Be Your Own Advocate
5 Weeks in Asia: Costs
A Quick Trip Out of FRA
Money Problems in Beijing
72 Hour Visa Free Transit of Beijing
Scams in Beijing
The Angkor Experience
The VIP Sleeper Bus Experience in Cambodia
Sleepy Kep, Cambodia
Arranging Visas on the Move
The Adventure of A Ricetime: Mekong Delta
The Adventure of  A Ricetime: Easy Riders Tour
The Adventure of  A Ricetime: Tailored Hoi An
The Adventure of  A Ricetime: Solo Motorbiking
The Adventure of  A Ricetime: Halong Bay
The Adventure of  A Ricetime: Sapa
Scams in Vietnam
6 Hours in Bangkok
Scams in Bangkok
A First-Timer First Class Experience

When I was booking my ticket for my summer trip with United, I wanted to make sure I made good use of my stopover. Originally my plan had been to stop over in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but after making some date and destination changes, that was no longer an option. Since I was flying through Frankfurt and Beijing on the outbound, those were the two most logical options. I have been to Germany before, so I planned a long layover there so I could make a quick trip out of FRA, and decided to take my stop over in Beijing. With the original itinerary I was looking at, the stop over was going to be 75 hours, which was over the limit for the Visa Free Transit, but I was able to move some things around an came up with about a 60 hour transit (2 nights, 3 days).

For the most part things went very smoothly. When I arrived at DTW to leave for my trip, the ticket agents were unaware of the visa-free transit rule, so they had to make a few phone calls, but things were resolved rather quickly.  I was given three boarding passes: DTW – ORD,  ORD – FRA, and FRA – PEK.

After the shenanigans of my trip out of FRA, I was ready to board my plane without a hitch in Frankfurt, but when I approached the gate the agent said he needed to see my visa or my ongoing ticket… neither of which I had! Since I was running kind of late and they were just getting ready to finish up boarding, I’m pretty sure this dude wanted none of my nonsense… but alas, he made a phone call and told me I was allowed to board the plane. YAY! I was going to China.

Once I made it to Beijing the only [minor] issue was that signage was really bad. There is a special form you must fill out and special lines you must use. The one I got in was all the way at the far end. Once I gave the man at the desk my form, he looked it over, gave me some stamps, and sent me on my way!

Note: To transit China for 72 hours or less without a visa, you must be traveling to a third country! More details here.