13 Hot Travel Spots for Chinese Passport Holders in 2019

Traditionally, Chinese passports have been synonymous with onerous visa applications, in-person interviews and other bureaucratic headaches when considering international travel. That’s something I learned many years ago when I first tried to bring my husband, then boyfriend, home to the US with me.

But, to borrow that line from Bob Dylan, the (traveling) times, they are a’ changing.

Today’s Chinese tourists have just as much wanderlust as their Western counterparts, as more opt for independent travel and unique locales, and they also represent huge dollars in the international tourism industry. That has spurred a growing number of global destinations to welcome Chinese visitors with preferential policies.

Earlier this year Travel & Leisure and Lonely Planet posted their lists of the hottest travel destinations for 2019, and a number of the countries listed give easier visa clearance for Chinese citizens. So if you’re interested in hitting a buzz-worthy destination as a Chinese citizen, check out the following countries, listed in alphabetical order:

Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

#1: Cambodia

The seat of the legendary Angkor Wat also offers superb beaches and a cuisine that shares much common ground with Thailand and Vietnam, not to mention some new ecotourism adventures in the country’s south (as mentioned by Travel & Leisure). And for Chinese passport holders, an e-visa (which you can pay for with Alipay and even a UnionPay card) or visa on arrival will help secure your vacation in the land of Khmer culture.

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

#2: Egypt

Who hasn’t dreamed of gazing upon the country’s ancient pyramids, Sphinx, the Nile and more (made even more tantalizing in this mention on Travel & Leisure)? Fulfill your wish, thanks to Egypt’s visa on arrival for Chinese passport holders who meet some relatively simple requirements.

Image by Judith Scharnowski from Pixabay

#3: Jordan

Jordan has enticed many travelers (and Lonely Planet in 2019) with its iconic Jordan Trail (which includes the ancient city of Petra). The fact that it offers visas on arrival for Chinese passport holders further paves the way for your visit there.

Image by Herbert Aust from Pixabay

#4: Kenya

Besides the great outdoors and safari adventures, Kenya has also landed on savvy travelers’ must-see lists (including Travel & Leisure) for its vibrant arts scene in Nairobi. E-visas for Chinese passport holders will help kickstart your journey to this dynamic East African country.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

#5: Kyrgyzstan

This far western neighbor to China has garnered rave reviews among a growing group of independent travelers for trekking and pristine landscapes (earning it a mention by Lonely Planet). Its e-visa offers a simple, convenient way for Chinese passport holders to gain entry and experience the stunning scenery.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

#6: Malaysia

From picturesque Penang and to idyllic coastlines, islands and rainforests, Malaysia has long remained a trusty destination for Chinese passport holders – and it got a special recommendation from Travel & Leisure in 2019. An e-visa is all Chinese passport holders need before buying that ticket to Kuala Lumpur.

Image by Patrick Fransoo from Pixabay

#7: Oman

Considered by Travel & Leisure as “one of the most beautiful countries on the Arabian peninsula”, Oman has everything from brilliant beaches and desert wonders to the UNESCO Frankincense Trail. And Chinese passport holders just need an e-visa to set foot in this Middle Eastern gem.

Image by Walkerssk from Pixabay

#8: Seychelles

The Seychelles have seduced many a traveler to its shores with its Instagram-worthy beaches and forests straight out of a travel brochure (catching the eye of Travel & Leisure this year too). Even better, no visa needed for Chinese passport holders to visit this island paradise, so all you need to worry about is your plane tickets and luggage.

Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

#9: Singapore

The success of the movie “Crazy Rich Asians” has catapulted Singapore, one of the first overseas destinations open to Chinese, to the top of many travelers’ itineraries (including Travel & Leisure), hoping to experience some of the swanky spots featured in the novel and film. Chinese passport holders only need an e-visa or, even simpler, the visa-free 96-hour transit option — then you’re one step closer to cocktails at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

Image by Roman Bader from Pixabay

#10: Sri Lanka

Lonely Planet says “Sri Lanka is decidedly having its moment in the equatorial sun,” and that’s especially true among Chinese travelers. They flock to its shores for the great temples, natural wonders, amazing beaches and surfing, mouth-watering curries, spice gardens, world-famous teas and more – especially because the country offers a visa on arrival or e-visa.

Image by Alex Sky from Pixabay

#11: Tunisia

From awe-inspiring Roman sites to glorious Mediterranean beaches, Tunisia has a lot for visitors – and it’s making a comeback with travelers in recent years, as Travel & Leisure reported. Even better, no visa required for Chinese passport holders, making this land of couscous especially tempting.

Image by Olga Ozik from Pixabay

#12: United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates has gripped the world with grand and glittering Dubai (which has everything from the tallest building on Earth to superior options for shopping). But Travel & Leisure also recommends rising star Sharjah for its beautifully preserved heritage and more. No visa necessary for Chinese passport holders to experience this Middle Eastern powerhouse.

Image by Simon Matzinger from Pixabay

#13: Zimbabwe

Home to the most mesmerizing views of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe has inspired wanderlust among countless travelers, eager to gaze upon the superlative natural wonder (and more). It ranked No. 3 on Lonely Planet’s list of countries for 2019 – and it should get priority on your list, since Chinese passport holders can secure an e-visa/visa on arrival.

What other hot destinations for 2019 would you recommend for someone traveling on a Chinese passport? Let us know in the comments!

Double Happiness: Tunisian woman & Shanghai man live happily ever after

Sabine and her Shanghainese husband.
Sabine and her husband, who live happily ever after in Dubai.

It’s always a thrill to hear from yangxifu around the world, especially countries outside the usual Anglosphere (Australia, North America, the UK). So when Sabine, a woman from Tunisia, sent me a lovely photo of her with her Shanghainese husband, I leapt at the opportunity to share the story of how they met in Tunisia, married, and moved to Dubai.

Wishing this beautiful couple success in the year of the horse!

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I am a Tunisian woman. Seven months ago, I married a man from Shanghai.

The first time we met was in 2012. He came to Tunisia for a business meeting. At that time I was a student and the company that happened to host him was also training me.

While he was visiting the company, we had some conversations. He said he wanted to know more about Tunisia and visit our tourist attractions. We exchanged e-mails. Then we met up a couple of times, where we had coffee together and enjoyed a nice Tunisian lunch. Before he left Tunisia he gave me his phone number in Dubai and his Facebook ID so we could keep in touch.

Within three months, our relationship evolved from normal friends to “shy lovers”. I became so attached to him and found myself falling in love with him. He is always nice, tender, understanding and wise. These qualities are very hard to find nowadays in Tunisian men.

Eventually we decided to get engaged after my graduation. Initially, my family was very surprised with my choice. After they met him, they liked his personality and realized that his values were the same as ours.

We married in Spring 2013. His family couldn’t attend the wedding because of distance and the cost of airplane tickets, but they offered us their blessings. His best friend, however, was able to partake in the celebrations. One month after our wedding, I followed him to Dubai, where we now live together. Next year we hope to visit his family in China.

I would like to encourage single women out there to give Chinese men a chance. While I’ve only dated a few men, I never met a man as honest, committed and affectionate as my husband.

Sabine and her husband are enjoying their happily ever after together in Dubai.

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We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love — or out of love — to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.