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On Facial Hair and Border Crossings…

This was something I intended to mention a while back. Its more of a notice to would be western travelers to mainland China then a real post.

Here’s the advice. If you are a non Asian  man and you wear facial hair be aware that the Chinese guards at the border will have trouble with you passport. This is from two sets of observation. One is personal and the other incidental.

I noticed a number of times in the past that when a non asian man approached the guards either inside an immigration area or even at a roadside checkpoint if he had facial hair they seemed much more intent on studying his situation. Nothing bad here I am not saying anybody will get in trouble for having some stuble but I am saying that they will look at you much more closely. The personal observation is from about two trips to mainland ago. My passport picture has a clean shaven mug

I sometimes will grow out my beard and or goatee when I am back in the States alone. I usually will shave it off as Fanny says it hurts her face and it probably does since my beard grows in like wire. This time however I didn’t shave it off before going to China and I was stopped 3 times by immigration people while trying to enter ShenZhen. There is something really disturbing about having a Chinese border security person take an interest in you, at least I don’t find it pleasant.

Again nothing happened I have no contraband I am not trying anything sneaky so they just stared at me for in one case really quite a long time and even called over a supervisor before letting me move on. When I finally arrived at The Shenzhen drop off point I was a bit puzzled by the behavior as it has never happened before. While waiting for Fanny to arrive one of the other passengers of the Limo Bus came and asked me if I wanted to know why they guards kept asking me to stop while they scanned me. he told me it was because with my goatee they could not tell it was me in the picture…

Having recently lost my passport ” actually pretty sure Fanny organized it for me ” I am in the process of replacing it and you can bet I will be shaving  before that picture…

Anyway will be back soon hope you enjoyed…

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