Chinese Airlines: A Hidden Gem for Travel
For those who are new to traveling around China (or even Asia in general), you may be surprised by how many Chinese airline companies are out there.
Large cities across China frequently have their own airline companies. China's special administration regions have them as well.
For many flights, regardless of their destination, it's almost guaranteed that the airline will stop at their company headquarters before heading to their main destination.
This is where opportunity arises.
Chinese airline companies frequently have options available for medium to long layover options on their website.
Therefore, you have the opportunity to explore someplace new over an 8 to 30 hour layover.
I recently took advantage of this on a flight from Beijing, China to Da Nang, Vietnam.
For my trip I decided to fly with Macau Airlines. While their websites offered an array of layover options, I decided to take the longest layover option, which was just short of 24 hours.
This gave me the option to explore a brand new city without paying anything extra in plane tickets or fees.
While a layover adventure may be too short for those who really like to dive in to a culture, it's a great way to see somewhere new, especially for those on a budget.
While Google Flights is a good way to price check websites, it's not always the best way to find the best layover option. Instead, check individual company websites to find the best layover.
For US passport holders, Americans can travel to Macau and Hong Kong without a visa up to 90 days. With both regions being major international hubs, the process to enter the metropolitan cities is rather simple.
Americans can transit and explore through certain international airports in mainland China as well. The list of approved airports continues to grow - so do a quick Google search before you leave to see if your city qualifies!
About the Author: Alexander Parini
Alexander is a recent graduate from Portland State University in the United States where he received his undergraduate degree in political science. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in international relations at Peking University in Beijing, China.