There was a bit of a mystery with the first flight (LAX -> XMN) that also listed a 1 hour layover in Qingdao (pronounced KING dao) in my Priceline itinerary but nowhere else. I only had one boarding pass from LA to Xiamen so I wasn't sure if we were even going to stop there. Or maybe we just stay on the plane? Nope, you stop in Qingdao, go through a typically Chinese immigration process to enter the country, then hop back on the same plane for a now-domestic flight to Xiamen.
Nothing is ever very clear in China. Try your best to just be respectful and follow along. In January it was 21 F degrees! I managed in my Bali clothing but it was pretty cold.
You will need: your passport, boarding pass, the tourist card you filled out on the plane, and all your carry-on luggage.
The basic 1 1/2 hour process is this:
Get off the plane and inside someone will point you toward the man who checks your boarding pass & passport and gives you a red ticket. Then you go to the fingerprint station that doesn't really work. Scan your passport and try warming up your fingers and pressing down REALLY hard. "Please put your left hand fingerprints" you will hear over and over ... and over. Get your printed "OK" slip then you just stand to the side and wait. I'm not sure for what exactly. Maybe for the immigration officers to show up?
Then it's a standard immigration line where you give them the tourist card you filled out on the plane and your OK slip. More fingerprints that don't work. Then there's a funny little set of light-up smiley face buttons for you to choose from before you leave your immigration officer counter. From Happy face to sad face based on your review of the service. Of course I clicked the happiest face! Not sure what they might do if you clicked something else. LOL
More lack of direction. Basically you simply go to the right and at the end you go back out to where you got in line for immigration. You wait again for someone to lead you to the next area where they stamp your red card and put your carry-on bags through the x-ray machine. It's okay to bring your water with you since you don't leave the secured area. So don't leave your water on the plane. Women wait for the female officer to pat them down (quite thoroughly) and men wait for the man. Grab your carry-on, then just keep walking until you get to an entrance to the gates where someone will take part of your red card.
There are toilets here! :) Go to your gate and wait to board. Ah, almost there. Down a ramp, down a hall, wait - back to where we started again at the fingerprint/immigration area. A whole lot of process to go in a circle.
OMG they had the air blowing like crazy on the gangplank - NOW I'm cold!
Returned to my seat in the nice warm plane to find it transformed into a domestic flight. Meaning all the international goodies were gone like pillows, blankets, and my water.