If you're staying longer than 72 hours, you most likely will need a visa to enter China. The "L" type visa is tourist visa. Make sure you have important travel documents in order - one of the most important is that your Passport have at least 6 months left on it to stay safe. Personally, if you're at 1 year or under, I would highly recommend renewing it to alleviate any customs issues.
I have provided a bit more information below - especially informative if you're a USA Passport holder. Please check with your local Chinese Consulate in your country for particulars on visa requirements and options.
Rule of thumb ... never leave home without it!
How to get a 10 year China Visa Q&A (for US Passport holders):
Do I qualify for a China 10 year visa?
You must hold a USA passport and apply as a tourist or business person. Your passport must not expire within 12 months and you must have at least two blank visa pages. If you do receive a 10 year visa it will allow for you to stay in China for up to 60 days per visit.
There isn't a 10 year visa option on the application form, how should I apply?
In section 2.2, please mark "other". The Chinese Visa Office in Washington issues validity at their descretion. Obtaining a ten year visa is likely, but is not guaranteed. If you qualify for this visa they will automatically issue you a ten year visa no matter which box you check.
I want a 10 year China visa but don't have a trip planned. I see an itinerary is required, what is this about?
The Chinese Embassy still requires a flight itinerary with your application. However, the itinerary does not have to be a confirmed or purchased ticket. What you can do is go online and hold a flight reservation, or simply go on a booking website such as Expedia or an airline's website and make a tenative flight itinerary. The printout must include:
A) The applicant's first and last name.
B) Specific dates and the Chinese cities you'll be flying in and out of.
Most China 10 Year Visas only allow for you to stay in China for 60 days at a time. Please make sure your flight itinerary isn't for dates longer than sixty days.
Original signed passport with at least six months of remaining validity and blank visa pages, and a copy of the passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate.
Visa Application Form (Form V.2013) and Photo
One completed Visa Application Form with a photo on glossy photo paper glued onto the form (your photo must meet the requirements).
Proof of legal stay or residence status (applicable to non-U.S. citizens)
You must provide the original and photocopy of your valid certificates or visa of stay, residence, employment or student status, or other valid certificates of legal staying provided by the relevant authorities of the country where you are currently staying.Photocopy of previous Chinese passports or previous Chinese visas (applicable to foreign citizens who were Chinese citizens and have obtained foreign citizenship)
If you are applying for a Chinese visa for the first time, you should provide your previous Chinese passport held and a photocopy of its data page.
If you have obtained Chinese visas before and want to apply for a Chinese visa with a renewed foreign passport that does not contain any Chinese visa, you should present the photocopy of the previous passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate, as well as the previous Chinese visa page. (If your name on the current passport differs from that on the previous one, you must provide an official document of name change.)
If the applicant is a child born in the U. S. to a Chinese parent, the visa requirements are different. Please click to see detailed info.
Documents showing the itinerary including air ticket booking record (round trip) and proof of a hotel reservation, etc. or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China. The invitation letter should contain:
Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)
Information on the planned visit (arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, etc.)
Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual)
In accordance with a 2014 China-U.S. visa arrangement, U.S. citizens may be eligible for 10-year multiple entry visa. The remaining validity of the U.S. passport must be over 12 months.
The applicant should guarantee that all information provided in the application is true and correct. Any false, misleading or incomplete information may result in denial of the visa or refusal of entry into China.
The Visa Notification Letter and the official media letter may be in the form of fax, photocopy or computer printout. An applicant may be required to submit an original invitation, provide other supporting documents, or schedule an interview with the consular officer.
The consular officer will make decisions on whether or not to grant a visa and allowed validity, duration of stay and number of entries based on individual application.