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Hainan visa free entry

Bangkok, Thailand
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537 posts
Hainan visa free entry
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I’m Chinese but a citizen of Thailand. My grandfather was born in Jinghong, Yunnan Province and I still have the same surname as him which is a Dai minority surname. But even though I’m Thai-Chinese I need to apply for a visa each time before travelling to China. But before I just saw an interesting article in the South China Morning Post:

http://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3242168/4-visa-free-ways-travel-china-land-sea-and-air-72-hours-30-days

2. Hainan province (30 days)

This tropical island province of Hanian allows nationals from 59 countries to enter visa free and free of charge. Visitors only need to purchase a round-trip flight to the province’s two main gateways of Sanya or Haikou and fill out an arrival form on the plane. The province once required visa-free visitors to set up their trips through Hainan-based travel agencies, but it has formally scrapped the requirement, according to an immigration agent in the provincial capital of Haikou.

This seems to be great news for me. I guess that Thailand is included in the 59 countries concerning visa-free entry to Hainan (unlike the 54 countries concerning 72/144 hour visa free transit). So as I live in the Chinese province of Taiwan (which isn’t a part of Mainland China) I probably only need to book a return plane ticket from Taiwan to Hainan directly or via Hong Kong or Macau in order to travel to Hainan visa free.

Has anybody tried the visa free method in order to travel to Hainan recently and are the airlines in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau aware of the visa free travelling rules?

17 replies to this topic
Cepin, Croatia
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1. Re: Hainan visa free entry
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You are eligible for a visa free scheme called "Hainan 30 day visa free access". Thailand citizens can enjoy this scheme by taking a flight to one of two Hainan international airports of Haikou or Sanya. However, there are some requirements... You will have to present your hotel bookings as well as your return ticket. Also, your flight to Hainan is not allowed to have any landing within the rest of mainland China before Hainan and you have to leave Hainan also by taking a flight that does not have landing of any kind within the rest of mainland China. In other words, by far the most convenient flights are those from/to Hong Kong and/or Macau. I am not aware of any direct flight to Hainan from Taiwan, but if it starts to operate, the flight from Taiwan would be eligible as well.

Hong Kong and Macau airport authorities are well aware and informed about this visa free option, so you as Thailand citizen will not face any obstacles, but you are supposed to present your return ticket and your hotel bookings upon request. It is convenient to have printouts of both flights and hotel bookings at hand.

Bangkok, Thailand
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Thanks Vuky! This is exactly as how I understand it. But do you know anybody who tried the visa free access to Hainan previously? You would have to get past the check-in counter as well. Only saying that Hainan is visa free without having any proof is a little bit risky concerning getting past the check-in counter. Also I heard that there is a direct flight from Taipei-Taoyuan to Haikou on China Airlines. Maybe that flight hasn’t resumed after the pandemic yet or is only seasonal. Anyway I guess that flying via Hong Kong or Macau is more feasible than flying directly from Taiwan to Hainan.

Cepin, Croatia
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Yes, I know people from different citizenship that have visited and enjoyed Hainain using this visa free option. All of them just presented their hotel bookings and flight tickets (return ticket) and there were no problems whatsoever. They were all flying from Hong Kong and I have to say that none of them was Thailand citizen. In any case, the rules that regulate Hainan visa free access do not mention anything that would put in doubt that Thailand citizens would be treated in some different way since Thailand belongs to eligible group of countries.

I can see from the way you write about this subject that you are very cautious person, so I would suggest you, especially if you feel some level of anxiety in this regard out of the fear that you could be refused boarding or similar, I would suggest you to refrain from using this scheme until you personally receive some good testimony on the subject.

As far as China Airlines flight from Taipei to Haikou is concerned, I would say that this flight has not yet resumed, so a travel via Hong Kong would be a solution... If you decide to go proceed :)

Bangkok, Thailand
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Do you know which passport the people who you know who went to Hainan visa free were holding? I’m only reading about Singaporeans who went to Hainan visa free. Singaporeans are 15 days visa free in whole China anyway, albeit with a pause during or just after the pandemic but I heard that the 15 days visa free access for whole China has been reinstated for Singaporeans and Bruneians but not for Japanese.

Edited: 22 November 2023, 03:29
Cepin, Croatia
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Those that I know are Australian, Czech, Indonesian and Polish citizens. They were all successful and they reported that everything went smoothly and up to the expectations.

You should not even read/talk about Singaporeans because they travel to China in the same way as they do to Malaysia or Thailand... China still holds a suspension on visa free travel of Japanese citizens because China has expressed that only a reciprocity should be acceptable in resuming of visa free policy for Japanese citizens. I am suspicious that Japan will accept that, but if Singapore has already done huge moves toward the abolishing of visas with China, Japan should follow the same path.

Austin, Canada
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Best way to check your eligibility os to go to the travel center section of the IATA website. This is what airlines use.

Cepin, Croatia
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JPDM, you are absolutely right on this matter... Here is the quote from Timatic:

China - Destination Visa

Visa required.

Visa Exemptions

Nationals of Thailand with a normal passport arriving at Haikou (HAK) or Sanya (SYX) for a maximum stay of 30 days. They must:

- travel as tourists; and

- have a passport valid for a minimum of 6 months from the arrival date; and

- have at least 1 unused visa page in the passport; and

- stay only in Hainan province; and

- have a confirmed hotel reservation; and

- have a return/onward ticket for an international flight from Haikou (HAK) or Sanya (SYX).

As you can see, this is the official confirmation of everything that we were taliking about. Citizens of Thailand can travel to Hainan visa free under the conditions already explained and now confirmed by Timatic.

Bangkok, Thailand
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Now I’ve booked following flights for March 2024: Taipei-Hong Kong-Sanya one-way on EVA AIR for the first leg and on Hong Kong Airlines for the second leg for EUR 199 on Lastminute and another one-way ticket on Trip for EUR 135 from Sanya via Hong Kong to Taipei on Hong Kong Airlines (both legs). I hope that 2 one-way tickets are OK for the visa free access to Hainan.

Cepin, Croatia
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It will be perfectly fine, just don't worry. When you arrive in Sanya, you will present a return flight on a separate ticket and this will be enough along with hotel bookings. By the way, I can see that you are a very decisive person, good for you. Also, I like your choice of March because the rainfall is around yearly minimums, temperatures are warm to moderately hot and I am certain that the overall experience will be up to the expectations. Enjoy your trip and don't forget to return to this topic to inform us about the crucial details :)

Bangkok, Thailand
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Today the Chinese government has announced that France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia are visa free in whole China from now on. While Thais aren’t visa free in whole China yet there is a chance that Thailand could be added next year or within a few years.

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