Photo: Wong's Bar, Bangkok.

Idle banter forum

Plans up in the air, ideas?

Posted by christay2009 on 7/9/2009 at 18:20

Hey,

just left Beijing, it was a great place andcould easily have spent months there! I have it on good authorty that I won't be ableto extend
my visa because it's too near the national
day here...

For those that didn't know I had planned to crosss by land into Laos after 2 months in china then head to Malaysia after that. I was thinking I could probably get a flight to Malaysia or Thailand wire easily with airasia from
Guilin. If I went to Thailand I couldstill cross the borderinto Laos andkeep roughly the same
trip but replace some china time with Thai time

any ideas or thougts? In a further travel update I have a very bad stomach ATM : (

Chris

#1 christay2009 has been a member since 8/2/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 414
 Send christay2009 a private message 

Posted by MADMAC on 7/9/2009 at 18:39

Given your flexibility I think a basic strategy of roaming around and then hanging somewhere that appeals to you should work just fine.

#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
 Send MADMAC a private message 


Posted by SBE on 7/9/2009 at 18:54

Thailand is the obvious choice and is the "easiest" country in all SE Asia IMO, but you could always go to Indonesia for a month too.

Indonesia will have better weather in September/October and it's huge and varied in terms of landscapes and culture. You can see volcanos, rice paddies, jungles, temples, dragons, orang outangs, architecture, strange funeral rites, and it's probably got the best diving and snorkelling in the world... but you can't see all of this in just one month so you'll have to give us some clue what you're interested in doing!

#3 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,037
 Send SBE a private message   Where has SBE been? 

Posted by BruceMoon on 7/9/2009 at 19:00

Chris

"I have it on good authorty that I won't be ableto extend my visa because it's too near the national day here...

One thing I learnt about China. There is no such thing as a 'good authority' regarding information.

I remember being told one thing by a senior officer one morning, and something quite different that afternoon. My son speaks fluent Mandarin and told me that in China, only after knocking on several doors in several places and getting the same advice would you start to think that's it.

So, while I'd be making plans, I'd also be pursuing visa extension everywhere I went.

- - -

Another option is to scoot across to Hong Kong and re-enter from there. China Southern go Guilin - Shenzen (cheaply) and then take a train from Shenzen (is only half an hour or so). Maybe fly HK - Nanning/Kunming or Shenzen - Nanning/Kunming.

Another option is Guilin - HaNoi and back to China (expensive, so cheaper by KL).

- - -

Similarly, Guilin > Kuala Lumpur > Chiang Mai (about with AirAsia) > Laos.

- - -

Or, even

Guilin > Kuala Lumpur - apply for another China visa - Kuala Lumpur > Guilin. If you did this, you could spend a couple of days around Kl while you cool your heels.

- - -

Hope this helps.

Cheers

#4 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by BruceMoon on 7/9/2009 at 19:58

Chris

I did a bit more digging...

This is what I've garnered that may assist:

I suppose you are aware that visa extensions are undertaken at the local main police office in each of the principal cities.

"Theoretically you should be able to get an extension by simply visiting the Public Security (Police) office in any Chinese town, and filling out a visa extension form. However, Chinese visa officers can be remarkably pragmatic. Depending on your luck it may simply involve filling out a visa extension application form, or they may demand some sort of "evidence" to support your application. This may include an itinerary, a plane/train ticket, or a letter from a Chinese friend/company. Some Public Security (Police) departments will require a letter explaining the reason for your wish to extend the visa. You may have to gain the help of a Chinese friend to write a letter explaining the reasons for you extended stay in China. The process of applying for and extending visas is becoming a lot easier, but depending on where you go it can still be a confusing and frustrating experience. On occasions, an applicant for a tourist visa extension may be told none are available. This is not correct, but it does occur. Please note that a tourist visa is only extendable up to a maximum of 90days, after which you must leave the country."

I've underlined one sentence. I'd only pursue same if that was the final hurdle to gain an extension.

So, before you go to make an application, DO make yourself an itinerary showing each of the cities you want to visit, some reasons (eg. to look at culture, to visit Leaping Tiger Gorge, etc., etc.), and how long you intend to stay in the city/region. I say this as the Chinese bureaucrat will be looking for 'reasons' and apparently a detailed itinerary forms an important 'reason'. Also, make sure you show that you are planning to depart via Boten to Laos.

This link may also help.

ps. It's 500RMB / day for overstay.

Cheers

#5 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by christay2009 on 7/9/2009 at 20:38

hey, sorry for the strange typing/spelling above, i was using a tiny ipod touch screen to type.

I haven't given up all hope of gaining a visa extension but i am kind of planning for worst-case scenario of having to leave the country and checking out how much it would cost etc Thailand seems the easiest, i can get a train from Guilin to Gangzhou then a flight for 140 pounds (it sounds less reasonable in dollars). Then again, i could leave the country and attempt to apply for a new China visa.

I was unsure if i could apply for a China visa in a country other than my own but Bruce, your post suggests that it is possible. It does seem though that if a Visa is hard to extend then surely it should be hard to get a new one as well, even if this is done outside of China??

Another potentially Viable option would be to fly to KL and jump on a flight to Laos, complete a month loop in Northern Laos before heading back to KL, applying for a China visa, heading to China then flying home from here! Has anyone experienced Laos late september/early october - is it wet, harder to travel?

In terms of what i want to do, i'm not to sure about the new destinations [thailand/indon] but it would seem Thailand would be both "easy" and logistically make sense. I think if my visa options are exhausted then i'd likely go here. Personally, i like mixing city life with some more relaxed places [say...a 60/40 split].

Oh, as far as your Extention options go Bruce, i've been thinking along the same lines although i'd decided against HK purely because i'd have to live there while i waited for the new Visa. I'm pretty sure its WAY more expensive than the rest of China/Asia. Additionally, banks there charge $50 charge for withdrawals [source: Lonely Planet]

Thanks again
All the best, from Qingdao

#6 christay2009 has been a member since 8/2/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 414
 Send christay2009 a private message 

Posted by somsai on 7/9/2009 at 22:02

It was a while ago but I used to just go to the police station and ask them what to do. If they don't want to give you a visa go to another police station. No charge for trying. A lot less complicated than it sounds. If they tell you they want this or that, so be it, but it used to be just a matter of filling out a few forms.

If you have to leave go to Chang Mai, consular office that issues visas there, cheap flights out of Kunming. it's Thailand meaning cheap, English speaking, and easy.

Zai gen loawai.

#7 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 568
 Send somsai a private message 

Posted by BruceMoon on 8/9/2009 at 05:37

Chris

As Somsai indicates, just keep plugging. As you are learning, China is an immense country with a scale of attributes beyond comprehension to the westerner (esp. we Aussies).

Another idea is to ask the 'manager' at your accommodation for advice re: which police station to get a visa extension. That may also be an important link.

Cheers

#8 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by mattocmd on 8/9/2009 at 09:10

I have 4 days off next month and I was going to spend it in China but now I am thinking I would be better off saving the flight money and going when I can spend longer there.

Christay how about a trip report? I would love to hear about your trip.

#9 mattocmd has been a member since 13/6/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 365
 Send mattocmd a private message 

Posted by christay2009 on 8/9/2009 at 19:28

Hi

by policestation, is this what is referred to as public security bureau? I have been thinking that the best bet may be to leave china at the end of my visa and go to Malaysia. This way I avoid the1st of October holidays in china - where the county will stand still - and will then hopefully be able to get a new visa after a week or two in Malaysia chilling out. Hopefully this will mean I can get a cheap flight by booking now

as far as a trip report goes I'm working on it! Will joon a travel blog that isn't blocked and start blogging!

Chris

#10 christay2009 has been a member since 8/2/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 414
 Send christay2009 a private message 

Posted by SBE on 8/9/2009 at 20:33

In that case you could maybe chill in Sarawak or the Perhentians. Weather should b good in the Perhentians and Sarawak is drier in September than it is in December according to that site I gave you before.

I had an email from a friend a few days ago who was passing through Penang and he said it was pissing down there.

#11 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,037
 Send SBE a private message   Where has SBE been? 


Posted by somsai on 8/9/2009 at 21:06

Yes on PSB/police. No need to leave I'd think unless you want to. Might post on LP NEAsia branch. Lots of expats/long term residents post there. Waiting for blog posts of riots in extreme W of China, ice sculture Harbin, etc.

#12 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 568
 Send somsai a private message 

Posted by christay2009 on 9/9/2009 at 08:03

thanks for the help

i've been told by essentially everyone in my hostel to go to Hong Kong and have a week there, get a new visa, then come back. They insist that food [street] and other costs aren't much more than China and that the main increase in cost is hostels. I think that they do celebrate the 1st of october anniversary but maybe to not such a degree?? apparently many conferences take place around this time also. It could even work out cheaper to get to Hong Kong than elsewhere as there is less flying involved. What do you think?

Heading to Hospital today to see a doctor, my time in Qingdao has been spent in the surrounds of my hostel so far although it is good that today is the first time i've seen a blue sky since i came to China

#13 christay2009 has been a member since 8/2/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 414
 Send christay2009 a private message 

Posted by BruceMoon on 9/9/2009 at 10:31

Chris

Keep plugging at the police (PSB) option - you'll get the visa extension OK.

Using Chinese airlines, it's much cheaper to fly to Shenzen and take the local train than to fly to HK airport (airport fees & charges are huge) and bus from airport to to New Territories. Anyway, you could train it to HK from Shanghai (or to Shenzen).

Cheers

#14 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by christay2009 on 9/9/2009 at 16:58

Hey Bruce

Yeah, i think i will just hope for the Visa extension here. If i get in trouble visa wise it will be easy to get out of the country to Hong Kong. Ive heard they often grant you a visa for a number of days enabling you to leave anyway...if not the number you requested. I will book my 1st Oct accomodation a head though and just cancel it if all goes pear shaped as i think it will be busy this week.

Went to Hospital today, was very easy. The specialist 'Foreigner designated section' was great.

Thanks for the help, i am attempting to set up blog today on mytripjournal.com [i think its that] and will post when i've gotten somewhere...

Chris from Qingdao

#15 christay2009 has been a member since 8/2/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 414
 Send christay2009 a private message 

Posted by KazAussie on 11/9/2009 at 15:04

Chris, I don't know who told you Hong Kong had similar costs to mainland China, but they were wrong. We are in the "flashpacker" class. We stayed in a brilliant hostel in Beijing for less than $10 a night, after considerable research the hostel in Hong Kong was about $35 per night and a really grotty location, room etc.

I love Hong Kong and would go there again but you need to expect to pay a lot more both for accommodation and food.

#16 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by christay2009 on 11/9/2009 at 20:36

Yeah it seems like this is the case, who
knows what
I'll end up doing in the end!

Anyway, thanks for the input

#17 christay2009 has been a member since 8/2/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 414
 Send christay2009 a private message 


Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.