Indochina Encompassed Jan 30

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Indochina Encompassed Jan 30

Postby pistonxx11 » Tue May 13, 2014 11:03 am

We're signed up for this 29 day trip. Does anyone have any suggestions about obtaining visas?
--Steve
pistonxx11
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Re: Indochina Encompassed Jan 30

Postby rod laidlaw » Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:57 pm

Hi Steve, just browsing the forums. Your trip was my first GA back in 2010, booking my 4th this week.

It's a fantastic trip with plenty to see and do, trust me you are gonna love it.

You need to look at each countries Consulate or Embassy web pages. From browsing my old emails for example you had to have the Vietnam tourist visa prior to travelling issued by my UK embassy office for a fee of course and you needed to know the dates of entry and duration. On the other hand the Laos visa was issued at crossover river point on my trip.

Visa requirements change and you need to make sure you have the correct visa, confirming things regularly, especially just before you go.

Try this on for size !!

My second GA trip was to India for 4 weeks followed by a week on a Sri Lanka beach and then a flight back to India with an overnight hotel in Delhi before catching my return flight leg back to the UK. India is a nightmare for Visas. I went to the Visa application office in London which was close to where I work. Two hours later I present my application to be told that because I was a government employee I must include a letter from my government employer declaring I was not travelling for any government business and that I declared no intention to act as a UK government employee being unarmed at all times.

Talk about being over the top !!! The following day I attended, waited another two hours and had my application evaluated for two entries into India, the first for the 4 weeks GA, the second to transit overnight to connect with my return flight home the following day. Having including my all important declaration.

I was then advised the passport photo size had changed as of today, the date of my second attempt to apply for a double entry visa. Taxi to a local photo shop who could take my mug shot and give me my new passport sized photos times 4 there and then. I was determined to get my visa never mind the £45 cost....

Back to the Visa office and after the ritual 2 hour Q my application was accepted without question.

So it arrived in the post which I paid extra for to save another Q. But alas it was only for a single tourist visa entry into India. Never mind my costs for paid flight and a weeks villa hire with a private butler (it was apparently the done thing).

Several lengthy phone calls revealed India does not issue multiple entry tourist visas to government employees of other countries under any circumstances. I was assured that when I first arrived in India I could get a 3 day transit visa issued to allow me to transit overnight via Delhi to connect back to London.

Yes you might of guessed what happened when I landed in Delhi, there is no such facility available to apply for any tourist visas at the airport. When I eventually left India, flew to Sri Lanka I had to spend about 10 hours on day 3 of my week long visit travelling back to Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, to first attend local Indian visa application centre to complete my transit visa application before getting a taxi to the Indian Embassy in Sri Lanka to submit my request.

So on my last day in Sri Lanka my hotel advised me they would be collecting me at 4am to transfer me to the airport via the Indian Embassy to collect my overnight Indian transit visa. I thought they were mad but they were not. After waiting from about 7am we left the embassy 5 hours later only just getting me the airport to transfer me back Delhi.

Granted my circumstances were unique but it just goes to show how it can go terribly long.

Anyway let me know if you gave any queries or questions.

Good luck with the trip.

Regards

Rod
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Re: Indochina Encompassed Jan 30

Postby pistonxx11 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:47 pm

Thanks, Rod. I'm grateful for the warnings and advice. I can see that getting the visas settled is going to occupy a significant amount of my time and energy, and I know now that I must start soon.

And I enjoyed reading about your adventures in wading through the absurd legalities of your travels. I hope I do NOT have as interesting a story to share when I return!

Cheers,

--Steve
pistonxx11
User Rank: Daytripper
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Re: Indochina Encompassed Jan 30

Postby rod laidlaw » Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:47 pm

Hi Steve, I've clocked up 17 weeks over three longer than usual trips. My third trip was for 6 weeks in China, what a fabulous country to utilise GA as a great tour guide.

Booking my 4 trip this week, so far I've planned 5 nights chilling in Cape Town, 30 days on the Highlights of Southern Africa GA tour over 5 African regions and last but not least 7 nights in the heart of South African exploring their premium wine growing region just north of Cape Town in South Africa.

My love for photography & seriously good wine will be stretched to their limits.

All the very best on your trip.

Give me a shout if you have any questions.

Rod
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