It is very easy and fast to apply for a Chinese visa from Hong Kong.
It is very easy and fast to apply for a Chinese visa from Hong Kong. I decided to do it through an agency rather than the embassy because it seems like you need to provide more documents to the embassy and also from the testimonies I read there is often a lot of people and you may have to queue for more than an hour before being able to talk to someone.
So I've chosen Forever Bright Trading agency which is located Rm 916-917,New Mandarin Plaza,Tower B, 14 Science Museum Rd T.S.T East Kowloon. It's very easy to get access to it especially if you are around Kowloon area. From the Changking Mansion where I stayed when I was in Honk Kong it was taking me no more than 30 minutes to get there by foot. Where I read on the Internet the list of documents you need to provide I got a bit worried but finally the only thing that they aksed me was my travel insurance – no need of a plane ticket showing that you have the intention to leave the country at the end of your stay, and for the itinerary, if you don't have one don't panic and just make up one! You just need to give a copy of your insturance as well as a form that you can fill in when you are there, a bit like an exam! If it's not too busy and that you fill in your form the first time correctly – if you give information that might reduce your chance to get your visa they will make you fill in the form again! - it shouldn't take you more than 30 minutes! You don't pay anything when you give your documents. I had to pay 450 HKD (around 42 euros) only when I went to pick up my passport three days later. French people can only obtain a one month visa but fortunately it's very easy to extend it later from China (see article regarding visa extension under the China section)