I have a conference to get to in Changchun (I really, really, really would like to go, the whole trip to China is centred around it).
I'm not able to get a visa in time though.
My flight lands in Beijing. And they'll allow me into the country since I'm a Canadian and "transiting" in Beijing between Turkey and Japan, therefore I get 72 hours without a visa.
However, I'm supposed to stay in Beijing the whole 72 hours. Of course if I drove out of Beijing and back in time for my outbound flight within 72 hours, to them it would be like I never left.
However my Chinese friend recommended against taking a bus to Changchun - he says buses in China are unreliable, can stop in the middle of nowhere anytime, etc.
So the other option is taking the train. They will check my passport. Will they be looking for a visa ? Will they know the rules ? I have an official, signed, very professional invitation letter from a big university, with the 公章 stamp, saying that I need to be there for a conference. My exit flight is within 72 hours. They know I'm not trying to illegally immigrate. Are they going to let me on the train ?
Are they going to ban me from ever entering China again ? (how do they even enforce such a ban ?)