🌎 The country offering a tourist lottery

🌎 The country offering a tourist lottery

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❤️ The Via dell’Amore, or the Path of Love, between Riomaggiore and Manarola, Italy, was closed in 2012 after a disastrous landslide. After 11 years, it is set to be fully recovered by 2024. Read more about it here.

Good morning and welcome back to Daily Drop, the chin-up of newsletters. It can be tough to get through, but man, are you proud of yourself when you do.

But today’s should be EASY to get through because there are some good Asia hacks cooking right now:

  • 🏃🏼‍♂️ Mike on the Move: The Chinese Loophole

  • 🌎 The country offering a tourist lottery

  • 🖼️ Meme

🏃🏼‍♂️ Mike on the Move: The Chinese Loophole

Konnichiwa. Here in Japan, that’s how they say hello.

But soon, that hello will turn into a nǐ hǎo. Because later this week, I’m off to China and Taiwan.

Last week, I told you about the award ticket I booked through KLM and Air France to fly from Japan to China, a great example of how many of our favorite points programs can come in handy all over the world. 👇

The complicated part about traveling to China right now is two-fold:

First, It’s CRAZY expensive to get there… because so few airlines operate flights, booking a short hop with points from Korea or Japan is one of the best ways to do it at the moment.

Second, it’s REALLY hard to get a visa. You can only get them through China Visa centers around the world, and they require a lot of paperwork, an appointment scheduled well in advance, and a lot of flexibility.

So I decided not to get one. Because I’m a lazy piece of crap. 💩

The downside to this decision is that China is known for arbitrary detention or exit bans against travelers for various reasons, one of which is traveling there with no visa… 😬

As lovely as a lifetime in China sounds, I also happen to know about a loophole (ish) that allows travelers to visit China without a visa.

The catch?

You can only spend up to a few days there.

China has a policy that allows you to transit for either 24 or 72 hours through various Chinese cities with no visa. And I’m SUPER excited to take advantage of it this week in Shanghai.

Here is how this works:

  • You can only arrive in cities that allow this policy (some cities and airports do NOT allow it)

  • You must be traveling to a third country (e.g. Taiwan) and you can’t return to the same country you arrived from

  • You can’t leave the city you arrive in (in most cases)

  • You still need to abide by other regulations like COVID testing requirements, etc.

Here is how the timing of the program works depending on if you’re choosing the 24 or 72-hour version:

FYI the 53 countries mentioned above include the U.S., Canada, and many others

And if all that wasn’t cool enough, they even offer a 144-hour transit stopover. 🤯 

If you’re bad at math, that is a total of SIX days, plus the time on your first day before the clock starts ticking (like the 72-hour version, the clock starts at midnight AFTER you arrive).

Six days could barely be considered a stopover and is actually quite a lot of time. Considering the fact that it also helps you avoid the hectic visa process, this is an amazing opportunity…

Anyway, I LOVE long layovers in new places.

I think it’s a fun (and often time convenient) way to break up a series of flights, and I think even 24 hours can be a great amount of time to enjoy a city you’ve never been to, let alone 72 or 144 hours.

Shanghai (and China as a whole) has been at the top of my bucket list for a long time.

There’s so much history and culture to explore—the bustling markets of Shanghai, the Great Wall north of Beijing, the Terracotta Army in Xi’an, the Sichuan cuisine of Chengdu.

So why not see one of them now, even just for a day?

Given that I’m traveling to Taiwan, it’s actually quite convenient to stop over in Shanghai anyway…

From there, getting to Taiwan is actually quite cheap, too. I booked a flight on a Chinese budget airline for under $100.

So if you find yourself in Asia in the near future and want to experience a super unique place on a convenient stopover, I’d highly recommend looking at China’s stopover program.

Just make sure you actually read the terms and conditions carefully on this one. 😉

🌎 The country offering a tourist lottery

Winning the lottery is great. Unless you’re one of the 70% of lottery winners that go broke after winning.

Thankfully, some lotteries have far lower stakes.

For example, Taiwan is running a lottery for any and all tourists who visit to win prizes like transit cards and hotel vouchers.

Here’s who is eligible:

  • You must be a foreigner with a non-Chinese passport

  • You must stay in Taiwan for 3-90 days

  • You cannot be a part of a tour group

And here’s how it works:

  • Within seven days of your arrival to Taiwan, simply fill out the online form

  • Once completed, you’ll receive a QR code

  • When you arrive at the airport, there will be a desk/kiosk in the arrivals hall where you can scan your QR code to see if you’ve won

It’s very straightforward, and you could potentially win $200 in hotel vouchers which you simply present to your hotel upon check-in to get a discount on whichever rate you booked.

If you plan on sleeping in the streets instead of a hotel, that’s fine.

Because you can also win something called an EasyCard, a pass with a preloaded amount of funds that you can use to pay for public transit, restaurants, and even shops.

Overall, this is pretty cool. If you win any of the prizes, it could save you a couple hundred dollars on food, hotels, or activities.

I’ve heard AMAZING things about Taiwan over the years, and I know it’s a bucket list destination for many of you.

This program is running all the way until June 30th, 2025! So if you have any travel to Taiwan planned or end up going in the next couple of years, make sure you hop on this opportunity.

🖼️ Meme

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That’s all for today, folks! I’m still jetlagged over here in Kyoto, so I’m gonna hit the hay. But in the meantime, tell me some stuff about you:

Tell me where!

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See you tomorr… … … 😴😴😴

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

35.0116° N, 135.7681° E

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