China 2018 Zuhhai

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Discuss airshows, exercises and spotter days outside of Europe and North America
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China 2018 Zuhhai

Wed 26 Jul 2017, 11:54 pm

Thinking about making a trip to China airshow in Zhuhai. Did anyone visit the show last year 2016. I prefer to see military jets and bombers. Would this airshow be for me or is it about commercial airliners etc. Anyone else going? My last overseas trip was Moscow for 100th air force anniversary which was fantastic

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Tue 22 May 2018, 11:35 am

I guess not too many people considering a trip to China this year judging from no response to my previous message? We went to the Russian airforce 100th anniversary show and that was incredible and has given us a taste for using air displays as a basis for travelling
I have booked flights to Hong Kong and then onwards to Australia (Not bad at £720 London- Hk - Brisbane - Cairns - HK - London Cathay Pacific economy. The airshow website isn't very friendly at the moment so not sure of ticket prices etc and also not sure of the best location to stay. I have made some enquiries on trip advisor and advice is stay in Hong Kong for a couple of nights and stay in Zhuhai also for two nights then onto to Australia (handy 21.35 overnight flight). The public days at the airshow are over the weekend so 10th and 11th November. Apparently this time of year is when they get the best clear weather

I need advice on where to stay - ideally accommodation with reasonable access to the airshow as well as something of interest eg bars, restaurants beach close by. Would really appreciate any advice from anyone who has been before in general about the show, facilities whatever.

By the way - I notice the Red Arrows, Russian Nights, Turkish display teams are booked

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Wed 23 May 2018, 10:53 pm

I've no experience of Zhuhai but I've spent quite a bit of time in Hong Kong and mainland China if that helps. I've always felt safe in China which is more than I can say for many other parts of the world I've been.

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Wed 23 May 2018, 10:58 pm

Are you sure about the teams? The Red Arrows and Russian Knights were at the last event in 2016 and I'd be surprised if they made a return visit so soon. Should get the August 1st J10's and at least one J20 though which is worth the trip alone.

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Wed 23 May 2018, 11:36 pm

I can't say that I am sure about Red Arrows etc as the china airshow website has very odd links, some of which take you to the 2016 program

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Wed 25 Jul 2018, 6:44 pm

I am following this as well as I too am planning to visit Zhuhai.. I only bought my tickets to Shanghai so I need to get a flight to either HKG or direct to Zhuhai if I can find one. The website seem neglected so hopefully the Chinese organizers update this soon including ticketing and transport and shuttle options since ZHU is in the middle of nowhere really.
I want my first ever Chengdu J20 experience!

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Wed 25 Jul 2018, 7:53 pm

I decided to take a chance and book a highly rated hotel in Zhuhai from 9th till 11 Nov. To my horror the taxi fare is showing about $140 each way for about 20 miles. Hopefully there will be cheaper public transport.Hotel is about £80 per night but its peak season. The same hotel in June of s about £30 per night

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Mon 20 Aug 2018, 11:59 pm

Hi Mathewig
Sorry for the late reply, as I have taken a bit of a hiatus from spotting since 2006 and joined this website today to help out. Actually I have lived in Hong Kong since 2006 and we don't get a lot of military stuff here other than the odd PLAAF helicopters flying out of Shek Kong base (Z-9/Z/8). So I will definitely be going to Zhuhai and have been to I think at least five Zhuhai shows over the years. But most prior to 2010. However I did go to the 2016 show.

1) The air show has improved immensely over the years and has become more of a show piece for Chinese Aviation for the local population. Every air show I have been to has had either the Russian Knights or Russian Swifts so pretty sure at lest one will show up this year. In 2016 it was both. Also the PLAAF August 1st display ever show. In 2016 we had a lot more general aviation than previous years, but some nice PLAAF aircraft including J-10, Y-20, Z-10, Y-9, JF-17, IL-76, JL-9 and AG600. It is meant to be an active airport, but it normally seems pretty quite on the public days at least.

2) I haven't heard anything about any confirmed participants, the Turkish Stars seems plausible as flying pretty old aircraft. The South Koreans were going to display in 2016, but the US vetoed that plan. The website says that list of aircraft will be released in September. Pretty much zero chance of anything other than Pakistan, Russian or Chinese in reality considering the worsening diplomatic front between China and its neighbours. Guessing we await to see if the J-20 will do a public flypast this year.

3) 140$, assuming that is USD is way too expensive. We normally get the coach from Hong Kong and stay overnight in Zhuhai. Then got the free shuttle bus from near the Macao border.

If you need any advice regarding Hong Kong please feel free to ask. Not exactly much in the way of wrecks and relics here.

For completeness I have also answered SquAdmin's questions from 2010 as maybe of use to someone.

4) Are foreign nationals allowed to visit the airshow? Much more common to see foreigners at the 2016 show. They however will x-ray your bags, check passport and take a photo of you. Also new procedures are all foreigners have their fingerprints taken on entry into China. Used to get a bit of hassle before getting into the air show by overzealous security, but seems to have been really no problem last time.

5) Is the airshow period divided in business days and public days? (like Farnborough/Le Bourget) Exactly the same as Farnborough, the first five days are business and the second two days are public.

6) How's photography? Is it permitted, any good? Photography isn't an issue, as China is pretty open these days. Obviously I wouldn't recommend doing any sort of photography/spotting near an active airbase however. Not 100% sure, but I would suspect a scanner would be frowned upon too

7) Is it easy to get tickets in advance?China Travel agents in Hong Kong sell tickets. Also from memory Hong Kong Groupon were selling tickets last time. If anyone needs help finding a ticket source, let me know and I will find out for sure.

8) Any other tips/need-to-knows/etc? A couple of things.

1) Every show the morning afternoon displays are the same.

2) Definitely bring bottled water, a hat, sun cream and most importantly your passport. Even in November Southern China tends to be very hot. There are a few sit down Chinese restaurants, but they tend to get really busy. Also some 'pop up' Chinese food stands and from memory a KFC at the 2016 show if preferred. Also plenty of grass area if you don't mind eating alfresco.

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Tue 21 Aug 2018, 7:39 am

Wow! Many thanks for that fantastic reply! At the moment my main concern is tickets as the website doesn't have any info at least on the English language part so any assistance with that will really be appreciated

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Tue 21 Aug 2018, 8:51 am

I will keep a look out for when tickets go on sale in Hong Kong for you. Will keep you posted.

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Wed 22 Aug 2018, 7:06 am

Many thanks

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Tue 11 Sep 2018, 9:22 pm

^^Many thanks too as I am also planning to go to Zhuhai for the airshow, I would like to go on the exhibition days if possible to avoid the large public crowds, I guess it is very hard to get tickets unless I am a part of the industry?
Maybe I can try and come in as a freelance western media photographer as I do a ton of airshow photos.
I am also struggling to figure out commuting situation but I'm sure the shuttles must be available since it will be a large event.

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Tue 11 Sep 2018, 10:16 pm

Hi there is a facebook group that I joined and was pointed to the trade show ticket sales
Trade tickets are $160 for one day and will "be available in September" but they are not available yet at least on the English website. There is no mention of public tickets yet but maybe it would be possible to contact any one that is attending the trade show to obtain some? According to the facebook page the public have to buy trade tickets which seems a bit expensive and conflicts with previous info where the public shows are over the weekend

Search facebook for Zhuhai airshow china 2018 for some good pictures etc of Chinese jets etc and what seems like the latest information

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Mon 24 Sep 2018, 6:41 pm

Update: I spoke to China Travel in HK earlier in the month and they said it would be later this month before they could confirm anything their end as it was still too early for them. So I will check again with them tomorrow for any update, however no mention on their website as yet.

However it seems the price this year is 500 RMB for an e-ticket for the public days. ... cale=en-hk

We purchased online from Ctrip, China version of last time and had no issue. However I would strongly suggest buying from either or China travel if anyone does decide to buy online. There are lots of smaller companies selling tickets on Chinese websites, but knowing China very well you may easily get scammed.

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Tue 25 Sep 2018, 7:28 am

I am confused by the Chinese embassy website info about visas.i will travel feom London to Hong Kong, stay a couple of nights and then travel to Zhuhai Stay 2 nights in zhuhai then back to Hong Kong for onward flight to Australia. Looks like the visa will cost about £150 per person! This doesn't seem right. I have messaged the embassy but can anyone confirm if this is correct or if there is any way of reducing the fee

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Tue 25 Sep 2018, 4:37 pm

There 2 parts to fees for visas - one for the visa itself and one for the Visa Processing Centre (you can't go directly to the embassy and do it yourself - you have to use the VPC). If you are doing it in London, the VPC list of fees is at - so yes, its £151



Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Wed 26 Sep 2018, 10:11 am

It now seems that I can get a visa on arrival at the ferry port in Zhuhai which is valid for 3 days as its in a special economic zone. Cost is about 460 CNY (about £50)

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Thu 27 Sep 2018, 9:33 am

Be careful - according to this website ( Visa On Arrival (VOA) is only issued under special circumstances.

It would be horrible to get that far and be turned away (my cousin has had that experience when she arrived in Beijing for a business meeting and her travel agent had organised the wrong visa - she was escorted back to plane she arrived on and sent back to the UK :sad: ).

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Fri 28 Sep 2018, 11:08 pm

I myself will be applying for a visa this weekend or Monday, debating a single or a multiple entry visa so I can also visit HK and Macau..
Though the single visa will probably be cheaper and will allow me to stay at the mainland such as Zhuhai for several days on end without issue.
I just dont like how expensive the airshow tickets are, and on public days if it is worth going or venture out to the other side of the airfield outside the fence and spot from there with the sun always at my back..

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Tue 02 Oct 2018, 4:23 pm

The 3 day visa situation seems to vary depending on which website I look at. It does seem that it is available at the Zhuhai ferry port - at first it seemed it was only available from the Macao land border crossing but it is shown as being available at the ferry port. The visa is described as the Zhuhai special area visa as opposed to emergency visa which gives me a slight re-assurance.

I would feel a bit more comfortable if I could find somewhere to purchase tickets for the airshow - has anyone managed to get them yet? I tried the UK branches of and travel china but nothing forthcoming from them.

I thought getting tickets for the Russian 100th centenary show was difficult!

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Wed 03 Oct 2018, 11:57 pm

I think I will have to bring a wad of cash and just walk up to the airshow gates at ZHU airport on a trade day to buy on the spot..
The website they have is quite terrible with nearly nothing that works in terms of links.

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Thu 04 Oct 2018, 11:08 am

I might be missing something really obvious, but a quick Google gets me to

The clicking the trade visitor registration link gets me to which looks to be working fine?

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Fri 05 Oct 2018, 10:08 am

The good news is that the main website is now working

Google translate works very well on this site with my laptop but is all over the place on my mobile

Problem is the registration process requests your mobile phone number and as UK mobiles use a different format to Chinese the request fails. I have tried +44, 0044 and the UK 077xxxx . They need the mobile number in order to send a receipt for the purchase etc. I have sent an email requesting how to get around this.

It seems there are physical tickets and ID tickets. I think ID means they take your details and then allow you in with your passport ((but I could be wrong). I would feel safer with a physical ticket but a bit concerned that it will not arrive in the the post in time.

There are also tickets for ground demonstrations which I think include watching various ground defence weapons in action - but those without tickets can watch on 3 giant screens.

There are also tickets for Students over 60. Now I do know that China has a system of education for the over 60's but as it also states that foreign passports are acceptable I assume they mean there is a discount for all over 60's (with a limit of 20.000 concessions on each day)

There seems to be free transport for ticket holders but that all seems a bit confusing to me at the moment

Very thankful l if anyone can clarify any of the above

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Fri 05 Oct 2018, 9:32 pm

Awesome, thank you for this! I will take a closer look over the weekend and if I can buy a ticket then great.. The weapons demo, heck yes I would like to go see! I use knowroaming for my phone which is a global sim card and it has China phone number support so If I can activate and purchase a chinese number, hmm maybe just maybe..

Re: China 2018 Zuhhai

Mon 15 Oct 2018, 5:16 pm

Having spent quite some time with it seems that its not possibly for foreigners to book tickets online. Apparently physical tickets are on sale in Post offices and elsewhere.
So I am still slightly in limbo!
I Intend to take the Ferry from Hong Kong and obtain a 3 day Visa on arrival VOA which should cost about £50 each but only payable in Chinese currency. Seems to be some questions about availability of VOA - is it for emergencies only or can I obtain at the port?
I have booked a hotel in Zhuhai

If all goes well I will purchase tickets in Hong Kong or Zhuhai

There are various shuttles to the airshow from different locations in Zhuhai including the ferry port and the land border with Macao. It has crossed my mind that getting to the show should be easy but making sure about getting or the correct shuttle for the return could be difficult - we had the same problem in Moscow and ended up in a car park miles from anywhere. There is no facility for private cars anywhere near to the airshow

Best case everything falls into place
Worst case we get to Zhuhai, refused entry visa, loose Zhuhai hotel costs, loose airshow entry fee, return to Hong Kong and pay exhorbitant last minute hotel cost. But we have a nice return ferry trip - Fingers crossed!
How can it be this difficult?
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