Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Visas ... not as easy to get as you might think

Visa's (no, not the credit card) ...Can't travel around the world without them ... can't actually get hold of them!

Over the last two weeks I've been trying to get hold of every visa I will need for my tour around the world ... and after two weeks I've managed to get none, zero, diddy-squat!

The reason is both good and bad. The good part is that for the first part of my trip I don't actually need a visa. Canada allows UK nationals to travel without a visa (I've always liked the Canadians). The USA only requires a esta which, after answering some weird questions (like have you ever been involved in genocide and are you a terrorist? ... like you're going to click 'yes' on the form) I received entry to the USA by my mate Barrack.

For the second part of my trip Fiji, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand don't require visa's for UK residents. Australia, like the USA, requires me to apply for an electronic evisa which I have already completed.

Now the bad news; for Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and China I need to apply for a visa. However for Cambodia, Vietnam and China I can only apply for my visa 3 months in advance (meaning whilst I'm travelling) and the Laos government will only allow me to obtain a visa from a embassy (which my guidebook states that's it best to get a Laos visa from Bangkok).

So the plan is when I'm in Bangkok I shall get my Laos visa; when I'm in Vientiane I shall get my Cambodian visa; whilst I'm in Phnom Penh I shall get my Vietnamese visa and when I visit Hanoi I shall get my Chinese visa ... few!

So the upshot is that I can tick 'obtain visas' off my 'things to do' list ... but I haven't really done it.

I hope the next thing I do is much easier!

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