I'm going on a 7,5 month trip to SEA and China in just over a month's time, and I'm kind of stuck with all the visa requirements. I'll probably be crossing into Thailand from Malaysia, but I'll definitely be staying in Thailand for longer than 15 days... If I apply for a Thai visa here in the Netherlands, the Thai embassy website says I need to supply my flight data, but I'm not flying either in or out of Thailand, is that a problem?
Also, I'll be crossing into China from Vietnam. Getting a Vietnamese visa in SEA shouldn't be such a hassle (or am I wrong?), but I'm worried about the Chinese visa. Ideally, I'd like to get a double entry visa (probably going to HK), but in the Netherlands, they seem virtually impossible to obtain. So my question is, would it be worth the try to still apply for a Chinese visa in the Netherlands, even though I won't be there until March or so, or should I just get a regular Chinese visa somewhere in SEA (if possible) and then get a new one after I've visited HK?
Okay, that's my whole load of questions! Thanks in advance, I know travelfish doesn't really cover China, but any help would be greatly appreciated!
Regarding the Chinese visa, I got a double entry visa in Chiang Mai last year and from memory it was fairly straightforward. I know I didn't have any flights in and out of China booked; I can't remember if one of the requirements was a confirmed flight ticket but if I was it means I would have been a bit creative ........
That visa was in an old passport which I just had a quite look for and can't find, but I found the previous passport which has a 2006 Chinese visa in it - on that one I was required to enter within 3 months of the issue date so you want to watch how far in advance you get yours. You will get 30 days in China on each entry.
I know the Chinese can change visa requirements at a whim so do double check the current rules and regs. I'm planning on applying for a Chinese visa in Bangkok in the next weeks so I hope it is going to be easy! One thing I did check recently is that it seems to take 4 working days to process on a standard service wherever you apply (there is also the option of express at a higher cost). For a UK passport it's also MUCH cheaper getting the visa in Thailand or Hong Kong compared to the UK.
If you have problems getting more than a single entry then as you say, the best plan would be to apply for a new visa in Hong Kong (which is supposed to be one of the easiest places of all to get a Chinese visa).
The Chiang Mai option sounds like a good one... Thanks for that, and keep me posted on your progress in Bangkok!
(on a completely different, unrelated note: we have the same first name and if the B is the initial of your last name, we have the same initial too, hihi)