Before departing for China, you'll need to obtain a 90-day tourist visa. To apply, take your passport to the nearest visa office. Sometimes travel agents or package providers will do the application legwork for you. Visas are not required for Hong Kong, however.
If you're concerned with China's human rights record, and want to find out how the government is progressing on its promise to promote human rights as part of its Olympic legacy, you can check the August 2007 Amnesty International report or visit Olympic Watch.com.
There's no doubt that the Olympics have changed the face of tourism in China. Whether your interest lies in the event itself or with the country as a whole, you are sure to find a country that, in its preparations to host the whole world, has become more accessible to it.
SmarterTravel.com features expert travel advice and unbiased coverage of travel deals.