or go there by yourself
5. Wear Comfortable clothing, especially shoes! You will be walking for hours there! We just pass through, we did not roam around the area but it took us 2 hours
6. Bring a lot of water with you! I didn’t see any stores inside the area
7. Don’t visit during Summer, it is really hot! we went there in Spring but it was already humid.

Suggestions:

1. Don’t be part of a group tour if you walk pretty slow or you have difficulty in walking, since they will just pester you and say “Hurry up! Hurry up!” My mom and dad wasn’t able to visit this place because our tour guide walks really fast and my dad cannot catch up with her… So my dad just decided to stay behind, since my mom is a martyr, she just followed where my dad is.

2. You can visit the place by yourself and just get a geo-tour (you get a headset which has an information regarding the place; the information is recorded in the machine)

How to D-I-Y a Visit to the Forbidden City (Source: TraveChinaGuide)

  • Admission Fee: 40 CNY (Nov 1. to Mar 31, 2012); 60 CNY (Apr 1 to Oct 31)
  • Admission fee for the Treasure Gallery and Clock and Watch Gallery: CNY 10
  • Opening Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (Nov. 1, 2011- Mar 31, 2012) Last entry is by 3:40pm. 8:30 to 5:00pm (April 1-Oct 31, 2012) Last entry by 4:10

How to get here:

By Subway:

  • Subway Line 1: get off at Tiananmen West or Tiananmen East Station, walk north through the Tiananmen Tower (Gate of Heavenly Peace), and then you’ll find the Meridian Gate (south gate) of the Forbidden City.
    Subway Line 2: get off at Qianmen Station and walk north through the Tiananmen Tower.

By Bus:

  • Take bus 101, 103, 109, 124, 202, 685 or 814 and get off at Gugong (Forbidden City) Station.
  • Take bus 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 52, 120 or 802 and get off at Tiananmen Xi or Tiananmen Dong Station, walk north through the Tiananmen Tower (Gate of Heavenly Peace), and then you’ll find the Meridian Gate (south gate) of the Forbidden City.
  • Take bus 9, 17, 44, 48, 59, 66, 803, 808, 特4, 特7 or Tuanjiehu Special Line and get off at Qianmen, Qianmen Xi, or Qianmen Dong Station, and walk north through Tiananmen Square and you’ll find the Forbidden City in front of you.


Beijing Traditional View Hotel, a hassle free stay!

Anyway, let me cheat a little bit. I posted here my previous review from tripadvisor. But I added more commentary and PICTURES!!

We booked this 3-star hotel using Agoda and we got 45% of the usual deal. So we just paid P6,000 for our 2 nights stay in the hotel. But first, I want you to know that hotels or accommodations in Beijing are affordable… you will have no problem regarding accommodation costs once you plan to visit this vibrant city, unlike Singapore where hotel accommodations are too costly (For Filipino standards).

 
Main Door of Traditional View Hotel
My Mom in the entrance of the hotel

The hotel is quite small but is really pretty, it is clean and well decorated. We got a standard modern room instead of the more expensive traditional ones. The rooms that we got have two single beds, and clean bathrooms. There is no refrigerator but there is a mini bar (where you can buy some stuff). There is also a TV but unfortunately, they only have Chinese channels.

The Comfy Single Beds
Shower

The courtyard is very cute, it feels that you are really in China. They set up a lot of chairs and tables where the guests can sit and relax…which I think is a good way of compensating knowing that the sitting capacity of the lobby is really unequal to the number of guests of this hotel.

Courtyard

I also loved the gold fishies in the lobby. They are so cute… I’m gonna die!!!

The Cute and Fluffy "fishies" in the hotel lobby!

The staff is also very hardworking, they also helped us by being the contact person of our tour guides. The male front desk staff (I forgot his name) even went up in our room when he cannot contact us through the phone. Check-in and Check-out is a breeze, so no worries about that.

The buffet breakfast has few variety  of food but it tastes great, so no worries about it. But if the breakfast is not a complimentary one, I suggest going out and just eat somewhere else, so that you can get more value of your money. And I don’t suggest eating porridge there! It doesn’t taste like porridge or (“lugaw”) here in the Philippines. It tastes like “gawgaw” or does have a bland taste.

The only problem of this hotel is the location, though it may be said that it is in the center of Beijing, the location can be so much of a hassle especially if it is your first time going to the hotel, and  if you doesn’t speak Mandarin. The hotel is really hard to find (and you need to ask the local people about the location of this place, and most of them doesn’t know how to speak english). Good thing was we booked a transfer service going to this hotel. But, in fairness to this hotel, its location is really near the Forbidden City and of that Tiananmen Square, and some other tourists places in Beijing. The only problem is that it is hard to find at first.

The hotel is located in the center of the Hutongs (like small alleys) so you need to walk at least 7-10 minutes from the hotel to the main road.

Overall, the hotel is nice, with a friendly and hardworking staff, with a nicely decorated, clean and comfortable rooms, and very cute courtyard. I can say that this hotel is okay and I recommend it, as long as you don’t mind walking for another 10 minutes or so after a day of walking in Beijing.

If you are traveling in China, make sure you have every name and addresses of the places you are going to visit as well as the name of your hotel in Chinese, so that it will be easier for you to go home or ask the directions if ever you are lost or such.

Anyway, here is the address and contact details of this hotel. And I just found out that they have their own website! Last May when I’m looking for more information regarding this hotel, I didn’t come across their site.  So here you go…

  • Name of Hotel: Beijing Traditional View Hotel
  • Address: 33 JuEr Hutong, JiaoDaoKou south street,Dong Cheng District, Beijing, China
  • Telephone Nos: 86-10-64005656, 86-10-84032899
  • Fax Nos: 86-10-84032599
  • Email: will9696@gmail.com
  • Website: en.guyunfang.net